Disability Pride Month 101

Better known in the US, less known in the UK, it is now near the end of July which means one thing: Disability Pride Month is almost over. Here at Huxley we are all about accessibility as you know, so we thought we would bring you all the information and know how for having a fruitful and educated Disability Pride Month.

What is disability Pride?

Disability Pride originated in the US in the 1990s, and since 2017 the movement has had its own flag. Despite this, awareness for the cause is not widespread. Disability Pride is all about “accepting and honouring each person’s uniqueness and seeing it as a natural and beautiful part of human diversity”. Jenny Skelton founded the first Disability Pride Event in Brighton in 2017 as an awareness raising event, after one of her 3 adopted children was thrown out of a pub due to her impairment.

The colours and shapes on the disability pride flag all have a meaning behind them:

  • Black space: represents disabled people who have lost their life not only to their illness but also to suicide negligence and eugenics
  • Lightning bolt: the shape represents the  lateral lives that many disabled people live
  • Blue: Represent mental illness
  • Yellow: Represents cognitive and intellectual disabilities
  • White: Stands for invisible/undiagnosed disabilities
  • Green: Represents sensory perception disabilities
  • Red: Represents physical disabilities

https://www.disabilitypridebrighton.com/ 

What can you do to get involved?

It is a fact that needs no stating, that the disabled community was one of the ones hardest hit by the pandemic, with restrictions disproportionately impacting the lives of many of those living with disabilities.  All over the world, the pandemic has highlighted pre existing inequalities in our society. In order to build back a fairer community, we need the fullest possible understanding not only of the inequalities that have been reinforced by COVID-19, but also of the inequalities people with disabilities face on a day-to-day basis.

Read a book:

Books are a great way to learn about anything, and disability is no exception. With literature becoming more diverse everyday, great representation becomes easier to find. Below are some books both fiction and non-fiction which you can read during Disability Pride or even afterwards.

  • The Boy Who Steals Houses – C. G Drews
  • Disability Visibility: First-Person Stories from the Twenty-First Century – Alice Wong
  • Pages I Never Wrote – Marco Donati
  • Not If I See You First – Eric Lindstrom

Volunteering around Brighton

Being from West Sussex and so close to Brighton, We are very lucky to have lots of opportunities to be involved in causes that matter to us. Disability awareness should be a cause on everyone’s lists, and Disability Pride is a great chance to show your support to the cause (if you were waiting for a sign: This is it. Get involved in your community.)

  1. Did you know that the Great Bedtime Audit in 2017 found that at 8.30pm on a typical Friday evening, 69% of people with learning disabilities were either in bed or ready for bed? Stay Up Late, a charity based in Brighton believes that people with learning disabilities have the right to stay up late and have some fun. Get involved through volunteering as a gig buddy, donating or running a marathon: https://stayuplate.org/individuals-how-you-can-support-us/ 
  2. Carousel is another great charity to get involved with; they work in partnership with learning disabled artists providing training, production and leadership initiatives that enable those who are often overlooked by mainstream arts to develop and showcase their creative skills. Get involved through volunteering, donating or fundraising: https://carousel.org.uk/donate 

If you are a bit further from Brighton than you’d like to be, then get in touch with charities in your local area to see how you can help in your community.

Watch some films: 

If reading a book sounds daunting and like it takes a long time, watch a movie. There are more and more movies; both fictional and non-fiction that depict disabilities in an inclusive light. Whether you’re looking for a serious documentary or an emotional TV show, disability representation on the big screen has greatly improved since the 2000’s.

  • The reason I Jump (2020)
  • The Fundamentals of Caring (2016)
  • Crip Camp: Disability Revolution (2020)
  • Atypical (2017-2021)

Make sure your website is digitally accessible

We have written extensively about how to make your Website more accessible digitally. You could say it’s our job to design digitally accessible websites. For this Disability Pride Month check out our other blog posts, and learn about how to make your website accessibility friendly: