July is Disability Pride Month, a time for people with disabilities to celebrate their disabilities as integral parts of who they are; raise awareness; promote inclusion and belonging; to lift up the disability community.
This year, JJ’s List is joining the greater disability community in the conversation about what disability pride means to individuals. We are happy to share the thoughts of several young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities about what disability pride means to them.
“What disability pride means to me…”
Alana: “I think that it means that we are happy to show off our real selves; to show who we really truly are and to be happy with who we are; to feel confident enough to acknowledge that we have disabilities, and to be outgoing and not shy about expressing who we truly are.”
Barb: “Not having my disability interfere with my being a powerful, awesome mother.”
Brian: “Disability pride to me means…having many strong skills and abilities. To me, having a disability is a strength instead of a weakness because we are not afraid to discuss having a disability. Being more open about disability is a positive sign for being successful.”
Claudia: “To me, it means being proud of who I am and accepting my disability. Yes, there are times when I wish I could see, but there is nothing to be done about that.”
Christina: “Being proud of myself and helping other people understand things about disability.”
Danielle: “Loving myself and loving everybody else.”
Henry: “Being proud of myself and who I am and being successful at my job.”
Jenny: “I am proud of being from Chicago, of being able to go shopping and do all kinds of things. Being able to do chores and help out my mom.”
Jimmy: “Of being able to work and feel good about who I am.”
John: “Disability pride is feeling good about myself and my disability. Talking about my disability is not difficult for me to do and I enjoy it. It makes me feel good about myself.”
Karmesha: “Being myself. Being bold, strong, humble, and being able to advocate for myself.”
Katy: “To me, disability pride means being strong; showing people that everybody with disabilities can do everything that nondisabled people can do. We just need a little bit of help. I am proud of my disability. I love who I am and I would not change a thing.”
Lanni: “Having fun and being happy with yourself even with your disability; pushing yourself to do things in your own way and working.”
Lawanda: “Not being judged because we have a disability. We all are the same.”
Louis: “Putting the dishes in the cabinet and sheets on the couch, and doing things on my own and sticking up for myself.”
Maria: “Being accepted and loved for who you are.”
Sarah: “Disability Pride Month means celebrating our differences and strengths. By celebrating our disabilities, we are making disabilities more present in society which is a great thing. We have nothing to be ashamed of.”
Stephanie: “It’s looking past what you look like on the outside and looking at what you are on the inside.”
Happy Disability Pride Month!