Disability Pride: Welcome to the Family!

G’day my friends and welcome to another week and another blog!

I am a bit late getting this post out, but July was Disability Pride month!!

For me, the term ‘disability pride’ means so many things. It encompasses so many ideas into one title.

So I thought it would be good to go through what each of these ideas are for me, and why disability pride month is something to be celebrated not just for 4 weeks, but for an entire year!

What is Disability Pride

the back of me and my dad looking out to a athletics track with para-athletes about to compete in a race. Me and dad a wearing yellow shirts, I am sitting in my wheelchair. This pic screams disability pride to me!
I still love this photo and everything it represents!

I had to consult google on disability pride and what it technically means. According to wikipedia (i know how good is that quality of research on my part), disability pride month occurs in July as it marks when a historic bill called the Americans with Disabilities Act back in 1990. To save this turning into a law essay, feel free to research it a bit more.

But it is safe to say since then, there has been a global movement to recognise disability pride month.

I truly believe disability pride means different things to different people, however there is always a common theme.

Being proud of who you are and despite the limitations society places on you, you are still living your life, and disability isn’t something to be ashamed of.

We have come so far… but have a long way to go

A blue wheelchair matt on white sand. The sky is beautiful royal blue as well as the ocean
This picture is absolutely amazing.

Now this may be a tad of a controversial opinion. Me controversial? Never!!

The mentality and beliefs about disabled people still remains pretty common and negative.

However, there has been so much improvement throughout the decades in terms of disability inclusivity!

We now have dedicated legislation combating disability discrimination, pensions and insurance schemes, universal health care, accessible venues and functions. Not to mention Televised sporting events!

However, some countries aren’t so lucky. And we need to keep moving forward in our progress more than ever.

Once we realise that we are all human, and deserve the right to live in a world free of discrimination, intimidation, and start living in a world where we are each other’s equals, then we can truly change perception.

We need more allies, more people to stand up with us and keep highlighting were society can do better.

However, there is a fine line between advocating and asking for meaningful change this from a place of hate, resentment and anger and and doing it will still being grateful and recognising how far we have come on the journey.

We don’t achieve anything from malice and anger; but from love and peace.

If we can ask for better employment opportunities, bridging the pay gap, sign interpreters at every concert and event, accessible transport, accessible curbing, and do that in a way that is coming from a place of just wanting to be seen and treated as equal, then we will get somewhere.

Why are we the best community?

a group of people of all abilities at a bar with someone taking a selfie.
http://Photo by ELEVATE from Pexels

Speaking of discrimination! The reason why we are the best community? Well my friends is because we don’t discriminate! We welcome everyone with a dis-ability! We don’t give two flying hoots when you became disabled (even though we love to hear your story) we don’t judge you for it!

Our events are amazing and super special, and we celebrate everyone’s successes.

We like to think of the disabled community as one big family. We all have a common themes in our stories that we all connect with.

We have each other’s back and want the best for each other.

If that isn’t friendship goals I don’t know what is!!!

My Journey with Disability Pride

a black and white photo of me and a mini pony walking around me. I chair is in between us that i used as a support frame if i needed it as I was standing in sand.
I learnt to embrace everything and that includes adapting!

If you have followed me since the beginning, you will know that my acceptance if you will of my disability hasn’t been smooth sailing. It has certainly been a roller coaster! But I honestly wouldn’t have it any other way!

I have reached a point where I am proud of what I have been able to do and how hard I have been able to push myself.

Sure I have moments of pure frustration and anger wondering why on earth my body won’t cooperate, or why I cant access certain venues. Basically everyone has days where its hard.

I am in a place now where I can try to figure out why I am feeling like that and try and do something about it. Sometimes there is nothing I can do other than just take some time out and have a bath or journal.

The biggest thing I take pride in is the ability to adapt very quickly to my surroundings, or problem solve so I am able to participate or do something I enjoy! I used to get so angry at this, but now I know the energy I use getting mad, I now get to work on problem solving. Whether that is in terms of an activity or even workshopping ways to bridge the gap in terms of equality!

I can honestly say I am genuinely proud to be a part of the disabled community, and I can’t imagine my life any other way.

Let’s keep this pride going!

http://Photo by Ann H: https://www.pexels.com/photo/the-word-resilience-on-pink-surface-11142239/

Before I sign off for another week my friends, we need more voices, more awareness and more unity than ever before! Not to mention more love towards each other and less drama and hate.

Imagine what we can achieve if we all band together from all communities.

Remember my dis-abled friends, you should be proud of your journey, your story and what you have been able to do. Write down every achievement, and im not just meaning awards. I am meaning every thing that you have done that may have been a struggle or not a struggle.

It can be up to you. But once you reflect you realise just how much you have been able to do.

Most importantly, own who you are. Literally all of it! There is no shame in being disabled. It gives us the opportunity to appreciate life a bit more than the rest, and to live life to the full. That wisdom is your key to greatness!

If you are breathing, doesn’t matter how, you are worthy of all the love and positivity in the world.

We see you

We feel you,

We celebrate you,

We love you,

We honour you, Welcome to the family.

We are legends!

till next week,

Rhi xo

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