July is Disability Pride Month!

Logo for The Girl in the Pink Wheelchair: text reads The Girl in the Pink Wheelchair, woman is posed, legs crossed, arms crossed and the wheelchair is pink

July is Disability Pride Month!

Black wheelchair, arms on wheels and the wheels is yellow

I’m committed to amplifying the voices of our community every day as well as sharing stories of my own including real life stories such as the accessibility in my own local community! Do you pledge to help me? Let’s make Disability Pride 2020 be memorable even during COVID-19!
Image Description: Logo for The Girl in the Pink Wheelchair: text reads The Girl in the Pink Wheelchair, woman is posed, legs crossed, arms crossed and the wheelchair is pink Text reads, “ July is Disability Pride Month!” Image of black wheelchair, arms on wheels and the wheels is yellow. Text reads, “I’m committed to amplifying the voices of our community every day as well as sharing stories of my own including real life stories such as the accessibility in my own local community! Do you pledge to help me? Let’s make Disability Pride 2020 be memorable even during COVID-19!“

July is Disability Pride Month! That’s right! PRIDE MONTH! 30 days of Disability Pride!

Just like the image says, I’m going to be using the platform here to be taking advantage of how we can celebrate inclusion. It’s also so important to encourage and promote accessibility. I’m beyond excited to show off the incredible diversity in our disabled community. The disabled community is so incredible. I‘m so happy to be apart of this truly amazing community of advocates.

I’m going to be using my platform this month to elevate and amplify the disabled community, but also taking advantage of educating during this time. I have been blessed over the years (and especially the past few weeks) to be educated by many loved ones and friends with wisdom and guidance on social issues. I am happy to guide in the same way.

While cities like New York and Philadelphia have parades to celebrate Disability Pride, they were cancelled (understandably) and either moved to virtual celebrations or are focused their energy to host bigger celebrations next year. I may not have a city where Disability Parades have happened (maybe some time soon!), I do have a platform. Through that platform, I can use it to educate as I mentioned. This is something that I’m choosing to consciously to do as a way to foster something that may help. Education by my loved ones made a huge impact in my life.

Let’s also remember during Disability Pride time that disabled people encompass minorities, immigrants, multiple sexualities/identities, etc. As we navigate 2020, it’s imperative to remember that Black disabled people (especially women/womnx) are apart of this equation. One of my dear friends with a progressive, debilitating and rare disease brought up recently about a racist experience that she experienced at the hospital. The system is already setup to disavow disabled people, even when they’re not Black.

As we go into Disability Pride Month, I want to talk so proudly about all of the things that I love and hate about being a person with a disability. I want to talk rawly about the privileges I will never have because I am a woman with a disability. In that same light, I must acknowledge my skin is not black like my friend and I never experienced anything like her. We have to talk simple here because sometimes people don’t get it. I want to talk about the way I wish I could attend a parade because I am so lonely some days. I want to be honest, raw, and make people proud because I am proud of who I am. And who I am is a person with a disability. These are all thoughts I have thought in relation to “Disability Pride” and they are important. Inclusion, diversity, and accessibility are important. Disability refers to both physical and non-physical disabilities.

It means people like me, but also hearing disabilities, visual, hearing and developmental disabilities too. Disabled people can have invisible disabilities where their disability and or chronic illness makes them appear able-bodied. The same way you may not know a person is low-vision. Bottom line: disabled people are diverse and that needs to be apart of our Disability Pride 2020. Diversity is rad.

With all that I said,

Happy Disability Pride Month, friends!

P.S. This is a new exciting chapter of my life and I’m very excited this aligned with July. As many of my friends know, I’ve revamped The Girl in the Pink Wheelchair to be completely accessible to all disabilities including screen readers and low-vision. Old posts will start “popping up” as the images get Photo IDed. Be patient with me, friends. I had surgery recently and I’m still moving slow. Slowly, but surely!!!

Disability Pride Month is an exciting thing in itself, despite many celebrations being cancelled. But hey – who knows? I have some ideas of my own!! Wait and see! 😉

6 thoughts on “July is Disability Pride Month!

  1. “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore, Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” ( Thank you for the title Susan Applegate Waterworth )

    I was frustrated today and I wrote a letter and I didn’t know exactly who I was sending it to. In the south in a mostly Christian area why does this happen?

    Why don’t we provide life saving medical care to the disabled or try to understand their struggles with social situations and pain management? Or try to understand not all disability comes with a wheel chair at birth. I will most likely end up in a wheel chair like my mother often is, my grandmother was , and my sister is more and more. However, right now I can still walk, expect when I was pregnant. I was diagnosed with a rare degenerative genetic disease ( it is in my DNA ) and I was in a wheelchair and home bound, but it’s a struggle to afford the care I require now. I have had to be my own advocate and I fight to stay out of that chair everyday.

    “Shhhhh be quit, your just lazy and asking for handouts” or there is this the most insulting thing someone has said is this ‘ I know all about the struggles of disablity because my relative was disabled’ this statement even coming from a caregiver is insulting at best and ignorant. ‘ Well, my Uncle was disabled and he never took a hand out’ Well, maybe if he did he would still be alive right now and wouldn’t have ended up in that state that killed him. Maybe he was silent because he knew how this world treats us. These people never learned to share and care. If your disabled and someone tries to say this shit. Just pray for them and try to educated more open mind people.

    I have had a real hard time lately and I was finally able to get the medical care that I needed to get out of debilitating pain, that was going to put me back in a wheelchair and some folks think I should have suffered in silence, rather than ask for help. I have thought about it a lot. If your child was in this agony, you’d be their voice for them right? Some of us have to stand with our own voices and that takes courage to do in Oklahoma today. No respect for human decency and no compassion. So if someone is asking for help maybe think before you speak. WWJD


    I’m a nurse and I have had to be this advocate for others my whole life, and I took pride in my work. Now that my body is failing me so are my fellow neighbors and countrymen who’s children I helped save, elderly I showed compassion, disabled I advocated for, and my reward is this treatment. I take none of it back and would do it all again. I’m a Hospice Nurse, Pediatric Nurse, Clinic Nurse, Nursing Home Nurse, Alzheimer’s Unit Nurse, Home Health Nurse.

    Amanda Jurries, Nurse/Mom of 3

    Matthew 25:40-45 New King James Version (NKJV)

    40 And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’

    41 “Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: 42 for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; 43 I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’

    44 “Then they also will answer [a]Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’ 45 Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’

    1. Thanks so much for sharing this with me, Amanda. I would love to get in contact with you and share your story about your disability, history as a nurse, your advocacy, and even more about what you’re struggling with. Send me an email to dom@thegirlinthepinkwheelchair.com – if you’d like to get a story on the site. Thanks so much for sharing this comment.

      It is so hard when people don’t acknowledge your disability. You are SO right! I wish people realized that disability is not “one size fits all” – especially for women!

      Love & hugs,

  2. I have never heard of Disability Month until just reading this post. Perhaps this is just an American thing. I live in Canada. It would be a good thing to have it here too.
    Also Disability Pride. Again, I have never heard of it. Do we have a flag like Gay Pride. They have such a nice colourful flag. A girl in pink wheelchair sounds like a nice symbol, but it perpetuates the idea one has to be in a wheelchair to be disabled.
    My body was never the greatest growing up, but I was able-bodied for as far as it went. I was born with eczema from the sole of my foot to the top of my head. I was given oatmeal baths two or three times a day as a baby, and then once a day as a growing child. The eczema slowly retreated till I only had it on my cheeks, my elbows, and the backs of my knees during my teens, and eventually it disappeared totally in my 20s. Eczema does not sound like a disability, it is just a skin rash. But when it alters your appearance, and people make fun of you and ask what is wrong with you, it hurts the same way it does for anyone else who has disabilities.
    But that was just my early life. I went some years being able-bodied, but that changed in my 40s. I contracted a digestion tract disease that took the doctors many years to diagnose. This disease was invisible, of course, except when my bowels decided to release their contents at the most public times. It did not matter where I was or what I was doing. Without warning there was suddenly diarrhea running out the bottom of my jeans, accompanied by the most horrendous of odours. People gave me looks like I was somehow doing this on purpose, blaming me for upsetting their nice little lives by grossing them out. You can imagine the things they said to me, which I will not repeat here. As I said, it took years to have the disease diagnosed, and by the time one doctor found what it was–ulcerative colitis–the ulcers had spread throughout my entire large bowel. Removal of said bowel was the only remedy. Of course I gladly went along with that advice, hoping it would end the embarrassment of a non-working, non-controllable colon. Needless to say, the then-experimental procedure used for me, a pelvic pouch procedure, was not successful. Thirty years later, and I still have little control over my bowels. This, along with invisible heart problems, invisible arthritis problems, and all kinds of other invisible medical issues, makes me a walking time bomb. Yes, I can walk, now with the help of cumbersome knee braces, but there are times I feel I would be better in a wheelchair. Then people, including my wheelchair-bound fellow disabled people, would not condemn me for using disabled parking spaces, or wheelchair washroom stalls, when I walk out of cars or stalls as if I am totally abled.
    This is the worst thing of all. It is bad enough having to live with multiple comorbid difficulties that no one can see, but people’s reactions and words from even visibly disabled persons hurt. I try to ignore them, or to educate them about invisible disabilities, but they look at me and do not believe anything could be wrong.
    And that is the purpose of this blog comment: to tell the world not all disabilities are visible. Appearances can be very deceiving.
    Thank you for listening, Dominique.

    1. Thank you for such a detailed response to my writing! It’s so nice to get such detailed responses from fellow individuals in the disability community.

      Yes, it would be wonderful to have Disability Pride in Canada. I did see pieces before about Albert, Canada celebrating it before. Maybe there’s a way to raise it in your community? I bet by Googling that you may find some fellow events or even Canadians that are celebrating in some ways!

      I have to politely disagree with your presumption that my titling is excluding those who do not use mobility aids. Disability is broad spectrum; it is something I stress repetitively. I am an advocate for all– and that includes those whose disabilities which are not visual at first appearance like mine. I write, and have written, multiple pieces on the importance of recognizing ‘invisible’ disabilities. I have spoken on this issue. I have advocated on this issue at a legislative issue. My “username” stems from the fact that my mobility aid (which is indeed a pink wheelchair) is a part of me- and I can use it in multiple ways. It is not meant to alienate anyone. Nor would I ever use my platform in any so which way. If you feel that your disability is not “equal” or “enough” because mine is, it is not true. All disabilities are disabilities whether they’re visible or invisible.

      As an advocate with a physical disability, I have made it my life to elevate all disable voices including those who may feel alienated in the disability community. 🙂

      Thank you so much for sharing your experience as an individual with an invisible disability with such candid honesty. I am so grateful for your honesty! I know that took a lot of bravery. Thank you also for sharing for so much your life history with your experiences. I hope you have a wonderful day!

      1. Sorry, d, but I was not trying to denigrate your efforts. I was not looking at your history, just one little piece of it. The pink wheelchair does represent you well. Individually. All power to you. As a universal symbol, however, I think it fails. I have no idea offhand what could be a universal symbol for the disabled. A pride flag really does not speak to the problems encountered by people of different genders, yet it is a very recognizable symbol around the world. Maybe a flag covered in boxes interacting in many different ways could be a symbol, because people with disabilities are put into so many different boxes, the blind box, the deaf box, the wheelchair box, the dysfunctional box, the mental health box, etc. etc. etc. Able people put us in boxes every day of our life. That is just an off-the-cuff idea. I’m sure other people would have other ideas.

        But keep on advocating. You appear to be good at that.

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