Disability Pride Month 2022

Disability Pride Month 2022

Monday, 18 July 2022

July is Disability Pride month. It’s an important time to celebrate individuality and to stress the importance of making our society more inclusive and accessible. 

We asked our Youth Advocates the question, “What does Disability Pride mean to you?”

Here are their answers:

Jigsaw Roscommon Youth Advocate

To me disability pride is not just about celebrating diversity. It’s about celebrating who we are as people and acknowledging how our disability impacts our lives.

It’s about ensuring that accessibility and being inclusive is part of everyday life and not just an afterthought.

To some people accessibility is something that will make other’s lives better but to us who need them it’s what is needed so we can be part of society and everyday life.

Pride is about celebrating how we adapt and thrive in a society who often view us as separate from them. It’s about being proud of all our achievements and the beautiful community who are always there for each other and help one another with tips and advice so we all succeed.

For me personally, pride is about not being ashamed of my disability and realising that it’s just as part of who I am as anything else. Reasonable adjustments and accessibility are not something extra, like sauce on chips, it’s what allows us to lead our lives.

My disability has allowed me to have a different outlook on life and that is something I will always be grateful for.

Jigsaw Limerick Youth Advocate

Disability pride is a time where we get to reflect on the wonderful and hard things a disability can bring. It was not until I was older that my disability has given me so many great opportunities on top of the hard times.

It does not define me but has shaped the person I am today.

Jigsaw Cork Youth Advocate

I'm a non-disabled person, however over recent years, through following disability advocates online, encounters in my everyday life and my studies in college, my awareness surrounding the disabled community has hugely increased.

I've learned that there are still so many stereotypes and stigma surrounding disability, and that this needs to change.

To me, Disability Pride month reminds me of the importance of elevating disabled people's voices, celebrating disabled joy and community, and to show up as an ally.

There is still a long way to go in terms of accessibility and equality, but awareness is a good first step in this direction. I would say to non-disabled folks to start educating yourself on how to be a good ally and follow disability advocates on your social media - you will learn so much.

Jigsaw Galway Youth Advocate

Sometimes, you go through the dark, long, scary tunnel, barely making it to the other side - but you did because you had the willpower to, and you didn’t want to be stuck there.

You look up and you see the nice blue sky, the big yellow sun, smell the fresh air, and you hear sound birds singing and chirping. You reached the light.

Although you know there’s plenty more of dark gloomy muddy tunnels ahead, there’s also plenty of light, goodness, happiness, and fulfilment as well. That’s life, and it’s a rollercoaster when you have mental health difficulties or any problems.

It’s like a big heavy weight weighing down on your head, and the negative thinking tries to persuade you into thinking falsely about yourself.

Switch into thinking positively about yourself and proud how far you've come. We all are different, we all have difficulties. We all have different personalities and passions, so own it.

The world is your oyster. You got this.

A photograph of a boy and girl playing basketball. The boy is in a wheelchair.

Happy Disability Pride Month from Jigsaw!

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