In 2018, we invited you to join disabled people and their allies in exploring disability pride and celebrating human diversity as part of Disability Pride Week. Thanks to you, we achieved our goal to keep the momentum going.
An initial overview shows our message reached more people in the 2018 event. It was exciting to see more resources being requested, more social media support and a greater variety of events taking place. We also saw more disabled people engaging with the movement and taking part.
Setting the tone
The videos from Robert Martin set the tone for the week perfectly. As New Zealand’s representative on the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, he said “It’s really important to have pride in your disability, no one can give it to you, it is something you can give yourself”. More here
Some people challenged the term "Disability Pride". For various reasons either the word disability or the word pride made people uncomfortable. This discussion is an important part of disability pride, to understand why it makes us feel the way it does and to consider other perspectives. On the whole, the purpose of the week was supported and its role to create momentum for was understood.
People have asked what kind of events took place so here is a quick summary of the events in Wellington and Auckland.
- Disability Film Night: showcasing short films made by the community. Each film was very different yet the pride message in each was evident through our expressions as disabled people.
- Disability Pride Rally: this was to take place on Parliament Grounds but was rained out. Instead a small crowd met at Toi Whakaari to enjoy the Wearable Pride Parade, dance, music and hear some insights into Disability Pride. A mini documentary is being made from this event.
- Loud and Proud: Hosted by the Human Rights Commission in conjunction with the Wellington Experience Week, there was a discussion amongst a diverse group of people exploring how we can enhance and accelerate positive impacts for disabled people.
- Disability Pride Circus: Several organisations came together to organise a day at the Circability Centre in Victoria Park Auckland to celebrate disability pride. Those who attend dance or music therapy were brought together for a fun day of music and song.
- Disability Pride Hui: An informal discussion led by two disability advocates in Auckland based around the questions: What does disability pride mean to you? How could disability pride events help to mobilise support for the dignity and wellbeing of people with disabilities?
- By the end of the meeting the group decided to set up a Facebook group and to start thinking about what events may be held during Disability Pride Week in 2019.
- Midlands Park: ON DISPLAY with Touch Compass and Wellington Integrated Dance saw diverse individuals dressed in white position themselves throughout the park to challenge people to think about who can participate in art, and what inclusion looks like on a global scale through a deconstructed art exhibit/fashion show. It provided a commentary on the body as spectacle and society’s obsession with body image.
- Each event was different and certainly acted to illustrate the concept of Disability Pride.
Also, did you see the article in Newshub by Aine Kelly-Costello who discusses with a range of people whether Disability Pride is a movement whose time has come.
Congratulations go to Ingrid Jones who submitted her PhD at Waikato University on ‘Reimagining Disability’ which is centred around the concept of Disability Pride aptly, during the week itself. We look forward to seeing more of her work in the future.
Disability Pride school kit
The Disability Pride school kit is a work in progress as we take the time to ensure it is a good fit for schools. Hopefully it will be ready by the start of the school year in 2019.
In conclusion, maintaining the momentum for Disability Pride was only possible through the incredible contributions of many volunteers, too many to name here. We thank you. We also want to thank all of those who were involved in many other ways, who attended events, took part in discussions and generally helped us celebrate disability pride.
And now for 2019
Disability Pride Week will take place again in 2019, watch this space.
For further information
Please email Disability Pride Week convenor Rachel Noble via firstname.lastname@example.org