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Disability Pride 2018

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. 

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.   
  5. 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?
  6. 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.
  7. 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. 
  8. Each event was different and certainly acted to illustrate the concept of Disability Pride.

Newshub article

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.


Disability Pride Week 2017

We invite you to be part of Disability Pride Week 2017. Register with us and we’ll send you resources and promote your event.

Disability Pride Week kaupapa

Your events should:

  • explore or demonstrate Disability Pride (disability identity)
  • have disabled people in a lead and/or partnership role in the planning and implementation of the event
  • project Disability Pride to the wider community
  • acknowledge members of the disability community who have gone (many of whom helped us to arrive at this point)
  • be fun and inclusive.

Disability Pride Week 2016

In 2016, Wellingtonians Nick Ruane and Rachel Noble created a pilot Disability Pride Week in Wellington. This was a great success with an opening event in Te Marae in Te Papa, tape art workshops, storytelling and a discussion about Wellington through the lens of its disabled citizens. There were numerous calls to repeat the event and to make it nationwide.

Taking part in the tape art workshops in 2016We are familiar with other pride movements, including LGBTQI, Māori and women, and the incredible strides made when people reject prejudice by demonstrating bold and proud affirmations of who they are.

Pride  overpowers prejudice. It is about  believing in ourselves, our worth and our value, harnessing this to counter the prejudice we experience. To create a culture of respect and human rights, we must first have pride in our own identity and humanity. Disability Pride Week is a step toward this.

Disability Pride Week is also about protecting and celebrating New Zealand’s taonga, past, present and future, by connecting our heritage and communities with national and international communities. It provides a catalyst for New Zealanders to nnovative become responsible global citizens for an accessible and inclusive society. The week is underpinned by the sharing knowledge and promotion of dialogue to foster mutual understanding. 

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