Empowering Yourself by Understanding One of Your Identities – Disability Pride

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What do you think of when you hear the word “Disability Pride?” Do you already feel pride in your disability, or do you feel like you do have no idea about how to take pride in it?

The definition

Disability Pride is a concept of holding positive or neutral attitudes towards disabilities.  In the past decades, some people have regarded disability as a medical diagnosis or a condition. In fact, a disability can mean more than a medical diagnosis or a condition – experiences of living with disabilities might have shaped your perspectives, created your habits, improved your skills, and so on.

In short, individuals can see disability as one of their various identities and think about how to use it to their advantage, like many other identities such as sex, nationality, or languages.

The brief history

The movement incorporating the concept of Disability Pride came into being in the U.S. in the 1990s. The first disability pride parade was held in Boston in 1990. Since that first parade, the movement continues spreading out to various locations across the U.S. and other countries.

What does it mean for your transition to your future career path?

When it comes to planning for your future career, understanding the concept of Disability Pride will prepare you for thinking in advance about your strengths and needs regarding working.

For example, an individual with a spinal cord injury explains his/her disability like the following:

“I have a spinal cord injury, which means my brain doesn’t talk to my arms and legs. To adapt, I use a power wheelchair to get around, and I use specialized software to work on a computer. Because of the nature of the software, I pay attention to detail.” As you can see in this example, a spinal cord injury means not only a medical diagnosis and a condition but also experiences, tools, and skills that come along with it. With a lens to see a disability with the concept of “Disability Pride” in our mind, you can learn how to describe your disability as one of your identities that explain what you can and need in a workplace.

If you want to learn more.

If you want to learn more about Disability Pride and ways to utilize the concept for your transition into employment, join us at DREAM BIG camps this summer. The week camp is a great opportunity to explore your career possibilities and get opinions from employees at leading St. Louis companies.


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