Written by: Howard McBroom, Easterseals Southern California Advocate
Howard McBroom is an advocate and Easterseals staff member who speaks about his experience with autism to emphasize the importance of disability awareness and inclusion. In this blog post, Howard shares what Disability Pride Month means to him and how people, both with and without disabilities, can celebrate and support this month.
What does Disability Pride Month mean to you? To me, it means bringing awareness to our disability community and being proud of who we are. If we don’t stand for inclusion for all, we stand for none.
Why is it important to celebrate disability pride month? We must show that we stand with the disability community and share our values of inclusion and equity. It’s also important to educate society on the abilities that we all have and that we are included in society.
Why is advocacy important? Advocacy is my calling and Disability Pride Month is a great way to celebrate who we are and what we can do. We must give others the platform or encouragement to advocate. We must advocate for those who do not have a voice or need support in communicating. If we don’t speak up, we are consenting to being silent, and no one will care.
Why is it important to empower people? If we don’t empower people, they will be helpless. If you disempower them, they will have no power to stand up for themselves. It is important we stand together and empower each other to succeed and thrive together.
How can someone be an ally to the disability community? By using person-first language and getting to know us. I want people to listen and understand who I am as a person. I also want society to treat all of us like humans.
How can you celebrate Disability Pride Month?
- Follow and support disability advocates and organizations on social media, like Alice Wong (Disability Visibility), Keely Cat-Wells, Curb Free Cory Lee, Kaelynn Partlow, Easterseals Southern California, The ARC, and so many more.
- Patronize businesses that support and hire individuals with disabilities. Take a look at several Easterseals’ WorkFirst Employment Services “Stories of Success,” which highlight participants who work for businesses in their communities.
- Read books by authors who have a disability, like authors Alice Wong and Emily Ladau, or check out this list of books written by disabled female authors.
- Attend a Disability Pride Month event or conference in your area, like the Disability Pride Parade in Los Angeles.
- Share Your disability story or help someone share theirs. You can check out my own story on my blog.
- Support a disability charity or organization like Easterseals Southern California, which provides services and support for thousands of children and people with disabilities throughout Southern California.
- Hire people with disabilities at your organization. If your organization cares about diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), disability inclusion needs to be a part of your hiring process.
To learn more about the History of Disability Pride Month, visit our website.