Loving My Community Disability Pride Month

July is Disability Pride Month, and I’m hyped.

Although, I face many challenges as a person with a disability, I’m proud of myself and very proud to be a part of this unique community.

In this case, the definition of pride is; the achievements of the those whom one is closely associated with, or from qualities or possessions that are widely admired.

Often when you’re a part of a community that’s looked upon as being different or flawed, people will make you feel as if you don’t belong. Although you may not want to admit it, everyone wants to belong somewhere. It’s like the scenario of the “Cool Kids Club”. When I was in school, I wanted to be a part of that club. Don’t get me wrong, I was cool, and still am, but to be accepted by the ones who I “thought” had it going on, was what I wanted.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve found that the kids I “thought” was so cool, weren’t. Matter fact, many of them were dealing with more issues than I ever had including lack of confidence.

My disability adds character to who I am. I know I wouldn’t be the same happy Shari without it. It has taught me, patience, independence, empathy, love, and how to lean on my faith in times of adversity. I know the special characteristics I possess wouldn’t be as strong if I didn’t have a disability.

I’m a part of a community that truly “Make Things Happen”. The disability community has been instrumental in creating and changing laws to make life better for its people.

My community has picked me up when I was low, gave me advice when I needed it, and gave me the confidence needed to use my voice when I thought it was too different to be heard.

Disability pride to me means, to not be ashamed of yourself, and the people who share in your same space of differences for we all make the community beautiful.

Although I love my family, they don’t have disabilities, and therefore cannot fully understand how it is to live with one, but my community of people with disabilities does. Often you need a community that understands what you’re going through to be your sounding board.

As I celebrate Disability Pride Month, I’ll continue to share, educate, and lift-up people with disabilities. I know all won’t be forthcoming to people with disabilities, but that’s ok because we’re not going anywhere. Instead, we’re going to live, love, work, and play as anyone else. No one will stop our stride for we’re a strong people.

On that note: my name is, Shari L. Cooper, and I’m here to say, I’m honored to be a part of the disability community.

2 comments on “Loving My Community Disability Pride Month

  1. Tracy Craig on

    Shari, as always, you have hit the nail on the head! I couldn’t agree with you more, that the community of individuals with disabilities is rich with talent and so much more. Like you, I am proud to be a part of this community that cares so much about the quality of life that people live. You make sure that you enjoy your walk through life and you also make sure that people make room for you. You inspire me to speak up for myself, and my daughter, to make sure that what we bring is recognized and received. Thank you for all that you do– especially what you do for yourself. Happy DISABILITY PRIDE month!!

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