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Celebrating Disability Pride Month!

This month we've changed up our logo, to celebrate Disability Pride Month.


Last month we displayed our LGBT+ Pride logo on social media, to show our support, solidarity, allyship and welcoming of everyone who identifies under the banner. While this version of our logo will only be up during Pride month, the ethos remains true for us all year long!


This month we have a new logo, to celebrate Disability Pride Month:

Sheffield Me & Fibromyalgia Group's spiral circle logo in white, on top of the Disability Pride Month flag. The flag is charcoal, with top left to bottom right stripes in muted shades of red, yellow, white, blue and green.
Sheffield ME & Fibromyalgia Group's logo, combined with the Disability Pride flag.

In this blog post (adapted from a post last year) we talk about the history and meaning of Disability Pride Month, and what it means to us as a charity. We hope you find it interesting - get in touch to let us know your thoughts!


History

July was chosen as Disability Pride month after US President George H.W. Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) into law on July 26, 1990. The first Disability Pride parade was held in Boston, Massachusetts that same year. In the UK, a Disability Pride event has been held in Brighton every year since 2017, though it moved online during the Covid pandemic. You can find out more here and here.


Flag

The flag we have incorporated into our logo was designed in 2021 by disabled artist Ann Magill, and is the second version of the flag that she first designed in 2019. The original design featured bold bright colours and a jagged zig-zag stripe, but it was noted that this design wasn't accessible to some disabled people, so it has since been redesigned with muted colours and a straight stripe:

The Disability Pride Month flag. The flag is charcoal, with top left to bottom right stripes in muted shades of red, yellow, white, blue and green.
Visually Safe Disability Pride Flag, created by Ann Magill in 2021

All aspects of the design carry meaning:

  • Charcoal background - mourning for all those who’ve suffered abuse and violence, because of ableism

  • Striped band - the barriers that disabled people have to cross every day, and and the ingenuity they illustrate when navigating those barriers

  • Red stripe - physical disabilities

  • Gold stripe - cognitive and intellectual disabilities, and neurodiversities

  • Light grey stripe - invisible and undiagnosed disabilities

  • Blue stripe - mental illness

  • Green stripe - sensory perception disabilities

Our pride

Under the UK Equality Act 2010, you’re considered disabled "if you have a physical or mental impairment that has a ‘substantial’ and ‘long-term’ negative effect on your ability to do normal daily activities". That means for many people with ME/CFS, Fibromyalgia and Long Covid, their conditions are disabling.


The term 'disabled' can carry a lot of weight and historical stigma in our society, and as a result many don't feel comfortable applying the word to themselves. That's okay, and there's no obligation to do so if it doesn't feel right for you. But equally, many find it empowering to use the term as a form of ownership over their life experiences,


At Sheffield ME and Fibromyalgia Group, our priority is to support people in the area living with these conditions and Long Covid, and also to raise awareness about the impact they have on peoples' lives. As part of that, we recognise and want to raise awareness that these illnesses can be disabling.


We don't think society, press or healthcare should shame people for the impact it has on their lives. We don't think people should feel pressured to hide the impact of these conditions. And we want to continue fighting so that all those affected get the belief, support, research and treatment we deserve.


That's why we are proud to celebrate Disability Pride Month!
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