July 2022: Disability Pride month

Disability Pride Month give us opportunities to raise awareness and have positive conversations about disability in the workplace.

The month-long celebration originated in America and is now celebrated in many countries. It is a way of celebrating diversity and difference among the disabled community and highlighting ways to better understand and support colleagues in our workplaces. 

Although disability pride can mean different things to different people, for many people this month is a way of shining a spotlight on the barriers and discrimination disabled people face. 

Celebrating Disability Pride Month also opportunities to change the conversation around disability and change perceptions around disabled people’s living experiences.   

In her short video, Rosie Clarke from Inclusive Employers gives us tips on how to have conversations about disability in the workplace to help us become more inclusive employers for disabled people. 

Video transcription

Top Tips for Disability Inclusion  

Hi, I’m Rosie Clarke, Head of Inclusion and Diversity Services at Inclusive Employers. And thank you for listening to this video with my top tips for disability inclusion as part of Disability Pride Month.  

Tip number one: don’t be scared to ask questions. It’s ok to ask what term to use about someone, what their disability is, how they might need to be supported. Ask them questions. Most disabled people are more than happy to answer, particularly when you’re trying to include them.  

Tip number two: if you are asking questions, accept that not everything about a person’s life they want to discuss with strangers or with anyone. So, if they say, I’d rather not talk about that, that’s absolutely fine. Just accept that and move on. No need to make a fuss of it or apologise, just move on.  

And tip number three: Disability isn’t an unacceptable word. You can say a person is disabled. You can use the term disability. A lot of people try to use all the terms, like differently abled or words they find to try and avoid the term disability. These words can be quite patronising. And actually, what we need to do as a society is to embrace disabled people Recognise the joy that comes for some people being a disabled person. Its ok to say disabled.  

Happy Disability Pride Month.  

Ways to support Disability Pride Month 

A charcoal grey flag with a diagonal band from the top left to bottom right corner, made up of five parallel stripes in red, gold, pale grey, blue, and green

Show your support for diversity by displaying the Disability Pride Flag. It was created by Ann Magill, a disabled woman. The flag is symbolic of many experiences of the disabled community:

  • the black background represents mourning for disabled people who have been subjected to ableist violence, as well as representing protest in the community
  • the five colours are the variety of needs and experiences across the range of disabilities
  • the band of parallel stripes represent the barriers disabled people must overcome.

Find ways to talk about disability in your organisation

Support different ways to help all staff to be more aware of different disabilities and able to challenge stereotypes and understand the barriers that disabled people face. This could be through creating a staff network group, or celebrating disabled staff as role models, or offering training to staff on specific conditions. Read our Diverse by Design guide for more information on how to approach these things.  

Become a Disability Confident employer

Through the Disability Confident campaign, the Government supports employers to become more confident about employing disabled people. The LGA is a Disability Confident Leader and works with local government employers to create more accessible and inclusive workplaces for disabled people. Read more about it on our website or get in touch on workforce@local.gov.uk to chat to us about it.