Disability Pride Brighton is an annual event created to raise awareness of the diversity and experiences of disabled people, to support people living with any kind of disability (visible or “invisible”) to be proud of who they are, and to promote equality and inclusion. Although unable to take place physically this year, Disability Pride went ahead with an online festival, allowing thousands of people across the country to come together and celebrate.
Organised by a diverse committee of people with disabilities, the Trust funds Disability Pride Brighton with money raised through The Health Lottery in the South East. The festival aims to showcase the talent, innovation and achievements of disabled people from all over the country.
The online festival featured filmed performances from artist Alison Lapper MBE, dance and music troupe Unified Rhythm, Vlogger Gem Hubbard, also known as wheelsnoheels, actor, campaigner and presenter Adam Pearson and many more. The virtual festival also featured an interview with Jenny Skelton, the founder of Disability Pride and host of this year’s online festival, who spoke movingly about her daughter’s experiences of disability discrimination, and how "that inspired her to create Disability Pride Brighton.”
Now in its fourth year, the event has grown significantly and garnered support from across the community, local council and other organisations.
Caroline Lucas, the MP for Brighton Pavilion, has been a supporter of Disability Pride, and this year shared a video message, stating “I’d normally be joining you in person for this special day, but it’s great to hear that the festival is still going ahead by moving online this year, and frankly it’s more important than ever because the coronavirus crisis has exposed the inequalities in our society even more clearly than ever.
She continued, “The government has said it was committed to support disabled people through every stage in this pandemic, but the reality has been somewhat different. Disability Rights UK have said that disabled people have been forgotten by the government’s coronavirus strategy which has failed to keep disabled people in mind with things like social care, schooling, PPE and providing information in accessible formats.”
In fact, the recent ONS report ‘Coronavirus and the social impacts on disabled people in Great Britain’ stated that a higher proportion of disabled people than non-disabled people were worried about the effect of the coronavirus pandemic on their well-being (62.4% for disabled people compared with 49.6% of non-disabled people); their access to groceries, medication and essentials (44.9% compared with 21.9%); their access to health care and treatment for non-coronavirus-related issues (40.6% compared with 21.2%); and their health (20.2% compared with 7.3%) in May 2020.
With the many challenges facing disabled people during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, it’s even more important for projects such as Disability Pride Brighton to continue, keeping people connected, sharing experiences and addressing inequalities in their local areas.
Jenny Skelton said, “I am extremely grateful to People’s Health Trust for sponsoring the Disability Pride festival and our volunteer scheme. Without this support, Disability Pride would not have been able to go ahead. Thank you so much for all you have done.”
You can watch the full festival online now and learn more at: www.disabilitypridebrighton.com
Disability Pride Brighton is funded through the Active Communities programme with money raised by The Health Lottery South East.
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