Disability Pride Week launched at Te Papa in Wellington on Sunday November 27th. As part of the ceremony created and led by accessible celebrant Wendi Wicks, a declaration she wrote was shared. While the ceremony acknowledged and celebrated the inclusive space of the Te Marae at Te Papa, it symbolised a wider claim to place. The declaration deserves to be shared with a wider audience, and other disabled people who want to claim our place.
A Declaration for Disabled People Claiming our Place
Today we disabled people here in Wellington say “this is our place too”.
We say to you this house has made a space for us to step forward to claim our place.
We will aim to live out our place in the community of humanity, proud of who we are and how we are, and in all of our diverse ways of being disabled.
We do not back away from that word in fear, in shame, in a feeling of being lesser.
We call on others in the community in which disabled people are part to include, trust and respect us, to not tell us how inspirational we are for doing everyday things. We want a fair go and a decent job.
Live with us not in fear or contempt, but in peace and harmony. It is our world too.