Disability Pride Month Match Spotlight – Meet Naijah and Erin!
Did you know that July is Disability Pride Month? Beginning in 1990, (the same year that the Americans with Disabilities Act [ADA] was passed), the United States has recognized July as Disability Pride Month to listen to and amplify the voices of the disability community. As we wrap up July and Disability Pride Month, we wanted to use this opportunity to highlight one of our amazing matches, Big Sister Erin and Little Sister Naijah, who both identify as part of the disability community. Please note that while this blog post uses the word “disability”, it’s important to remember that choosing how to identify is an individual choice, and there are many ways people may describe themselves and their abilities!
How do you celebrate differences in your friendship, especially when it comes to ability?
Big Sister, Erin: “Naijah and I celebrate our differences by sharing our experiences with one another. Having an open dialogue has helped us understand how we can best support one another!”
What activities do you and Naijah do together that make y’all feel empowered?
Big Sister, Erin: “One of my favorite activities that we have done in the past, was rock climbing. Naijah is really incredible and the fact that she rock climbs with a limb difference, is so incredibly inspiring and empowering!”
What is something you want others to know about disability?
Big Sister, Erin: “I want others to know that even though Naijah and I both have disabilities, it 100% does NOT define us. What defines us, is what we are ABLE to do in spite of our disabilities. I also am not a fan of the word “disability”** as it implies we can’t do something when we can, but it may just look a little different.”
How has creating an accessible friendship built connection between the two of you?
Big Sister, Erin: “Throughout COVID, Naijah and I have had more opportunities to FaceTime and chat more often than pre-COVID. It also helps that she is older and has her own phone, so we can text as often as we like! Even though we were physically apart, we grew in our friendship through meaningful conversations and the occasional FaceTime face mask/ beauty nights! 🤗”