July is Disability Pride month! A celebration of visibility, advocacy and accessibility, and self love for people with disabilities that began following the passing of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990.
Heart failure can often be caused by a disabling condition and a heart transplant procedure itself can be disabling. Having a disability can affect a person’s life in a number of ways from impacting physical mobility to employment status. A recent AHA publication showed that while 78% of heart transplant patients were employed full time prior to their transplant, the same population post transplant saw an employment rate of only about 25%. The Disability Rights movement seeks to address these issues.
A large part of Disability Pride month and the Disability Rights Movement is self advocacy. Self advocacy is rooted in people with disabilities coming together to demand justice and equality. This can look like advocating for accommodations in a work or school environment, joining a community advocacy or support group, or just asking for help when you need it! One of the core tenets of the Disability Rights Movement is “nothing about us without us”. That means your voice is needed in making the world a more fair and accessible place!!
The following questions are a great starting point for self advocacy from the Self Advocacy Resource and Technical Assistance Center:
As a self advocate, ask yourself these questions.
1.Why do you want to get involved in self advocacy?
2.What issues or goals do you want to work on?
3.What strengths or talents do you have?
4.What challenges would you like to work on?
5.Who can you work with on self advocacy?
6.How do you want to get involved in your community?
7.What will help you be more successful?
For more information see the links below!