University invites community to celebrate Disability Pride Month

Edith Cowan University (ECU) in Western Australia is proud to host a range of events for Disability Pride Month this July.

Edith Cowan University (ECU) is proud to be hosting celebrations for Disability Pride Month this July, with events for staff, students, and the local community, which include Perth’s inaugural Disability Pride Festival.

Disability Pride Month is a celebration of disability identity, community, and advocacy. The month’s international, celebration represents a historic win for decades of incredible work by disability advocates.

ECU is embracing the month with formal recognition of Disability Pride Flag Raising ceremonies at three campuses and a series of events, including an online resource session to mark the launch of ECU’s Staff with Disability Network, and an interactive mural painting activation for students/

A proud fight for recognition

The roots of Disability Pride Month are in community advocacy. On 12 March 1990, more than 1000 advocates marched in Washington, in the United States, to demand that the US Congress pass the Americans with Disabilities Act.

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When activists arrived at the Capitol Building, sixty disabled activists demonstrated the inaccessibility of public spaces by getting out of the mobility aids and crawling up the Capitol steps in an act of civil disobedience later known as the Capitol Crawl. This monumental demonstration came after decades of activism by American disability activists and led to the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act on 26 July 1990.

In an Australian context, 1981 was a turning point in the history of the Australian and international disability rights movement. The United Nations declared 1981 the International Year of Disabled Persons and called for a plan of action on the rights of persons with disabilities to take part fully in the life and development of their societies, to enjoy living conditions equal to those of other citizens, and to have an equal share in improved conditions resulting from socio-economic development.

A shift occurred in the disability rights movement with greater connections to advocacy occurring internationally, especially the US’s budding disability civil rights movement.

ECU events during Disability Pride Month

  • Disability Pride Flag Raisings

Join members of the University Executive, Staff with Disability Network, and students with lived experience in commemorating Disability Pride Month with Disability Pride Flag raisings on each campus.

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By raising the Disability Pride Flag, ECU aims to reaffirm its dedication to fostering an inclusive, accessible, and equitable environment for all and to celebrate the spirit of diversity and unity that enriches our community.

The Disability Pride Flag raisings are open to all members of the ECU community, including staff, students, alumni, and community members. No registration is needed but anyone with access needs is invited to email.

Joondalup Campus
Monday, 1 July, 9:30AM start, Outside Building 31

Mount Lawley Campus
Monday, 1 July, 9:30AM start, Outside Building 15

South West Campus
Monday, 1 July, 11:15AM start, Kulbardi Court

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  • Disabling to Enabling: How Disability Resource Groups Lead to Change

3 July, Online

Join keynote speaker Professor Paul Harpur from the University of Queensland, ECU’s Professor Justin Brown, Dr Elizabeth Cook, Hanlie Du Plessis, and Rosie Lane from the Australian Disability Network to mark the launch of ECU’s Staff with Disability Network.

  • Orientation Session for Students: Bites and Brushes – Mural Painting Drop-In

Help paint a mural celebrating ECU’s diverse community during Disability Pride Month! Designed by ECU students and illustrated by Perth-based artist Carla Adams, this mural honours the variety of student experiences during Disability Pride Month.

The sessions, facilitated by student peers, welcome students with disability, neurodivergent students, and allies to participate and share their stories through art.

The event is designed as a drop-in, allowing you to come and go as you please. Sensory support items will be available to ensure a comfortable and inclusive experience for all.

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Joondalup Campus
Thursday, 11 July 2024 from 1:00PM to 3:00PM
Tuesday, 16 July 2024 from 2:00PM to 4:00PM

Mount Lawley Campus
Wednesday 17 July 2024 from 2:00PM to 4:00PM

  • Disability Pride Festival

Saturday, 27 July from 10:00AM to 6:00PM at ECU Mount Lawley

ECU has partnered with local disability advocates to host the Perth’s inaugural Disability Pride Festival! The Festival will bring together disability community members for a celebration of identity, culture and community. Founded by disability advocate Isabella Choate, who was awarded the ECU Community Leadership Award in 2023, this event has been organised by people with disability, for people with disability.

The festival includes a market of disabled-owned businesses, lived experience panel discussions, food, art exhibitions, music, community chats and crafts.

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