Disability Pride Month 2022: T. S. Banks



I was so happy that Ti wanted to be involved in this project after I approached him about it at the suggestion of a friend. I was surprised to hear that he doesn’t get offers to be photographed often, if at all, knowing how involved he is in the community and I really believe that brings to light the issue this entire project is based on: disability being forced into the shadows.

We decided to photograph him hosting his writing workshop at the Madison Public Library since writing and community are two important things to Ti. And on the topic of writing, a piece on Disability Pride Month and the ADA written by Ti will accompany these photos.

“July 26th 1990 the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was passed. That's why July is is Disability Pride Month.

The passing of the ADA was just a step in winning protections for some disabled people, Mainly documented Americans, who could afford or get health care and have their health care sustained and documented a long period of time.

But the ADA (rights) did not grant access, and should not be where the fight ends...

Disability Justice acknowledges undocumented and BIPOC folx who are sick, mad, ill, Deaf, Blind chronically ill, neurodivergent, self-diagnosed, Living with HIV/AIDs, Krip, Queer, Gender expansive, have invisible disabilities, and fights to make access and build interdependence across movements but really importantly across disability. Considers Care as a thing all of us should have access to, that is consensual and doesn't depend on you being liked to recieve and build community and supports.

I am giving such a SMALL look into what Disability Justice is and why after the fight for rights(ADA) is not enough because it excludes a lot of BIPOC and Undocumented folx just as is. And that access is a continuous thing we must build up on...”

“In 1990 Disabled People put their bodies on the line to fight for the ADA. Those same protections that a lot of nondisabled people benefit from today are because of the organizing, sacrifice, protest and lobbying of Disabled folx.

Before the ADA was passed their was Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (We can get more into this later)

Presently. Disability Justice to me means that My Black and Fat Genderqueer self can witness Black generations under me and older than me, just now start to use the carts at Woodman’s because "they knees bad" or "back hurts" because up until now and presently society never made room or access for the pain or disabilities Black folx experience.

Disability Justice to me, is Just me living and advocating and showing folx what access is in my body. DJ is recognizing wholeness. (Thanks Sins Invalid)

Today DJ is me advocating for sick, Mad, ill folx to have access to and informed about options to determine their own paths of health outside the definition of what nondisabled people determine as wellness.

DJ to me today is being able to organize and support my community in consensual ways that does not cause further harm to my physical and mental health, DJ for me is interdependence, Care, community, collective access, radical empathy, access that is made for and by Disabled people.”

“DJ to me is having space to talk about my madness and not lose community, or be punished. Disability Justice is the guiding framework for my abolition work.

DJ to me is allowing me to connect to my roots and other spiritual and culture workers who use Spirit and metaphysical and anti-colonialist things to understand my ill self and explore things to keep me comfortable with chronic pain and madness.

DJ is other disabled folx who gained access or know how to get things when the state says we don't deserve, can't and should not have basic things, like food, and housing, transportations and that Disabled persons who gained access shows, tells, writes a status/tweet, does a zoom on how to access things.

I am forever grateful for the Deaf, Madi, ill, sick, neurodivergent folx before me who fought and are still fighting for basic protections and access. And I carry on In this legacy.”

Ti has such a loving energy and I feel so honored to have been able to collaborate with him. You can check out more of his work at lnutheaterco.com.