The UN's International Day of Persons with Disabilities takes place on 3 December and provides an important opportunity to promote Disability justice and understanding. This year we hear from Vivienne Isebor, founder and director of ADHD Babes, a community group working to empower Black women with ADHD.
There are an estimated 1.9m adults in the UK with ADHD, and just 120,000 are formally diagnosed. ADHD services are overwhelmed and most boroughs have an average wait time of 18-24 months.
The intersectional impacts of being a Black woman or non-binary person with ADHD come with unique disadvantages. Black women are routinely under-diagnosed, and late diagnosis increases the risk of other mental health issues.
ADHD Babes is a community group for Black women and non-binary people of African-Caribbean descent with ADHD. We create safer spaces for us to flourish and live our lives to their greatest potential.
Black women are routinely under-diagnosed, and late diagnosis increases the risk of other mental health issues.
ADHD Babes is run by us and for us, with all members of our team being from our community. We aim to empower and encourage all members to build peer support networks, share lived experiences and embrace their neurodivergence as a community.
By creating a community and providing tools, learning and healing spaces, we want to inspire people to redefine how we understand ADHD – to tackle its difficulties and utilise its strengths. We’ve created an accessible platform and safer spaces for us to connect, learn and break down the barriers that restrict our community from gaining and understanding a diagnosis of ADHD.
In doing this, we want to help to create a society that embraces neurodiversity. We’re raising awareness and educating people on the truth and reality of how ADHD affects neurodivergent people, and how best to support them.
As we’ve passed and celebrated our three year anniversary, I’m overwhelmed with gratitude and appreciation for the community we’ve created. Something that I started as a Facebook group because I felt I didn't fit into ADHD spaces, has turned into a community of over 180 members reaching over 1000 babes to date.
Something that started as a Facebook group because I felt I didn't fit into ADHD spaces, has turned into a community of over 180 members reaching over 1000 babes to date.
I genuinely could not have imagined something like this and it would not exist without our members. Thank you to all of our members for giving me hope in my journey and reminding me how amazing it is to exist while being Black and neurodivergent.
As we step into our 4th year, I will continue to do my best with the amazing team we have created to continue holding space for our community. I want to reaffirm that this space is a collective offering. We are rooted in the Ubuntu philosophy of ‘I am because we are’. ADHD Babes is a shared asset that we all contribute to and all our voices are valued and necessary.
Moving to the end of this year we have three main focus areas. First is our outside the box campaign, which is coupled with our fundraiser. This is to raise awareness about the reality of living with ADHD and the expansive experience of what that means for us. ADHD is often misunderstood and within the medical model it’s restricted to measurable symptoms. This campaign is to highlight the nuance and colours outside of this while raising money for us to continue providing support to our community in 2024.
Our second focus is improving our internal structure as an organisation and creating a strategy to remain sustainable. We know how hard it is to be a grass roots organisation and as a completely equity led group run by Disabled Black folk, we want to ensure we support ourselves to keep going.
Our final focus is expanding our anti-stigma and equity umbrella. We want to spend time as a community considering how we can create a world that is inclusive of difference and embraces the neurodiversity and Disability justice model. We are truly grateful for the experiences we have had as a collective and thankful to every babe and every ally who has helped us get to where we are now.
Here is to many more years of enjoying Black Babe magic together!
ADHD Babes is funded under our Disability justice fund.