Alt text: Image showing blonde woman seated on a wheelchair, blurry background with fir trees
July is the time for you to learn about Disability Pride Month.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was founded in July of 1990. Also in the same year, the first disability pride parade was held in Massachusetts, but was discontinued after the lead organizer, Diana Viets, passed away. In 2004, the parade was revived in Illinois, with some 2000 people attending.
In 2015, Mayor de Blasio of New York City declared July to be Disability Pride Month in NYC in celebration of the ADA’s 25th Anniversary. Though not yet nationally declared, the disabled community has adopted New York City’s declaration.
The Disability Pride Flag was created by Ann Magill.
The background is black, a color of mourning for disabled individuals who have suffered from Ableist violence, rebellion, or protest. The lightning bolt represents the need for disabled people to navigate barriers with creativity, breaking away from normative authority and body control
The five colors (blue, yellow, white, red, green) symbolize the variety of needs and experiences (mental, intellectual, physical, undiagnosed, invisible, chronic, and sensory disabilities etc.). The parallel stripes embody the solidarity within the Disability Community and all its differences.
Why Disability Pride Month
Up until the late 20th century, disabled individuals were were unprotected against discrimination in education, transportation, the workplace, and other areas vital to a good quality of life. Even in today's capitalistic society, many able-bodied people still view disabled individuals as lesser humans in and out of the workplace.
These hostile viewpoints damage the mental health and self-esteem of people with disabilities. Therefore, Disability Pride Month is a crucial reminder for all that disabled people matter.
According to the WHO, 15% of the world’s population identifies as disabled.
In recent years, deaths from COVID-19 are almost 2 times higher for people with disabilities,
Americans who identify as disabled consist of 1/3 of all police killings.
Disabled individuals are affected by all social, political, and economic issues, but are often neglected. Celebrating Disability Pride Month gives a voice to the disabled community, allowing them to find acceptance and empowerment in the larger society. Disability is more than a diagnosis or a label, and people with disabilities should be loved by all.
Ways to be an Ally during DPM
Spread awareness about Disability Pride Month and what it stands for
Make your content accessible, including websites, blogs, articles, podcasts, videos and social media posts
Share disabled stories on social media
Call out Ableism when you notice it
When discussing current events with family and friends, be sure to include the disability intersectionality