July is Disability Pride Month. This annual observance promotes visibility and mainstream awareness of people with disabilities and their history as a community.
Although disability pride may mean different things to different people, Disability Pride Month focuses positive attention on the disability community, raises awareness of the disability experience, and amplifies the need for inclusion.
Disability Pride Month History
AmeriDisability describes disability pride as "accepting and honoring each person's uniqueness and seeing it as a natural and beautiful part of human diversity" and connects it to the larger movement for disability justice.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) passed on July 26, 1990, to prohibit discrimination against people with disabilities. Following this legislation, the first Disability Pride Day was held in Boston in 1990, and the first U.S.-based Disability Pride Parade was held in Chicago in 2004.
Disability Pride Month is not federally recognized, but many states, cities, and organizations across the country celebrate it by raising awareness of people living with disabilities.
Disability Pride Month Flag
The disability pride flag was a collaborative design effort by Ann Magill, a disabled woman in Virginia, with feedback within the disabled community to refine its visual elements.
Each element of the flag symbolizes a different part of the disability community. The black field represents those who have lost their lives due to illness, negligence, suicide and eugenics. Each horizonal color on the flag represents a different aspect of disability or impairment.
What Does Disability Pride Mean to You?
Learn what disability pride means to a variety of advocates from all over the world in this Disability Pride Month episode of The Heumann Perspective Podcast, hosted by disability activist Judy Heumann.