What is Disability Pride?
Disability is often portrayed in society as shameful or inspirational. Many disabled people with non-apparent disabilities have a hard time coming out as disabled due to the potential negative response by family, friends, and work colleagues. Similar to LGBTQIA+ Pride and Black Pride, Disability Pride emerged as a way for the disability community to demonstrate pride in their identity and to break down stigmas about disability.
Disabled Young People Answer: What is Disability Pride?
The Disability Pride Flag
The Disability Pride Flag (above) was designed by Ann Magill.
The charcoal gray background commemorates and mourns disabled people who have died due to ableism, violence, negligence, suicide, rebellion, illness and eugenics. The gray background also represents rage and protest against the mistreatment of the disabled community.
The diagonal band is for "cutting across" the walls and barriers that separate disabled people from society. It also represents the light and creativity of the disability community that cuts through the darkness of ableism.
The stripes represent different disabilities:
- green is for sensory disabilities, including the blind, deaf, and deaf-blind communities;
- blue represents emotional and psychiatric disabilities;
- white stands for non-apparent and undiagnosed disabilities;
- gold is for neurodivergence;
- and red represents physical disabilities.
Important: The previous version of the flag, which had a lightning bolt design, caused a strobe/flicker effect when scrolled on electronic devices, which means it can trigger seizures, migraines, disorientation, and other types of eye strain. The new version above should be used in all web and social media content going forward.
Is there a designated month to celebrate Disability Pride?
Disability Pride is celebrated all year. In addition, the month of July has become recognized by the disability community as Disability Pride Month as it correlates with the signing of The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The community uses the #DisabilityPride hashtag in Twitter to show their pride for themselves and the overall community.
A history of celebrations
- The first Disability Pride Day was held in Boston, MA in 1990. This coincides with the same year the ADA was signed into law, creating a new era of change for the disability community.
- The first Disability Pride Parade was held in Chicago in 2004.
- New York City observed the first official Disability Pride Month in July 2015, the ADA’s twenty-fifth anniversary.