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

A charcoal grey flag with a diagonal band from the top left to bottom right corner, made up of five parallel stripes in red, gold, pale grey, blue, and green.

Updated in October 2021, the Disability Pride Flag was a collaborative design effort by Ann Magill, a disabled woman, with feedback within the disability community to refine its visual elements, which Ann describes as:

  • The Black Field: A color of mourning and rage; for those who are victims of Ableist violence, and also rebellion and protest
  • The Five Colors: The variety of needs and experiences (Invisible and undiagnosed disabilities, physical disabilities, neurodivergence, psychiatric disabilities, sensory disabilities)
  • The Parallel Stripes: Solidarity within the Disability Community and all its differences
  • The Diagonal Band: “Cutting across” barriers that separate disabled people; creativity and light cutting through the darkness

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.