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July is Disability Pride Month

A time to celebrate and embrace people with disabilities.
Credit: Julia - stock.adobe.com

DENVER — July is Disability Pride Month. It is a time to celebrate and embrace those with disabilities of all kinds.

On July 26, 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was passed to prohibit discrimination against people with disabilities. This is the 32nd year of celebrating people who have a disability.

Embracing being different is what this month is about. It is a chance for people who live with a disability to take pride in being different and to show that they are part of the community, too.

According to the World Bank, “15% of the world’s population experience some form of disability. Persons with disabilities, on average as a group, are more likely to experience adverse socioeconomic outcomes than persons without disabilities.”

Many people who see the word PRIDE during Disability Pride Month assume it is to recognize people with disabilities in the LQBTQIA+ community, but that is not the case.

While it is important to recognize the disability PRIDE community, this month is for people with any disability, from Down syndrome to a physical disability to an unseen disability.

Disability Pride Month isn’t recognized nationally, but parades are held in several cities. Boston was the first city to hold a parade in the same year ADA was signed.

The Disability Pride Flag was created by Ann Magill, a disabled women. Each one of the elements symbolizes a segment of the disability community. Below is a breakdown of the flag:

  • The black field: This represents disabled people who lost their lives due to their disability and also due to negligence, suicide and eugenics.
  • Red: physical disabilities
  • Yellow: cognitive and intellectual disabilities
  • White: invisible and undiagnosed disabilities
  • Blue: mental illness
  • Green: sensory perception disabilities
Credit: Ann Magill

The flag is a representation for those with disabilities to take pride in their whole self, which includes their disability.

From making websites accessible to people who are deaf or blind, to alternative captioning, to the type of color that is used on digital platforms – these types of modifications help those with disabilities.

In an ever-changing world, there have been adjustments to businesses and communities to accommodate those who have disabilities, which for most is a step in the right direction. But people with disabilities have long been on the outside of society, looking in.

Disability Pride Month challenges ableism and discrimination that people with disabilities face in their everyday lives. This month is to celebrate, recognize and embrace being different as a positive in a society that thinks differently.

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