Recognitions and Holidays

Disability Pride Month 

Disability Pride Month celebrates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) being passed on July 26, 1990, which prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities. The month is a time to recognize, celebrate, and raise awareness about the lives of people with disabilities. 

Boston, Massachusetts, held the first ever Disability Pride event in 1990, and the first Disability Pride Parade of the United States was held in Chicago in 2004. Since then, Disability Pride events have been held across the country and the world.   

Disability Pride Flag was created by Ann Magill, a writer who has cerebral palsy. Each of its elements symbolizes a different part of the disability community. Her initial flag design was to make the stripes zigzag…to represent how disabled people have to maneuver around all the barriers they face. This design started to go viral in 2019, but constructive feedback said the design caused a strobe-like effect on computer and phone screens which was a problem for those with migraines, seizures, sensory sensitivities, and other conditions. In 2021, Magill unveiled an updated and more accessible design of the disability pride flag (pictured above) featuring muted hues and softer angles. 

Black: this field represents the disabled people who have lost their lives due to not only their illness, but also to negligence, suicide, and eugenics. 

Diagonal band: the light, connected band of stripes cut straight through the darkness (i.e., barriers). The slanted formation is a symbolic contrast to the vertical walls and horizontal ceilings that resonate with feelings of isolation among some members of the disability community. 

Colors: each color represents a different aspect of disability or impairment. 

Red: physical disabilities 

Yellow: cognitive and intellectual disabilities 

White: invisible and undiagnosed disabilities 

Blue: mental illness 

Green: sensory perception disabilities 

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the prominent civil rights leader who helped champion disability rights, said, “As long as the mind is enslaved, the body can never be free.” So, if people feel ashamed of who they are, they will never realize the true equality and freedom they desire, deserve, and can achieve. That’s why disability pride matters.