Did you know that July is Disability Pride Month? The first Disability Pride Day event was held in Boston in 1990 to celebrate the passing of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) on July 26th. Since then, events across the country celebrate the landmark legislation every July! Disability Pride means embracing disabilities as integral parts of your whole self, rejecting internalized ableism, and living out in the open as a vital part of a community. It celebrates an understanding of limitations, including illness and chronic pain, and accepting and loving yourself for who you are.
Disability Pride Month is not as widely known and publicized, and a great way to celebrate this July is to learn more about it, honor it, and spread the message! For example, did you know there is an official Disability Pride flag?
Ann Magill designed this flag. The original Disability Pride Flag included colors in a zigzag pattern. When scrolling quickly past it on social media or the internet, the lightning bolt caused a strobe effect, which was problematic for people with chronic migraine or epileptic conditions. This flag design was updated in 2021 with input from many members of the disability community, working together to create a version that was more accessible than the original – making this flag a truly inclusive symbol of pride!
Do you know what the different colors represent?
The black background: This represents the disabled people who have lost their lives to illness, negligence, suicide, or eugenics.
Red: This represents physical disabilities.
Yellow: This represents cognitive and intellectual disabilities.
White: This represents undiagnosed disabilities.
Blue: This represents mental illnesses.
Green: This represents sensory perception disabilities.
Educating friends and family on the flag and its meaning is a great way to celebrate Disability Pride Month! You can also read books by disabled authors, make it a point to stand up for inclusion, and, of course, follow Valley Village on your social media feeds and subscribe to our newsletter to ensure you’re always learning something new!
If you would like to donate to Valley Village’s programs that help adults with developmental disabilities live as independently as possible in celebration of Disability Pride Month, visit us at valleyvillage.org/donate today! If you register for a monthly recurring donation of $30 or more, you’ll get some 50th Anniversary goodies as well!