It’s become common knowledge that June is LGBTQ+ Pride Month, but not many people may know that July is Disability Pride Month. To help spread awareness about different disabilities, embrace the differences we have, and celebrate life is the goal of Disability Pride. In the spirit of the month, here is a brief look at the history of Disability Pride Month and how we can celebrate it!

What is Considered a Disability?

Before going into the history of Disability Pride, let’s cover what precisely a disability is. The definition itself is pretty broad and includes “any condition of the body or mind that makes it more difficult for the person with the condition to do certain activities.” This consists of any conditions that affect:

  • Vision
  • Movement
  • Communication
  • Learning
  • Thinking
  • Memory
  • Mental health
  • Social skills

In addition, someone can be born disabled, develop disabilities over time, or experience an event that causes a disability to develop.

 

Because the community is so diverse, it is impossible to put every disabled person in the same category and give them the same treatment. Thus, Disability Pride Month exists to bring awareness to these vastly different kinds of conditions and the variety of people who live with them.

History of Disability Pride

Although Disability Pride Month is not nationally recognized across the United States, it has become popular to celebrate in online communities. In New York City, Disability Pride Month was first established in 2015, when mayor Bill DeBlasio declared July “Disability Pride Month” to honor the American Disabilities Act’s 25th Anniversary. From there, news of the mayor’s decision spread across the internet. While it isn’t an official month of remembrance, people across the country celebrate July as Disability Pride Month regardless. There are even parades in Los Angeles, San Antonio, and Chicago.

How Can I Celebrate Disability Pride?

One of the best ways to celebrate disability pride month is to spread awareness about disabilities and the people who have them. If you have a disability, share your experiences with others willing to listen. For people without disabilities, consider looking into conditions a loved one may have or learning about how we can listen to and elevate disabled people’s voices in the community. For example, advocating for more wheelchair-accessible spaces, elevators, and text-to-speech options in public places can help remove barriers preventing people from going out. Shutting down people who speak disrespectfully towards disabled members of the community and educating children who are curious about a disability can help immensely as well.

 

Have a safe and happy Disability Pride Month!

 

 

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