Disability Pride Month

Disability Pride Month

The History

Disability Pride initially started as a day of recognition in 1990 to celebrate that the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law by George H.W. Bush on July 26, 1990. The first official celebration of Disability Pride Month occurred in Boston in July 2015, which also marked the 25th anniversary of the ADA. 

Disability Pride is dedicated to celebrating people with disabilities, increasing visibility, and fighting ableism. This recognition provides an opportunity to honor the history, achievements, experiences, and struggles of the disability community. Disability pride emerged in response to negative views of disability and to promote human rights. Many people view their disability as an important part of who they are, rather than something that should be separated from their identity. 

Disability Pride Flag

The original Disability Pride flag was created in 2019 by writer Ann Magill, who has cerebral palsy. This flag featured brightly colored zigzagging stripes over a black background. The zigzag represented how people with disabilities have to maneuver around barriers in all aspects of their lives. However, people with visual disabilities struggled to view the image on a phone or computer screen. As a result of feedback, Ann revised the design of the flag to make sure it was accessible to all. 

 Original  Current as of 2021
old disability pride flag   new disability pride flag

Each color stripe has a meaning:

  • Red - physical disabilities
  • Gold - neurodiversity
  • White - invisible disabilities and disabilities that haven't yet been diagnosed
  • Blue - emotional and psychiatric disabilities, including mental illness, anxiety, and depression
  • Green - for sensory disabilities, include deafness, blindness, lack of smell, lack of taste, audio processing disorder, and all other sensory disabilities
The faded black background represents the mourning and rage for victims of ableist violence and abuse. the diagonal band cuts across the walls and barriers that separate the disabled from society, also representing light and creativity cutting through the darkness.