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What is Disability Pride and Why Is It Celebrated in July?

Updated: Oct 11, 2023

On July 26, 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed, marking a new passage of civil rights laws and protections. The ADA prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities. The protection extends but is not limited to workplaces, educational institutions, public transportation, voting, and purchasing goods or services. This landmark civil rights law sparked a series of celebrations around the early 2000s, in which the first official Disability Pride commemoration occurred in 2015.

So, what is disability pride? Disability Pride seeks to honor the intrinsic worth of people with disabilities. According to Adra, a notorious blogger with multiple sclerosis, “claiming disability pride is a rejection of the notion that I should feel ashamed of my body or my disability. It’s a rejection of the idea that I am less able to contribute and participate in the world, that I take more than I give, that I have less inherent value and potential than the able-bodied Becky next to me.” Disability pride works to reclaim the community’s visibility as well as reject ableism and amplify the voices of the community. To honor Disability Pride Month is to commend human diversity. Fun fact: a disability pride month flag was created in 2019, in which photosensitive people assisted in its design! Each color on the flag represents a different type of disability – red (physical), gold (neurodivergence), white (invisible and undiagnosed), blue (psychiatric), and green (sensory).

How should Disability Pride Month be observed? This July, we invite you to challenge your unconscious biases. Here are a few considerations:

  • The Selig Center for Economic Growth reports that spending power in the U.S. will exceed $16 trillion, and the fastest growth will be seen among minority groups.

  • According to Accenture, businesses prioritizing inclusion of people with disabilities reported 28% higher revenue and 30% higher profit margins.

  • According to research from the International Labour Organization, excluding persons with disabilities from the workplace produces losses of up to 7% of gross domestic product.

Here at Colorful Connections, we are passionate about retaining teams of diverse groups of people. Building empathy and knowing why it matters is essential in creating an inclusive work culture. Our Empathy Building and Microaggression & Bias workshops can help you learn where your unconscious biases may come from, how to overcome them, and how to create an equitable workplace for all.


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