As we are at the end of July we’re also coming to the end of disability pride month. So, I thought it’d only be fitting for me to use this platform to share the brief backstory of disability pride and how it came to be. In July 1990 The Americans Disability Act (ADA) was the world’s first comprehensive declaration of equality for people with disabilities. To celebrate this massive milestone in equality for people with disabilities, Diana Viets organised the first disability pride parade in Boston the same year to celebrate people with disabilities. Although there was a parade the following year, after Diana Viets passed away the parades ended until 13 years later when they were revived in Chicago. Since then the parades and celebrations have gradually gained momentum and then in 2015 the New York City Mayor de Blasio declared July as the Disability pride month.
To think that only 30 years ago people with disabilities had no protection from ableist discrimination, equality for people with disabilities is a new and radical idea and because it is still new there is still massive steps that need to be taken. Disability pride month is important for reminding everyone, including the disability community, that we are equals and we have the same worth and value as everyone else. According to the WHO, 15% of the world's population identifies as disabled and these voices need to be heard!
There are many different ways people have celebrated disability pride month which is great, but I’d like to share a few ways that people can continue to celebrate disability pride even after the month is over:
Vote for people who focus on the needs of people with disabilities
Educate yourself! Whether it be on history, correct terminology or on our experiences
Wear a mask! We’re in a pandemic that disproportionately affects people with disabilities
Spread awareness of disability pride: whether it is sharing on social media or having conversations with friends and family