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Disability Pride

Published on Fri, 08/11/2023

A young woman holds a sign that reads Disability Pride Month; she wears a t-shirt reading Easter Seals Thrive. And a photo of Judy Heumann includes the quotation: "Disability only becomes a tragedy when society fails to provide the things we need to live our lives." There is also a Disability Pride flag, explained in the article. 

Celebrating A Natural and Beautiful Part of Human Diversity

Guest post by Stephanie Polito

July marks the anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the landmark legislation passed on July 26, 1990, that broke down barriers to inclusion in society. Disability Pride Month was first celebrated that same year, taking place in Boston, Massachusetts in the US. Celebrations follow, with the first parade taking place in Chicago in 2004. Despite so much progress being made to make a more inclusive society for those with impairments and disabilities, stigma, barriers, and a lack of accessibility still exist, which is why we need to acknowledge and honour every kind of disability, the people who identify with them, and the wide range of supports they need to thrive.

To gain awareness, there is an official Disability Pride Flag that we can tell you all about. The five colors represent the variety of needs and experiences: Mental Illness (blue), Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (yellow), Sensory Disabilities (white), Physical Disabilities (red), and Invisible and Undiagnosed Disabilities (green).

Why is Disability Pride Month important? To break down and end the internalized shame among people with Disabilities; and. To promote the belief in society that Disability is a natural and beautiful part of human diversity in which people living with Disabilities can take pride.



"A smiling young woman holds a sign that reads Disability Pride Month. She has a pony tail, and she wears a t-shirt reading Easter Seals Thrive.

Stepanie Polito identifies as female. She is a Pre-K teacher assistant. She is part of the Easterseals Massachusetts #TeachDisabilityHistory campaign. Stephanie and other members of the campaign reviewed drafts and provided input on Emerging America's free K-12 Disability History Curriculum: Reform to Equal Rights (2023). She is a board member of DREAM, a college program for people with disabilities. Learn more about DREAM

Rich Cairn

Civics and Social Studies Curriculum and Instruction Specialist, Collaborative for Educational Services
Rich Cairn founded Emerging America in 2006, which features the Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources program at the Collaborative for Educational Services, and the National Endowment for the Humanities Landmarks of American History program, "Forge of Innovation: The Springfield Armory and the Genesis of American Industry." The Accessing Inquiry clearinghouse, supported by the Library of Congress TPS program promotes full inclusion of students with disabilities and English Learners in civics and social studies education.