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Disability Pride: Definition, Awareness, Flag

Published: 2015-07-03 - Updated: 2022-07-25
Author: Disabled World | Contact: Disabled World (Disabled-World.com)
Peer-Reviewed Publication: N/A
Additional References: Glossary and Definitions Publications

Synopsis: Article looks at the concept of the Disability Pride movement and what it means to the general population and disabled community. People with disabilities are emerging as artists, writers, and performers with something new to say about being disabled. The culture and media these artists/activists are producing have come to be collectively called Disability Culture. Disability Pride Parades seek to change how people think about and define disability, end the stigma of disability, and promote the belief that disability is a natural and a beautiful part of human diversity.

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Definition

Disability Pride

Disability Pride is an event that celebrates people with disabilities and chronic illnesses. Disability Pride is broadly defined as accepting and honoring each person's uniqueness, seeing it as a natural and beautiful part of human diversity, and connecting it to the more significant movement for disability justice. It also seeks to change how people think about and define disability, to the stigma of disability, and promote the belief that disability is a natural part of human diversity in which people with disabilities can take pride. Disability Pride Month occurs in the U.S. every July to commemorate the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) passing in July 1990. Disability Pride is also celebrated in other countries around the world at varying times of the year.

Main Digest

Recently, New York City Mayor de Blasio declared the month of July as "Disability Pride Month " in honor of the Americans With Disabilities Act's 25th anniversary. Disability Pride Month and the parade will be annual occurrences, the mayor's press office said.

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So What is Disability Pride, What Does it Mean?

People with disabilities are the largest and most diverse minority within the population representing all abilities, ages, races, ethnicities, religions, and socio-economic backgrounds. Disability Pride has been defined as accepting and honoring each person's uniqueness and seeing it as a natural and beautiful part of human diversity. Disability Pride is integral to movement building and a direct challenge to systemic ableism and stigmatizing definitions of disability.

Many times, people think about a disability as a medical diagnosis. "My disability is a spinal cord injury" or "my disability is depression" or "my disability is a brain injury." Disability is more than just the physical and mental effects on the body; disability is more than the pills you take or the doctor you visit. It's a part of who you are. However, a disability is not your only identity; of course, you have others, such as being male or female, black or white, short or tall; each is important. And each one we should never be ashamed of. Negative attitudes about people with disabilities need to change.

Disability Pride is a Fairly New Concept

Like other minorities, people with physical and developmental disabilities speak about the pride they feel within their community. People with disabilities need to be proudly visible in the community.

The disability pride movement wants to present people with disabilities as full citizens and respect. Using bold images and strong words, Disability Pride awareness dates, parades, and festivals uplift and challenge.

Positive thinking and attitudes will help people with disabilities achieve real goals. Pride comes from celebrating our heritage, disability culture, the unique experiences we have as people with disabilities, and the contributions we can give to society.

Disability rights movements in different countries have made many gains in the area of civil rights over the past decade, but what good is an Americans with Disabilities Act or a Disability Discrimination Act if people will not exercise their rights under these laws because they are too ashamed to identify as being disabled "As long as the mind is enslaved, the body can never be free." - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

As long as people with disabilities remain ashamed of who we are, we will never realize the true equality and freedom we desire. We must first take pride in ourselves as a community. We must no longer be ashamed of being disabled.

The Disability Pride Flag

The new (2021) Disability Pride Flag is an evolution of the Lightning Bolt Disability Pride Flag, which is safer for people with visually-triggered disabilities. The color brightness changes also make the flag more accessible to those with color blindness. The new Disability Pride Flag is a charcoal grey flag bisected diagonally from the top left corner to the lower right corner by five parallel stripes in red, pale gold, pale grey, light blue, and green. The Disability Pride Flag comprises several different elements, each symbolizing various aspects of the disability experience:

The Disability Pride Flag: A charcoal grey flag with a diagonal band from the top left to the bottom right corner, made up of five parallel stripes in red, gold, pale grey, blue, and green.The Disability Pride Flag: A charcoal grey flag with a diagonal band from the top left to the bottom right corner, made up of five parallel stripes in red, gold, pale grey, blue, and green.

Disability Pride Week

Disability Pride Week is an annual event to promote visibility, and mainstream awareness of the positive pride felt by people with disabilities within their community. It marks a break from traditional concepts of disabilities as shameful conditions, which were often hidden from public spaces and mainstream awareness.

The first Disability Pride Day was held in Boston, MA, in 1990. Disability Pride Week events often combine the celebration of "disability culture" with educational events, such as seminars on legal rights for people with disabilities, accessibility awareness, and other similar topics.

Disability Pride Parades

Disability Pride Parades are held to celebrate people with disabilities. Disability Pride Parades seek to change the way people think about and define disability, end the stigma of disability, and promote the belief that disability is a natural and beautiful part of human diversity in which people living with disabilities can take pride.

The United States first Disability Pride Parade was held in Chicago in 2004.

Today, Disability Pride Parades have been held in several places across the United States, including Silicon Valley/Santa Clara County, Chicago, Philadelphia, Colorado Springs, Houston, Atlanta, Detroit, New Jersey, and Columbus, as well as around the world in locations such as South Korea, Norway, and the U.K.

Clipart image of an elderly woman in a manual wheelchair hugging a small boy. A man stands behind the wheelchair with his hands on the push handles.Clipart image of an elderly woman in a manual wheelchair hugging a small boy. A man stands behind the wheelchair with his hands on the push handles.

Disability Culture

Today, people with disabilities are emerging as artists, writers, and performers with something new to say about the experience of being disabled. The culture and media these artist/activists are producing has come to be collectively called Disability Culture.

Disability culture is about visibility and self-value. As with many groups in society, recognition by others only comes with self-awareness within the group of the group's differences and strengths. Disability culture offers ways for people with different disabilities to pursue their own and shared goals.

"There is a tremendous need to create a counter-culture that teaches new values and beliefs and acknowledges the dignity and worth of all human beings. Disability pride is a direct response to this need." - Sarah Triano, National Disabled Students Union.

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Cite This Page (APA): Disabled World. (2015, July 3). Disability Pride: Definition, Awareness, Flag. Disabled World. Retrieved December 9, 2022 from www.disabled-world.com/definitions/disability-pride.php

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