Disability Pride Month 2022
In July, we recognize Disability Pride Month. This is the month when we celebrate disability and the disability community as a beautiful and integral part of our state and nation.
Disability Pride began as a day of celebration in 1990 — the same year the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law by then President George H. W. Bush. The first Disability Pride Day was held in Boston that year, and the celebration has since expanded nationwide and transformed into a month-long event. Today, cities across the country celebrate Disability Pride Month with parades, festivals, educational opportunities and other events.
As with all demographic groups, it is important to remember that the disability community is not a monolith. People with disabilities may hold dramatically different viewpoints and perspectives on topics, including the purpose, meaning and value of recognizing Disability Pride Month.
Shared below are various perspectives about Disability Pride Month from individuals with disabilities.
“The reason behind the month is a chance to share the joy and pride that disabled people can bring to their local and global communities. The disabled community is a vibrant part of society and makes up 15% of the population, and we are proud of that.” (Caroline Casey, writing for Forbes.com: “Disability Pride Month July — July 4, 2022)
“AmeriDisability describes Disability Pride as ‘accepting and honoring each person’s uniqueness and seeing it as a natural and beautiful part of human diversity’ and connects it to the larger movement for disability justice.” (Krystal Jagoo, writing for verywellmind.com: “Understanding Disability Pride Month” — July 23, 2021)
“Disability Pride, much like LGBTQ+ Pride, is all about celebrating and reclaiming our visibility in public because people with disabilities have historically been pushed out of public spaces.” —Laken Brooks, University of Florida graduate student, writer and digital storyteller. (Krystal Jagoo, writing for verywellmind.com: “Understanding Disability Pride Month” — July 23, 2021)
“I think that there is an importance in Disability Pride due to the consistent shame around the topic of disability in the first place. Choosing to be forthright about having a disability is considered ‘brave’ because there is a very tangible fear of being treated either differently interpersonally, or blocked professionally.” —Taneasha White, Black queer writer and activist with chronic pain, based in Richmond, VA. (Krystal Jagoo, writing for verywellmind.com: “Understanding Disability Pride Month” — July 23, 2021)
“We should also see this as a moment to understand some people may not feel comfortable disclosing [their disability or showing pride in their disability]. We must respect that we are all on our own personal journeys and at various stages. If having this month can allow others to feel seen and have the confidence to be open with their disability, that is good enough.” (Caroline Casey, writing for Forbes.com: “Disability Pride Month July” — July 4, 2022)
“For me this month is not only about celebrating disabilities but remembering there’s going to be days where you won’t always love your disability, and that’s OK too.” —Rebecca Cokley, three-time Presidential appointee, activist and author. (Gabriela Miranda, writing for USAToday.com: “A Chance to ‘Amplify One Another’: What is Disability Pride Month?” — July 4, 2021)
However you choose to recognize Disability Pride Month, I hope this month of July is one of self-expression, self-confidence and self-love.
Whitney Stohr is the Leadership & Independent Living Program Manager at The Arc of Snohomish County. She is passionate about advocating for medically complex children and children with disabilities and their families. She is a mom and medical caregiver herself, who is energized by working closely with other parent/family caregivers. She lives with her spouse and their four-year-old son Malachi in Lynnwood. Connect with her on Instagram @rollin.w.spinabifida. Contact: email@example.com.