With the anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act upon us, Disability Pride is celebrated this month. Disability Pride month began after the ADA was signed, because people living with disabilities were finally able to thrive in a world that once shut them out. After earning rights that allowed them to work and live with accommodations.
In the d/Deaf community, Disability Pride month can be a very big celebration. Prior to the ADA being signed, d/Deaf individuals were thought of as only functioning within their own community, but with the ADA, d/Deaf individuals were given interpreters in public facets of life. Soon they were able to get jobs and participate in the community around them that had previously forgotten about them.
How is Disability Pride celebrated?
Disability Pride is celebrated differently by each culture. First, it is not only celebrated in July. Being deaf is not something that only effects individuals in July, but every day of the year. Danielle Guth, an advocate and public speaker, says that she likes to decorate her hearing aids as another way for self-expression. When asked why she would want to draw attention to her hearing aids, she responds "I'm never ashamed of my hearing loss. It’s something I’m proud of.”
There are also virtual parades done through social media to get information about disabilities out into the community. You can always share these posts and urge others to do the same. Don't be afraid to talk about disability awareness in your own communities and discuss how you could be more accommodating or open to individuals with disabilities.
The Disability Pride flag explained.
The Disability Pride flag is a black background with five colored stripes going from the top left to the bottom right.
The black background represents all those that have suffered from ableist violence or violence from protests. The blocked colors represent solidarity within the community. The colors of the stripes each represent a type or category of disabilities. The categories are mental illness, physical, intellectual and developmental, sensory, and invisible or undiagnosed disabilities.
This flag is very beautiful while also being very powerful with many meanings and symbols hidden in the design. Hanging this flag in a public place could be a great way to start new conversations about disabilities with people in your life this month!