Disability Pride Month

Black background. Five diagonal and parallel stripes, from the top left to the bottom right corner of the flag. The colours of each stripe, from left to right, are: red, yellow, white, blue, green.
  "Disability Pride Flag" by Ann Magill. Public Domain

July is Disability Pride Month, an international annual awareness month to celebrate disabled people, and the diversity they bring to all communities.

What is Disability Pride Month?

Many people have never heard of ‘disability pride’ and, even as a member of the Staff Disability Network, I’ve only recently discovered it. It may be because it’s origins are in the United States, where the Disabilities Act was signed by President George H. W. Bush on July 26, 1990. Disability Pride Month was declared in 2015, by New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Disabilities Act.

Now a global month of celebration disability pride is an opportunity to celebrate, raise awareness, amplify voices, and make connections. It’s a time to challenge the stigma of disability, understand the daily barriers that people with disabilities face, and recognise the richness and diversity that disabled people bring to all communities.

Disability Pride Flag

This disability pride flag (image at the top of this blog) was collaboratively designed in 2019 by Ann Magill, who is disabled, with the disability community. The colours and shapes used in the flag mean the following:

  • Black Background: Mourning and rage; for those who are victims of Ableist violence, and also rebellion and protest.
  • Five Stripe Colours (red, yellow, white, blue and green): Variety of needs and experiences of invisible and undiagnosed disabilities, physical disabilities, mental illness, developmental, invisible, physical and sensory disabilities.
  • Parallel and Diagonal Stripes: Solidarity within the Disability Community and all its differences; “cutting across” barriers, creativity and light cutting through the darkness.

Why do we need Disability Pride Month?

Disability Pride Month means different things to people across the community. It’s as much about individuals celebrating their own achievements as it is about celebrating what it is and means to be disabled.

The Staff Disability Network hopes to use this month as a launch pad to increase understanding of disability, the diversity that people with disabilities bring to all communities, and raise awareness of ableism, and the stigma and barriers that people with disabilities face everyday.

Our aim is to use Disability Pride Month to start talking about disability, to provide a community for everyone, so that we can build a network for disabled people, and let our allies know what they can do to show their support.

How to get involved

Find out more about the Staff Disability Network. From here you can also join our mailing list, talk to us via Teams, and find out about our meetings.

Alternatively, you can also email the Staff Disability Network, who will reply to you at the earliest opportunity.