Did you know July is Disability Pride month? It’s an incredibly important month for the Aille Design Braille Clothing community and its allies. During this month, we celebrate disability history and the many achievements of individuals with disabilities. Fun Fact: The first Disability Pride Parade was hosted in Boston in October 6, 1990
This Disability Pride month will mark the 33rd anniversary of the passing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADA was a critical piece of legislation that was a rallying point for the community. The ADA lays out provisions for increased accessibility to physical infrastructure, while also encouraging employers to ensure work environments accommodate individuals with disabilities. Additionally, the ADA safeguards the civil rights of people with disabilities, striving to eliminate workplace discrimination and uphold equality overall.
The ADA wouldn’t have occurred if it weren't for the courageous individuals who participated in the historic Capitol Crawl on March 12, 1990. The Capitol Crawl was a momentous event where participants literally crawled or moved within their capacity up the steps of Capitol Hill to make a statement, demanding that the U.S congress pass the ADA. Today, digital accessibility has begun to be highlighted within the ADA and as digital spaces continue to expand, the need and demand for digital accessibility will continue to follow suit.
Check out Oscar-award winning documentary Crip Camp to follow the journey of disability advocates as they travel to Washington, D.C. for The Capitol Crawl to fight for their rights.
Disability Pride Flag
Did you know there was a special flag for Disability Pride month? The Disability Pride flag is a reflection and representation of the disability community through thoughtful color choices. Designed by Ann Magill, the Disability Pride flag initially featured a zig-zag pattern, however, it went through revisions in 2021 to prioritize the flag’s accessibility and inclusion of diverse disabilities. Previously, it was said that the flag’s zig-zag pattern when viewed on a screen could be a trigger for seizure, migraines, disorientation and other types of eye strain.
Each of the colors on the flag mean represent something different:
- Charcoal gray background: In memory of the victims of ableist abuse and violence, including children or those killed, suicides, or individuals who suffered from negligence.
- Diagonal band: Cutting across the barriers that are blocking people with disabilities from full participation, integration, and inclusion in society.
- Red stripe: Physical disabilities (chronic pain/fatigue, mobility impairment, loss of limbs).
- Gold stripe: Neurodivergent (autism, ADHD, dyslexia).
- White stripe: Undiagnosed and invisible disabilities.
- Blue stripe: Psychiatric disabilities (depression, PTSD, anxiety, etc).
- Green stripe: Sensory disabilities (hearing loss, visual impairments, etc).
Movies, TV Shows, Podcasts, and Books
Disability Pride isn’t only important this month. It’s important every month, day, and minute. Use the month of July to encourage and educate others on how they can help make our society a more inclusive and accessible place for everyone.
Check out the resources below to learn more about disability representation!
Movies + TV Shows:
- The Disability Visibility Podcast hosted by Alice Wong
- Outlook Radio Show hosted by Brian Kijewski and Kerry Kijewski
- Disability After Dark hosted by Andrew Gurza
- Down to the Struts hosted by Qudsiya Naqui
- Doing it Disabled hosted by Catalina Ritzinger and Haley Cari
- Sitting Pretty: The View From My Ordinary Resilient Disabled Body by Rebekah Taussig
- Haben: The Deafblind Woman who Conquered Harvard Law by Haben Grima
- The Silence Between Us by Alison Gervais
- Care Work: Dreaming Disability Justice by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha
- Being Heumann by Judith Heumann
- And more!
Disability in Pop Culture:
- 7 Milestones for Disability Fashion Representation
- 5 Brands Paving the Way for Disability Inclusion
- 7 Disabled Creators You Need to Check Out
Celebrate Disability Pride Month
Make sure to check out if your city is hosting a Disability Pride event! Here are a few upcoming events across the United States and Canada:
- Buffalo: Disability Pride of WNY
- Toronto: Disability Pride March
- New York: Disability Unite Festival
- Pennsylvania: Disability Pride PA
- Illinois: Disability Pride Parade
- Missouri: FestAbility: A Celebration of Disabilities
Why Does Disability Inclusion Matter?
According to “The Return on Disability Report,” the disability market is larger than the population of China, though only 4% of the 90% of companies that claim to prioritize diversity and inclusion actually consider disability in their initiatives. Recognizing and empowering the disability community is vital to encouraging others to change perspectives, create more inclusive products, and build global representation that celebrates all people, regardless of ability.
The CDC estimates that the global disability market comprises 1.85 billion people and $1.9 trillion in annual disposable income, resulting in a high demand for more accessible and inclusive products and services.
Be sure to keep up with Aille Design’s Instagram and Facebook accounts throughout the month of July for features on various trailblazers in the disability community and to learn more about Disability Pride month.