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  • Melissa Lipari

The History of Disability Pride Month

Updated: Jun 19, 2022

This month, we are celebrating Disability Pride Month at Pedacitos Blog. Each July, disabled Americans can feel proud of their bodies and educate those who are able-bodied on what it’s like to have a disability. Disability Pride Month also creates a safe space for disabled people to discuss the hardships or victories that they have felt due to living life a little bit differently. Just like we are working to destigmatize mental health and brain health, Disability Pride is another observance that can give a platform to those who have important stories to tell.

July is Disability Pride Month.

This awareness month came into action in 2015, when Mayor Bill DeBlasio of New York declared July as the official month for Disability Pride in New York City. The mayor used his platform of managing arguably the most culturally and socially diverse city in the country- to promote the individuality of all New York residents in July. This observance has now become widespread throughout various cities across the country like San Fransisco and San Antonio. Though it is not a national observance yet, it is sparking conversations about ableism that are often overlooked when it comes to human diversity.

Disability Pride Month is “a chance to honor each person's uniqueness as "a natural and beautiful part of human diversity" per America's Disability Community. This month is now rooted in self-love for those who have been diagnosed with a disability. It is a time where non-able-bodied individuals can feel uplifted by their community for what they have been able to accomplish despite the adversities that they have had to overcome.

Disability Pride Month began in New York City as a celebration of uniqueness.

Disability Pride Month would not have been possible without the Americans with Disabilities Act, passed by George H.W. Bush in July of 1990- prohibiting discrimination against disabled people in the United States. This pivotal law became a landmark for those who struggle with navigating their disability on their own terms- as it encouraged them to no longer be put in a box for an aspect of their life that they cannot control. It also meant that disabled people could not be discriminated against in the workplace, at restaurants, or anywhere in this country for that matter.

This awareness month was created to dismantle the ableist society that we, unfortunately, live in today- despite laws like the ADA that tried to prevent this ideology. It’s a time to amplify the voices of this community- and give them the representation that has been severely lacking in our country. The stigma that has been made against them is disheartening, as we all should be celebrated for our uniqueness and beauty- overlooking how or where this differentiation came from.

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 was an important first step in recognizing ableism.

Here at Pedacitos Blog, we celebrate people from all walks of life. We are allies to all who align with Disability Pride Month. Thank you for sharing your stories of bravery- we hope to uplift your voices and stories both this month and in the future. Read “A Pedacito of Life with Autism” on our blog for a personal story on living with a disability.

We are allies to those who identify with Disablity Pride Month.

Want to know more? Are you interested in becoming a contributor for Pedacitos? We'd love to hear your stories! Send me a message and I will get back to you!

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