It’s Disability Pride Month! Here at DIAL we celebrate disability every day, as we know the value of embracing disability and the work of disabled people in organisations, and in the community. But we understand that ableism is still prevalent around the world, creating a stigma against disabled people and results in barriers to their everyday lives. At DIAL we are Passionate About Possibilities, and strive to continue to work towards a community that is truly inclusive.
What is Disability Pride Month?
Disability Pride Month is a day to accept and take pride in all types of disability, and to share disabled peoples’ positive pride to promote visibility and mainstream awareness. The month encourages self-acceptance, and a chance to celebrate the disabled community. Disability Pride originally started as a day of celebration in 1990. As time has passed, Disability Pride has turned into a month-long celebration, starting in 2015.
Disability Pride Month can mean different things to each person in the disabled community. Whether you like to share your own individual successes, or to celebrate the feeling of pride to be a disabled person. The main focus is to be proud of being disabled and being unapologetically yourself!
With ableism, stereotyping, and negative treatment of disabled still a huge issue around the world, Disability Pride Month starts conversations and raises awareness among people who are not part of the disabled community. It’s a chance for people to understand how they can be better allies, what barriers disabled people face in everyday life, and how they can support disabled people moving forward.
The Disability Pride Month Flag
The original Disability Pride Month flag was created in 2019 by Ann Magill, and featured a ‘lightning bolt’ band of bright colours with a dark background. It was highlighted that the flag wasn’t fully accessible for some disabled people due to the brightness and amount of colours. So, a refreshed version was created in 2021 with more subdued tones, to make the flag more accessible and inclusive.
The new flag has a charcoal background to represent those subjected to ableist violence, as well as representing protest in the community. Diagonally through the flag are 5 coloured stripes, representing how disabled people face barriers and have to navigate life around them, as well as the creativity needed to do so. Each colour also represents: green for sensory disabilities; blue for psychiatric disabilities; white for non-visible and undiagnosed disabilities; yellow for cognitive and intellectual disabilities; and red for physical disabilities.
How To Support as a Non-Disabled Person
There are many ways to support disabled people for Disability Pride Month, as well as year-round. It’s important to remember that disabled people are the experts, so asking disabled people that you know directly how best to support them is the most helpful way.
Other ways to support disabled people are to: involve them in the community; ask them for their thoughts and ideas; raise awareness; talk about disability openly and positively; make your social media content accessible and inclusive, attend webinars to broaden your knowledge of disability, provide training in workplaces, volunteer at local disabled charities, and so much more!
How We're Celebrating
So, for Disability Pride Month, we asked some of our staff and volunteers to share their positive pride in what the month means to them. Please join us in celebrating Disability Pride Month by sharing this post on social media to raise awareness, and leaving a comment about what the month means to you!