AmeriDisability describes Disability Pride as "accepting and honoring each person's uniqueness and seeing it as a natural and beautiful part of human diversity" and connects it to the larger movement for disability justice.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was passed on July 26, 1990, to prohibit discrimination against people with disabilities. Following this legislation, Boston held the first Disability Pride Day event in July 1990. Since then, Disability Pride events have been celebrated in this month in cities around the country. The number of cities celebrating Disability Pride continues to grow as Disability Pride continues to evolve.
This is all due to the hard work of disabled activists who have fought for equal representation and equity. But a great deal of work remains to be done to ensure the needs of the disability community are met equitably.
Disability Pride Month is not yet a nationally recognized holiday, but in honor of the 25th anniversary of the ADA, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio declared July Disability Pride Month in 2015. Since then this month has become an important time to honor the diversity and uniqueness of each person in the disability community and celebrate people who have disabilities.
With more than 160 million people living with chronic diseases and disabilities in the U.S., the National Health Council (NHC) provides a unified voice for people with chronic diseases and disabilities by advocating for increased access to quality, high-value, sustainable, equitable, and affordable health care for all. There are innumerable non-profit organizations dedicated to addressing many other injustices faced by the disability community. A number of them are listed at http://www.bazelon.org/resource-library/disability-rights-organizations/
Having a better understanding of the term “ableism” can be a first step in helping you be an advocate for the disability community.
Ableism is any form of discrimination in favor of non-disabled people. It comes in many different forms that range from subtly offensive language to outright prejudice. Some lesser-known examples of ableism include sayings such as “That’s so lame,” or “My suggestion fell on deaf ears.” Using a class of disability as an idiom or to illustrate a point can offend and alienate disabled people.
Ableism can also come from well-intended actions. It’s important that disabilities be acknowledged, without unduly affecting the expectations of the disabled individual. Ignoring a disability or pretending it doesn’t exist is a form of ableism. The language we use and the way we acknowledge or fail to acknowledge disabilities are important. Let Disability Pride Month serve as a chance to highlight ableism and how it plays into our own unconscious biases.