July is Disability Pride Month. Disability has been called the silent “D” in diversity. By promoting disability pride, this community seeks to highlight positive aspects and influence mainstream perceptions of being disabled. In this way, others may change the way they think about or define disability. Also, the community seeks to end the stigma of disability.
The creation of Disability Pride Month coincided with the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act in July 1991. That law continues to protect Americans from discrimination based on their disability. Disability Pride Month honors persons who live with various disabilities, and to celebrate disability as part of human diversity.
Negative perceptions of disabled individuals arise due to misinformation or misunderstanding that people with disabilities are not equal or valued members of society. Part of being an ally would include being yourself with a disabled person; avoiding awkward jokes and respecting their space and privacy in public (i.e., not staring). Disability Pride Month celebrates those with disabilities and their unique gifts to all communities. Disability Pride Month is an opportunity for disabled persons to declare their inherent self-worth.