We’re Celebrating Disability Pride Month 2021!edit
July now marks Disability Pride Month! This is an annual, global event that works to highlight all disabilities, whether they are physical or learning disabilities, hidden disabilities, or mental health conditions.
Disability Pride Month aims to celebrate disability as an identity, and by sharing the experiences of the disabled community. This is a month-long event that celebrates and shares the pride that disabled people bring to their community, both local and global.
People with disabilities represent a huge, diverse segment of the population. They come from all socio-economic backgrounds, from every race and ethnicity, every gender, every religion, and every ability and every age.
Disability Pride Month is a chance to celebrate diversity among the disabled community, to build a movement for greater acceptance and inclusion of disabled people, and to challenge the systemic ableism present in society.
How it all started…
The first Disability Pride event started in Boston, with the first Disability Pride day held in 1990.
From there, the first Disability Pride Day Parade was held in Chicago in 2004.
Since then, Disability Pride has gone from strength to strength and is now a month-long series of events to celebrate disability, positively influence the way people think about disability, and challenge stigmas and stereotypes surrounding disability.
With events taking place in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, and Brighton, Disability Pride has really grown… and is only set to grow further.
Why celebrate Disability Pride Month?
Disability Pride is a relatively new, and still quite radical idea. The Americans with Disabilities Act, the precursor to the first Disability Pride Day, was enacted on the 26th of July in 1990.
This means that if you’re an American who’s thirty-one years of age or older and you’re also disabled, you were born into a world where you didn’t have legal protections for your disability.
You didn’t have legal protection from workplace discrimination, transportation discrimination, education and other areas of your life.
And in the UK, the Disability Discrimination Act first came into force in 1995, and even then faced significant amendments over the next fifteen years. It was eventually replaced with the Equality Act of 2010 (except in Northern Ireland).
Basically, the fight for disabled rights and equal protection under the law is still a relatively new one, and legal protections against discrimination on the grounds of being disabled are around thirty years old or less, depending on where you are in the world.
To give a bit more perspective, the fight and movement for gay rights have been around in some form since the mid-1960s, with the Stonewall Riots (considered the start of Gay Pride) taking place in 1969, making it just over half a century old.
On top of the fact that disability protection under the law is still younger than some millennials, there are still prevalent attitudes around disability that those with them are ‘lesser,’ humans.
Considering that around one billion people live with some form of disability in the world, or around 15% of the world population, the need to celebrate Disability Pride Month suddenly looks much more pressing.
Pride isn’t just a celebration of those with disabilities, it’s also a chance to shine a spotlight on these issues. It’s a chance to show the world what is being done or what needs to be done to make the world accessible for disabled people.
And perhaps more importantly, it’s a chance to highlight to the world that disabled people both exist, and matter, have value and are worthy of respect just as they are.
How can you take part in Disability Pride Month?
Here are three things that you can do to help take part in Disability Pride Month.
- Attend a Disability Pride Event – Participating in a disability pride event not only helps to extend that feeling of camaraderie and celebration and pride, but it’s also incredibly fun.
- Check out what local Pride events are going on around you – If there’s nothing in person because of Covid restrictions, there’ll be online events that you can also attend.
- Amplify disabled voices – Disabled voices and content creators are often left out of the wider narrative, so amplify them by following or sharing them on your social media channels.
We’re sharing your stories!
Here at Fish Insurance, we are celebrating the final week of Disability Pride Month by sharing one of our customers stories each day across our social media. We asked our customers to share with us some of their experiences in the disabled community, so stay tuned to our social media platforms all week to see what they had to say.