What and When is Disability Pride Month?
Disability pride month is a time to celebrate the strides that the disability rights and disability justice movements have made. The community celebrates during July since July is the month the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) was signed into law in 1990. The ADA is one of the most critical steps in disability rights history. However, it is not the last or the first. The ADA and Section 504 (part of the rehabilitation act signed in 1973) are laws that took years of protesting, marching, and advocacy. Disability Pride month is a time not just to remember that history but take pride in it.
Why Is Disability Pride Month Important?
The Covid-19 pandemic is a mass-disabling event. Before the pandemic, 1 in 5, or 20% of Americans, had a disability. Since the start of the pandemic, that number has risen to 1 in 4, or 25% of Americans that are disabled. These statistics are from the CDC (Center for Disease Control). Disability pride month is important because disabled folks are everywhere, and we’re one of the largest marginalized communities in the United States.
How do we celebrate Disability Pride Month?
I have two answers to this. One answer is for non-disabled folks; the other is for disabled folks.
For non-disabled folks:
Celebrate disability pride month by educating yourself about disability issues. Read some books, watch a documentary, or listen to a podcast. Some suggestions are below. Most importantly, listen to the disabled people around you!
For Disabled Folks:
Take this time to celebrate yourself, engage in self-care, and reach out to the disability and chronically ill communities. Uplift the voices of intersectional folks. Listen and learn from disabled people of color, queer disabled people, multi-disabled people, even (especially) if their ideas differ from your own.
- Demystifying Disability by Emily Ladau
- Disability Visibility edited by Alice Wong
- Neurotribes by Steve Silberman
- Deaf Utopia by Nyle DiMarco
…and many more! Check out the display on the 4th floor of the YPL Riverfront library.
- Crip Camp Documentary – available free on Youtube or Netflix
- Speechless- a TV Show about a boy with cerebral palsy (available at YPL Riverfront on DVD)
- Everything’s Gonna Be Okay- TV show featuring autistic characters & actors (available on Hulu)
- Disability Visibility with Alice Wong
- Rare with Flair
- The Heumann Perspective
by Fifer Charlie Loftus
Librarian Trainee, Yonkers Riverfront Library