We are almost halfway through July and I wanted to make sure that you were all aware that July is Disability Pride Month. Disabilities are part of human diversity, many of us struggle and overcome a huge spectrum of both visible and invisible conditions and it’s important to recognize and celebrate that resilient spirit.

What is Disability Pride Month?

Disability Pride Month emphasizes embracing disabilities as integral parts of our individual identities It’s about reclaiming visibility in public, interacting fully with disabilities out in the open, and rejecting shame and internalized ableism. It is a time for the community to come together, uplift, and amplify one another’s voices and be heard. Disability pride has been described as “accepting and honoring each person’s uniqueness and seeing it as a natural and beautiful part of human diversity.”

When is Disability Pride Month?

Disability Pride Month is celebrated each year in July. Disability Pride initially started as a day of celebration in 1990—the year that the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law. That same year, Boston held the first Disability Pride Day. The first official celebration of Disability Pride Month occurred in July 2015, which also marked the 25th anniversary of the ADA. Since then, cities across the country have celebrated disability pride month with parades and other festivities.

What is Disability Inclusion?

Including people with disabilities in everyday activities and understanding that they have and can excel in the same roles that peers who do not have a disability is disability inclusion. This involves more than simply encouraging people; it requires making sure that adequate policies and practices are in effect in our communities and organizations and leading by example.

Inclusion should lead to increased participation both socially, academically, and professionally. Having a disability, visible or invisible, does not preclude someone from being a student, worker, friend, community member, patient, spouse, partner, or parent. It also means having compassion for everyone on days when there just isn’t enough energy to go around and things feel harder.

And finally, I wanted to highlight this Artistic Justice Showcase, which I hope you will all take a look at.