Dedicated to Improving the Lives of Blind and Visually Impaired People

Disability Pride Month Begins Today, July 1, 2024

by Amy Gendreau, RDPFS Intern:

“Disability Pride Month celebrates people with disabilities, their identities, their culture, and their contributions to society…It also seeks to change the way people think about and define disability, to end the stigma of disability, and to promote the belief that disability is a natural part of human diversity in which people living with disabilities can celebrate and take pride.” The commemoration also provides an opportunity to raise awareness of ongoing efforts to advance inclusion and equality. First observed in 1990, in conjunction with the passing on July 26th that year of the American With Disabilities Act (ADA), the observance has evolved into a month of recognition and inclusion, celebration and community, and is now observed across the globe.  Approximately 16 percent of the world’s population, or 1.3 billion people, identify as living with a disability. Disability intersects all walks of life and does not differentiate race, ethnicity, sexual orientation or any other protected class under employment law. Regarding the commemoration, “It’s important to note the use of the word Pride,” noted Aaron Preece, editor-in-chief of the American Foundation for the Blind’s (AFB) “Access World” Technology and Digital Inclusion publication. “We are saying we deserve to thrive and live to the fullest just as much as our sighted peers.” Self-advocacy is an important element that can be realized by communicating when changes need to be made, rather than accepting the status quo. Preece cites the example of reaching out to educate web developers about the accessibility of a website. “…This is where pride comes in. Why deal with ‘Good enough’ or ‘eh, I can deal with it’ when as people just like anyone else, we shouldn’t have to be required to fight with an inaccessible world or constantly find work around’s when they’re not necessary. In addition, if we don’t speak up for ourselves people would never know that change is needed.” Disability Pride Month is celebrated with parades, festivals, and other public activities across the nation. For more information about the commemoration and its meaning, as well as local celebrations, read the Wikipedia page on Disability Pride Month. Preece’s perspectives are included in the AFB webpage on Introspection during Disability Pride Month. Additional facts are also available from the World Health Organization (WHO) on Disability.

“Disability Unite Festival:” Livestreamed and In Person: July 14, 2024

In observance of Disability Awareness Month, the Disability Unite Festival 2024 will be celebrated on July 14th. The Festival will be held online and in-person in New York City to “celebrate community, and commemorate the 34th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).” It will be livestreamed on the Disability Unite website for anyone who would like to participate. The event recording will continue to be offered on the website as well. Find out more by visiting  Disability Unite and register here to attend.