Home > Our Work > Blog > Celebrating Disability Pride Month
Disability Pride Flag. Created by Ann Magill - public domain via Wikipedia

Disability Pride Flag. Created by Ann Magill - public domain via Wikipedia

Celebrating Disability Pride Month

With Disability Pride, the Pinelands Preservation Alliance seeks to help and recognize the disabled community with the Access Nature Initiative.

July 7, 2023


Happy 4th of July!!! I hope you all had a great holiday weekend with friends and family. Corresponding with our nation’s birthday month, we are also honoring our citizens who live with disabilities. It is not yet officially recognized in the United States although, since 2004 Disability Pride Month has been celebrated with parades in cities including New York, Philadelphia, Trenton, Chicago, and Los Angeles. In addition, parades, awareness, and acknowledgment of this segment of our community have been witnessed worldwide with events in England, Germany, and New Zealand.

It is estimated by the CDC that “One in 4 U.S. adults – 61 million Americans – have a disability that impacts major life activities, according to a report in CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report”.Furthermore, it is found that the “most common disability type, mobility, affects 1 in 7 adults. With age, disability becomes more common, affecting about 2 in 5 adults aged 65 and older.”[1] With these statistics, it is hard to find anyone who is not in some way affected – whether it be their own disability or that of a loved one, family member, or friend.

It was established that July should be Disability Pride Month in reflection of the passing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) on July 26, 1990. This federal law prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities, including in employment, transportation, public accommodations, communications, and in access to state and local government services.

The Disability Pride flag was first designed by Ann Magill in 2019. Each color of the Disability Pride Flag represents a different type of disability: physical (red), cognitive and intellectual (yellow), invisible and undiagnosed (white), psychosocial (blue), and sensory (green). The charcoal background symbolizes mourning and rage for the victims of ableist violence and abuse, and the colored bands are placed diagonally to convey persons with disabilities “cutting across” societal barriers.

For me “Disability pride,” seeks to celebrate the fundamental worth and significant contributions individuals with disabilities have provided to our lives and the world. It is a testament to the individual’s ability to overcome the challenges of facing certain health circumstances and being a valuable part of our diverse community. Pride – in this case, Disability pride should be seen as a refutation of the concept that an individual should feel ostracized or ashamed of their personal being and abilities. It’s to reject the idea that an individual is less worthy or less able to contribute and participate in daily societal activities.  

I think it is surely fitting that July is the occasion to honor people with disabilities. With our nation’s birthday and the signing of the Declaration of Independence, it further gives breath to the notion that the founding document indicated, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men (mankind) are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights”. For this purpose, it is fitting that we honor individuals with disabilities to recognize their inherent worth, as well as encourage their visibility in society, and applaud their achievements on a personal level as well as in our society.

With Disability Pride, the Pinelands Preservation Alliance seeks to help and recognize the disabled community with the Pinelands Is For Everyone Initiative. We want to aid in eliminating barriers seen and unseen that may foster the idea that outdoor recreation is not meant for individuals with disabilities. We believe access to nature and nature-based recreation is something that should be enjoyed by all who want to participate in the leisurely freedoms of being in nature. We work towards leveling the playing field by collaborating with land managers to establish the best policies and practices that make nature recreation and programming more inclusive and accessible for individuals with disabilities. 

This is one key element of our Access Nature Forum – to provide our disabled community with the opportunity to express themselves, their needs, and their desires for exploring the outdoors. To find ways to help these individuals gain the same mental, physical, and spiritual benefits from being in nature and connecting to the larger spirit of the natural world around them.

I hope you all have a wonderful summer vacation with shared experiences with all your friends and family.

Join our next Access Nature Forum on July 12 at 7:00 PM via Zoom to talk about the accessibility work we are completing! Hear from the Access Nature Disability Advocate, Sean Kane Holland, as he talks about the important work the Access Nature Initiative and its allies, volunteers, and partners are undertaking.

[1] Found this quote from the CDC website

Comments are closed.

News, Events & More

Stay Connected