July is Disability Pride Month. During this month people with disabilities accept and honor our uniqueness. Having a disability isn’t strange or awkward. Instead it a natural occurrence that happens and creates a gorgeous part of human differences. July is when we get to celebrate and not be ashamed of having one. During this month we see many different types of symbols that represent disability pride.
The Disability Pride Flag was created by Anne Magill. The black background symbolizes the mourning for those who suffered or died from Ableist violence . The black also represents rebellion. The zig zags show how people with disabilities must move around barriers and the creativity needed to do so. The five colors of the flag represent the diversity in disabilities, and the different needs and experiences of each individual. The colors also stand for different types of disabilities. Blue symbolizes the mental illness. Yellow is a symbol for cognitive and intellectual disabilities. Green represents sensory and perception disabilities. Red is for physical disabilities.
The infinity rainbow symbol represents Neurodiversity. Neurodiversity is minds that are wired differently and experience the world in unique ways. Having a Learning Disability makes my brain neurodiverse. It makes me struggle with how numbers work, and understanding information. The colors encompass all Neurodiverse minds Different types of this include Dyslexia, Dyscalculia, Dysgraphia, Tourette’s Syndrome and Dyspraxia It also includes Autism, and Attention Deficit Disorder as a whole, however these types of neurodivergence, each have their own symbols, that represent them.
The Gold Infinity symbol represents Autism. In chemistry the symbol for gold is listed as AU on the periodic table. This symbol are also the first two letters of the word Autism. Gold is considered to be of high value and offers something that people strive for. Gold replaces the puzzle piece symbol, that once represented Autism. Many people with this don’t feel that they are a puzzle to be solved or cured. Gold shows an acceptance, and celebration, rather than correction.
The Neurodiversity butterfly represents ADHD exclusively. The colors are the same as in the rainbow infinity, indicating neurodiversity. The butterfly symbol provides a better representation, on how their minds fly from one thing to the next.
The different symbols are one way to promote disability pride. Other ways can include going to disability pride events, reading authors with disabilities and simply listening to other people with disabilities.
I’m excited to celebrate disability pride this month! But it’s important to note that disability pride isn’t just a course of a month. For individuals with disabilities having one is an everyday experience. Learning how to use strategies to adapt in a world not suited for differences, is essential to survival. For so many years I lived in the shadow of shame of having one. Now I embrace pride in having one and the person it has shaped me to be. If you have any ways that you are celebrating Disability pride month, share them in the comments below.