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What Does Disability Pride Mean to You?

Disability Pride Flag. A green stripe, a blue stripe, a white stripe, a yellow stripe, and a red stripe stretch diagonally across a dark gray background.

People with disabilities deserve equal access to the world around them and to be treated with dignity and respect. Disability Pride Month helps spread awareness about different disabilities, people’s needs, and how disability fits into one’s identity. We spoke with individuals who are blind or have low vision and professionals who work with them about what disability pride means to them, how they will be celebrating Disability Pride Month, and what they wish people understood about individuals with disabilities.


“Disability pride, and specifically Disability Pride Month, is a time where those of us who are disabled can show the world who we are, disability and all. The amount of stigma surrounding disability contributes to a culture of shaming and shunning disabilities and people who live with them. Disability pride is just one way I can show the world my disability is not a curse nor is it a burden. My disability has given me so many opportunities, and it would be an injustice to hide that truth. Disability pride is more than just a month for companies to make a small post or comment; disability pride is a time where the disabled community can celebrate being who they are, disability and all.”

– Addie Tighe, APH Dot6 Summer Intern


“Disability Pride Month is an opportunity to advocate for our children who have a disability, those who may not be able to advocate, and speak up and to stand with those who have disabilities to continue to bring awareness to discrimination against people with disabilities. It is an opportunity to help my daughter know what the Americans with Disabilities Act is and what it means to her.”

– Melisa Matthews, Parent/APH Digital Content Manager for FamilyConnect


“Disability pride can simply mean being proud of your whole self and embracing who you are with your disability. Disability pride is not looking at what you can’t do but focusing on what you CAN do. Disability pride is advocating for your needs, spreading awareness for inclusivity and acceptance, and educating those who may not have all the answers. Disability pride is recognizing you may need some help to do certain things, but not giving up to achieve your goals and make your mark on the world.”

– Jamie Austin, Itinerant TVI at the Maryland School for the Blind Statewide/Outreach Services Department


“Disability pride for me is a moment of not hiding in the shadows or society. So often, we push our disability and needs out of the conversation and spotlight because it makes others uncomfortable, stirs up feelings of pity, or causes us to be mascotted to motivate those around us. It is a time for us to show that we are here, working and fighting to be a member of our community. The awareness built during Disability Pride Month serves to show how far we have come and how far we owe it to our society to go.”

– Lauralyn Randles, Director of Product Advancement at APH


“During Disability Pride Month, I will learn sign language. I like listening and learning about people who have disabilities. I have read books and learned from Louis Braille, Helen Keller, and lots of picture books where the main character has a disability. I hope to read more.”

– Ally Matthews, Student


“I frequently post on social media regarding the issues surrounding persons with disabilities—the reasons society tries to deny us of our pride. I will endeavor to post more frequently during July and include more of why we are proud and accepting of ourselves as we are.”

– Alice Eakes, Author


“I celebrate disability pride each and every day, teaching people across the table from me that life is not over just because of their sight loss.”

– Abby Hodge, Rehabilitation Therapist, Braille Instructor at the Charles McDowell Center


“There’s a coffee shop in my state (and many other states!) that is run by staff members with different kinds of disabilities, and I will definitely be going there to get my caffeine fix while I am enjoying my summer break!”

– Jamie Austin


“Disability pride is a time of reflection for me as a practitioner and person with a disability. I take stock of the barriers to life and employment that I face, and those with other visible and invisible disabilities face daily. I am fortunate to work for a mission-based company that supports me beyond the minimum required by law. We have a place to thrive. However, many individuals do not have that same luxury, whether they are not able to find employment or supportive employment. This month is a time for me to take stock of barriers around myself and others to seek to change them. Sometimes that change is slow and comes with the uncomfortable conversations with those around us. Other times it takes a crawl up the stairs.”

– Lauralyn Randles


“My disability has given me a better understanding of humility. I am a blind individual living in a sighted world, and while aids in the form of assistive technology and mobility tools have only gotten better, there are still a multitude of access barriers I face every day. I have learned I have to be okay with admitting when I need help. Asking for help does not make me less independent, nor does it make people look down on me. I prefer to do things by myself, but asking for help can make a difficult, scary, or even potentially dangerous situation doable. And if there is one thing I think our world could use a little more of is a rise of humility.”

– Addie Tighe


“Living with a disability has taught me a great deal about acceptance, not just of myself, but of all others in marginalized groups. Acceptance of those different from ourselves, regardless of what that difference is, is a vital lesson for everyone to learn.”

– Alice Eakes


“I wish the public understood I can function independently. I wish that when navigating public spaces, I wasn’t asked to sit down all the time. Why can’t I just quietly stand aside and wait for assistance? I can walk. I wish people understood it’s my eyes that do not work, but that I am a person. I can speak, eat, hear, travel, and just be myself, except I do not have vision. I am perfectly happy as a totally blind individual. I wish people would accept we are all unique, regardless of disability.”

– Abby Hodge


“I wish people understood my students’ disabilities are not the only part of who they are! Their disabilities are definitely a significant part of their identity, but they have so many other amazing qualities that can be highlighted too! I also wish people understood it is OKAY to ask questions! If you are wondering what Sam’s white cane is for – ask him! If you are wondering why Brooke’s laptop is talking to her – ask her! Odds are they will be SO thrilled to share information about their tools.”

– Jamie Austin


Learn more about Disability Pride Month.

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