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Get inspired to celebrate Disability Pride Month

Updated: Aug 10, 2022

Disability Pride Month

Did you know that July is Disability Pride Month? It is a month celebrating the disabled community and a month to showcase all the amazing things that this community can accomplish! The diabled community is special because it is an incredibly diverse community! It is made up of people from all walks of life and backgrounds. However, this is a community that is not always recognized; in order to see the amazing accomplishments from persons with disabilities, let’s celebrate some historical members of the community!

Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan: While most people know that Helen Keller was the first person with blindness and deafness to graduate college, few people have heard of her teacher, Anne Sullivan. Partially blind, Anne preserved to graduate from school even though she was disabled. After graduation, she became Helen Keller’s teacher. Constantly working with Helen throughout her life, Anne found new and innovative ways to educate Helen Keller outside of traditional teaching methods. Without Anne Sullivan’s allyship, and Helen Keller’s perseverance, education would not have been possible for those not able to attend school in the traditional way.

Frida Kahlo: Suffering from both polio and an accident as a child, Frida Kahlo was disabled in her right leg and spine. Famous for her indigenous-inspired clothing and embracing the identity of Mexican culture, Frida is remembered for her amazing portraits, self-portraits, and works including native folklore and elements of Mexican culture. Frida challenged questions of oppression and imperialism, gender roles, and society at large.

Steven Hawking: At one point in Stephen Hawking’s life, he was told that his disease, ALS, would not allow him to live past 25. However, he has defied odds, and continued to adapt his life around his current state. Near the end of his life, he was able to continue teaching, researching, and speaking through a dictation device controlled by a single muscle in his cheek. His theories on the universe shaped science for generations to come.

The names of these historical people are known: but the additional barriers that these individuals, and so many persons with disabilities, had to overcome should be celebrated! In all ways, these people had to adapt to an able-bodied world to succeed. However, in our current world, with our current goal of true inclusion, it is crucial to create avenues of success for all members of the disabled community.

It is important to elevate and empower the voices of the diabled community, and recognize that the beauty of that voice may not be in the same avenues or modalities as others. Creating communities, particularly Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), allows members of this community to communicate, plan, advocate, and support in ways that a traditional workplace structure cannot allow. An ERG creates a barrier-free place in which all members, and allies, can join without the restraints of physical structures or traditional modes of communication. It allows self-advocacy for its members, comradery among the company, understanding of all persons, and a place to enact true and lasting change! Help celebrate Disability Pride Month by creating spaces for all members in an organization to succeed!


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