What is Disability Pride Month?
July is recognized across the United States as Disability Pride Month, celebrating the passage of the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), signed into law on July 26, 1990 by President George H.W. Bush. This landmark law prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities. Disability Pride initially started as a day of celebration on that year. The first official celebration of Disability Pride Month occurred in July 2015, which also marked the 25th anniversary of the ADA. TransMedCare is proud to honor Disability Pride Month and the rights it provides to all Americans with disabilities.
It all began in 1978 thanks to 19 courageous individuals
Encouraged by civil rights movements of the 1960s, the Disability Rights Movement gained momentum leading to the passage of the ADA in 1990. Decades earlier in 1978, 19 individuals tossed aside their wheelchairs and blocked city buses deemed inaccessible for the physically disabled, creating a high level of awareness and leading the way for the passage of the ADA.
What the Americans with Disabilities Act encompasses
The Americans with Disabilities Act is a federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in everyday activities. The ADA prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability just as other civil rights laws prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, age, and religion. The ADA guarantees that people with disabilities have the same opportunities as everyone else to enjoy employment opportunities, purchase goods and services, and participate in state and local government programs.
A person with a disability is someone who:
- has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities,
- has a history or record of such an impairment (such as cancer that is in remission), or
- is perceived by others as having an impairment (such as a person who has scars from a severe burn).
If a person falls into any of these categories, the ADA protects them. Because the ADA is a law, and not a benefit program, you do not need to apply for coverage.
Examples of Disabilities
There is a wide variety of disabilities, and the ADA regulations do not list all of them. Some disabilities are visible and some are not. Some examples of disabilities include:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Cerebral palsy
- Deafness or hearing loss
- Blindness or low vision
- Mobility disabilities such as those requiring the use of a wheelchair, walker, or cane
- Intellectual disabilities
- Major depressive disorder
- Traumatic brain injury
In addition, the ADA covers many other disabilities not listed here.
To prevent discrimination against people with disabilities, the ADA sets out requirements that apply to many of the situations you encounter in everyday life. Employers, state and local governments, businesses that are open to the public, commercial facilities, transportation providers, and telecommunication companies all have to follow the requirements of the ADA.
The ADA Flag and what it represents
The original Disability Pride flag was created in 2019 by writer Ann Magill, who has cerebral palsy. Flags can raise awareness and are a symbol of solidarity, pride and acceptance, and the Disability Pride flag is no exception. Magill had attended an event for the 20th anniversary of the ADA and was disappointed that it was confined to the basement and grounds of an independent living center, instead of out in public. The experience motivated her to create a Disability Pride Flag. The flag is considered a collaborative design effort, with Magill saying the design truly represents the represents the community because the community came together to solve a problem. Magill has waived her copyright and entered this flag into the public domain, so that everyone is free to use and remix it.
Each color stripe has a special meaning:
– Red – physical disabilities
– Gold – neurodiversity
– White – invisible disabilities and disabilities that haven’t yet been diagnosed
– Blue – emotional and psychiatric disabilities, including mental illness, anxiety, and depression
– Green – for sensory disabilities, including deafness, blindness, lack of smell, lack of taste, audio processing disorder, and all other sensory disabilities
– Black – depicts mourning and rage for disabled victims of violence and abuse. The diagonal band cuts across the walls and barriers that separate the disabled from normal society, also representing light and creativity cutting through the darkness.
Sources: ADA.gov / Columba University / PBS
TransMedCare is honored to support all people with disabilities and provide specialized medical transportation when needed… with a focus on care and compassion.