Disability Pride Month is celebrated in July to honor the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) becoming a law on July 26, 1990. It’s the celebration and recognition of the history, achievements, struggles and experiences of people with disabilities.
The ADA is a civil rights law prohibiting discrimination against someone who has a disability. This includes public accommodations, state and local government services, transportation, employment, and other necessary accommodations. The ADA provides protections against discrimination for people with disabilities in all areas of public life. Click here to learn more about the Americans with Disabilities Act.
According to the encyclopedia of Disability, Disability Pride, “represents a rejection of the notion that our physical, sensory, mental, and cognitive differences from the non-disabled standard are wrong or bad in any way, and is a statement of our self-acceptance, dignity and pride. It is a public expression of our belief that our disabilities are a natural part of human diversity, a celebration of our heritage and culture, and a validation of our experience.
It’s important to recognize that the community of people with disabilities is diverse and rich with different lived experiences. Disability pride celebrates all members of the community, no matter what disability they have or what walk of life they come from. At IFEP, we believe that everyone should be able to be who they are, say what they want and be heard. Part of this is listening to the needs of those who have different lived experiences than us.
A great resource for Disability Pride in Pittsburgh is disabilitypridepa.org, an organization dedicated to creating an inclusive and accessible world for everyone. They produce Disability Pride events, hold workshops to educate inclusion, support disabled artists and provide so many more great resources for people with disabilities and people wanting to become better allies.
Everyone deserves equal access to art and creative expression. In Pittsburgh, many art museums like The Warhol, are committed to ensuring that everyone can experience art. Several of Warhol’s greatest works have been reproduced to be touchable and three dimensional so that those with impaired vision can still enjoy the art. They also hold sensory friendly workshops for teens and other accessible events. As Warhol himself said, “The Pop idea, after all, was that anybody could do anything.” For more information about accessibility at the Warhol museum, click here. Most other art spaces in Pittsburgh have available accessibility information on their websites, including the Carnegie, the Frick and the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council.
Throughout the month, keep an eye on our blog and Instagram to learn more about the intersection of disability pride and free expression in Pittsburgh! For more information about disability pride month happenings in Pittsburgh, go to disabilitypridepa.org.