Ensure the right for all people with disabilities to live in the community.


"Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once wrote, "One must not overlook the positive value in calling the Negro to a new sense of manhood, to a deep feeling of racial pride and to an audacious appreciation of his heritage. The Negro must be grasped by a new realization of his dignity and worth. He must stand up amid a system that still oppresses him and develop an unassailable and majestic sense of his own value. He must no longer be ashamed of being black." Although there are many barriers facing people with disabilities today, one of the single greatest obstacles we face as a community is our own sense of inferiority, internalized oppression and shame. The sense of shame associated with having a disability has, indeed, reached epidemic proportions. Disability rights movements in different countries have made many gains in the area of civil rights over the past decade, but what good is an Americans with Disabilities Act or a Disability Discrimination Act if people will not exercise their rights under these laws because they are too ashamed to identify as being disabled? "As long as the mind is enslaved," King wrote, "the body can never be free." As long as people with disabilities remain ashamed of who we are, we will never realize the true equality and freedom we so desire. We must first take pride in ourselves as a community. We must no longer be ashamed of being disabled.

"Dismantling centuries of internalized oppression, however, and promoting a widespread sense of Disability pride is easier said than done. Unlike other civil rights movements, people with disabilities do not always have the benefit of a generational transfer of disability history and pride through the family structure. There are no "disability churches" per se, neighborhood enclaves, or other communal institutions where people with disabilities can come together by choice and consistently receive positive messages that counteract the depredation wrought by the onslaught of cultural terrorism. There is a tremendous need to create a counterculture that teaches new values and beliefs, and acknowledges the dignity and worth of all human beings. Disability pride is a direct response to this need."



Disability Pride Parade

Disability Pride Parades are held to celebrate people with disabilities. Disability Pride Parades seek to change the way people think about and define disability, to end the stigma of disability, and to promote the belief that disability is a natural and beautiful part of human diversity in which people living with disabilities can take pride.

The United States first Disability Pride Parade was held in Chicago in 2004. Today, Disability Pride Parades have been held in a number of places across the United States, including Silicon Valley/Santa Clara County, Chicago, Philadelphia, Colorado Springs, Houston, Atlanta, Detroit, New Jersey, and Columbus as well as around the world in locations such as South Korea, Norway, and the U.K.

Disability Pride Week


Disability Pride Week is an annual event used to promote visibility and mainstream awareness of the positive pride felt by people with disabilities within their community. It marks a break from traditional concepts of disabilities as shameful conditions, which were often hidden from public spaces and mainstream awareness.

The first Disability Pride Day was held in Boston, MA in 1990. Disability Pride Week events often combine the celebration of "disability culture" with educational events, such as seminars on legal rights for people with disabilities, accessibility awareness, and other similar topics.

Negative attitudes about people with disabilities need to change


Disability pride is a fairly new concept. Like other minorities people with physical and developmental disabilities are speaking about the pride they feel within their community. It is important for people with disabilities to be proudly visible in the community. The disability pride movement wants to present people with disabilities as full citizens and respect. Using bold images and strong words, Disability Pride awareness dates, parades, and festivals both uplift and challenge. Positive thinking and positive attitudes will help people with disabilities achieve real goals. Pride comes from celebrating our heritage, disability culture, the unique experiences that we have as people with disabilities, and the contributions that we can give to society.

Disability rights movements in different countries have made many gains in the area of civil rights over the past decade, but what good is an Americans with Disabilities Act or a Disability Discrimination Act if people will not exercise their rights under these laws because they are too ashamed to identify as being disabled "As long as the mind is enslaved, the body can never be free." - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. As long as people with disabilities remain ashamed of who we are, we will never realize the true equality and freedom we so desire. We must first take pride in ourselves as a community. We must no longer be ashamed of being disabled.

Well I would like to say that we are so proud to have passed the ADA built on the 504. And that attitudes of all Americans have changed about people with disabilities. We are real human beings in the human race. That’s different than it used to be. However, now we have to get out and get our rights enforced. While no minority has all their rights enforced, we have to do it, because nobody ever gave rights away. We have to get out of life as usual and become fully 24 hour a day, 365 days a year passionate single-minded advocates for disability rights.

Justin Dart, known as "Grandfather of the ADA"