July is Disability Pride Month

As July unfolds, we are thrilled to celebrate Disability Pride Month — a time to honor and recognize the achievements, contributions and rich diversity of the disabled community. This month is a powerful reminder of the importance of inclusion, accessibility and equality for all. Disability Pride Month commemorates the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) on July 26, 1990. The ADA was a landmark legislation that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life. Disability Pride Month promotes visibility, awareness and a sense of community among people with disabilities, celebrating their unique identities and contributions. Disability Pride is about self-acceptance, understanding and celebrating one’s identity as a person with a disability. It challenges societal stigmas and stereotypes, promoting a culture of respect and inclusivity.

Celebrating Disability Pride Month fosters community and solidarity among people with disabilities and their allies. It promotes self-acceptance and pride in one’s identity, encouraging individuals to embrace their differences and advocate for their rights. Moreover, it provides a platform for raising awareness about the diverse experiences of people with disabilities, showcasing their talents and contributions across various fields. Ultimately, Disability Pride Month is crucial for advancing the dialogue on disability rights, fostering a more inclusive culture and ensuring that everyone, regardless of ability, can participate fully in society.

Spotlight on Local Organizations for Disabled Chicagoans

Below are several outstanding organizations in Chicago that you can support and celebrate during Disability Pride Month. By supporting these organizations, you not only contribute to their success but also promote inclusivity and accessibility within our community.

Arts of Life
A nonprofit organization providing artistic vocational opportunities for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, supporting their creative potential and professional growth.

The Chicago Lighthouse
A social service organization that provides comprehensive vision care, educational programs and employment opportunities for individuals who are blind or visually impaired.

An organization that provides adaptive sports and triathlon opportunities to individuals with physical disabilities and visual impairments, empowering them through physical activity and competition.


Celebrating Disability Pride Month in Chicago

Chicago has a variety of activities planned to celebrate Disability Pride Month in July. One of the main events is the Chicago Disability Pride Parade, which will take place on July 20, 2024. This parade, known for its vibrant and inclusive atmosphere, aims to promote visibility and positivity about disabilities, challenging societal perceptions and internalized shame. Participants will march up Dearborn Street to Daley Plaza, embodying the belief that disabilities are a natural and beautiful part of human diversity​ (UserWay)​​

In addition to the parade, the Chicago Public Library is hosting a series of events throughout the month. Highlights include “Souls Above Water: A Night of Disability, Music and Culture” on July 11 at the Edgewater Branch, featuring performances and discussions about disability culture. The library will also offer ASL Story Time at the Field Museummusic and story sessions with Music Playhouse, and various film screenings with subtitles to ensure accessibility for all​ (Chicago Public Library)​.

This month, we spotlight the remarkable achievements of individuals with disabilities who have made significant contributions in various fields. From sports and arts to science and politics, people with disabilities continue to inspire and lead with resilience and determination.