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Posted on July 13, 2023

What is Disability Pride Month?

July is Disability Pride Month, celebrating the achievements, experiences, and diversity of the world’s largest minority group.

Though disability pride means something different for everyone, generally the movement embraces disability as an identity to honour and celebrate, acknowledging it as a natural part of human diversity, all year round.

Disability Pride Month started in July 1990 with the first parade organised by Diana Viets in Boston, Massachusetts. Parades continue to take place annually, to commemorate ‘The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990′.

Throughout the month, disabled people and allies unite to engage in advocacy work, promote visibility by sharing stories on social media, show support for inclusive organisations, partake in parades and display the flag as an act of solidarity.

‘For the first time in my life, I felt comfortable and proud to be able to talk. I then began to use my voice to inform and teach others about my experiences.’ – Ellise (Grid user)

What does the flag represent?

The disability pride flag was designed in collaboration with disabled communities, by Ann Magill, a writer who has cerebral palsy. The flag was redesigned in 2021 to be more accessible and inclusive of all disabilities.

Each part of the flag has been carefully considered to represent an aspect of disabled identities. The diagonal band shows ‘cutting through’ the barriers to inclusion, the black area signifies the mourning and rage of those who have suffered ableist violence and the five stripes which adorn it each represent a different type of disability.

Sensory disabilities

Impairments in the senses, such as vision or hearing, which impact an individual’s ability to perceive and interpret sensory information.

Psychiatric disabilities

Conditions that affect mental health, resulting in impairments in cognitive, emotional, and behavioural functioning, which can impact an individual’s daily life and social interactions.

Invisible and undiagnosed disabilities

Impairments or conditions that significantly impact an individual’s daily functioning, health, or well-being, despite not being readily observable or officially diagnosed.


The natural variation in brain function and cognitive processing, highlighting the diverse neurological makeup and cognitive styles within the population.

Physical disabilities

Impairments that affect mobility, dexterity, coordination, and/or physical functioning, resulting in limitations or challenges in carrying out daily activities.

‘I want to continue knocking down barriers. I have a voice and I intend to use it to the max.’ – Kellie (Grid user)

Talking about your disability in Grid

There are many ways to talk about your disability using Grid software, from text-based keyboards to vocabularies for symbol AAC users.

In Voco Chat you’ll also find grids that can support you to have conversations about your communication aid, emotions and disability. Look out for ‘my AAC’, ”I feel’ and ‘my health’. These areas can be personalised with specific information and strategies relevant to you. 

Using Super Core? Look out for the ‘health’ and ‘mind’ topic grids where you can find words relating to different health conditions, disabilities and wellbeing. Under ‘AAC’ you can talk about the ways and tools you use to communicate and add your preferences.

All About Disability Pride Month grid set

AAC users can also explore and find out more in the ‘All About’ Disability Pride Month grid set. Which provides keywords and details of the month’s origins, using pictures, short sentences and a symbolised glossary.

Download the grid set

Disability Pride in the Smartbox Community

Join in with the conversation and share what disability pride means to you in the Facebook community.

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