July is Disability Pride Month!

Shared by Ben S. 

July is here, and it’s time to celebrate Disability Pride Month—an opportunity to honor individuals with disabilities while recognizing their accomplishments and contributions to our society. The month of July was chosen to coincide with the anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the world’s first comprehensive civil rights law for people with disabilities, signed into law on July 26, 1990.

This groundbreaking legislation was pivotal in history, guaranteeing civil rights protections for people with disabilities and promoting accessibility across various domains, including employment, public spaces, and telecommunications. The ADA inspired similar legislation to be passed in the UK, Japan, and other countries around the world. Disability Pride Month provides a platform to celebrate the progress made and continue advocating for further advancements in disability rights.

What can you do to celebrate Disability Pride Month?

Some people with disabilities prefer person-first language (e.g. “person with a disability”), which emphasizes the person rather than defining them solely by their disability. Others prefer identity-first language (e.g. “disabled person”), which emphasizes the social identity associated with the disability. As with language referring to any minority group, it’s best to follow the lead of the person you’re talking about and use the same language they use to describe themself. Here’s a guide with more tips on language about disabilities.

When it comes to disability rights, it’s essential to distinguish between equity and equality. Equality means treating everyone the same, providing identical opportunities and resources to all individuals. However, not everyone starts from the same place or faces the same barriers. Equity acknowledges these differences and aims to provide fair and just opportunities by addressing and removing systemic barriers.

The best way to learn is to listen. Create a safe space for conversations about disabilities. Encourage open dialogue, listen actively, and be willing to learn from the experiences and perspectives of individuals with disabilities.

Ways you can take action

Advocate for accessible technologies, physical accommodations, and inclusive policies in your communities. Accessibility benefits everyone by creating an environment that values and supports the diverse needs of all.

Did you know Appen has been involved in projects to make voice assistants more inclusive of persons with speech impairments?

Take advantage of the Check Accessibility feature found under the Review tab in commonly-used Microsoft products like Outlook and Word.

Recognize and celebrate the achievements and contributions of colleagues with disabilities. Acknowledging their accomplishments promotes a culture of inclusivity and appreciation.

Offer your support and allyship to colleagues with disabilities. This can involve offering assistance when needed, promoting their ideas and contributions, and actively challenging ableism whenever it arises.

Disability Pride Month is a time to honor the resilience, achievements, and diverse perspectives of individuals with disabilities. Let’s celebrate Disability Pride Month with enthusiasm, gratitude, and a commitment to building a more inclusive future together.

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