Celebrating Disability Pride Month at GHC

Posted on: Jul, 18, 2022

Celebrating Disability Pride Month at GHC

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law on July 26, 1990. Grays Harbor College is proud to support the ADA on its upcoming anniversary. This important civil rights law prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs, transportation, and schools. The purpose of the ADA is to make sure that people with disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else.

At GHC, Accessibility Services help us fulfill the mission set by the ADA. By contacting Accessibility, either by calling 360-538-4143 or by emailing accessibility@ghc.edu, students can receive supports and accommodations for their classes to have equal access to academic programs and activities.

32 years after the ADA was signed into law, the month of July is celebrated as Disability Pride Month, with parades and festivities taking place across the country. AmeriDisability defines Disability Pride as, “accepting and honoring each person’s uniqueness and seeing it as a natural and beautiful part of human diversity.” People with disabilities live in a world that was not designed for them, meaning that they have less likelihood to gain access to education, housing, and jobs, among other things. Much like LGBTQ+ Pride, that is also closely connected, Disability Pride Month is a way to celebrate and reclaim visibility in public spaces. People with disabilities have been historically pushed out of public spaces and celebrating Disability Pride is a way to gain that space back.

For justice to prevail, insightful framework has started to take shape that all bodies are unique and essential; all bodies have strengths and needs that must be met; we are powerful, not despite the complexities of our bodies, but because of them; and all bodies are confined by ability, race, gender, sexuality, class, nation state, religion, and more—and we cannot separate them.

According to the National Council on Independent Living, celebrating Disability Pride is necessary to combat ableism, which can include stigma against people with disabilities and barriers to access. One way we can celebrate Disability Pride is by displaying the Disability Pride flag. Each color on the Disability Pride flag, pictured here, has its own meaning. Black represents disabled people who have lost their lives due to their disability, negligence, suicide, and eugenics; red represents physical disabilities; yellow represents cognitive and intellectual disabilities; white represents invisible and undiagnosed disabilities; blue represents mental illness; and green represents sensory perception disabilities.

As we celebrate Disability Pride Month at GHC, we invite you to join us in working to become an ALLY to those with disabilities. To be an ALLY means to:

  • Acknowledge and respect individual experiences and abilities.
  • Learn about different disability types.
  • Leverage your influence to promote accessibility and inclusion.
  • Yield the floor to people with disabilities to help identify and eliminate barriers.

This month and every month, please join us in celebrating Disability Pride, removing stigma, and working toward equality and justice for all.