Celebrate Disability Pride Month

Six people stacking their hands on top of each other, all wearing fidget rings.

July is Disability Pride Month! According to the World Health Organization, roughly 16% of the world's population lives with a disability. 

Disabilities can be visible or hidden, depending on if you can tell from the outside that someone is living with a disability. some people are born with disabilities while others experience disabilities later in life. 

To celebrate, we are launching two new elements that represent Disability Pride. The first is a Magnifying Glass and the second is a Sunflower. 

Before we get into the significance of those two elements, let's talk about what Disability Pride Month is and the history of how it came to be. 

The History of Disability Pride Month

Before getting into celebrations, it's important to understand the history of Disability Pride Month. 

It's celebrated in July because on July 26, 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was passed. The ADA protects people with disabilities from discrimination in many ares of public life. 

The first celebration happened in Boston right after the ADA was passed. They celebrated a Disability Pride Day. The first parade was thrown in Chicago in 2004. The first official Disability Pride Month was celebrated in 2015, the 25th anniversary of the passage of the ADA, in New York. 

Now, people across the country celebrate Disability Pride Month every July. 

Understanding Disability Pride Month

Now that you know the history, let's talk about what it means to celebrate and how it is viewed by the disability community. 

The American Bar Association had a great definition for what Disability Pride Month is, "[Disability Pride Month] celebrates disabled persons embracing their disabilities as integral parts of who they are. [It's a] time for the disability community to come together, uplift, and amplify one another's voices". They then go on to describe it as, "accepting and honoring each person's uniqueness and seeing it as a natural and beautiful part of human diversity". 

That's really the key to understanding Disability Pride Month. It's about embracing and accepting one's disabilities as who they are. 

The Specially Gifted Foundation further explains Disability Pride as a time for the disability community to reclaim visibility in public spaces—where they have historically been pushed out of. It's a month to celebrate all the accomplishments of the disability community, while also discussing the work that still needs to be done to reach equality. 

Pride vs Awareness

In the same article from the Specially Gifted Foundation, they discuss why the focus of July is on pride instead of awareness. 

They included a quote from Emily Ladau, a disability rights advocate, in an interview she did with the Youth Intervention Programs Association (YIPA) on why July is the time to celebrate Disability Pride instead of raising awareness for disabilities. 

Emily said, "I often think of the term awareness as something that we use when we're talking about something that we want to solve, a problem to be fixed. Disability is not a problem to be fixed, it's a culture, it's an identity. It's something that so many of us celebrate".

Historically, disability has a negative connotation. So many of us believe that it means something is wrong with a person. That they need to be fixed. Disability Pride Month aims to debunk that mindset. 

The Magnifying Glass and The Sunflower

Person using Magnifying Glass Fidget Ring to see text on a page

As mentioned above, we are launching two new elements to partake in Disability Pride Month celebrations! We chose a magnifying glass and a sunflower because both are representative of the disability community. 

Magnifying Glass

The Magnifying Glass element is an actual magnifying glass! It is in the shape of an oval and is actually functional!

It is the size of our regular oval elements so it is relatively small compared to a regular-sized magnifying glass. However, if you have reduced vision, it could be nice to have your own little magnifying glass on hand. It's not always convenient to carry around a full-sized magnifying glass. 


Sunflowers are a globally recognized symbol of hidden disabilities. It was established in 2016 in the UK as a way for people to let others know that they have a disability that might not be visible. 

A sunflower was chosen because it symbolizes happiness, positivity, strength, and confidence. 

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE) is piloting a Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Program where they are offering Sunflower lanyards, buttons, and other merchandise that can signal to people when someone has a hidden disability. 

Disability Pride Month encompasses all disabilities—both visible and hidden. According to SIUE, approximately 1 in 10 people in the US has a hidden disability. Some examples of hidden disabilities are autism, chronic pain, learning disabilities, and mental health conditions. Just because you can't see someone's disability on the outside doesn't mean that it isn't significantly impairing their daily life. 

Some people with hidden disabilities choose to wear things with sunflowers on them to signal to people in public spaces that they have a disability and might need extra support or time in the space they're in. 

You can wear the sunflower element on a ring, necklace, bracelet, or keychain to let people know that you have a hidden disability. It can also be a way during Disability Pride Month to spark conversation about your disability and how you are celebrating it in July. 

Additional Elements

Beyond the magnifying glass and the sunflower, we have other designs that represent the disability community! 

Our Braille designs are perfect for those in the CONQUERing community that are blind or partially sighted. We have 5 different word choices, all written in braille! The word choices are: Breathe, CONQUER, Enough., LOVED, and STRONG. 

The ILY Sign Language Symbol element shows the symbol for "I Love You" in American Sign Language (ASL). This element can be gifted to a member of the deaf community to show them that you love them! You could also wear this element to signal to members of the deaf community that you know ASL. 

Finally, our Infinity Symbol / MINDS of all KINDS element celebrates everyone in the neurodivergent community. We chose that symbol and phrase because it reminds us to celebrate the spectrum of minds and talents exhibited by the neurodivergent community. 

Join in the Celebrations!

Now that you know more about Disability Pride Month, join in on the celebrations in July! You might be able to find celebrations in your area to meet other people in the disability community. 

If you aren't disabled, July would be a great time to start researching the fight for equal rights and to amplify the voices of members in the disability community. 

Happy Disability Pride Month!

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