Disability Pride Month occurs worldwide in July and has been celebrated in the UK since 2017, having originated in the United States to commemorate the passing of the Americans with Disabilities Act in July 1990. Similar legislation was passed in the UK with the Disability Discrimination Act 1995, later replaced by the Equality Act 2010.

An annual event that allows the disabled community to celebrate their differences and achievements, Disability Pride Month is also an opportunity to raise awareness to wider communities about the challenges that disabled people face. It is a time to acknowledge that we all live in a society that is frequently not built to accommodate disabled people.

Senior associate Lauren Atkinson and paralegal Rosa Fattorini explain the importance of the month in this short article.


Raising awareness

In the UK, one in five people live with a disability. Disability Pride Month creates the opportunity to have positive and productive conversations. July is a time to raise awareness about ableism and the stigma around disability, but also an opportunity to recognise achievements in order to combat this stigma and highlight disabled peoples’ abilities as well as their disabilities.

Within the law, it is especially important to recognise the barriers that disabled people face. Statistics collected by the SRA reveal that in 2021 only 6% of lawyers and 8% of other staff in law firms declared that they had a disability, compared to 16% of the workforce across the UK. The SRA believes that disability is underreported in the legal profession, and that ongoing stigmas prevents many people in the disabled community from discussing their disability in the workplace. They instead chose to face obstacles in silence and without support.

Disability Pride Month is a chance to start conversations to change this, and for those who are not in the disabled community to find out what they can do to show support.


Celebrating differences

There are a number of ways to engage with and support Disability Pride Month. This can be as simple as taking time to conduct your own research, sharing articles, and starting conversations with those around you.

The Disability Pride flag symbolises the range of experiences and obstacles within the disabled community including physical disabilities, neurodiversity, non-visible and undiagnosed disabilities, mental illnesses and sensory disabilities.

There are also a number of events taking place to mark Disability Pride Month in July –  Brighton and Chester have previously held Diversity Pride Parades. In 2024, the Leeds Scope Community Hub is holding a series of free events including information sessions and employment workshops. Find out if there’s an event taking place near you, and engage to the extent you can with Disability Pride Month throughout July.



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