Honoring Disability Pride Month

Each July, timed to coincide with the anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act being passed in 1990, Disability Pride Month celebrates people with disabilities, honors their contributions and achievements, spotlights their ongoing advocacy for justice and equity, and work to educate and remove stigma around the very idea of “disability.”

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, approximately 13% of the American population, or nearly 42.5 million people, have some type of disability. The Bureau of Labor Statistics, meanwhile, has researched people with disabilities in the workforce, noting key statistics such as:

  • 3% of people with disabilities were employed in 2022, compared to 65.4% of those without disabilities.
  • Half of the population with disabilities falls into the 65+ age range.
  • The unemployment rate for persons with a disability was about twice as high as the rate for persons without a disability.
  • 30% of workers with a disability were employed part-time, compared with 16% among those without a disability.
  • People with disabilities are more likely to be self-employed than those without disabilities.

Although the ADA is over 30 years old, and disability advocates are continually working to raise awareness, people with disabilities still face challenges and discrimination. Their struggles encompass everything from employment equity to appropriate healthcare access to financial complications and more. The sheer bureaucracy of it all can make it even more difficult for them to pursue their passions, get the access they need, and live with the dignity they deserve.

Calling For Disability Pride Month Attention

One part of Disability Pride Month is about continuing to call attention to these issues that need urgent addressing. The other part, though, is right there in the name: pride, in what makes each and every individual valuable and remarkable. Disability Pride is about combating ableism and the stigmas around disability. It shows the vibrancy and diversity of life among people with disabilities, and it breaks free of stereotypes around disability as something to be hidden or pitied.

Disability Pride Month also offers an ideal opportunity for companies to consider how their own commitments to DEI extend to disability rights and inclusion. “Disability” encompasses a very wide range of conditions and individuals, which means that flexibility and openness are critical to any policy designed to maximize inclusivity and provide real support for people with disabilities in the workplace.

A few questions that might help, at least to start, might be:

  • How does your physical space take disability into account? Do elements like hallways, floors, restrooms, and doors take into account people who use mobility aids?
  • Has your workplace designed or updated visual items (i.e., computers, signage, presentations) to improve accessibility for those with visual disabilities?
  • What policies or options are in place to ensure accessibility for individuals with hearing-related disabilities?
  • Does your organization consider both physical and intellectual disabilities when developing policies?
  • Are your team-building activities accessible, or could they pose a concern for some individuals?
  • Does your team prioritize feedback from individuals with disabilities? How is feedback requested and incorporated?
  • Is your HR team well-trained and up-to-date on legal requirements, anti-discrimination, and related topics? Are there protocols in place to ensure any violations are handled swiftly and appropriately?
  • What trainings are in place to improve awareness and understanding and to reduce microaggressions or other issues?

At Kaizen HR, we celebrate vibrancy and diversity this month and all year. We’re proud to celebrate Disability Pride Month, and we hope you’ll join us as advocates for justice, inclusion, and continuous positive change.

By Rose Dorta

Are you a high-performing leader or believe you have the potential to tackle a more challenging role? Would you be interested in career opportunities that are seeking these attributes?

I’d love to chat with you and answer any questions that you have. Email me, Rose Dorta, Managing Director of Kaizen HR Solutions, here.


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