disability pride flag with grey background and muted colorful tones cutting diagonally through it

July is Disability Pride Month, which incorporates the anniversary of the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). As we conclude the month, here is a guide to the Disability Pride Flag that you’ve probably seen this month.

In 2019, Ann Magill created the original Disability Pride flag. She updated it in 2021 for greater accessibility. The original included a lightning bolt design that had a strong symbolic meaning, but which caused a flickering effect when scrolled on electronic devices. This impacted people with visually triggered disabilities, such as seizures and migraine. The new flag’s muted colors were chosen for their better effect on this community, and were also carefully grouped to make the image more accessible to people with color blindness.

Like other Pride Flags, Disability Pride is a way for the community to demonstrate pride in their identity, raise awareness and break down stigmas. The flag’s colorful diagonal band represents solidarity in the community as it “cuts through” the darkness of the background – the barriers that separate and alienate disabled people from society.

The colors of the flag have further significance:

  • Charcoal: The dark grey background commemorates disabled people who have died due to ableism, violence, negligence, suicide, rebellion, illness and eugenics. It also represents rage and protest against the mistreatment of the disabled community.
  • Red: physical disabilities
  • Gold: cognitive and intellectual disabilities (including autism and ADHD)
  • White: nonvisible and undiagnosed disabilities
  • Blue: psychiatric disabilities (including PTSD, depression, anxiety)
  • Green: sensory disabilities (including hearing loss, visual impairments)

Did you know that MVES works with people with disabilities and their caregivers, in addition to older adults? Please check out our website to learn more, or call our office at 781-324-7705 to find out how we can assist you.

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