July is Disability Pride Month, originating in the United States after the passing of the Americans with Disabilities Act on July 26, 1990. It has since expanded into a global movement that recognizes those who face barriers every day due to a variety of conditions.
The Disability Pride flag was first designed by Ann Magill and has recently been refined by the Disabled Community to be more visually accommodating. Each element of the flag represents something different:
The Black Field represents mourning and rage; for those who are victims of Ableist violence, and also rebellion and protest.
The Five Colours represent the variety of needs and experiences (Invisible and undiagnosed disabilities, physical disabilities, neurodivergence, psychiatric disabilities, sensory disabilities).
The Parallel Stripes represent solidarity within the Disability Community and all its differences.
The Diagonal Band represents “Cutting across” barriers that separate disabled people; creativity and light cutting through the darkness.
The books listed below reflect just some of the many disabled experiences and/or call for greater disability justice and are amazing resources to help better understand those facing everyday challenges. Visit our online catalogue for a full list of recommended reads related to Disability Pride Month.
Essays – Disability Visibility edited by Alice Wong
A groundbreaking collection of first-person writing on the joys and challenges of the modern disability experience highlighting the passions, talents, and everyday lives of this very diverse community.
Non-fiction/Memoir – What Doesn’t Kill You by Tessa Miller
A riveting and candid account of a young journalist’s awakening to a life of chronic illness, weaving together her personal story with reporting to shed light on how Americans live with long-term diagnoses today.
General Fiction – Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin
The new book by the bestselling author of The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry, is a moving tale of friendship, success and the costs of fame. Sadie and Sam bond over a shared love of videogame design only to find success isn’t always what it seems. There is great disability and chronic pain representation through Sam, whose foot is mangled in a car accident and eventually needs to be amputated.
Young Adult Fiction – You, Me, and Our Heartstrings by Melissa See
A beautiful YA story about Daisy, a violinist with cerebral palsy and Noah a cello prodigy with anxiety. The two fall in love while auditioning for Julliard only to have their relationship scrutinized by the press that sees Daisy as an inspiration because of her disability and Noah as a “saint” for seeing past it.
Middle Grade – Fight + Flight by Jules Machias
A powerful middle grade book about two friends who undergo a traumatizing experience at school. The book has great disability and mental health representation for anxiety and panic attacks and Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome.
Content warning: Active shooter drill in school
Children – Sam’s Super Seats by Keah Brown; illustrated by Sharee Miller
A joyful picture book about a disabled girl with cerebral palsy who goes back-to-school shopping with her best friends, from #DisabledandCute creator and The Pretty One author, Keah Brown.