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Celebrate Disability Pride!

Did you know that July is Disability Pride Month? We partnered with special exhibition Into the Brightness collaborators, Creativity Explored, Creative Growth, and the NIAD Art Center to co-create a list of ways anyone can celebrate and advocate for disabled people, and we’re sharing them with you!

Learn more about Into the Brightness: Artists from Creativity Explored, Creative Growth and NIAD.

Learn your disability history

Why do we celebrate in July? Disability Pride Month marks the anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, a landmark piece of legislation that broke down barriers to inclusion in society, which was passed on July 26, 1990. The ADA was built on decades of grassroots advocacy, protests, and lobbying by activists with disabilities. Other important events and figures in disability history include the Independent Living Movement, and Bay Area-based disability rights activist, writer, and founder of the Disability Visibility Project, Alice Wong.

Advocate for disability rights

Call out ableism when you see it. Support pro-disability rights legislation. Donate to or volunteer with disability services organizations. Practice cross-movement solidarity in your own community organizing. 

Practice inclusivity

The powerful motto, “Nothing about us without us,” urges society to include and center people with disabilities in conversations about disability. More ways to practice inclusivity include: Hire people with disabilities and pay them what they’re worth. Platform disabled people’s lived experiences, follow disability influencers, share their stories, and amplify their pride in the mainstream. Adopt inclusive language and avoid ableist language like “they’re confined to a wheelchair” or “she suffers from autism”. Avoid referring to people as “differently-abled” or “handi-capable.” Disabled is not a bad word, and is acceptable to use. 

Step up your accessibility efforts, on and offline

Check out organizations like KultureCity and AIRA who are creating sensory inclusive devices and experiences. Add a good accessibility widget to your website. Try making your social media feed more inclusive by using #CamelCaseHashtags for better readability, and add alt text to describe images to show your visually impaired followers you care about them. Design graphics with enough color contrast and large enough font sizes. More tips and tricks are all over social media.

Visit Into The Brightness: Artists from Creativity Explored, Creative Growth & NIAD

Into the Brightness: Artists from Creativity Explored, Creative Growth & NIAD, now on view at OMCA, celebrates myriad works from contemporary artists with developmental disabilities. From painting to sculpture to multimedia, these world-renowned artists are producing work of incredible power, exuberance, humor, complexity, and joy.

In 1972, Florence Ludins-Katz and Elias Katz established the first art institution dedicated to working with artists with disabilities. They were pioneers of independence and inclusion for disabled artists, founding all three Bay Area organizations – Creative Growth, Creativity Explored, and the NIAD Art Center.Into the Brightness, the largest exhibition in over ten years featuring the influential artists working at these organizations, is the perfect place to go and get inspired by artists who are pushing boundaries and looking at the world from new perspectives.