Opinion | We need Disability Pride Month

Despite progress, Disability Pride Month during July is worthy of more attention because people with disabilities struggle with self-confidence and often face barriers.


Ally Pronina, Opinions Columnist

July’s celebration of disability pride is one of the many awareness months that deserves more media and societal awareness. More recognition of disability pride can increase the confidence of people with disabilities and remove any barriers which still exist.

As someone with Turner syndrome, a genetic disorder resulting from a missing X chromosome and causing short stature,  I can make a grocery list of aspects of my life which are viewed as something to not take pride in. Infertility, lack of physical strength, and being the least-healthiest person in the room most of the time are only some examples.

A research study found girls with Turner syndrome who receive growth hormone shots as perceiving themselves as attractive, intelligent, having a lot of friends, and being more popular than girls who did not receive it.

None of these factors have anything to do with one’s height, but these girls feel so self-conscious that they get more confidence in all aspects of life just by taking growth hormone shots and growing a couple inches. One’s whole confidence and self-worth should not revolve around height. Disability Pride Month can help these girls realize this.

Simon Reichel, a University of Iowa student with autism and sinustachycardie, a condition in which the heart beats faster than usual, said Disability Pride Month is a time to take pride in an aspect of yourself usually frowned upon by society.

Reichel said the UI and Iowa City should do more to recognize Disability Pride Month because there are many patients with disabilities at the UI Hospitals and Clinics.

“It’s a way for disabled people to take pride in themselves and their strengths,” Reichel said.

He said July is a time to recognize the barriers people with disabilities still face, including marriage inequality.

Some people with disabilities have to choose between getting married and losing their SSI and Medicaid coverage. If two people with disabilities get married and have their assets combined, which is often higher than qualifications for the coverage, they both will lose Medicaid coverage.

Another barrier is even though it is not controversial that we should be kind to people with disabilities, it still is something which does not always happen.

A research study found children with disabilities are two to three times more likely to be bullied than their peers. People with visible conditions are more likely to be called names and excluded from social activities.

Natalie Weaver, a mom of a girl with Rhett syndrome named Sophia, was sent an anonymous tweet saying her daughter should not be alive just because she has facial deformities.

Disability pride is needed so people like the anonymous user realize how horrendous the action was and a facial deformity should not prevent someone from being a human being with the right to live.

I am proud I want to use being infertile adopt a child and make their dream come true. I’m proud of surviving years of nightly growth hormone shots.

Disability pride is needed to help people struggling with self-confidence and improve societal acceptance. Pride is realized in a world where we are constantly told we can be anything, those of us with disabilities already have value, worth, and humanity just the way we are.


Columns reflect the opinions of the authors and are not necessarily those of the Editorial Board, The Daily Iowan, or other organizations in which the author may be involved.