Disability Pride Parades

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Disability Pride Parade 2011 participants.

Disability Pride Parades are parades held to celebrate people with disabilities.[1]

Disability Pride Parades have been held in several places across the United States, including Chicago, Philadelphia, Houston, Atlanta, Silicon Valley/Santa Clara County, Detroit, Colorado Springs, New Jersey, and Columbus as well as around the world in locations such as Norway, South Korea, and the United Kingdom.[2]

The first Disability Pride Day was held in Boston, MA in 1990. The featured speaker was Karen Thompson, author of "Why Can't Sharon Kowalski Come Home?" The Boston Disability Pride Parade was held again in 1991, but has not been held since. It ended with the death of lead organizer, Diana Viets, and with the move of co-organizer Catherine Odette to Madison, WI.


Disability Pride Parades seek to change the way people think about and define disability, to end the stigma of disability, and to promote the belief that disability is a natural and beautiful part of human diversity in which people living with disabilities can take pride.[3]

Disability Pride Parades also usually coincide with Disability Pride Week in the communities where they are held.

Chicago Disability Pride Parade[edit]

The Chicago Disability Pride Parade was the first parade in the United States after the Boston-based parades of the 1990s.[4] It was held on July 18, 2004, and another Disability Pride Parade has been held in Chicago each subsequent July.[1] The first Chicago parade was funded with $10,000 in seed money that Sarah Triano received in 2003 as part of the Paul G. Hearne Leadership award from the American Association of People with Disabilities.[5] According to Triano, fifteen hundred people attended the parade.[5] Yoshiko Dart was the parade marshal.[6] The most recent Disability Pride Parade in Chicago was held July 21, 2012, with the theme "Disability Pride: Today, Tomorrow, and Forever".

The Chicago Disability Pride Parade has a theme and a grand marshal each year.

Chicago Disability Pride Parade Date Theme Grand Marshal
July 18, 2004 Unified in Pride Yoshiko Dart
July 23, 2005 Unity Builds Community Steven Brown
July 22, 2006 Celebrating Disability Arts and Culture Robert David Hall
July 21, 2007 Celebrating Worldwide: Disabled, Proud, Present, Diverse Kathy Martinez
July 26, 2008 Pride Realized Is Destiny Empowered Tony Coelho
July 25, 2009 Changing to Pride Amber Smock
July 24, 2010 Pride Revolution Eli Clare
July 23, 2011 Disability Pride is Contagious Catherine Odette
July 21, 2012 Disability Pride: Today, Tomorrow, and Forever Linda Miller
July 20, 2013 Disability Pride: 10 Years Strong and Growing Stronger Karen Meyer


  1. ^ a b Dunnigan, Pat (July 23, 2010). "Disability Pride Parade kicks off Saturday". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 13 December 2011. 
  2. ^ "SVILC". Silicon Valley Independent Living Center. Retrieved August 18, 2012. 
  3. ^ "Our Mission". The Disability Pride Association. 5 December 2011. Retrieved 13 December 2011. 
  4. ^ "Home Page of Disability Pride Parade". Chicago Disability Pride Parade. Retrieved August 18, 2012. 
  5. ^ a b "Disability Pride Fast Becoming Genuine Cause for Celebration". http://www.itodaynews.com. Retrieved July 11, 2013. 
  6. ^ "The Inaugural International Disability Pride Parade Unified in Pride Sunday, July 18, 2004 Chicago, Illionis". http://www.disabilityprideparade.com. Retrieved July 11, 2013. 

External links[edit]