Every person on Discord brings a unique perspective and has different ways of relating to the world. We at Discord’s DisAbilities Employee Resource Group are proud to foster a space within the company that acts as a home for anyone who identifies as disabled, those who may be managing physical or mental health issues, and the allies supporting them.
Over the years, we’ve been hard at work improving the app in ways big and small to benefit everyone. The DisAbilities ERG helps support through guidance and advice on what can benefit the community, and Discord teams collaborate with a dedicated accessibility-focused community of users who navigate the platform in unconventional ways to learn how to improve the platform in ways that benefit everyone.
As we continue to celebrate Disability Pride Month with new features, we’re taking some today to share what it’s all about, the meaning behind the colors you may notice in our blog header, and some wonderful resources and communities we think are a great place to learn about and support the Disabled community.
What *is* Disability Pride Month?
Disability Pride Month was first held to observe the passing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) on July 26th, 1990. If you’ve ever been somewhere that offers alternative methods to traverse space, such as ramps next to staircases, that’s one of the many ways of ADA in action.
Since the passing of the ADA act, the goal of Disability Pride Month has been to help eradicate stigma and encourage inclusion for all ability statuses. Disability Pride Month is recognized by organizations such as the National Foundation for the Blind, National Council for Independent Living, American Association of People with Disabilities, and the Center for American Progress Disability Justice Initiative.
The Disability Pride Flag
The Disability Pride Flag (shown above) was designed by Ann Magill, a disabled poet and artist, and given a refresh in 2021 for improved accessibility. Everything from the colors chosen, to the blank space surrounding the stripes, and even the diagonal angle that the stripes take, all represent something of importance to the community.
As explained by Ann Magill herself on Reddit, the colors and design represent the following:
- Having All Six "Standard" Flag Colors: signifying that the Disability Community is pan-national, spanning borders between states and nations.
- The Black Field: Mourning and rage for victims of ableist violence and abuse
- The Diagonal Band: "Cutting across" the walls and barriers that separate the disabled from normate society, also light and creativity cutting through the darkness
- The White Stripe: Invisible and Undiagnosed Disabilities
- The Red Stripe: Physical Disabilities
- The Gold Stripe: Neurodivergence
- The Blue Stripe: Psychiatric Disabilities
- The Green Stripe: Sensory Disabilities
Ann Magill added it to the public domain, so we incorporated the colors of the Disability Pride Flag within the blog header at the very top of this post! We’re thrilled to help share the flag and its importance with the wider Discord community via the blog and hope you all wave it proudly and get creative wherever you’re most comfortable.
Further Ways to Learn and Support the Community
We can’t end this post without sharing the spotlight with some of our favorite organizations, bots and creators within the Disabled community! Below are just a few of the projects and people that we love — we think you’ll enjoy their content as well:
- AbleGamers: a charity organization working to make video games more accessible.
- Jessica Kellgren-Fozard: A deaf and disabled YouTuber creating fun educational content.
- aaronwheelz: A professional wheelchair motocross pioneer. (WCMX for short.)
- RockyNoHands: A tetraplegic member of Luminosity who uses a QuadStick to game.
- Zara Beth: TikTok influencer and Discord Partner with Tourette syndrome.
- PluralKit: a bot aimed at users of Discord with Dissociative Identity Disorder.
If you’d like to learn more about how Discord tackles Accessibility, check out our recent post about how we’ve been improving the app, and how we’re working to be WCAG Level 2.1 AA compliant in the near future.
We hope Discord is a place where everyone can find a place to call home, and where nothing stands in the way of you expressing your true self. If you’ve got your own ideas on what sorts of additions and improvements can benefit everyone and everybody, check out our A11Y Feedback Form or our Discord Feedback site.
From all of us at the DisAbilities ERG: Happy Disability Pride Month!