Disability and Pride


Happy Disability Pride Month! 🎉

This month marks 34 years since the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) came into effect in 31 years since I broke my neck training for Junior Olympic Nationals in gymnastics. Wow, we’ve seen some incredible changes since then! There’s been a huge move toward social acceptance and a lot less discrimination in our daily interactions.

Despite all this progress, physical barriers are still everywhere, making it tough to access the basics of daily life. That’s why I’m here to shine a light on these issues and emphasize the importance of true inclusion. People with disabilities bring so much value to our communities, and it’s high time we recognized that.

I’m committed to doing whatever it takes to make sure people like me don’t have to research, call, worry, and consult special apps just to participate in daily life outside our own bubbles. We need to improve access to all public spaces and lead with pride, showing others that there’s no shame in having different abilities and we deserve equitable access to the community. I want to have compassionate conversations that lead to understanding and create advocates.

Honestly, this might be the first Disability Pride Month where I truly connect with my disability in a healthy and integrated way. I’m seeing it as part of who I am, not just an obstacle to hide. I used to not even be able to look at a picture of my entire self with the wheels because I couldn’t merge the idea of how I felt with what I look like. As you can see with this post, I’m not afraid of that anymore. And you know what? I’m incredibly proud of that.

I want to give a huge shout-out to Reveca Torres, Monica Quimby, and BACKBONES for helping me embrace my own power during the leadership training I received. It was truly eye opening and life-changing.

Let’s celebrate together! Ask me how we can work together to make the world a better place for everyone. 🌟

Allaina Humphreys is an alumni of the BACKBONES Leaders Program (2023). She is the Owner and Design Director of Free Wheelin’ Design. She solves clients’ problems with skills honed over the last 29 years since a spinal cord injury sustained while training for gymnastics nationals changed the way she could create art. Allaina is also the Founder, Co-chair, and Community Outreach Director for Bolingbrook Pride, Vice Chair of Bolingbrook Arts Council, and on the Accessible Community Task Force of Naperville. She devotes herself to making the world a better place for those in marginalized communities. Her many initiatives, positive attitude, open heart, and endless zeal for bringing people together to improve lives led to her being named female citizen of the year in Bolingbrook for 2021. When not engaged in community work, Allaina is Mama-bear to three children, two dogs, three ferrets, a gecko, many fish, and just celebrated 20 years of marriage to her very best friend.