To mark the 25th anniversary of the historic Americans with Disabilities Act, the City of New York announced ADA25NYC. This series of events is intended to honor the achievements of the disability rights movement and support the future of the disabled community.
ADA25NYC is a celebration that will be held throughout the summer and the rest of 2015. The goal is to inspire New Yorkers to set and expect new standards for accessibility in the city and beyond.
The campaign is a collaboration involving the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities, the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, dozens of organizations that serve people with disabilities, cultural institutions, sports and recreational facilities, and community groups from across the city.
Mayor Bill de Blasio declared July “Disability Pride Month.” New York’s first annual Disability Pride Parade was held on Sunday, July 12. Over 3,000 people participated in the parade. They traveled up Broadway using wheelchairs, canes, and guide dogs. Former U.S. Senator Tom Harkin, who sponsored the ADA 25 years ago, served as grand marshal. He stressed the contributions that people with disabilities make to the workforce.
A series of commemorative lectures and seminars will be held at CUNY campuses throughout New York City. The ADA Legacy Tour will visit the city, and an exhibit called “Gaining Access: The New York City Disability Rights Movement” will be open to the public at the Brooklyn Historical Society. The ADA Sapolin Awards will honor significant contributions to the cause of accessibility. Several other events will be held across New York City.
De Blasio said he is proud that New York is a national leader in supporting rights for people with disabilities. He said his administration is committed to making more of the city’s taxis wheelchair accessible. Currently 4 percent are accessible. He said he wants New York to be more like London, where every taxi is wheelchair accessible.
We are excited to see New Yorkers coming together to celebrate the ADA and the contributions of the disabled community. We hope that these events and others like them across the country will increase awareness of the needs and potential of disabled people and help progress continue to be made.