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Mayor Bill de Blasio and former U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin march in the first Disability Pride Parade in Manhattan on July 12, 2015.
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Roger Stern
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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — New York City hosted its first parade honoring people with disabilities Sunday.
Mayor Bill de Blasio spoke to kick off the inaugural NYC Disability Pride Parade. He said he was proud of the city being a national leader in supporting rights for disabled people.
The parade route started at Manhattan’s Madison Square Park and went along Broadway to Union Square Park.

NYC Hosts Its First Disability Pride Parade
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Participants used wheelchairs, canes and seeing-eye dogs.
Anomie Fatale was riding a scooter. She told WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell she was there in part because of the unity.
“It’s pretty powerful because it makes you realize that your struggles are not yours,” Fatale said. “It’s a bigger problem that you can all work through together.”
Vivian from Bayside, Queens, was there with a guide dog.

NYC Hosts Its First Disability Pride Parade
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“We’re able to show our pride for the way we live and how we are able to function and be full citizens of society,” she told 1010 WINS’ Roger Stern. “So I think it’s great we actually have a parade to celebrate, first time ever.”
“While we have disabilities, we are in no sense unable. … We are as capable as anyone,” said Mike Schweinsburg, one of the parade’s organizers.
July is designated as Disability Pride Month in honor of the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act that aims to guarantee equal opportunities and rights for people with disabilities.
While wheelchair-accessible buildings and transit have become more common, economic self-sufficiency is not.
“It is a blot on our national character that so many people with disabilites are unemployed,” said retired U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin, who was the driving force behind the Americans with Disabilities Act and served as the parade’s grand marshal.
The city has planned a monthlong series of events relating to New Yorkers with disabilities. That includes an exhibit at the Brooklyn Historical Society titled “Gaining Access: The New York City Disability Rights Movement.”

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JOSE VICTOR A. L. CALAPATIA
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New York City's first-ever Disability Pride Parade may prove to be prety inaccessible for some, as most local subway stops do not have elevators.

A celebration of disabled New Yorkers’ fight for access is pretty inaccessible.

The city’s first ever Disability Pride Parade on Sunday is located in a part of Manhattan that’s lacking in elevator-equipped subway stations.

“I would say (it’s) discriminating, in a way. We’re celebrating access,” said Dustin Jones, a wheelchair-bound disability rights activist who will participate in the parade. “Yet, you still have to go out of your way to get to the parade.”

More than 3,500 people in the disability community have signed up to take over Broadway, according to organizers.

The nearest accessible stations to the route — Broadway between Madison Square Park and Union Square — are at 34th Street-Herald Square or at the end of the parade at 14th St.To make the trek easier, the MTA is setting up special pickup and dropoff spots for Access-A-Ride.

The City Hall area — with the fully accessible Fulton Center and City Hall stations — would have given more travel options to parade attendees, Jones said.

Disability Pride NYC executive director Michael Schweinsburg said the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities Commissioner Victor Calise suggested the route. “We embraced it immediately,” Schweinsburg said. “Nobody has brought up any objection to the proximity of elevator subway stations to the event itself.”

But the accessibility situation will not stay that way for long.The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is on its way to 100 accessible subway stations by 2020, with 15 stops left to go, according to agency spokesman Kevin Ortiz.

Edith Prentiss, a transit and disability advocate who uses a power chair, stressed patience with the slow pace of accessible travel in the city.

“You don’t have an access station at Madison Square Park,” she said. “They don’t have accessible stations in a lot of places in the city.”

Disability Pride Charade is more fitting moniker for this event. See page 32

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Jessica Delarosa, and her dog Mayim, and two other wheelchair marchers participate in the inaugural Disability Pride Parade
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New York City hosted its first parade on Sunday supporting people with disabilities, with more than 3,000 participants heading up Broadway using wheelchairs, canes and guide dogs.

“We’re here full force,” said rapper Namel Norris, 33, in a wheelchair after being shot in the Bronx and paralyzed as a teenager. “I thought my life was over, but music is my calling, I have a purpose in life.”

Mayor Bill de Blasio kicked off the inaugural NYC Disability Pride Parade, saying he’s proud his city is a leader in supporting rights for disabled people.

The grand marshal was former US Senator Tom Harkin, the Democrat who 25 years ago sponsored the Americans With Disabilities Act. De Blasio said his administration is “very, very committed already on the issue of accessible taxis, but all Tom Harkin had to do was say London was doing better to get my competitive fire going,” the mayor said, laughing.

About 4 percent of New York’s yellow cabs are accessible, said Allan Fromberg, a spokesman for the city’s Taxi and Limousine Commission, compared to London, where every taxi can handle wheelchairs.

In New York City, de Blasio declared July as “Disability Pride Month” in honor of the 25th anniversary of the landmark U.S. act that aims to guarantee equal opportunities and rights for people with disabilities

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image of disability pride parade in Chicago
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NEW YORK: First Disability Pride Parade NYC 2015– To end stigma of disability, New York holds its first ever disability parade.

Disability Pride Parade NYC have been held in several places across the United States, including Chicago, Philadelphia, Houston, Atlanta, 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.

Thousand of people came to join New York’s first Disability Pride Parade NYC, held to celebrate people with disabilities.

It was in year 1990 when the first Disability Pride Day was held in Boston.

The ‘Disability pride parade’ seeks to change the way people think about and define disability.

It is also a way to promote the belief that disability is a natural and beautiful part of human diversity in which people living with disabilities can take pride.

Previously, New York City held its first Disability Pride Parade where Tom Harkin was its grand marshal, who 25 years ago sponsored the Americans With Disabilities Act.

The people joined the said event marched in the inaugural, July 12, 2015.

This coincides with the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, thus, calls attention to the rights of people with disabilities.

Participants using wheelchairs, canes and guide dogs headed Broadway as they enjoyed the event.

“Inclusion, Awareness, Visibility” the big event is subtitled, as participants were carrying signs, printed with their feelings and intentions.

According to Mayor Bill de Blasio , he’s proud his city is a national leader in supporting rights for disabled people.

“Just because I can’t speak doesn’t mean I don’t have a lot to say.” one of sign reading carried by man.

New York then planned a series of events on New Yorkers with disabilities. Image / Disability Pride Parade ’06 in Chicago

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