Disability Pride Parade Preparation

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City stages its first parade for disabled
New York City held its first parade 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, who has used a wheelchair since 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 was proud that his city is a national leader in supporting rights for people with disabilities.

The grand marshal was former senator Tom Harkin, an Iowa Democrat who 25 years ago sponsored the Americans With Disabilities Act.

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NEW YORK — New York City hosted its first parade 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, now 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 national leader in supporting rights for disabled people.

The grand marshal was former U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin, the Iowa Democrat who 25 years ago sponsored the Americans With Disabilities Act.

“I may be retired from the Senate, but I’m not retired from the fight,” Harkin said. “We know that when companies hire people with disabilities they get the best workers, the most loyal workers, the most productive workers.”

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 2 percent of New York’s yellow cabs are accessible, 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 federal act that aims to guarantee equal opportunities and rights for people with disabilities.

The city has planned a 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.”

Read more here: http://www.sanluisobispo.com/2015/07/12/3719063_ny-disability-pride-para...

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Michelle Kraus chants while she takes part in New York's first Disability Pride parade
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New York City hosted its first Disability Pride parade over the weekend. More than 3,000 participants marched on Broadway, many using wheelchairs, canes, walking frames and guide dogs.
Mayor Bill de Blasio kicked off the parade yesterday (12 July), saying his is proud that New York is a national leader in supporting rights for disabled people. He declared July "Disability Pride Month" in honour of the 25th anniversary of a federal act that aims to guarantee equal opportunities and rights for people with disabilities.
Former US Senator Tom Harkin, the Iowa Democrat who 25 years ago sponsored the Americans With Disabilities Act, was the parade marshal. "I may be retired from the Senate, but I'm not retired from the fight," Harkin said. "We know that when companies hire people with disabilities they get the best workers, the most loyal workers, the most productive workers."
De Blasio said his administration is "very, very committed 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".
About four percent of New York's yellow cabs are accessible for disabled people, said Allan Fromberg, a spokesman for the city's Taxi and Limousine Commission, compared to London, where every taxi can handle wheelchairs.
The Disability Pride NYC parade also featured performances from disabled musicians, dancers, comedians. "We're here full force," said rapper Namel Norris of the group 4 Wheel City, 33, now in a wheelchair after being shot in the Bronx and paralysed as a teenager. "I thought my life was over, but music is my calling, I have a purpose in life."

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A participant holds a sign saying "I can get there myself, I just need a ramp."
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About 3,000 people helped raise awareness about physical and mental disabilities during New York City's annual Disability Pride festivities in Manhattan at a rally near Madison Square Park and a parade down Broadway to Union Square.

an image of 2 kids in a wheelchair smiling in the Disability Pride Parade
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New York City held its first parade honoring people with disabilities Sunday.
Mayor Bill de Blasio addressed the crowd at the inaugural NYC Disability Pride Parade. He said he was proud of the city for being a national leader in supporting rights for disabled people. The parade route at Manhattan's Madison Square Park and went along Broadway to Union Square Park.

July is designated as Disability Pride Month in honor of the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which aims to guarantee equal opportunities and rights for people with disabilities.
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." - AP

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People participate in the first annual Disability Pride Parade. Two wheelchair users in front and dozens of people marching behind.
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Thousands of people marched through the streets of New York for the city's first Disability Pride Parade Sunday, AFP reports.

People in wheelchairs and with guide dogs and parents carrying their disabled children marched during a hot day through the center of Manhattan after Mayor Bill de Blasio kicked off the event.

The event, subtitled "Inclusion, Awareness, Visibility" saw people carrying signs asking for better access to public transport and housing.

"Disabled and proud," said a sign carried by a woman in a wheelchair.

A man carried another sign reading: "Just because I can't speak doesn't mean I don't have a lot to say."

Other signs demanded police stop killing disabled people, an issue recently in the spotlight in the country after police arrests ended in disabled peoples' deaths.

De Blasio said July was "disability pride month" in honor of the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

The march organized by the city is scheduled to be an annual event.

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New York City holds its first annual Disability Pride Parade on Sunday, featuring a procession from Madison Square Park down Broadway to Union Square. Let’s see what it takes to participate.

You can take the subway to an N, Q and R station at Madison Square, where 23rd St. and Broadway meets 5th Ave. Oh, sorry, it’s not wheelchair accessible.

The same goes for the No. 6 stop a block away at 23rd and Park, the PATH station on Sixth Ave., the No. 1 station at Seventh Ave. and 23rd and the C/E stop at Eighth Ave.

When the parade is over, the Union Square station does have elevators that give access to the L and N/Q/R lines, but not to the No. 4, 5 or 6 trains.

So how about hailing a yellow cab? Of the 13,587 cruising the streets, only 581, or 4%, are wheelchair accessible. Or you could call the Taxi and Limousine Commission’s Accessible Dispatch program through 311. We tried, and got an operator who could not say how long the wait for a cab would be (waits average 20 minutes).

Ten minutes later, we called back and spoke with an operator who offered to connect us with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s Access-A-Ride program. Unfortunately, you have to be pre-enrolled and reserve a ride a day or two in advance.

Then, a brainstorm. What about Uber, the super-popular smart-phone hail-a-car application? Of 19,969 Uber cars, not a single one can accommodate a wheelchair.

For official New York, the word shame should replace pride in the name of this parade.

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NY Daily News
Three people in wheelchairs marching in the NYC Disability Pride Parade. One holding a sign saying 'Better Together'
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Thousands of people marched through the streets of New York for the city's first Disability Pride Parade on Sunday.
People in wheelchairs and with guide dogs and parents carrying their disabled children marched during a hot day through the center of Manhattan after Mayor Bill de Blasio kicked off the event.
The event, subtitled 'Inclusion, Awareness, Visibility' saw people carrying signs of support and asking for better access to public transport and housing.

De Blasio said July was 'disability pride month' in honor of the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and that he was proud of the city being a national leader in supporting rights for disabled people.
The parade, organized by the city, is now scheduled to be an annual event. Its route started at Manhattan's Madison Square Park and went along Broadway to Union Square Park.
The closest subway station to this year's parade however, does not feature an elevator system to accommodate wheelchairs.
'I would say (it's) discriminating, in a way. We're celebrating access,' Dustin Jones, a disability rights activist who uses a wheelchair, still found a way to participate in the parade, told New York Daily News.

The nearest subway stations for the parade were at 34th Street-Herald Square or at the end of the parade at 14th Street. MTA did, however, set up pickup and dropoff locations for Access-A-Ride.
Though the lack of elevators in the nearest subway station could have been a potential hindrance, Disability Pride NYC executive director Michael Schweinsburg said it didn't appear to be an issue.
'Nobody has brought up any objection to the proximity of elevator subway stations to the event itself,' he told the Daily News before the parade.
And still, thousands of people still showed up to celebrate disability pride.
'Disabled and proud,' said a sign carried by a woman in a wheelchair.

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This month was full of city parades. Not only that, two weeks ago, the Gay Pride parade was enhanced by the Supreme Court’s gay-marriage decision, but also on Friday, another parade was held, celebrating the U.S women’s soccer team. The Disability Pride Parade, hosted by New York on Sunday completed the parade month. The event, supporting people with disabilities, had more than 3,000 participants using wheelchairs, canes and guide dogs.

Regarding the number of people with disabilities, it seems that about 800,000 New Yorkers are disabled; according to the advocacy group, Center for Independence of the Disabled, New York.
People with Disabilities Cheering and Chanting

The fact that people with disabilities unfortunately tend to be underrepresented in diversity initiatives is well known. This is one of the reasons why seeing the pride parade can be more overwhelming than imagined.

People holding high signs marched down Broadway on Sunday, in the city’s first Disability Pride parade. The atmosphere was more than celebratory.

However, even if this event is desirable, those in the parade, as well as the rest of the people, are aware of the problems that remain, particularly when it comes to employment, housing, discrimination and accessibility.

When addressing the crowd at the inaugural NYC Disability Parade, the Mayor Bill de Blasio showed how proud he was of the city for being a national leader in supporting rights for disabled people.
25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act

An important presence at the Pride Parade had the former Senator Tom Harkin. He was the Iowa Democrat who, 25 years ago, sponsored the Americans With Disabilities Act. The purpose of it is to improve the life of people with disabilities, aiming to guarantee them equal opportunities and rights. He proudly said that he is not going to retire from trying to help people with disabilities integrate with society, even if he retired from the Senate.
Disability Pride Month

July is designated as Disability Pride Month and in honor of the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, there were and are many other events specially created for New Yorkers with disabilities.

Read more at Clapway: http://clapway.com/2015/07/13/people-with-disabilities-cheered-and-chant...
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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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