In recognition of the 27th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, thousands of New Yorkers with disabilities, along with their families and friends, celebrated the 3rd Annual Disability Pride Parade last Sunday, July 9.
“Ride on!” was the call just after 11 a.m. that launched the parade from Union Square Park up Broadway to Madison Square Park. Marchers shouted, “Disabled and proud!” to the delight of clapping and whistling spectators along the route. Carrying colorful balloons and banners from different organizations, the marchers revealed the diversity of New York’s disability community while at the same time showing their unity in excitement and enthusiasm.
The event was hosted by the Mayor’s Office for the People with Disabilities (MOPD) in support of its mission to promote the inclusion, awareness and visibility of people with disabilities while redefining the public perception of disabilities and its wide varieties.
“I am here to represent my community, to show everybody that it is important for us, like for anybody, to have inclusion and to be given opportunities,” said ICS member Yannick Benjamin.
Vernita Worrell, also an ICS member, chose the occasion of the parade to call attention to the threat to Medicaid posed by politicians in Washington. “We need to make people aware that we are here,” Vernita said, “that we are out in the street and living our lives instead of being stranded at home.”