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July 2020

 

 

ADA 30th Anniversary Goes Virtual

As the Disability Pride Month approaches, we’re eager to see what organizations are presenting to celebrate our community! With social distancing practices in place, virtual and online events and programs are one of the main ways many are marking the milestone 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Among the many other cities and organizations we’ve heard from, NYC’s Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities (MOPD) is presenting a full array of events and programs for our community. The month of programming will be leading up to a grand celebration on July 26th called Disability Unite, which is being created in conjunction with the community consortium Project Access For All and a national Working Group.

With a name that says everything it stands for, Disability Unite is an inclusive, free virtual festival on a brand new platform that’s fully accessible. As Project Director Matt Axel put it, “Our platform is literally built around accessibility. From design of the Disability Unite logo through the design and development of the website and live stream center, we’ve been working alongside accessibility experts at the Mayor’s Office For People with Disabilities to ensure we’re not only employing best practices, but meeting the highest standards of digital accessibility.”

Hosted in the live stream center of the new platform, the four-hour online event will include three different virtual “stages”, replicating the festival performances that closed out the Disability Pride NYC parade in past years. Adults and children alike will enjoy a variety of musical and dance performances on “Stage 1”, with performances from a diverse array of artists with disabilities such as musical star Lachi and nightlife sensation Kevin Gotkin. “Stage 2” will host thought-provoking panel discussions surrounding important topics such as Self-Advocacy and the meaning of Disability Pride. To top it all off, “Stage 3” will include a marathon run of live gaming with gamers with disabilities participating from around the country.

“The program represents the wonderful diversity within our community” said MOPD Commissioner Victor unique ideas, thoughts and preferences are what make us so amazing, and we wanted to see that shown in the performances as well”.

So what drives the Disability Unite team forward? “We’re all about inclusion and community”, said Axel. “The fight for disability rights is still very much alive, and it’s only by coming together in a big way that we’ll make real change. There’s an open invitation to any organization, company or individual in NYC or around the country to Partner with us on this in this event. My inbox is open to any who wish to join. ”

With the excitement building every day, we look forward to seeing what Disability Unite has to offer.

For more information and to register for the free event, visit disabilityunite.org and follow Disability Unite on social media for updates as we get closer to Disability Pride month.





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