This Is What New York City's First Disability Pride Parade Looked Like


On Sunday, July 12, nearly 3,000 people marched, wheeled and rode through the streets of New York City to celebrate the city’s first annual Disability Pride Parade.

IMG_9316

The parade honored the 25th anniversary of the Americans With Disabilities Act, which ensured civil rights protections to individuals with disabilities. Hundreds gathered near a stage in Madison Square Park to hear from speakers, including former U.S. Senator Tom Harkin, who sponsored the Americans with Disabilities Act and served as the parade’s Grand Marshal, and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.

“We will roll and ride and walk together for a more just New York City,” de Blasio announced just before the parade began.

IMG_9221
Mayor Bill de Blasio speaking

Also in attendance was hip-hop duo 4 Wheel City, a group made up of Namel “Tapwaterz” Norris and Ricardo “Rickfire” Velasquez. Both hip-hop artists are in wheelchairs due to gun violence and use their music to advocate for people with disabilities.

IMG_9194

“It’s really a celebration,” Anomie Fatale, who attended the parade from Philidelphia, told The Mighty. “It’s one of the few times you get to see the community as a whole. We’re all split up in our everyday lives, but we get to come together and you can really feel like it’s not just your struggle, it’s everyone’s. You feel part of the bigger picture. We’re celebrating unity.”

IMG_9377
Anomie Fatale

Andrea Dalzell, Ms. Wheelchair New York, led the parade down Broadway from Madison Square Park to Union Square, next to Victor Calise, commissioner of the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities.

IMG_9289

IMG_9291

The day was a glimpse into a better and attainable future, one where all portable restrooms are wheelchair-accessible, public performances and speeches come with sign language translators for the deaf, and people everywhere celebrate and embrace the differences among us.

Check out some more photos from Disability Pride below:

IMG_9352

IMG_9302

IMG_9344

 

IMG_9375

IMG_9319

 

IMG_9364

IMG_9282

IMG_9341

IMG_9272

IMG_9335

IMG_9228

IMG_9280

IMG_9333

IMG_9259

IMG_9248

IMG_9311

IMG_9381

 


Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.


Related to Disability

old flyer for a bike-a-thon that refers to people with disabilities as the 'r' word

When an Old Flyer Reminded Me How Far We’ve Come With the ‘R’ Word

Long ago (long, long ago) when I was 12 or 13, my friend, Sue, and I participated in a Bike-A-Thon. We met up with a couple of friends, Joe and Ron, who were also participating. I remember it being a lot of fun, with the exception of Susan smashing into and ruining Ron’s bike gears. [...]

When 4 People Tested My Faith in Humanity, 3 People Restored It

Dear Humanity, A few days ago I experienced various situations where the behavior of fellow humans discouraged me. It all really got to me. But I want you to know I’m not giving up on you. I attended my sister’s college graduation the other day. I was the beaming proud big sister anxiously walking into the packed university center with [...]

The Unique Challenges of Being a Woman of Color and Disabled

When I look in the mirror, I see someone whom society deems as disposable: I am Black, disabled, female and poor. When people see me, they automatically judge who I am, what I am capable of, and my worthiness before they hear me speak or know my name. Every day, I battle racism, sexism, ableism, [...]
Jimmy Kimmel awards Danielle Perez with a cruise

Jimmy Kimmel Gives Better Prize to 'Price Is Right' Contestant in Wheelchair Who Won a Treadmill

You may remember Danielle Perez from her appearance this week on “The Price is Right,” which has since gone viral. Perez, who uses a wheelchair, won a treadmill on the show. The comedian from Los Angeles handled the prize with grace and humor. Then she was invited to appear on “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” where she was offered another, much [...]