Nearly 3,000 people gathered in New York yesterday for the city’s first ever Disability Pride parade, celebrating the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The parade began at Madison Square Park and ended in Union Square Park, where a big stage featured performances from disabled musicians, dancers, comedians and stars of TV, stage and screen including hip-arists 4 Wheel City.
“It was a really beautiful time, I made some new friends and met some old ones. I thought it was a great thing that people with all disabilities could come out, be celebrated and have a day where it’s all about ” said Dustin Jones, advocate and board member of Disabled in Action, a civil rights organization working to end discrimination against disabled New Yorkers in multiple arenas.
“On a regular basis most people with disabilities are over looked and misunderstood from all aspects.”
The parade was made possible by the all-volunteer nonprofit group Disability Pride NYC. Its founder and president is world renowned jazz pianist Mike LeDonne, whose daughter, Mary, was born with a very rare syndrome called Prader-Willi and another condition called hydrocephalus.
In 2012 Mike started the wheels in motion to create a Disability Pride Day, an annual event like any other ethnic parade in the New York City. He worked with the Mayor’s Office of People with Disabilities to establish the event, which will now become a yearly tradition.
Pride parades have also taken place in other U.S. cities like Chicago and Philadelphia.
Photos: Dustin Jones.
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