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Category: New York City

All Riders: The Fight for Accessibility is a poignant look at the intersectionality of accessibility in NYC

New York City, June 17 – Primary elections are underway in NYC and New Yorkers are thinking hard about the issues that matter most to them. Accessibility and disability and social justice are at the forefront of many minds, which makes All Riders: The Fight for Accessibility a perfect film to watch before heading to the booth. Shot the year before the COVID-19 pandemic, All Riders takes a poignant look at the intersectionality of unmet access needs within the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA).

Often thought of as synonymous with accessible transportation because of its extensive transit system, The Big Apple has continually fallen short of its goal to become “the most accessible city in the world.” Out of over 400 stations, less than 30% are accessible, a portion of those accessible in only one direction, and with daily elevator failures close to 25% based on data from 2014-2015, that can leave New Yorkers with less than 20% of stations accessible at any one time across the massive five borough system. This is a dismal number considering the Americans with Disabilities Act, which celebrates its 31st birthday this July, requires that all stations be accessible under federal law.

New York City’s Voter Registration Deadline is Today – What Voters Need To Do

New York, NY, May 28 – Today marks the final day to register to vote in the upcoming June 22 Primary Elections in New York City. Fortunately for New Yorkers with and without disabilities, anyone with a valid identification from the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles can register to vote online. You can directly and easily access that information by going to the DMV website.

If you want to register by mail, your registration will need to be postmarked today and mailed out to the Board of Elections. The address is 32 Broadway, 7 Fl New York, NY 10004-1609. Click here to download and complete the form.

If you would like to register in person, local board of elections offices are open until 5:00 p.m. Eastern today. To find your local office, go to the website.

Lastly, to vote in the November 2, 2021 general election, voters must be registered by October 8, 2021. Go to this website for a full list of upcoming voting deadlines.

Disability Supporter Cuomo Wins New York Gubernatorial Re-Election

Down Ballot Disability Supporters in New York City Also Win Big New York City, Nov. 8 – Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo has won re-election, defeating Republican challenger Marcus J. Molinaro for New York’s governorship. In the weeks prior to the election, Cuomo made new commitments on jobs for people with…

Disability Supporter Robert Jackson Wins NY District 31 Senate Seat

New York City, Nov. 8 – Longtime former City Council member and Democratic New York State Senate Candidate Robert Jackson wins the District 31 senate seat beating incumbent Marisol Alcantara (Independence Party) and Melinda Crump (Republican).

Jackson responded to disability issues questionnaire for New York City candidates for Senate and Assembly put out by RespectAbility, a nonpartisan, nonprofit national disability organization working to end stigmas and advanceopportunities for people with disabilities. The questionnaire to which Jackson responded gauges how candidates plan to tackle disability issues. This way, voters with concerns about disability policy know which candidates have the positions that they agree with the most. Jackson’s opponents, Alcantara and Crump, did not respond to the questionnaire despite repeated requests to their campaigns from RespectAbility.

Jackson fully responded to the five questions in the questionnaire, indicating what disability policy would mean for his administration. For instance, Jackson highlighted how he would tackle issues such as high unemployment rates amongst the disabled in New York.

“My plan is to work with [RespectAbility] and other advocates to reduce the unacceptably high unemployment rate among working-age persons with disabilities in New York,” said Jackson. “This plan should include early training and subsidized intern programs to help disabled people become part of the workforce when they are young and can build experience and credentials.”

Disability workforce programs can be vital in helping people with disabilities find stable employment, especially when people in the disability community face chronic joblessness. Currently, only 32.7 percent, or one third, of residents of New York City with disabilities between the ages of 18 to 64 are employed. In comparison, 58.4 percent of working-age residents of New York City without disabilities are employed.

To help address such issues, Jackson also plans on initiating other programs to help the disability community obtain a higher rate of employment. These programs include giving workers with disabilities tax credits to help offset expenses associated with their disabilities as well as providing transportation options so that people with disabilities can get to work in the first place.

Read Jackson’s full response below.

Disability Supporter Gottfried Re-Elected to NYS Assembly District 75

New York City, Nov. 8 – Democrat Richard Gottfried was re-elected to the New York State Assembly District 75 with no major party opposition in the midterm elections. While campaigning, Gottfried completed a disability issues questionnaire for New York City candidates put out by RespectAbility, a nonpartisan, nonprofit national disability organization working to end stigmas and advance opportunities for people with disabilities. The questionnaire asked candidates to answer five key questions that impact the 948,000 people with disabilities living in New York City.

While Gottfried did not answer each question, he submitted a statement in response. He highlighted his participation in the Assembly Health Committee, as well as his sponsorship of the NY Health Act, which aims to create universal, single-payer health coverage for the city of New York.

“I will be amending the bill in the 2019 legislative session to include long-term care (particularly home care),” Gottfried said in his statement.

Gottfried closed with a commitment to work with people with disabilities to meet their goals. “I believe strongly in working with groups. including people with disabilities, to learn from them what their priorities and needs are and what state policies and actions would be most effective, and then to work in whatever ways I can to help advance that agenda,” he said.

There are 455,186 working-age people with disabilities in New York City and only 150,074 have jobs. Currently, only 32.7 percent, or one third, of residents of New York City with disabilities between the ages of 18 to 64 are employed. In comparison, 58.4 percent of working-age residents of New York City without disabilities are employed.

View Gottfried’s full statement below:

Disability Supporter Jessica Ramos Wins NYS Senate District 13

New York City, Nov. 8 – Democrat Jessica Ramos won the New York State Senate District 13 seat in the midterm elections, defeating incumbent Jose Peralta. While campaigning, Ramos completed a disability issues questionnaire for New York City candidates put out by RespectAbility, a nonpartisan, nonprofit national disability organization working to end stigmas and advance opportunities for people with disabilities. The questionnaire asked candidates to answer five key questions that impact the 948,000 people with disabilities living in New York City. Ramos’ opponent, incumbent Jose Peralta, did not respond to requests to fill out the questionnaire.

In her response, Ramos highlighted her pledge to uplift people with disabilities economically. There are 455,186 working-age people with disabilities in New York City and only 150,074 have jobs. Currently, only 32.7 percent, or one third, of residents of New York City with disabilities between the ages of 18 to 64 are employed. In comparison, 58.4 percent of working-age residents of New York City without disabilities are employed.

“In addition to my commitment to hire a diverse staff, I will work to create more opportunities for people with disabilities,” she said. “I also support A2165/S55, which increases participation of businesses owned by people with disabilities, veterans, and LGBT+ in state contracts.”

Ramos also emphasized her commitment to building up communities whose need have previously been ignored.

“We’ve already begun creating an accessible space so that the community can come together and discuss the intersections of topics such as housing, public schools, transportation, etc. and making sure that we look at these topics through a different lens (this includes through a lens of people with disabilities),” she said. “This is the first [plan], but it won’t be our last community engagement event to make sure that all people have a seat at our table.”

Poverty, especially in major metropolises like New York, disproportionately impact women and girls, especially those of color. In total, there are 251,089 working-age women with disabilities living in New York City. Out of that number, 111,236 New York women living with disabilities have an income below the poverty level in one of the most expensive cities in the world. Likewise, in the City, only 29 percent of working-age African American women with disabilities and 24 percent of working-age Latina women with disabilities have jobs.

“Everyone deserves an opportunity to succeed and I am committed to working towards a future where marginalized people, particularly women of color, get an equal chance,” Ramose said. “Not only will I provide a platform for them, I will make sure they have the tools to organize and receive the resources they need.”

View Ramos’ full response to the questionnaire below: