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Reynoso, Disability Unite launch Disability Pride Month

July 14, 2023 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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Last week, Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso, in partnership with Disability Unite, a disability-rights coalition advocating equitable services and accessibility for all, kicked off Disability Pride Month in recognition of the more than one million New Yorkers with disabilities. 

During the afternoon celebration, sign language performers Kimberley Sue — who most recently performed at Mayor Adams’ State of the City Address – and friend Melody Oramas performed “Fight Song” by Rachel Platten. The Brooklyn Center for Independence of the Disabled (BCID) — a grassroots organization led by and for people with disabilities — led a 45-minute disability inclusion training session. 

Speeches were delivered by Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso, Disability Unite Founder Matt Axel, Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities Commissioners Christina Curry, Councilmember Shahana Hanif, Councilmember Mercedes Narcisse, Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon, Ms. Wheelchair NY Khalia Hayslett, BCID’s Lisa Gesson, and Debra Greif, a Brooklyn community advocate for more than 45 years.   

“We talk about how New York is a melting pot of people and cultures, but New York is also a mix of people of different mental and physical abilities. This diversity in people of different abilities is part of what makes our city as great as we are, and we should always be creating and fostering inclusivity at every turn for every single person who calls this city home. I’m grateful to join with Disability Unite to celebrate our borough’s diverse, beautiful, and powerful disability community,” said Reynoso.  

“Never before has city government across all five boroughs partnered with the disability community in such a way, to share a message of unity, advocacy, and pride,” said Axel. “By hosting this boroughwide celebration, Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso not only welcomes people with disabilities with open arms but takes real action demonstrating his commitment to achieve accessibility and inclusion for all New Yorkers.” 

The disability inclusion training session offered attendees an understanding of the culture and needs of the different segments within the disability community and shared suggestions for creating a more inclusive and welcoming space when connecting with people with disabilities. American Sign Language interpretation and captioning were provided.   

Disability Unite is an initiative of Project Access For All. Project Access For All is an organization run by many different partner organizations contributing finances and resource sharing and sharing the same message: “The disability community is loud, we’re proud, we vote and we will work together to make ourselves known.”

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