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First Annual Disability Pride Parade to Captivate the Big Apple

(Original article from Abilities.com by Amy Meisner-Threet, DPNYC board member, MSW, SAG-AFTRA. Read the full article here.)

This year’s historic First Annual Disability Pride Parade will take place Sunday, July 12, 2015 in New York City. The day will be a celebration of people with disabilities joined by their families, friends and thousands of New Yorkers who make up this diverse city. Come and enjoy the music, dance, comedy and speakers!

The program begins in Madison Square Park at 10 am, with a pre-parade show and rally. The Parade kicks off at noon, and will proceed down Broadway to Union Square, through the well-ramped entrance on 16th Street. There will be ramps, curb cuts and barriers set up to enter the plaza. The NYPD along with volunteers will be available to assist people in an organized fashion.

Awe-Inspiring Talent Headlines Disability Pride Parade

There will be a diverse group of performers at both stages with many abilities, a variety of music and different styles of dance including Latin, Middle Eastern, Jazz, Pop, Rap, Rock and Musical Theatre.

We have Blessing Offer, finalist from The Voice as well as Matthew Whitaker, a jazz organ prodigy. Dancers include pioneer in disability dance Kitty Lunn. Johnny Crescendo, a civil rights pioneer and folksinger, will also be joining us.

Emcees include Andea Dalzell, Ms. Wheelchair New York 2015. Speakers Victor Calise, Commissioner from The Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities, Councilwoman Rosie Mendez, Councilwoman Margarita Lopez and Michael J. Schweinsburg, Executive Director of DPNYC.

Talent is coordinated by Brooke Fox and myself. And hat’s off to Brooke, who painstakingly put together the running of the program with constant changes.

Musician and Father to Child with Disabilities Launched Disability Pride NYC

Although the Disability Independence Day March occurred on July 26, 1992, with subsequent marches in NYC, this will be our first large scale Pride Parade in NYC. There have been very successful Disability Pride Parades in other states, including New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Chicago has been hosting Disability Pride Parades for 12 years.

The creation of our organization, Disability Pride NYC (DPNYC) can be attributed to jazz musician, Mike LeDonne, President and Founder of DPNYC. A fixture on the jazz scene here in New York, nationally and internationally acclaimed, he is also a devoted father. His daughter Mary, 11, was born with Prader-Willi Syndrome, a genetic disorder that has left her with developmental disabilities, without speech, legally blind and often using a wheelchair.

(Read the full article here on the Abilities.com website)