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Tuesday, July 30, 2019

De Blasio Administration Releases 2019 AccessibleNYC Report to Improve Quality of Life for People with Disabilities

New York City Hall Press Office Photo

NEW YORKIn conjunction with the 29th anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Sapolin Accessibility Awards, Mayor de Blasio and the Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities (MOPD) Commissioner Victor Calise released the 2019 AccessibleNYC report. The fourth annual report provides a comprehensive roadmap to improve quality of life for New Yorkers with disabilities in the areas of: transportation, employment, financial empowerment, housing, health, technology, access to City services and education.

While advancing the progress of initiatives laid out in the previous reports, the report adds a new section on technology. This section discusses the ways in which the City is leveraging assistive technology to remove barriers for people with disabilities, all the while ensuring that the needs of people with disabilities are included in the development of future smart city projects.

“To be the fairest big city in America, we must ensure that New Yorkers with disabilities have equal access to all New York has to offer,” said Mayor de Blasio. “AccessibleNYC highlights our accessibility efforts and offers a roadmap for the future of our city while strengthening our commitment to becoming more inclusive for all.”

“Over the past year, we have continued to improve accessibility for New Yorkers with disabilities in all facets of life,” said MOPD Commissioner Victor Calise. “The fourth edition of AccessibleNYC builds on our previous reports and adds a new section on technology, the great equalizer for people with disabilities. I am extremely proud to issue AccessibleNYC 2019 and thank Mayor de Blasio for his continued support to making New York the most accessible city in the world.”

Highlights from the 2019 edition of AccessibleNYC include:

Transportation: The City has made a concerted effort to ensure that all New Yorkers are able to navigate the city. The Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) has steadily increased the number of accessible taxis in the fleet and passed the first-of-its kind rules to mandate wheelchair accessibility in the for-hire-vehicle sector. Furthermore, the Department of Transportation has continued to increase the number of accessible pedestrian signals and pedestrian ramps. In addition, MOPD is working with our partners at MTA New York City Transit to increase accessibility and efficiency of the New York State-run mass transit and Access-A-Ride paratransit services.

Employment: The de Blasio Administration is committed to improving access to good jobs and increasing the number of people with disabilities who are employed through the NYC: ATWORK initiative as well as the 55-a program by connecting a talent pool of people with disabilities directly to prospective employers through partnerships with City and State agencies as well as private organizations. Additionally, MOPD partnered with the Institute for Career Development and Cisco to launch a first-of-its-kind Cyber Security Academy that will train, certify and place people with disabilities in the ever- growing field of cyber security.

Financial Empowerment: The EmpoweredNYC program employs a consultative, three-tier approach to advance financial capability and counseling for people with disabilities and their families through broad engagement and education. Free and confidential one-on-one financial coaching is available to individuals with disabilities and their families via flexible platforms and specialized benefits advice for people with disabilities transitioning to work.

Housing: The City is continually developing additional accessible housing units, establishing new rules to obtain existing accessible units, and creating more opportunities to provide modifications in individual’s current housing units to improve and expanded the supply of accessible housing. MOPD’s Project Open House initiative uses Community Development Block Grant funds to remove architectural barriers from the homes of New York City residents who have disabilities at no cost to the applicant.

Health: MOPD is working with organizations representing individuals who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing along with health care providers to develop a forum to be held at NYU Langone Hospital in September 2019. Additionally, MOPD is working with NYC Health + Hospitals to increase access to reproductive health care for people with disabilities.

Technology: NYC’s Digital Accessibility Coordinator working in tandem with the Department of Information Telecommunications and Technology has published the second Digital Accessibility Report. This biennial report notes the progress of accessibility of NYC websites and all other digital products. In addition, MOPD partnered with the Mayor’s Office of Creative Communications to hold the second annual Digital Inclusion Conference. This public event had hands-on workshops, panels, and networking opportunities for digital workers in public and private sectors on internet human rights, digital accessibility, and inclusion.

Access: With the assistance of the Department of Information Technology & Telecommunications, MOPD has expanded ASL Direct by hiring a new Program Supervisor and opening a second location in Human Resources Administration. Callers who are Deaf/Hard of Hearing can—via video call—be directly connected to a Resource Specialist who is fluent in American Sign Language and can provide information about City services. In addition, MOPD has partnered with Small Business Services, elected officials and Business Improvement Districts to provide information on making a business accessible in compliance with the ADA.

Education: Starting in 2019, DOE students with disabilities will receive priority in admissions to school buildings that are fully or partially accessible. In addition, MOPD held a convening of other government offices focused on disability from around the country. Over the course of three days, each agency shared best practices on how they are making their services and infrastructure more accessible for people with disabilities. Furthermore, MOPD partnered with DemocracyNYC to meet with disability advocates regarding access to voting and civic engagement.

For more information on these highlights and other work the City is doing to improve accessibility, the 2019 Edition of AccessibleNYC is available now at

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