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Big NY Strides at 25th Anniversary of ADA, Hurdles Remain

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Friday, July 24, 2015   

NEW YORK - Big strides forward. That's the big picture as New Yorkers celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, but there are still major hurdles in the way.

Susan Dooha, executive director of the Center for Independence of the Disabled in New York, said the ADA produced a whole lot of positive change in a relatively short amount of time.

"People who use wheelchairs can navigate the checkout lines at drug stores and grocery stores," she said. "People who are deaf can enjoy the movies."

Dooha received a proclamation at New York's City Hall on Thursday in honor of the anniversary of the ADA and CIDNY's efforts to improve the daily lives of New Yorkers with disabilities. She said her group has new data showing that New Yorkers with disabilities are twice as likely to be living in poverty.

Dooha said her group just completed a major study of census data for major indicators of well-being. Despite all the progress, she said, they found that too many people with disabilities in the Empire State are living in poverty - and it's even worse in the city.

"The median, equalized household income for people with disabilities living in Manhattan is only $21,702," she said. "The same income for people without disabilities is $61,894."

Dooha said equal access to education is a proven way to elevate the daily lives of people with disabilities in New York and the nation.

"When people with disabilities get a high school degree and a college degree and even a graduate degree," she said, "they do much better in employment."

The full report is online at cidny.org.


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