July 26, 2022
NEW YORK – New York City Mayor Eric Adams and Acting Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office for Persons with Disabilities (MOPD) Martha Jackson celebrated the 32nd anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) tonight by honoring a number of people and organizations that have contributed significantly to increasing accessibility, as well as advocating for the rights of people with disabilities. At a reception held at the Gracie Mansion, Mayor Adams and Acting Commissioner Jackson presented four ADA/Sapolin awards, in addition to an advocacy award. The ADA/Sapolin Awards are named for the late MOPD Commissioner Matthew Sapolin, who died November 29, 2011, and the Advocacy Award is named in honor of the late Frieda Zames, prominent New York disability rights activist. Signed into law in 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act has fostered independence, empowerment and inclusion for millions of Americans.
“As one of our nation’s greatest civil rights laws, the Americans with Disabilities Act has broken down barriers and opened doors for so many of our brothers and sisters,” said Mayor Adams. “Every day my administration fights for equality, dignity and opportunity for all, because this cannot be the greatest city in the world until everyone has the same chance to contribute. Tonight we honor some of the people and organizations who have led this fight to help people with disabilities fully participate in all aspects of city life The Sapolin Awards recognize those who work every day to make New York City the greatest city in the world. world for people with disabilities to live, work and thrive.”Now go on, follow your dreams.”
“I am proud to join Mayor Adams in presenting awards to organizations and individuals who share our commitment to improving the quality of life for people with disabilities in New York City,” said Acting MOPD Commissioner Jackson. “The recipients are truly worthy of this honor because they have demonstrated their dedication to the protection of civil rights as provided for in the Americans with Disabilities Act.”
The recipients of the 2022 ADA Sapolin Awards and the 2022 Frieda Zames Advocacy Award are:
The Frick Collection at Frick Madison: Employment Award Recipient
The Frick Collection, an art museum with a permanent collection that showcases Old Master paintings and European fine and decorative arts, has demonstrated its commitment to diverse employment in the city’s arts and culture space from New York. Their collaboration with the MOPD and the arts community has opened avenues of employment for the city’s largest untapped talent pool.
Kimberly T. Hill: Government Award Recipient
Kimberly T. Hill is New York State’s Chief Disability Officer. Hill’s leadership in the disability community improves access to essential services for New Yorkers with disabilities across the city and state, and affirms that the government is responsible for ensuring that people with disabilities can live a meaningful and fulfilling life.
AccessibleTravelNYC.Com: Public Accommodation Award Recipient
Lakshmee Lacchman-Persad is a blogger who created AccessibleTravelNYC.com, which showcases various accessible features around New York City as it relates to tourism. The content and information in this blog continue to enrich the lives of visitors and residents with disabilities who wish to explore all the joys New York has to offer.
NaviLens: recipient of the telecommunications award
NaviLens is an application that reads signs and provides audio train information to assist blind or visually impaired users. The application works with voice accessibility settings on smartphones. Javier Pita Lozano, Founder and CEO of NaviLens, has demonstrated an exceptional commitment to increasing the accessibility of public spaces and transport while making it easier to navigate the daily lives of people who are blind or visually impaired.
Emily Ladau: recipient of the Frieda Zames Advocacy Award
Emily Ladau is a disability rights activist and author of Demystifying disability: what you need to know, What to say and how to be an ally. Landau’s leadership in the disability community has enabled people with disabilities to access essential services that have enabled them to live independently within the community and among their peers.