July 26, 2022
NEW YORK – New York City Mayor Eric Adams and Mayor’s Office of Persons with Disabilities (MOPD) Acting Commissioner Martha Jackson tonight celebrated 32nd accessibility and advocacy for people with disabilities. At a reception 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 passed away on November 29, 2011, and the Advocacy Award is named in honor of the late Frieda Zames, a prominent disability rights activist in New York City. The Americans with Disabilities Act, signed in 1990, has promoted independence, empowerment and inclusion for millions of Americans.
“As one of the largest civil rights laws in our country, the Americans with Disabilities Act has broken down barriers and opened doors for so many of our brothers and sisters,” he said Mayor Adams. “My government fights every day for equality, dignity and opportunity for all because this cannot be the greatest city in the world until everyone has an equal opportunity to contribute. Tonight we honor some of the people and organizations that have led this fight to help people with disabilities participate fully in all aspects of city life. The Sapolin Awards is about recognizing those who work every day to make New York the greatest city in the world where people with disabilities can live, work and thrive. ‘Now go ahead, follow your dreams.’”
“I am proud to partner with 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,” he said Jackson, acting commissioner of the MOPD. “The recipients are truly worthy of this honor because they have demonstrated their commitment to protecting civil rights under 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: Recipient of the Employment Award
The Frick Collection, an art museum with a permanent collection of Old Master paintings and European fine and decorative arts, has demonstrated its commitment to the diversity of attitudes in the New York City arts and culture space. Her collaboration with the MOPD and the arts community resulted in employment pathways for the city’s largest untapped talent pipeline.
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 critical services for New Yorkers with disabilities across the city and state and affirms the government’s responsibility to ensure people with disabilities can lead meaningful and fulfilling lives.
AccessibleTravelNYC.Com: Recipient of the Public Accommodation Award
Lakshmee Lachman-Persad is a blogger who created AccessibleTravelNYC.com, which showcases various New York City accessibility features related to tourism. The content and information contained in this blog continues to enrich the lives of visitors and residents with disabilities who seek to explore all the delights New York City has to offer.
NaviLens: Recipient of Telecom Award
NaviLens is an app that reads signs aloud and provides audio train information to assist blind or partially sighted users. The app works with voice-over accessibility settings on smartphones. Javier Pita Lozano, Founder and CEO of NaviLens, has shown exceptional commitment to improving the accessibility of public spaces and transportation while making everyday navigation easier for blind or partially sighted people.
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 provided people with disabilities with access to essential services that have enabled them to live independently within the community and among their peers.