A Guide to Celebrating Disability Pride in NYC

Lakshmee Lachhman-Persad

July is Disability Pride Month, which marks the anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act—passed on July 26, 1990—with a series of events and activities. While the traditional parade has been pushed to October, plenty of happenings will take place around Manhattan, both in person and virtual. Below we’re highlighting educational talks, exhibits, performances and more that cater to those with autism; those with visual impairment; those who are deaf/hard of hearing; dementia patients and their caregivers; and people with mobility-access needs. ​​

Join in to celebrate and educate yourself on disability culture, community, creativity and identity.

Ali Stroker. Courtesy, The Public Theater

Shakespeare in the Park. Photo: Joseph Moran

Richard III, Shakespeare in the Park

Through July 17, Delacorte Theater, Central Park

This summer’s Shakespeare in the Park features a production of Richard III, with Danai Gurira in the title role and Ali Stroker—the first wheelchair user to win a Tony award for acting—as Lady Anne; Monique Holt as the Duchess of York; Gregg Mozgala as King Edward IV/Richmond; and Matthew August Jeffers (Ensemble). Shakespeare’s notorious villain exploits and kills his way to the throne in this political drama. Open captioning and ASL are offered on select dates. Free tickets are available, and you can find full accessibility information here.

Courtesy, Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum

Access Family Programs at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum

The museum, which focuses on the history and service of the aircraft carrier Intrepid that’s moored on the Hudson River, offers robust programming for children with developmental disabilities and their families this month. Contact access@intrepidmuseum.org or 646-381-5158 with any questions about activities or registration. Highlights include:

Sensory-friendly evening at the museum for neurodiverse teens (14+) and adults
July 15, 5–7pm

The museum will host a photography workshop inspired by its special Photo Lab exhibition. Participants can explore the display, which looks at the role of photographers in the Intrepid’s Navy days, for inspiration to make their own photos. Register here.

Early morning openings for children with autism and their families
July 23, 8:30–11am

Head over to the Space Shuttle Pavilion to learn about space travel in this Astronauts Aboard program. Register here.

Mind's Eye. Courtesy, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

Virtual Mind’s Eye Program at Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

July 18 & 20

The Guggenheim offers its virtual Mind’s Eye programming for participants who are blind or partially sighted. This month features content from the museum’s current exhibit Cecilia Vicuña: Spin Spin Triangulene. Vicuña is a contemporary Chilean artist, poet, activist and filmmaker whose exhibit focuses on memory, language, science and Indigenous spirituality. An educator will verbally describe and contextualize the art, giving room for an open discussion on the show. It’s free and requires a reservation; contact access@guggenheim.org or call 212-360-4355.

Courtesy, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Met upholds an ongoing commitment to making the museum an accessible and equitable space for all and has a variety of inclusive programming for the public to celebrate Disability Pride Month. All of the workshops are free, reservations are required and space is limited. Contact 212-650-2010 or access@metmuseum.org for information and to register. Highlights include:

Met Memory Café Virtual
July 20, 2–3pm

Families and their loved ones living with dementia are invited for a virtual gathering to talk about art, share stories and enjoy a warm-up stretch together.

Discoveries & Virtual Discoveries
July 24, 11am & 2pm

These workshops are for children and adults with learning and developmental disabilities and those on the autism spectrum. Choose from virtual and in-person options that focus on talking about art and making art. The program is split by various age groups and spread throughout the day. If you’re doing the online version, please register at least one week before the program and include your mailing address for the free box of supplies. Note: the Discoveries program fills up quickly.

Seeing Through Drawing
July 30, 11am–1pm

This program is for adults who are blind or partially sighted. The workshop is both virtual and in person and teaches drawing technique and includes experimenting with different materials and creative responses to works of art from the museum collection. Verbal description is offered. If you’re doing the online version, make sure to register at least one week ahead of time and include your mailing address for the free box of supplies.

New York Public Library. Photo:Will Steacy

New York Public Library: Bizability

July 13, 18, 20 & 28

NYPL celebrates Disability Pride Month with its Bizability (business + ability) series: interviews conducted by Gustavo Serafini, host of the Enabled Disabled podcast. The series focuses on inclusive organizations and creatives who have disabilities, showcasing their talents. On July 18, the guest is Lisa Lewis from Circus Omnium, a circus that embraces performers from across continents and cultures, races, gender expression and disabilities.

Disability Unite in Central Park

July 17

Access for All, MoPD and the Office of the NYC Public Advocate co-host the Disability Unite festival. The festival’s theme, A Future of Inclusion, envisions a post-pandemic world where community is rebuilt to be more inclusive. Live entertainment, activities and exhibitions take place at Central Park’s Naumburg Bandshell. There’s also an online party with music, dance and theater at disabilityunite.org. It’s free though an RSVP is required.

InTandem Bike Rides in Central Park

Ongoing

InTandem Bike provides free tandem cycling programs for people who are blind, have low vision or cannot ride independently due to other disabilities. Connect with the folks there and get paired up with a trained captain for a fun, invigorating ride around Central Park.

Rides are free and advance scheduling is required.

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Lincoln Center. Photo: David La Spina

Lincoln Center Disability Pride Month Celebration

Keeping with its inclusive mission of ensuring everyone is welcome, Lincoln Center has a Disability Pride lineup that centers disability front on stage and in the audience. Programming includes educational aspects, adapted dance classes, Deaf Broadway, Access Magic and Mostly Mozart. Tickets are free. Highlights include:

Access Magic is an interactive workshop curated and led by artist and Disability organizer Kevin Gotkin, and includes a group tarot reading, installation of telegrams of disabled wisdom and a multimodal ritual relating to sorrow and pleasure.

The night will transition into the Silent Disco, with music by DJ Kevin Gotkin, which will include backpacks, wrist bands and ankle bands to communicate sound through skin, as well as lyric captioning and music descriptions.

Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra
July 19–20, 7:30pm, Damrosch Park

The Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra performs two free outdoor concerts in celebration of the City in the festival’s music director Louis Langrée’s 20th year at the helm. Both performances incorporate Music: Not Impossible wearable technology for deaf and hard-of-hearing audience members to feel the vibrations of music on their body.

ABT creates an adaptive family dance workshop where participants explore characters and choreography from a popular ballet.

Deaf Broadway’s Sweeney Todd in ASL

July 31, 7:30pm, Damrosch Park

Deaf Broadway presents an ASL production of Sweeney Todd, one of the most beloved musicals by the late composer Stephen Sondheim. Against the backdrop of a filmed version, deaf actors tell the story of the demon barber of Fleet Street.


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