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75 Years: AHRC New York Metropolis to Have fun Milestone Anniversary on Might thirteenth, 2024

It’s with delight in an unsurpassed historical past and nice hope for the long run that AHRC New York Metropolis kicks off its 75th yr with a Gala on Might 13th. The group started in 1948 with a $3 advert within the New York Put up positioned by Ann Greenberg, a Bronx housewife whose younger son with developmental disabilities had been denied entry to highschool. She was searching for different dad and mom to type a play group, and the response was overwhelming. Inside a yr, a whole lot of New York Metropolis households of youngsters with disabilities had banded collectively to create what would, inside a decade, turn out to be a grassroots human rights motion of nice magnitude that spanned throughout town and the nation.

Gathering of AHRC New York City founding members in 1949

Gathering of AHRC New York Metropolis founding members in 1949

Many different incapacity organizations had their begin later within the 1950’s, however AHRC NYC was the trailblazer. Its energy was, and stays, its household roots.

The Energy of Households

Based by dad and mom and nonetheless ruled by a Board comprised primarily of members of the family, the credo that propels the group in all it does is predicated on the concept that folks with developmental disabilities are entitled to entry and alternative to allow them to reside full and equitable lives. The group’s historical past is one in all not solely offering helps – a number of the “firsts” within the subject – but additionally of advocacy. From being a plaintiff within the Willowbrook lawsuit to calling for change in laws and public coverage, advocating for higher schooling, dwelling preparations, prospects for work, and fuller lives locally, AHRC NYC led the way in which. In its earlier years, AHRC NYC was on the forefront of main the newly arising supplier neighborhood in its advocacy efforts and in growing supplier associations. Reflecting on our historical past, Board President Ray Ferrigno, a dad or mum of a younger man with autism, sums it up nicely, “There are numerous challenges to be met. However regardless of the impediment, our sense of resolve is unshakeable. That’s the main lesson we discovered from our founders. We’ve got made monumental strides in all these years, however there’s nonetheless a lot to be executed.”


AHRC NYC’s 75th Anniversary is a celebration of way over the group. The occasion celebrates the historical past of companies and helps for folks with developmental disabilities in New York Metropolis, the achievements made by folks with developmental disabilities and their households, the dedication of the whole supplier neighborhood, in addition to many alternative neighborhood companions who’ve embraced AHRC NYC’s imaginative and prescient of a world the place the ability of distinction is embraced, valued, and celebrated.

Honoring Champions

The Might 13th Gala will mirror on AHRC NYC’s legacy and embrace a way forward for progress, championing the rights and alternatives of individuals with disabilities. The occasion’s Corridor of Honor will acknowledge people and teams for his or her distinctive dedication and contributions to the mental and developmental disabilities neighborhood, shaping the legacy of AHRC NYC. The Corridor of Honor consists of: Maureen E. O’Brien, President and Chief Govt Officer of New York State Industries for the Disabled honored for her tireless efforts in creating significant employment alternatives for folks with disabilities; Sheryl White-Scott, MD, FACP, FAAIDD, Senior Medical Advisor at AHRC New York Metropolis, and a Board of Director of the Human Companies Analysis Institute, honored for her lifelong dedication to making sure the well-being of sufferers with mental and developmental disabilities; Beth Haroules, Esq., Senior Employees Legal professional and Director of Incapacity Justice Litigation on the American Civil Liberties Union of the New York Affiliate of ACLU is acknowledged for her lifelong dedication to defending the rights of individuals with disabilities; Rebecca A. Seawright, Meeting Member for New York’s 76th Meeting District, and Chair of the Individuals with Disabilities Committee of the New York State Meeting is acknowledged for her legislative work and devoted advocacy for the rights of individuals with mental and developmental disabilities; Mitchell Bloomberg, Chairman-Elect of the AHRC NYC Basis Board, and Co-President of Worldwide Lights, is honored for over 30 years of devoted service on each the AHRC NYC Board and Basis Board and for elevating hundreds of thousands of {dollars} to help AHRC NYC packages; and AHRC NYC’s Our Broadway takes heart stage within the Corridor of Honor. This inclusive theatrical expertise, the place performers with disabilities collaborate with Broadway stars, brings magical moments to life, and AHRC NYC acknowledges three Broadway veterans and performers—Dale Hensley, Gavin Creel, and Thayne Jasperson.

Different honorees will embrace Sharyn Van Reepinghen, the AHRC NYC Anne Kraus Award named in reminiscence of a formidable AHRC NYC volunteer. Sharyn has demonstrated distinctive dedication to AHRC NYC’s mission. And Kerri Neifeld, Commissioner of the NYS Workplace for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities, is the Recipient of the Management in Authorities Award for her exemplary management and visionary dedication to enhancing companies for folks with developmental disabilities. Errol Louis, New York Metropolis journalist and host of Inside Metropolis Corridor on Spectrum Information NY1, who brings many years of distinguished expertise in political journalism, will function the Grasp of Ceremonies. Mr. Louis is aware of New York higher than any journalist at this time, and since AHRC NYC is quintessential New York, who higher to shepherd attendees via the night program?

Be part of constructing a extra inclusive and empowered neighborhood. Assist the work of the group. To study extra in regards to the occasion and AHRC NYC’s historical past, click on right here.

Eddie Elish
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