BRONX, N.Y. (PIX11) – July is Disability Pride Month, which celebrates disabled individuals embracing who they are.
It also commemorates the anniversary of the American with Disabilities Act. On Monday, Bronx Borough President Vanessa Gibson’s office announced it is reactivating its disability task force, the Disability Advisory Council, to ensure people in the borough have the resources they need.
With the relaunch, Help On The Way and other nonprofits like it in the south Bronx will be able to reach and help even more people. The nonprofit organization has been serving individuals with developmental disabilities for years by providing them with tools and training to manage obstacles they may face in daily life whether at home or in public.
Christine Pacha enjoys her time at the center.
“We do Zumba, exercise, healthy eating classes, we socialize with friends, we take pictures, we have birthday parties, we do a lot of things,” Pache said. “Help On The Way is like family to me.”
Omar De Los Santos is the associate director.
“Let us remember, [a] disability is not [an] inability,” De Los Santos said. “It means limitations need to be accommodated.”
Through the Disability Advisory Council, the borough president’s office says the Bronx will become a more inclusive place for all.
“This Disability Advisory Council will serve as a space, as a hub, as an anchor of information of resources to identify programs and new partnerships, collaborations with city agencies,” Bronx Borough President Vanessa Gibson said.
It will also advocate on behalf of people with disabilities in the borough with public transportation or other challenges.
Samson Rivera says Help On The Way has allowed him and his wife to work while his daughters are at the organization. It’s also given him training as well.
“They sent me to a program where I learned techniques, behavioral management.” Rivera said. “It’s a tool that they gave me that I’ve learned how to change her behavior and in doing so, she’s very well-behaved now.”
The task force will spend the next few weeks reaching out to the appropriate organizations before their first meeting in the fall.