Saturday, July 24, 2010
YAI Self-Advocates Honor Staff Who Bring ADA to Life
MAMARONECK, N.Y. - For Helen Ng and other members of the YAI Network's self-advocacy group, the Americans with Disabilities Act - passed 20 years ago this Monday - provided a framework for disabled persons' fight to gain equal standing.
On Friday, more than a dozen people who live in residencies sponsored by the YAI Network, a nonprofit organization that offers programs for those with developmental and learning disabilities, gathered in Mamaroneck. Their mission was to thank staff members who have helped empower residents to be active members of their communities.
One such program is the self-advocacy group, which encourages participants to embrace their role as independent members of their communities and to act as mentors for others in the residential program who aren't able to advocate for themselves.
"It opened my heart more to helping other people," Ng said. "It makes me reach out to the other people and help them to open up. No matter what kind of disability you have you can do things like everybody else."