Sunday, July 30, 2006

ADA Day 2006, East Los Angeles

The Los Angeles Times today featured photos from the Third Annual Wheelchair Wash in East Los Angeles, sponsored by Familia Unida and Blue Cross of California. Timed to coincide with the anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (July 29), the event featured a visit from the mayor of Los Angeles, free wheelchair cleaning, polishing, and tune-ups, live music, free haircuts and manicures.

Now in case those freebies sound too much like patronizing give-aways, well....they were more like an outreach, to get folks who might otherwise be reluctant to be out in their wheelchairs to come and get multi-lingual information about their rights and opportunities under the ADA. Familia Unida/Living with Multiple Sclerosis was founded by Irma Resendez in 1998, because she found (from her own experience with an MS diagnosis as a young mother of preschoolers) that there were not enough reliable, culturally-aware resources targeted at Spanish speakers. Now they also provide free referrals, advocacy, training, and other supports in Chinese too.

The photo above is from last year's FULWMS Wheelchair Wash--that's LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa taking a turn at polishing a chair for the cameras.

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