Secondary Navigation

De Blasio Administration Releases 2017 Edition of AccessibleNYC Report at JetBlue Corporate Headquarters in Long Island City, Queens

July 19, 2017

AccessibleNYC addresses needs of New Yorkers with disabilities and includes NYC: ATWORK, the City's first-ever public-private partnership to connect more people with disabilities to living wage jobs in high-growth industries across the five boroughs

NEW YORK – Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives Richard Buery and Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities (MOPD) Commissioner Victor Calise today released the 2017 edition of AccessibleNYC, New York City's comprehensive plan to improve quality of life for New Yorkers with disabilities. The 2017 edition builds off of the inaugural report released by Mayor Bill de Blasio in 2016 as an update on the status of increasing accessibility throughout City agencies in the areas of: Transportation, Employment, Housing, Access (to City services) and Education.

It also sets forth new initiatives, pilot programs, and projects for the coming year and beyond that would positively affect the almost 1 million New Yorkers known to be living with a disability.

"AccessibleNYC is helping to ensure inclusion for 1 million New Yorkers when it comes to transportation, housing, employment, education, and so much more," said Mayor Bill de Blasio. "Through this initiative, the City is continuing to do everything it can to improve the accessibility needs of our citizens – from repairing pedestrian ramps to providing access to fair-paying jobs. We can't wait to see how this program evolves and thrives over the coming years."

"This Administration's mission to help New Yorkers lead happy, healthy and productive lives applies to everyone who calls New York City home – regardless of age, ethnicity, income, and importantly, regardless of ability. The 2017 edition of AccessibleNYC builds upon the ambitious and innovative ideas presented last year that alleviate burden in areas that persistently challenge people with disabilities: transportation, housing, employment and more," said Richard Buery, Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives. "I am especially proud to announce NYC: AT WORK, a brand new public-private partnership that will bring more well-paid, career-track jobs to New Yorkers with disabilities. MOPD's work through AccessibleNYC is critical in achieving equity for everyone."

"The AccessibleNYC 2016 report was an unprecedented undertaking: never in the history of New York City government have so many City agencies worked together on a comprehensive report to advance the interests of New Yorkers with disabilities", said Victor Calise, Commissioner of the Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities. "With the Second Edition of AccessibleNYC we have made great strides ensuring that people with disabilities can enjoy the opportunities and services available to other New Yorkers including launching of NYC: ATWORK initiative, publishing the second edition of the Inclusive Design Guidelines, adopting legislation that will improve accommodations for individuals who are hard of hearing and improving website accessibility for city agencies. I am extremely proud to issue Accessible NYC 2017 and thank Mayor de Blasio for his continued support in ensuring that the 'D' in Diversity stands for Disability".

Among new employment initiatives is NYC: ATWORK, a public-private partnership launched by MOPD in April to provide unemployed or underemployed New Yorkers with disabilities access to jobs, and build a sustainable pipeline of qualified talent in high-growth industries. NYC: ATWORK is funded by the grants from the Poses Family Foundation, Kessler Foundation, Institute for Career Development, and New York State Adult Career and Continuing Education Services-Vocational Rehabilitation (ACCES-VR). The program will be grant-funded for three years before transitioning in-house at the NYC Department of Small Business Services.

Through MOPD, NYC: ATWORK is working with private-sector employers to increase opportunities for workers with disabilities. JetBlue is a partner in NYC: ATWORK and sponsors "Reaching Blue Heights," a project focusing on career exploration for college students who have disabilities.
Highlights from the 2017 ACCESSIBLENYC report include:


  • Access-A-Ride (AAR) – Enhancements to technology that will allow for more accurate estimated arrival times, on-board traffic advisories and rerouting capabilities. AAR also established designated pickup locations at intersections where customers and vehicle operators have consistently missed each other to minimize missed rides.

  • Pedestrian Ramps – The City plans to invest a minimum of $660 million through FY27 to upgrade pedestrian ramps throughout the City. Additionally, DOT is funded with over $220 million over the same period to install pedestrian ramps where they do not currently exist.

  • Subway Accessibility – Through a combination of Federal, State, City and other funding, the number of subway stations that are fully ADA accessible will reach 100 by 2020.

  • Wheelchair-accessible Vehicles – The NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) has issued a proposal that would put wheelchair accessible for-hire vehicles (FHVs) in circulation and available for passengers who need them. Specifically, the TLC is proposing all FHV bases dispatch 25% of their trips in wheelchair accessible vehicles over the next four years. Hearings regarding the proposal are slated for Fall 2017.


  • Housing Connect – MOPD worked with the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) to publish a guide in March 2017 that helps ensure people with disabilities receive the full amount of rent subsidies they are entitled to.

  • Rent Freeze and Disabled Homeowners' Exemption – The Disability Rent Increase Exemption (DRIE) and Disabled Homeowners' Exemption (DHE) provide rent freeze and tax exemption options to renters and homeowners with disabilities. MOPD and the Department of Finance (DOF) are leading an aggressive campaign – which includes a rent freeze outreach team within the Mayor's Public Engagement Unit, redesigned rent freeze applications and a renovated NYC Rent Freeze Walk-in Center – to support the goal of enrolling 10,000 New Yorkers this year into rent freeze and tax benefit programs.


  • Disability Service Facilitators – City agencies are required by Local Law 27 to have full-time Disability Service Facilitator (DSF) positions. Over the past year, DSFs were designated throughout various agencies, creating easy access points for the public to obtain information, services, and assistance concerning access within the agency for people with disabilities. A list of the DSFs and their contact information can be found here.

  • Arts and Culture – The NYC Department of Cultural Affairs (DCLA) raised more than $4 million in public and private support to spur efforts to cultivate more inclusive workplaces including: more than $1 million from the City and The Rockefeller Foundation to create the CUNY Cultural Corps to provide career-building internship placements for students from underrepresented groups; $2 million from the City's Theater Subdistrict Council (TSC) to expand opportunity in the theater workforce and train disabled artists in arts administration careers; and $1 million for promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion at members of the Cultural Institutions Group at DCLA.

  • Emergency Planning and Preparedness – MOPD and the NYC Department of Information Technology & Telecommunications (DoITT) are working to launch a text-to-911 service by early 2018 to allow people who are deaf, Hard-of-Hearing and with speech disabilities to communicate with NYC's 9-1-1 call takers for the first time ever via text.

    MOPD is also working with New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) and NYC Emergency Management (NYCEM) to rebuild the NYC Advance Warning System website. The new website, set to launch in the fall of 2017, is designed to disseminate emergency information to agencies and organizations that serve people with disabilities.


  • Access to Health Care – Employees of the New York City Health + Hospitals Corporation (H+H) participated in the research and writing of the Independent Care System (ICS) "blueprint" for how the medical community can provide accessible primary care to people with physical disabilities.


  • DOE Transition and College Access Centers – The New York City Department of Education (DOE) Special Education Office is expanding support for students with disabilities and their families as they move from pre-K to 12th grade, to college, career, or other post-secondary options. The Special Education Office will establish a Transition and College Access Center (TCAC) in every borough over the next four years. The first two centers will open in the fall of 2017 in Brooklyn and the Bronx

"New York prides itself as a place that is welcoming of all people, and we know that an inclusive city must also be an accessible city," said Gregg Bishop, Commissioner of the NYC Department of Small Business Services. "I am proud to support the Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities in their important work to make New York City the most accessible city in the world."

"I congratulate the Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities (MOPD) on the release of its second annual AccessibleNYC report," said Darren Bloch, Executive Director of the Mayor's Fund to Advance NYC. "The Mayor's Fund has been proud to partner with MOPD on its critical efforts to increase employment accessibility for New Yorkers with disabilities through NYC: AT WORK. This innovative approach to better connect individuals with disabilities to critical career opportunities has attracted the attention of both philanthropic and corporate partners and we thank them for their ongoing interest and support in the efforts."

"When people with disabilities, advocates, and legislators come together to make our city a more accessible place to live, great things can happen for New York's disability community" said Assemblyman David Weprin. "By studying and recommending measures to relieve the challenges people with disabilities face with transportation, housing, employment; AccessibleNYC will surely improve the quality of life for New Yorkers with disabilities. I thank Mayor Bill de Blasio and Commissioner of the Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities Victor Calise for their contained support of New York's disability community."

"New York City is a city of inclusion for everyone," said Council Member Andrew Cohen. "With each year and each report, we'll be able to look at the progress we've made and implement more programs to help any New Yorker living with a disability."

"I want to congratulate Commissioner Calise, the Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities, and all of its partners on the release of Accessible NYC 2017 and the launch of NYC: ATWORK, which will help at least 1,500 New Yorkers with disabilities secure living wage, career-track jobs. NYC:ATWORK is exactly the type of program we should be supporting – it's a win for New Yorkers with disabilities who have so much to contribute to our city and deserve a real shot at economic independence. I look forward to this program's success and growth over the next few years," said Council Member Helen Rosenthal.

"Every New Yorker deserves a quality, good paying job that can help them support themselves and their families," said Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez. "Through this high-quality public-private partnership, we're ensuring New Yorkers with disabilities are given an equal shot and employment. I commend Commissioner Calise, Deputy Mayor Buery and the entire de Blasio Administration for delivering on this important goal, in what will be a transformative program for our city."

Media Contact
(212) 788-2958