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New York Times:'The Long Wait' A short film about disabled access in NYC and Brooklyn

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  • New York Times:'The Long Wait' A short film about disabled access in NYC and Brooklyn

    The Long Wait

    The filmmaker Jason DaSilva reveals the challenges for the disabled in navigating New York City’s public transportation system.
    The film is here:

    Related article:
    The Long Wait


    Published: January 17, 2013 40 Comments

    I love New York. When I was younger, the city was my playground. You could find me on any given weekend catching brunch with a friend at a cafe, going to an East Village restaurant for dinner and then hopping the subway to a nightclub in Chelsea. But at age 25, nine years ago, I was told I had multiple sclerosis, and I saw my freedoms slowly vanish. I grew up quickly, learning to plan daily activities with precise schedules and strategies for getting from one place to another, while trying to maintain some semblance of the life I’d enjoyed. It’s not M.S. that exhausts me, it’s the barriers that prevent me from conducting my daily activities. Public-transportation challenges have turned my playground into a sand pit.

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    While New York prides itself on being forward-thinking, I’m surprised that it lags behind other cities in accommodating its disabled population. I’ve traveled to London, Vancouver, Toronto, San Francisco and Washington, and basked in their accessibility options. Ramps! Wheelchair taxis! Accessible trains! Fully accessible buildings! Oh, the luxury! Then, back to New York, where, although public buses are accessible, most transportation for me ranges from difficult (like the East River Ferry, which runs at different intervals, depending on the time of day) to feeling as if we’re in the Dark Ages. Of course, upgrading facilities or taxis is expensive, and change takes time, but the question is, how much time? How long do we have to wait? People with disabilities should enjoy the freedoms that everyone in society deserves. This is a human rights issue.
    This Op-Docs video really just looks at New York’s transportation issues. I’ve been working on finding solutions to the larger, overwhelming issue of inaccessibility and building design. In response, I’ve created AXS Map, a crowd-sourced accessibility map that gives freedom to people with mobility challenges, their friends, family and supporters. I hope it’s a small contribution to the community I am now a part of, and helps make New York a little bit easier for us to live in.
    This video is part of a series produced by independent filmmakers who have received support from the nonprofit Sundance Institute.
    After he received his diagnosis of multiple sclerosis, the filmmaker Jason DaSilva began working with his creative partner Alice Cook on the feature documentary “When I Walk,” which is having its premiere at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. Together the two have formed AXS Lab Inc., a nonprofit organization devoted to telling the stories of the disability experience. His past documentaries have been shown on PBS/POV, HBO and at the Sundance Film Festival.