Jul 22, 2022 - News

Disability advocates on making Atlanta more equitable

A photo of three disability advocates and activists
Carden Wyckoff, K. Agbebiyi and Brandon Winfield. Photos: Gene Phillips Photography/Jamie Tyberg/Patrick Howe

July is Disability Pride Month, a time to recognize disability and celebrate people living with disabilities.

Why it matters: 25% of adults — or nearly 2 million residents — in Georgia have a disability, according to the CDC.

Flashback: Boston held the first Disability Pride Day in 1990, the same year the Americans With Disability Act was signed into law.

What they're saying: Axios Atlanta spoke with several local disability activists and advocates about how they're making the metro region a more inclusive and equitable place.

Carden Wyckoff: The Atlanta native advises local governments and groups like the Midtown Alliance on transit equity and accessibility. She recently helped MARTA review new rail cars to suggest fixes like extra handlebars, color contrasts and more.

  • Wyckoff, who lives with facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy, says Atlanta should follow San Francisco's lead and create a city-level office to focus on the built environment, crosswalks and curb cuts, and other equity issues.

Brandon Winfield: Winfield is CEO of iAccess, an Atlanta startup building an app that lets people rate and review businesses' accessibility, which both helps people with disabilities plan their outings, and inspires businesses to make their facilities more accessible.

  • iAccess has partnered with Passport, a Charlotte-based parking management company, to install QR codes on their signs to rate the parking in the area, and is in talks to bring the service to other cities.

K. Agbebiyi: Atlanta's supply of disabled-friendly housing is low, says Agbebiyi, an activist living with Sjogren's Syndrome.

  • "The other day I was with my friend who's not disabled, and she just randomly got assigned an ADA apartment. I feel like there's not a lot of intentionality."
  • Agbebiyi, who focuses on prison abolition, helped their friends create a $60,000 mutual aid fund to help disabled organizers travel to protest the police killing of George Floyd.
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