Our History

The birth of the disability rights movement

How DIA Started

Disabled In Action of Metropolitan New York was founded in 1970 by a core group of young disabled folks who were tired of being pushed to the sidelines of American society. They believed that it was not their differences or limitations that excluded them from participation in everyday life but society’s inability to eliminate physical and attitudinal barriers that stood in their way.

They were tired of the fact that their wheelchairs, crutches, canes and walkers – The implements that helped them get around – were obstacles keeping them on the outside. It was a law suit, filed by Judy Heumann against the New York City Board of Education that brought together a motivated group of individuals into the organization known as DIA.

Today, DIA remains the most important voice, advocating for the rights of all disabled people in New York City. DIA is the only grassroots, cross disability organization in the United States. Most disability organizations represent specific groups like blind and deaf individuals; people with physical or mental disabilities or people with some form of chronic medical condition. DIA’s commitment as a cross disability, activist organization make it unique.

This page will post the stories about what we have done and the people who made it happen.

donations help provide

equality for all, we strive for that

All donations are used to help with the support of our cause and bettering the needs of all that need it. We take donations from as small as $1 to $75. Or you can join our membership program as well.