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NYC: A Melting Pot for People of All Abilities with MOPD Commissioner, Victor Calise

Did you know that New York City is home to approximately one million people with disabilities? As we often discuss strategies for improving the built environment, it is critical that accessibility remains at the forefront of the conversation. So, in a city as big and dynamic as New York, who is tasked with ensuring that the spaces in which we live, work and play are fair for all?

On this episode, the Buildings + Beyond team had the privilege of chatting with Victor Calise, Commissioner of the NYC Mayor’s Office of People with Disabilities (MOPD). Commissioner Calise describes the actions that he and his team have taken to help NYC become one of the most accessible big cities in the US. In addition, the Commissioner reminds us that we need to take a human-centered approach, not just to design, but to life.

Episode Guest: Victor Calise, Commissioner of the New York City Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities

Image of Commissioner Victor Calise, MOPD.

As Commissioner of the New York City Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities, Victor Calise has been an advocate for people with disabilities in both the Bloomberg and de Blasio Administrations. Responsible for ensuring that New York City is the most accessible city in the world, Calise advises the Mayor and agency partners  on accessibility issues, spearheads public-private partnerships, and chairs the Accessibility Committee of the City’s Building Code.

Commissioner Calise began his City service working with the Capital Projects Division of the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation where he led efforts to make one of the largest and most complex parks systems in the world accessible by ensuring compliance with the construction standards, managing facilities, and developing training materials. Prior to working in New York City government, he was a disability advocate in the non-profit sector.

Episode Information & Resources

*Scroll down for episode transcript!

Victor Calise – Full Bio

2018 Annual Report on the State of People with Disabilities Living in New York City

MOPD Inclusive Design Guidelines (contributors include SWA’s accessibility staff)

ICC Chapter 11 Accessibility Code (contributors include Commissioner Calise and SWA’s accessibility staff)

MOPD Transportation Page

NYC ATWORK

Related Episodes

‘All-Access’ with Peter Stratton

Universal Design with Mary Jo Peterson


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Send your feedback and questions to podcast@swinter.com


About Buildings and Beyond

Buildings and Beyond is a production of Steven Winter Associates. We provide energy, green building, and accessibility consulting services to improve the built environment. For more information, visit www.swinter.com.

Hosts

Robb Aldrich | Kelly Westby

Production Team

Heather Breslin | Alex Mirabile | Dylan Martello

 

Episode Transcript

Kelly:                                  00:06                   Welcome to buildings and beyond.

Robb:                                00:09                   The podcast that explores how we can create a more sustainable built environment

Kelly:                                  00:13                   By focusing on efficiency, accessibility, and health.

Robb:                                00:18                   I’m Rob Aldrich.

Kelly:                                  00:19                   and I’m Kelly Westby.

Kelly:                                  00:22                   [Intro] Victor Calise is the commissioner of the New York City Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities. He has the very modest job of making New York city the most accessible city in the world. So I was introduced to commissioner Calise when Harold Bravo from our accessibility team served on the code committee for the New York city building code chapter 11. But in this episode we talk about accessibility in a much broader sense than just the code. Access to the arts, ferries, playgrounds, as well as access to work opportunities for people with disabilities. Commissioner Calise catches me saying differently abled people, this may seem innocuous, but he reminds us all that language matters. The person comes before their disability and people-first language is critical in creating the mindset we need to provide access for everyone. Just like Kristoff in our episode on human psychology in the built environment, Commissioner Calise urges us to take a human centered approach, not just to design, but to life. So let’s get right to it.

Kelly:                                  01:22                   Thank you so much and welcome to Buildings and Beyond, we wanted to set the scene by having you tell us a little bit about your professional journey and how you became the commissioner of the New York city mayor’s office for people with disabilities.

Victor:                               01:37                   Well, thanks for having me. I appreciate it. It’s really nice to be on the podcast. So yeah, it’s certainly been a journey. It’s been a journey in my career from where I was 25 years ago as a blue collar worker working in the plumbing sector and then being injured, having a bicycle accident that left me paralyzed, and changing things up. I Had to go back to school, got involved in a lot of disabled sport. And in 1998, I was a Paralympic athlete in the sport of sled hockey in Nagano, Japan. So that was pretty cool. Yeah. And through that whole sports era, I realized that the department of parks and recreation in New York city just wasn’t doing enough for people with disabilities. So I got involved in a roundabout way and wanted to really push the agenda for accessibility in parks. And eventually I got recruited over to parks and I was in charge of providing programs and services and looking at design and construction for people with disabilities. And, and it was a great job. We developed a transition plan figuring out what barriers existed in New York city parks department and how we would fix the barriers. I would argue today that all the work that we’ve done in playground design, that we are one of the leaders, if not the leader in accessible playgrounds around the world. We’ve been adding lots of different features for people with disabilities, people with visual disabilities, people with hearing disabilities, people with physical disabilities, people who are aging, and really putting some design standards in place that exist today. And it’s great to see the work that they’re doing and seeing how important the Commissioner was and how it really was a top down approach really inspired me to, to look for a position like that. And fortunately for me at that time, this position for the mayor’s office with people with disabilities opened up and I’ve been here for seven years now and serving two administrations and it’s been, it’s been great being able to make effective change and changing the way people live their lives in New York city for accessibility.

Kelly:                                  03:59                   Yeah, that’s great. Let’s dig in a little bit.You covered a wide range of initiatives there. So what’s one thing do you think that you’re involved in, in New York city today, that really has the biggest impact, or maybe top three impact?

Victor:                               04:16                   Wow. We’re involved in so much everything that touches New York City and every agency we’re involved in. If we’re talking about voting democracy NYC, we’re involved in voting. If we’re talking about the cultural plan were involved in the cultural plan, if we’re talking about vision zero, we’re involved in vision zero. So there’s nothing in the city that we don’t touch. So to say the top three, wow. So many different things. Well number one, I’ll start with transportation. We’ve added an accessible ferry system. That throughout New York city that’s been amazing. Fully accessible bathrooms on the same floor, kiosks that are accessible for people to purchase tickets. So we’re pretty excited about that. And along with that, we, the city of New York, are the only city in the world to put a cap on these ride sharing companies in the four high a vehicle sector. And when that happened, that cap was one thing, but it now allows, if they’re going to put any vehicles on the street there for wheelchair accessible vehicles. So we’re really excited to be able to drive that. And in the yellow sector we’ve been able to add accessibility in that sector as well. And the great part about that is we’re the only city in America to be able to have the number of accessible taxis and for hire vehicle fleet. So we’re pretty excited about that in transportation. Another great thing that we’ve done is we added disability service facilitators and agencies across the city. People that are people with disabilities or represented in the disabled community, and what they’re doing is they’re looking at the programs and services they deliver and looking at the design and construction that’s happening to ensure that accessibility not only meets the ADA codes and requirements, but goes above and beyond that.

Kelly:                                  06:11                   Yeah, that’s great. We have the New York City landscape changing constantly and like you said, commuting by ferry, that wasn’t quite as big of a thing. Now we have New York city ferry. Do you think the changing landscape makes it more difficult? How do you keep up with all of the changes and construction that’s going on?

Victor:                               06:42                   Well, one thing is important to have those representatives that I mentioned earlier, those disability service facilitators in those agencies, because they’re really the pulse of what’s happening in that agency and being able to hear what’s going on, and getting briefings from those agencies is important.

Kelly:                                  06:59                   And then you can have a coordinated effort.

Victor:                               07:00                   Yes. That’s it. What’s the coordination happening? And making sure that agencies have a pulse on what’s going on and making sure there’s representative there and that all complies. But New York city is an old city, right? And making it accessible can be a challenge sometimes, but everything was built before the ADA without people with disabilities in mind. So we have to be cognizant of what’s happening, considering the nature of the infrastructure and what’s difficult to access and what needs to be changed is what we are all about.

Kelly:                                  07:36                   Right. And so how, how do you look back at buildings? You talked a little bit about this with the parks department having accessible playgrounds, which is actually something that I haven’t thought about as part of the built environment. That’s an important part of the built environment.

Victor:                               07:50                   Well, you think about it, we all learned on a playground, right? And kids with disabilities should have that same opportunity or parents with disabilities or people who are aging to be able to play with their grandchildren at that playground, it all makes sense.

Kelly:                                  08:04                   That’s an excellent point. And that speaks a little bit to sort of universal design versus accessibility. So you could build maybe a space that is technically accessible by sort of ADA requirements, but it sounds like your initiatives are actually focusing on any kind of different abilities, not just strictly can a wheelchair get from point A to point B, but can people at with different abilities, maybe pregnant women, maybe elderly folks that are taking care of young kids, how can they access the space? Tell me a little bit more about the inter-play and how your agency sees kind of the interplay between setting the bare minimum standard and then really incorporating everybody.

Victor:                               09:04                   So if we look at the ADA, a great piece of legislation as a whole, and we look at the guidelines and the guidelines are really driven for physical disabilities, we really don’t think about other disabilities. We do, but they’re minor. So what we try to do is really bring that up to a higher level, right? When we’re thinking about people with disabilities, we really need to be cognizant of what that means, right? That’s people with hearing disabilities and it’s people who are deaf. People are hard of hearing, people that have lost their hearing, right? There’s so many different levels of hearing, but we have to be cognizant of that and make sure that’s included. When we’re talking about blindness, it’s not just people who are blind, it’s people with low vision and all different degrees of vision that people go through in their life. And we have to think about people with cognitive disabilities that’s important. People on the spectrum, people with mental health concerns, right? All of that needs to really be addressed. And of course people with physical disabilities. So that all interplays and when we’re talking about accessibility, it’s so broad in its scope and we have to really dial down on things and make sure that what we’re providing is accessible to all of those sectors. And it can be challenging at times, but there’s ways to do it. And that’s where we’re committed to do and the expertise that we have in our office, looking at lots of different technologies that are emerging, looking at infrastructure that’s being built and making sure that those big four, as we like to call it, the cognitive hearing, vision and physical disability are incorporated into everything the city does.

Kelly:                                  10:44                   Okay, got it. Not all of our listeners have read through the entire ADA requirements for any of those. What disabilities do the older fair housing act, ADA mostly look at?

Victor:                               10:59                   They look at physical disabilities, wheelchair access and height ranges and turning radiuses and stuff like that, which are all important. Because I mean, you even mentioned it before, people who are aging, right? We acquire disabilities as we age. Right now you’re looking at me and a year ago I wasn’t wearing glasses and now I am. And that’s something that has happened, right? People don’t realize that they acquire disabilities and vision is certainly one of them. And you may not be wearing glasses one day, but for reading purposes another. So things change and we have to be prepared for that and build our environment for that. So as you age, you age in place.

Kelly:                                  11:41                   Right. And that we had an episode focused on universal design, mostly in single family homes, small multifamily homes. But how can you make a space that you’re not constantly having to change with the way that your body will change? We know how our bodies will likely change. How can we incorporate that into the space? So it sounds like you guys maybe are looking at that from a public works perspective.

Victor:                               12:09                   Absolutely. From a public works perspective. And there’s so much construction that happens and frequently people come into our office from thinking about flood issues and how that affects people with disabilities, making sure that we have accessible options through that. It can be anything. It could be parks and playgrounds that we constantly see. And I’m trying to think as I’m talking about all the things that happen in the city and all the jobs that we look at from waterfront access, to beach access, to bathroom access, it just goes on and on.

Kelly:                                  12:46                   Right. That’s an excellent point. And we talked a little bit about there’s a lot of existing landscape in the city. We didn’t necessarily have the same size walkways as we would want now. The same size hallways as we would want now. The codes cover new buildings and renovations. Is there anything that we can do with the existing building stock and what are you guys looking at with the existing building stock?

Victor:                               13:16                   Well I want to say this really loud and I can’t wait till we get to the existing building code and really be able to change that and say “Hey what do we do in these existing buildings? Cause people are having issues.” People are not sure what to do or how to do it. They apply the new code to existing buildings, which is great. And we’d like that. But there are also constraints with that and we have to be cognizant of it and a lot of people are getting sued under this, under the ADA. And we have to figure out a way to dive into that existing building code and let people know what that is. And people are just lazy on design and not really thinking, cause you have to think outside the box for some of these old older buildings. And what type of infrastructure can be put in place. Is it ramps? Is it a lift to get in there or do you have color contrast that that’s there and things at proper heights and do you have doorbells that allow people to see and so many different things. And you have to be creative in what’s happening in this existing spaces and apply everything that you can. People simply just want to come into our office and say, “we can’t do this, we’re grandfathered in.” Well A. grandfather doesn’t exist and B. you can do this. You just have to go back and think creatively.

Kelly:                                  14:49                   Right. And that’s an excellent point. And I, I’ve talked probably on a couple of other episodes. There’s a lot of different things even that we cover within our office from sustainability, accessibility, universal design. And there might actually be conflicts between say one example that I’ve given is, the the door thresholds for accessibility. You want to be flat so you can get in easily, for passive house, you need a insulation around them. So how do you insulate it when it’s flat to the ground? So things like this, where we’re trying to balance different priorities. So it almost feels like, how the design world is trying to balance a bunch of different priorities and they’ve just said, you know what, we’re just not going to look at this universal design thing. It’s too overwhelming. It’s too scary. Accessibility.We’ll Try to check the box with as little as possible, but maybe they’re really not focusing in the right place.

Victor:                               15:49                   And no one really cares about disability until it happens to them. And it’s really important that people look at this, because we mentioned earlier people will acquire disabilities, could very well happen to you, right? It can. But think about this, how will it apply to you as you get older, or how it will apply to your grandmother or grandparents right?

Kelly:                                  16:13                   Yeah. No, that’s an excellent point. We talked a little bit about human behavior too. There’s statistics out there, there’s plenty of information that says this is a better way to build a building. Universal design and thinking about people with disabilities, thinking about differently abled people.

Victor:                               16:29                   Oh no, no, differently abled is something we dont say! And language is important too and really thinking about how we drive, because what we try to do in our office is ensure that there’s equity across everything and language is really important. So, and I know we have to really think about language there and there’s a lot of different things that you don’t say in disability because what you want to do is really provide a space where people aren’t offended or people are accepted. So we really have to think about our language.

Kelly:                                  17:09                   Yeah. And I thought about that a lot at first and messed it up there. But it’s one thing the framing is sort of the human centered focus, right? So it’s people, everybody is a person first and anything about them is secondary.

Victor:                               17:25                   Yeah. We like to use person first language a lot because you put the person before the disability instead of saying a wheelchair person, you’re saying a person in a wheelchair. So those are really the importance, or a blind person- It’s a person who is blind. And then those are some of the language that we like to put forward. And there’s also the H word.

Kelly:                                  17:52                   Right? Yeah. Tell me more about the H word.

Victor:                               17:54                   Yeah, the H word is the word handicap and we don’t use that anymore. It’s just an archaic word. And people just like to be referred to people with disabilities. Plain and simple.

Kelly:                                  18:09                   Yeah. And that’s an excellent point. And I think centering around humans, if we think about universal design with that lens, then I think we don’t get so tied up in this specific, “Oh can you make the turn in this room.” Well if we drop that lens, can we just think about all people? How can all people use this space in a more effective way? I think that’s excellent. Are there initiatives for people like me to increase sensitivity around around the language that we use to move the, the discussion forward in a healthy way?

Victor:                               18:54                   Yeah. And there’s a lot of different ways, right? One of the things that I didn’t mention earlier, but I’m going to mention now is a program that we have called NYC at work. It’s a public private partnership first ever in New York city, to employ people with disabilities. And we hear a lot about diversity and inclusion today, but if you hear about that diversity inclusion initiative, it doesn’t, it never includes people with disabilities. Never does. It never does. I want you to really dial in to the conversation next time you hear it and don’t say anything but just listen. You will not hear disability mentioned and if you do, let me know who they are because I want to be involved with them. So hiring people with disabilities, seeing people with disabilities in your office, understanding what that’s like and what their experiences are at work or how, how they can be such a collaborator with you and being able to bring new ideas, different approaches. We don’t see that in the workplace too much. So employing people with disabilities are certainly one of them. I’m also taking unconscious bias classes is another great thing. And more importantly, disability etiquette, reading up on disability etiquette and taking disability etiquette classes. I mean, one other thing, great things that our office does is that we go around and we give disability etiquette training to people that are involved with us. And it’s really something that’s eye opening. We are now developing a training module that will to train city employees that we’re developing right now on what disability etiquette is and how to work with people with disability, how to approach people with disabilities, what language is around. So it’s pretty in depth.

Kelly:                                  20:49                   And that’s sort of like a fix ourselves first program? Or not fix, but work with people within the government agencies kind of as a first and make sure that those people have an understanding

Victor:                               21:04                   Well yeah, we do a lot of training within city government as well, but we also do with businesses that we partner with as part of our NYC at work initiative and where people have made complaints about businesses not doing things correctly. And then we’ll reach out to those businesses and work with them so they understand how to work and talk with people with disabilities. Really important. Really important to get it right. And it’s a process and we wish we could turn things around as quickly as possible, but people need to, to know and understand. But it’s not until you really have people with disabilities, the only people with disabilities in the workforce and fully inclusive education that we’re really going to move the needle for people with disabilities.

Kelly:                                  21:50                   Right. That’s an excellent point. I’m gonna take a little bit of a turn. You mentioned technology and how technology is changing things. Do you have any specific examples of how technology is advancing the way that people with disabilities can interact with spaces or can interact with the built environment?

Victor:                               22:22                   Yeah, lots of different ways. We, we do a lot of work with museums around the city. And we use technology that drives people to exhibits and be able to if you think you go to an exhibit and you put on headphones and it talks to you about what that exhibit is, that’s one piece of technology. Another piece of technology that we’ve been working with is the Broadway theaters and something called Gallop Pro and the technology that’s there, it allows a person to get an app or a device at a theater and be able to get audio description and captioning on demand. In the past you’d have to wait for a specific show. Now you just go to a show that you want two weeks after it’s performance and it’s audio described. It’s captioned and people can get this technology. That’s great stuff that we’re driving. One other great thing that we’ve been, that we’ve done is work with link NYC. You know, those links you see on the street, the big kiosks. We reinvented the payphone and what that came the link NYC. And we’ve added a lot of accessible little features in there, height features, brail features, talkback features that are there and we’re always looking to add new technologies.

Kelly:                                  23:41                   And what exactly does Link do for people that dont know?

Victor:                               23:44                   It’s a free phone on the street and free web service that’s on the street, free wifi hotspots that are on the street that people can get and they’re fully inclusive to people with disabilities.

Kelly:                                  23:55                   Awesome. That’s great. And we’ve focused a lot on the New York city context. What do you think makes the biggest difference here versus maybe in other places around the world? I know you’ve done some traveling and speaking engagements in other places. What do you see as kind of our strengths and weaknesses? Is it dependent on the kind of buildings that we have?

Victor:                               24:20                   Sure. Well the great thing about New York city, is it really is the greatest city in the world. I’m a pompous new Yorker and I’m not going to hold back. And there’s a lot to do and there’s a lot to see and there’s a lot to make accessible and people are really interested about what happens in New York City. I’ve been around other parts of the world and I see other great things that are happening. And when I see those things happening, I’m just like, well, how do we get involved with that? How do I steal that?

Kelly:                                  24:53                   What was one idea you found from somewhere else?

Victor:                               24:55                   Well, it’s a lot of technology. Stuff like the Gallup pro that we’ve been using in theaters is something that I’ve seen there. Different crossings ways that other people are looking at crossings for people with disabilities. Accessible pedestrian signals. I’ve seen something when I was in Wellington, New Zealand, I saw some great accessibility. Every singlized crossing had accessible pedestrian signals that are there. And I thought that was great. So it allows a person with a visual disability to cross the street in a safe manner. But just like every single signalized crossing was there and I was like, wow, this is pretty cool. They really got it right. And seeing things like that, it’s like, all right, we can do that. We will figure out how we can do that and we’re adding more and more on our street and continue to do so.

Kelly:                                  25:49                   Yeah, that’s great. We talked a little bit before we started recording about 1% better, so if we can get a couple of 1% better every day. Any of the programs that we have, do you see any opportunity to replicate them at the national level?

Victor:                               26:07                   We are working a lot with other mayor’s office, with people with disabilities across the country and we just held the first convening in may of all those offices, about 13 offices everywhere from Chicago to Philadelphia, Boston, San Francisco, st Louis, Chicago. So yeah, usual suspects and we’re working together for different initiatives and where we were looking to start an empowered cities initiative where we work on financial empowerment, housing and employment for people with disabilities. So there are certainly some national efforts that are happening and and we convene every other month via phone to talk about the issues that we’re having and see which, who’s tackling what and what best practices are happening in and how we can all make it better.

Kelly:                                  27:04                   Great. And thinking about something that’s gone the other way. We had the national ADA requirements and then we have kind of the local code requirements. You were on the code committee with one of our accessibility consulting directors. Sorry, I’m jumping around a little. To develop chapter 11, the accessibility chapter. How is this code language moving us forward in New York? We spoke a little bit about kind of the host of existing buildings, but what are some of the things that you guys were focused on getting in this round into the accessibility code?

Victor:                               27:46                   So the great thing about the code is you really need to come to consensus, right? And thinking about when we go through that, we had a lot of different people in the room, right? We had architects and designers and building people and city people. And the list goes on and on and on. And in a room like that, it can be tough. But the idea with the, with the chapter 11 was, and I set the tone at the beginning, I want to figure out ways that we can go above and beyond accessibility. And we found ways to do that and we build consensus around it. We’ve increased the number of accessible tables that are, that are in restaurants. We put in new parking spots, bicycle parking spots for people with disabilities because people with disabilities like to ride bikes. Either it’s a hand cycle, a tricycle or a tandem bike, and that requires a little bit more space. So we’ve added more space for that. We’ve looked at different ways to look at elevator access because what we’re doing right now is we have these destination elevators and you ever go to see one of those destination elevators. You go in, you press a floor and then one comes, it brings you right to that floor. And they’re really confusing because they’re so different than the traditional elevator where you push a button and you stop at every floor. And there’s lots of reasons for that. More efficient, easier to access. But what we’ve done is we created a barrier for people with visual disabilities and how they access everything, because everything’s like a digital keypad, right? And they aren’t physical. So we worked through the code to come up with standards that are more efficient for people with disabilities and people acknowledge we’re talking about the sound that’s there, the physical buttons, and when you hit it, it gets more time to access that elevator. So those are some of the things that we looked at in code that we push forward. That has certainly increased accessibility. And that’s what we’re talking about. Incremental changes that will get better. Of course I want to go in and just make everything better. But again, we have a lot of people in the room and we’ve got so much further in the code and I can only see it going further and further.

Kelly:                                  30:03                   Right. And that elevator piece is such an excellent point because as things change for other reasons not related to accessibility or universal design, that are changing for efficiency, we then have to adapt the codes that relate to them to make sure that they’re accessible for all.

Victor:                               30:24                   And we talked about digital accessibility a little bit before technology and what we did with the destination elevators, right? At some degree, when we’re bringing in these new technologies as a whole, not just the elevators, we start to create a digital divide. We gatta kinda bring that back and say, well, if we’re going to digitize something, we have to make sure it’s accessible for people with disabilities. So that’s the reason why when we looked at the code and we had an opportunity to change these destination elevators, everyone came on and we didn’t do it in a bubble, right? We had people with disabilities that went out and actually tested the service with designers, manufacturers. They were there to witness what happened and how people got lost. Right? And we had everyone involved. We had people from research. And we wanted to make sure that what we’re putting forward was right. Not only for people with disabilities, for the people that are designing the elevators. We can’t create a digital divide. We have to ensure that it’s accessible for people with disabilities, but we need the input from people with disabilities and can’t do that without them.

Kelly:                                  31:42                   Right. That’s an excellent point. And you spoke before to different perspectives on things. Everybody is going to come at that with a different perspective that will then hopefully make a solution that’s actually better for everyone. So what can I do and what can our listeners do to contribute and make a difference Today?

Victor:                               32:03                   We mentioned some of it earlier, right? Disability etiquette, right? Looking at people to hire, right? What is your HR practices and making sure that you’re hiring people with disabilities. Simple things. Do you have a Twitter? You have Instagram? Are you adding alt-texts describing the photos? Right? These are all simple little things. You think about it. Instagram is fully something that people look at with pictures. Well, a person with visual disability wants to know what those pictures are. Describe what that picture is, right? Those are simple little things that you can do to change things. And the perceptions of people with disabilities. And people with disabilities are not disabled, right? You could say, “Hey, you know, Victor, I’m looking at you right now and you’re in a wheelchair. You know that that appears to be a disability to me.” It’s like, okay, yeah, I could understand why you would say that, but what makes me disabled is not my wheelchair. It’s my environment, and when we start to change the environment to be accessible, the disabilities go away.

Kelly:                                  33:22                   That’s an excellent point. That is a really great note to end on, but I will ask you one more question. What I like to ask is when we’re on this podcast again in five years talking, what will we be talking about? Then?

Victor:                               33:40                   Our goal and our vision is to make New York city the most accessible city in the world.

Kelly:                                  33:47                   So we’ll just be talking about how great it is

Victor:                               33:49                   How much further we have gone and including accessibility and everything that the city has to offer.

Kelly:                                  33:56                   All right. That’s great. Thank you so much for coming on the podcast today.

Speaker 5:                        34:02                   Thank you for listening to buildings and beyond. For more information about the topics discussed today. Visit www.swinter.com/podcast and check out the episode show notes. Buildings and beyond is brought to you by Steven winter associates. We provide energy, green building and accessibility consulting services to improve the built environment our professionals have led the way since 1972 and the development of best practices to achieve high performance buildings. Our production team for today’s episode includes Dylan Martello, Alex Mirabile, and myself. Heather Breslin, thank you for listening and we’ll see you next week.