In the News

HILC Announces New Executive Director

The Harlem Independent Living Center (HILC) is excited to welcome Mr. Yaw Appiadu as its new Executive Director. Mr. Appiadu is celebrated for his extensive involvement in the independent living community and his unwavering commitment to service. His journey in the sector is distinguished by significant roles in New York State, including leadership positions in the Bronx and Westchester County.

Boasting over a decade of experience in nonprofit management, Mr. Appiadu has held various managerial, supervisory, and executive roles since 2015. His current position as Treasurer and Chair-Elect of the New York State Independent Living Council (NYSILC) highlights his deep-rooted dedication to the community.

Mr. Appiadu is known for his expertise in several key areas, such as health insurance enrollment, housing, and disability transition programs. His active involvement with organizations like Acces-VR and Administration on Community Living has contributed significantly to public policy and finance committees.

His academic achievements are equally notable. A New York Medical College graduate with a Master’s in Public Health, Mr. Appiadu was awarded the Outstanding Scholarship Award in 2016. He has also played a crucial role at Valley View University as the President of the Development Studies Student Association, advocating for student welfare.

HILC is proud to have Mr. Appiadu lead the organization and looks forward to the new heights his leadership will bring.

Yaw Appiadu, HILC Executive Director

Spotlight on HILC Board Member Marcus Johnson

Marcus Johnson

HILC Board Member Marcus Johnson, who serves as the Manager for Advocacy Programs and Initiatives at Independence Care System (ICS), offers insightful reflections in an article focused on the National Institutes of Health (NIH)’s recent designation of people with disabilities as a health disparities population. This historic acknowledgment by the NIH, long overdue, marks a significant shift in the approach to understanding and addressing the complex factors contributing to health inequities within this demographic. The article highlights the struggles faced by individuals with disabilities in accessing equitable healthcare and the intersection of these challenges with issues of racial and ethnic discrimination. Johnson’s perspective as a Black African-American with a physical disability adds a profoundly personal and informed view on the systemic issues of racism and ableism that exacerbate health disparities for minorities with disabilities​.

Click here to read Uncovering Healthcare Injustices: Recognizing People With Disabilities As A Population With Health Disparities

Judy Heumann, Advocate for People With Disabilities, Has Died

The news of the loss of Judith Heumann saddens us. If you know anything about the Disability Rights movement, you know about Judy’s fierce advocacy, knowledge, and fearlessness when demanding accessibility for all disabled people. In her mind, Disability Rights were and are Human Rights.

As she said many times, she wanted to see feisty disabled people change the world. We hope we can honor her memory with feisty, good trouble that will change the world and make it accessible for all people with all disabilities.

We at Harlem Independent Living Center remember Judith for her compassion, courage, and steadfastness and as a shining example of how to positively change the world by fighting for the rights of people with disabilities.

We send our deepest condolences to her husband, Jorge Pineda, and their family.

To honor Judy, here is a link to Crip Camp to watch free online:

Crip Camp:

Judy Heumann
Judy Heumann
Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Subways Class Notice for Dissemination

man in wheelchair at the MTA

Notice of Proposed Settlement of Class Action Lawsuits

You Might Be Affected by a Proposed Class Action About the Accessibility of the New York City Subway System

If you would like the notices in other languages (Spanish, Chinese, Bengali, Haitian Creole, Korean, Russian) you can find them all on our website here: (we’re still working on uploading them to other locations).
 DRA Fairness Hearing