Ather Sharif is grand marshal at this year's Disability Pride Walk - Generocity Philly

People

Mar. 10, 2016 3:04 pm

Ather Sharif is grand marshal at this year’s Disability Pride Walk

The EvoXLabs founder will lead the walk in June.

Ather Sharif at the 2015 Philadelphia Geek Awards.

(Screenshot)

Every summer in Philadelphia, the Disability Pride Walk is led by a grand marshal across Market Street from the National Constitution Center to City Hall.

Last year, disability rights advocate and former U.S. Senator Tom Harkin sported the grand marshal title. This year, the grand marshal is EvoXLabs founder, Google Lime Scholar and 2015 Geek of the Year Ather Sharif.

Sharif has been a quadriplegic since a car accident in North Dakota in 2013, after which he did not touch a computer for a whole year.

Obviously, that’s changed. Through EvoXLabs, Sharif will be hosting The Accessibility World Conference and accessible technology hackathon evoHaX, both coming up in April. The Disability Pride Walk will be June 18 this year.

“The recognition is important,” Sharif said. “There are people with disabilities around and they should be given equal opportunity, whether that’s in jobs, sports, any other involvement in the community. That’s the awareness the pride walk creates.”

We all have a social responsibility to recognize the needs of people with disabilities, Sharif said. The parade, like any other pride walk, is a celebration of that. That’s the most important part.

“It’s unfortunate and it’s sad, but sometimes people with disabilities don’t have the confidence to get out. This is the only event they come out for,” he said, adding that when people with disabilities see the support of the public, they become motivated and gain the confidence to not feel ashamed.

From our Partners

Some people are under the impression that being disabled is a shameful thing, Sharif said. That’s not the case.

“It’s one of those things where, if everyone has blonde hair and we have black hair, we feel left out,” he said. “It doesn’t necessarily mean the community is not friendly or discriminatory, it’s a subconscious thing that makes you feel different.”

Last year’s Disability Pride Walk in New York City rallied thousands. Sharif said Philadelphia is not too far behind.

-30-
LEAVE A COMMENT

From our Partners

To diversify hiring, let employees with intellectual disabilities demonstrate their skills

Here’s our 2018 editorial calendar

Here’s how the Penn Museum wants to engage visitors with vision loss

SPONSORED

Generocity Philly

Redefining civic participation, one new leader at a time

Callowhill, Philadelphia

Message Agency

Content Strategist

Apply Now
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Asian Arts Initiative

Executive Director

Apply Now
2401 Walnut St., Philadelphia PA, 19103

Sustainable Business Network

Government Relations Manager

Apply Now

Check out how ballet made a difference in students with disabilities

Power Moves: Accessibility expert Ather Sharif is leaving Philly

Child’s World America wants to be a ‘catalyst’ in uniting child advocacy orgs

SPONSORED

Generocity Philly

For immigrants, civic engagement is essential to success

Philadelphia, PA

Equal Measure

Senior Consultant, Technology

Apply Now
Philadelphia, PA

DataArts

Mid-Level Application Developer

Apply Now
1651 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy, Philadelphia, PA 19102

Friends Select School

Director of City Curriculum

Apply Now

Sign-up for regular updates from Generocity