A green sign on the corner of 1st Avenue and East 4th Street in Manhattan now reads "Frieda Zames Way," named for a woman who used lawsuits, civil disobedience and writing to improve the accessibility of public transportation, sidewalk curb cuts, polling places and public buildings.
"She didn't have an impact on our community. She had an impact on America," Manhattan Assemblyman Micah Kellner said at the May 2nd ceremony. "You cannot walk two feet in this city without seeing Frieda Zames' impact."
Zames' (upper right) three decades of advocacy also included pushing for access to the 88th floor observatory of New York's iconic Empire State Building, which is now accessible.
The event was attended by City Council Member Rosie Mendez (left), Matthew Sapolin, Commissioner of the Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities (below), and dozens of Zames' supporers and friends.
Nadina LaSpina (bottom), an activist and language teacher, told stories about protesting for equal rights with Zames, including one event where police officers threatened to arrest activists who refused to follow their orders and Zames reportedly replied, "You do what you have to do. I'll do what I have to do."
Zames is the past president of the advocacy group Disabled in Action and co-author of a book, "The Disability Rights Movement: From Charity to Confrontation," with her sister, Doris Zames Fleischer. She worked as an actuary for Met Life, earned a doctorate degree in mathematics from New York University and taught math at the New Jersey Institute of Technology for 27 years.
Zames was diagnosed with polio when she was two years old. She died in 2005 at the age of 72.
All photos by Emily F. Keller except Frieda Zames' photo from event organizers.