Disabled in Action

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The official logo of Disabled In Action (DIA)

Disabled In Action of Metropolitan New York (DIA) is a civil rights organization, based in New York City, committed to ending discrimination against people with disabilities through litigation and demonstrations.[1] Founded in 1970 by Judith E. Heumann and several other disabled friends, Disabled In Action is a democratic, not-for-profit, tax-exempt, membership organization. Disabled In Action consists primarily of and is directed by people with disabilities.

As stated on their website, the organizations aims to "fight to eliminate the barriers that prevent [people with disabilities] from enjoying full equality in American society."

DIA believes in the motto, "Nothing about us without us!"

The organization meets monthly in New York City and publishes a newsletter, in print and online, called The DIA ACTIVIST.

Disabled In Action, along with the New York City Commission on Human Rights, is involved with The One Step Campaign, a coalition of disability, advocacy and service organizations. The campaign encourages stores, restaurants and other places of public accommodation in the New York City area to provide wheelchair accessibility.


According to Judith E. Heumann, the organization was originally called "Handicapped in Action". She, along with the organization's other founders Denise McQuade, Bobbi Linn, Frieda Tankas, Fred Francis, Pat Figueroa and maybe Larry Weissberger, Susan Marcus, Jimmy Lynch and Roni Stier, disliked that name so they lobbied that the word "handicapped" was a "beggar's term." Heumann explained, "How could we, as a new organization, be calling ourselves 'Handicapped in Action'?" As a result, the name of the organization was changed to Disabled in Action.

In the late 1970s, some Disabled In Action members formed a musical group called The DIA Singers and have recorded two albums, In Motion and ...and the Parking Spots Are Nothing But The Best.

On April 19, 2006, it was announced that after nearly 5 years, Duane Reade, a chain of drugstores primarily located in New York City, finally agreed to settle with Disabled In Action to make all of its stores ADA-compliant. According to the New York Daily News, Duane Reade estimates it will take two years to inspect and revamp its stores for wheelchair access.

NBC's original The More You Know logo is very similar to the DIA's logo. The DIA had considered legal action against NBC for copyright infringement, but has subsided those claims since the logo was changed.


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