With a new editor, Emily Ladau, at the helm, The Viscardi Center in Albertson is set to publish its first issue of Able Newspaper in Feburary. The nonprofit organization announced the acquisition of the paper, which was founded in 1991 and covers the disability community, in October. The paper is read by disabled individuals, their caregivers and families, and professionals who serve people with disabilities
A disability rights activist, Ladau first came to Viscardi a decade ago to learn to drive in its adaptive driver education program. She went on to become a writer, editor, storyteller and digital communications strategist.
Her career began at the age of 10, when she appeared on several episodes of Sesame Street to educate children about her life with a physical disability. Her writing has been published in The New York Times, CNN, Vice, and HuffPost and her first book, Demystifying Disability: What to Know, What to Say, and How to be an Ally, was published by Ten Speed Press in 2021. Her depth of work includes previously serving as editor of The Century Foundation’s Voices of Disability Economic Justice Project, as well as the founding editor-in-chief of the Rooted in Rights Blog. She has spoken before numerous audiences, from the U.S. Department of Education to the United Nations. Central to her work is harnessing the power of storytelling to engage people in learning about disability.
“The Viscardi Center is thrilled that a journalist and leader of Emily Ladau’s considerable stature will serve as Editor for Able Newspaper,” Chris Rosa, president and CEO of The Viscardi Center, said in a written statement.
“Emily’s experiences and insights as a journalist, writer, storyteller, social media content creator, disability culture cultivator and activist, position her uniquely to lead Able into a bold, new era of news by, and for, the disability community,” he added.
“It’s a true honor and joy to work with The Viscardi Center as we carry forward the legacy of Able Newspaper,” Ladau said in a written statement. “I’m so proud to be part of New York’s diverse, vibrant disability community, and I’m committed to amplifying their perspectives and serving as a resource throughout our state.”
Ladau has served as a strategic communications consultant to Viscardi’s cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of Labor/Office of Disability Employment Policy to operate the Employer Assistance and Resource Network on Disability Inclusion, as well as Project Accessible Oral Health – an initiative The Viscardi Center nurtured during its formative years to raise awareness of the critical need for equitable, quality and culturally competent oral healthcare for children and adults with a wide range of disabilities. More recently, Ladau delivered the commencement speech to the Henry Viscardi School class of 2022 and in the same year, received one of the prestigious, international Henry Viscardi Achievement Awards.