Friday, 13 January 2012 00:00
Twenty years ago, Able Newspaper’s publisher Angela Miele Melledy wondered if there would be enough content about people with disabilities to fill a monthly newspaper. Today, she wonders how she will fit it all. Two hundred and forty issues later, Able Newspaper, based in Old Bethpage, is written for, by and about people with disabilities, is being called “my bible” by people with disabilities.”
Able Newspaper enables people with disabilities to read about people facing the same issues they are and see the possibilities that are out there. It features all the news that pertains to people with disabilities, including a calendar of events, columns written by various experts and a variety of informative articles and is printed in a larger type format for those with visual impairments.
Able also provides personal ads and boasts two marriages. Topics include court rulings, social events, public information, sports, Americans with Disabilities Act proceedings and legislative issues. Its number one priority is the input of people with disabilities. During its 20 years, Able has employed people with disabilities including writers, editors and sales professionals. Columns have covered law, civil rights, art, travel and even sex for people with disabilities.
“What’s so important about Able is that issues are aired, disagreements are public and the rights of the Disabilities Movement is its only goal,” said Jim Weissman, General Counsel, the United Spinal Association.
The interest, support and encouragement of the newspaper is not limited to people with disabilities and their families. After years of advocacy, Melledy gained the support of many non-profit groups and local and regional public officials who understand the importance of reaching out to a community made up of people who are faced with challenges everyday of their lives.
The interest, support and encouragement of Able Newspaper is not limited to people with disabilities and their families. Able has gained the support of many non-profit groups and local and regional public officials who understand the importance of reaching out to a community made up of people who are faced with challenges everyday of their lives.
“Angela is the best ambassador in the state of New York for people who are disabled and those who are developmentally challenged,” said New York state Assembly member Harvey Weisenberg (D-Long Beach). “She is the voice of people who don’t have one and through her paper she presents an awareness for people with disabilities.”
“It’s hard to believe it’s been 20 years since I decided to make an attempt at publishing a newspaper. There seemed to be a need in this community that was fairly new to me,” said Melledy. “I had no idea, at the time, how large the need was. “It is an honor for us to be able to do what we do for people who repeatedly inspire and encourage all of us at Able Newspaper.”