New York Post – Meet the MTA’s first ever Chief Accessibility OfficerDate Published: March 3, 2021
The city’s former transportation accessibility czar starts as the MTA’s first ever Chief Accessibility Officer on Thursday after a brief stint in the private sector where he landed in hot water with the city’s Conflicts of Interest Board.
Quemuel “Q” Arroyo, 31, told The Post he came to a career of advocacy for people with disabilities after a 2007 mountain bike accident left him confined to a wheelchair.
“My perspective was completely turned on its head,” Arroyo said of the spinal cord injury, for which he spent 10 months recovering at the hospital.
“It was that background that really introduced me into the world of advocacy, into the world of disability advocacy.”
The Manhattan-raised A train rider — still a resident of the Hamilton Heights neighborhood where he was raised — said he hopes to be a voice for his fellow New Yorkers with disabilities, who face a subway where most stations are not wheelchair-accessible.
The state legislature created Arroyo’s new role in 2019 to be a central hub for accessibility initiatives across the MTA’s buses, subways, commuter rails, tunnels and bridges.
Arroyo considers himself an advocate, he said — and hopes to be a bridge between the MTA and the city’s vocal disability advocacy groups.