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New York, NY – YAI’s Central Park Challenge, New York’s largest gathering that celebrates people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD), is taking center stage in the city’s iconic park once again and bringing more accessible fun than ever before. Join thousands of New Yorkers for a morning of free fun featuring a festival area with switch-adapted carnival games, our signature 3K Walk, an adaptive music tent, and live performances from the Blue Man Group and other special guests. 

Hosted by Bill Ritter, anchor of WABC-TV's Eyewitness News, Central Park Challenge will take place at the Naumburg Bandshell on Saturday, June 1 from 8 am-12 pm. 

This year, funds raised at Central Park Challenge will go toward two specific areas where YAI does not receive sufficient support from government funding - staff training and recreational activities for people YAI supports

By investing in our crucial workforce, YAI hopes to enhance staff skills in the I/DD field and beyond. We also want to ensure the people we support have access to the same experiences as the rest of society. Whether it's a long-awaited trip to the beach, an outing to a Broadway show, or a membership to a weekly bowling league, these experiences help people with I/DD expand their world views, practice social skills, interact with their communities, and bring joy to their lives.

Event goers will have a chance to utilize some assistive technology that will be on display at the park as well as learn about adaptive fashion through the accessible closet that will be showcasing shirts with magnetic buttons and Velcro openings, Ankle Foot Orthosis-friendly shoes for balance and stability, and other adaptive clothing and costumes donated by Target and other private donors.

The entertainment lineup includes Brass Queens, an all-female band with a sound that is deeply inspired by the New Orleans tradition, Cheer New York, So Fun City who will be doing an inclusive magic show and Only Make Believe leading an inclusive theater workshop. Maria Milito, the voice of New York’s Q104.3, will also be part of the celebrations. 

MEDIA CONTACT: Kamana Shrestha: | 646.780.9936


ABOUT YAI: Founded in 1957, YAI remains at the forefront of an extraordinary movement aimed at empowering people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families. YAI and its network of affiliate agencies offer children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities a comprehensive range of services.