Sisters Annie Lachhman and Lakshmee Lachhman-Persad were born in the South American country of Guyana.

The sisters lived in Guyana for most of their childhood before immigrating to the United States with their parents as teenagers. Lachhman-Persad said the family, from the Bronx, is normal, despite the fact that Annie was born with cerebral palsy.

“We’ve all learned how to adapt to her, how to be her reasonable accommodation so she and each of us can live to our fullest potential,” she said.

The family loves traveling, but with Annie being disabled, they began to see how little information and accommodations were available for the disabled in the travel and tourism industry.

So, four years ago, Lachhman-Persad created a blog, Accessible Travel NYC to change that. The mission of the blog is to inspire and empower disabled people and their families to enjoy all that New York City tourism has to offer.

Lakshmee Lachhman-Persad, with her sister Annie Lachhman and their mom in Grand Central Terminal to check out the MTA Away ads which feature Annie and her mom. Photo: Lakshmee Lachhman-Persad.

“By that time, I had worked in tourism marketing in NYC for about 20 years and never once marketed to people with disabilities,” she said. “After attempting to get a few prominent organizations to do so without much luck, I decided to do it with the support of my family.”

Through documenting the travel experiences the family has had, Lachhman-Persad said that they have become their own representation. They also make sure to provide accessible feedback.

When planning a day out, some of the biggest challenges the family has include finding accessible bathrooms and restaurants. Another major challenge is the weather, which they are mindful of.

Lachhman-Persad said she’d like to see more integrated marketing to disabled people and more programs being led by them, in addition to accommodations and information on accessibility always being provided.

Lakshmee Lachhman-Persad and her sister Annie Lachhman at Lincoln Center Jazz Weekend, in front of the stairs. Photo: Lakshmee Lachhman-Persad.

The Persad sisters were also part of an episode of the Met’s podcast earlier this year and was featured in a video by NYC and Company, the city’s official travel marketing organization.

You can read more about the family’s NYC travel experiences here. The blog also provides information on accommodations for certain hotels, wheelchair access for certain restaurants, and accessible transportation across the city.

Do you have any questions about planning an accessible trip? If so, you can email Lakshmee Lachhman-Persad at [email protected]

Milette Millington

I am a big advocate of and champion for the disabled, and I will be covering the disability beat. As someone who has been battling cerebral palsy for most of my life, I hope to inspire other people, women...

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