Johnathan Mancebo said that the 2020 Netflix documentary “Crip Camp” inspired the initiative.
By Bryan Boggiano
The city commission honored Johnathan Mancebo, an advocate for people with disabilities, at their Nov. 3 meeting.
According to the organization’s website, he started RiseAsOne to help people with disabilities participate in the community and be seen. He currently serves as president and CEO.
To promote accessibility, Mancebo and RiseAsOne started the Ring In Initiative.
For this, businesses, offices, and other venues installed a wireless doorbell. According to RiseAsOne’s website, this enables customers with disabilities to signal for help in an empowering way.
According to a GoFundMe that Mancebo started, he speaks with a manager or corporate staff to get approval for the wireless doorbell and signs. Through Amazon or other corporate-approved retailers, businesses can purchase signs and doorbells, which are typically less than $35.
On Sept. 23, the city of Coconut Creek, where Mancebo resides, recognized him for his advocacy. He grew up in Coral Springs before moving to Coconut Creek.
Mancebo said that the documentary “Crip Camp” inspired the initiative. The 2020 Netflix documentary tells the story of campers at Camp Jened, which served people with disabilities who were excluded from mainstream summer camps before the ADA. Its purpose is to portray people with disabilities in an empowering and honest way.
In his remarks, Mancebo, surrounded by family and friends, expressed that he was thankful for the proclamation and will continue to advocate for people with disabilities in the community.
“My legacy is to bring inclusion for all, to bring awareness to others about the needs and challenges of people with disabilities,” Mancebo said in an email.
Mayor Scott Brook, who presented the recognition, said he got to know Mancebo after a meeting of the Coral Springs Coconut Creek Regional Chamber.
Mayor Brook said that it takes courage to start a grassroots movement and that Mancebo’s work is important not only for people with disabilities but also for businesses to be accessible.
“Jonathan is working, through his disability, to bring awareness and to support others with disabilities,” he said. “We need, as business owners and as a municipality, to support all individuals, so you’re representing equitability and inclusion for everybody, Jonathan.”
Mancebo acknowledged that the Ring In Initiative had a significant impact on the community and hoped to continue working toward acceptance and inclusion.
“It’s a great feeling knowing I can help others with disabilities to feel included in today’s society and to feel more independent,” he said. “A sense of independence and inclusion is a great morale booster to an individual with special needs.”
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- A University of Florida journalism graduate, Bryan is pursuing his masters in geosciences at Florida International University. He has a strong interest in weather, entertainment, and journalism.
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