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Lakshmee Lachhman-Persad

 ADvocating for accessibility with lakshmee lachhman-persad

Kerry Diamond: Hey, Bombe Squad. Welcome to Radio Cherry Bombe, the podcast that's all about women and food. I'm your host, Kerry Diamond, coming to you from Brooklyn, New York. Today's guest is an incredible woman. Lakshmee Lachhman-Persad. A digital marketing expert, Lakshmee wants to make the wonderful sights, sounds, and tastes of New York City more accessible to people with disabilities. It's an issue that's very personal to Lakshmee, as her sister Annie was born with cerebral palsy. Lakshmee joins us to talk about Accessible Travel NYC, her consultancy and website. Lakshmee shares her family story, and also gives advice for those of you who want to make your businesses, events and even websites more accessible for the millions of people in this country with disabilities. I hope you stay tuned for this important conversation.

Some housekeeping? We've launched a brand new feature on called Open Book. Admittedly, we don't have a lot of content on our site, so this is a big deal, folks. We take a behind the scenes look at some of the coolest and newest cookbooks. This week's open book is Lemongrass & Lime by chef Leah Cohen. Be sure to check it out and sign up for the Cherry Bombe newsletter while you're there.

Let's thank today's sponsor, Kerrygold. If you're a longtime listener, you know how much I love Kerrygold. Did any of you see that pasta sauce I made last week and posted on Instagram? I couldn't believe how many comments I got. The recipe is by Isabella Gambutoh and it calls for roasting two pints of Sungold tomatoes, my favorite, then blitzing them in a blender with eight ounces of softened, Kerrygold butter. It's kind of a crazy amount of butter, but hey. You mix the sauce with your choice of pasta – I went with farfalle – and the result was so good and rich and tangy. Weirdly, it tasted like a grownup gourmet version of the boxed mac and cheese I loved as a kid. You have to try it to understand what I mean. You can find the recipe on Isabella Gambuto's feed. DM me if you make it and let me know what you think.

We'll be right back after this word from Kerrygold, and our friend Denise Yamaguchi in Honolulu will share who she thinks is the Bombe.

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Denise Yamaguchi: Aloha, my name is Denise Yamaguchi, and I'm the CEO of the Hawaii Food & Wine Festival in Honolulu, Hawaii. Do you know who I think is the Bombe? Michelle Karr-Ueoka, chef and owner of MW Restaurant in Honolulu. She's the Bombe because, despite all of the challenges COVID-19 has brought to Hawaii, she has continued to support and help all of our farmers and others who are also suffering as a result of the pandemic. She has remained strong, positive, and always leads by example. She is the Bombe.

Kerry Diamond: Thank you, Denise. Michelle really is the Bombe. Now here's my conversation with Lakshmee Lachhman-Persad of Accessible Travel NYC.

Lakshmee, welcome to Radio Cherry Bombe. It's an honor to have you on the show.

Lakshmee Lachhman-Persad: Really Kerry, it's my pleasure being here today.

Kerry Diamond: So you and I haven't met in person, although that is a big goal of mine to make sure we meet in 2020 at some point. I learned about you because we're both on the Steering Committee for NYC & Company, which is the Convention and Visitors Bureau for New York City. The Steering Committee is all about the revitalization of New York City and the return of tourism. You gave a presentation that was incredibly moving, but for me as a native New Yorker, someone who's on the board of NYC & Company, and really wants to see the city come back, I was doubly moved. Can you tell people what your presentation was?

Lakshmee Lachhman-Persad: So my presentation that day was around people with disabilities and their inclusion as New York City plans it's tourism recovery.

Kerry Diamond: And it was very personal as well. Can you explain why?

Lakshmee Lachhman-Persad: It was. It's a very personal journey we're on as a family where my sister and I, along with my children, husband and my mom go out to many of the top attractions across the city and various different neighborhoods and restaurants. And then we blog about it to share it so that other people with disabilities would know what's accessible and what's inclusive in New York City.

Kerry Diamond: Can you tell us about your sister Annie?

Lakshmee Lachhman-Persad: Yep. So my sister Annie is 40 years old and she was born with cerebral palsy.

Kerry Diamond: How does she get around right now?

Lakshmee Lachhman-Persad: Well, for right now we're not going anywhere. We've just started going out back together and we're just doing local, which means bus rides away to City Island and Arthur Avenue, the zoo, the gardens.

Kerry Diamond: And Annie is in a wheelchair and requires a certain kinds of travel to be able to get around the city.

Lakshmee Lachhman-Persad: Absolutely. Annie has severe cerebral policy, which means we cannot get on the train. We use the MTA's Paratransit service, Access-A-Ride. And we haven't really used it during the pandemic, but we're comfortable getting on New York city buses, which are all accessible for wheelchair users.

Kerry Diamond: So Lakshmee, when did you launch Accessible Travel NYC?

Lakshmee Lachhman-Persad: November of this year it's going to be two years since we've launched it.

Kerry Diamond: And what led to the creation of Accessible Travel?

Lakshmee Lachhman-Persad: Well, over two years ago, we had been dealing with some difficult situations within our family and we needed mental time space out of our homes and in a more social setting, just to be able to deal with what we were going through. And at that time, I wasn't sure what we could do here in New York. And I started looking around, well, what's accessible? How do we know where we can go, what we can do? And it was very difficult to find information online. And throughout the process of figuring out, well, what should we do? And where can we go to have these moments? I realized that there wasn't a lot of marketing information available to people with disabilities and no single organization in New York City was catering to people with disabilities.

And through that process as well, I learned that there is a billion people worldwide that identifies with the disabilities. And I was like, wow, it's just not us that's hiding out at home because we don't know what to do and we don't know how society would treat us. And so after learning the huge market there was and that no one was doing any type of marketing towards these people, I asked my family if they'd be willing to document our journeys out. And so that's how we ended up with Accessible Travel NYC.

Kerry Diamond: That's remarkable. I mean, you point out something Lakshmee, that so many people without disabilities take for granted. And that's the ability to just walk out your door and go anywhere in your own hometown that you want to go. Even that's a challenge for you as you pointed out.

Lakshmee Lachhman-Persad: Yep. Prior to doing this with my sister and my mom, I mean, I knew I could pick myself up and go anywhere with my children, travel halfway across the world and all that good, fun stuff that you do as a family. But imagine not knowing what you can do with a wheelchair user. And that it's because you just don't know what's accessible. And the other, it's, you don't know how society is going to treat you. How would places welcome you? And that stems from the lack of representation of people with disabilities in media.

Kerry Diamond: So your family embarks on this journey, how has it changed things for your family? You said you were having some tough times as a family. Has this helped?

Lakshmee Lachhman-Persad: Oh, absolutely. I mean, imagine prior to this, all of our family gathering would be at our homes and all of the holidays would spent at our homes, but just being out in public in this way, we're sort of like local tourists, so they're our daycations, it's what we call them, where it's just absolutely amazing. It builds all kinds of self confidence for everybody involved and the cherished memories that we have now. And we are proud to say, we've pounded a lot of pavement across New York City and now a lot of neighborhoods.

It's been incredibly rewarding on that level for us as a family. And on top of that, the blog certainly reaches the audience it's intended for. And earlier this year, we had a family that reached out from the UK that said, "It's so nice to see these photos of you and your sister and your children." And it gave them the courage to plan their trip because the woman's daughter has cerebral palsy similar to Annie and the representation was just amazing. And they felt like, if we can do it here, they can certainly come and have a wonderful time too in New York.

Kerry Diamond: That's amazing. Lakshmee, the few times we've interacted, you are just so lovely and serene and patient, but this must've been and continue to be so frustrating. How do you work through that?

Lakshmee Lachhman-Persad: So the frustration comes from the fact of not finding the information online, because in order for us to plan a day out, it takes plenty of time to understand, well, what's accessible? For the large organizations in New York City, for sightseeing cultural and arts, it's pretty much understood that they would be accessible, but then our favorite part of the day is eating out and it's really, really challenging to find restaurants. And so sometimes in order for us to just put the whole day together, I would take the easy way out and say, "Okay, let's just go eat at a hotel restaurant." Because if the hotels are modern built, then we expect accessible physical access.

Kerry Diamond: I mean, it's got to be so hard in places really all over the whole entire city, because there are so many small restaurants and old buildings.

Lakshmee Lachhman-Persad: Absolutely. I mean, Chinatown, we went there during the New Year's festival and I really wanted us to try dim sum together and I could not find a restaurant that was accessible, a small restaurant, that is. And so we opted, of course, to eat in the hotel lobby restaurant downtown.

Kerry Diamond: If you went to give New York City restaurants a grade for accessibility Lakshmee, what would that grade be? I'm almost afraid to ask this question.

Lakshmee Lachhman-Persad: I’m almost afraid to answer it, because I mean, you have old buildings and you have new buildings. And so for the newer buildings, absolutely. You get a B, because it's accessible and the staffs are welcoming. But for the smaller one, we can't even figure out what they are and how to get in the door, so to speak.

Kerry Diamond: Challenges don't even begin outside. They begin when you're at home doing the research.

Lakshmee Lachhman-Persad: We usually pick, it would start with culture or sightseeing. And then we would explore a little bit of the neighborhood and then we would have to decide, well, where are we going to eat before we come back home for that day? And typically, I would use Google Maps to check out the area and pull it up closely to see if I can look at the pictures between Google Maps, in between Yelp and then on Instagram, whatever user generated content by location, to understand table level, to understand entry, to understand pathways inside of the restaurant. And then I would follow up with a call and make a reservation if it's accessible. And then I give specific instructions to whoever was taking the call, or if I use OpenTable, I'd give specific instructions of where we'd prefer to be seated. And usually a whole stack of questions come into play for their accessible restrooms, because that's very difficult to find in these restaurants.

Kerry Diamond: You had sent me an article about the Washington Post decision to add accessibility information to its restaurant reviews. Are things like that helpful? I know that's DC and not New York City, but-

Lakshmee Lachhman-Persad: Absolutely. I mean, if Pete Wells were to do a review of a restaurant or Eater or Grubhub, when they have all of their fantastic top places to eat at, or new spots that's opening up, it'd be great if they added accessibility information. There's a whole market for it. 11% of New York City's population identifies with a disability.

Kerry Diamond: And I read in The New York Times, 61 million across the United States. Now I know this isn't your job to reach out to those organizations. Have you ever reached out to Pete or to Eater?

Lakshmee Lachhman-Persad: No, I haven't.

Kerry Diamond: I'm even happy to do that, because I mean, I can share my own experience. As a restaurant owner, it wasn't top of mind. And same as an event planner. Cherry Bombe, we launched as a magazine, but then we started doing our Jubilee conference and it wasn't until a few years into the conference that one of our interns, a young woman named Hester Cant from London had said, "You really should be reaching out to all the attendees and letting them know that the space is accessible and that if anyone has special needs, you're absolutely willing to help accommodate them." And that was such a small thing, but such a huge thing at the same time. And it just was a conversation had never had. And I'm so grateful to Hester, because ever since then, that's the first thing we talk about when we start planning a conference is the accessibility of the location.

Lakshmee Lachhman-Persad: I'm not sure what it is with society where people with disabilities are always an after thought. It's probably because they don't see a person with disability in a positive light, so to speak. And that's where some of the issues are and the fact that there's just absolutely very little representation. I mean, a lot of the photography I come across when looking at accessible pages to get information, they look like they're straight out of the 90s. Right after the ADA was passed, it's probably when they've had their first and last photo shoot and they've left it there.

But there's small ways of being inclusive. Like you've just pointed out, it's not something that's top of mind, but then once you hear about it, it's sort of like you can not forget about it anymore, because it's just always remembering that there's other audiences. I mean, and it's not only people in a wheelchair, there's also the deaf and the blind. And let's talk about the autistic spectrum where they have their own needs. So it's just a wide range of disabilities, but it's just such a taboo subject.

Kerry Diamond: Even, I don't know if you watch the Democratic National Convention, but the young boy who stutters, who was talking about his relationship with Joe Biden, who also has dealt with stuttering his whole life. There was an article a friend of mine sent me from The Atlantic and it was written by someone who stutters. And the author had talked about even going to a coffee shop and how challenging that is. And people will just automatically write them off as either stupid, or they laugh at them. It was heartbreaking. As someone who cares deeply about the hospitality industry, I was like, my God, there are so many people out there who were just not providing hospitality to.

Lakshmee Lachhman-Persad: Absolutely. And like I said, there's this ignorance, there's this taboo. I'm doing the best I can to champion it within our industry.

Kerry Diamond: Well, let's talk about that a little bit more. For those who work in restaurants or food establishments, now that you've been around the city with your sister, you see how people in restaurants and food establishments interact with her. Do you have any advice for those ... And I'm not talking about the owners, because I want to talk about that separately. But this is for people who are service professionals. If someone comes into an establishment where they work with some kind of disability or accessibility issue, what should they start to do? How should they treat them?

Lakshmee Lachhman-Persad: They can learn to mask that initial shock to see a person with a disability out in public, because that's typically first reaction. It's sort of like, well, how do I behave? You can read it through their personality. And then there's a slight fear of them wondering if they're going to mess up during service. But if they can just mask it and get past that immediately and address everyone in the party equally, that'd be a fantastic way to start. And I mean, in the service industry, it's a dance of learning what your party needs and providing it. It's not like a one dry cup of how you do things. And so it's quick observation. It's being eye contact with the person with the disability. And then typically in our case, it's me that takes the lead, so then the service person would end up interacting with me mostly.

I mean, as we get seated, I would say where our preference are for Annie to sit. And we would explain because her left arm has a sort of reflex action, so if they bring over the food or drinks on that side, it just wouldn't go smoothly. So we just set the stage already, but initially they need to address every single one of us and then I'll take the lead after. So in every case, it differs, because I've also gone out, I have a very good friend mentor and a colleague of mine who's blind and he's often told me stories of whenever he goes out with his wife, the server would ask his wife, "Well, what's he going to eat?" Or, "What's he going to drink?" And she would always say, "Just talk to him directly."

Kerry Diamond: This start with staff training? Is this where restaurants and other eateries should start to discuss this?

Lakshmee Lachhman-Persad: Yes, I think there needs to be staff training because the fear of the stigma of not serving and welcoming too many people with disabilities in your establishment. It'd be great if the staffs are able to get some training for people of all kinds of disabilities.

Kerry Diamond: Lakshmee, for those who own food establishments who want to do a better job in terms of the service they're providing, you also do consulting work. How can people, if they want to reach out to you, what's the best way?

Lakshmee Lachhman-Persad: So my email address, it's And the services I offer are actually a social narrative on websites with inclusive language and laying out a business's physical access. And I also do inclusive digital marketing in which I offer tips for better social and email and websites. And I also do staff training with Slayton Group, where we train staffs how to welcome people with all kinds of disabilities.

Kerry Diamond: Let's talk about the website part, because you and I discussed that the other day. That's actually a place where a lot of organizations can start because it doesn't require sitting your entire staff down and training them. It doesn't require alterations to a physical property, but it's something that can go a long way.

Lakshmee Lachhman-Persad: Small things that you can do to be more welcoming is to actually update your website with information about what's accessible at your facilities. And then there's a plugin that's free actually, that you can add to your website for screen readers and people with learning disabilities who actually need a little bit more help navigating and so forth. It's called UserWay.

Kerry Diamond: And people can find that at and you have that on your website. We have it on our website. It's not just enough to add that to your site. You still have to do some work. And Lakshmee, you had even pointed out, you graciously had a friend of yours take a look at our website and we weren't doing the alt-text on our photos. Can you explain what that means?

Lakshmee Lachhman-Persad: So alt-texts are whenever you have your sites and your social and all of your digital marketing, people just tend to think of beautiful imagery. It's great. And it's wonderful. And I agree. I'm a digital marketer. I love seeing beautiful imagery, but then for people who have low vision or no vision, they have no idea what's in that beautiful imagery. So alt-text are what you add in your backend coding to just describe what that imagery is. One of my favorite example of these beautiful imageries, it's when somebody sends an invite that has the date, the time and whatever the event's about, and they don't put it in their copy. Then a person who has low vision or who's blind have no idea when that event is going to be to even sign up for it.

Kerry Diamond: Good to know. We're going to go back and update the site. And I'm going to check, I don't know that we're doing it on Instagram either, so I'll make sure that we're also doing it there. But just in case people want to check it out again, it's called We also started, I think about a year ago, getting transcripts of all the podcasts and hearing them on the website for those who have hearing issues. That's another thing people can do if you've got a podcast.

Let's talk about something that restaurateurs might find a little bit more challenging, and that's changing their physical spaces because that involves money. That involves redesigning things. So there are two situations, there are people with existing spaces and people who are creating new spaces. So let's take each separately. If you have an existing space that's probably not that accessible, how do you even start?

Lakshmee Lachhman-Persad: I think you should still list out whatever it is that's accessible. Like I said, there is such a range of disability and it's not one size that fits all. I think you should still lay it out, what's accessible and clearly state what's not. For example, if your restroom isn't accessible, please let us know that it's not so that we can plan our restroom stop elsewhere, or at least plan for it just in case we're coming out to eat a meal. From my understanding for places that are older and not accessible that there's federal funding to help with those physical changes, but I'm not very, very well-versed in it. A good place to start for any of the businesses would be to reach out to their offices for disabilities within their own cities and that might point you in the right direction.

Kerry Diamond: And then how about folks who are building? I mean, that might be a little bit rare today, given what's going on. But for anyone renovating a space or building out a new space, what would you like them to keep in mind?

Lakshmee Lachhman-Persad: Obviously I'd like them to keep full access in mind. Have you heard of The Vessel? That's a new build that's not accessible. What ended up happening it's that they're going to now install two more elevators around The Vessel.

Kerry Diamond: Those who don't know what we're talking about, The Vessel is that giant pine cone looking sculpture. Okay.

Lakshmee Lachhman-Persad: Yeah. So it was sad that they didn't consider accessibility as part of their initial planning, but now they're trying to fix it. It's still not fully accessible, but.

Kerry Diamond: That has to be so frustrating to you because that's a completely new build with massive budgets.

Lakshmee Lachhman-Persad: Absolutely. I don't know how that got past the city and it could have been a beautiful structure if they have the ramps the same way the Guggenheim does, but I guess the architect thought stairs were a great way to go and we're finding out that it's not.

Kerry Diamond: How's the rest of that space? They have a lot of restaurants on the ground level.

Lakshmee Lachhman-Persad: They opened up after we had our initial visit, but I went back to check out it's accessibility and it was pretty good. They had a map of the accessible pathway. There was an elevator to get down. And we had plans to go back and eat there while visiting The Shed. And I think they have a new observatory that was supposed to open up in March, just at the same time with the pandemic. So that didn't happen. But for the rest of the mall, when they initially opened up, there were lots of crammed restaurants inside of Hudson Yards so that wasn't very, very enticing. There were crammed restaurants and there were high tops, which we don't like.

Kerry Diamond: Explain what a high top is.

Lakshmee Lachhman-Persad: So the high tops are higher than normal table that's just not accessible for a wheelchair user. And even a person with mobility issues like me who has back problems, I don't like them. They're not very comfortable to sit at.

Kerry Diamond: Right. You usually I have to sit on a stool and often those stools don't even have backs.

Lakshmee Lachhman-Persad: Exactly. And you know how that goes. All of the purses and all of the coats, what do you do with them in the winter time, especially?

Kerry Diamond: Exactly. Let's also talk about the situation we're living through right now. The New York Times ran an article the other day that said all of these virtual events taking place have been very welcomed by those with disabilities, because they remove many of the accessibility issues. I'd love to know your thoughts on all of these virtual events.

Lakshmee Lachhman-Persad: So I've learned that, yeah, it's been great. It's been well received by people with disabilities across the world. I feel like all of these virtual events, especially by the museums have opened up the doors to people in different countries even. Annie and I were on a MoMA, our call the other day and there was somebody from South America, there was somebody from India and it was amazing. What we've been going through with the pandemic have made things a little bit better in some respects, in terms of a wider reach audience. Honestly, I have to tell you, we've gone to a couple of restaurants and we like the outdoor dining because of the extra space. So we're not cooped up in a tiny restaurant where it's very limited space here in New York City. So it's not six feet apart and you don't have to worry too much about somebody at the back of you hitting the wheelchair.

And the great thing too, that I've learned, it's that now with a lot of people going contactless, most of their menus are online, which is fantastic for the blind community, because then they're able to actually read an updated menu before they get to a restaurant. It's bad, but it came with some good. And we're hoping that when things go back to whatever normal used to be, that these virtual and work from home keeps happening so that people with disabilities can keep participating. I mean, one of the things I read it's that people with disabilities have long asked to work from home and it wasn't acceptable. They'd want them to come to the physical office and that posed so many issues. But now here you are, you can employ more people with disabilities because of the technology that's available.

Kerry Diamond: So Lakshmee, you started this journey a few years ago. You mentioned earlier that your family was going through a hard time and you felt that something that would help was going out as a group, as a family. And how's your family doing today?

Lakshmee Lachhman-Persad: Today, we are doing better than we were two years ago. We're still dealing with what we've got to deal with, but just being able to be out in public, we've built so much more confidence than we had when we first started. We've built some wonderful relationships like the ones with NYC & Company. And we have ongoing conversation with the different institutions here in New York and trying to help them be more inclusive and accessible and welcoming and having representation. So all of those are accomplishments throughout the last couple of years that have greatly enriched our lives.

Kerry Diamond: And how about Annie? How was this all for her?

Lakshmee Lachhman-Persad: Absolutely. She says the same thing too. I'm sure she'd echo my sentiments if she was here. She loves going out, loves seeing all of the new places. I mean, her passion is art during the impressionist age, and so for her to actually go out with us, because she has gone out with her day program, as I mentioned. So for her to go out with us and be able to talk to us about the pieces that she likes and why she likes them, it's also been very, very rewarding because we now have all of these shared family experiences instead of pockets of different experiences that we just try to put together in conversation.

Kerry Diamond: What's Annie favorite kind of food?

Lakshmee Lachhman-Persad: She likes experimenting with all of it. That's actually something I've discovered. It's the most favorite part of our day. It's the eating part by everyone. Everybody always looks forward to, "So, where are we eating the next time we go out?"

Kerry Diamond: And Lakshmee, I want to ask about you too. I mean, this is New York City that we live in and you are a singular voice in what you're trying to accomplish. Of course there are some other people speaking up on behalf of this community, but not a lot. And I really just marvel at what you've taken on. How are you doing? And how are you handling all of this?

Lakshmee Lachhman-Persad: I'm doing good. Like I said, it's been a lot of work because this is something I do sort of on the side. When we go out to do the blog and to liaise with every single place that we go out with, because before I publish something, I like to have the organizations look over it just in case I miss something or don't want to misrepresent anything at all, especially for people with disabilities. So it's been a lot of work, but I have to tell you it's been incredibly rewarding. If I were to tell you what my biggest accomplishment was, I would tell you it's been this because it's getting to the right audience. It is seeing companies like NYC & Company and NYU being interested in it and trying to support me throughout the journey as much as they can.

Kerry Diamond: I think you're amazing, Lakshmee, and I think what you're doing is amazing. And even though I mentioned earlier that we had started to think about accessibility issues when it came to our conference and a bit about our website, I really don't think we've thought about it enough as an organization. And you have my word that we will definitely try harder. And as you mentioned, media representation is so important. We're going to do more in this area.

Lakshmee Lachhman-Persad: Media, it's very important. Information is very important. Language is very important. If you ever need help, just reach out. It is a huge market size out there. It's not a pity party. It is actually a viable market. Like you said, it's 61 million persons with a disability across the United States. And according to my research, it's close to $500 billion in budget spend within that segment.

Kerry Diamond: Well, I really appreciate you taking the time to talk to us today and to educate all of us, and you're just remarkable. And I think this conversation will help a lot of people. Just to recap, if anybody out there wants to continue the conversation with Lakshmee, she is available. You can hire her as a consultant. You should definitely take a look at her website. Just the website alone, I think, will open your eyes to a lot of things that exist and how many challenges exist for the disabled community and those with accessibility issues. I've looked at your site a few times now in preparation for this interview. I noticed you do not use the word disabled often.

Lakshmee Lachhman-Persad: No, it's people with disabilities. It's just people. And as far as I'm concerned, even people who seem like they don't have a disability tend to have one that's just invisible, so we're just all people.

Kerry Diamond: Lakshmee, where is your next step outing with Annie?

Lakshmee Lachhman-Persad: Tomorrow we're going to the Botanical Gardens.

Kerry Diamond: In the Bronx.

Lakshmee Lachhman-Persad: Yes.

Kerry Diamond: And how are they in terms of accessibility?

Lakshmee Lachhman-Persad: They're phenomenal. Their website clearly tells you they have a detailed map of what's accessible or not. They are actually also have guest services that answers any questions for visitors who wants to go there that has a disability. And they're very, very good about it. We're going there tomorrow to do a photo shoot so that they can have more representation too in their media.

Kerry Diamond: Lakshmee, I realized, I asked you what Annie's favorite food is. I didn't ask you what your favorite food is.

Lakshmee Lachhman-Persad: I like experimenting with all kinds of cuisine. Hey, we live here in New York City. We've got a little bit of everything and we can travel the world together, but we have much of the world here in New York City. I can't tell you that I had one specific cuisine, but I mean, I grew up on curries, so that's what I'm more drawn to.

Kerry Diamond: Well, Lakshmee, thank you again. Thank you for educating me. Thank you for educating our audience. And let's absolutely stay in touch. I would love to, like I said, I'd love to see you and Annie at some point this year, if we can make that happen.

Lakshmee Lachhman-Persad: That'd be great, Kerry.

Kerry Diamond: That's it for today's show. Thank you so much to Lakshmee Lachhman-Persad for joining us, and for all the work you do. It's clear that all of us in hospitality and restaurants and media can do a lot more to support people with disabilities. Be sure to check out Lakshmee's site at And if you're looking for a consultant who can help make your establishment, business, event, or website more accessible, get in touch with Lakshmee.

Thank you to Kerrygold for supporting Radio Cherry Bombe. Our show is edited by the very patient and talented Kat Garelli. Our theme song is All Fired Up by the band Tralala. Radio Cherry Bombe is produced by Cherry Bombe Media. Hang in there everybody, and thank you for listening. You're the Bombe.

When Harry Met Sally Clip:          I'll have what she's having.