Mayor Adams marks 32nd anniversary of Americans with Disabilities Act by nominating Christina Curry

July 26, 2022

City Hall and various civic buildings will be lit up in Disability Pride colors tonight

NEW YORK – New York City Mayor Eric Adams today celebrated the 32nd anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by announcing the appointment of Christina Curry as Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office for Persons with Disabilities (MOPD) . As commissioner, Curry will ensure that the overall quality of life for the nearly one million New Yorkers who identify as persons with disabilities have equitable access to city services and programs. Also, in honor of the ADA’s anniversary, City Hall and three other municipal buildings will be lit tonight in the colors of Disability Pride: blue, yellow, white, red and green. The Americans with Disabilities Act – signed into law in 1990 – has fostered independence, empowerment and inclusion for millions of Americans.

“Our city has made significant progress in improving the lives of people with disabilities, but more needs to be done,” said Mayor Eric Adams. “Christina Curry has the skills and lived experience to continue and expand the progress made and ensure that the rights and needs of people with disabilities are included in all that New York has to offer. We must work every day to make our city more and more accessible.”

“New Commissioner Curry brings a unique perspective and fresh thinking to the Mayor’s Office for Persons with Disabilities,” said chief lawyerBrendan McGuire. “She will listen to the community to ensure that this administration’s commitment to making New York a national model in serving the disability community comes to fruition.”

“It is an honor to serve in Mayor Adams’ administration as Commissioner of MOPD,” said the new MOPD Commissioner Christina Curry. “I look forward to working with the many organizations representing the diverse disability/deaf communities, but more importantly, with those who currently do not receive support from any federal, state, municipal or non-governmental provider, as they are the most often overlooked and forgotten.”

In partnership with all city offices and agencies, MOPD is constantly working to ensure that the rights and concerns of members of the disability community are included in all city initiatives. Through its work and advocacy in the areas of transport, employment, health care, housing, education, access to municipal services, financial empowerment, etc., the MOPD has consistently improved services, programs and the overall quality of life for nearly one million people. New Yorkers who identify as people with disabilities, as well as the millions of people with disabilities who visit New York each year.

City Hall and the following three municipal buildings will be illuminated tonight in the colors of the Disability Pride Flag:

  • Bronx Borough Hall: 851 Grand Concourse, Bronx, NY 10451
  • The David N. Dinkins Municipal Building of Manhattan: 1 Center Street, New York, NY 10007
  • Queens Borough Hall: 120-55 Queens Boulevard, Queens, NY 11424

The Disability Pride colors mean the following:

  • Blue: Psychiatric disabilities
  • Yellow: Developmental and intellectual disabilities/neurodivergence
  • White: undiagnosed and invisible disabilities
  • Red: Physical disabilities
  • Green: sensory perception disorders

“As Commissioner of MOPD, Christina Curry will bring wisdom, a broad knowledge of disability issues, and the ability to speak on behalf of and to the community,” said Joe Rappaport, Executive Director, Brooklyn Center for Independence of the Disabled. “Mayor Adams couldn’t have made a better choice. We look forward to working with new Commissioner Curry, the rest of the administration, and Mayor Adams to ensure that a disability perspective is considered every time City Hall makes a policy decision; whether it’s COVID, police, jobs or anything else.

“Through her focused and successful initiatives as Executive Director of the Harlem Independent Living Center, Christina Curry improved the quality of life for people with disabilities in the community she served,” said Elisabeth Axel, President and CEO, Art Beyond Sight, President, Disability Pride NYC. “His hard work and dedication has been especially vital to Harlem’s disability community, disproportionately impacted during the pandemic, to meet urgent needs. New Commissioner Curry is a trusted leader. She will ensure that our great city is accessible to everyone to live, work and visit. His generous sharing of his skills and experience helped make the annual New York Disability Pride Parade more accessible and a successful model of leadership and solidarity.

“New York City has a long history of embracing disability diversity, with new commissioner Christina Curry being the first black, deaf, and blind person appointed to the highest office to serve all New Yorkers with disabilities,” said Nicolyn Plummer, Senior Social Worker; Advocacy and Outreach Coordinator, Barrier Free Living. “Christina is a ‘Jackie of all trades’ and has advocated for disability inclusion, including the deaf spectrum, across all entities. Congratulations, new Commissioner Curry.

About Christina Curry

Christina Curry began her rehabilitation career as an advocate for minority Deaf and hard of hearing communities at the Lexington Center for the Deaf. There, she branched out into the mental health field as a mental health counselor working with deaf and hard of hearing domestic violence victims and survivors through the Barrier Free Living non-residential domestic violence program. On weekends, Curry also worked with the minority disability community at Community Counseling and Mediation, an outpatient mental health facility in Brooklyn.

Nationally, Curry has served on subcommittees attached to the National Council on Independent Living and the National Council on Disability.

Statewide, Curry has served on the New York State HIV Advisory Council, the New York State HIV Planning and Prevention Council, and the Independent Living Council Committee of the State. New York State. Curry was appointed by former New York Governor David Paterson to the board of directors of the New York State Commission for the Blind and the Interagency Council for the Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and Deafblind.

Locally, Curry has served on the Mayor’s Office for Persons with Disabilities/Disability Mentoring Day, the Office of Emergency Management‘s Special Needs Advisory Committee, and the New York City Disability Network.

Most notably, in his home neighborhood of Harlem, Curry participated in Community Board 10; on Executive, Personnel, Health and Human Services, LGBTQ Task Force; and on public safety committees. Curry joined the Harlem Independent Living Center (HILC) in 1999 as program director before being promoted to executive director in 2001.

While at HILC, Curry provided disability/deaf sensitivity trainings at the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, various NYC Health + Hospitals Corporation hospitals, and the Mt. Sinai Continuum. Curry has also provided training at domestic violence agencies and shelters, local police stations, community organizations and schools.

Additionally, Curry has worked with FEMA in Puerto Rico and with New York City Emergency Management on emergency preparedness in disabled/deaf communities.

Curry holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Education from Hunter College – City University of New York; a Master of Arts in Deaf Rehabilitation from New York University; and a Master of Public Administration in Emergency Management and Disaster Preparedness from Metropolitan College in New York.

Curry will report to Chief Counsel Brendan McGuire.

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