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Mayor Adams Marks 32nd Anniversary of Americans With Disabilities Act by Appointing Christina Curry as Commissioner to Mayor's Office for People With Disabilities

July 26, 2022

City Hall and Various Municipal Buildings Will be Lit in Disability Pride Colors Tonight

NEW YORK – New York City Mayor Eric Adams today marked 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 People with Disabilities (MOPD). As commissioner, Curry will ensure that the overall quality of life for nearly one million New Yorkers who self-identify as people who are living with a disability have equitable access to city services and programs. Additionally, in honor of the ADA’s anniversary, City Hall and three other municipal buildings will be lit up tonight in disability pride colors: 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 accomplishments to improve the lives of people with disabilities, but more must be done," said Mayor Eric Adams. "Christina Curry has the skills and the lived experience to continue and expand on the progress made and ensure that the rights and needs of people living with disabilities are included in all that New York City has to offer. We must work every day to make our city more and more accessible."

“Incoming Commissioner Curry brings a unique perspective and fresh thinking to the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities,” said Chief CounselBrendan McGuire. “She will listen to the community to ensure that this administration’s commitment to making New York a national model for serving the disability community is realized.”  

“It is an honor to serve in the administration of Mayor Adams as commissioner of MOPD,” said incoming 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 are not currently receiving support from any federal, state, city or non-governmental provider, as they are most often overlooked and forgotten.”

In partnership with all city offices and agencies, MOPD consistently ensures 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 transportation, employment, health care, housing, education, access to city services, financial empowerment, and more, MOPD has steadily improved services, programs, and the overall quality of life for the nearly one million New Yorkers who self-identify as people who are living with a disability, as well as the millions of people with disabilities who visit New York City every year. 

City Hall and the following three municipal buildings will be lit up in the colors of the disability pride flag tonight:

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

The disability pride colors signify the following:

  • Blue: Psychiatric disabilities
  • Yellow: Developmental and intellectual disabilities/neurodivergence
  • White: Undiagnosed and invisible disabilities
  • Red: Physical disabilities
  • Green: Sensory perception disabilities

“As MOPD commissioner, Christina Curry will bring wisdom, vast knowledge of disability issues, and the ability to speak for 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 incoming Commissioner Curry, the rest of the administration, and Mayor Adams so the disability perspective is taken into account whenever City Hall makes a decision about policy; whether it's about COVID, policing, jobs, or anything else.”

“Thanks to her focused and successful initiatives as executive director of the Harlem Independent Living Center, Christina Curry improved the quality of life of individuals with disabilities in the community she served,” said Elisabeth Axel, president, and CEO, Art Beyond Sight, president, Disability Pride NYC. “Her hard work and dedication were particularly vital to the Harlem disability community, disproportionately impacted during the pandemic, to ensure pressing needs. Incoming Commissioner Curry is a trusted leader. She will ensure our great city is accessible for all to live, work, and visit. Her generous sharing of her skills and experience helped make the annual New York City Disability Pride Parade more accessible and a successful model of both leadership and solidarity.”    

“It has been a long time coming that New York City embraces diversity of disabilities, with Incoming Commissioner Christina Curry being the first Black, Deaf, Blind individual appointed to the highest position to serve all New Yorkers with disabilities,” said Nicolyn Plummer, senior social worker; coordinator of advocacy and outreach, Barrier Free Living. “Christina is a ‘Jackie of all trades,’ and has been advocating for inclusion of disabilities, including spectrum of deafness, in all entities. Congratulations, Incoming Commissioner Curry.” 

About Christina Curry  

Christina Curry began her career in rehabilitation as an advocate for the minority Deaf, Hard of Hearing communities at the Lexington Center for the Deaf. There, she expanded into the mental health field as a mental health counselor working with Deaf, Hard of Hearing domestic violence victims and survivors through the Barrier Free Living Domestic Violence Non-Residential Program. On the weekends, Curry would also work with the minority disabled community at Community Counseling and Mediation, a Brooklyn outpatient mental health facility.

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

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

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

Most notably, in her home neighborhood of Harlem, Curry has participated on Community Board 10; on the 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/deafness sensitivity trainings to the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, various hospitals within the NYC Health + Hospitals Corporation, and at the Mt. Sinai Continuum. Curry also provided training at domestic violence agencies and shelters, local police precincts, community-based organizations, and schools.

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

Curry has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and Education from Hunter College - City University of New York; a Master of Arts degree in Deafness Rehabilitation from New York University; and a Master of Public Administration degree in Emergency Management and Disaster Preparedness from Metropolitan College of New York.

Curry will report to Chief Counsel Brendan McGuire. 


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