Image by Corey Ryan Hanson from Pixabay

#PrepTalkNYC {Click here to listen to episode 88}  

February marks Black History Month, and according to the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) this year’s theme is “Black Resistance.” It explores how African Americans have resisted historic and ongoing oppression, in all its forms. Continuing with that theme, it is important to explore how people with disabilities, especially those of color, are affected by many barriers, including prejudice. People with disabilities face numerous challenges with gaining employment and accessing resources. One of the best ways to ‘resist’ these obstacles is through advocacy and activism. New York City has implemented many initiatives to make change but there is still more work to do.

On this episode of “Prep Talk” Christina Curry, Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of People with Disabilities, the first African American woman in the role, discusses how she became an advocate for the Deaf and people with disabilities. Curry also talks about the many challenges people with disabilities face and how they may differ for people of color. She shares the importance of having diverse voices, especially when it comes to planning for and mitigating emergencies. She also discusses her goals for the agency and things everyone should be mindful of when interacting with people with disabilities. On this episode two ASL interpreters, Emilio Garcia and John Colon were present to ensure more accessibility.

“It’s the old saying, we have to be twice as smart, work three times harder, it’s the same thing in the disability community as well to get the [same] services and respect,” said Christina Curry, Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of People with Disabilities. “People have lower expectations and don’t even realize they have cultural biases against you because you’re a person with a disability and a person of color.”

You can listen to the latest episode on SoundCloud, Apple Podcasts,  and Spreaker.


Christina Curry was appointed Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities by Mayor Adams in August 2022. She began her career in rehabilitation as an advocate for the minority Deaf, Hard of Hearing communities at the Lexington Center for the Deaf. Curry has served on subcommittees attached to the National Council of Independent Living and the National Council of on Disability. She has also worked with the Federal Emergency Management Agency in Puerto Rico and with 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.