The mission of the Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities (MOPD) is to serve as the primary advocate for the rights and needs of residents with disabilities. The Office also serves as a liaison between the mayor, city council, city departments and other public and private entities on matters pertaining to people with disabilities in Houston. MOPD's vision is a city where everyone understands the importance of equal participation and full inclusion of all residents, including residents with disabilities.
We accomplish this mission by providing and participating in programs and services which address the needs and rights of residents with disabilities, including:
- Facilitating delivery of services - including city services
- Acting as liaison to Houston Commission on Disabilities (HCOD), City Council and other City Departments
- Making recommendations to public and private entities regarding the development of policy and legislation
- Establishing fundamental local, state and national partnerships to promote community awareness
- Administering, developing new, and participating in programs and services according to our mission
Ponce is a bilingual advocacy and government professional with 11 years of experience in city government. He worked as the Senior Community Engagement Liaison at MOPD between 2014 to 2021.
In 2004, Ponce suffered a spinal cord injury resulting from an automobile wreck. He is now a wheelchair user ...
Read more about the MOPD Director ...
Visual Fire Alarms
For Deaf and Hard of Hearing Houstonians ...
TO QUALIFY FOR A FREE VISUAL FIRE ALARM YOU MUST:
- Live in the City of Houston or Greater Houston Metropolitan Area
- Have substantial hearing loss which requires a visual fire alarm
Please note: There are NO income requirements!
ADA And You
City of Houston
ADA Coordinator -- www.houstontx.gov/adainfo
ADA Policy --
ADA Grievance Procedure --
Web Accessibility Statement -- www.houstontx.gov/adainfo/
Independent Living Research Utilization (ILRU) -- www.ilru.org
Department of Justice -- www.ada.gov
Houston Commission on Disabilities
In recognition of the fact that the needs and rights of people with disabilities are of vital concern to the City of Houston, the Houston Commission on Disabilities was created in 1993. The 12 members of the Commission are appointed by the Mayor and subject to City Council confirmation. The Director of the Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities and the City's Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Coordinator are designated by the Mayor to be non-voting ex-officio members. Learn more about the HCOD.
Michael Cottingham -- Position 1
Ricky Harris -- Position 2 / Vice Chair
Ann M. Bacon -- Position 3
Daquan Minor -- Position 4
Sashikala Nisankarao -- Position 5
Monique Mason -- Position 6
AJ Morton -- Position 7
Amie Jean -- Position 8
Mary Sias -- Position 9
Meridith Silcox -- Position 10, Chair
Lydia Nunez Landry -- Position 11
Michaela Cueto -- Position 12
Osvaldo Capmany – Position 13
Alexis Smith – Position 14
Marshall Watson -- ADA Coordinator and Ex-Officio Member
Angel Ponce -- MOPD Director and Ex-Officio Member
Angel Ponce is a bilingual advocacy and government professional with 11 years of experience in city government. He worked as the Senior Community Engagement Liaison at MOPD between 2014 to 2021. Ponce was co-founder of the National Coalition for Latinxs with Disabilities (CNLD) and is currently the Chair for the United Way of Greater Houston, Interagency Information and Referral Network.
Read more about Angel Ponce ...
Sr. Staff Analyst
John Serrano is the Senior Staff Analyst for the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities. He is a native New Yorker but a Houstonian at heart. Throughout his 9-year career with the City of Houston, he has managed several technology and public infrastructure projects and programs for ARA, HPD, and HPW.
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Sr. Community Outreach
Stephanie Haechten is the Senior Community Outreach Coordinator for the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities. Her background is in special education, not-for-profit leadership, and strategic planning. She has spent the last 10 years working in not-for-profit organizations including two Houston-area special schools and most recently, a social services agency for women and their children experiencing homelessness.
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Sr. Comm. Specialist
Reynaldo Herrera is the Senior Communications Specialist for the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities. Serving the largest community in the heart of Houston. He has been a long-time member of working with the Deaf community for more than ten years, and has been actively building his robust skills to use.
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Kayla Melcho is the Community Engagement Coordinator for the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities. Her background is in community organization, public engagement, and affordable housing.
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Sissel Carlsen is the Community Liaison for the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities. Sissel is a graduate of the University of Houston, where she honed her skills and developed her passion for social justice.
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Sr. Office Asst.
Amanda Boyd is a resident of Houston Texas. She is currently the Office Clerk for the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities. She is working towards finishing her Associates and ultimately plans to graduate with a bachelor degree in Business Administration.
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Hilary Pircher currently serves as the Program Assistant at the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities, boasting an extensive background of 8 years in the realm of non-profit administration and education. Her professional journey has encompassed a dedicated 4-year tenure focused on students with disabilities.
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Hilary's Service Dog
Data II serves as Hilary's Service Dog, meticulously trained by Canine Companions for Independence to provide invaluable assistance with physical tasks. Demonstrating an impressive repertoire of 40 commands, Data II plays a pivotal role in enhancing Hilary's ability to navigate various aspects of daily life.
Read more about Data II ...