Department of Neighborhoods

Press Release

Celebrate Disability Awareness Month in October!
Accessible facility re-opening, festivities kick off “Awareness and Advocacy” celebration

September 30, 2016 -- Houston Mayor Sylvester was joined today by city officials, disability advocacy leaders and members of the public for a ribbon cutting ceremony celebrating the grand re-opening of the Metropolitan Multi-Service Center (MMSC) at 1475 W. Gray.

The ceremony marked the completion of renovations to the center and the repair of damage caused by a water main break in 2015.  The MMSC serves as the headquarters for the Houston Parks and Recreation Department’s (HPARD) Adaptive Recreation Section and is home to the Department of Neighborhoods Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities (MOPD). 

The ceremony also featured HPARD's dedication of the MMSC’s green room in honor of the late Jay Stiteley, former manager of MOPD.

A lively program featuring speakers and performances kicked off the city’s celebration of Disability Awareness Month.  Held annually in October, the national celebration raises public awareness of the rights, accomplishments and contributions of Americans with Disabilities. This year’s theme is “Awareness and Advocacy.”

“Houston is proud of the strides made over the years to provide our citizens with disabilities with fair access to city services, resources and civic leadership opportunities,” said Mayor Turner.  “We are proud to re-open this accessible facility and continue to provide excellent services for our citizens.  What a great way to kick off Disability Awareness Month.” 

A series of public events and festivities are scheduled to take place throughout the month sponsored by the city and community agencies.

White Cane Safety Day at City Hall will take place on Friday, October 13, 10 to 11:30 a.m.  The event will feature the “White Cane March,” which calls public attention to the safety concerns of people who are blind or have visual impairments.  A formal program will follow, featuring a mayoral proclamation and presentations by city officials and community representatives.  The event is sponsored by the Department of Neighborhoods Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities and community partners.

The Lex Frieden Employment Awards will be presented on Thursday, October 27, 11 a.m., at the Crowne Plaza Houston, 8686 Kirby. The awards recognize outstanding employers who have demonstrated efforts to hire and retain employees with disabilities and to recognize best practices in the workplace.  The event sponsors are the Texas Governor’s Committee on People with Disabilities, Houston Mayor’s Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities and the Greater Business Leadership Network.  Admission is $35.  For more information, visit

For a complete calendar of Disability Awareness Month events, visit