AHRC New York City’s Joseph T Weingold Adult Day Center is named after a man who played a vital role in the development and growth of AHRC. As a parent of a child with developmental disabilities, Joseph, (also known as Jerry to his friends,) advocated for the rights of people with disabilities for more than 40 years.
Joseph practiced law from 1929 until 1950, when he became the first Executive Director of AHRC New York City. In 1973, he led demonstrations in front of the Governor’s New York City office and lobbied extensively in the State Legislature for improved conditions for people with disabilities. He was one of the architects of the lawsuit that culminated in the Consent Decree that led to the closing of the State Developmental Center at Willowbrook on Staten Island. He also helped to design neighborhood residences for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Additionally, as a drafter of the New York State Guardianship Law, he paved the way for the development of a protective advocacy system of guardianship for children and adults with disabilities.
Following his death in 1987 at the age of 83, Governor, Mario M. Cuomo sent a personal letter of condolence to Joseph’s wife, Barbara:
“Reflecting on Jerry’s achievements over his lifetime, I cannot fathom where we would be today in our State in the field of mental retardation and developmental disabilities had it not been for Jerry Weingold,” wrote Governor Cuomo. “Through his great love for his son, Jerry challenged the establishment, joining with other parents, energizing them, inspiring them, leading them in the great struggle to carve out the rightful place in society for their children… You can take deep satisfaction and, I hope comfort, in knowing that Jerry’s legacy has affected not only the generations he spanned but all the generations to come.”