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Gov. Kathy Hochul Reinstates New York’s Office of the Advocate for People with Disabilities

Albany, NY, March 21 – New York Gov. Kathy Hochul signed AB 3130 into law, reinstating the Office of the Advocate for People with Disabilities. This represents a new opportunity for the Empire State to do right by its residents with disabilities. The office was originally established decades ago under the administration of Gov. Mario Cuomo, but it was subsequently dissolved by former Gov. Andrew Cuomo. 

Under AB 3130, the Advocate for People with Disabilities shall coordinate the state’s implementation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, act as New York’s primary ADA compliance officer for all public activities, and make sure disabled people’s needs are met in public settings.

The Advocate for People with Disabilities will also serve as the state’s advocate for the disability community, working with lawmakers to pass legislation that will make government services more inclusive. The Advocate will also work in conjunction with an Integrated Setting Coordinating Council. More details are available here

Gov. Hochul pushes New York to Become Model on Disability Employment

Albany, NY, February 10 – This past week, Gov. Kathy Hochul of New York announced new plans to create a comprehensive design for workforce development strategies in the Empire State. Gov. Hochul has launched a seven-pronged initiative that will establish New York as a national model for the employment of individuals with disabilities and protection for all working New Yorkers. This initiative comes as part of her “State of the State 2022 Agenda” to upscale the local economy and labor force in New York state. 

The pandemic hit New York hard. As of fall 2021, the Empire State’s job deficit far exceeded that of every other state. Currently in New York, the unemployment rate is three times higher than the national average. 

“In order to come back stronger, we must be creative with our approach and work directly with regional partners who have been on the ground helping connect New Yorkers with employment,” Gov. Hochul said. “New York State is committed to ensuring its disabled workers have equal opportunities and are supported in the workplace and beyond. We are committed to making sure those with disabilities have fair and quality employment options in this state.”

New York City’s Voter Registration Deadline is Today – What Voters Need To Do

New York, NY, May 28 – Today marks the final day to register to vote in the upcoming June 22 Primary Elections in New York City. Fortunately for New Yorkers with and without disabilities, anyone with a valid identification from the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles can register to vote online. You can directly and easily access that information by going to the DMV website.

If you want to register by mail, your registration will need to be postmarked today and mailed out to the Board of Elections. The address is 32 Broadway, 7 Fl New York, NY 10004-1609. Click here to download and complete the form.

If you would like to register in person, local board of elections offices are open until 5:00 p.m. Eastern today. To find your local office, go to the website.

Lastly, to vote in the November 2, 2021 general election, voters must be registered by October 8, 2021. Go to this website for a full list of upcoming voting deadlines.

Voter Guide for 2,201,457 New Yorkers with Disabilities

Key actions and positions posted on the intersection of disability and education, jobs, immigration, climate crisis, criminal justice and more

by Adam Fishbein

Albany, NY, Oct. 5 – In the run up to the 2020 election in New York, the nonpartisan disability rights nonprofit RespectAbility has released its latest New York State Voter Guide. According to the 2019 Annual Disability Statistics Compendium, the total number of New Yorkers with disabilities is 2,201,457 and they make up 11.4 percent of the total state population.

2018 employment data show that there are 1,061,050 working-age people with disabilities in New York. In the economic expansion prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, 360,749 (or 34 percent) of those New Yorkers had a job. 

The nonpartisan disability group RespectAbility has asked Democratic and Republican candidates for President, Governor and the U.S. Senate the same seven key questions about issues affecting people with disabilities, including employment, education, criminal justice and accessibility. RespectAbility has sent multiple emails and placed many phone calls to the campaigns in order to solicit responses to the questionnaire. Below you can read responses from candidates on the ballot in New York who have already taken the time to address the concerns of voters with disabilities. 

GOOD NEWS! 11,473 new jobs for New Yorkers with Disabilities

Washington, D.C., April 1 – Nationwide 111,804 people with disabilities got new jobs last year, including 11,473 new jobs for New Yorkers with disabilities. The Empire State now ranks 38th among the 50 states in terms of employment rates for people with disabilities. The newly published 2018 Annual Disability Statistics Compendium shows there…

Disability Supporter Cuomo Wins New York Gubernatorial Re-Election

Down Ballot Disability Supporters in New York City Also Win Big New York City, Nov. 8 – Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo has won re-election, defeating Republican challenger Marcus J. Molinaro for New York’s governorship. In the weeks prior to the election, Cuomo made new commitments on jobs for people with…

2018 #PwDsVote Disability Questionnaire for New York City Candidates

Questions Focus on Issues Relating to Education, Employment and Stigma

According to a recent survey, 74 percent of likely voters have a disability themselves or have a family member or a close friend with disabilities. Currently, there are 948,000 people with disabilities living in New York City. That includes people who are blind or deaf or have other visible conditions such as spinal cord injuries, as well as people with invisible disabilities including learning disabilities, mental health or Autism.

RespectAbility, a nonprofit nonpartisan organization that fights stigmas and advances opportunities for people with disabilities, is asking candidates to answer five key questions that impact the close to one-million people with disabilities in the greater Los Angeles metropolitan area. All responses in full will be reported in The RespectAbility Report, a nonpartisan political commentary on U.S. elections with a focus on disability issues and used in our New York City Disability Voter Guide. The RespectAbility Report is nonpartisan and does not endorse candidates. The questionnaire is for educational purposes.

Below are the questions for all NYC area candidates. Please limit each answer to no more than 250 words.

New York State Falls to 40th in the U.S. in Jobs for People with Disabilities

NYC’s High School Graduation Rate Also Lags Significantly Behind National Average New York, NY, Feb. 22 – Even as the national economy improves, New Yorkers with disabilities are left behind. The newly released Disabilities Statistics Compendium, published by the Institute on Disability at the University of New Hampshire reveals that…

Clinton, Sanders Woo New York’s Disability Voters

Washington, April 12 – There’s a noticeable shift in the content of the Democratic presidential nominees as Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are taking turns pushing the disability agenda – a first for any presidential campaign. Both the former Secretary of State and Vermont Senator were quick to complete the #PwDsVote 2016 Campaign…

New York Disability Voter Guide Released: Only 33.6 Percent of the 997,500 Working-Age New Yorkers with Disabilities are Employed

Washington, April 11 – As voters prepare to head to the polls in New York next week, RespectAbility is releasing its New York Disability Voter Guide. The #PwDsVote 2016 Campaign Questionnaire was designed for people with disabilities (PwDs) and those who love them to know where candidates stand on the issues.…

Days Before the Iowa Caucus, Sanders Unveils New “Fighting for Disability Rights Plan”

The Vermont Senator pledges to “incorporate disability issues into every other area of public policy.”  

Washington, D.C., Feb. 1 – With just days to go before the Iowa Caucus, Vermont Senator and presidential candidate Bernie Sanders released his own comprehensive disability policy plan. Much like that of fellow progressive candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Sen. Sanders’ plan covers the broadest possible spectrum of disability issues including “housing, health care, education, transportation, technology and many others.” If elected, Sen. Sanders commits to “incorporate disability issues into every other area of public policy” and “to promote access, autonomy, inclusion and self-determination for all.” 

17,736 new jobs for people with disabilities in Texas

Washington, D.C., March 15 – As the economy expands, for the first time in decades people with disabilities are gaining jobs, success and independence. According to new data, 17,736 more people with disabilities in Texas gained employment. People with disabilities previously have been left out of periods of economic growth. Today’s…

23,416 new jobs for people with disabilities in South Carolina

Gov. McMaster: “They’re ready to work, they’re looking for work and we’re growing in South Carolina.” Washington, D.C., March 15 – As the economy expands, for the first time in decades people with disabilities are gaining jobs, success and independence. According to new data, over 23,000 more people with disabilities…

14,556 new jobs for people with disabilities in North Carolina

Gov. Cooper receives RespectAbility Award for job gains among North Carolinians with Disabilities. Washington, D.C., March 13 – As the economy expands, for the first time in decades people with disabilities are gaining jobs, success and independence. According to new data, over 14,556 more people with disabilities in North Carolina gained…

14,846 new jobs for people with disabilities in Colorado

Gov. Hickenlooper receives RespectAbility Award for job gains among Coloradans with Disabilities. Washington, D.C., March 13 – As the economy expands, for the first time in decades people with disabilities are gaining jobs, success and independence. According to new data, 14,846 more people with disabilities entered Colorado’s workforce last year. People with…

19,978 new jobs for people with disabilities in Michigan

Washington, D.C., March 9 — As the economy expands, for the first time in decades people with disabilities are gaining jobs, success and independence. According to new data, 19,978 more people with disabilities in Michigan gained employment. People with disabilities previously have been left out of periods of economic growth. Today’s…

New Clinton SuperPAC Ad Attacks Trump on Disability Issues

Washington, June 8 – The newest ad by Priorities USA, a pro-Clinton superPAC, puts disability front and center in swing states. As Clinton became the presumptive Democratic nominee with her wins on Tuesday, Priorities USA is attacking Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s character. Featuring the Chris and Lauren Glaros of…

In New Ad, Kasich Calls Out Trump for Mocking Reporter with a Disability

Washington, Dec. 1 – In a new ad, Ohio Gov. John Kasich takes a shot at Donald Trump for publicly poking fun at an award-winning reporter with a congenital joint condition. The ad, titled “Is he worthy,” says Trump is too heartless to be president and not worthy to follow in the footsteps…

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