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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  Friday, February 4, 2022, 6:24 PM

Contact: Alex Thompson, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., 518-465-4650

Albany, NY – Governor Hochul has signed bill A.3130 / S.1836 today to reinstate the Office of the Advocate for People with Disabilities, which will now be known as the Office of the Chief Disability Officer.  Disability advocates are celebrating the landmark occasion as a sign that Governor Hochul will make the needs and rights of disabled people a higher priority under her administration. The bills were carried by longtime disability champions, Senator Skoufis and Assemblyman Steck, with the unanimous support of the New York State Assembly and Senate.

Governor Hochul’s signature on the bill ensures the office’s mission is in statute and its advocacy functions in state government for all disabled people is restored. For years, there has been no single office that oversees issues like ensuring compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and as a result, there is no one for people with disabilities to speak with to resolve access issues they experience with the State. Further, there is a need for the State to consider policies and procedures from a cross-disability lens. The creation of an Office of the Chief Disability Officer will fill this gap and put New York back on track to be a leader once again in providing the services and ensuring the rights to all disabled people across the State.   

“This recognition by the Governor is significant to many during a pandemic that has created new challenges and emphasized ongoing problems that have not been addressed for many years. The Governor has said that she will make sure this pandemic recovery includes every New Yorker and we are willing to work with her to see that happen. We look forward to building on this positive start to the year with Governor Hochul,” said Lindsay Miller, NYAIL’s Executive Director.

“We thank Governor Hochul for her leadership in creating an Office of the Chief Disability Officer. By establishing this office, Governor Hochul has already distinguished herself as more responsive to the disability community than the previous administration. We look forward to working with the Hochul administration and this office moving forward on tackling the serious issues disabled people are facing across the State,” said Meghan Parker, Director of Advocacy for the New York Association on Independent Living.