A package of bills touted Thursday by Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara seeks to expand employment opportunities for people with disabilities in New York in both the public and private sector.
The proposals include a measure that would have up to 5,000 state government positions be filled by someone who has a physical or mental disability and up to 2,000 jobs filled by a veteran with a disability.
At the same time, the package includes a program that would study customized employment opportunities for people with disabilities so they can have positions subdivided into separate manageable tasks intended for people with developmental disabilities.
“Everyone deserves meaningful employment that allows them to provide for themselves, but people with disabilities face unique challenges when they’re looking for a job,” Santabarbara said. “In fact, only 23% of people with disabilities are employed compared to 70% of the general population. As the father of a son with autism, I’ve seen firsthand how employment inequity can impact his everyday life. I look forward to working with my colleagues and to make these goals a reality here in New York.”
A goal of 7% employment of people with disabilities within state agencies, the Legislature and court system, as well as with state contractors is being proposed as well, along with expanding adult career and continuing education services programs at the State Education Department.
Santabarbara also wants to create an Office of the Advocate for People with Disabilities to provide support for the disabilities community.