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OPWDD message regarding National Disability Employment Awareness Month

Dear Friends and Colleagues:


During October, New York State joins the nation in celebrating National Disability Employment Awareness Month to recognize the unique talents, creativity and skills that people with disabilities bring to the workforce.


To highlight the positive contributions that people with disabilities can make in the workplace, New York is launching the EmployAbility Pledge which encourages businesses to commit to embracing a philosophy of inclusivity and to join us in creating communities that seek to include individuals with all abilities. 


The Pledge builds on the efforts of the EmployAbility Toolkit launched last year, which provides businesses with guidance for employing people with disabilities and an overview of the benefits of hiring people with disabilities. 


It also supports OPWDD’s goal to enable people with developmental disabilities to fully participate in their communities.  Along with our voluntary agency partners, we seek not only to increase opportunities for people with developmental disabilities to gain competitive employment, but also to increase opportunities for people to gain or improve job skills to enable them to succeed in the workplace.


This pool of candidates represents a tremendous untapped resource of qualified employees.  Employees with disabilities are proven to be dependable, flexible and reliable. Many employers report that they remain on the job longer than employees who do not have disabilities resulting in lower turnover and training costs for businesses, and are enthusiastic and have a positive effect on employee morale. 


OPWDD wants to encourage all New York businesses to take the EmployAbility Pledge. Hiring people with developmental disabilities is a win-win for businesses and dedicated employees.  It just makes good business sense!  



Kerry A. Delaney

Acting Commissioner