Here is an excerpt of Governor Cuomo ‘s second State of the State address as it relates to supporting people with disabilities. The full text can be found here at this link.


Caring for Our Most Vulnerable Citizens

We must transform the way we deliver services to our over two million residents with disabilities. We spend more than any other state on services and support provided both by our government and a vast array of nonprofit and private agencies. Yet according to a recent report, New York ranks in the bottom quartile among states in serving adults with disabilities. This situation is fiscally irresponsible and morally unacceptable.


Many of the problems our disabled residents encounter are not the result of limited resources, but rooted instead in failures in the organization and management of services. We must develop a system that recognizes the potential of and the barriers faced by each individual we serve. We must focus on quality and prevention, and simplify and streamline access to services. As the Supreme Court ruled in Olmstead v. L.C., people with disabilities have a right to receive care in the most integrated setting appropriate to their needs. Therefore, we will develop an Olmstead Implementation Plan that will guide the transition of individuals from institutional to communitybased care, provide access to affordable and accessible housing, and promote employment of persons with disabilities. We must erase stigmas and ensure that the rights of people with disabilities are fully recognized and fully protected. In addition, we must do all we can to ensure the safety of those in our care. That is why, last year, I appointed Clarence Sundram, a leading expert on the provision of care to persons with developmental disabilities, as my Special Advisor on Vulnerable Persons. Mr. Sundram has engaged in a comprehensive review of relevant state programs and we will implement reforms to better protect against abuse and neglect.