About The NYS Inclusive Workforce Alliance

The NYS Inclusive Workforce Alliance (NYS IWA) consists of 22 different organizations and associations each working under a mission to assist New Yorkers to be employed and reach their highest level of self-sufficiency. The 22 organizations and associations, representing 2.1 million individuals, has identified key factors necessary to establish an inclusive workforce in New York State, following this four part equation:

Job Seekers and Employees + Businesses + Providers + State and Local Government = An Inclusive Workforce

As a cross systems’ group, we work collaboratively to address the state’s policies, regulations and workforce initiatives ensuring that what is written and developed offers the job seekers in NY – with or without disabilities – full inclusion.

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Factors Necessary To Establish An Inclusive Workforce In NYS


Employment must be legal, and it must provide the individual appropriate commensurate wages for the task of the job. In each case, the employment outcome should be individualized to the person and his or her values, while promoting the highest level of economic self-sufficiency. It is the firm belief of the NYS IWA that individuals with disabilities must have the opportunity to earn the highest possible wages in jobs offering the most integrated setting.


New York State’s inclusive workforce must begin with effective partnerships with businesses; it is imperative that the needs of business owners are met. Businesses have already identified a desire to be introduced to qualified workers that will add value to their workplace, and to easily access financial incentives related to hiring.


The statewide network of providers who engage people in employment must operate in a person-centered manner while responding to the needs of both businesses and job seekers. Regulatory and programmatic guidelines for providers must be flexible enough to assist individuals as they advance along their career paths: the challenges of entering the workforce are often different from those that emerge after being employed for some time.


New York State’s system must provide seamless access to services, prompt response to individuals’ needs, and allow all individuals the opportunity to seek and gain employment. The funding process must provide mechanisms to cover the real cost of the effort needed to support individuals, in an outcome-focused manner. The system in New York State must be designed so it is sustainable and takes into account all of the aforementioned factors.

True success will be demonstrated when every individual has an opportunity to work toward their employment goals. Specifically:

  1. Businesses will employ more individuals with disabilities, and be supported throughout the process of employment;
  2. Providers are able to help individuals find, choose, and maintain employment opportunities that align with their career goals, interests, and skills;
  3. Critical data on the attainment of outcomes in the system is collected so true progress can be objectively measured; and
  4. All stakeholders are an active part of the policy-making process.

NYS Inclusive Workforce Alliance Members

AVRASA  | Cerebral Palsy Association of NYS | Coalition of Mainstream Employment Programs/CMEP | Cornell University-ILR School Employment & Disability Institute | Developmental Disabilities Alliance of Western NY | InterAgency Council of Developmental Disabilities Agencies, Inc. | Learning Disabilities Association of NYS, Inc. | Lexington Center for the Deaf | Literacy West NY, Inc. | Mental Health Association in NYS, Inc. | Mental Health Peer Connection | NADAP | NY Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services | New York State APSE | NYS Association of Community and Residential Agencies | NY Association on Independent Living | NYATEP | NYSARC, Inc. | NYS Independent Living Council, Inc. | NYS Rehabilitation Association, Inc. | Our Ability Alliance | Parent to Parent NYS | Self-Advocacy Association of NYS, Inc. | The Coalition of Behavioral Health Agencies, Inc.


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