JULY 31, 2023

On July 27, 2023, Governor Hochul issued Executive Order 31 – committing New York State to becoming a model employer for people with disabilities. MHEP applauds Governor Hochul’s continuing commitment to ensuring equal opportunity in the workplace for all New Yorkers. MHEP’s Advocacy Team breaks down the Executive Order.


Governor Kathy Hochul’s Executive Order (EO) No. 31 focuses on committing New York State to be a model employer for people with disabilities. The order emphasizes increasing the participation of people with disabilities in state services and equal access to opportunities. Given the significant disparities in employment and living conditions between people with and without disabilities in the state, the EO looks at creating inclusive employment policies.


The core intent of the order is to bridge the employment gap between individuals with and without disabilities, aiming to enhance recruitment, hiring, retention and career advancement of people with disabilities within the State workforce. This involves the creation of best practices, annual plans by state agencies in collaboration with the Office of the Chief Disability Officer (CDO) and enhanced training initiatives for state agency employees. The CDO is to collaborate with various departments and entities to facilitate disability inclusiveness, policy advising and ensuring accessibility of state’s web-based hiring portals for applicants with disabilities.


  1. Increased Employment Opportunities: The Disability Community is likely to experience increased employment opportunities due to enhanced hiring and retention strategies.
  2. Enhanced Inclusivity and Awareness: The mandated disability awareness training is expected to foster a more inclusive and understanding workplace environment.
  3. Empowerment and Representation: With the establishment of agency disability contacts and consultation with various disability representation organizations, there will be better representation and empowerment of the Disability Community in employment sectors.
  4. Support and Accessibility: The review and improvement of accessibility in application processes and the inclusion of support services will make it easier for individuals with disabilities to seek and retain employment.


  1. Diversification of Workforce: The broader economy will benefit from a more diverse and inclusive workforce, bringing varied perspectives and skills to the table.
  2. Increased Productivity: With more individuals – especially those from the Disability Community gaining employment – there will likely be an increase in overall productivity and economic output in the state.
  3. Enhanced Corporate Culture: The emphasis on inclusive hiring and training will likely foster a more empathetic and inclusive corporate culture, setting a precedent for other states and private entities to follow.
  4. Social Equity: The implementation of this executive order will promote social equity, contributing to a more balanced and fair society, which is essential for the sustainable growth of the economy.
  5. Potential Economic Growth: By integrating more people into the workforce, particularly those who have been historically marginalized, there could be potential spurts in economic growth and innovation, stemming from diverse experiences and backgrounds.

In conclusion, Governor Hochul’s Executive Order No. 31 is intended to have a transformative impact, not only enriching the lives of people with disabilities through increased opportunities and enhanced support but also contributing to the creation of a more equitable, diverse and inclusive society and economy in New York State.