Gunther Introduces InspireNY

Legislation will create a tax credit for employers who hire individuals with disabilities from sheltered workshops

Albany, NY – Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther, Chair of the Assembly Committee on Mental Hygiene, joined advocates, employers and affected New Yorker’s today to unveil the InspireNY tax credit, an effort to provide employment to New Yorkers with developmental disabilities who previously worked in sheltered workshops throughout the state (A.8827-A/.S.6631-A).

Because of the provisions of the Olmstead Decision, 8,000 New Yorkers currently employed in sheltered workshops will have to transition to an integrated employment model, leaving many in limbo.

“This legislation not only incentives employment, it will enhance disabled adults’ quality of life by increasing social interaction, creating a sense of belonging to their community, and earning a paycheck,” said Assemblywoman Gunther. “On the other hand, employers will not only benefit from a tax credit, but gain dedicated, caring and hard-working employees.”

"Workers with intellectual/developmental disabilities have a great deal to contribute to the workforce and to the businesses that hire them,” said Wini Schiff, Associate Executive Director of the Inter-Agency Council of Developmental Disabilities Agencies. “Sometimes employers just need a little incentive to try something new...This tax credit will provide that incentive. The employers who'll take advantage of this tax credit will be glad they did. The workers with disabilities will benefit from the satisfaction of becoming contributing, productive members of their communities. Working towards economic self-sufficiency benefits everyone. It's a real win-win."

The credit would be equal to a $5,000 credit for a full-time employee and a $2,500 credit for a part-time employee. The credit applies to only people with a developmental disability who on January 1, 2015 have been unemployed for 3 months or are a current employee of a sheltered workshop. The employee also needs to be employed for at least 6 months for an employer to take advantage of this tax credit.

Furthermore, this only applies to an employee’s filling a new job; therefore a person with a developmental disability would not be hired to replace an existing employee.