New York State welcomes first chief disability officer

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — For the first time in New York State, there will be a chief disability officer to advocate for people with disabilities and their families.

Center for Disability Rights (CDR) here in Rochester says this new position is crucial.

Kimberly Hill has been chosen to take on this new role, that specifically caters to the needs of people with disabilities and their families at the state level. Hill will be able to communicate challenges within the disability community directly to the governor. Part of the position would be finding ways to improve state services and make them more easily accessible.

CDR Government Affairs Manager Zach Garafalo said this has been a huge issue and that Hill is the right fit for this job.

"She’s worked in the Assembly, she was the Director of the Assembly Committee on Disabilities, she knows the people involved and she has an established reputation within Albany but also the disability community so I think she’s going to be a real champion for us,” Garafalo said.

Hill has coordinated 24 legislative disability awareness days for the Assembly to inform legislators about disability issues. CDR said it’s eager to build a closer relationship with Hochul’s administration.