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Burton Blatt Institute's Brian McLane testifies before NYS Assembly hearing on workforce issues and people with disabilities

June 02, 2008

Jaime Winne Alvarez
315) 443-3784

Jaime Winne Alvarez

Brian McLane, executive director of the Burton Blatt Institute (BBI) at Syracuse University, testified on June 2 before the New York State Assembly. The hearing on workforce issues and people with disabilities was convened by the Standing Committee on Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities; the Assembly Standing Committee on Labor; and the Assembly Task Force on People with Disabilities. The purpose of the hearing was to determine if current laws, regulations and programs adequately protect and support people with disabilities with regard to employment.

McLane addressed the issues raised by the hearing based on his 60 years of experience as a person with significant disabilities and more than 30 years of professional experience--inside and outside of government--dedicated to removing physical and attitudinal barriers to the full participation of individuals with disabilities in the economic mainstream. He has helped design, implement and monitor state and federal laws and regulations to overcome discrimination and create a system of education, rehabilitation, services and support to advance the self-sufficiency of New Yorkers with disabilities. McLane and his colleagues at BBI have spent their careers teaching and conducting research, training, technical assistance and outreach related to disability issues.

A copy of McLane's testimony can be read here:

BBI fosters public-private dialogue to advance the civic, economic and social participation of persons with disabilities in a global society. The institute takes its name from Burton Blatt (1927-85), a pioneer in humanizing services for people with mental retardation, a staunch advocate of deinstitutionalization and a national leader in special education. BBI currently has offices in Syracuse, New York City, Washington, D.C., Atlanta and Tel Aviv. For more information, visit

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