The Role of Disability Service Providers in the New York State Economy

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Photo provided by NY Alliance for Inclusion & Innovation.

December 13, 2021

Laura Schultz

Executive Summary

Nonprofit disability service providers offer hundreds of thousands of clients across the state important services and supports including: medical care, residential living, childcare, transportation, day habilitation programming, and workforce preparedness and employment. In the process of doing so, these providers are major employers in their local communities and generate millions in revenue annually.

New York State Industries for the Disabled, Inc. (NYSID), and the NY Alliance for Inclusion & Innovation commissioned the Rockefeller Institute of Government to quantify the economic impacts New York’s disability service providers have on New York State. This study evaluates the output generated and jobs supported by New York’s nonprofit, privately-run disability service providers.

Additionally, the report explores the scope and scale of the social enterprises run by these organizations. To achieve their goals of creating workforce training and integrated employment opportunities, many disability service providers have created businesses that provide a range of services to public and private customers and generate revenues that enables them to offer additional services.

In 2019, 427 of New York’s nonprofit disability service providers reported $6.7 billion in revenues. Overall, nonprofit disability service providers:

  • Generated $14.3 billion in economic output in New York State. This includes the $6.7 billion in revenues generated by the providers, $2.5 billion in output for their suppliers, and $5.1 billion related to employee spending.
  • Supported 194,977 full-time jobs with service providers, their suppliers, and in the regional economy.
  • Contributed $2.2 billion in federal and state tax revenue.

NYSID facilitated a $250.2 million contract portfolio that employed 5,293 workers with a disability. Through these contracts social enterprises:

  • Generated $407.3 million in economic output in New York State.
  • Supported the equivalent of 3,569 full-time jobs in all sectors of the economy.
  • Generated $108 in economic output for every hour worked by an individual with a disability.

These impacts were realized across all regions of the state. New York City, the largest region in the state, is home to 30 percent of the state’s disability service providers. These organizations generate the largest impact of all regions accounting for $5.6 billion in economic impact. Providers in the Mid-Hudson and Long Island regions reported the second and third highest economic impact respectively. Together, these three regions represented 65 percent of employment and 68 percent of economic output impacts generated.

This report is organized as follows: Section 2 presents an overview of the role disability service providers play in the local communities and the services they offer clients. Section 3 puts New York State’s population with disabilities in context through comparisons across states. Section 4 provides a comprehensive economic impact analysis of the operations of disability services providers, as well as their social enterprises. Section 5 explores the contributions of these organizations across the state by presenting data from each region and a profile of a prominent organization in the community. Section 6 concludes by exploring the challenges facing these organizations and how they can expand their impacts.

Read the full report here.