Black History Month Hero
January 29, 2021

Black People With Developmental Disabilities: Making History

Black People With Developmental Disabilities: Making History

February is Black History Month, and the New York State Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) is commemorating the month by celebrating black people with developmental disabilities who have left their mark, and who are an inspiration to others.

Nearly one-fifth of all people who receive services from OPWDD identify as black. OPWDD has always endeavored to be inclusive, and it’s our honor to recognize just a few of the people we serve who have been leaders in the effort to ensure people with disabilities are included in all aspects of society and in community life.

Join us this month as we share profiles of the people who are making a difference in their communities:

  • Michelle King, Lead vocalist and guitar player with the musical group Flame
  • Chester Finn, Nationally recognized disability rights advocate and Special Assistant with OPWDD
  • Shameka Andrews, Founder of Disability Empower Consulting and community outreach coordinator at the Self-Advocacy Association of NYS 
  • Ketrina Hazell, Motivational speaker, self-advocate, and Miss Wheelchair 2018
  • Shannell Davis, Disability advocate and founder of The Underground, a self-advocacy group for people of color