MYCIL Research 2024

MYCIL RESEARCH – Minorities Youth Center for Independent Living

We are currently running an innovative Youth Transition Program designed for youths with disabilities. We and are in the process of recruiting participants for an important study.

CIDNY is conducting the MYCIL Research Study, for which we are actively seeking participants. Our target demographic is Minority Youth aged 14-24 who are out of school, with or without employment, and who face a disability and barriers to employment. Space is limited and we are in search of 100 participants.  

Participants in the study can earn $105. They can now partake in the study remotely, removing the need to visit our Manhattan office. The study involves completing a baseline Enrollment Survey, a Self-Directed Search Career Inventory, and a My Vocational Situation, all of which should take less than two hours. We offer an initial $30 for completing the Baseline Survey and an additional $75 gift card upon completion of the Self-Directed Search in 6 months. The key advantage for participants is gaining a career inventory that could significantly aid in their pursuit of relevant education and employment opportunities.

We are flexible with scheduling and can accommodate virtual meetings from 9:30 am to 5:30 pm, Monday through Friday, with potential adjustments as needed.

Thank you and we look forward to hearing from you. 


Please Contact:

Joel Taveras, MsEd. CRC

Director of Employment Vocational Rehabilitation

Office Phone: 646-442-4146

Mobile Phone: 646-726-1960


Center for Independence of the Disabled, New York Announces Retirement of Executive Director Susan M. Dooha and the Appointment of Dr. Sharon M. McLennon-Wier as CIDNY’s New Executive Director

Center for Independence of the Disabled, New York Announces Retirement of Executive Director Susan M. Dooha and the Appointment of Dr. Sharon M. McLennon-Wier as CIDNY’s New Executive Director

New York, NY, July 06, 2021 – The Center for Independence of the Disabled, New York (CIDNY) announced that Susan M. Dooha, J.D., is stepping down after 19 years as CIDNY’s Executive Director. It announced that Sharon M. McLennon-Wier, Ph.D., has been appointed as CIDNY’s new Executive Director.

Ms. Dooha became CIDNY’s Executive Director in 2002. Together with the Board, staff, grassroots leaders, and allies, she built a strong, racially/ethnically diverse disability-led organization that is recognized as a leading advocate in New York. CIDNY’s mission is to ensure full integration, independence, and equal opportunity for all people with disabilities by removing barriers to the social, economic, cultural, and civic life of the community. With offices in Manhattan and Queens, CIDNY employs more than 80 people, and annually serves more than 40,000 New Yorkers with disabilities, many with multiple disabilities, in all five boroughs of New York City. Some of CIDNY’s successes during Ms. Dooha’s tenure include:

  • Bringing about suits to enforce disability civil and human rights laws which resulted in 11 cases related to emergency preparedness, curb cuts, library access, homeless shelters, subway access, and voting access.
  • Helping people with disabilities to achieve a key tenet of disability rights to live in the community and move home from institutions, also saving taxpayers tens of millions of dollars. 
  • Creating a robust support system which helps the disabled address hunger, housing, health care, transportation, and education.
  • Building CIDNY’s annual budget eight-fold.
  • Introducing use of statistical research as a tool in education and outreach campaigns, the design of programs, legislative initiatives, and litigation.
  • Addressing disparities between people with disabilities and those with no disability as well as inequities based on race/ethnicity. 
  • Diversifying CIDNY staff to mirror the diversity of New York. 80% are Black, Latino/a/x, and Asian Americans. 55% are bilingual, with staff capability in 24 languages. CIDNY staff members are disabled and experts in their fields.
  • Educating the public through thousands of appearances in major media outlets.

“After nearly 20 years, I am stepping down as CIDNY’s Executive Director. I am proud to have worked with CIDNY’s Board, staff, volunteers, grassroots advocates, allies, and people with disabilities in our community,” said Susan Dooha. “Together we made New York a better place to live for people with disabilities. The work is unfinished and will remain so as long as people with disabilities are discriminated against, segregated, and experience inequities in education, employment, income, health, transportation, civic participation, and housing. I am confident that CIDNY’s new Executive Director will open new opportunities for CIDNY and the people we serve. I look forward with enthusiasm to her leadership.”

Martin Eichel, who serves as Chair of CIDNY’s Board, said “It has been my distinct pleasure to work with Susan for the past two decades. Her relentless pursuit of equality for people with disabilities has improved the lives of so many New Yorkers, including those without disabilities. I thank her for her tireless dedication, and look forward with great confidence to the next stage of the organization’s growth under Dr. Sharon McLennon-Wier’s leadership.”

Dr. Sharon M. McLennon-Wier has extensive professional expertise in the field of disabilities and was chosen after a national search. She is a Black woman who is totally blind and has more than twenty-five years of experience in academia, non-profits, and disability advocacy. She previously served as the Director of Disability Services at Berkeley College and District Manager of the Harlem Office for the New York State Commission for the Blind. She earned a Ph.D. degree in Counseling Psychology from Seton Hall University, a master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from Hunter College, a U.S. Law and Methodology Certificate from New York University, and a bachelor’s degree in Biology from Syracuse University. She is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor, a New York State Licensed Mental Health Counselor, and an adjunct professor.

“I’m delighted to be joining CIDNY and look forward to working with our staff and our Board to advance the goals of independence, equality, and equity for people with disabilities. I want to thank Susan Dooha for building a strong organization. I look forward to advancing the mission of CIDNY”, said Dr. McLennon-Wier.

About Center for Independence of the Disabled, New York (CIDNY):

The Center for Independence of the Disabled in New York is a leading advocate for people with disabilities in New York City. It was founded in 1978 to ensure full integration, independence, and equal opportunity for all people with disabilities by removing barriers to the social, economic, cultural, and civic life of the community. For more information, visit



In Memoriam

We are deeply saddened to announce that Paula Wolff, who was a board member and staff member at CIDNY for nearly three decades, as well as a longtime disability rights advocate, passed away last night.

Paula joined with other disability rights activists in the 1970s in acts of civil disobedience in order to make NYC buses accessible. Through these efforts, all NYC buses now have lifts which enable wheelchair users to use the same method of transportation as people without disabilities. This victory wouldn’t have been possible without their activism.

She was involved in efforts to make other transportation accessible, to make police stations accessible, and more. She fought for fair and effective laws and policies and was an excellent educator of city and state officials.

Paula had a Masters Degree in Social Work. She was a fierce advocate on behalf of the people she worked with, coming up with solutions and working intensively with people to help eliminate the barriers they faced to independence. She helped people wade through the systems that complicate their housing, health, education, employment, transportation, and more.

She mentored many of our benefits counselors along the way. Her encyclopedic knowledge of disability-related benefits and resources was legendary in our community. She will be greatly missed by the people she helped and by those of us who worked with her.

Susan Dooha, Executive Director of CIDNY, recalls: “Paula had an extraordinary skill that all advocates need to learn. That is, how to see the possibility of change in individual experiences. She understood when people were being blocked by law, regulation, or policy. She activated people as advocates and helped them understand how to be part of making a change. She was an essential advisor in our advocacy meetings and with lawmakers.”

She was an enthusiastic dancer who enjoyed the outdoor music and dancing at Lincoln Center. She was a creative playwright. She loved spending time with friends.

Paula lent a hand whenever she could, to Disabled in Action, ADAPT, Helping Hands, and Not Dead Yet. She leaves a legacy of achievement as a leader in these groups.

Image of a lit candle.

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Curb Cuts Case Comment Period

CIDNY is informing the public of the proposed settlement agreement and release of claims in the curb cuts case. As part of this settlement, class representatives have a right to make comments. All objections must be submitted or postmarked on or before June 3, 2019.
Please refer to the following documents for details: