Our Mission

We are a coalition of diverse voices advocating for collaboration that promotes best practices and true inclusion of people with disabilities in all aspects of life. Our members include self-advocates, family members, volunteers, and staff from service providers and government agencies.


The Partnership Coalition originated in 2006 as part of OPWDD Commissioner Thomas Maul’s initiative to encourage meaningful involvement of self-advocates in provider agency policy development and decision-making. Originally there were many coalitions set up state-wide but after a few years only the coalition in the Western New York area remained and has continued its mission to the current day. Over the years the coalition has primarily focused on identifying and promoting best practices.

The coalition carried out an annual provider surveys to validate best practice and for many years has honored standout organizations with the Partnership Coalition Award presented at the annual Developmental Disabilities Awareness Day Conference. The Partnership Coalition’s aim in conducting this survey has been to increase service provider awareness, effort and progress toward the meaningful inclusion of people with developmental disabilities in the leadership and decision-making processes of their organization. Today the Partnership Coalition is working to expand its reach both geographically and through joining forces with other disability groups.