NYS DCDT Mourns the Loss of Thomas P. Golden:

Apply Now for WBL Mini-Grant named in his honor.

Thomas Golden was a longtime friend of NYS DCDT. He was the executive director of the Yang-Tan Institute at the ILR School and a pioneer in promoting economic independence for people with disabilities. Thomas died Nov. 1, 2020 at his home in Waverly, New York. Golden was 57.

A staunch advocate for developing Work-Based Learning (WBL) and transition services, Thomas provided both material and social-networking support to numerous Statewide Transition Institutes hosted by NYS DCDT. The NYS DCDT Executive Board also held their annual planning retreat at his Cornell Institute. NYS DCDT is honoring Thomas’ work and memory by renaming our Work-Based Learning mini-grant program in his honor.

Thomas Golden

Thomas Golden’s influence on state and federal disability policy and practice was profound and his energy was unlimited, according to a statement to the ILR community from Susanne Bruyère, Yang-Tan director; Alex Colvin, Ph.D. ’99, ILR School dean; and Ariel Avgar, associate dean of ILR. “He approached his work with an ardent passion and tireless commitment and leaves the world a better place for his efforts,” they wrote.

Born July 5, 1963, in Lowville, New York, Golden graduated from Ogdensburg High School in 1981, and received a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Eastern Nazarene College in 1986.

He received a master’s degree in vocational rehabilitation counseling from Syracuse University in 1992, and a doctorate in human and organizational learning from The George Washington University in 2016. Early in his career, Golden worked as director of vocational rehabilitation counseling at New Medico Corp. in Cortland, New York, and as an employment coordinator at the J.M. Murray Center, Inc., also in Cortland.

Golden joined the Yang-Tan Institute in 1991 and worked with numerous New York state agencies, including the Adult Career and Continuing Education Services – Vocational Rehabilitation; the Department of Education; the Office of Mental Health; the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities; and the Department of Labor.

He served on the National Council on Disability’s national advisory group on enforcement of federal disability civil rights laws, as well as the U.S. Department of Labor’s Youth Supplemental Security Income Recipients and Employment Transition Community of Practice. He had served on the national Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Advisory Panel, spearheading efforts to reform payment structures. He was also a member of the National Academy of Social Insurance.

Biography from

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