ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — April is Autism Acceptance Month! In recognition of April as Autism Acceptance Month, local assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara held his annual Autism Action Day at the Capitol Wednesday morning.

“We talked about some of the legislation that we passed, some of the progress we have made, but we also talked about the work we have left to do,” said Santabarbara.

The Autism Action Day event is a way for advocates to push for legislation aimed at improving the lives of people who are on the autism spectrum. This includes things like increasing employment opportunities, expanding independent housing options, improving access to technology, and creating a centralized location for available services.

“We want to create a community that’s inclusive, that is accepting of people, and that is what people with disabilities, self-advocates, that is what they’re looking for. They are looking to be a part of what everyone else is a part of,” said Santabarbara. “It means to me, spreading acceptance and make people aware, just aware with people with disabilities,” added local strong advocate, Michael Paolano.

This year`s keynote speaker is Commissioner Kerri E. Neifeld, the new Commissioner of the New York State Office for People With Developmental Disabilities.

In addition, Assemblyman Santabarbara presented the 2022 New York State Autism Action Award to Hill and Markes, Inc. of Amsterdam, NY, in recognition of their new partnership with New York State Industries for the Disabled (NYSID) that provides good-paying jobs and new opportunities for people with disabilities.