Deputy Commissioner, NYS Education Department
“I don’t just believe in inclusion, I believe very strongly that everyone has abilities, gifts and talents that, when shared, can benefit everyone in society. Special Olympics creates opportunities for differently-abled athletes to show the world that they are just like everyone else and that they have something to contribute.”
Ceylane Meyers-Ruff is currently the deputy commissioner at the New York State Education Department, Adult Career and Continuing Educational Services – Vocational Rehabilitation (ACCES-VR). In this role, she oversees 25 district offices across the state that ensure delivery of services that are consistent with ACCES-VR’s mission to assist individuals with disabilities to achieve and maintain employment and to support independent living through training, education, rehabilitation and career development.
Prior to working for SED, Meyers-Ruff worked at the Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) as director of Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs, working closely with advocates and provider organizations on the introduction and passage of legislation that changed the name of the agency from OMRDD to OPWDD. She also coordinated cross-system collaborations with other state agencies as part of the Most Integrated Settings Coordinating Council (MISCC), which worked to create a statewide plan to provide services to people with developmental disabilities in the community instead of institutions. Finally, she became director of Supported Employment, where she spearheaded OPWDD’s efforts to increase the number of people with developmental disabilities who are engaged integrated competitive employment.
Meyers-Ruff received her Master of Arts Degree from the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy and her Bachelor of Arts Degree from Utica College of Syracuse University.