Mitchell Levitz Retires from WIHD

July 7, 2020

Mitchell Levitz, who worked at Westchester Institute for Human Development (WIHD) for close to twenty years, retired on Friday, June 26th. Mitch has made a powerful impact on the lives of people with disabilities, self-advocates, and families. He has been a strong advocate at both the state and national levels since graduating from high school; has shared his personal perspective with students, families, and community members; and has spoken on behalf of all people with disabilities at state and federal legislative events and conferences. Key areas of his work have been in self-advocacy & self-determination; policy; school & community inclusion; health & wellness; employment; and life transitions including school-to-work and aging with a disability. In his role as the Self-Advocacy Coordinator at WIHD, he established the Hear Our Voices Self-Advocacy group 11 years ago. This group meets monthly and provides educational programs to encourage adults with developmental disabilities to advocate for themselves and others and to be more independent.

Mitch also served as a staff liaison to WIHD's UCEDD CAC and participated on the steering committee for AUCD's Council on Leadership and Advocacy (COLA). He also participated on state level systems change activities with the NYS Office of People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) and Self Advocates of New York State (SANYS), Inc. Some of his many involvements included the NYS Team at the Alliance for Full Participation National Employment Conference, the Think Tank on Individual Supports and Self-Determination, a Real Choices Federal Grant (CMS) Advisory Committee, and the Circles of Support Taskforce. His plan is to participate more independently in an advisory role on several national advocacy, policy, and other collaborative projects. He also hopes to stay connected with WIHD, LEND, and the work done at WIHD. His retirement will give him more time to be with his family, spend time on Cape Cod, and travel. While we are all sad to see Mitch leave WIHD, we know he will continue to have a significant impact on the lives of people with disabilities and families through his advocacy work. Congratulations to Mitchell! Below is a link to a tribute video developed by his colleague, Brendan Klein.