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September 20, 2017

Meet Capital Region/Hudson Valley’s Joslin Outstanding Performers

Category: General — NYSID @ 12:38 pm

Twenty-one Capital Region/Hudson Valley residents with disabilities are among 58 statewide Joslin Outstanding Performers recognized through NYSID’s annual people-centered awards program.

The Joslin Outstanding Performers for 2017 from the Capital Region/Hudson Valley are:

Brian Aldrich, The Arc of Rensselaer County (Troy), production/assembly

Sandy Becker, Liberty ARC, the Montgomery County Chapter of NYSARC, Inc. (Amsterdam), production/assembly

Adam Decker, Rehabilitation Support Services (Albany), custodial

Jamie Ferguson, Image Data, Inc. (Albany), document preparation

Wendy Germond, eBizDocs (Menands), document preparation

Mark Gibson, Gateway Community Industries, Inc. (Kingston), custodial

Tyquill Grady, Northeast Career Planning/The Norton Center, Inc. (Menands), custodial

Dillon Greeno, Second Chance Opportunities, Inc. (Albany), floor care

Russell Hall, Coarc (Mellenville), molding

Jeanne Hansen, The Arc Otsego (Oneonta), packaging/briefs

Bethany Haroldson, Schoharie County ARC, packaging assembly

Crystal Heath, The Arc of Ulster-Greene/Pilot Industries (Kingston), drug test kit assembly

Mark Letourneau, Center for Disability Services (Albany), mailing

Martin Mannello, Green Facility Solution (Albany), custodial

Laura Mastroianni, Warren Washington & Albany ARC (Queensbury), custodial

Derrick McGuinness, Lexington, Fulton County Chapter NYSARC, Inc. (Gloversville), production/assembly

Justine O’Dell, Arc Herkimer/Herkimer Industries (Herkimer), packaging

Dana Pickett, Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Albany (Albany), data entry

Tabitha Sanders, Janitronics (Albany), custodial

Joshua Silva, Focused Technologies (Menands), IT maintenance

Shawn Thayer, Mountain Lake Industries (Mineville), woodworking production

Schenectady Arc has been selected as a co-recipient of the Member Agency of the Year award.

Crystal Heath, who works in drug test kit assembly with The Arc of Ulster-Greene in Kingston has been selected the Classroom to Career Award recipient. This new award recognizes an individual with disabilities who personifies the successful collaboration between an educational system and a NYSID member agency leading to employment and independence.

John Humphrey, a custodian with The Arc of Onondaga in Syracuse, and Richard Warner, a production/assembly worker with Allegany Arc in Wellsville, have been named 2017 William B. Joslin Outstanding Performance Award co-recipients.

The 2017 William B. Joslin Outstanding Performance Award co-recipients will be honored during NYSID’s Annual Meeting on Tuesday, September 26 at 5 p.m. at The Saratoga Hilton.

NYSID’s annual Joslin Awards Program celebrates exceptional job performance and personal growth by New Yorkers with disabilities working on NYSID Preferred Source contracts.

In its 14th year, NYSID has recognized more than 700 Outstanding Performers, and awarded 17 of those individuals with the final William B. Joslin Outstanding Performance Award. All Outstanding Performers receive a certificate of achievement and cash award, and are featured in an annual yearbook.

We look forward to seeing you on September 26. Register here, or watch videos of previous Joslin Award recipients.

September 18, 2017

John Humphrey Perseveres and Displays Outstanding Performance

Category: General — NYSID @ 12:33 pm

John Humphrey, a custodian with The Arc of Onondaga/Monarch Industries in Syracuse, has been named a 2017 William B. Joslin Outstanding Performance Award co-recipient by NYSID.

John Humphrey, a custodian with The Arc of Onondaga/Monarch Industries in Syracuse, is NYSID's 2017 William B. Joslin Outstanding Performance Award co-recipient

A veteran with disabilities, Humphrey has overcome schizophrenia and homelessness to become the custodian at the Westcott Day Habilitation Center, a state-operated site. He has missed just one day of work in four years.

Due to his disability, he does not drive a car, so a bicycle is his sole means of transportation to and from work, four to six miles each way.

Humphrey is goal-oriented and says it is important to keep challenging yourself. With the hope of owning his own energy-efficient home, and a belief that “something better than what you have now” is attainable, he continues to set higher goals for himself.

NYSID’s annual Joslin Awards Program celebrates exceptional job performance and personal growth by New Yorkers with disabilities working on NYSID Preferred Source contracts.

In its 14th year, NYSID has recognized more than 700 Outstanding Performers, and awarded 17 of those individuals with the final William B. Joslin Outstanding Performance Award. All Outstanding Performers receive a certificate of achievement and cash award, and are featured in an annual yearbook.

Eleven Central New Yorkers with disabilities are among 58 statewide Joslin Outstanding Performers recognized in 2017.

In addition to Humphrey, the Joslin Outstanding Performers from Central New York are:

Roger Benjamin, JM Murray, (Cortland), custodial

Spencer Fort, Arc of Seneca Cayuga (Waterloo), lawn maintenance

James Keeler, Association for Vision Rehabilitation and Employment, Inc./A.V.R.E. (Binghamton), manufacturing

Christopher Morgan, Human Technologies (Utica), custodial

Amy Morrison, St. Lawrence NYSARC/Seaway Industries (Canton), digital imaging

Lidija Nadarevic, ACHIEVE/Country Valley Industries (Binghamton), document preparation

Gerald Robbins, The Arc of Madison Cortland (Oneida), food packaging

Francis Scovel, Jefferson Rehabilitation Center (Watertown), production

Gary Soule, The Arc of Chemung/Southern Tier Industries (Elmira), grounds maintenance

Jeremy Storey, The Arc, Oneida-Lewis Chapter/Progress Industries (Utica), packaging

Richard Warner, a production/assembly worker with Allegany Arc in Wellsville, is the 2017 William B. Joslin Outstanding Performance Award co-recipient.

The 2017 William B. Joslin Outstanding Performance Award co-recipients will be honored during NYSID’s Annual Meeting on Tuesday, September 26 at 5 p.m. at The Saratoga Hilton. Register here, or watch videos of previous Joslin Award recipients.

We look forward to seeing you on September 26.

September 14, 2017

NYC, Long Island Include 16 Joslin Outstanding Performers

Category: General — NYSID @ 12:32 pm

Sixteen greater New York City and Long Island residents with disabilities are among 58 statewide Joslin Outstanding Performers recognized through NYSID’s annual people-centered awards program.

NYSID’s Joslin Awards celebrate exceptional job performance and personal growth by New Yorkers with disabilities working on NYSID Preferred Source contracts.

The Joslin Outstanding Performers for 2017 from New York City and Long Island are:

Anthony Colletti, Maryhaven Center of Hope (Port Jefferson Station), production/assembly

John Dollard, SullivanArc/Sullivan Industries (Monticello), custodial

Wilson Espinoza, The Corporate Source (New York City), custodial

Joseph Forte, AHRC Nassau (Freeport), custodial

Francisco Guzman, Lifespire, Inc. (Manhattan), assembly/packaging

David Jackson, AHRC New York City (New York City), custodial

Evan Kuhlmey, Spectrum Designs Foundation (Port Washington), screen printing

Jorge Laseria, Jawonio (New City), laundry cart washing

Joan Lawrence, Goodwill Industries of Greater NY & Northern NJ/GoodTemps (Astoria), executive assistant

Richard Muller, Abilities, Inc. (Albertson), document imaging

Rodney Randolph, The Rehabilitation Institute/TRI Business & Career Center (Westbury), porter

Placido Samper, Access: Supports for Living (Middletown), custodial

Christopher San Paolo, American Maintenance (Babylon), custodial/maintenance

Joseph Scott, WellLife Network (Flushing), custodial

D’Asia Tolliver, The Arc of Dutchess (Poughkeepsie), custodial

Michael Williams, Fedcap (New York City), custodial

Among our other award recipients:

NYS Assemblymember Aileen Gunther (D,I,WF-Forestburgh) has been selected as a 2017 Legislative Preferred Source Champion Award co-recipient for her willingness to advocate for individuals with disabilities in her community.

Spectrum Designs Foundation in Nassau County has been named a co-recipient of the Member Agency of the Year award. Rockland County has been named Local Customer of the Year.

John Humphrey, a custodian with The Arc of Onondaga in Syracuse, and Richard Warner, a production/assembly worker with Allegany Arc in Wellsville, have been named 2017 William B. Joslin Outstanding Performance Award co-recipients.

The 2017 William B. Joslin Outstanding Performance Award co-recipients will be honored during NYSID’s Annual Meeting on Tuesday, September 26 at 5 p.m. at The Saratoga Hilton.

In its 14th year, NYSID has recognized more than 700 Outstanding Performers, and awarded 17 of those individuals with the final William B. Joslin Outstanding Performance Award. All Outstanding Performers receive a certificate of achievement and cash award, and are featured in an annual yearbook.

We look forward to seeing you on September 26. Register here, or watch videos of previous Joslin Award recipients.

September 12, 2017

Richard Warner Shows Dedication Through Preferred Source Work

Category: General — NYSID @ 12:37 pm

Richard Warner, a production/assembly worker with Allegany Arc in Wellsville, has been named a 2017 William B. Joslin Outstanding Performance Award co-recipient by NYSID.

Richard Warner, a production/assembly worker with Allegany Arc in Wellsville, is NYSID's 2017 William B. Joslin Outstanding Performance Award co-recipient

Born with an intellectual disability in challenging circumstances, Rich works as an assembler at the PWI Witkowski Integrated work place. He also has worked in custodial services on New York State Department of Transportation contracts and as an assembler of New York State DNA Databank collection kits and other products.

Rich enjoys the satisfaction of a hard day’s work with competitive wages and benefits and has built a strong, resilient identity that allows him to deal with the everyday challenges of life. He proudly shares an apartment with his twin brother and participates in area 5K races for his health. Rich also recently purchased his first car and is working on getting his driver’s license.

His journey from welfare to employment and the quality of life he aspired to obtain validates the mission of the NYSID Preferred Source Program.

NYSID’s annual Joslin Awards Program celebrates exceptional job performance and personal growth by New Yorkers with disabilities working on NYSID Preferred Source contracts.

In its 14th year, NYSID has recognized more than 700 Outstanding Performers, and awarded 17 of those individuals with the final William B. Joslin Outstanding Performance Award. All Outstanding Performers receive a certificate of achievement and cash award, and are featured in an annual yearbook.

Ten Western New Yorkers with disabilities are among 58 statewide Joslin Outstanding Performers recognized in 2017.

In addition to Warner, the Joslin Outstanding Performers for 2017 from Western New York are:

Duane Baker, The Arc of Steuben (Bath), custodial

Kim Deming, The Arc of Livingston-Wyoming (Mt. Morris), custodial

Christopher Knapp, Lifetime Assistance, Inc. (Rochester), document destruction

Phillip Murvine, Chautauqua County Chapter NYSARC, Inc./The Resource Center (Jamestown), custodial

Samuel Muse, Cattaraugus County Chapter NYSARC, Inc./The ReHabilitation Center (Olean), custodial

Mark Natalzia, Southeast Works, Inc. (Depew), custodial

Justin Pack, CDS Monarch (Rochester), production/assembly

Christopher Schwartz, Heritage Centers/Allentown Industries (Buffalo), custodial

Tracy Williams, Wayne ARC (Newark), custodial

John Humphrey, a custodian with The Arc of Onondaga in Syracuse, is the 2017 William B. Joslin Outstanding Performance Award co-recipient.

NYS Senator Robert Ortt (R,C,I-North Tonawanda) has been named by NYSID as a 2017 Legislative Preferred Source Champion Award co-recipient for his willingness to advocate for individuals with disabilities in his community. New York State Department of Transportation has been named State Government Customer of the Year.

The 2017 William B. Joslin Outstanding Performance Award co-recipients, Senator Ortt and the New York State Department of Transportation will be honored during NYSID’s Annual Meeting on Tuesday, September 26 at 5 p.m. at The Saratoga Hilton.

Register here, or watch videos of previous Joslin Award recipients. We look forward to seeing you on September 26.

August 1, 2017

Everyone’s a Winner at NYSID’s Autism Awareness Night

Category: General — NYSID @ 12:37 pm

NYSID proudly sponsored Autism Awareness Night with NYS Assemblymember Angelo Santabarbara and the Amsterdam Mohawks, promoting acceptance of individuals living on the autism spectrum.

NYS Assemblymember Angelo Santabarbara and his son, Michael, who lives on the autism spectrum, threw out the first pitch for NYSID's Autism Awareness Night with the Amsterdam Mohawks

A highlight of the evening was Assemblymember Santabarbara and his son, Michael, who lives on the autism spectrum, throwing out the first pitch, to the roar of an appreciative crowd.

This marks the second time the pair have delivered a perfect strike for NYSID on the baseball diamond; in July 2016, they threw out the first pitch for NYSID’s fifth annual NYSID Night at “The Joe” with the Tri-City Valley Cats at Joseph L. Bruno Stadium.

Folks from NYSID member agencies Liberty ARCLexington – Fulton County Chapter of NYSARC, Inc. and Schenectady Arc, along with the Autism Society of the Greater Capital Region, joined NYSID for the July 26 Autism Awareness Night game between the Mohawks and the Glens Falls Dragons at Shuttleworth Park.

NYSID's Autism Awareness Night promoted acceptance of individuals living on the autism spectrum, with several NYSID member agencies in attendance

Our guests watched the game from their seats in the Veteran’s Deck and Kids Zone down the first baseline in right field, and they participated in on-field activities during the game. Many wore shirts representing their agency in a show of solidarity for the event.

“As the father of a son with autism, I know firsthand the importance of an incredible resource like NYSID,” Assemblymember Santabarbara (D-Rotterdam) said. “For more than 40 years, NYSID has been there for our family, friends and neighbors with disabilities, providing job opportunities and the independence that makes a difference in the lives of so many.

“In the New York State Assembly, I’m proud to champion legislation and support funding that helps find solutions for the more than 128,000 New Yorkers living with developmental disabilities, and I’m proud to support great partners like NYSID that are working toward the same goal. This year, our first Autism Action Night with the Amsterdam Mohawks was a tremendous success, raising awareness and support for local families in our community through the power of sports.”

Lexington – Fulton County Chapter of NYSARC, Inc. was one of several NYSID member agencies that joined us for Autism Awareness Night

With one in every 68 children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders, New York State must encourage job opportunities for these individuals to live as future independent adults, according to Ron Romano, NYSID president & CEO.

“We thank Assemblymember Santabarbara for his participation in our inaugural Autism Awareness Night and his commitment to bettering New York and strengthening workforce opportunities for his son, Michael, and others in the autism community,” he said.

Amsterdam defeated Glens Falls, 8-0. As an added bonus, former Amsterdam Mohawk Dan Zlotnick delivered a guitar performance before and after the game. It also was Art Night, Best Sign Night and an Overnight Car Giveaway. Thanks again to everyone for participating in NYSID’s Autism Awareness Night!

July 14, 2017

Sixth Annual NYSID Night at “The Joe” Was a Grand Slam!

Category: General — NYSID @ 1:41 pm

Thanks to everyone who joined us for our sixth annual NYSID Night at “The Joe” in appreciation for all of the services NYSID staff and our member agencies provide.

Tori Harn, NYSID logistics specialist, was a proud Mom during NYSID Night at "The Joe," as her children, Quinton and Caylee, threw out the first pitch

We were joined at Joseph L. Bruno Stadium – aka “The Joe,” on the campus of Hudson Valley Community College – by folks from the Capital Region Miracle League, with whom we worked on NYSID WORKS! 2.

Several Capital Region NYSID member agencies also attended NYSID Night at “The Joe,” including: Catholic Charities, Northeast Career Planning, Rehabilitation Support Services, Saratoga Bridges, Schenectady Arc and The Arc of Rensselaer.

The children of Tori Harn, NYSID logistics specialist, threw out the first pitch. John Schwartz, a young man with disabilities from the Center for Disability Services, sang the National Anthem.

NYSID staff and members agencies represented their respective organizations, while also getting into the spirit of Community Heroes/Superhero Night, as the Tri-City ValleyCats faced the State College Spikes, capped off with postgame fireworks.

Pamela Polacsek, communications specialist for Saratoga Bridges, said NYSID Night at “The Joe” is an annual summertime highlight for folks at the agency.

“Individuals from Saratoga Bridges who have been able to attend games at ‘The Joe’ thoroughly enjoy watching the ValleyCats play,” she said. ” We are most appreciative to NYSID for graciously providing tickets to us, as well as to many other agencies across the Capital Region. It is always great fun to be at the ballpark, no matter who wins. Thank you, NYSID, for this opportunity!”

July 11, 2017

NYSID Members Walk the Walk in NYC’s Disability Pride Parade

Category: General — NYSID @ 4:54 pm

New York City proudly continued its celebration of disability rights and inclusion with New York City’s 3rd Annual Disability Pride Parade, and Spectrum Designs Foundation played a prominent role in the inspirational event.

Pictured l-r: Tim Howe, Kevin Lanese, Kathleen Lanese and Brendan Lanese represent Spectrum Designs Foundation during New York City’s 3rd Annual Disability Pride Parade

The NYSID member agency has provided the t-shirts since the Disability Pride Parade began in 2015, according to Tim Howe, chief operating officer of Spectrum Designs Foundation.

“Over the years, the number of shirts we provide has varied from 300 to 500, as the parade has grown and rapidly expanded each year,” he said. “The most important element, for us, is a short phrase on the back of every shirt that reads, ‘Shirts Printed by Proud Adults with Disabilities at Spectrum Designs.’” This year’s t-shirts also contain the slogan, “Don’t Hide the Pride” and “NYC Disability Pride Parade.”

The Disability Pride Parade is a collaboration between the New York City Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities and Disability Pride NYC. Participants marched on July 9 from Union Square Park to Madison Square Park, with an excellent lineup of music, great food and informational resources available.

Several NYSID member agencies participated as marchers, including: AHRC New York CityBrooklyn Community ServicesContemporary Guidance Services, Inc.FedcapGoodwill Industries of Greater New York & Northern New Jersey, Inc.Lifespire; Spectrum Designs; The Viscardi Center, Inc.; and YAI.

Fedcap, The Viscardi Center and YAI also served as sponsors.

Josh from Spectrum Designs is all smiles as he holds the t-shirt designed by the agency for New York City's 3rd Annual Disability Pride Parade

The t-shirts are counted and sorted when they arrive at Spectrum from the supplier, then printed front and back,  neck tagged, hang tagged and boxed for shipping. During a typical shift pattern, six to eight employees with disabilities work on the shop floor at a time, and multiple individuals take over jobs as the day progresses, which means 12-14 employees with disabilities work on the t-shirts throughout the course of the job.

“The idea of disability pride sits at the core of everything we do,” Howe said. “Every time we showcase a difficult, detailed design and high quality craftsmanship, it shows that individuals with disabilities are capable of accurate, intricate and highly skilled work. Being involved with the parade in such a high profile way stands as testament to our shared commitment to promote inclusion, awareness and visibility of people with disabilities, and redefine public perception of disability.”

Howe marched in the parade with Brendan Lanese, a Spectrum employee on the autism spectrum; Brendan’s brother, Kevin, who is also on the autism spectrum; and Kathleen Lanese, their mother and a board member of the Autism Speaks Long Island Chapter. Their shirts read: “Wear the Change You Want in the World.”

Brendan Lanese says the parade showcases the abilities that he, his brother and fellow individuals living on the autism spectrum possess.

“The parade was important, not just for people who have disabilities, but to teach other people about them, too,” he said. “Sometimes, you can’t even tell right off the bat that someone has a disability. Like me… I have autism. At Spectrum, we show that just because someone is different doesn’t mean they aren’t capable of great things.”

Congratulations to all NYSID member agencies who participated in New York City’s 3rd Annual Disability Pride Parade!

June 26, 2017

Journey Along the Erie Canal Gives Meaning to Miles Across NYS

Category: General — NYSID @ 1:18 pm

For the fifth consecutive year, John Robinson and Doug Hamlin led Journey Along the Erie Canal, a 370-mile, 12-day bicycle ride across upstate New York via the scenic and historic Erie Canalway Trail. NYSID was once again the proud video sponsor.

Pictured l-r: Tom Occhiogrosso, NYSID, and John Robinson, Our Ability, pose during a sendoff event at Liberty ARC on Day 11 of Journey Along the Erie Canal

Journey Along the Erie Canal began June 26 in Buffalo’s Canal Side Park and concluded July 7 at Jennings Landing in Albany. As the tour made its way across New York, numerous NYSID member agencies and other supporters of inclusive communities for the people NYSID serves joined John and Doug for parts of the trip, as the two men rode using specialized hand cycles.

John and Doug are partners in Glenmont-based Our Ability, a network of consulting, public speaking, recruitment and professional services that champions the inclusivity of people with disabilities in the workplace.

“NYSID was proud to support John, Doug and their fellow riders on their fifth annual Journey ride,” said Ron Romano, NYSID president & CEO. “Over the years, this dedicated team has met up with NYSID member agencies from Buffalo to Albany, cycling together and celebrating inclusive opportunities for all New Yorkers. NYSID was privileged to join with the NYS Canal Corporation, NYS Office for People with Developmental Disabilities, and other sponsors of this motivating example of giving meaning to miles.”

Finger Lakes TimesSpectrum News, The Daily GazetteThe Recorder and WNYT NewsChannel 13 were among the media outlets that covered the Journey.

Born as a congenital amputee without full arms and legs, John overcame countless obstacles to become a successful businessman, husband, father and inspirational speaker. In 2011 he founded Our Ability with Doug, a 28-year veteran of the software industry who is also disabled as the result of an accident in 1983.

“Each year our Journey aims to raise awareness of the ability inside all people with disabilities,” John said. “Five years ago, our dream was to increase employment for people with disabilities in New York State. In part, our Journey has achieved this goal. We have businesses who work with us and employ people with disabilities. It is a dream come true.”

NYSID staff participated in the final two legs of Journey Along the Erie Canal: Day 11 (July 6) in Amsterdam featuring Liberty ARC, where we cheered the departing riders; and Day 12 (July 7) to welcome the riders upon their arrival in Albany’s Jennings Landing park.

NYSID member agencies Community Services for the Developmentally Disabled; Heritage CentersHuman TechnologiesLexington – Fulton County Chapter of NYSARC, Inc.Saratoga BridgesSchenectady ArcThe Arc of Genesee Orleans; Warren, Washington & Albany Counties Chapter of NYSARC, Inc.; and Wayne ARC also participated in the Journey.

This year’s ride highlighted the growth of the 30 business-member New York Business Leadership Network (NYBLN), a coalition among businesses in New York State interested in both hiring and building supplier diversity of businesses owned by individuals with disabilities.

Our Ability also rode in support of Governor Cuomo’s recently proposed project to complete the Hudson River Valley Greenway and Erie Canalway trails, making the waterway accessible to all.

Congratulations to John, Doug, their entourage and all NYSID member agencies and staff who participated in Journey Along the Erie Canal!

June 15, 2017

My WORK, My SERVICES, My CHOICE: NYSID and Workers With Disabilities Visit Washington for New York Day on Capitol Hill

Category: General — NYSID @ 12:50 pm

Preferred Source workers from across New York State joined NYSID staff on visits to members of the US Senate and House of Representatives in Washington DC to advocate for choice in employment opportunities and service providers during New York Day on Capitol Hill on June 14.

Pictured l-r: Congressman Paul Tonko is all smiles with Amy Levandosky and Russell Porath from NYSID member agency Liberty ARC during New York Day on Capitol Hill

Six NYSID member agencies — AHRC New York City, The Arc of Livingston-Wyoming, Center for Disability Services, Heritage Centers, Liberty ARC and The Osborne Association – including several individuals with disabilities who have been honored by NYSID in recent years, accompanied NYSID staff to our nation’s capital.

Donald McCall, a porter for the Metropolitan Transit Authority through AHRC New York City’s Hudson River Services, proudly participated in New York Day on Capitol Hill with his fellow Preferred Source workers. “We have to spread our voice to keep the government from cutting our programs,” he said. “I like my job because it puts money in my pocket and helps to pay my bills and rent. Without these programs, where am I going to go?”

Specifically, the New York contingent asked legislators to assist with an amendment of the definition of “competitive integrated employment” and recognize the right to employment choice in the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) regulations, published August 19, 2016 by the Departments of Labor and Education.

They also urged legislators to inform the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to clarify how in-facility settings are compliant with the Medicaid Home & Community Based Services (HCBS) rule so facility-based programs may continue as a services choice for New Yorkers with disabilities.

Without amending WIOA or clarifying HCBS, jobs and services for NYSID Preferred Source workers across New York State could be in jeopardy.

NYSID participants included Ron Romano, Corey Heritage, Jennifer Lawrence and Megan Tatro. They were joined by the following member agency participants:

AHRC New York City: Donald McCall, Kalsang Nyima, Barbara Olk, Steve Towler, Benjamin Zisfein

The Arc of Livingston-Wyoming: Robert Douglass, David France, Kellie Kennedy

Center for Disability Services: Jahseim Dobbs, Ki Whaley, Rich Whaley

Heritage Centers: David Foster, Kathleen Medley, Tiana Medley, Romental Ray, Clarence Rose, Liz Torres

Liberty ARC: Lisa Butterfield, Dawn Jacksland, Amy Levandosky, Russell Porath

The Osborne Association: Carolina Dyer

Among the legislators/staffers with whom the NYSID contingent visited: Senator Chuck SchumerSenator Kirsten GillibrandRep. Chris CollinsRep. Adriano EspaillatRep. Brian Higgins; Rep. Peter King; Rep. Jerrold NadlerRep. Tom ReedRep. Elise Stefanik; and Rep. Paul Tonko.

“The differently-abled are one of my favorite communities because it’s about courage and meeting challenges,” Congressman Tonko said. “We’re all challenged in life, and no one teaches me that lesson better than the differently-abled community, as to how to meet those challenges and make life work abundantly well.”

Steve Towler, assistant executive director, AHRC New York City, emphasized the importance of choice in employment opportunities as it pertains to WIOA. “The Preferred Source Program is essential and provides nearly 500 life-changing, well-paying jobs,” he said. “If WIOA goes through as written, people like Donald McCall would lose their job coach. The job Donald McCall is now doing would be at risk. This would undermine the success of hundreds of workers.”

Several NYSID member agency participants in New York Day on Capitol Hill have been honored by NYSID in recent years for employment excellence on Preferred Source contracts:

Richard Whaley, a mail processing clerk at the Center for Disability Services, offered heartfelt perspective on his Preferred Source job and his right to employment choice. “My job really helps me personally with my bills and helps me be a normal person in society,” he said. “I really think we need a choice and need these jobs to stay open.”

A 2015 Joslin Outstanding Performer, Rich received special recognition at NYSID’s 2016 Annual Meeting for advocating toward keeping these job choices and bringing to life the importance of his job for himself, his family and his community. He had testified at the NYS Procurement Council meeting about his mail processing job, as Preferred Source mail processing services were coming under scrutiny.

Kathleen Medley, a day porter at the Buffalo City Court Building, was named 2014 NYSID Employee of the Year working on Heritage Centers’ contracts. Last year, she was selected to work at the Buffalo City Court Building, a prestigious and long-standing NYSID Preferred Source contract.

“A job coach taught me how to look for jobs and guided me through life,” she said. “I provide for my whole family with my job. People with disabilities work hard. We want our children to have a normal life like everyone else.”

David France, 2014 Joslin Outstanding Performer, typically juggles multiple community cleaning jobs, including the NYS Department of Transportation (DOT)/Livingston County site and the Finger Lakes DDSO Dogwood Day Services location.

For more photos and videos from New York Day on Capitol Hill, visit NYSID on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. Thank you to our member agencies, Preferred Source workers and federal legislators for participating in our hugely successful New York Day on Capitol Hill.

June 14, 2017

Stratton VA Medical Center, Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, Battle Buddy Centers Highlight NYSID Veterans’ Summit

Category: General — NYSID @ 6:30 pm

On the day the U.S. Army celebrated its 242nd birthday and the nation observed Flag Day, NYSID hosted its quarterly Veterans’ Summit at its Albany office. Summit presenters included:

Penny Deasy and Maureen Corbett, Albany Stratton VA Medical Center, were among the presenters for NYSID's recent Veterans' Summit

Maureen Corbett, vocational program manager; and Penny Deasy, social worker, Compensated Work Therapy (CWT) vocational programs, Albany Stratton VA Medical Center

Emil Baker, Capital Region Chairman, Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR). During a previous Summit, he presented a framed Statement of Support for the Guard and Reserve that was signed by Ron Romano, NYSID president & CEO.

Patrick Massaro, coordinator of military and veterans student services, SUNY Canton; and Ben Parker, veteran and military services coordinator, SUNY Oswego

Among the legislators/staffers and NYS officials in attendance:

Congressman Michael McNulty (D-Green Island), who served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1989 to 2009 and the New York State Assembly from 1983 to 1988

Todd Rosenfield, project manager, NYS Division of Veterans’ Affairs, on behalf of Governor Andrew Cuomo

Kenneth Williams, director of the Division of Service Disabled Veterans’ Business Development within the New York State Office of General Services

Vinnie Nicosia, deputy director of operations, on behalf of Senator George Amedore (R/C-46), member of the NYS Senate Committee on Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs

Summit participants included New York State government agencies, not-for-profits, for-profit businesses, veterans’ service organizations, Wounded Warriors, institutions of higher learning, and rehabilitation organizations, including NYSID members.

Rich Tanchyk, assistant vice president, H & V Collision Center, attended his first NYSID Veterans’ Summit to promote a veteran car donation this summer. He was impressed with the veterans’ organizations represented at the Summit that assist  business owners supporting veterans’ causes.

“The Veterans’ Summit provides an open panel for discussion and useful information between business owners and veteran organizations,” he said. “To any business with a desire to support our veterans, it will be time well spent. Highly recommended!”

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