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NYSID News Blog

August 10, 2015

Long-Time Member Agency Profile: Lexington

Category: General — NYSID @ 1:13 pm

As NYSID continues its 40th anniversary celebration, we acknowledge some of our long-time member agencies for creating meaningful employment for New Yorkers with disabilities throughout our 40-year history.

Jonathan Brooks, Lexington's 2014 Joslin Outstanding Peformer

We’re highlighting these member agencies to demonstrate their human service support and economic impact within communities across New York State. We look back at their early days, update their current success stories, and envision what the future holds. Today’s member agency is Lexington – Fulton County Chapter NYSARC, Inc.

NYSID: The slogan for our 40th anniversary is “40 Years of Looking Forward.” What are some of the ways in which your agency has been looking forward and continues to do so?

Lexington: Lexington is currently developing two major new projects: the Paul Nigra Center for Creative Arts and Transitions. The Paul Nigra Center for Creative Arts, a beautiful, year-round arts center open to the community, will house premium art venues, host fun family events and provide educational opportunities for persons of all ages and levels of ability.

In this photo from Lexington's archives, Chuck Fremmer, workshop supervisor, demonstrates how to assemble patio napkin holders, or Patnaps

Transitions is a supportive apprenticeship for young men and women with autism spectrum disorders including Asperger’s syndrome, ADHD, dyslexia, nonverbal learning disabilities, visual or hearing impairments, medical conditions, and other learning differences who want to attend college and/or prepare for a career, but may require academic, social, medical and/or emotional support.

The Transitions program focuses on building academic skills, life skills and general independence for high school graduates and young adults with learning differences. Its specialty isn’t just in teaching students how to study or learn a trade, it’s in showing its students that they can live a life that even they never dreamed of themselves.

NYSID: When was your agency founded? How many people with disabilities are employed by your agency?

Lexington: Lexington began in 1953 when a small group of parents met to discuss how to improve the lives of their children who had developmental disabilities. Since then, first informally and then formally as Lexington’s board of directors, parents have led Lexington as a private, not-for-profit agency. There are 119 individuals supported by Lexington who are currently employed in the community, with 92 more being supported to prepare for, find and retain jobs. In Fulton County, 31 New Yorkers with disabilities worked 6,518 employment hours on Preferred Source contracts in 2014.

Lexington's Encore Kids proudly employs people of all abilities in an upscale consignment store offering designer and brand name clothing and accessories

NYSID: What jobs do people with disabilities still perform today, as they did years ago? What are some of the newer jobs for this workforce responding to marketplace and technology changes?

Lexington: Individuals supported by Lexington continue to do production, manufacturing, janitorial and maintenance jobs like they have done in the past.

Lexington now has several social enterprises, which employ many of the individuals it supports, including: Encore Kids (retail), The Mobile Work Crew (janitorial), The Center at Lexington (secretarial) and Kingsboro Catering (food service). Individuals supported by Lexington also volunteer over 10,000 hours per year in the local community.

NYSID: How important has your agency’s membership with NYSID been to your longevity and success?

Lexington: Lexington is focused on understanding both the needs and the abilities of each individual and providing the necessary support to help them be successful. Our dedicated staff is committed to working with each person rather than using a formula to provide services and supports.

NYSID continues to offer tremendous opportunities and connections to businesses that can provide meaningful employment to the men and women supported by Lexington. We would not be nearly as successful at employing people with disabilities were it not for the strong partnership we have with NYSID.

 

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