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NYSID News Blog

April 18, 2013

Gainful Employment by Design at Nicholas Center for Autism

Category: General — NYSID @ 8:06 pm

The Nicholas Center for Autism (NCFA) in Port Washington is dedicated to developing innovative programs for young men and women with autism and similar developmental disabilities that enhance their well-being, autonomy and general quality of life. Founded by Stella Spanakos and her late husband and named in honor of their son, Nicholas, who has autism, NCFA is the only NYSID member agency that exclusively serves people with autism.

NCFA developed an innovative not-for-profit business, Spectrum Designs Foundation, which provides gainful employment and meaningful vocational experiences to teens and young adults with autism and other developmental disabilities, so they can live fuller more productive lives through the world of work. Spectrum Designs creates custom-made, decorated t-shirts and apparel for organizations, businesses and special events.

In this video recorded by NYSID staff during a recent visit, Spectrum Designs employees are creating shirts for the Miracle League of Long Island. The league’s mission is to establish and sustain baseball programs for people of all ages with disabilities; NYSID has been an annual sponsor of the Miracle League of Long Island through corporate partner Alternative EarthCare.

On Tuesday, April 30, Spectrum Designs will host a ribbon-cutting ceremony for its second location that will provide greater employment and vocational experiences to individuals with autism and related developmental disabilities. The event is both a milestone for NCFA and a fitting conclusion to National Autism Awareness Month.


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