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New York State Industries for the Disabled - NYSID
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Turning business opportunities into jobs for New Yorkers with disabilities.
Turning business opportunities into jobs for New Yorkers with disabilities.

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Preferred Source Expo is Proof Positive That Purchases = JOBS

NYSID member agencies and corporate partners joined in a unified message — “Your Purchases Create Preferred Source Jobs” – at the 2018 Preferred Source Expo at NY GovBuy May 2-3 at the Empire State Plaza and Albany Capital Center.

NY GovBuy: A Statewide Government Buyers Event provided practical training that enabled purchasing officials to stay informed about relevant procurement related issues and more effectively meet fiscal challenges.

In addition, NY GovBuy provided attendees an opportunity to visit exhibitors’ booths to learn about the many goods, services and technologies they offer, as well as how they can help provide solutions for Preferred Source Program needs.

Purchases from NYSID member agencies and private sector business partners employed 6,879 New Yorkers with disabilities on NYSID Preferred Source contracts and provided $65.4 million in wages across New York State in 2017.

Patrick Bardsley, CEO and co-founder of Spectrum Designs Foundation, is a firm believer in the Preferred Source Program and an annual participant in the Preferred Source Expo.

“It is a heartening experience to be at the Preferred Source Expo each year,” he said. “Getting to meet so many like-minded people from numerous New York State agencies and industries is what makes it so unique. The Preferred Source Program has changed the shape and direction of our organization and was a significant factor in our recent expansion into a new flagship location.”

Spectrum Designs, co-recipient of NYSID’s 2017 Member Agency of the Year Award, provides apparel to state and local government agency customers, including 24 school districts, numerous municipalities, several residential and psychiatric centers, public works entities, and other Preferred Source purchasers.

Its expanding NYSID business also has increased employment opportunities for its team of dedicated workers with autism. In March, Spectrum Designs expanded into a larger facility, doubled its employees to 50 and increased its space from 1,500 to 7,500 square feet.

Nearly 40 NYSID member agencies and corporate partners exhibited their products and services in the 2018 Preferred Source Expo at NY GovBuy. Thank you to all attendees and vendors who participated in support of NYSID’s message that “Your Purchases Create Preferred Source Jobs.”

Abilities, Inc.; Access: Supports for Living; ACHIEVE; AHRC Business Services; American Maintenance; Arc of Ulster-Greene; Bates Troy;

CASO, Inc.; Center for Disability Services; CWI: Community, Work and Independence, Inc.; Digiscribe; eBizDocs; Fedcap; Focused Technologies; Green Facility Solution; Goodwill Industries; Herkimer Area Resource Center;

Image Data, Inc.; InStream (Biels); J M Murray Center; Janitronics; Jawonio; Jefferson Rehabilitation Center; Liberty Enterprises, Montgomery County Arc; Lifespire/ACRMD; Northeast Career Planning; Parsons Floors; Progress Industries LCI/Oneida Lewis Chapter Arc;

Rehabilitation Support Services; Schenectady Arc/Pine Ridge Industries; Schoharie County Arc; Seery Systems; Spectrum Designs Foundation; Star Printers; TRI Business & Career Center; Unitex.

NYS Office of General Services (OGS), Office of the New York State Comptroller, New York State Association of Municipal Purchasing Officials (SAMPO), and the State University of New York (SUNY) collaborated on NY GovBuy.
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Mobilizing Student Engineers to Change Lives: CREATE Symposium Produces Real-Life Technologies — and Emotion

Anthony Castro, a student engineer at the University at Albany, was visibly emotional as he thanked NYSID for an “incredible experience” at the fourth annual CREATE Symposium on April 25.

Just an hour before, the UAlbany team bellowed in victory when proclaimed winner of the $5,000 third-place prize for its invention.

Anthony was also the guest student speaker during the Symposium’s media event, and appeared in two TV news stories on Spectrum News and NEWS10 ABC about CREATE that aired prior to the Symposium, so the whole experience stretched him even beyond his engineering skills.

NYSID developed CREATE (Cultivating Resources for Employment with Assistive TEchnology) in 2012. CREATE connects student engineers from colleges and universities across New York State with NYSID member organizations that employ individuals with disabilities.

During the academic year, students and their professors work closely with NYSID not-for-profit members to solve challenges that people with disabilities face in the workplace. At the end of the school year, NYSID members get to put a new technology to good use, and students go into their careers knowing that they’ve made a difference for this workforce.

Thanks to Anthony Castro and his fellow University at Albany student engineers, workers with disabilities from Living Resources have a new assistive technology at their fingertips.

The team developed Bee Notified, a smart watch application that assists individuals with disabilities with time management and the transition to independent living. The application streamlines communication and remote supervision between job coaches and the workers they support.

“In developing this system, our team was able to employ modern software development techniques and engineering design principles with the goal of creating a product that could best serve Living Resources, using everything that we learned in the classroom,” Anthony said. “Working with Living Resources not only let us tackle a real-world problem, it also made us understand that Bee Notified can have a real-world impact.”

NYSID hosted its largest CREATE Symposium to date on April 25 at the Legislative Office Building in Albany to showcase prototypes of technology inventions designed to increase productivity and improve the livelihoods of New Yorkers with disabilities. Students representing 14 teams from eight colleges competed for prizes of $15,000, $10,000 and $5,000 for their inventions. Nine NYSID member agency not-for-profits were the recipients of the new technologies.

In addition to the University at Albany and Living Resources, participating colleges, NYSID member agencies and CREATE inventions included:

Alfred University and Arc of Steuben

Easy Pallet Packing – Eliminates bottlenecking of manually wrapping pallets of commodities.

Binghamton University and AVRE

Paper Output System – Designed to create more space to keep up with the speed at which a machine processes rolls of paper, which will also eliminate a bottleneck in paper output.

City College of New York and Goodwill Industries of Greater New York & Northern New Jersey, Inc.

ASSIST (Assistive Sensor Solution for Independent and Safe Travel) – Allows users with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) to navigate complex indoor environments and become more independent

VAR4ASD – Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality (VAR) technologies to train individuals with ASD and help them in the workplace.

Manhattan College and Lifespire

Labeling Machine – Peels the backing off a label more efficiently

Tremor Stabilizing Glove – Reduces hand tremors, increasing productivity and timeliness in the packaging process.

New York Institute of Technology, partnered with AHRC New York City and AHRC Nassau

Helping Hand – A prosthetic hand attached at the forearm that extends over the wrist to improve the efficiency of janitorial tasks.

Smart Cane (i2Cane) – Designed with embedded technology to detect surface obstacles, objects, and heat sources while navigating an environment.

Electro-mechanical System for Controlled Assembly of Earplugs – Speeds up the assembly process of earplugs.

Gardening Assist – A robotic arm which attaches to the back of a gardening worker’s wheelchair to assist in tool use.

Color Pen Reader – An adaptation to an existing pen audio reader, allowing the pen to interpret colored text, or text on a colored background, into audio for individuals with dyslexia.

Rochester Institute of Technology and ABVI-Goodwill Industries of Greater Rochester, Inc.

Sew Lean: Lean Process Improvement for ABVI Sewing Business – Improves workflow and reduces waste, which can increase accessibility for blind/visually impaired workers.

Union College and Schenectady ARC

Automated Greenhouse – An accurate and simple embedded system to heat the plants in the greenhouse.

Naira Aslanyan, regional director, AHRC New York City, participated in CREATE for the first time this year. She said, “Now a person who has wonderful skills and a small barrier to employment is going to be able to work because of the project that the students developed for him. This is really exciting! It shows how CREATE helps to overcome barriers to employment.”
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#4Mind4Body Focuses on Fitness – Head to Toe, Inside and Out – During Mental Health Awareness Month in May

When we talk about health, we can’t just focus on heart health, or liver health, or brain health without addressing whole health. We have to see the whole person, and make use of the tools and resources that benefit minds and bodies together.

This year, Mental Health America’s (MHA) May is Mental Health Month theme is Fitness #4Mind4Body, focusing on what we as individuals can do to be fit for our own futures – no matter where we happen to be on our own personal journeys to health and wellness.

New this year: MHA is asking people to take the #4Mind4Body Challenge as we challenge ourselves each day to make small changes – both physically and mentally – to create huge gains for our overall health and well-being.

Follow MHA on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram for the challenge of the day and share your successes by posting with #4Mind4Body. There is also a web page collecting posts with #4Mind4Body for people to see what others are doing as part of the challenge.

Wendy Germond, eBizDocs, is one of several William B. Joslin Award recipients who exemplifies how meaningful employment empowers workers with mental health disabilities to live more fulfilled lives.

She likes her job because “it gives me an opportunity to be an outstanding employee who is valued for the hard work and dedication to my employer.”

Wendy’s life was typical until the age of 13, when her father committed suicide. “The day our dad killed himself was the day my sister and I lost our mental health,” Wendy says. “But, I have always been pulled forward, out of the darkness by a strong support system, including a tight network of friends and the church.”

Wendy attributes her slow recovery of health and well-being to several factors:

Volunteering at Empowerment Exchange, a peer support program dedicated to encouraging recipients of mental health services find their personal power and voice.

Finding employment at eBizDocs. “eBizDocs gets me out of the house. I am surrounded by people and a sense of community. eBizDocs has strengthened my opinion of myself and what I am able to do.”

Meeting and working with the Rensselaer County Department of Mental Health, which helped her move into her own apartment.

What’s more, Wendy was invited to share her story with the Rensselaer County Legislature last May during Mental Health Awareness Month.

Since 1949, MHA has led the observance of May is Mental Health Month by reaching millions of people through the media, local events and screenings.

Download the 2018 May is Mental Health Month toolkit at http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/may and spread the word that mental health is something everyone should care about.

NYSID celebrates the efforts of MHA and our member agencies and corporate partners to help increase opportunities for individuals living with mental illness. #MHM2018 #4Mind4Body #mentalhealthmonth
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CREATE and Autism Awareness Take Center Stage in April

Assistive technology and Autism Awareness Month will go hand in hand when NYSID hosts its fourth annual CREATE Symposium on April 25 at the Legislative Office Building in Albany.

CREATE (Cultivating Resources for Employment with Assistive TEchnology) is an initiative sponsored by NYSID that connects undergraduate and graduate student engineers and professors from colleges and universities across New York State with NYSID organizations that employ individuals with disabilities.

The CREATE Symposium showcases prototypes of technology inventions designed to increase productivity and improve the livelihoods of New Yorkers with disabilities.

April is Autism Awareness Month, and one participating college, City College of New York (CCNY), is collaborating with Goodwill Industries of Greater New York & Northern New Jersey, Inc. on assistive technology designed specifically to assist individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD):

ASSIST (Assistive Sensor Solution for Independent and Safe Travel) – Assists users with ASD in navigating complex indoor environments without the need for major equipment to gain independence

VAR4ASD – Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality (VAR) technologies to train individuals with ASD and help them in the workplace

CCNY is one of eight schools competing for prizes of $15,000, $10,000 and $5,000 for their CREATE inventions in 2018. Other schools include: Alfred University; Binghamton University; Manhattan College; New York Institute of Technology; Rochester Institute of Technology; Union College; and University at Albany.

Goodwill is one of nine member agencies participating in CREATE, including: ABVI-Goodwill Industries of Greater Rochester, Inc.; AHRC Nassau; AHRC New York City; Arc of Steuben; AVRE; Lifespire; Living Resources; and Schenectady ARC.

Last year, CCNY also collaborated with Goodwill to create assistive technology for individuals with ASD:

Therapeutic Virtual Environments – a virtual reality system to better train workers with autism. This Virtual Reality tool helps people on the autism spectrum by treating sensitivity to stimuli, training them to be more competitive in the job market.

Workforce Management System for autism spectrum disorder – a communication system for workers with autism. The mobile device software for workers with autism incorporates scheduling, training, reports and tools to help workers communicate with co-workers and managers.

Join us at the fourth CREATE Symposium on Wednesday, April 25 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the Legislative Office Building in Albany and see assistive technology for individuals with disabilities at work!
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Western New York Sees Beyond Disability, Recognizes Individuality

“See Me for Me!” is the theme for National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month in March. Richard Warner, a production and assembly worker with Allegany Arc in Wellsville, knows that his colleagues see him for him — and his 2017 William B. Joslin Outstanding Performance Award is further proof.

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

“I am proud to pay my own bills,” he said. “My mother wanted me to get a job, help chip in the family. When I first heard [about receiving the Joslin Award], I was shocked. I said, who wants to pick me? I’ve never received an honor like this before.”

In 2017, NYSID Preferred Source contracts accounted for 6,879 jobs, 4,293,221 employment hours and $65.4 million in wages across New York State.

This includes 473 jobs created in Western New York on Preferred Source contracts with these local-based member agencies and corporate partners:

Allegany County – Allegany ARC

Cattaraugus County – Cattaraugus Rehabilitation Center, Inc.; and The ReHabilitation Center/Cattaraugus County ARC

Chautauqua County – Chautauqua County ARC

Erie County – Heritage Centers; Biel’s Information Technology (in partnership with Heritage Centers); Clarus Linen Services (in partnership with Heritage Centers); Suburban Adult Services, Inc./SASI; Southeast Works, Inc; and 1 Accord Services Inc. (in partnership with Southeast Works, Inc.)

Genesee County – Genesee ARC; Angelica Textile Services, Inc. (in partnership with Genesee ARC)

Livingston County – The Arc of Livingston-Wyoming

Monroe County – CDS Monarch/UNISTEL; Easter Seals New York, Inc.; Lifetime Assistance, Inc./LAICO Industries; ALSCO (in partnership with Lifetime Assistance, Inc.); Sheen and Shine, Inc. (in partnership with Lifetime Assistance, Inc.); and Rochester Rehabilitation Center, Inc.

Ontario County – Ontario ARC

Steuben County – The Arc of Steuben

Wayne County – Wayne ARC

Yates County – The Arc of Yates

Thanks to our member agencies and corporate partners for your assistance and your continued support during National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month and throughout the year. #DDawareness18
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Education and Outreach in Capital Region and Beyond Take Center Stage During Vets’ Summit

Veterans’ initiatives led by SUNY and NYSID, a car donation to needy veterans, and a road race honoring our fallen heroes were among the topics discussed during NYSID’s quarterly Veterans’ Summit on March 21.

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

Summit presenters included:

Diana Pasterchick (USAF Veteran), coordinator, veteran and military affairs, The State University of New York (SUNY). More than 40 of SUNY’s 64 campuses have been named military friendly by G.I. Jobs Magazine and are among the top 15 percent of colleges nationwide in offering the best overall experience for military students.

Stewart Dawes, veterans resource coordinator, Dutchess Community College, site of NYSID’s newest Battle Buddy Center. Based on the military concept of a “Battle Buddy,” which partners soldiers to assist each other both in and out of combat, NYSID’s Battle Buddy Centers have collectively hosted more than 80,000 visits by veterans since September 2011.

Daphne Braun and Brittany Horton, marketing representatives, H&V Collision Centers. The company is partnering with Geico to give away cars to needy veterans and has successfully organized 21 such car donations previously.

Col. Kevin Hicks (Retired), New York Run for the Fallen, which takes place between Syracuse and Albany June 8-10. New York Run for the Fallen is a compilation of runners and support crew whose mission is to run one mile for every New York servicemember killed in combat during Operation Iraqi Freedom, Enduring Freedom and New Dawn.

Among the legislative staffers who attended:

Caitlin Rooney, Albany regional director, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Armed Services

Ann Mueller, deputy district director, U.S. Congressman John Faso (R-19)

Dan Casale, director of constituent services, NYS Senator Kathleen Marchione (R-43), member of the NYS Senate Committee on Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs

Rhiannon Antico, assistant director of financial aid, The Sage Colleges, attended her first NYSID Veterans’ Summit five months into her role as a VA certification officer and came away impressed.

“I was eager to attend this event to build my network of VA resources here in the Capital Region and beyond,” she said. “This event did not disappoint! The presentations covered a wide range of topics that were relevant to the work that I do. It was great to hear about other schools’ VA programs and how they have grown over time.

“I also walked away with information and resources to share with the VA students that I work with. My VA network has certainly grown after attending this event and I look forward to future NYSID Veterans’ Summits.”

Visit Veterans’ Resources & News for more information on NYSID veterans’ initiatives.
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Employment Excellence, Developmental Disability Awareness Spread Through Central New York

Gerald Robbins Jr. was diagnosed at an early age with mild intellectual disabilities associated with environmental deprivation, organic personality syndrome secondary to childhood lead poisoning, attention deficit disorder and autism.

Today, he is the embodiment of “See Me for Me,” the theme of National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month in March.

At The Arc of Madison Cortland, Gerry initially was hesitant to try certain NYSID Preferred Source contracts, including the rag cutting contract, as he was apprehensive of the equipment.

Celebrating the success of his peers who previously received the William B. Joslin Outstanding Performance Award nomination motivated Gerry to try new jobs, including the rag cutting operation, and he quickly excelled. Working on the food packaging of margarine spread cups, Gerry has increased his productivity along with his quality.

Gerry is The Arc of Madison Cortland’s 2017 Joslin Outstanding Performer, and he has entered into the Pathways to Employment program, where he has used his work experience on the NYSID Preferred Source contracts to overcome the challenges of new jobs. He has flourished at many of his work experiences, being offered positions at two of his training opportunities at the conclusion of his internship.

NYSID joins the National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities in celebrating National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month in March. The theme “See Me for Me” encourages society to look beyond someone’s disability and see them as a person, not just a person with a disability.

In 2017, NYSID Preferred Source contracts accounted for 6,879 jobs, 4,293,221 employment hours and $65.4 million in wages across New York State.

This includes 1,491 jobs created in Central New York on Preferred Source contracts with these local-based member agencies and corporate partners:

Broome County – A.V.R.E.; ACHIEVE, Broome-Tioga County Chapter NYSARC, Inc.; Bates Troy, Inc. (in partnership with ACHIEVE); Paper Alternatives, Inc. (in partnership with ACHIEVE); SOURCECORP BPS Inc. (in partnership with ACHIEVE); and Xerox State & Local Solutions, Inc. (in partnership with ACHIEVE)

Chemung County — Capabilities, Inc.; The Arc of Chemung

Cortland County – J.M. Murray Center, Inc.; Ames Linen Services (in partnership with J.M. Murray Center, Inc.)

Jefferson County – Jefferson Rehabilitation Center

Madison County – The Arc of Madison Cortland

Oneida County – The Arc, Oneida-Lewis County Chapter NYSARC, Inc./Progress Industries; Human Technologies

Onondaga County – The Arc of Onondaga; Clarus Linen System (in partnership with The Arc of Onondaga); Image Integrator, LLC (in partnership with The Arc of Onondaga); Immediate Mailing Services, Inc. (in partnership with The Arc of Onondaga); American Maintenance (in partnership with Syracuse Brick House); and Liberty Resources (in partnership with Continuum Professional Services)

Oswego County – Oswego Industries, Inc.

Seneca County – Arc of Seneca Cayuga

St. Lawrence County – St. Lawrence County Chapter NYSARC, Inc.

Tompkins County – Challenge Industries

NYSID honors all Preferred Source workers from these member agencies and corporate partners who push past significant challenges to reach their potential in the workplace and community. #DDawareness18
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Capital Region, Hudson Valley Give “See Me for Me” New Meaning

Paul Roes is a familiar presence to Schenectady ARC/Pine Ridge Industries’ Document Destruction customers, removing full containers of confidential records and bringing in new ones. He also works on Pine Ridge’s recycling crew, all while representing what National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month is all about.

In Document Destruction Services, Paul works with a team of six individuals serving more than 100 state government customers. He speaks knowledgeably of the process and represents the agency at the Preferred Source Expo at New York GovBuy.

Schenectady ARC was NYSID’s 2017 Member Agency of the Year, and Paul was their chosen Employee of the Year. John Craig, our Annual Meeting emcee, also profiled Paul in this wonderful story on WNYT NewsChannel 13.

March is National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month, and NYSID joins the National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities in celebrating this year’s theme — “See Me for Me!” — encouraging society to look beyond someone’s disability and see them as a person, not just a person with a disability. #DDawareness18

In 2017, NYSID Preferred Source contracts accounted for 6,879 jobs, 4,293,221 employment hours and $65.4 million in wages across New York State.

This includes 1,298 jobs created in the Capital Region and Hudson Valley on Preferred Source contracts with these local-based member agencies and corporate partners:

Albany County — Center for Disability Services; Northeast Career Planning/The Norton Center, Inc.; Camelot Consulting, Inc. (in partnership with Northeast Career Planning); Focused Technologies (in partnership with Northeast Career Planning); Immediate Mailing Services, Inc. (in partnership with Northeast Career Planning); Green Facility Solution (in partnership with Northeast Career Planning);

Rehabilitation Support Services; Action Window Cleaning, Inc. (in partnership with Rehabilitation Support Services); Image Data, Inc. (in partnership with Rehabilitation Support Services); Janitronics, Inc. (in partnership with Rehabilitation Support Services); Green Facility Solution (in partnership with The Altamont Program, Inc.); Janitronics, Inc. (in partnership with The Altamont Program, Inc.); and Second Chance Opportunities

Clinton County — Clinton County Chapter NYSARC, Inc.

Columbia County — Columbia County Chapter NYSARC, Inc.

Delaware County — The Arc of Delaware County

Essex County — Mountain Lake Services

Franklin County — North Star Industries/Citizen Advocates

Fulton County — Lexington, Fulton County Chapter NYSARC, Inc.

Herkimer County — Arc Herkimer

Montgomery County — Liberty, the Montgomery County Chapter NYSARC, Inc.

Otsego County — The Arc Otsego

Rensselaer County — The Arc of Rensselaer; Clarus Linen System (in partnership with The Arc of Rensselaer); eBizDocs (in partnership with The Arc of Rensselaer)

Saratoga County — Saratoga Bridges NYSARC, Inc./Alpha Industries; Plaza Linen Service (in partnership with Rehabilitation Support Services)

Schenectady County — Schenectady County Chapter NYSARC, Inc./Pine Ridge Industries; The Altamont Program, Inc.

Schoharie County — Schoharie County ARC/Toe Path Industries

Ulster County — Gateway Community Industries, Inc.; The Arc of Ulster-Greene

Warren County — Community, Work & Independence, Inc.; Warren, Washington & Albany Counties Chapter NYSARC, Inc.

Thanks to our member agencies and corporate partners for your assistance and your continued support during National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month and throughout the year.
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“Making the Change” on Capital News Tonight

More Jobs for Today’s Market Urged

Corey Heritage, NYSID’s senior manager of business development and governmental affairs, recently appeared on Spectrum News’ Capital Tonight to discuss “MAKE THE CHANGE” and continued efforts to increase employment opportunities for New Yorkers with disabilities.

“MAKE THE CHANGE” is a grassroots movement to ensure both ongoing employment and new opportunities for workers with disabilities who face a 70 percent unemployment rate.

Its goal is to encourage Governor Cuomo and the New York State Legislature to implement changes in the Preferred Source law that would improve employment opportunities for New Yorkers with disabilities, without any negative fiscal impact on the State’s budget.

View Corey Heritage’s appearance on Capital Tonight. - http://spectrumlocalnews.com/nys/capital-region/capital-tonight-interviews/2018/03/08/corey-heritage

Heritage emphasized the importance of modernizing the Preferred Source law, first enacted by the New York State Legislature in 1975 and made permanent in 2002.

“This was a cutting-edge law in 1975, but over 40 years ago, we couldn’t anticipate how procurement and business would operate today,” he said. “We’re not fundamentally changing the Preferred Source Program, we’re making it easier for individuals to get these opportunities.”

Heritage credited NYSID’s Preferred Source customers in New York State government for recognizing the capabilities of workers with disabilities.

“Our customers fully believe that individuals with disabilities can do the work,” he said. “This program has helped hundreds of thousands of people over 40 years that gives them that first job. We have strong advocates in state government that want to use our services. Now it’s just making sure that the rulebook which everyone has to approve and abide by is updated.”

More than 1,700 letters have been endorsed and e-mailed by constituents statewide to Governor Cuomo and New York State legislators through the “MAKE THE CHANGE” website so far.

Visit http://makethechange-ny.com to endorse the letter and learn more about “MAKE THE CHANGE,” including personal stories of Preferred Source workers positively impacted by the campaign.
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“See Me for Me!” Celebrates National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month With Inclusivity

March is National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month, and NYSID joins The Arc United States in celebrating this year’s theme — “See Me for Me!” — encouraging society to look beyond someone’s disability and see them as a person, not just a person with a disability.

One NYSID member agency that wholeheartedly embraces this concept is Spectrum Designs Foundation, an integrated workforce of more than 30 individuals living on the autism spectrum who work in the screen printing and embroidery departments, creating shirts, sweatshirts, safety apparel, hats, and much more.

Spectrum Designs provides apparel to state and local government agency customers, including 24 school districts, numerous municipalities, several residential and psychiatric centers, public works entities, and other Preferred Source purchasers. Its expanding NYSID business also has increased employment opportunities for its team of dedicated workers.

NYSID’s 2017 Member Agency of the Year Award co-recipient, Spectrum Designs also supports its fellow NYSID member agencies by printing shirts for walks and other fundraising events, and has printed shirts for two NYSID WORKS! community improvement events. On a wider scale, Spectrum provides custom apparel to countless not-for-profit organizations and events, including the national Autism Speaks walk and New York City’s Annual Disability Pride Parade.

In 2017, NYSID Preferred Source contracts accounted for 6,879 jobs, 4,293,221 employment hours and $65.4 million in wages across New York State.

This includes 3,584 jobs created in New York City and Long Island on Preferred Source contracts with these local-based member agencies and corporate partners:

Bronx County – The Osborne Association; Action Window Cleaning, Inc. (in partnership with The Osborne Association)

Dutchess County – Abilities First, Inc.; Dutchess ARC

Nassau County – Abilities, Inc. (in partnership with Seery Systems Group, Inc.); Adults & Children with Learning and Developmental Disabilities, Inc.; AHRC Nassau; American Maintenance (in partnership with The Corporate Source); eWorks Electronics Services, Inc.; FDR Services Corp. (in partnership with AHRC Nassau); Landtek Group, Inc. (in partnership with AHRC Nassau); OceanSide Institutional Industries, Inc. (in partnership with AHRC Nassau); Nicholas Center for Autism/Spectrum Designs Foundation; The Corporate Source; and The Rehabilitation Institute (in partnership with American Maintenance and Mayco Building Services, Inc.)

New York County – AHRC New York City; American Security Shredding (in partnership with AHRC New York City); CASO, Inc. (in partnership with Fedcap Rehabilitation Services, Inc.); Fedcap Rehabilitation Services, Inc.; International Center for the Disabled (in partnership with Focused Technologies); Lifespire, Inc.; R & W Inventory, LLC (in partnership with AHRC New York City); Scarab Consulting (in partnership with AHRC New York City); The Doe Fund, Inc.; Wildcat Service Corporation

Orange County — Access: Supports for Living; American Maintenance (in partnership with Access: Supports for Living)

Queens County – American Maintenance and Terranova Landscapes, Inc. (in partnership with PSCH, Inc.); Goodwill Industries of Greater NY & Northern NJ; Lioncage NYC, Inc. (in partnership with AHRC New York City); and PSCH, Inc.

Rockland County – eBizDocs (in partnership with Jawonio, Inc.); Jawonio, Inc.; and The Arc of Rockland

Suffolk County – Alternative Earthcare (in partnership with Skills Unlimited); American Maintenance (in partnership with Skills Unlimited); Concern for Independent Living (in partnership with Carlstrom & Ritter, Inc. and Stang Landscaping Corp.); Imaging and Microfilm Access (in partnership with Skills Unlimited); Maryhaven Center of Hope; and Skills Unlimited

Sullivan County – Sullivan ARC/Sullivan Industries

Westchester County – A & P Coat, Apron & Linen Supply (in partnership with Jawonio, Inc.); American Maintenance (in partnership with AHRC New York City); Westchester County ARC; and Digiscribe (in partnership with Westchester County ARC)

NYSID honors all Preferred Source workers from these member agencies and corporate partners who push past significant challenges to reach their potential in the workplace and community. #DDawareness18

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