Office of Children and Family Services

New York State Commission for the Blind

NDEAM Awards

NYSCB Salutes 2008 NDEAM Winners

October 2008 was the National Disability Employer Awareness month (NDEAM). It marks the 61st year that our country celebrated employment opportunities for people with disabilities.

Highlighted below are some of the regional and state-wide NDEAM award winners, including businesses recognized for their proactive and positive practices in hiring and supporting workers with disabilities, and entrepreneurs with disabilities who have developed their own successful businesses, often providing employment opportunities for other individuals with disabilities.

The Long Island Working Partnership & Nassau Suffolk Placement Networks

In the entrepreneur category, the Golden Apples Candy Company owner, Joseph Piccione was recognized for his dedication and perseverance. He saw his vision loss as a challenge and as an opportunity. Joseph has shown others with a vision loss that they can use their previous work experience to begin new careers.

Lorie Boyd of VESID, Joseph Piccione, Mrs. Piccione, Kim O’Connor of Lighthouse, Susin Packert of VESID & Harry Reis of VESID
Lorie Boyd of VESID, Joseph Piccione, Mrs. Piccione, Kim O’Connor of Lighthouse, Susin Packert of VESID & Harry Reis of VESID

New York City NDEAM

The New York City NDEAM awards honored William Robinson for the Entrepreneur award. William is self-employed, producing and engineering music out of his own studio. He was referred to the Helen Keller Services for the Blind to explore ways to develop his music business.

Westchester County Awards

These businesses were honored for hiring people who are legally blind: Boys & Girls Club of America; Goodwill Industries; TJ Maxx, Mt. Vernon; Stop & Shop, White Plains; Yonkers Waterfront/Bid; Eurest Dining Services Compass Group; and Able and Ready Appliance Repair.

Orange & Sullivan County Employment Alliance Network

Independent Living Inc. received an award for “significant contribution to furthering employment opportunities for people with disabilities” and “providing meaningful and valuable work experiences for individuals with visual impairments”. They also made adaptive technology available at their center. The award was nominated by NYSCB and the Association for the Visually Impaired.

(Front Row: Douglas Hovey & Kara Dorsey of ILI; back row: Beth Abarca of ILI, Nolly Climes of Rehabilitation Support Services, Julie Cardone of CBVH, Anne Miller of ILI & Stu Kessler of ILI)
(Front Row: Douglas Hovey & Kara Dorsey of ILI; back row: Beth Abarca of ILI, Nolly Climes of Rehabilitation Support Services, Julie Cardone of NYSCB, Anne Miller of ILI & Stu Kessler of ILI)

Other winners in the region included:

Orange County Commissioner of Social Services, Dave Jolly, nominated by NYSCB counselor, Julie Cardone. He hired an intern and has since hired a second one. Dave has empowered NYSCB and his staff to work together to improve knowledge and awareness of people with visual impairments and their needs when they come to DSS. “He is a very good partner to us”, said Julie Cardone. Rich Magoch accepted the award for Dave Jolly.

Richard Magoch, Orange Co. DSS and Yolanda Rihlman, AVI
Richard Magoch, Orange Co. DSS and Yolanda Rihlman, AVI

The Western New York Employment Consortium

The Western New York Employment Consortium gave an Employer Recognition award to Eileen Kudrick, a BEP manager, for her ECMC snack shop. She demonstrated outstanding achievement in her role as an employer. Eileen employs several people with visual impairments as well as people with physical disabilities.

Eileen Kudrick & Len Hanel, CBVH Buffalo office District Manager
Eileen Kudrick & Len Hanel, NYSCB Buffalo office District Manager

The Capital Region NDEAM Annual Employer Recognition Awards

The Capital Region NDEAM Annual Employer Recognition Awards gave John Hastings of John’s Place, the Entrepreneur Regional Award. He was recognized for providing work experiences and hiring people with developmental disabilities from New Visions.

Claudia Mangione of New Visions, John Hastings, Gary Nicklaus of Capital Region WIB, & Jane Kriegler of New Visions
Claudia Mangione of New Visions, John Hastings, Gary Nicklaus of Capital Region WIB, & Jane Kriegler of New Visions