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November 1, 2016
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JP O’Hare

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State Education Department Recognizes 47 Employers of Individuals with Disabilities

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM)

The New York State Education Department honored 47 businesses from across the State that do an outstanding job of employing individuals with disabilities as part of its celebration of National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), Commissioner MaryEllen Elia announced today.

"New York values the diverse talents of all of its citizens and together, with these businesses, we are focusing on eliminating unacceptable employment gaps for people with disabilities," said Board of Regents Chancellor Betty Rosa. "With support and awareness, we can help individuals be successful at work and celebrate their contributions and the businesses that employ them."

“The Board of Regents and the State Education Department are celebrating 70 years of inclusion for people with disabilities as we assist all students, in receiving full access to the supports and services they need to excel in life,” said Commissioner MaryEllen Elia. “This year, the theme for NDEAM was ‘Inclusion Works’ and it truly does. When a business is committed to hiring a diverse workforce, inclusive of the skills and talents of individuals with disabilities, it benefits the company, the employee and the community as a whole.”

“We are extremely grateful for this recognition, and more importantly, what it means for individuals with disabilities in providing better access to employment,” said Patrick Miller, Director of Human Resources for Hyatt Regency Rochester. “Hyatt has successfully hired individuals with disabilities for years, and we are fortunate to have Adult Career and Continuing Education Services-Vocational Rehabilitation (ACCES-VR) to partner with in this effort.  As a business, we believe there is strength in diversity.” 

“It is a pleasure working with Ability Beyond and ACCES-VR. With funding provided by ACCES-VR, Ability Beyond delivered job development and job coaching services to three employees at the PepsiCo Fitness Center,” said Josh Vaghi, PepsiCo Fitness Center Program Manager. “Not only does my fitness staff get to build a co-worker relationship with these employees on a daily basis but so do the over 1000 PepsiCo employees who are members of the Fitness Center as well. For the daily gym users, the employees from Ability Beyond are always there to greet them with a pleasant hello and assist them with anything. They are valuable members of our team and keep our daily operations running smoothly.”

With the help of partner organizations, the Department’s Office of Adult Career and Continuing Education Services (ACCES) hosted 20 events across the State in October to highlight the connection between businesses seeking qualified workers, and workers who happen to be individuals with disabilities. Through the Vocational Rehabilitation (ACCES-VR) program, the Department assists individuals with disabilities in securing and maintaining employment so they can live independently. Businesses of all sizes, from all parts of the state were celebrated for their willingness to invest in qualified people with disabilities in their communities by offering them employment opportunities.

The Department recognized five statewide winners: PepsiCo, Hyatt Regency Rochester, Field Goods, Puzzles Bakery and Café, and entrepreneur Cassandra Neil of Alphabet Farm Day Care. NYSED also honored 42 regional winners (see list below).  

ACCES-VR offers individuals with disabilities a wide range of supports—from counseling and guidance, assessment, job placement and job coaching to tuition assistance and equipment and inventory for those who are self-employed—to help them make a career and earn a living. These individuals work with Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors who connect them with the right programs and people so they can reach their employment goal. In 2015, more than 27,000 individuals became eligible for ACCES-VR services and more than 12,000 secured employment. There are 15 ACCES-VR offices statewide.

ACCES-VR works closely with the Department of Labor and the New York State Commission for the Blind in helping individuals with disabilities find jobs and identifying employers that hire these individuals. The Commission for the Blind provides vocational rehabilitation for people who are blind and nominates businesses to be recognized for NDEAM. Additionally, DOL vets all businesses nominated as part of NDEAM.

To find out more about ACCES-VR services, please go to  or call 1-800-222-JOBS (5627).




Statewide Winners:

Business Size


500 or More Employees


700 Anderson Hill Road, Purchase, NY 10577

499-100 Employees

Hyatt Regency Rochester

125 East Main Street, Rochester, NY 14604

99-25 Employees

Field Goods

742 Schoharie Turnpike, Athens, NY

24 or Fewer Employees

Puzzles Bakery & Café

515 State Street, Schenectady, NY 12305


Cassandra Neil

Alphabet Farm Day Care

11787 Lapp Road, Fillmore, NY 14735


Regional Winners:




Barnes and Noble Booksellers

1565 Niagara Falls Blvd, Amherst, NY 14226

Best Buy

2345 Marketplace Drive, Rochester, NY 14623 

Boy’s and Girl’s Club of Buffalo

2061 Bailey Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14216

Envision Graphics

2340 Brighton-Henrietta Townline Rd., Rochester, NY 14623

Goodwill of Finger Lakes

2 Commerce Drive, Victor, NY 14564 

Held’s Janitorial

50 Fountain Plaza, Buffalo, NY 14202

Sisters of St. Joseph

150 French Road, Rochester, NY 14618 

Uncle Joe’s Diner

4869 Southwestern Blvd., Hamburg, NY 14075

Village Bakery and Café

5 State Street, Pittsford, NY 14534

Wehner Mower

2321 Ridgeway Avenue, Rochester, NY 14626


Big Red Shoes-McDonald’s

701 South 4th Street, Fulton, NY 13069


33 West 6th Street, Oswego, NY 13126

CVS Health Distribution Center

1 CVS Drive, Waverly, NY 14892

Human Technologies Corporation

2260 Dwyer Avenue, Utica, NY 13501


182 Lowes Blvd., Herkimer, NY 13350

MAMCO Precision Molding, Inc.

147 River Street, Oneonta, NY 13820

Symeon’s Greek Restaurant

4941 Commercial Drive, Yorkville, NY 13495

Taber Street Auto Repair

805 Taber Street, Ithaca, NY 14850

Xerox State & Local Solutions, Inc.

1800 Clark Street, Endicott, NY 13760

Capital Region/Hudson Valley

FedEx Ground and Home Delivery

253 Troy Road, Rensselaer, NY 12144


15 Pruyns Island Drive, Glens Falls, NY 12801

Hannaford Supermarket

900 Central Avenue, Albany, NY 12144


1941 South Road, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601

Red Lobster

450 Route 211, Middletown, NY 10940

Sav-On Party Central

316 Plaza Road, Kingston, NY 12401

Walmart Supercenter

30 Catskill Commons, Catskill, NY 12414

New York City

Burlington Coat Factory

517 East 117 Street, New York, NY 10035

Flik International at NBC Universal

30 Rockefeller Center, New York, NY 10112

Metro Star Café

369 Jay Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201

National Council on Therapeutic Recreation Certification

7 Elmwood Drive, New City, NY 10956

Rockland Music Conservatory

45 South Main Street, Pearl River, NY 10965


1741 Palisades Center Drive, West Nyack, NY 10955

Long Island

Casters, Wheels & Industrial Handling, Inc.

8 Engineers Lane, Farmingdale, NY 11735

Fido Fitness

910 Rail Road Avenue, Woodmere, NY 11598

Food Parade

444 Woodbury Road, Plainview, NY 11803

Kliger-Weiss International

2200 Northern Boulevard, Greenvale, NY 11584

Long Island Marriott Hotel

101 James Doolittle Boulevard, Uniondale, NY 11553

Old Country Buffet

1701 Sunrise Highway, Bayshore, NY 11706

Parsons Commercial, Inc.

665 Commercial Avenue, Garden City, NY 11530

Roses Day Care

298 West 2nd Street, Deer Park, NY 11729


999 Corporate Drive, Westbury, NY 11590

The Home Depot

172 Fullerton Road, Hempstead, NY 11550





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