Fund for Vocational Rehabilitation Awards Grants

April 6, 2012 (Syracuse, NY) – The Allen Speiser Memorial Fund for Vocational Rehabilitation, a component fund of the Central New York Community Foundation, awarded $4,775 in grants to three local not-for-profit organizations.

Access to Independence of Cortland County received $2,000 to support the Seventh Annual Employment Conference for Individuals with Disabilities. The conference has grown each year to serve more people with disabilities and to connect them with local employers. This year the conference will add a job fair to the agenda, giving employers and job seekers more time to interact. ATI primarily serves 50,000 residents of Cortland County.

Aurora of CNY received $1,825 to support job development and placement for blind individuals by implementing a continuing education home study course, starting a fund for clothing and transportation for those individuals that received jobs, and instituting a new pre-vocational skill building program for deaf and hard-of-hearing students. Aurora estimates that this aid will help approximately 90 students within a year.

Enable received $950 to send two staff members to the New York State Association for Persons in Supported Employment Conference in Lake Placid. This conference will allow Enable employees to receive cutting-edge training in the area of job placement for persons with disabilities. Enable has been enhancing the quality of life for people with developmental or physical disabilities through an array of services since 1948. They have placed 104 people in fully-integrated, completive employment situations in the past year.

The Allen Speiser Memorial Fund for Vocational Rehabilitation Fund has awarded $31,424 in grants since 2005 for programs that strengthen and support vocational rehabilitation services. Vocational rehabilitation is the process of assisting people with any disabling condition to acquire the social, educational and work skills that will lead to employment. The Fund offers grants to support special projects, make new investments, and provide additional staff training, filling in the gaps left by other funding sources.

Established in 1927, the Central New York Community Foundation encourages local philanthropy by supporting the growth of a permanent charitable endowment for the betterment of the region.  The Community Foundation is the largest charitable foundation in the region with assets of more than $128 million. It awards close to $5.6 million in grants to nonprofit organizations annually and has invested more than $100 million in the community since its inception. The Community Foundation serves as the steward of charitable legacies for individuals, families and corporations through the administration of nearly 600 funds. The organization also serves as a civic leader, convener and sponsor of special initiatives designed to strengthen nonprofits that address the region’s most pressing challenges. For more information, visit

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