The Vocational Rehabilitation Fund is Now Accepting Grant Applications

February 1, 2013 (Syracuse, NY) – The Allen Speiser Memorial Fund for Vocational Rehabilitation is accepting grant applications from programs that promote the placement and retention of employees with disabilities in the workforce. The application deadline is March 8, 2013. Eligibility is limited to 501(c)(3) nonprofit, human service organizations that serve people with disabilities in Onondaga, Madison, Oswego, Cortland and Cayuga Counties.

The Speiser Fund provides grants of up to $2,000, or $4,000 for collaborative projects involving two or more organizations, to agencies that support education and employment opportunities for people with disabilities and raises awareness of the employment potential of people with disabilities.

Programs that address job placement and retention through one or more of the following methods will be considered:

  • Training for auxiliary personnel – training or technical assistance for professionals, employers, or other individuals who provide workplace oriented services to individuals with disabilities.
  • Equipment and assistive technology – any items or pieces of equipment that will be used to enhance functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities in the workplace.
  • Materials for building and enhancing job readiness – materials that professionals or employers can use to enhance the employability skills of individuals with disabilities.
  • Work supports promoting job accommodation – may include assistance preparing for work, getting to and from work, meeting personal needs in the workplace, and performing job functions.

Visit for guidelines and an application form. Questions may be directed to Danielle Hurley at (315) 883-5554 or

Formerly the C.I.G.S. Foundation, the Allen Speiser Memorial Vocational Rehabilitation Fund has been in existence for more than a decade. The Fund offers grants to support special projects, make new investments, provide additional staff training – filling in the gaps that aren’t covered by government sources or other private funding. 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 Speiser Fund is a component fund of the Central New York Community Foundation. 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 $130 million. It awards close to $6.7 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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