Speiser Fund Announces Largest Grant Award

April 30, 2018 – The Allen Speiser Memorial Vocational Rehabilitation Fund awarded $4,000 to Access to Independence of Cortland County, Inc. (ATI) to host a series community events that promote the placement and retention of employees with disabilities in the workforce. The Speiser Fund is a component of the Central New York Community Foundation.

People with disabilities continue to face significant barriers to employment. ATI identified people with disabilities have a 20.9% participation rate in the workforce, while people with no disability have a 67.9% participation rate.

ATI will utilize the grant to fund vocational programs and awareness activities during National Disability Employment Awareness Month in October. Programming will aid in meeting the employment needs of individuals with disabilities, promote employment opportunities, and inform employers of the tremendous contributions people of all abilities can make to their businesses.

“The Community Foundation is pleased to award its largest ever grant from the Allen Speiser Memorial Fund,” said Danielle Gill, director of grants at the Central New York Community Foundation. “This grant will help the organization build capacity to enhance its services that support education, employment and independent living.”

In 2001, the C.I.G.S. Foundation board of directors chose to direct assets to the Community Foundation to establish a fund to promote the vocational, educational, health and social needs of people with disabilities subject to social barriers. The fund is named in honor of Dr. Allen Speiser, the first director of Consolidated Industries, a sheltered workshop program for people with disabilities.

Established in 1927, the Central New York Community Foundation encourages local philanthropy by supporting the growth of permanent charitable endowments for the betterment of the region.  The Community Foundation is the largest charitable foundation in the region with assets of more than $226 million. It awarded $14 million in grants last year to nonprofit organizations. Since its inception, it has invested nearly $170 million in the community. The Community Foundation serves as the steward of charitable legacies for individuals, families and businesses through the administration of more than 700 funds. The organization also serves as a civic leader, convener and sponsor of special initiatives designed to strengthen local nonprofits and address the region’s most pressing challenges.

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