Disability Mentoring Day honors community leaders

Madison Cortland ARC is pleased to announce that Vernon Downs is a recipient of the 2009 Certificate of Recognition -- Corporate Business from New York State Rehabilitation Association (NYSRA), and a certificate of appreciation from NYSARC for employing people with developmental disabilities. NYSARC is the parent organization of Madison Cortland ARC, an agency that serves individuals with developmental disabilities.

The awards will be presented in October, which is National Disabilities Employment Month, at the kick-off event for Disability Mentoring Day Wednesday Oct. 21. The event is being held at 9 a.m. at the Canastota Public Library, 102 W. Center St., Canastota.

Vernon Downs is being honored for its longtime role and partnership with ARC in employing individuals with developmental disabilities. In June, Madison Cortland ARC honored Vernon Downs as their Employer of the Year.

"We are proud of the relationship that has developed between Alternatives Vocational Services and Vernon Downs over the past few years, and we appreciate the efforts that they have made to keep that relationship strong," said Jim Thompson, Vocational Services Manager at Alternatives Vocational Services of Madison Cortland ARC. "We are very pleased to be presenting them with both the NYSARC and NYSRA regional certificates."

"Thirty-Seven years ago I began my career at Madison Cortland ARC. To see the progress the world has made in the area of employing people with developmental disabilities over the years is truly amazing. Thirty-seven years ago my colleagues I could only dream about what has now become a reality community-based employers reaching out to us for help in finding capable, work-ready employees. It's a win-win all around," said Raymond Lewandowski, Executive Director of Madison Cortland ARC.

County proclaims Disability Mentoring Day

During the Madison County Board of Supervisors Meeting Oct. 13, Chairman of the Board John Becker proclaimed Wednesday Oct. 21 as Disability Mentoring Day in Madison County.

Disability Mentoring Day promotes career development for students and job seekers with disabilities through job shadowing and hands-on career exploration. Local communities around the country organize their own activities to bring students and job-seekers and employers together for informational sessions about career opportunities and one-on-one mentoring with volunteers at public and private places of employment.

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