Farmingdale, NY - December 1, 2016 - Several Long Island individuals with disabilities as well as employers and a local business professional were honored by Adults and Children with Learning and Developmental Disabilities (ACLD) at its 31st Annual Employment Recognition Breakfast held at Carlyle on the Green in Farmingdale.
ACLD, a leading Long Island based not-for-profit agency supporting people with developmental disabilities, hosts the Breakfast each year as part of National Disability Employment Awareness Month. The event honors employees with special needs who have made notable achievements on the job, salutes businesses that are committed to hiring people with disabilities and encourages other businesses to do the same because, as Jeanie Shelton-Clyne, ACLD’s Assistant Director of Vocational Services said, “it’s what people can do that matters.”
“ACLD has been, continues to be, and will remain committed to helping the people we support pursue their dreams of meaningful, sustainable employment,” said Rich Breuninger, First Vice President of the ACLD Board of Trustees. “ACLD is dedicated to identifying successful employment solutions for people with developmental disabilities.”
This year’s honorees at ACLD’s 31st Employment Recognition Breakfast were:
- Matthew Ahrens of West Islip, a Clerk at Suffolk County Traffic Violation Court in Hauppauge; Gerry Ayral of Sayville, a Dishwasher at Panera Bread in Bohemia; Michael Finn of Massapequa, a Cart Attendant/Puller at The Home Depot in East Meadow; and Heather Schulman of Commack, a Day Care Attendant Assistant at Kiddie Care in Commack, who were each presented the Vocational Achievement Award, which recognizes individuals with disabilities for their professional accomplishments.
- Caryn Caporicci of Holbrook, a Bagger at Stop & Shop in Smithtown, and Michael Lalicata of West Babylon, a Lot Attendant at The Home Depot in Deer Park, who both received the Thomas Choma Longevity Award, which recognizes individuals with disabilities who have maintained their employment for many years.
- Sharon Rainey of Deer Park and ACLD Job Coach, who was presented the Advocate of the Year Award
- James Duffy of Levittown, Levittown-Island Trees VFW Post 9592 Military Assistance Program (MAP) Chairman, who was given the Community Partnership Award in recognition of his work with Duffy’s Band of Angels, a group comprised of ACLD volunteers who put together care packages for troops deployed overseas. Joining Duffy in receiving the award were Duffy’s Band of Angels’ volunteers Gandolfo Cascio, Carol Silverstein and Elise Weinstein.
- Walmart stores of Farmingdale and Westbury, which received Employer of the Year Award
- D3 LLC of Melville, which was presented Small Business of the Year Award
Nearly 150 people, representing many of the more than 100 Long Island companies ACLD’s Vocational Program partners with, attended the event.
Adults and Children with Learning and Developmental Disabilities, Inc. (ACLD) was founded in 1957. The 501(c)(3), not-for-profit agency serves the needs of more than 3,000 children, teens and adults with learning disabilities, autism and other developmental disabilities, and provides support for their families. ACLD's mission is to provide opportunities for individuals with disabilities to pursue enviable lives, increase their independence and improve the quality of their lives within the community. ACLD employs more than 1,100 people and operates 80 different program sites including group homes and apartment programs across Nassau and Suffolk Counties. Service programs include early childhood services, day habilitation, residential alternatives, vocational training and job placement, recreation programs, respite, family support services, Medicaid service coordination, and medical and behavioral health services.
- Photo Caption: Representing one of several individuals with disabilities honored at ACLD’s 2016 Employment Recognition Breakfast is Gerry Ayral of Sayville, a Dishwasher at Panera Bread in Bohemia, who was presented ACLD’s Vocational Achievement Award, which recognizes individuals with disabilities for their professional accomplishments.
- Photo Caption: Representing one of the local employers honored at ACLD’s 2016 Employment Recognition Breakfast is Store Manager Anthony Lupo, who accepted ACLD Employer of the Year Award on behalf of Walmart stores of Farmingdale and Westbury.