AVRE InSight Newsletter
By the Association for Vision Rehabilitation and Employment, Inc.
Ready to Work!
Census data estimates that 70% of working-age adults who are blind are not working. By providing people who are blind with valuable employment opportunities and the tools they need to succeed, AVRE hopes to change that statistic for the better. AVRE’s Employment and Career Specialist, Michelle Murray, works alongside Vision Rehabilitation staff to identify work experiences or internships to help individuals meet their career goals.
Michelle notes that “consumers meet with me and we come up with a list of what they’d like to do.” After the initial meeting, Michelle works with consumers one-on-one to discuss interview preparation, resume building, and skill development. When she is not working directly with consumers, Michelle attends job fairs, trying to generate partnerships with area businesses and advocating for the employment of people who are blind or visually impaired.
According to Michelle, “a lot of what I’m doing is education. When people hear vision impairment, they freeze. I explain that they can do things everyone else does, just a bit differently.”
This past summer, Michelle worked with college student Hannah White to set up a work experience. Because of Hannah’s interest in radio and broadcasting, she was excited to volunteer for the Bundy Museum in Binghamton and their community radio station, WBDY 99.5 FM - “I like music and I like talking, so anything that combines music and talking I am 100% interested in.”
AVRE’s employment program placed eight people in job and work experiences in 2018. In honor of National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), we hope to raise awareness about the value of inclusion in the workplace. By employing individuals with disabilities, we hope to demonstrate for employers the capabilities people who are blind have when given the appropriate tools for success.
Our Mission: To create opportunities for success and independence with people who are blind or visually impaired.
2019 Charles Costello Memorial Scholarship Recipient
In 2002, Mrs. Beverly Costello and AVRE established the Charles V. Costello Memorial Scholarship Program to honor the memory and contributions of her husband, Charles. A long-time board member of AVRE, Mr. Costello was a community leader who encountered vision loss later in life. Each year, AVRE endeavors to award one or more scholarships to legally blind or visually impaired post-high school students. The intent is to offer one or more scholarships of at least $500. This year, the Charles V. Costello Memorial Scholarship has been awarded to Ms. Christina Carden of Cortland, NY. Ms. Carden is attending Ithaca College to obtain a Master’s Degree in Occupational Therapy. She will be recognized as a recipient of the scholarship at our Awards and Recognition banquet in December. Congratulations Christina! For more information on the Charles Costello Memorial Scholarship or past recipients, please go to www.avreus.org.
Mark Foster Recognized as NYSPSP’s 2019 Employee of the Year
Welcome Board Members!
InSight is published quarterly by the Association for Vision Rehabilitation and Employment, Inc. 174 Court St., Binghamton, NY 13901
InSight is available in the following formats: Large Print (14 pt.), Braille, emailed text, Word document on disk or CD, and regular audio cassette. If you would like to receive InSight in a different format, please call us.
AVRE serves visually impaired individuals of all ages who live in the New York counties of Broome, Chemung, Chenango, Cortland, Delaware, Otsego, Tioga, Tompkins and Schuyler. AVRE is an Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity Employer.