I would like to wish all of our staff, our districts, the students, their families and ACCES-VR staff and clients the most joyous of holidays. During this pandemic we have been tested and found ourselves able to overcome the challenges laid out for us, but the fight is not over. I want to encourage all of those reading this newsletter to keep your social distancing but above all to wear your masks. During this time, I especially want to thank the school districts and ACCES-VR who have continually supported our agency and the staff who made our survival as a company possible.
We as a company and community are starting on a new direction to address the post-COVID world. This new world will not begin until vaccinations are in place and the number of cases are dramatically reduced or eliminated. In the meantime, we as an agency and we as providers of services continue to work with students and schools in developing the student’s futures. This includes working with districts to develop paid apprenticeships, Pre-ETS services with ACCES-VR, Assistive Tech evals and consults and our Career Lab programs with districts. CEO is capable of providing all of our services virtually and thanks to the hard work of the staff during the closures, we are ready to work closely with all of our districts for future virtual needs.
I want to take this opportunity to thank the staff at CEO for the efforts toward ensuring students and clients are being served during the pandemic. Thanks to them we as a company have stayed alive and are working our way back.
Since the last newsletter, CEO has made changes by adding Dr. Paul Cavanagh as Director of Program Services. Paul’s bio is listed below and we welcome him to the team.
I would also like to give honorable mention to an old friend, Thomas Golden who passed away in November. Tom was an educator and policy person for Cornell University. He and I go back to the early days of supported employment and the development of strategies for our field. Tom was not only the smartest person in the room, but also the nicest. A kind and gentle heart that will be missed.
In closing we are hopeful for congress to resolve the issues of state funding. This funding is so important for not only schools but for adult services as well. As most educators and providers of services for people with disabilities are reliant to upon these funds for the people we serve.
Nicholas A. Villani