SAGE receives NDEAM award

The SAGE program, a division of sasi that helps place individuals with developmental disabilities in jobs, has been recognized by the Western New York Employment Consortium and the New York State Office of Adult Career and Continuing Educational Services – Vocational Rehabilitation with an award in conjunction with National Disability Employment Awareness Month.

Representatives from the Western New York Employment Consortium presented the award on Friday, Oct. 29, at sasi’s headquarters in Elma. Andrea Todaro, president of Innovative Placements, an organization that specializes in job placement for people with disabilities, helped present the award, since she was the one who nominated SAGE for it.

“It’s because of their significant contribution toward hiring people with disabilities and providing accommodations for them, going above and beyond the call of duty to provide different types of employment for them,” Todaro said. “They have looked at individuals with all types of disabilities as assets instead of considering them to be liabilities. Instead of being concerned about their abilities, they have automatically assumed that they are capable of doing the job. It has been amazing to see these individuals develop a career trajectory for themselves that they otherwise wouldn’t have developed.”

Jennifer Gallaway, assistant manager of SAGE, accepted the award on behalf of SAGE and sasi, along with Donald Souder and Kevin Ramos.

“It’s very humbling to know that what we do on a daily basis is worth it in the end,” Gallaway said. “We’re helping the individuals live a better life. They deserve all of the opportunities that we have. It makes it all worth it at the end of the day.”