Post Content

blog3In any sport, having a winning percentage of .750 is considered doing extremely well. In fact, most teams that are winning an average of seven out of 10 games are usually sitting atop their division. When this number is used in relation to the percentage of people with disabilities who are not in the labor force, it usually has a slightly different meaning and is usually not well received.

The American Federation of the Blind reports that in September 2010, the most recent period for which there is data, 75 percent of the estimated 4 million adults in the U.S. who are completely or partially blind, were not in the labor force.

The Baker-Polito Administration’s Massachusetts Commission for the Blind (MCB) is playing their part to closed this disparity and increase the percentage of individuals with a disability in the workforce. The agency recently held a celebration to close out its 12th year of successfully placing interns across the Commonwealth. MCB hosted its annual Internship Closing Ceremony at the Massachusetts State House in Boston on August 5, 2015. The nationally recognized Summer Internship Program connects MCB consumer students or individuals looking to re-enter the workforce with competitive internship positions throughout the Commonwealth and the opportunity to develop professional skills in real-world settings.

Executive Office of Health and Human Services Secretary (EOHHS) Marylou Sudders

The ceremony was full of enthusiasm, excitement, and celebration for this year’s group of 93 interns and their respective partnership sites. The morning kicked off with musical entertainment from Berklee College of Music’s Nick Martinez, who is also a participant in the internship program. During his opening remarks MCB Commissioner Paul Saner challenged the interns to make the most of their internships. Executive Office of Health and Human Services Secretary (EOHHS) Marylou Sudders thanked Commissioner Saner for his continued leadership and commented on how the program is breaking down employment barriers for individuals who are blind.

Richard Curtis, State Street Corporation’s vice president of workforce development, accepted the MCB Employer of the Year award

Richard Curtis, State Street Corporation’s vice president of workforce development, accepted the MCB Employer of the Year award on behalf of State Street Corporation, who recently hired three interns from the internship program.

This summer, interns spent eight weeks gaining valuable experience working for companies from the public and private sectors, higher education, government, and the healthcare industry. The list of internship sites was very impressive. Some of the sites mentioned included the Secretary of State’s office, Dunkin Brands, State Street Corporation, Walgreens, Dana Farber, and Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital. The MCB Internship program provides an opportunity to educate employers throughout the state about people with disabilities, illustrating how they demonstrate exactly the same skills as their other employees.

One of the highlights of the morning was the keynote address that was delivered by Kim Charlson, director of the Perkins Library. Charlson is a distinguished national and international expert on library and information services for people with disabilities, literacy through braille, adaptive technology in libraries and information access. After her speech, interns were able to ask questions related to internships and employment. The discussion was engaging, informative, and inspirational.

The audience also heard from one former intern, a current one, and a new employer partner; David Morris, owner of Securaserv. David talked about some of the benefits his company is gaining from the two interns he hired this summer. He shared how employers are missing out on a golden opportunity to hire well-trained, qualified people who also bring to the job unsurpassed loyalty, dedication, and commitment.

More than 200 people joined the celebration and shared the interns’ success. MCB Commissioner Saner presented certificates of appreciation to each intern and their employer. Commissioner Saner also presented the sixth “Reach for the Stars Leadership Award” to three interns who received a $1,500 for first, and two $750.00 runner-up scholarship awards for their education. These awards recognize the outstanding accomplishments and potential of these MCB interns.

Recipients of the 2015 Reach for the Stars Leadership Awards are:

  • Charles Davis, Grafton
  • Meaghan Roper, Burlington
  • Stephanie Paoli Valdes, Waltham

 

to view more photos from this event,  Click Here


About the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind (MCB)

The Massachusetts Commission for the Blind, an agency of the Executive Office of Health and Human Services, provides the highest quality rehabilitation and social services to individuals who are legally blind, leading to independence and full community participation. MCB accomplishes this critical mission by working in partnership with consumers who are legally blind, families, community agencies, health care providers, and employers.

Written By:


Office of Information Services, Massachusetts Commission for the Blind

Tags: , , ,

Recent Posts

The Commission on Bullying Meets to Discuss Ways to Prevent Bullying in Public and Subsidized Housing posted on Jul 13

The Commission on Bullying Meets to Discuss Ways to Prevent Bullying in Public and Subsidized Housing

The concept of bullying has increasingly become a widespread issue affecting many individuals in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, especially elders and those with disabilities. In order to resolve bullying in public and/or subsidized housing, all members who are affiliated with the housing community must be   …Continue Reading The Commission on Bullying Meets to Discuss Ways to Prevent Bullying in Public and Subsidized Housing

In innovative partnership, City and State team up to house chronically homeless older adults and pair them with services & supports posted on Jun 23

The City of Boston’s Boston’s Way Home, in partnership with MA Executive Office of Elder Affairs (EOEA) and MassHealth, hosted a “housing surge” on June 15, designed to connect chronically homeless older adults with housing while qualifying them for services and support.  This unique partnership   …Continue Reading In innovative partnership, City and State team up to house chronically homeless older adults and pair them with services & supports

Massachusetts Commission LBGTQ Youth Swearing In posted on Jun 20

Massachusetts Commission LBGTQ Youth Swearing In

Secretary Marylou Sudders, Senate President Stan Rosenberg, members from the Legislature, and members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Questioning Youth (LGBQT) Commission came together in the beautiful State House Library to recognize and celebrate the LGBQT Massachusetts Commission. Established 25 years ago,   …Continue Reading Massachusetts Commission LBGTQ Youth Swearing In