Testimonial from Mark Saladyga – Marco’s Pizza and Subs Arcade, NY
Diversity is Key
I have a motley crew, and inclusion has long been a practice with my co-workers and me since the beginning! From the very start, I tried to be active in our local schools and with BOCES, with the Wyoming County Angels in action, and our local foster and adoption agencies. It’s my true belief that most problems with employers are that they have never been a part of a team that included people with disabilities or life’s challenges.
By participating with different organizations and bringing in co-workers, these kids learn that there is nothing to fear from a young age. Going forward, I pray that they will promote the same kind of growth wherever they are employed in the future.
Persistence for Both Parties
How did we make the program work? Persistence on both John’s and my part. My co-workers and I learned that the most important thing for John is structure. Whether it’s the placement of something around the pizzeria or the order in which he completes his task, it saves him a ton of effort by sticking to his routine.
How VIA helped John and Mark
I would give VIA: Visually Impaired Advancement 5 Stars. Honestly, The VIA staff, and John’s job coaches, Carilee and Jeremy, were fantastic! To say I was apprehensive would be an understatement. The ovens, fryers, so many moving parts, I was terrified for his safety.
Through the coaching he and I both got, it worked out tremendously well! I would have no problems at all hiring more folks who are visually impaired in the future, as long as I knew VIA was on the back end with coaching and a game plan that could help myself and the individual!
Learn more about VIA’s Workforce Development programs, at viawny.org/services/workforce/.
About VIA – There is no denying a diagnosis with vision changes or visual loss can present challenges. However, it does not change who you are, what you believe or, what you want to accomplish.
For over 100 years, VIA: Visually Impaired Advancement has provided rehabilitation and social services to individuals in Western New York who are visually impaired. We pride ourselves on being a comprehensive resource for people experiencing vision loss or who are legally blind to help them adapt to new ways of independence. Our team of vision professionals will customize services to help you manage vision loss at any age.
To learn more, visit viawny.org.