I want to say how grateful I am to City Access Respite program. I remember the first day I sent my son there, a few years ago. He was scared and didn’t want to go. But with the amazing staff, that are so patient and caring, my son loves going. He has grown and is becoming more independent. The trips are appropriate and really great and fun. They really are the best program I ever came across. I am totally 100% satisfied. I would definitely recommended this program.

- Maureen Mazza (SI Respite)

My son Omari is a young adult with special needs who has been blessed by receiving respite care services from City Access New York. The Respite Programs provide positive experiences for my son where he is taken on trips to the movies, basketball games, shows, amusement parks, restaurants and other opportunities for the socialization he needs to become part of the community. When parents learn that their child has a disability, it has a profound effect on the entire family. Every hour of every day is filled with concerns on whether or not their child’s needs are being met. What these programs provide is a much needed break so that the caregivers can devote their precious time to themselves and their families. We thank the caring staff at City Access New York for their dedication, devotion and support they give our son Omari, and all the children every single day. We don’t know what we would do without you!!

- The Reid Family (Brooklyn Respite)

We are writing to tell you how grateful we are about your Respite Program. Our two Sons, Michael and Joseph Spadaro attend your holiday respite program. We encouraged them to have fun and meet new people, but this program has become much more to our family. Michael and Joseph have shown significant changes for the better as a result of your respite services. Their independence has increased, socialization between both brothers as well as with their peers has improved and Michael and Joseph enjoy all the structured activities that you provide. The programs have helped them to be more respectful to others as well as improve their socialization skills which are often lacking in young adults with special needs. The programs also encourage them to be more confident, self-reliant and take pride in what they have accomplished! The dedication from City Access New York and their staff is inspiring. We are forever grateful to all the people that have made a difference in their lives.

- The Spadaro Family (Brooklyn Respite)

Our daughter Charlene has been with City Access day-hab for about 7 years. We are happy with the services it provides. It was a small program with fewer participants then and both the City Access and Charlene grew together. For the most part many of the services are tailored to individual needs. She enjoys the various activities and programs that involve interaction with her peers. Her verbal is limited so she is getting a session of speech therapy once a week. Her interaction with other individuals has improved. For example she uses more verbal to communicate and use complete sentences. As her parents we felt that this is one of her most critical needs. We do not know how many other participants is requiring speech therapy hence we have requested that Charlene would benefit even more with additional sessions. Providing additional days or another speech therapist would benefit all needing participants. City Access is all around well run day-hab with many interesting activities that has provided many of our needs. We feel it can benefit other families who are in search of a good day-hab for their love ones. Best Regards,

- Roz.

My team and I have had the pleasure of working with the Career Discovery Project for about a year and I’m incredibly impressed with how Jonathan connected us with bright, hard-working, and reliable the students. City Access interns have helped us with a variety projects from data entry, business development, media production and illustration. It’s a great relief to our young startup company for these young people to receive a subsidized salary from the program, and we are more than happy to provide them with training and experience in the tech and media businesses in return. City Access leads in education by expanding the variety of career opportunities their students can explore as they transition from school to entering the workforce, and helps small companies like ours handle the costs of training. I hope our collaboration is a learning experience for all involved. Thank you to Jonathan and City Access New York for being amazing partners!

- Sara Poyet – SCENYC

We really loved working with Chadavia as she really shined in the greeting and welcoming part of our exhibition work. After a few weeks she was promoted to conducting tours. It was our first time working with a student who had a visual impairment. This experience really opened up a whole new world for us. We plan to continue working with Jonathan at City Access New York so we can make our future exhibits are accessible for those who have a visual impairment or blindness.

- Sara Guerrero – Director of Education and Public Engagment at No Longer Empty

I have been working with City Access as a job coach for over 2 years and it has been the best experience of my life. Not many people of my age can say they have worked with visually impaired teenagers who have interned as some of the most historic places such as the Apollo Theater and The Met. This program makes an impact on young lives. People who are usually faced with this obstacle in life are taught that the best jobs out there for them are janitorial but City Access gives them the opportunity to explore their talents and so much more. The internships City Access has provided for the visually impaired has strengthened their self-esteem, contributed to their growth, as well as expanded their minds in so many ways. It has also done the same for me. The Career Discovery Program is a great and there should be more programs out there for young people, especially those who deserve to know their lives mean more than they think.

- Fatou Thiam – Job Coach

I have interned with City Access for the past 2 years. Throughout this time I have been able to experience a number of different fields that caught my interest. Working in fields that caught my interest as an intern allowed me a little bit of space for learning and real life errors that can be made on a daily basis. I guess what I’m saying in short is THANK YOU. I truly appreciate the opportunity and honor of working for City Access.

- Alfred Trippet - Intern

I really enjoy working with City Access for a number of reasons; I enjoy Jonathan’s helpful information and that he does his best to place students where they want to be placed. City Access allows me to intern during days that I do not have class. I like that if I ever had any questions or concerns I can always get my questions answered. When I was younger I never thought that I would be interning in a museum. I also like that City Access provides a job coach to help me if needed. My job coach and I are a great team. I enjoy working with City Access so much I hope to continue this internship program until I graduate.

- Angelina Acevedo - Intern

I currently work at the museum of Chinese in America. I like this job because I am Chinese and by doing this job I get to learn more about the Chinese culture and the history of Chinese Americans and by doing this job I get to meet people that come from all around the world. Thank you City Access.

- T. Huang – Career Discovery Project Intern

What I like about the program is that it is very flexible. They work with you around your school schedule and after school activities when most jobs will not. The program offers kids with disabilities the chance to get a work experience where they might not be able to otherwise. The coordinator is very nice and helpful. I am happy I was chosen to be part of this wonderful program.

- A. Lawler – Career Discovery Project Intern

Working at Rocking the Boat was a great experience. The best part about it was working in the environmental program alongside my group members. Another aspect I enjoyed was going rowing and testing out water qualities. I gained immense pleasure from working at Rocking the Boat. I look forward to going back, and I thank City Access NY for getting me this internship.

- J. Valencia – Career Discovery Project Intern

I interned at the Xavier Society for The Blind. I have learned how those who use the service are sent their Braille books as well as audio discs. I put orders together for Braille books and audio discs, called customers to find out their preference between Braille books or audio discs, and routinely went to the post office to ship out orders to customers. This internship was a challenge, but at the same time it wasn’t over whelming. I enjoyed my experience working for the Xavier Society for The Blind.

- A. Rivera – Career Discovery Project Intern

The Tenement Museum has been working with the Career Discovery Project for the past four years. Over that time this relationship has been beneficial to the Museum and I believe to the students as well. All the students I have worked with brought extremely valuable expertise to the Museum that we have used to continually improve programming for visitors who are blind or have low vision. The students receive work experience and supportive connections as they build their resume. In my opinion, it is wonderful that students are paid for their work and expertise while still being extremely cost efficient for a small museum like the Tenement. However, my favorite part of the project by far is getting to know the students. They have been pleasant to work with, professional, kind, interesting, and eager to help. I highly recommend the Career Discovery Project.

- E. Zeira – Education Associate

Mr. Marin’s program has allowed high school and college students to experience the real world of work in their preferred field, or a field of work that might pique their curiosity. The students receive support as needed through job coaches, mentors and co-workers. The real life immersion into the workplace proves invaluable as students learn and perfect their soft skill set, communication skills, and start to establish a work ethic that will remain with them the rest of their lives. The individualized placements encourage student enthusiasm and provides the employment partners with young adults who are excited to go to work and are excited to learn all that they can about their chosen field.

- J. Hobbs – Transition Coordinator / NYS Department of Educatio

The Career Discovery is an excellent organization that provides Blind and Visually Impaired Youth the opportunity to participant in Work experiences related to their future vocational goals or Career interests. I have worked with Jonathan Marin, the director of the Career Discovery Project for over 5 years. I can report that the program continues to be a great success, benefiting Visually impaired and Blind Youth opportunities in many internships and work experiences. The project has proven to build work skills, experience and confidence in the Youth that they service.

- R. Brown – Transition Councilor

My name is Helen Chichester, Michael’s mother. Its hard to believe that nearly 5 years had flown by. It feels like yesterday that Michael got started with CANY. I can honestly say that CANY has been the best experience Michael has had in his life, barring none. The worksites, the trips, the recreation are all great-hands on and supportive. But best of all, Michael has had something he never had before in all the schools he has been in: friends. A few years ago, Michael was at the circus with his father at the Barley Center, in Brooklyn. They were giving away red nose to everyone. Michael took one, then stopped. He asked the person if he could have some more. The person said “Sonny, you only have one nose.” Michael answered, “I’d like some for my friends at my program. I don’t know if they can get out to the circus. This way I can share the fun with them.” It was the first time Michael ever did that. It was the first time he thought of his peers and wanted to bring them something he can share. Until that moment, the best Michael had was classmates. Now he had friends. When Michael showed me the bag of noses and told me why he got so many, I started to cry. I had figured that my son had plateaued-that he reached his peak. CANY helped him to reach even higher. Today, Michael is more than anyone imagined and he is still growing. From the time he was diagnosed with PDD-NOS at the age of 4, when the neurologist said he should be institutionalized to the time he graduated from his high school at 21, where they thought CANY was too high for him-everyone thought Michael wasn’t going to make it. Everyone but me-and the wonderful people at CANY. The devoted men and women at CANY didn’t just work with my son-they helped him to grow into a young man. My words cannot express even a tenth of how I feel. May God bless each and everyone at CANY.

- Helen Chichester

Working for City Access New York Inc has been a wonderful experience that has afforded me many valuable opportunities to learn and grow, and I am very grateful to have been a part of this organization.     

- Angelina Quinones - Direct Support Professional