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Disability: Part of the Equity Equation

By Terrence Phillips, on November 21st, 2022

Client Spotlight

The Bonadio Group (TBG) is a leading provider of audit, tax, and consulting services to tax-exempt organizations throughout New York State, including many that provide essential health and support services to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. With National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) recently wrapping up at the end of October, we are highlighting two of our clients that work directly with individuals with developmental disabilities – one as a service provider and the other as an employer. Their commitment and support to these individuals support our continued dedication to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I).

The Arc of Monroe County has been supporting employment opportunities for individuals for the past 40 years. Kathryn Davidson, Director of Job Path, The Arc of Monroe County’s Supportive Employment Program, explained that the Job Path Program provides assessment and support services to over 300 individuals at various employers throughout Monroe County on an annual basis. She stated that program service providers perform an assessment of an individual’s abilities to determine what job opportunities would be available to that individual. Once the individual has an employment opportunity that fits their needs, a Job Coach supports them on a regular basis at their employer. The supporting services include job training, assistance on social aspects of employment, and meetings with the employer to ensure the individual is meeting the needs of the employer and that the opportunity is meeting the needs of the individual.

Kathryn noted the Job Path Program was a recent recipient of a Federal Government Customized Employment Grant called “Project Search” to assist employees and employers through the process creating competitive integrated employment that is personalized to meet the needs of both. According to the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) website, Customized Employment is a universal strategy that benefits many people, including people with disabilities who might not have found success through other employment strategies. Instead of focusing on barriers, Customized Employment focuses on what the employee and the employer can do based on their abilities.

Long-term Bonadio client, Mark Houseknecht, is the Vice President of Operations of Crickler Vending Company, which is one of Job Path’s Community Partners. Crickler is based in Rochester and services most of Central and Western New York, including TBG’s offices. Mark stated that approximately 40% of their warehouse staff are individuals supported by the Job Path Program. He further added that at Crickler employing individuals with disabilities has created a more diversified and supportive environment for all employees. It has helped company employees with their awareness of others’ needs and their willingness to assist each other. “No matter what challenges the individuals have, they are reliable, give their best effort and always stay until the job is done,” said Mark.

Mark said that working with Job Path as a strategic business partner has allowed Crickler to have a recruiting and retention source that is more reliable and effective than traditional sources, resulting in lower staff turnover and a strong team environment throughout the company.

If you are interested in learning more about NDEAM or TBG’s overall commitment to supporting DE&I and creating an inclusive workplace, please reach out to And to learn more about how we support nonprofits throughout the communities we live and work in, click here.


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