In the spring of 1935, a chance meeting of three men with physical disabilities in New York City’s Times Square led them to change a world.
Michael Bertero, Ralph Rice and Robert Boster had struggled to make ends meet during the Great Depression. Shut out of the workforce by a society that did not believe people facing barriers could work, they set out to change misperceptions and attitudes by proving that people with barriers could be productive workers. They founded the Federation of the Crippled and Disabled, based in the principles of work, dignity and achieving economic independence. It was the first organization in the country run by, and providing services to, people with disabilities.
Today, almost 80 years later, Fedcap honors this distinguished history. With courage, resolve, innovation and creativity, we have made a deep and lasting impact on the field of vocational rehabilitation, and in the lives of tens of thousands of individuals and their families. Through our own businesses and our graduates who work elsewhere, Fedcap is known widely for top-quality employees, products and services.
The mission of Fedcap is to create opportunities for people with barriers to move toward economic independence as valued and contributing members of society. Each year Fedcap’s evaluation, vocational training, job placement and counseling services, and employment, support and advocacy programs, help more than 40,000 Americans overcome obstacles, rebuild their lives, and find and keep meaningful employment.
nycTIES Partnership Year: 2012
Focus of Volunteering Efforts: Develop Fedcap’s Youth Program
Volunteering Impact: Throughout 2012, nycTIES focused on developing FedCap’s youth program for high school students. Our Charity Management Team organized eighteen events in which members volunteered over 370 hours of service with Fedcap’s young people. Events included: "Power Hour" Workshops to provide individualized coaching on interview skills; a three-part Branding Workshop on building one’s personal brand; "Connect to Careers" where students learned about the different industries in which nycTIES members have experience; outings to The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), Magic/Bird on Broadway, a Yankees game and much more. All the events expanded the horizons of the Fedcap youth participants and better prepared them for the job market.
Fundraising Event: nycTIES Annual Gala at Jay-Z’s 40/40 Club
On November 14, 2012, nearly 200 young professionals attended our Annual Gala to fundraise for a rooftop garden to be added to Fedcap’s growing Culinary Program that has successfully connected graduates with employment opportunities in restaurants around NYC. As the farm-to-table movement grows in and around NYC, this first-hand experience with growing and preparing fresh herbs and vegetables keeps Fedcap grads on par with other aspiring chefs. nycTIES was honored to support this economic and environmental effort.