NEWS & EVENTS : Concepts Announces 2016 Honorees

2016-12-14 12:59:42


DATE: August 31, 2016


T.K. Small, Director of Policy & Outreach         
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Meghan Taylor, Special Projects Coordinator
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2016 Concepts of Independence Honorees Announced
Members of the Disability Community to be Honored at Gala Celebration

On November 3, 2016 Concepts of Independence, Inc. will celebrate the fact that more and more New Yorkers with disabilities live and thrive in their own communities. At their 2016 Annual Gala: A Growing Community, Concepts will honor three very special members of the community who help it to flourish:

The Sandra Schnur Advocacy Award will be presented to a representative from the office of United States Senator Charles Schumer. Concepts is honoring Senator Schumer for his tireless work to promote independence, freedom, and dignity for people with disabilities. This includes his introduction of the Disability Integration Act to the US Senate, which would support people with disabilities living and thriving in the community.  

The Abe Zelmanowitz Humanitarian Award will be will be presented to Mr. Jean Jeune, a paratransit vehicle operator in Nassau County who recently put his life at risk in order to assist a person with a disability. When his vehicle caught on fire in June 2016, power was cut to the electric wheelchair lift, rendering it inoperable. Mr. Jeune acted quickly to remove his passenger, who was in a wheelchair and needed assistance.

The Corporate Excellence Award will be presented to Basic Pay, LLC for the company’s exceptional dedication in supporting Concepts of Independence with its unique consumer directed payroll needs, and ultimately bringing Concepts through to a new chapter which embraces the needs of Personal Assistants and Consumers more deeply.

In addition to acknowledging these noteworthy honorees, the Gala is also a place where Concepts of Independence will raise awareness of their innovative consumer directed program. This leads to more people having the choice to successfully live meaningful and integrated lives in the community. Opportunities to be a part of the celebration by purchasing tickets or sponsoring the event can be found at


A Brief History of Concepts of Independence: Founded in 1980, Concepts pioneered Consumer Direction, allowing thousands of severely disabled and chronically ill individuals to hire, train, schedule and supervise the Personal Assistant home care worker of their choice. With the innovative creation of Consumer Direction, a safe and viable alternative to nursing home institutionalization was formed. Apart from offering greater freedom and independence for people with disabilities, Consumer Direction results in better health outcomes and is administered at a lower cost than a traditional home care program, saving New York State Medicaid millions of dollars per year.   

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