NYSPSP Strengthening The Empire State’s COVID-19 Response Efforts

by | Jun 4, 2020

New Yorkers who are blind are providing essential products and services across New York

The New York State Preferred Source Program for New Yorkers Who Are Blind (NYSPSP) continues to play a significant role in coordinating a strategic statewide response among its network of 10 affiliated nonprofit agencies, many of whom are providing essential products and services to help New York fight COVID-19.

Each day, New Yorkers who are blind working at NYSPSP affiliated nonprofit agencies produce and deliver thousands of critical products that are strengthening the state’s COVID-19 response, including personal protective equipment (PPE) such as exam gloves, masks, and face shields, as well as cleaning products, including mops, sponges, wipes, disinfectants, hand sanitizer, emergency preparedness kits, and more. New Yorkers who are blind are proud to provide these essential products to support hospitals, health care professionals, first responders, and state and local governments.

“These incredible efforts to support the state’s response to COVID-19 come as no surprise to many of our customers and partners. We couldn’t be prouder,” said NYSPSP Executive Director Carrie Laney. “In the face of one of the most challenging crises in our lifetime, New Yorkers who are blind continue to step up to supply critical products and services to the public sector organizations on the front lines of this pandemic. We want to thank Governor Cuomo and the hardworking men and women on the frontlines for their leadership during this pandemic.”

Employees at NYSPSP affiliated agencies are responding to this unprecedented crisis in a variety of ways:

  • Central Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (CABVI) in Utica has dramatically increased its shifts and production to meet the exploding demand for face masks and exam gloves.
  • The Northeastern Association of the Blind at Albany (NABA) is finding innovative solutions to meet the demand for N95 masks by repurposing the excess Body Filter 95+ material used in making cleanroom coveralls to produce surgical-style facemasks.
  • The Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (ABVI)-Goodwill of the Finger Lakes, in Rochester, and VIA (formerly known as Olmsted Center for Sight), in Buffalo, are answering the barrage of calls coming into the region’s crisis hotline.
  • The Association for Vision Rehabilitation and Employment (AVRE) in Binghamton is teaming up with ECK Plastic Arts to manufacture plastic face shields.

New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) Commissioner Sheila J. Poole said, “The COVID-19 crisis has been difficult and heartbreaking for New York State, our country and the world, but the worst of the pandemic has brought out the best from responders. The New York State Preferred Source Program for New Yorkers who are Blind (NYSPSP) and its affiliates manufactured, located, and packaged personal protective equipment for those on the front lines who could not stay home, which was a game changer for us at OCFS. We are grateful for all of the NYSPSP agencies who have gone above and beyond to serve their fellow New Yorkers.”

New York State Office of General Services Commissioner RoAnn Destito said, “The New York State Preferred Source Program for New Yorkers Who Are Blind (NYSPSP) and its agencies have proved that they fall squarely into the definition of what Governor Cuomo says it means to be ‘New York Tough’ by providing the protective equipment and services that healthcare professionals and essential workers need to respond to the COVID-19 medical emergency safely and effectively. We owe NYSPSP our heartfelt appreciation.”

“The Preferred Source Program for New Yorkers who are Blind and the blind employees have been a literal lifesaver by providing PPE such as masks, gloves, and sanitizer to the Office of Children and Family Services and the entire state of New York,” said Associate Commissioner of the New York Commission for the Blind Brian S. Daniels. “Not only that, but NYSPSP affiliated agencies, like VISIONS/Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired, volunteered their time to prepare and deliver meals for older blind people in the community.”

NYSPSP and its affiliated agencies continue to be reliable providers of products and services in response to statewide crises. Whether it be natural disasters, humanitarian crises, or COVID-19, New Yorkers who are blind working in NYSPSP affiliated agencies are committed to serving the state of New York, as well as local public transit, hospital organizations, and first responders across the Empire State in times of need.

“No matter what the challenge, New Yorkers who are blind continue to show up and prove that they are proud to be New York tough,” said Laney.

Learn more about NYSPSP at http://www.nyspsp.org

About New York Preferred Source Program for New Yorkers who are Blind

About New York Preferred Source Program for New Yorkers who are Blind

The New York State Preferred Source Program for New Yorkers Who Are Blind (NYSPSP) is a state-mandated initiative under Section 162 of the Finance Law which creates and sustains employment opportunities for New Yorkers who are legally blind by directing state and local government agencies to purchase pre-approved products and services on the Office of General Services (OGS) Preferred Source List. All these offerings are produced by affiliated nonprofit agencies in New York that employ people who are blind or visually impaired. They are:

Alphapointe – Queens
Association for the Blind & Visually Impaired – Rochester
Association for Vision Rehabilitation & Employment – Binghamton
Aurora  Syracuse
Central Association for the Blind & Visually Impaired – Utica & Syracuse
My Blind Spot – New York City & Long Island 
Northeastern Association of the Blind at Albany – Albany 
VIA (formerly Olmsted Center for Sight) – Buffalo
Southern Tier Association for the Visually Impaired – Elmira
VISIONS – Manhattan & Rockland County

OGS information at:  https://ogs.ny.gov/procurement/preferred-sources 

OCFS/NYSCB information at: https://ocfs.ny.gov/main/cb/ 

SOURCE New York State Preferred Source Program for New Yorkers Who Are Blind (NYSPSP)

Related Links

http://www.nyspsp.org

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