While many challenges to gain employment continued throughout the year, five persons were recognized through the Carroll Awards for their outstanding achievement and contribution to the workplace. Additionally, Carroll Society member Alicia Cahill-Watts of Fidelity Investments was selected as the 2009 Blind Employee of the Year. Below is a summary of achievements for the 2009 Carroll Society Inductees:
Blair Wong – Assistant Professor- New England College of Optometry
Blair Wong is a licensed optician who is the Chairman of the Department of Opticianry Program at Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology and he is an Assistant Professor in the Vision Services Department at New England College of Optometry. At Benjamin Franklin Inst. he developed the Institute’s first opticianry program.
William Crumley- Information Specialist- Mass. Office of Secretary of State
Bill Crumley responds to inquiries from the public on a wide variety of topics handled by the Secretary’s office, with a particular expertise in corporate filings. His in-depth knowledge of the resources balanced with his courteous and affable manner make Bill a valuable asset to the Secretary of State’s office
Pamela Caron-Washburn – Teacher – FLLAC Educational Collaborative
Pamela is a certified Teacher of the Visually Impaired with a regular caseload of 25 students in various public schools throughout the 8 towns in her district. Her students are blind or visually impaired and need support services in order to be included in the regular classroom along with sighted peers.
Jini Fairley – Director of Services – MetroWest Center for Independent Living
As the Director of Services she supervises a staff who provide a wide range of services for persons with a disability for their full inclusion into the community environment such as housing, health care, daily living needs, finance management, transportation, counseling and self-advocacy. Jini also develops training materials, provides peer counseling, and is an advocate for the rights of disabled persons.
Carl Richardson – ADA Coordinator – Massachusetts State House
As the Coordinator of accessibility to the State House for persons of all disabilities, he must provide for accessibility to the building and accessibility to all activities and services taking place within the State House. This includes providing interpretive services, wheelchair access, and accessibility awareness training for all staff.
Thomas J. Carroll Award for Employment: Blind Employee of the Year
Alicia Cahill-Watts- Vice President of Human resources – Fidelity Investments
Suddenly blinded from Diabetic Retinopathy, Alicia completed rehabilitation training at the Carroll Center and returned to work 2 years later. Inducted into the Carroll Society in 2000 for outstanding achievement, Alicia now specializes in Leadership and Organizational Development and has over 25 years of service with Fidelity. For the past 5 years she has been working as a coach for Fidelity Directors and Vice Presidents. Recently, she was asked to head up Fidelity’s General Management Apprenticeship Program, which prepares young promising supervisors and managers for senior management positions in Fidelity, worldwide. With a case load of over 40 persons, her role is to work with each apprentice, individually, on developing this/her executive skills as a future leader at Fidelity.