ALBANY — NYSID (New York State Industries for the Disabled, Inc.), has announced the winners of the 2023 CREATE (Cultivating Resources for Employment with Assistive Technology) Symposium. NYSID is a non-profit organization dedicated to “advancing employment and other opportunities for individuals with disabilities.”
Each team’s innovations were in collaboration with NYSID’s member agencies. The first-place team was SUNY Albany and the Center for Disability Services. Second place went to the New York Institute of Technology (NYIT) and AHRC Nassau. Third place was awarded to SUNY Polytechnic Institute and The Arc Oneida-Lewis Chapter.
SUNY Albany’s winning invention was their Automated Ream Opener for the Center for Disability Services’ Mail Fulfillment Center. Designed for safety and efficacy, after inserting paper into the Automated Ream Opener, it automatically splits reams of paper for the user. The invention achieves the goal of developing a system that automatically opens reams of paper in an effective way and contributes to an inclusive workforce.
“In New York State, we still have a very high unemployment rate for individuals with disabilities, and this shouldn’t be the case,” said Maureen O’Brien, CEO of NYSID. “Many individuals with disabilities are able to work and contribute to our state economy.”
The NYIT and AHRC Nassau presented an Intelligent Glue Gun. Their high-tech glue gun will reduce risks to workers with disabilities by utilizing a digital safety checklist prior to use, a nontoxic chemical mixture and curing method as an adhesive, and a smart control system that prevents unauthorized glue gun use.
In third place were the SUNY Polytechnic Institute and The Arc Oneida-Lewis Chapter with their invention of a Scrub Pad Cutter. This machine will be capable of cutting raw scouring pad material into various diameters and roughness. Rather than purchasing scrub pads from an outside source, the Arc aims to employ four to five employees with disabilities in its own manufacturing facility to create them.
While some of the projects at the CREATE Symposium received monetary awards, all projects will be used to assist individuals with disabilities by member organizations.
“The CREATE Symposium is all about making a significant impact on the lives of others. It highlights what we do at NYSID and allows college students to create inventions to help individuals with disabilities become more employable,” said O’Brien.