NYS Senator Joseph A. Griffo Designated CABVI Champion

June 22, 2021

Senator Joe Griffo accepts an award from CABVI chairman Jim Turnbull

The Central Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (CABVI) presented the inaugural CABVI Champion Award today to New York State Senator Joseph A. Griffo. CABVI’s Public Policy Team chose Senator Griffo for his persistent work and dedication to CABVI’s mission, along with the fulfillment of the CABVI Champion criteria.

CABVI Champions are New York State legislators “who support opportunities for economic and personal independence for people who are blind,” said James B. Turnbull, IV, Chairman of CABVI’s Board of Directors. “CABVI Champions are elected policymakers who have demonstrated support of nonprofit agencies serving people who are blind, in their district, through legislative actions.”

Added Edward P. Welsh, CABVI President & CEO, “Senator Griffo is dedicated to our common mission – to assist people who are blind or visually impaired achieve their highest levels of independence, going back to his days in the Oneida County Legislature.

A CABVI Champion must achieve four criteria:

  1. Meet with a nonprofit agency representative that serves people with vision loss in their district or Albany offices.
  1. Visit one of several nonprofit agencies in New York that employ people who are blind and producing products or providing services to state government customers.
  1. Through their offices, purchase products sold by agencies that employ people who are blind.
  1. Supported employment opportunities for people who are blind through one of the following “on the record” communications.
    1. Letter of support
    2. Press conference statement
    3. Statement of support via social media
    4. Statement of support in the Legislative Record
    5. Introduction of the New York State Preferred Source Program to a state agency
    6. Sponsorship of legislation supporting the New York State Preferred Source Program

“I am honored to receive the CABVI Champion Award. CABVI provides important resources and services to people who are blind or visually impaired and does important and exceptional work for the good of so many across our region and beyond,” said Sen. Griffo.

The CABVI Champion Award focuses on the Senator’s actions beginning with his election to the NYS Senate in 2008 including:

  • Financial assistance to CABVI’s Kent Street location for upgrades, and the construction of the Vision Health and Wellness Center at 408 Elizabeth St., Utica.
  • In October 2008, the New York Vision Rehabilitation Association, a statewide group of agencies like CABVI, recognized the senator’s support of people who are blind or visually impaired, during an event in Albany.
  • In 2011, the senator organized leaders in the state senate and assembly, from across central New York, as a show of solidarity promoting the employment of people who are blind.
  • Sponsored resolutions in the senate recognizing CABVI at its 85th anniversary in 2014, and upon the retirement of Rudy D’Amcio as CABVI President & CEO two years ago.
  • Senator Griffo hosted CABVI’s signature fundraising event, Dark Dining, in 2011 and 2012.