431 East Fayette Street     Suite 100     Syracuse, NY 13202     Tel: 315.422.9538
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Allen Speiser Memorial Vocational Rehabilitation Fund

The Allen Speiser Memorial Vocational Rehabilitation Fund's mission is to strengthen and support efforts that advance and have a positive impact on vocational rehabilitation services. Vocational rehabilitation is the process of assisting people with any disabling condition to acquire the social, educational and work skills that will lead to employment.

Formerly the C.I.G.S. Foundation, the Allen Speiser Fund has been in existence for more than a decade. The Fund offers grants to support special projects, make new investments, provide additional staff training - filling in the gaps that aren't covered by government sources or other private funding.


The Fund provides a single grant of up to $4,000 to support the development and delivery of a forum to the larger community to address employment issues for the disabled. Grant applications will be accepted from programs that promote the placement and retention of employees with disabilities in the workforce.  Applications should be sent to:

Allen Speiser Memorial Fund for Vocational Rehabilitation
Central New York Community Foundation
431 East Fayette Street, Suite 100
Syracuse, NY 13202

Next Grant Application Deadline: March 6, 2020

Speiser Fund Documents

 Speiser Fund Grant Guidelines
 Speiser Fund Report Form
 Speiser Fund Application

Important Note: This application form is a fillable PDF form. This form is compatible with Adobe Reader. If you are using a Mac, please download Adobe Reader to fill out this form. The form is not compatible with the default Mac Preview program. Thank you!  Please save the application form to your computer and open with Adobe to begin working on it. DO NOT fill out the form directly in your browser, doing so will result in loss of content.

Past Speiser Fund Grantees

CNY Works - $625

Supported the Employment Network program by eliminating common obstacles to employment for individuals with disabilities, including bus passes and professional attire.
"The generosity of the Allen Speiser Memorial Fund has allowed our organization to have a direct impact on, and increase the number of positive employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities. The need for skill development has helped increase the marketability of the individuals, and later facilitate job placement."- Lauraine Bush

Enable - $1,000

Supported the transportation and presenter fees for the Pink Wheels Work program.
"Funding from the Allen Speiser Memorial Fund helped Enable to offer the Pink Wheels Work event free of charge to 48 young women with disabilities. Pink Wheels Works is a mentoring event that allows young women aged 16 - 26 to learn from women with disabilities who have successfully entered the workforce. Participants interact with positive role models who will inspire them to realize that having a disability and a career can go hand-in-hand."- Deb Oonk

Unity House of Cayuga County - $745

Enhanced the Materials for Building and Enhancing Job Readiness program by purchasing technology equipment for the training room.
"Unity House is grateful for the grant support it received from the Speiser Fund last year. Our consumers with disabilities now have the capability to participate in various webinars during job readiness activities, such as resume development and submission of online applications to local employers." - Kelly Buck

About Allen Speiser

Allen Speiser devoted his life to helping others in Central New York. In 1964 he founded Consolidated Industries, a vocational rehabilitation facility for people with disabilities. Speiser held the position of executive director for 25 years, until his retirement in 1989.
Full Biography

Advisory Committee

Robert Goodfellow
Thomas Lazzaro, Ph.D.
Peter J. Leofsky
Joseph E. McMahon
James Nash
Harvey Pearl, Ph.D.
James C. Rentos
Adelaide L. Silvia
Brian Walton
Stuart Weinberg


Questions about the Speiser Fund may be directed to Danielle Johnson at (315) 883-5554 or email djohnson@cnycf.org.