You can hear the confidence in Brian Bershad’s voice describing different jobs he has held over the years.
For more than four years, Brian has worked at Staten Island University Hospital, Northwell Health, a full-time position he found on his own. AHRC New York City’s Employment Business Services (EBS) supported him through the application process and interview process. Today he’s a transporter, moving patients and some equipment to X-ray, therapy, or other departments throughout the hospital. Having worked most of his time in the hospital’s environmental services department, Brian advocated for the change.
October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month. Brian is a shining example of the importance of providing quality employment opportunities for people with disabilities.
A Great Fit at His Job
Brian’s social personality makes him a good fit as a transporter. “I like helping people,” he said.
“Brian is very dedicated, friendly, and willing to go above and beyond,” said Candi Genovese, AHRC NYC’s Borough Director with EBS-Staten Island.
Prior to his current position, Brian volunteered from 2006-2011 at the hospital, assisting with the patient book card and transporting in various departments, said Toni Arcamone, Manager of Volunteer Services at the hospital. “Brian was embraced from day one,” she said. “His ‘can-do’ attitude and positivity certain led him to becoming a permanent team member.”
Brian has also worked at K-Mart in a maintenance position and Wagner College in Staten Island, washing dishes.
Desire to Work and Live Independently
“Brian has always had a desire to work independently,” said Mary Buckley, AHRC NYC SkillsIinstructor, who has worked with him over the years. “He’s very independent and very brave. He puts himself out there and tries. He’s always looking to learn something and improve. He doesn’t just settle on a job.”
To no surprise, Brian is a self-advocate. He graduated from AHRC NYC’s Melissa Riggio Higher Education Program at the College of Staten Island, where he enjoyed studying photography.
Independence is something Brian seeks outside of work, as well. Last year, he moved to AHRC NYC’s Kensington residence, from the agency’s Lander residence, where he lived for many years, he said. “I want to move into a supportive apartment and be more independent,” he added. “I go to work and doctors’ appointments on my own, and can cook a little bit.”