AccessCNY Honors Local Hero With the Debut of the Sally Johnston Advocacy Center

Thursday, August 27, 2020
Johnston celebrates her retirement with coworkers Paul Joslyn (left) and Monica Cappa (right)

On July 27th, 2020 AccessCNY announced the dedication of the Sally Johnston Advocacy Center. The newly titled center will be home to all of AccessCNY’s advocacy efforts, both on an individual and governmental level.

The center was named in honor of recently retired AccessCNY Advocacy Coordinator Sally Johnston. In her nearly four decade long career at AccessCNY, Sally made innumerable improvements in the lives of individuals with disabilities.

In the words of AccessCNY Executive Direct Paul Joslyn, “Sally Johnston is one of our community’s true heroes. She revolutionized the lives of thousands of individuals with disabilities, not just here in Central New York, but across the state. At a time when people with disabilities were expected to be in the shadows, she shined a light on their needs. From the creation of the area’s first homes for people with disabilities, to equal employment, to accessible transportation and consumer directed homecare, Sally has lifted up so many.”

Visitors to AccessCNY will also be reminded of Johnston’s legacy through a special display detailing Sally Johnston’s long history of advocacy and her numerous accomplishments. But according to Sally, her fight isn’t over yet: “We are going to have to fight even harder over the next few years. People with disabilities have been ignored during the COVID 19 pandemic. There’s been no additional funding for Medicaid in the federal stimulus package. Workers are only able to receive minimum wages and the state is making it more difficult to obtain Medicaid services. This will put many people with disabilities and seniors in a dangerous situation. We must advocate like never before with our state and federal government!”

The agency looks forward to working with Johnston as she takes on further advocacy efforts as a private citizen and AccessCNY volunteer.

About AccessCNY: AccessCNY serves over 3,300 people with developmental disabilities, physical disabilities, mental health diagnoses and/or acquired brain injuries each year. The agency offers services that empower individuals to create and achieve their own success, while creating a community where all people belong. In 2015 AccessCNY was created from the merger of two agencies that served individuals with disabilities: Enable and Transitional Living Services. AccessCNY expanded again in 2018 with the merger of Spaulding Support Services. Onondaga CASA, a program that serves abused and neglected children in foster care became part of AccessCNY in 2019. For more information about AccessCNY, call (315) 455-7591 or visit: www.accesscny.org.

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