LEWISTOWN - The Subway franchise, located in downtown Lewistown, was awarded the Business Award, by Center for Independent Living of Central PA, in recognition of the store's delivery program designed for people hired with a disability.
"When picking the award recipient, we wanted a local business that understood what living well with a disability is about," said Theo Braddy, executive director of CILCP. "This specific Subway was chosen because of its model program, allowing people living with a disability the opportunity to be employed and interact with the local community."
The award was given on Nov. 20 at the Third Annual Living Well With A Disability Awards ceremony.
Photo submitted by REBECCA PORTERFIELD
Sheila Cavanaugh, Subway franchise owner, left, and employee, Clifford Peffer, accept the Business Award Nov. 20 at the Annual Living Well With A Disability Awards.
Sheila Cavanaugh, the Subway franchise owner, had partnered with United Cerebral Palsy in 2010 to make the Subway a more accessible place for Clifford Peffer, an employee living with a disability, to work. The partnership resulted in a lunch delivery service that could be provided by people with intellectual disabilities.
Peffer began by serving lunch once a week to a couple customers and now, two years later, he performs delivery services twice a week for more than 50 businesses, Cavanaugh said. Besides traveling with his aid, he works very independently, she added.
"Each day, he goes out to local businesses and takes the orders," Cavanaugh said. "He brings the lists back, we make the sandwiches together and then he delivers lunch to the businesses."
It's important that businesses get involved and creative, like the Subway, so people with disabilities have the chance to improve their quality of life, build relationships and learn life skills, Braddy said.
"The goal is to change the misconceptions and stereotypes placed on people living with a disability," Braddy said. "Anyone can live well when provided with adequate opportunities and resources."
Cavanaugh said she would also like to see more businesses in the area create accessible programs. The public thought is that people with disabilities would rather rely on state money, but that's not true, Cavanaugh said.
"If there are people with a disability who want to work, more power to them," Cavanaugh said. "I will do everything I can to help them out."
For more information on Center for Independent Living of Central Pennsylvania, visit www.cilcp.org.