Leading Disability Employer

ICS recognized again as Leading Disability Employer by National Organization on Disability

October 3, 2022

For immediate release

Our City is better off when people with disabilities can contribute
Independence Care System recognized again as Leading Disability Employer by
National Organization on Disability

NEW YORK — Independence Care System (ICS) has been recognized as a 2022 Leading Disability Employer by the National Organization on Disability (NOD), marking the second consecutive year the organization has received the designation. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 78.7 percent of adults with a disability in the United States were not in the labor force in 2021. Steady employment is a key factor in addressing economic stability, one of the five social determinants of health.

The NOD Leading Disability Employer designation is a public recognition applauding ICS and other organizations that are leading the way in disability inclusion, establishing comprehensive disability strategies with policies, procedures and resources, and tapping into the many benefits of hiring talent with disabilities, including high rates of productivity and dedication, and greater employee engagement across the workforce.

ICS is a New York City-based nonprofit that is the first and only program of its kind designated by New York State as an expert in serving people with physical disabilities.ICS’ disability-expert staff and specialized programs promote the health and independence of people with spinal cord injuries, multiple sclerosis, and other disabilities that limit their mobility. At ICS, people with disabilities are not solely members, many also serve in key staff positions, which has benefited ICS significantly. Staff with disabilities bring unique, real-life experiences and an essential, invaluable, first-person perspective to the organization’s work supporting its members.  

“I was very happy to learn we were recognized in this way for the second year in a row,” said Regina Martinez- Estela, ICS president and CEO. “Employment is integral to achieving independence. Since day one, ICS has been dedicated to establishing a disability-competent, supportive environment where people with disabilities can develop their talents and grow as professionals. Whether it’s at ICS or another organization, we are all better off when we accommodate the needs of people with disabilities in the workplace.”

“ICS continues to actively recruit people with disabilities and welcome them to our staff,” said Catherine Barufaldi, ICS Vice President of Human Resources. “We have seen only positive results within the walls of our organization from fostering a diverse workforce that includes people with disabilities who bring so much insight to the essential work that we do for our members.”  

About National Organization on Disability (NOD)

The National Organization on Disability (NOD) is a private, non-profit organization that seeks to increase employment opportunities for the 80-percent of working age Americans with disabilities who are not employed. To achieve this goal, NOD offers a suite of employment solutions, tailored to meet leading companies’ workforce needs. NOD has helped some of the world’s most recognized brands be more competitive in today’s global economy by building or enriching their disability inclusion programs.

About Independence Care System (ICS)

ICS was founded in 2000 as a pioneering, innovative community of professionals dedicated to serving people who, prior to ICS, were often forced to spend their lives in institutions.

Focused on its three pillars of mobility, health and independence, ICS is the first and only “Health Home” program in New York State with disability-expert staff and programs designed to promote the health and independence of people with spinal cord injuries, multiple sclerosis, and other disabilities and chronic health conditions that limit their mobility. ICS is centered on securing specialized care for members through the education and creation of partnerships with healthcare providers, offering educational and recreational programming that enriches members’ lives, and as a premier provider of specialized mobility assessments for wheelchair users conducted by expert occupational and physical therapists at its comprehensive On a Roll wheelchair program.



Contact: Chris Engelhardt