May 09, 2007

Brooks honored for hiring people with disabilities

by Pete Rosenbery


CARBONDALE — Bradley Jay Brooks, the superintendent of building services at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, is receiving statewide recognition from the Illinois Rehabilitation Association.

Brooks is the recipient of the organization’s Rehabilitation Service Award — equivalent to employer of the year — for his efforts. Nominated by Astrid Mosely, vocational supervisor for the Southern Illinois Center for Independent Living in Carbondale, the award recognizes Brooks’ “outstanding commitment to hiring people with disabilities and developing support within the University system for training and sign language interpreters,” Mosely said. _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Media Advisory

Reporters and photographers are welcome to cover the ceremony at the Southern Illinois Center for Independent Living, 2135 W. Ramada Lane, Carbondale. For more information, contact Astrid Mosely, vocational supervisor for the Center for Independent Living, at 618/457-3318.


A ceremony honoring Brooks is set for 1 p.m., Thursday, May 17, at the Southern Illinois Center for Independent Living, 2135 W. Ramada Lane, Carbondale.

“I’m very humbled, “ said Brooks, an SIUC employee for 29 years and building services superintendent at the University for nearly 10 years. “I was quite sure there are many more others more worthy than I am for the award.”

A statewide initiative, the Supported Program seeks to provide employment opportunities for people with disabilities. Brooks’ efforts enabled 17 people to find work on the SIUC campus out of 39 people in the program in the state.

“There is nothing that has given me more satisfaction or joy than to be able to participate in this program and subsequently offer opportunities to folks with significant disabilities,” Brooks said. “The people we hire through the program are outstanding employees. I would love to see people throughout the state, particularly state universities, have greater participation.”

The more that managers give people with disabilities an opportunity, “it will completely be to their benefit,” said Brooks, who lives in Carbondale.

Brooks also received the organization’s regional award, Mosely said.

Brooks’ efforts means people are in “are life-changing career positions” that offer a person with a disability to the ability to buy a home, buy a car and support a family, Mosely said.

“They are really outstanding jobs,” she said.

But Brooks’ efforts go beyond just hiring the employees, she emphasized. He works with the employee to ensure they receive the required assistance in order succeed at work, Mosely said.

“Jay in particular has not only hired them but he has truly committed himself to the success of these individuals,” Mosely said.