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Labor and Economic Opportunity

Bureau of Services for Blind Persons presents Honor Roll Achievement Awards

October 22, 2020
Contact: Elyse Walter, 517-449-9731

Bureau of Services for Blind Persons presents Honor Roll Achievement Awards​

LANSING, Mich.-Seventeen individuals and organizations were recognized during today’s annual Honor Roll Achievement Awards ceremony. These awards are presented to clients of the Bureau of Services for Blind Persons (BSBP) who are exemplary in achieving their goals for employment and/or independent living after vision loss and to organizations who represent the values of National Disability Employment Awareness Month and BSBP’s core value of inclusion and diversity.

BSBP, within the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity’s Office of Employment and Training, recognized consumers of vocational rehabilitation and independent living services, students receiving Pre-Employment Transition Services, and business and community partners during the virtual event.

BSBP staff nominated Honor Roll candidates from around the state. Recipients benefitted from the many quality services provided by BSBP staff and opportunities offered by business and community partners. This year’s event also highlighted the 100-year anniversary of vocational rehabilitation programs and the 30-year anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

This year’s recipients included:

Vocational Rehabilitation Consumers

  • Shaun Lopes – Livonia
  • Laurie Ryba – Lowell
  • Nelle Bradley – Detroit

Pre-Employment Transition Services Consumers​

  • Alexandra “Lexey” Ambrosia – Dearborn
  • Juliana Hoogland – Zeeland
  • Autumn Michaels – Laingsburg

Pre-Employment Transition Services Partners​

  • Van Maele Florist and Greenhouses – Clinton Township
  • Asppire of Mid-Michigan – Lansing

BSBP Training Center

  • Gregory Butler – Detroit

Independent Living Consumers

  • Ahmad Thorne – Grand Rapids
  • Elizabeth Morgan – Monroe

Business Partners

  • Alyssa Moten, McDonald’s – multiple cities
  • Field’s Fabrics – Portage
  • St. Vincent de Paul – Escanaba

Community Partners

  • Dr. Robert Foote, OD – Traverse City
  • Genell Forty, Capital Area Michigan Works! – Lansing

Small Business

  • Mary Case Maconochie – Ludington

“I am extremely proud of the achievements of this year’s honorees,” said BSBP Director William Robinson. “This year has been challenging to say the least. Both the honorees and BSBP team members deserve a special thanks. We continue to provide virtual trainings and third-party services for individuals who are blind or visually impaired that facilitate the achievement of employment and/or independence.”

For more information on the Bureau of Services for Blind Persons, visit

Vocational Rehabilitation, Pre-Employment Transition and Independent Living Older Blind Services are funded through grants from the U.S. Department of Education. For federal Fiscal Year 2020, the total grant funds used for these services was expected to approximate $19 million for Vocational Rehabilitation (VR), including $2.8 million of the VR grant reserved for Pre-Employment Transition Services and $993,000 for Independent Living for Older Blind services.