“We have a mission to show what people with differing abilities can do,” said John Cronin, co-founder of John’s Crazy Socks. “That includes showing what people who have low vision or who are blind can do.”
Helen Keller Services has a mission to enable individuals who are blind, DeafBlind, have low vision or combined vision and hearing loss to live, work and thrive in their community of choice. A key component of that effort involves placing individuals in jobs.
Joseph Melillo from the Helen Keller National Center initiated the meeting. “John’s Crazy Socks serves as a role model for hiring people with differing abilities so we wanted to learn from them and see how we can collaborate to create more opportunities for the visually impaired.”
Their time together started with John giving the visitors a tour of the John’s Crazy Socks warehouse and operations. “We want people to see what we do and the work that our colleagues do,” said John.
Then the two teams set about to exchange information about their respective organizations and discuss opportunities to work together.
Mark X. Cronin, John’s co-founder and father said, “We have an overlapping mission and a shared willingness to explore ways to create work for people with visual impairments. We can learn from the Helen Keller organization.”
The two organizations agreed on some initial steps:
- John’s Crazy Socks will host a work group from Helen Keller Services so a group of clients will gain some work experience.
- Helen Keller Services will work with John’s Crazy Socks to learn about the processes in their fulfillment operation to identify opportunities for employment and to identify opportunities to make reasonable accommodations that would allow people with visual impairment to work at John’s Crazy Socks.
- Helen Keller Services will bring clients into John’s Crazy Socks to assess their abilities in a work setting so they can use that information in placing clients into jobs.
- Helen Keller Services will look to schedule tours of John’s Crazy Socks for their clients.
- John’s Crazy Socks invited Helen Keller Services to provide models and artist for next year’s Another Face of Beauty: Fashion and Art Show.
“We identified concrete steps we can take to move forward and we are excited about the opportunity to work with Helen Keller Services,” said Mark X. Cronin
Joseph Melillo said, “We are off to a great start.”
About Helen Keller Services
Since 1893, Helen Keller Services has been providing services to individuals who are blind, DeafBlind, have low vision or combined hearing and vision loss to make their own dreams come true. Their two divisions, Helen Keller Services for the Blind and the Helen Keller National Center for DeafBlind Youths and Adults, provide customized training and support for individuals in the Greater New York area and across the United States.
You can learn more by visiting their website: https://www.helenkeller.org.
About John’s Crazy Socks
John’s Crazy Socks was inspired by John Lee Cronin, a young man with Down syndrome, and his love of colorful and fun socks—what he calls his “crazy socks.” He and his father, Mark X. Cronin, started the company as a social enterprise with a mission of Spreading Happiness™. With more than 4,000 socks, John’s Crazy Socks is now the world’s largest sock store. More than half their employees have a differing ability, and their Giving Back program has raised over $650,000 for charity partners like the Special Olympics, the National Down Syndrome Society, and the Autism Society of America. Most of all, they are Spreading Happiness™.
For more information about John’s Crazy Socks, visit our webpage, Facebook page, Instagram account, TikTok or YouTube channel. You can also contact us at 631-760-5625 or via email at email@example.com.