Fedcap Rehabilitation Services provides an array of services to youth and adults helping thousands each year graduate from high school, obtain vocational certification or a college degree, become work ready, obtain meaningful employment and achieve long term economic well-being.
In the spring of 1935, a chance meeting of three men with physical disabilities in New York City’s Times Square led them to change a world.
Michael Bertero, Ralph Rice and Robert Boster had struggled to make ends meet during the Great Depression. Shut out of the workforce by a society that did not believe people facing barriers could work, they set out to change misperceptions and attitudes by proving that people with barriers could be productive workers. They founded the Federation of the Crippled and Disabled, based in the principles of work, dignity and achieving economic independence. It was the first organization in the country run by, and providing services to, people with disabilities.
Today, more than 80 years later, Fedcap honors this distinguished history. With courage, resolve, innovation and creativity, we have made a deep and lasting impact on the field of vocational rehabilitation, and in the lives of tens of thousands of individuals and their families. Through our own businesses and our graduates who work elsewhere, Fedcap is known widely for top-quality employees, products and services.
Fedcap, its staff, its communities and its many partners remain committed to its mission and continued growth. Our future looks very bright indeed.
Peter Panken is a long-term and honored member of the Fedcap family. Peter recently retired from an illustrious career at the law firm Epstein, Becker and Green, representing management in a wide range of industries on all aspects of employment and union-related matters. Mr. Panken has published and spoken extensively on a wide variety of labor and employment topics, including State Employment laws and regulations, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, the National Labor Relations Act, the Occupational Safety and Health Act, and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, alternative dispute resolution, other federal and state anti-discrimination and employment regulation laws, drafting employee manuals, drafting work rules, drafting executive employment contracts, creating employment applications, and avoiding liabilities in employee terminations and reductions in forces.Mr. Panken served as the Editor-in-Chief of the Resource Materials on Employment and Labor Law and A Fifty State Survey of the Law of Religion in the Workplace, and author of the Americans with Disabilities Act chapter of the Employment Law Deskbook for Human Resources Professionals, and myriad other articles. He regularly chairs ALI-ABA and Bar Association programs on labor and employment law.
Mr. Panken earned a JD from Harvard Law School, magna cum laude, and a BA from Haverford College, cum laude. He joined the Fedcap Board in 1975 and served as Chair from 1979-1993.