News 12 Long Island named the new co-publisher of Long Island Press one of “12 Making a Difference,” a monthly segment highlighting locals that work to make a difference in others’ lives.
Vicki Schneps-Yunis, who last week bought the Press with her son, Joshua Schneps, was featured on the local news channel for her work in founding Life’s WORC, a nonprofit group dedicated to helping people with autism and other developmental disabilities learn to be independent.
“Vicki has been a trailblazer since she started the organization over 40 years ago,” Life’s WORC CEO Janet Koch told News 12‘s Elizabeth Hashagen in a story that aired Friday.
The nonprofit group recently opened The Family Center for Autism in Garden City and offers comprehensive services to more than 1,200 people as well as provide running group homes to over 250 more adults with disabilities in Nassau and Suffolk counties as well as Queens.
Vicki founded the group in 1971 out of the needs of her daughter, Lara, who was a resident in the baby buildings of the infamous Willowbrook State institution on Staten Island. She gave interviews to reporter Geraldo Rivera, helping him expose deplorable conditions there before she and her husband filed a federal class action lawsuit that closed the institution.
“I get it about, what the parents have gone through, because I’ve been through it,” Vicki told News 12 Long Island.