Senate Honors Cortland Man With Special Award

James L. Seward

May 20, 2005

State Senator James L. Seward today announced that Christopher Nobriga of Cortland had been selected as a recipient of the New York State Senate Achievers’ Award. The prestigious award recognizes an individual’s ability to overcome personal physical challenges and honors his accomplishments on behalf of his community.

"The Achievers’ Award is an honor that recognizes the triumph of individuals over sometimes daunting physical challenges and is bestowed on those whose efforts serve as an example of courage, personal excellence and achievement for our entire community," said Senator Seward. "I’m especially pleased to honor Christopher Nobriga."

In 1989, Nobriga suffered head trauma from a motor vehicle accident and was diagnosed a quadriplegic. Prior to the accident, he served in the U.S. Navy as a captain's secretary. As a result of the accident, Nobriga was left paralyzed and completely dependent on his caregivers for daily living needs.

Nobriga did not let his disability interfere with his dream to excel and to make a positive contribution to his community. After completing a diagnostic vocational evaluation through Employment Connection, a division of the J.M. Murray Center, he was recommended and considered for the supported employment program to get the assistance he needed to start his own business. He took computer classes at TC3 and SUNY Cortland and having obtained adaptive computer equipment, he created a business plan for a powerpoint presentation design business.

Nobriga's new career allows him to work from home and the adaptive equipment connected to his computer allows him to pour his creativity and passion into his powerpoint presentations with minimal assistance. Due to a tracheotomy tube, Nobriga must communicate with others through caregivers and translators and overcomes this challenge by utilizing email to communicate directly with customers and other professionals.

Christopher Nobriga will be recognized in a special ceremony at the Capitol in Albany on Tuesday, and presented with an Achiever'sAward and Senate Proclamation.

The New York State Senate Achievers’ Awards are presented each year in conjunction with Senate Disability Awareness Day, an annual event sponsored by the Senate to raise public awareness of the efforts and accomplishments of citizens with physical disabilities.