Profile of a Cool Cat: Tony Candela

There a handful of people that have truly made a profound impact on me and my life. How I view the world, what I want to do with my life. People that truly give me energy and strength just by spending time with them. Mentors who inspire me by their own example, and with their humour, honesty and intelligence.

Anthony, “Tony” Candela is one of those people for me.

I met him years ago at a disability employment conference. I think we were sitting next to each other. We became fast friends and started working together on creating an Alliance of Professionals with Disabilities, along with the Silicon Valley Partnership.

Tony taught me more about disability and cross/disability issues and opportunities than probably anyone has. He also introduced me to Pink Martini, taught me how to cook chicken by touch and often made me laugh until I cried. He is a truly  funny, articulate, intelligent guy that I am very proud to call friend.


Getting to Know You

Your name:  Tony Candela
What’s your connection with disability?

Personal: I am blind. Professional: Rehabilitation Counselor, Disability Employment Specialist, Disability Program Administrator

Star Trek or Star Wars?

Star Trek

If you could live in any other country for 2 years, where would you go?


What dish would your bring to our community picnic potluck?

Now That We’ve Been Introduced…

What do you do?
Administer a residential blind rehabilitation facility run by the VA

How did you come to doing what you do? How has your career trajectory flowed?
Caseload carrying rehabilitation counselor to supervisor to manager to another manager position to a national employment program specialist, to a State agency administrator to current position (35 years)

Where would you like to see yourself in 5 years?
Working as I am now, but with retirement in sight.

Not to be morbid, but what do you want people to remember about you when you’ve gone?
Dedicated to what he believed in; never compromised his most cherished values.

Who or what inspires you?
Courageous people who believe in right and wrong

About Disability

If you could say something to yourself in the past – that is, the you that was really struggling with something related to disability – what would you say?
Lighten up

What do you like about your particular disability?
Insulates me from visual prejudice

Any one thing that you wish people would *get* about disability?
That we are all normal human beings with all of our foibles and bright spots

What single piece of technology makes your life easier?
Speech output software for computer and other devices


Where else can we find you online? You can Google me.
Tony Candela


Other Cool Cat Profiles:

Joshua Miele

Pauline Victoria 

Susan Henderson

Neil Jacobson

Rich Donovan

Joy Elan

Alice Wong

Carrie Griffin Basas



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is a deaf blogger, global nomad, tech-junkie, cat-lover, Trekkie, Celto-Teutonic-peasant-handed mom of 3 (one with Down syndrome and one gifted 2E).
She likes her coffee black and hot.
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I'm opinionated, friendly & chatty... I hope you are, too