This is National Direct Support Professional Week (#DSPWeek) and we will be celebrating our team members internally all week. We are proud to have such an amazing, dedicated and passionate group of professionals who see their work as so much more than a job. They spend their days making a positive difference in the lives of others. We simply could not do the important work that we do without them. We will be spotlighting some of our team through social media this week and share some of their stories below.
Interested in joining our team? Please click here to learn about our openings!
Breauna Stevenson has been part of LADD since last October. During the day she works as a teacher’s assistant in an intellectual disability classroom for Cincinnati Public Schools. And on evenings, weekends, and school breaks she accompanies Jason, Jerry, Beth, Susie and others as they experience our community, attend appointments, or accomplish other daily activities.
We asked her why she maintains two jobs, as that keeps her pretty busy. She told us, “My day with LADD is full of excitement and I never get tired of it. It doesn’t feel like I am working, I am just spending time with people I care about, with friends.”
Celebrating National Direct Support Professional (DSP) Week, we’d like to introduce you to Kevin Edwards, MS, MA, LPCC, LICDC. Kevin works at our Victory Parkway Campus on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday nights and during the week, he is a counselor at St Joseph Orphanage. Kevin helped to organize a walking group at LADD that meets every week in one of Cincinnati’s parks. It is a fun way to get together, have fun and exercise. Thanks Kevin, for all you do!
In partnership with Hamilton County Special Olympics and the Cincinnati Recreation Commission, we are presenting our first ever ALL DAY FitFest on September 30, 2017 packed with group exercise instruction, and health and wellness information. The FREE event will take place at the Otto Armleder Park (5057 Wooster Pike, Cincinnati, OH 45227) from 11 am to 5 pm.
Earlier this year, LADD took a bold step toward advancing the independence and quality of life of adults with disabilities with a new Health and Wellness Program, and FitFest is our Program’s newest and largest initiative.
FitFest will include booths highlighting other Cincinnati area nonprofit organizations and businesses whose work involves enriching the lives of people with disabilities or is focused on health and wellness; health screenings; and a wide range of exercise demonstrations and classes.
“At LADD, we believe health and wellness is a key ingredient to assisting people with leading a fulfilling and independent life, and we believe in making that fun,” said Kristin Harmeyer, LADD’s Health and Wellness coordinator. “FitFest is for the whole community, to come out, be together, learn, and have fun living well.”
For more information, please follow LADD’s Event on Facebook or call (513) 873-1350.
For directions to FitFest, please download this document: LADD FitFest 2017 – directions
Interested in becoming a vendor? Please find our vendor application here: LADD FitFest 2017 Vendor Application
For vendors:VENDOR LIABILITY AGREEMENT
Kara Pelicano (Yoga)
Yoga Groove/ Sharon (Yoga on the Lawn)
Terrelle Holbrook (Zumba)
Seven Hills (soccer)
Special Olympics (Kids Races)
DUCO Skating (Skateboarding)
Mercy Health Mammography Team
Hamilton Co Emergency Management and Homeland Security
Inflatable Kings (bounce house, popcorn & snow cones)
Cincinnati Association for the Blind
Jane Laverman (Reflexology)
Ponsi Sewell (Thai Massage)
Prevention First (Alcohol Abuse)
Duco Skating (Skateboarding)
Little Clinic (Flu shots)
Center for Closing the Health Gap (info)
United Healthcare (Insurance)
Cincinnati Recreation Commission
Home City Ice (
Hyde Park Landscaping
Rohde Funeral Home
Event Volunteer Opportunities:
Event Activity or Programming Providers:
Event Sponsorship or Vendor Opportunities:
LADD Picnic RSVP’s:
We found this campaign after seeing the CBS report on how Iceland is eradicating Down Syndrome through genetic testing and abortion, and wanted to share it through our social network. The photo is of our Annie Callan, someone whom we are very proud to have in our LADD family. She lives independently and contributes to our community in SO many ways.
Jewel and Victoria, both of whom live independently at our Find A Way Apartment Building, have come to learn three wonderful benefits to having a close friend:
1. You have someone to start your day with over coffee and breakfast.
2. You have someone to talk to and laugh with.
3. You have someone to stand outside with you and wait for your Access ride to work each day, and someone who is happy to see you when you get home.
Find A Way Apartments in Oakley and Margaret B. Geier Apartments in Kennedy Heights are two community housing options available through LADD’s Residential Services for adults with disabilities. Everyone who chooses one of these options must be eligible for rental assistance through the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Please learn more here.
Whether you are an adult with a disability or a family member or caregiver of someone (of any age) with a disability – please join us for this VERY important event! Learn about the STABLE Account – a tax-free savings plan for disability-related expenses, an opportunity to save and invest WITHOUT losing needs-based benefits. This is something that everyone affected by a disability needs to know about!
And, when we are finished with the informational portion of our event, we will sample local brews!
This is a FREE event, however, pre-registration is preferred by emailing Wylie Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 513-861-5233.
LADD’s Center for Community Engagement, Ohio National Training Center, 3603 Victory Parkway, 45229
August 24, 7:00-8:00pm
Blake Dowlin, Public Affairs Liaison – STABLE Account
Office of the Ohio Treasurer of State
Info on STABLE Accounts can be found at this link: https://www.stableaccount.com/
With all of their diverse backgrounds and talents, one thing that our team of staff share is their passion for their work. This is so much more than a job to them. It is about the impact of one caring human being on another, and the power to strengthen lives. We are so proud to have such an incredible group of people who collectively push our momentum, allowing us to create new ways of engaging and including adults with developmental disabilities who have become important parts of our lives.
David Horseman is among them.
One of our direct support professionals in LADD’s Community Supported Living Program, David, who was an auto mechanic before changing career paths, is that person people in his inner circles – and even random acquaintances – go to when something needs fixing. He says it has always been that way. He just has a knack for figuring things out, and a want for making a difference in other people’s lives.
It is that combination of skills and compassion that have made David such a valued member of our team. On the day we caught up with him, he was spending time with Jerry in an apartment Jerry shares with Alex. David’s creative thinking in problem solving, supporting and encouraging Jerry have meant the difference of a man who was bed ridden after a debilitating back injury to a man who lives on his own, goes shopping and to appointments, and enjoys participating in the community.
One of those ideas is a scheduling software platform displayed on a computer monitor that hangs in the roommates’ dining room. “For the adults we work with, their lives are filled with daily activities that need to be remembered and numerous LADD team members whose schedules changes. It can be very confusing. And Jerry relies on visuals and pictures to understand things. I knew there had to be a better way for making this easier for them,” David said.
And, with that, this self-taught computer programmer/problem fixer got to work. David bought equipment and began researching open source software platforms. No one knew he was working on it until David had a product to show people.
Hours and days later, David had built the digital display that announces when it is time for taking medicine or for other tasks, gives the day and week’s schedule, as well as tells what LADD staff member will be there when. Alex likes to know the weather and does not always remember doctor appointments, so that information is included. It can be quickly and efficiently updated with changes.
The platform has been an incredible resource for these two men, who are successfully living on their own in the community with LADD’s support. We are looking into expanding David’s platform for other residences.
At LADD, one of our strategic priorities is building an organizational culture that values innovation, transparency, health and wellness and reflects a relentless pursuit of excellence in our day to day operations.
It is with dedicated staff like David that makes this possible.
When we ask our staff where their passion comes from for this important work with adults who have disabilities, we love hearing their answers! This is what Stephen Boardwine, our Victory Parkway coordinator, had to say:
“Whether I have been encouraging an individual in a new community job or seeing someone make an omelet for the first time, I have felt indescribable senses of joy and satisfaction when facilitating the development of independent living skills.
Working at LADD has been a genuinely transformative experience for me, and I am excited for what’s to come!”
Learn more about LADD’s residential services for Cincinnati adults with developmental disabilities here.
Learn more about employment opportunities at LADD here.
It was another summer day out making a difference, for LADD’s Wednesday Community Connections group. We caught up with them this week at Matthew 25: Ministries in Blue Ash, an international humanitarian aid and disaster relief organization that ships out supplies and necessities to people in our country and around the world. They were taking off the outer packaging of cooling body clothes, and then taping the two inner packages of clothes together.
It is a vital job because children volunteers are the ones who take those clothes and put them in a bag with other necessities. Since kids are not always the best counters, it really helps them to do their job more effectively when the clothes are bundled. The removal of the outer packaging is good because developing countries often do not have a good means for waste disposal.
“Everyone who is impacted and displaced by a disaster needs basic necessities, and we couldn’t supply all of those things without the help of our volunteers. The groups from LADD do important work for us and we appreciate their being here,” Jenna Elam, a Matthew 25: Ministries Global Village Processing team member told us.
It is a win-win for everyone. At the beginning of each month, all of LADD’s Community Connections group meet to decide as a group what their activities will be. Volunteering at Matthew 25 always is on that list.
Lizzie Griffin told us, “I like to volunteer and help people. It makes me feel really good.”
If you are interested in having your organization considered for one of our volunteer activities, please call Faith Maynard, LADD’s Community Connections Program Manager, at 513-861-5233 or email email@example.com.