Posted by & filed under Advocacy.

My name is Kathleen Sheil.

I was very upset when I saw the CBS News report in August about how Iceland is eradicating Down syndrome with genetic testing and abortion. The story shared that the majority of women who received a positive test for Down syndrome ended their pregnancy.

I want to let you know that I have Down syndrome and I am important to this world.  I am 36 years old and I am a board member of LADD.

Kathleen Sheil has Down syndrome and wrote this open letter in response to news of Down syndrome disappearing in Iceland.Yes, I may be different from you but because of who I am but we are all different from each other. My mother has always told me to put my best foot forward and think positive things, so I make friends easy. I have a heart of gold.  I am a person with a lot of energy. At LADD, I help my friends by talking to them about things, and encouraging them to get out into the community and take a walk. I volunteer my time. I love to speak my mind and I speak up for what I believe in. My life is great and I like to talk about it.

I am proud that I moved into LADD. I was scared at first but now I love being on my own. I do a lot of cooking and have made stuffed shells. I like to be independent and that makes me want to support other people. I tell them it is ok and that LADD has changed my life. Now LADD is my home and I can invite people over if I want.

Like you, I have goals I want to achieve. I have always wanted to do things with fashion. I love to sing and one day I would like to be a singer. I am an artist and have done things with Visionaries and Voices, Stepping Stones and Melodic Connections. One day I would like to get married and have a family.

Above all else, I am a person, like you, who deserves to be loved and respected. I have a lot of friends who are like me and who deserve to be loved and respected too.

If I had not been born, the world would have missed out on getting to know Kathleen Sheil!

Please read her letter as it was published in the Cincinnati Enquirer.

Posted by & filed under LADD Events, LADD Health and Wellness.

Written by Kristin Harmeyer, LADD health and wellness coordinator.

Team LADD in Morgan's Canoe Livery Triathlon Race 2017


The Morgan’s Canoe and Outdoor Adventures Triathlon was one of my favorite activities during my 14 year tenure at LADD.

We showed up ready to roll with our team of six including myself, Faith Maynard (LADD Community Connections program manager, Jason Bodle and John Roach (both of whom live in the community and receive LADD support), David Tripathy (who lives at LADD) and Karen Hartjes (my mom).

We actually hadn’t needed that much training because all of us were seasoned on our respective parts and prepared to compete. Faith and Jason started us off with the canoe and crushed it in under 30 minutes!

At the end, as John and Karen passed the finish line my eyes filled with tears and I looked over to see the same happening with Faith. We rushed to join our anchors in a dash across the finish line and ended in a group hug at just over 2 hours and 20 minutes. I have competed in several races and triathlon’s in my life and few (if any) have felt as wonderful as this.

My favorite part of the day was our lack of excitement inducing presence, our blending in, our normalcy at the event. No one batted an eye or felt the need to treat us any differently- we were just another group of athletes, competing as a team, and finishing with pride.

Thank you, Morgan’s, for sponsoring us to participate in your race!

Posted by & filed under Employment, LADD Health and Wellness, LADD Staff, Residential Services for Adults With Disabilities.

Meaningful engagement grounded in love is the foundation of all we do here at LADD, and Regina Nixon is yet one more example of how we do that.
Regina Nixon is a direct support professional for Living Arrangements for the Developmentally Disabled in CincinnatiIn her fifth year working as a direct support professional (DSP) for LADD, Regina says everyday she spends at our Find A Way Apartments is a rewarding day for her. “I just really like knowing I can make others feel good. I like seeing their progress in gaining confidence and life skills. It is my calling,” she told us.
“My relationship the people I work with is so important.”
That perspective on life, she said, was instilled upon her from her father who worked at the Veterans Administration. “He is always kind to everyone. He is a really polite and giving person,” she said. “He taught me to treat others like I want to be treated.”
On any given day, Regina’s job may include assisting someone with daily living activities, getting to appointments, or spending special days out exploring the community. After having lost weight herself from walking more, Regina has started a walking group at Find A Way Apartments. Three days a week they walk five miles around the Oakley area.

Learn more about employment opportunities at LADD here.

Posted by & filed under Community Supported Living, LADD Staff.

We’d like to introduce you to Linda Toth, who is in her fifth year with LADD as a Community Supported Living direct support professional. Linda’s LADD days are spent with Joe Wenning, assisting him in strengthening his skills including reading and communication, expanding his life experiences, and connecting with others that can #DSPWeek - Linda Toth, a direct support professional for Cincinnati nonprofit LADD, explains what she enjoys most about her job.lead toward employment and achieving other goals.
Linda told us her job satisfaction comes from seeing the growth of someone for whom she has great admiration. “Joe brings enthusiasm to everything he is passionate about. In a world where it seems humans have drifted away from face to face communication, Joe maintains the “lost art” of engaging in sincere dialogue with a genuine interest in others. He can initiate and maintain conversations with complete strangers, coming away with a new friend and learning something about their lives. He has an innate ability to capture the moment to launch an interaction with someone, and it always ends with big smiles for all and often times a hug. I have witnessed the beauty of him making someone’s day a little better time and time again,” she said.
Let us repeat that: “I have witnessed the beauty of Joe making someone’s day a little better time and again.”
One of the greatest gifts that anyone can give!
If you would like to learn more about our Community Supported Living, please visit this link.

Posted by & filed under Employment, LADD Staff.

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!

Meet Breauna

Breauna Stevenson is a direct support professional at LADD in Cincinnati

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.”

Meet Kevin

Kevin Edwards is a direct support professional at LADD in Cincinnati

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!

Posted by & filed under LADD Events, LADD Health and Wellness.

In partnership with Hamilton County Special Olympics and the Cincinnati Recreation Commission, we are Cincinnati nonprofit LADD is holding FitFest on September 30, 2017 in Cincinnatipresenting 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





Kara Pelicano (Yoga)

Yoga Groove/ Sharon (Yoga on the Lawn)

Terrelle Holbrook (Zumba)

Dave (Mindfulness)

Seven Hills (soccer)

Special Olympics (Kids Races)

DUCO Skating  (Skateboarding)



Mercy Health Mammography Team

Redwood Rehabilitation

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)

OSU (Nutrition)

Prevention First (Alcohol Abuse)

Duco Skating (Skateboarding)

Little Clinic (Flu shots)

Center for Closing the Health Gap (info)

United Healthcare (Insurance)


BB&T Bank

Coca Cola


Cincinnati Recreation Commission

Home City Ice (

Hyde Park Landscaping

US Bank


Molina Healthcare

Rohde Funeral Home



Seemless Printing




Event Volunteer Opportunities:                              
Starla Carlock
(513) 487-3907

Event Activity or Programming Providers:
Kristin Harmeyer
(513) 487-3959

Media Inquiries:
Lisa Desatnik
(513) 262-4062             

Event Sponsorship or Vendor Opportunities:
Marvin Hawkins

LADD Picnic RSVP’s:
DJ Gatwood
(513) 487-3912

Posted by & filed under Community Supported Living.


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.


Posted by & filed under Residential Services for Adults With Disabilities.

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.


Jewel and Victoria are friends who live in LADD's Find A Way Apartment Building


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.