Posted by & filed under Community Supported Living.

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.

An innovation from LADD direct support professional, David Horseman, is supporting adults with disabilities to live independently in Greater Cincinnati.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.

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

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!”

Stephen Boardwine talks about his passion in working for Cincinnati nonprofit, Living Arrangements for the Developmentally Disabled (LADD)

Learn more about LADD’s residential services for Cincinnati adults with developmental disabilities here.

Learn more about employment opportunities at LADD here.

Posted by & filed under Community Connections.

Cincinnati nonprofit, a group from LADD’s Community Connections day program for adults with developmental disabilities volunteered at Matthew 25: Ministries in Blue Ash.

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 Paula Chiricosta, Matthew 25: Ministries Global Village Processing team member, said Jim, a volunteer from Cincinnati nonprofit LADD’s Community Connections day program for adults with developmental disabilities, makes her day.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 fmaynard@laddinc.org.

Posted by & filed under Employment.

Equally part team player and independent thinker, April Meyers is a goal setter Cincinnati law firm Dinsmore & Shohl worked with Cincinnati nonprofit, Ladd, and its Supported Employment Program to hire April, an employee with a disability.who does not shy away from life challenges. Give her a job to do and she will do it well on time and on target. Introduce her to new people and she will form a new friend. 

These are just some of the qualities that have made her a valued asset to downtown law firm Dinsmore & Shohl, where April is an office services clerk.

We asked April to share her strengths that she brings to work each day. “I am a capable and dependable person. I am always on time, in uniform and ready to work,” she told us.

Her role is an important one. April’s job includes delivering and organizing mail, organizing binders, cleaning and restocking conference rooms, and other tasks.

“April has been such a blessing here,” Patti Super, Dinsmore & Shohl’s office services supervisor who oversees April. “It is a pleasure that when you give her something to do, you can count on her getting it down and then being eager to move on to her next project.”

At LADD, our belief that every person who wishes to work in the community is given that opportunity and support to do so; and our goal is for people with disabilities to gain meaningful, long-term employment.

“I am inspired by the success stories I see when employers work with us in adding people with disabilities to their team and come to realize those employees are real assets to their team,” shared Diane Gaither-Thompson, program manager of Ladd’s Supported Employment Program. “April and Dinsmore & Shohl are an excellent example.

“April is someone who is highly capable, energetic, and most pleasant. She practiced humility when learning to ride the bus, demonstrated tenacity by sticking with learning her job tasks and exudes confidence in her ability to do her job. She is always on time and is very respectful to co-workers.”

What is April doing with the money she is making? “I am saving it for my wedding dress. I am getting married next June,” she said. 

We asked April what advice she has for others on being successful in the workplace. She told us, “Be on time and be ready to face challenges, to make other people feel better and to be happy. If you have problems, go to your family and ask them. It is your turn to make your own life and to make that smile on your face. It is your turn to make a life change. You have got to take responsibility.”

“I have learned so much from having April here and now I can’t imagine her not being here. I hope that April will be with us until I retire,” Patti said.

About Ladd’s Supported Employment Program

At LADD, our Supported Employment Program assists adults with disabilities in choosing, obtaining and maintaining employment in a variety of community settings. Working in partnership with businesses across the Greater Cincinnati area, our staff help job seekers in finding employment, providing on-the-job training and, if necessary, providing follow-up services.

Some of the benefits to companies of working with an agency such as Ladd to find the right candidate include:

  1. LADD services are free
  2. LADD will provide you with free position identification and/or job matching based on the needs of your workforce
  3. LADD will provide you with a pool of candidates based upon the job description provided
  4. LADD will provide you with free ongoing performance evaluations to ensure satisfaction
  5. Free employment professionals are available to supplement training and assist with resolving any challenges
  6. Free assistance in implementation of incentives such as the Work Opportunity Tax Credit

Interested in learning more? Please call us at 513-861-5233.

 

Posted by & filed under LADD Events, LADD Workshops, Video.

At LADD, we believe achieving our vision of propelling the success and inclusion of people with disabilities demands creative and collaborative solutions. Our Dinner, Deserts and Disasters is one example. Our training room was filled as we spent an evening learning and talking about etiquette for being a party host and guest through fun discussions, role playing, and hands on practice.

 

Posted by & filed under Community Connections.

Join us! Our Community Connections group will be gathering in the Contemporary Arts Center UnMuseum to create handmade birthday cards for adults and young people at St Joseph Orphanage and we’d love your help! We’ll supply the materials. You bring your thoughtfulness.

Monday, July 24
10:30 am to Noon
Contemporary Art Museum, 6th floor
No pre-registration needed.

 

Adults with disabilities from LADD will be at downtown Cincinnati's Contemporary Art Museum on July 24 to make birthday cards for people at St. Joseph Orphanage.

Posted by & filed under Community Connections.

Our popular Community Connections day program has expanded! Our new Saturday group brings our total of groups to 13, with 51 participants.

What is LADD’s Community Connections?

Great question! It is Hamilton County’s only non-facilities based program of its kind in Cincinnati for people with disabilities. In groups of 3 to 5 adults, they choose places in our area to explore with one of our social guides. Those outings may include volunteer work or recreational activities. Community Connections reduces isolation and also provides an opportunity for participants to learn and strengthen life and communication skills, build confidence through decision making, and explore their own likes and dislikes. LADD’s Community Connections currently includes 65 five-hour sessions. The first session of the month is when group participants get together and plan their calendar for that month.

LADD has expanded its Community Connections day program for adults with disabilities in Hamilton County.

“I like LADD’s Community Connections because it’s different, it’s unique, it’s about the community, it’s about finding our gifts.  It keeps you going. It keeps you active.  We’re out in the community all day. It wakes me up in the morning.  It makes me creative.  I get hugs.  I get smiles.  I see people I know.”

– Kathleen Sheil

 

Posted by & filed under Employment.

Michael Weber and Mary Flinker speak of creative expression with unwavering enthusiasm. Both are very talented artists, sharing their perspective through words, visions, ink and paint.

Mary Flinker and Michael Weber are gallery security officers at the Cincinnati Contemporary Arts Center; and are Cincinnati artists. LADD, a Cincinnati nonprofit organization that strengthens the lives of adults with developmental disabilities, has a Supported Employment Program that has been working with CAC.They are also both independent professionals and role models, who in addition to doing their own art at Visionaries and Voices (Mike also works at Raymond Thundersky Inc., a Cincinnati art studio), work as gallery security officers at the Contemporary Arts Center in downtown Cincinnati. Mike is celebrating his 12th anniversary at CAC this summer, and Mary joined the CAC team a few years after Mike did.

What do they enjoy most about their jobs?

“I like meeting new people, and the people I work with everyday are fun,” said Mike.

“I work on writing movies and stories and art, a lot. Working here gives me a lot of inspiration for my work!” said Mary.

LADD’s Supported Employment Creates Workplace Inclusion

At LADD, our Supported Employment Program assists adults with disabilities in choosing, obtaining and maintaining employment in a variety of community settings like the Contemporary Arts Center. Working in partnership with businesses across the Greater Cincinnati area, our staff help job seekers in finding employment, providing on-the-job training and, if necessary, providing follow-up services.

Our belief is that every person who wishes to work in the community is given that opportunity and support to do so; and our goal is for people with disabilities to gain meaningful, long-term employment.

In 2012, it was LADD’s great pleasure to honor the Cincinnati Contemporary Arts Center with our Employer’s Excellence Award. “That Mikel and Mary, respectively, enjoy their work at the Center depicts their involvement and commitment to the work they do there. It also speaks to the support and appreciation shown them by the staff and patrons of the Center,” said Diane Gaither-Thompson, program manager of LADD’s Supported Employment Program.

The LADD Supported Employment Program has long served both Mary and Michael by providing them support and guidance in their employment experience. “It is amazing to be a part of their journey with CAC who maximizes their talents and abilities while supporting them in their professional growth and development. They both enjoy their work and the team of professionals they work with.  

Dave Gearding, CAC facility director, is Mike and Mary’s supervisor. We asked him what strengths he sees in them as members of his team. “They are both valuable members of our team here,” he said. “They are dedicated to their work and have a lot of pride in what they do. They show up on time with a positive attitude. I feel that they contribute not only in their daily job functions but also in the way in which they interact with our guests and our staff, as they are in really ambassadors to our city through their interaction with people.”

“We appreciate the proactive partnering with CAC. Dave sets a standard of reasonableness for all. He works with Mike and Mary with the same expectations he sets for others, and they meet his expectations. LADD’s Supported Employment expects accountability and adherence to employer policies as well,” Diane added.

To other employers, Dave had this to say, “Everyone, including people with disabilities, want to get in the game and contribute. We as employers need to step up to the plate and give them that opportunity because we have seen that our employees are real assets.”

For more information on LADD’s Supported Employment Program, please call 513-861-5233.

Posted by & filed under Community Supported Living.

At LADD, we believe opportunity to live independently in a community where we are embraced and welcomed is a basic human right. Matt has been a resident at our Geier Apartments for 15 years. It is great to include him as part of our LADD family!

Matt Cappel of Cincinnati lives at LADD, Inc.'s Geier Apartments and talks about why independence for adults with disabilities is important.