Posted by & filed under Community Connections.

We asked Jeremy what he likes about participating in our Community Connections program. This is what he told us. And to Jeremy…we like to have fun too! Even better when you are having fun with us!

If you are unfamiliar, our Community Connections is the only non-facilities based program of its kind in Cincinnati. 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. The program 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.

Jeremy participates in Cincinnati nonprofit LADD's Community Connections program. We asked Jeremy what he likes about participating in our Community Connections program. This is what he told us. And to Jeremy...we like to have fun too! Even better when you are having fun with us! If you are unfamiliar, our Community Connections is the only non-facilities based program of its kind in Cincinnati. 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. The program 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.

Posted by & filed under Community Supported Living.

There is a proverb that reminds us, “The only difference between stumbling blocks and stepping stones is the way we use them.”

At LADD, we see obstacles and challenges as opportunities to learn, and strengthen our resilience. We teach, support and encourage individuals to grow wings, and live the kind of independence that gives their lives meaning.  As can happen to any one of us, life sometimes throws us curve balls. It is that journey that gives us resolve and brings people together.

Vince and his roommate Mike reminded us of this lesson.

Since becoming roommates seven years ago (and eight years prior for Vince), LADD’s Community Supported Living team have been available to assist them whether that be providing transportation when needed to get to appointments or work, or ensuring their medicine is measured.

They are a pretty busy pair. Mike manages his time between two jobs, one at the Blue Ash YMCA and the other at Christian Moerlein restaurant downtown; and Vince has been employed by Whole Foods for over 12 years.  They mCincinnati nonprofit organization, LADD (Living Arrangements for the Developmentally Disabled) has a Community Supported Living program to assist people with living independentlyake a pretty good team. According to Vince, “I memorize Mike’s appointments and schedule, do the bathroom, and I am the dish master. I like to tease him a little bit too.”

On June 28, 2016, ‘community’ in every sense of the word was seen through a new lens. It was around 4:00 am when Mike awoke and smelled smoke in their Oakley apartment. An explosion had occurred in their building. He rushed to awaken Vince and the two went outside on their patio. One of their neighbors pulled them to safety, a man who heroically risked his life (as did his wife) to not only save Vince and Mike, but others in the building as well.

LADD’s Eric Sunderman, our community supporting living coordinator, got a call shortly after. Since then, Eric and other staff spent much of the next few weeks finding a new apartment and new furniture, and moving what furniture could be salvaged. The two roommates moved into their new place in August, without interruption to their work and busy lives. Vince sat down with Eric recently to talk with a visitor. Their banter back and forth made it clear theirs was much more than a working relationship.  Resting an arm on his friend’s shoulder, Vince added, “Eric’s the man.”

It was at LADD’s Taking Flight Awards where Vince got to see the man who saved his life for the first time since the explosion.

“Thank you,” Vince said. Two words that say it all.

Posted by & filed under Community Supported Living.

We have such a dedicated team here at LADD. Eric Sunderman is among us, beginning his LADD career in November 2010 as a direct support professional before his promotion in May, 2015, to program coordinator for our Community Supported Living. Eric Sunderman is program coordinator for Cincinnati nonprofit, Ladd's Community Supportive Living Program.We asked him why he enjoys what he does. This is what he told us.


Tell us one of the reasons you look forward to going to work.

The most rewarding thing is seeing people we we work withlourish and accomplish their goals. That doesn’t have to be some grand event, either—typically, it’s just people doing what they want to do in the way that makes them happy. To be a part of that process is fantastic.

 

What is the most challenging part of your job?

There are many challenging things about this job—responding to crises, never having enough resources, and trying to work with bureaucracies that can be outright antagonistic to the needs of people with disabilities. Still, the challenges are always worth it if you can help someone get the things they need to be successful and happy.

 

About our Community Supported Living Program: While living in their own home, apartment or family residence, this service offers people with developmental disabilities the option of developing independent living skills while learning how to access shopping, banks, churches, recreation facilities and public transportation

Posted by & filed under Employment.

Working in partnership with businesses across Greater Cincinnati, LADD’s Supported Employment Program is unique in its approach to  assisting people with developmental disabilities in finding and keeping meaningful, competitive employment.


Individuals come to us from varying backgrounds, skills, and wants in a job. It is our first focus to get to know that person through a process of discovery so that we can facilitate the best match for both the employer and the employee. Once hired, our job coach is on site to support that employee, his/her co-workers, and their relationship to help everyone succeed. The follow-along phase occurs after the coaching is faded, and is our ongoing support to assist with any possible adjustments or issues that may arise.

Some of the businesses who have hired individuals through our Supported Employment Program include:
Contemporary Art Center
Kroger Co.
Llanfair Retirement Community
Mercy Hospital
LADD employees
LaRosa’s
McDonalds
Randstad
Fresh Thyme
Buffalo Wild Wings
IHOP

We would like to introduce you to our Supported Employment Program Director, Diane Gaither-Thompson.

What is your greatest personal satisfaction with doing your job?
My greatest personal satisfaction is knowing I have helped an individual reach a personal goal that enhances his/her quality of life, their self-esteem and brings them a sense of accomplishment. It is a joy to know/see how much satisfaction folks derive from getting the job they desire, making new friends and feeling appreciated and valued for what they bring.

Diane Gaither-Thompson is Cincinnati nonprofit LADD's Supported Employment Program Manager for adults with developmental disabilitiesWhat are some basic tips for employers on helping people with disabilities to succeed in the workplace?
1.    Receive and value what our folks bring to the business/organization/agency.

2.    Know that inclusion and diversity enhance the bottom line for business such as expanded patron base, increased productivity,          and employee loyalty.                                     

3.    Know that the economic cost of disregarding 20% of the population is not a ‘best practice’.

4.    There are tax incentives (WOTC) to hiring disabled individuals and legal advantages.

5.     Compliance with legal requirements reduces the possibility of discrimination complaints.

Tell us about what a good day at work looks like for you.
A good day looks like a job placement, helping an employer develop a long term strategy for successful inclusion of disabled folks into the business, exchanging ideas with peers relative to innovative ideas around SE, receiving referrals to welcome into the program, no billing to complete

What would you like to say to employers about why hiring someone with a disability is good for their business? 
I would say that hiring individuals with disabilities is the first step to broadening their business base. By practicing inclusion and diversity, the company reaps financial rewards, improved reputation in the community and workers who are loyal and productive. 

Tell us about your background prior to LADD, and how does that relate to your current work?
My background includes graduating from UC at a time when there were few minorities accepted/graduating from professional programs there; I majored in psychology and eventually became an EEO Investigator for the state. My career path advanced to being an EEO Investigator/Counselor with the federal government and later an AA Officer with a state institution of higher learning.  I spent over 30 years in the enforcement arm of discrimination law. I also served as a substitute teacher with Cincinnati (23 yrs.)/Norwood Public (5yrs.) Schools.  I believe my education, experience and exposure have prepared me to most currently work in the social aspect of interpretation and application of laws relevant to individuals with disabilities.   

How long have you been at LADD?
On August 22, I celebrated my 11th year anniversary.

 

Interested in learning more about our Supported Employment Program? Please contact Diane at Diane@laddinc.org or call 513-861-5233.

Posted by & filed under Community Connections.

So very often at LADD, you will find members of our team who have had long careers here because this is so much more than a job, it is a passion. Our Faith Maynard is among them. She joined LADD 14 years ago as a direct support professional for our Margaret B. Geier Apartments, later serving as a social guide for our Community Connections, then as coordinator for our Community Supported Living, before her new role as our Community Connections program manager.

If you are unfamiliar, our Community Connections is the only non-facilities based program of its kind in Cincinnati. 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.

Faith Maynard is program manager of Cincinnati nonprofit LADD's Community Connections program for adults with developmental disabilities“Participants in the program gain confidence through their decisions and experiences,” said Faith. “Part of this process of advocacy is taking stock of who they are – and what they want to accomplish by exploring what they like and don’t like in the world.”

 

Posted by & filed under Community Connections.

Last week, we said good bye a difficult good bye to someone who gave with all her heart to our mission and the adults with disabilities we work beside. Angela Chaney retired after a nine year career with LADD, growing our unique Community Connections program – the only non-facilities based day program of its kind in Cincinnati. In groups of 3 to 5 adults, participants choose places in our area to explore with one of our social guides. Those outings may include volunteer work or recreational activities. The program is an opportunity for participants to grow their confidence in decision making, communicating, and doing life skills.

Angela Chaney retired from serving as Community Connections manager for Cincinnati nonprofit LADD, which supports adults with developmental disabilities to be independent

 

Angela shared her thoughts in this message to us:

“It’s been SO rewarding ending my career at LADD, seeing firsthand how far we’ve come. I began my work in the disabilities field back in the 1970s. At that time I often worked with individuals who’d languished in institutions simply because doctors had told their parents they’d never be able to do anything for themselves. Unfortunately, institutionalization all but guaranteed their perpetual dependence. The landscape has changed remarkably. Individuals who’ve had the benefit of early intervention and on-going support are breaking down barriers left and right.”

I joined the Community Connections (CCP) team at LADD in 2007 for two reasons.

1-I knew LADD embraced a person-centered, quality-driven support approach
2-As a Social Guide I’d be able to work one-to-one with individuals, truly promoting growth

When I became CCP manager in 2009, I had just four months to transition the program to a small-group service model. I was determined to ensure that LADD’s adult day program embodied the same elements that had attracted me to the agency in the first place. It needed to be high-quality, person-centered and focused on promoting participants’ growth.

Over the past seven years CCP has provided a unique opportunity for individuals to spend their entire day out in the community with small groups of peers who share their interests and abilities.  We’ve seen the impact of this approach first-hand. With Social Guides’ support participants have thrived. Individuals who have struggled in large, less personalized programs have blossomed in CCP.

I leave the program in Faith Maynard’s capable hands, confident that she’ll continue CCP’s legacy of promoting personal empowerment and growth.”

Angela

 

 

Posted by & filed under Employment.

“Individual commitment to a group effort – that’s what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.”
– Vince Lombardi

Contemporary Cabinetry East

The team of Contemporary Cabinetry East is a shining example. As a mother of Bayley, a 17 year old who has autism, Terri Hogan, CEO and chairman of the company (and one of our new Board members and long time volunteers) testified before a congressional hearing on the hiring of people with disabilities.

 


Employing people who have disabilities is about more than equal opportunities, it is about good business sense. Our Susan Brownknight is chairing the Advisory Committee of the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber national pilot program to further disability inclusion in small businesses. Please join us and other business leaders who share our vision – either Aug 4 or 8 – for a short program to learn about how your company can benefit from hiring individuals who want to contribute. Our board member, Terri Hogan will be one of the panelists.

Please click here to register.