Author Archives: Coly Puzzuoli

One Parent to Another: The Power of Connecting

When you’re a parent, the list of questions you ask yourself on any given day is endless. Who is taking the kids to soccer practice? What about homework? And so on. But when you’re the parent of a child with special needs that list can get more complex. Is this day care going to be the right fit? Is my child receiving the right supports in school? Should we change her IEP? It’s easy to quickly feel overwhelmed and at times maybe even isolated. Fortunately, you are not! As an Agency Summit DD is here to be your partner, yet, sometimes there is nothing quite like sharing experiences with someone going through exactly the same thing. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the ways that you can connect with parents like you and strengthen your circle of support. Read More ›

Employee Greatness: Jean Murphy

With change comes uncertainty. However, what is often clouded by uncertainty is the possibility that change can also bring new opportunities that would never have been possible without taking a leap of faith. Sometimes in life, you need someone to help give you that extra push. That is where Summit DD staff member Jean Murphy truly shines.

“This job found me, I didn’t find it, and I love it. It is what my calling is and when you find out what your calling is you’re better at your job,” said Jean, of her experience working at Summit DD. Jean has been an assistant at Summit DD for over six years and the relationships she has created with the people she supports reaches far beyond her job description. “You become family, you become connected,” said Jean. It’s with this attitude that Jean made a difference in the lives of individuals at the Akron Center.

Upon hearing the news of the CMS transition, Jean focused on the concerns, thoughts and questions the individuals at Akron Center might have as they take their next steps. Jean had an idea to start a class dedicated to small group discussions that would help people we support explore their feelings on the transition, good or bad. Jean wanted the class to be a place for individuals to feel heard, speak freely and find empowerment on their journey forward.

Jean acknowledged there was some hesitation at first, even anger but then something shifted. The opportunity to be heard paired with Jean’s infectious positivity inspired many individuals to open up, release frustration and ultimately feel comfortable and excited about embracing new opportunities. She helped transform worry about the present to a feeling of eagerness about the future and its possibilities. In her own words, Jean reminds us every day that, “You can really make a difference in the world just by attitude.”

Watch the video below to see Jean’s positivity in action!

Jim Gill Concert

Jim Gill is a man of many talents. He can write infectious kids songs, he can play a mean banjo and he can turn any ordinary space into a colorful world of fun for kids. But it turns out, catchy tunes and rocking dance moves are not the best part of a Jim Gill concert. What really steals the show is the concert’s focus on inclusion. The music becomes a bridge for kids of all abilities to connect, where the only differences that exist between them is the creative ways they choose to bust a move. Read More ›

Winter Activities Guide

Don’t let the cold weather keep you inside the house this winter. There are so many fun activities happening in Summit County this season that the whole family will enjoy. Get bundled up and check them out!

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