Summit County Developmental Disabilities Board http://www.summitdd.org Serving Thu, 14 Dec 2017 16:00:25 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Looking Back on 2017 http://www.summitdd.org/blog/looking-back-2017/ http://www.summitdd.org/blog/looking-back-2017/#respond Tue, 12 Dec 2017 18:35:37 +0000 http://www.summitdd.org/?p=7229 Season’s Greetings The chill in the air the past few mornings is a clear reminder that winter, a new season, will soon be upon us. As 2017 comes to a close, we’d like reflect on a transformative year for Summit… […]

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Season’s Greetings

The chill in the air the past few mornings is a clear reminder that winter, a new season, will soon be upon us. As 2017 comes to a close, we’d like reflect on a transformative year for Summit DD. First and foremost, we passed our levy with overwhelming support from Summit County residents, elected officials, private service providers, and countless other community partners. Because of you, Summit DD has secured funding through 2024 that will ensure services that empower kids and adults with developmental disabilities to reach their highest potential.

This past year, we also continued Our Journey Forward, the federal-mandated transition out of direct services. We’ve helped hundreds of individuals discover new service providers that they trust and enjoy. The smooth transition is a testament to the culture of collaboration, from individuals and families, SSAs, providers and our center-based staff. We began this transition years ago by asking what each person wants and staying focused on that, one person at a time.

Thank you for trusting us by supporting our levy and Our Journey Forward. Your continued support provides us the platform to work together with our partners to increase community integration, to impact employment outcomes, to reach more kids at an earlier age and to ensure the County Board system is here for future generations.

Thank you for all you do and enjoy the holidays!
John Trunk
Summit DD Superintendent

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informDD December 2017 http://www.summitdd.org/news/newsletters/informdd-december-2017/ http://www.summitdd.org/news/newsletters/informdd-december-2017/#respond Sun, 10 Dec 2017 15:59:58 +0000 http://www.summitdd.org/?p=7258 2017 was a big year for Summit DD…read a recap from our Superintendent, John Trunk!

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2017 was a big year for Summit DD…read a recap from our Superintendent, John Trunk!

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Following Your Passion http://www.summitdd.org/blog/my-story/following-your-passion/ http://www.summitdd.org/blog/my-story/following-your-passion/#respond Mon, 20 Nov 2017 01:45:54 +0000 http://www.summitdd.org/?p=7120 Kasey’s Journey to Employment Success Kasey had always had a dream and a passion to work with the elderly. Fortunately, she and her Summit DD Service Coordinator were able to make that dream a reality! Sometimes people find the perfect… […]

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Kasey’s Journey to Employment Success

Kasey had always had a dream and a passion to work with the elderly. Fortunately, she and her Summit DD Service Coordinator were able to make that dream a reality!

Sometimes people find the perfect job. And sometimes a job finds the perfect person. That’s exactly what happened when the Gardens of the Western Reserve found Kasey.

After high school, Kasey wanted to make a career out of working with the elderly. So she reached out to her Summit DD Service and Support Administrator (SSA), Beth Loeffler, for support.

“Everybody loves Kasey!” Kasey’s coworker, Edna Thomas said sincerely, referring to staff and residents at the facility. “She gets so many compliments. She’s a great additional to our department.”

At first, Kasey was interested in coordinating activities for residents at a nursing home, her SSA explained. That’s when Loeffler went to work to help Kasey look for positions that would fit her passion as well as provide her the opportunity to gain experience and earn a paycheck. Unfortunately, their original search didn’t uncover any openings based on her experience. Then they got creative.

To get her foot in the door, Kasey applied for a job in the housekeeping department at the Gardens of the Western Reserve. While it wasn’t the Activities Coordinator position she had initially wanted, it aligned to her dream of working with the elderly. What she didn’t know at the time was just how much she would end up loving this new position and her coworkers. In fact, when asked what her favorite job duty currently was, Kasey enthusiastically responded, “I like making beds!” She said she enjoyed the personal touch it created, which made residents happy.

Beth explained that it didn’t take long for Kasey to get a feel for her new position. This then meant she no longer needed follow-along services on the job. Now Kasey only needs transportation services to get her to and from work.

“Kasey has made such an impact on all of us,” shared Steve Tartaglione, Maintenance Director for the nursing home. “Residents want to be in their own homes. It’s up to us to make them feel better – and Kasey does just that.”

Steve was so impressed with Kasey that he nominated her for employee of the month after just six months on the job. “I didn’t realize I was getting an award until they said my name,” Kasey recalled proudly. “You have to have to be really good at your job [to get this award]. You have to come in with a good spirit.”

In addition to success at work, Kasey has started following her passion for music in her free time. She plays clarinet with the Stan Hywet Hall Orchestra and has even started to teach herself how to play the guitar. With each success, Kasey’s confidence grows.

Above all, Loeffler said she is proud of Kasey and the growth she’s seen over the past year. Now she sees a new confidence and sense of self-advocacy in the formerly shy, young woman. “She is really good about reaching out when she needs something,” Beth explained. “She knows that we are there to help provide supports.”

Kasey expressed appreciation to her coworkers and SSA for the support she’s received in finding and maintaining her position. “I’m a hard worker and I get my job done. It makes me proud that people gave me a chance to work.”

Read more inspiring stories

Summit DD supports more than 4,700 children and adults with developmental disabilities. Each person has their own story to tell. Read more about some of these amazing individuals in our blog.

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Summit DD Levy Passes By Wide Margins http://www.summitdd.org/news/press-room/summit-dd-levy-passes-wide-margins/ http://www.summitdd.org/news/press-room/summit-dd-levy-passes-wide-margins/#respond Wed, 08 Nov 2017 03:33:55 +0000 http://www.summitdd.org/?p=7152 With 72% of the vote, the Summit County Developmental Disabilities Board (Summit DD) passed its renewal levy, Issue 3, on Tuesday night. “We are thankful for the many organizations, government officials and citizens who helped to pass this levy,” said… […]

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With 72% of the vote, the Summit County Developmental Disabilities Board (Summit DD) passed its renewal levy, Issue 3, on Tuesday night.

“We are thankful for the many organizations, government officials and citizens who helped to pass this levy,” said Summit DD Superintendent, John Trunk on the passage of the Agency’s renewal levy. “We are fortunate to have the backing of a community that understands how important it is to fund essential services for children and adults with disabilities.”

The renewal, which makes up approximately 80% of the Agency’s operating budget, funds services like employment supports, transportation, and residential care among others for more than 4,700 people with developmental disabilities in Summit County.  The renewal funds services from 2019 – 2024.

“We’re proud to say, with this renewal, it will make 18 years without an increase,” shared Trunk. “Even with less revenue coming in, we are committed to meeting the growing need for services such as early intervention for kids, increased oversight and safety monitoring for adults, and finding new and effective ways to support teens with special needs as they transition into adulthood,” Trunk continued. “At the end of the day, we are here to help people live their lives to the fullest.”

Read more about the campaign and community support that helped pass Issue 3.

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Teamwork Leads To Levy Victory http://www.summitdd.org/blog/teamwork-leads-levy-victory/ http://www.summitdd.org/blog/teamwork-leads-levy-victory/#respond Wed, 08 Nov 2017 03:32:19 +0000 http://www.summitdd.org/?p=7143 Over the past several months the community came together and united around a single cause, empowering people of all abilities.  Issue 3, which renews Summit DD’s operating levy, passed.  Issue 3 passed with 72% support.   Citizens cast their vote let… […]

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Over the past several months the community came together and united around a single cause, empowering people of all abilities.  Issue 3, which renews Summit DD’s operating levy, passed.  Issue 3 passed with 72% support.   Citizens cast their vote let it be known that their vote empowers people of all abilities.

“Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.” –Helen Keller

“Such a high approval rating was not an accident,” commented Superintendent John Trunk.  “It was the result of more than 200 volunteers who contributed more than 1,200 volunteer hours to let Summit County voters know how important Summit DD is to citizens of all abilities.”

For months Summit DD staff, provider staff, individuals and families came together as one.  The results secured funding through 2024 to keep services in place that empower kids and adults with developmental disabilities to reach their highest potential.

Working together, we put out 5,000 yard signs, placed 50,000 door hangers, made more than 30,000 phone calls, talked to several organizations, secured more than 150 endorsements, reached over 400,000 people on Facebook, and much more.  Thank you to every volunteer who posted on social media, put up a door hanger or yard sign, had a telephone conversation or encouraged friends and family to vote.  Without you, we can do so little and together we can do so much.

Special thanks to our providers who served on our levy committee, United Disability Services of Akron, Admore, Inc., The Blick Center, and, Koinonia Homes, and ViaQuest, Inc.  Thank you to our honorary levy chairs Ken Babby, William Considine, Dr. Ron Fowler, and Phil Kaufmann, as well as our levy steering committee Randy Briggs, Shon Christy, Mayor Sara Kline, and Allyson Lee.

“Now is time for the real work to begin,” commented Trunk.  “This approval rating provides us the platform to work together with our partners to increase community integration, to impact employment outcomes, to reach more kids at an earlier age and ensure the County Board system is here for future generations.”

Sign up for Summit DD’s newsletter (at the bottom of the page) to stay involved as we empower people of all abilities.

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informDD October/November 2017 http://www.summitdd.org/news/newsletters/informdd-octobernovember-2017/ http://www.summitdd.org/news/newsletters/informdd-octobernovember-2017/#respond Wed, 08 Nov 2017 01:57:11 +0000 http://www.summitdd.org/?p=7205 Read more about the success of Summit DD’s recent levy in this exciting issue of informDD!

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Read more about the success of Summit DD’s recent levy in this exciting issue of informDD!

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Winter Activity Guide 2017 http://www.summitdd.org/blog/winter-activity-guide-2017/ http://www.summitdd.org/blog/winter-activity-guide-2017/#respond Thu, 02 Nov 2017 18:33:04 +0000 http://www.summitdd.org/?p=7113 Families are always looking for fun things to do to celebrate the season! So we’ve created a Winter Activity Guide full of fun, inclusive activities for kids and families of all abilities. It has a collection of some of the… […]

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Families are always looking for fun things to do to celebrate the season! So we’ve created a Winter Activity Guide full of fun, inclusive activities for kids and families of all abilities. It has a collection of some of the great family-friendly activities available here in Northeast Ohio in the coming weeks and months.

Holiday & Seasonal

Caring Santa & Holiday Festival

  • Holiday Tree Festival (presented by the Volunteers of Akron Children’s Hospital):Saturday, Nov. 18 | 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
    Sunday, Nov. 19 | 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
    Monday, Nov. 20 | 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.
    Tuesday, Nov. 21 | 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.
    Wednesday, Nov. 22 | 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.
    Thursday, Nov. 23 (Thanksgiving) | 2 – 6 p.m.
    Friday, Nov. 24 | 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.
    Saturday, Nov. 25 | 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
    Sunday, Nov. 26 | 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
    (FREE and open to the public)
  • Breakfast with Santa:
    Saturday, Nov. 18: Breakfast with Santa and Ribbon Cutting
    Saturday, Nov. 25: Breakfast with Santa
    (Tickets and reservations required for this event)
  • Summit Mall Caring Santa: Nov. 19, & Dec. 3, 2017 |  8:00-10:30 a.m.
    (FREE – Registration Required)
  • Summit DD Sensory-Friendly WinterFest Activities: Saturday, December 2 |  9:00-10:00 a.m.
    (FREE with wristband – RSVP required)

A Christmas Carol

  • Sensory Friendly “Carol.” A sensory-friendly performance of A Christmas Carol, Wednesday, November 29 |  11 a.m.
    (Tickets must be purchased for this event)

Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens

Akron Zoo

  • Akron Zoo Wild Lights: Nov. 24, 25, 26 & Dec. 1, 2, 3, 8, 9, 10, 15, 16, 17, 21, 22, 23, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 2017 |  6:00-9:00 p.m.
    (Tickets must be purchased for this event)
  • Akron Zoo Snack with Santa: Dec. 2, 3, 9, 10, 16, 17, 2017 | 3:00–5 p.m.
    (Paid admission required)
  • Akron Zoo Trunk Show: Holiday shopping event. Dec. 7, 2017 |  4:00-7:30 p.m.
    (No admission information available)

Lock 3

  • Summit DD Sensory-Friendly WinterFest Activities: Saturday, December 2 |  9:00-10:00 a.m.
    (FREE with wristband – RSVP required)
  • First Night Akron: Dec. 31, 2017 |  6:00 p.m.-midnight
    (Admission $10)
  • Winter Fest: Family fun with something for everyone – ice rink, Reindeer Run, tree lighting ceremony, polar putt-putt, breakfast with Santa and more!) Nov. 24, 2017-February 19, 2018 |  Times vary
    (Some activities require paid admission. See website for details)
  • Holiday Fest:

Hale Farm and Village:

  • Thanksgiving Dinner with Abraham Lincoln: Nov. 18, 2017 |  6:00 p.m.
    (Tickets and reservations required for this event)
  • Holiday Market on the Farm: Dec. 1, 2017 |  4:00-9:00 p.m.
  • Holiday Lantern Tour: Dec. 2, 3, 8, 9, 15, 16, 17, 19, 20, 21, 22, & 23, 2017 |  5:40 p.m.
    (Reservation and paid admission required)

Indoor Ideas

Akron Art Museum

Akron’s Children’s Museum: Tuesdays –Sundays 10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.
(Paid admission required)

Akron-Summit Public Libraries: Varying programs (play groups, craft clubs, movies, game nights and more) available. For dates and times, please see the Akron-Summit Library website.

Outdoor Ideas

Akron Zoo

  • Election Day: Nov. 7, 2017 |  11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
    (FREE) Enjoy free admission for all guests! Parking is $3.
  • Zoothing Hour: Nov. 18, 2017 |  10:00 a.m.
    (Regular admission rates apply)

Summit County MetroParks (FREE)

  • 54th annual Fall Hiking Spree: Runs through November 30th
    (FREE)

Know of something that should be added? Contact us! We’d love to share anything that is family-friendly, inclusive and fun for all of our friends in the community. Don’t forget to check out our calendar of events – full of community expos, trainings, and other important information.

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informDD September 2017 http://www.summitdd.org/news/newsletters/informdd-september-2017/ http://www.summitdd.org/news/newsletters/informdd-september-2017/#respond Tue, 03 Oct 2017 13:02:23 +0000 http://www.summitdd.org/?p=7069 Learn more about the importance of Issue 3, plus read success stories about a Malone University college student and a young woman who fights for Autism awareness.

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Learn more about the importance of Issue 3, plus read success stories about a Malone University college student and a young woman who fights for Autism awareness.

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As I See It: CJ http://www.summitdd.org/as-i-see-it/cj/ http://www.summitdd.org/as-i-see-it/cj/#respond Fri, 29 Sep 2017 08:00:09 +0000 http://www.summitdd.org/?p=7045 “I wouldn’t change a thing about me. I don’t want to be anyone else. I am CJ. I am different. I am unique.” CJ is a charming, intelligent and determined man that, like anyone in their 20s, is beginning to… […]

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“I wouldn’t change a thing about me. I don’t want to be anyone else. I am CJ. I am different. I am unique.”

CJ is a charming, intelligent and determined man that, like anyone in their 20s, is beginning to find his place and purpose in the community. And he believes his gift is to share his knowledge with others.

“I want people to know that I have a photographic memory. I can memorize people, pages and facts,” he expressed. “I know about sports, cartoons, movies, music, geography and I have memorized the whole Bible.”

“Every day I learn something,” he said. “It is very important for me to share my information with others because I can’t even keep the information in my brain! I want others to learn from me and I want to be a positive influence on others. I also want to have a positive attitude when I am with others.”

CJ discovered his talent and thirst for knowledge when he was eight years old. He moved from Wisconsin to Cuyahoga Falls in the first grade and noticed that he started to be picked first for every academic team.

“It made me feel really good to be a part of my class and my school,” he shared. “I love learning and listening to other people’s opinions, and I have learned to be respectful of those opinions.”

When asked about inclusion, CJ took a pause, but profoundly expressed that it’s all about being welcomed in the community.

“I have felt excluded, and I used to be excluded, especially when I am new (to a group of people),” he reflected. “I will not be insulted or hurt and I will stand my ground.” But he has learned how to adjust to new people and places. “I learned that if I want friends and to feel comfortable with the people around me, I must first be a friend.”

“Inclusion means to me that I have a voice and that my voice is heard,” CJ stated. “It is also the ability to speak my mind and share what is important to me with others.”

He prides himself on trying new things, being a hard worker, finding ways to relate to people, being honest, never giving up and always striving to be the best person he can be.

“My goal for the future is to continue to have a positive attitude,” he shared. “Another goal is to be more respectful of other people and not to have people say negative things about me.”

Get to know the wonderful and unique people Summit DD supports by reading their stories here!

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Issue 3 Will Renew Funding for Disability Services http://www.summitdd.org/blog/issue-3-will-renew-funding-disability-services/ http://www.summitdd.org/blog/issue-3-will-renew-funding-disability-services/#respond Tue, 26 Sep 2017 16:16:11 +0000 http://www.summitdd.org/?p=7062 Summit County Developmental Disabilities Board, or Summit DD, will put Issue 3 to voters asking to approve a six-year renewal of its 4.5 mil operating levy on November 7 general election ballot. What is Issue 3? Issue 3 is not… […]

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Summit County Developmental Disabilities Board, or Summit DD, will put Issue 3 to voters asking to approve a six-year renewal of its 4.5 mil operating levy on November 7 general election ballot.

What is Issue 3?

Issue 3 is not a new tax, and will fund services from 2019-2024.  If it passes, there will be a 0% tax increase in Summit County. Residents currently pay $11.50 per month, per $100,000 home valuation. This will NOT change if the levy passes in November, and Summit DD will continue to receive the funds it needs to empower people of all abilities. This levy represents approximately 80 percent of Summit DD’s funding.

If the levy passes, Summit DD will continue to fund day programming, transportation, and residential support to more than 2,600 adults.   Summit DD pledges more than $25 million in Medicaid match for these services using local tax dollars.  That Medicaid match draws down an additional $60 million in Federal Medicaid money that is invested into the local economy through more than 500 disability service providers.

If the levy fails, access to those services and federal Medicaid dollars would be in jeopardy.  In addition, early intervention services provided by Summit DD to more than 1,000 kids and families age 0 -6 would be discontinued.  Funding for programs like Special Olympics would be discontinued.  Support to schools and teens to assist transition to more independent, community-based services when they are adults would no longer be available.

Registering to vote

The last day to register to vote in the November 7 election is on October 10.

Check on the status of your voter registration here!

Register to vote or change your address here!

You can register to vote in-person at the following locations:

  • At any county board of elections or the Secretary of State’s office.
  • At public libraries.
  • At the offices of the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles.
  • At any public high school or vocational school.
  • Offices of designated agencies including:
    • The Department of Job and Family Services;
    • The Department of Health (including the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program);
    • The Department of Mental Health;
    • Summit DD (call 330-634-8676);
    • The Rehabilitation Services Commission; or
    • Any state-assisted college or university that provides assistance to disabled students.

You can also register to vote by mail. Download the form at the Summit County Board of Elections. You may also request a registration form from a board of elections by mail, telephone, in person or by having another person obtain it for you. After completing the form, return it to the Summit County Board of Elections, 470 Grant Street Akron, OH 44311.

There are several resources for voters with disabilities.

Absentee & Early Voting

You can skip the lines on election day two ways: absentee voting by mail and early in-person voting. Both options begin October 9th and end November 6th. If you need assistance with voting, this is a great option.

Absentee Voting by Mail

Absentee voting has many benefits. You can vote early, it is convenient, it reduces the chance of lines at the polls on Election Day, and absentee ballots are the first votes counted on Election Night.

  1. Request an absentee ballot. Download an absentee ballot application and mail it to: Summit County Board of Elections 470 Grant Street Akron, Ohio 44311. If you can not download the form you can send a written request to the Board of Elections that includes required information. The last day to request an absentee ballot is November 4th.
  2. Complete your ballot at your leisure.
  3. Return your ballot one of two ways. You can mail it to Summit County Board of Elections, 470 Grant Street Akron, Ohio 44311. Make sure it has enough postage. USPS recommends purchasing a postage label at the window. Your ballot must be postmarked by the day before the election to count. You can also return it in-person to Summit County Board of Elections by 7:30 pm on November 7th.
  4. You can track your absentee ballot here.

Do not take your absentee ballot to your polling location.

Early In-Person Voting

If you are a registered voter, you can skip the lines at vote at the Summit County Board of Elections, 470 Grant Street Akron, Ohio 44311 between October 9th through 2 pm on November 6th.

Election Day

Find your polling location. Polls are open between 6:30 am and 7:30 pm.

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