Summit DD and Stow Mayor Honored for Raising Awareness

On March 11, 2013 the County of Summit Developmental Disabilities Board (Summit DD) and Stow Mayor, Sara Drew received awards for promoting positive perceptions and understanding of people with developmental disabilities, from Ohio Public Images (OPI) at an awards luncheon held in Dublin, OH.  The awards were presented as part of the celebration of DD Awareness Month.

Ohio Public Images, a non-profit organization promoting awareness of people with developmental disabilities, sponsors an annual competition designed to recognize individuals and organizations in Ohio who have increased public awareness and acceptance of people with disabilities.  Summit DD and affiliates were awarded a total of ten OPI awards this year, six Awards of Excellence and four Awards of Merit.  The awards recognized efforts made by Summit DD, a local elected official, and local media.

“We are honored to be part of efforts that help to move the needle of change in a positive direction,” said Tom Armstrong, Summit DD Superintendent.  “It was a great day for Summit County, as well as Summit DD.  We believe that communities are stronger when everyone has the right to work, live, and learn as equal citizens in their communities, regardless of disability.  We applaud all the recipients of awards who help move us closer to that goal.”

Mayor Sara Drew was the recipient of an Award of Excellence in the category for an Elected Official.  Drew was recognized for her public advocacy in 2012, which included creating a Commission on Disabilities charged with finding ways to make the community more accessible to people with disabilities.  Drew also uses social media like Twitter and Facebook as platforms for change.  Other advocacy efforts included hosting events such as the Ms. Wheelchair USA pageant in July 2012.  Mayor Drew continues to be a vocal advocate and strives to make the city more accessible for people in her community.

The complete list of OPI awards presented to Summit DD and affiliates are as follows:

Awards of Excellence: 
Photograph in a publication with 100,000+ circulation      Karen Schiely, Akron Beacon Journal
Public Relations Effort                                                              Office of Communications, Summit DD Board
Broadcast Public Service Announcement                              Office of Communications, Summit DD Board
Annual Report                                                                            Office of Communications, Summit DD Board
Internet Usage other than a Website                                    Office of Communications, Summit DD Board
Community/Elected Official                                                      Sara Drew, Mayor-City of Stow

Awards of Merit: 
Print Journalism, Weekly or Monthly Publication                 Lynn Lee, The Reporter
Photograph in a Weekly Publication                                       Akron Life Magazine, Special Edition
Overall Awareness Efforts                                                         Office of Communications, Summit DD Board
Special Publication                                                                     Office of Communications, Summit DD Board

The County of Summit Developmental Disabilities Board is a levy-funded agency that provides services to more than 4,000 individuals with developmental disabilities and their families in Summit County.  It is the organization’s mission to offer a lifetime of services and supports to eligible individuals and families that enable people with developmental disabilities to work, live, and learn as equal citizens in their communities.  More information regarding the agency is available online at

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