Summit DD and Girls on the Run NEO Team Up to Create Sensory Zone

(Tallmadge, Ohio) – Summit County Developmental Disabilities Board (Summit DD) and Girls on the Run Northeast Ohio (GOTRNEO) have teamed up to create a sensory-friendly area at the upcoming GOTRNEO fall 5k on November 11

“We wanted to make sure that every girl and her family has a great experience during the event,” shared Executive Director of Girls on the Run Northeast Ohio, Robyn Cutler. “The 5k is the pinnacle of our program and this is one of the ways we can help ensure that everyone feels welcome,” she continued, referencing the new Sensory Zone collaborative with Summit DD.

The Girls on the Run program uses a proven curriculum that combines confidence-building components, physical fitness and community service to develop essential skills young girls need to help them navigate their worlds. They offer a spring and a fall program each year, serving more than 12,000 girls since 2007. For families who have sensory sensitivities, the noise and activities can be a challenge. Recognizing that, GOTRNEO reached out to Summit DD for guidance.

Summit DD worked with the organization to create a sensory zone where people with sensory sensitivities can take a break from the stimuli of the event, but still have the opportunity to be part of it. In addition to trained staff from Summit DD, the sensory zone has tools to help with a variety of sensory needs. Summit DD will also offer EMPOWER packs to borrow – full of portable sensory tools – which families who are ready to head back out into the event can take with them. This helps families ease back into the full sensory experience of the event.

“We are excited to partner with organizations, like Girls on the Run, who are committed to making kids of every ability feel welcome,” said Summit DD Superintendent, John Trunk. “We appreciate that they saw an opportunity to support their families and reached out to us to make it happen. This is a great example of how when organizations work together, we can support people right in their own communities,” he added.

For more information about Girls on the Run Northeast Ohio, visit their website at

Summit DD is the community resource that connects more than 4,700 adults and children with developmental disabilities and their families to services and supports in Summit County. It is the Agency’s mission to connect people with disabilities to supports that empower them to contribute to their own success and that of their community. More information regarding the Agency is available online at


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