Honoring DD Awareness Month Advocates

We closed out an amazing Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month by honoring those who’ve made a lasting impact in our community! Earlier this week, more than 300 community members from nearly 40 local organizations came together to celebrate inclusion at our annual Summit DD Appreciation Breakfast.

Eight award winners were recognized, including five essential Direct Support Professionals, one collaborative community organization, and two hard-working self-advocates. Learn more about these amazing award winners below, and be sure to check out the slideshow from the event! And in case you missed it, see how we kicked off this year’s DD Awareness Month with a record-breaking Inclusion Day.

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2022 Carlene Weaver Achievement Award Winners

This award honors individuals with developmental disabilities whose actions or self-advocacy help change perceptions or bring about positive awareness for those with developmental disabilities in their community.

William Colford
William has become a technology ambassador—empowering others to explore the benefits of using assistive technology to express their voice. William’s efforts were recognized at the Northeast Regional Transformation Meeting, where he presented an empowering video on assistive technology.

Charles Williamson
Charles took his passion for photography to new heights during this pandemic, starting a photo greeting card business, joining the Akron Camera Club, and continuing to build his skills. He won first prize in the Ohio State University Nisonger Center Photo Contest.

2022 Dottie Schrum Culture Award Winners

This award recognizes an outstanding employee from any organization, whose efforts or service have gone above and beyond to make a difference for those with developmental disabilities.

Dave Wood – Blick Center
Dave is a long-term employee at Blick and has worked in several positions within residential, often times with some of our most complex consumers. He works doubles, runs appointments, and ensures even during the pandemic that consumers have had the opportunity to participate in their preferred activities. Dave is kind, caring and very trustworthy, always going above and beyond for the people we serve. Learn more about Blick Center.

Sheilah Ndiaye – Louisa Ridge
Sheilah is the Assistant Director in Residential at Louisa Ridge; however, she also works as a DSP. Since the pandemic started, Sheilah has gone above and beyond not only to support the staff, but also to ensure there’s coverage to adequately care for the persons served. Sheilah will work a full shift in the office, then leave and work in group homes, giving the persons served her full energy. Learn more about Louisa Ridge.

Linda Tenney – Ardmore
Linda has been a DSP at Ardmore for 22 years. She is loved by the people she serves and their families. She covered shifts during a bad snowstorm in 2007 (she also worked the snowstorm of 2022 and plenty of others in between!)  She is a steady and trusted presence for people as well as co-workers. Learn more about Ardmore.

Carmenina Ruiz-Drummond – ViaQuest
Carmenina has been a member of the ViaQuest team for 14 years and goes above and beyond to make a difference for those she serves daily. Carmenina is especially observant when it comes to medical needs, appointments and any health-related changes. She also volunteers to complete extra job duties or tasks to help ensure essential needs are being met. Learn more about ViaQuest.

Jaylan Crenshaw – Hattie Larlham
Jaylan is one of the hardest working direct care staff on the Hattie Larlham team. He is extremely dependable, has a positive attitude, and provides stellar care to those he serves. He truly is an exceptional DSP. One of the best! Learn more about Hattie Larlham.

2022 Russ Pry Community Impact Award Winner

This award honors a person (or group) that is making an impact in the community for people with developmental disabilities through innovative programs, volunteerism, advocacy, or awareness efforts.

Summit County Public Health
Summit County Public Health has been an incredible partner throughout the past two years, helping to ensure that all those we serve and our provider community had access to vaccines, PPE, testing and critical health information. Learn more about Summit County Public Health.

Special Thanks To

Thank you to everyone for proving that Summit County is strongest when everyone is included!

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