Name: Jude

Location: West Akron

Benefits/Services Received: Early Intervention, Calico, SSA

Videos: Jude Video :30   Jude Video :60

Jude’s family was told that Jude was a healthy baby, but soon after adopting him they noticed that he was missing one 

milestone after another.

Jude’s parents received a referral to receive Early Intervention (EI) services from the Summit DD after Jude’s diagnosis of Torticollis/Severe Plagiocephaly. Getting an early diagnosis and getting started with an EI specialist has changed Jude’s life.

More developmental delays were diagnosed after Jude started receiving EI services. Through discussions with Jude’s mother, Early Intervention found that Jude had additional delays with his sight, sensory processing disorder and a visual impairment.

Early Intervention changed Jude’s entire world and he got the services that he needs to break through those 

developmental milestones.

Name: Ben

Location: South Akron

Benefits/Services Received: SSA, Employment, Residential

Videos: Ben Video

When the Community Supports and Services Department learned that an employer new to Summit County was looking for assistance in their kitchen, staff wasted no time connecting Benjamin Hill with this opportunity. After a short interview, Ben was offered a position at Simply EZ Home Delivered Meals. Ben has made quite an impression since he was hired in 2008. So much so, that he was recently named 2009 Employee of the Year in the Kitchen. Way to go, Ben!

Simply EZ is an organization that delivers meals to the homes of older individuals. Ben packs meals for delivery in the kitchen. Since he started at the company, he has been rewarded with additional hours and a raise. His employee of the year nomination narrative read as follows:

“The selection of Ben as Employee of the Year in the Kitchen at Simply EZ Home Delivered Meals is because of his determination to do an excellent job for us everyday that he is here. Once he enters the door the atmosphere is brighter and the staff appreciates his attitude and hard work. Whenever he is asked to do a task he does it immediately and with enthusiasm. You enjoy witnessing this attitude, as an employer, because it becomes infectious to all employees.”

Name: Jessica

Location: Stow

Benefits/Services Received: SSA, Residential, Transportation, Employment

Videos: Jessica Video

Multiple complications have affected Jessica throughout her life as a result of being a “preemie.”  Jessica has a hard time processing visual perception which means transferring information from one place to another is difficult.  Jessica’s mother always fought for her inclusion in classrooms even though Jessica needed assistance in school.  Jessica now attends Kent State and is working on her Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science which she hopes will make her a better advocate for all people with disabilities. 

With support from the Summit DD and Issue 25, Jessica lives independently in Stow.  She will need services throughout her life such as transportation to get around the community, employment supports, and personal care to help her with things like safety and cooking.

Name: Emma

Location: West Akron

Benefits/Services Received: Employment, Special Olympics, SSA, Transportation

Videos: Emma Video

Emma, a 17-year-old attending Firestone High School, is leading an active and healthy life in Summit County with support from issue 25. She was diagnosed with Down syndrome as an infant. Emma is a champion swimmer with the Summit Athletic Special Olympics Club. She works at Fastenal through a work program at school learning assembly skills. With support of Issue 25, she also receives service coordination from the Summit DD which ensures that she can continue getting services that she needs throughout her lifetime.

Emma is a typical teenager and she likes teen shows, idols, music and her iPad. One of her favorite hobbies is drawing. Emma always has a notepad with her to draw in her spare time. 

It’s important to her mother that she has the opportunity to do anything that she wants to do. “I want to help Emma realize her highest potential!”

Name: Rick

Location: Barberton

Benefits/Services Received: Employment, Transportation, Special Olympics

Videos: Rick Video (to come)

Rick attends Summit DD’s Barberton Center where he earns a paycheck every day. Rick who lives in Norton with his parents Dick and Narita, is one of 4,000 people with developmental disabilities in Summit County who receives services with support from Issue 25. Rick is a hard worker and likes working at the new Barberton Center which is close to his home.

When Rick is not earning a paycheck, he loves to golf. Rick’s father is also his golf partner when Rick practices since he has been a member of the Summit County Special Olympics Golf Team for the past ten years. As an Olympian, he has earned 5 Gold, 1 Silver, and 1 Bronze medal. Rick plans to continue golfing and “bringing home the gold” as long as he is physically able.

Name: Todd

Location: West Akron

Benefits/Services Received: Special Olympics, Employment, Transportation

Videos: Todd Video

Meet Todd. He is a world class swimmer with the Summit Athletic Special Olympics Club. It’s no surprise that he has won several gold medals because he has been swimming since age 5 and competing with Special Olympics since 12. In addition, he loves to ski – water or snow – doesn’t matter. And, he is a golfer and studies karate!

Todd is 29 years old and even though he has Down syndrome, he is leading an active and healthy life in Summit County with support from Issue 25. Issue 25 helps Todd work with a business grant through Summit DD’s Microenterprise Program. His business, Inspires 2 Aspire, sells greeting cards and posters with  inspirational messages. Todd works with a designer and printer to produce the cards that he sells.

“Summit DD is a great support system,” stated Todd’s mother Debby Eisinger. “If Todd needs transportation or job coaching, I know he gets the help he needs.”

Name: Rex

Location: West Akron

Benefits/Services Received: Employment, SSA, Transportation, Residential

Videos: Rex Video

Rex Mitchell’s favorite pastime is painting. He loves to paint every day! Rex has been painting since he was a young boy growing up on a farm in West Virginia. His preference is to paint flowers and scenery and he sells his paintings through the Summit DD’s Microenterprise program, a program that gives grants to people with disabilities who want to have their own business.

Rex uses watercolors and acrylics and mixes them on canvas to create his masterpieces. He doesn’t look at anything before he paints. He has a vision in his mind and that’s what he paints. He also doesn’t draw his picture before he paints it. He is inspired by other artists and likes books from the library on different painters. At home, he has an art studio that includes an easel, art stool, and all the paints and brushes he needs to create. He even wears an artist hat!


Name: Doris

Location: Twinsburg

Benefits/Services Received: Residential, SSA, Transportation, Employment

Videos: Doris Video

Doris was diagnosed at an early age with mental retardation.  She also lost her sight at a very young age.  A 13-year resident of Twinsburg, Doris attends a day program at Hattie Larlham where she volunteers and participates in learning new skills that help her live a full life.  Hattie Larlham is one of over 200 businesses and non-profit service providers that are supported by Issue 25.  Doris lives independently in the community with services like residential care, transportation, and Service coordination from the Summit DD.

Doris has learned to care for herself at her congregate living home. She can wash dishes and cleans her own room which helps Doris to live an active life.

Name: John

Location: West Akron

Benefits/Services Received: Employment, Residential, SSA, Transportation

Videos: John Video

John loves staying involved in his community and enjoys an independent lifestyle with transportation, employment and residential assistance from the Summit DD. He volunteers and advocates for people with disabilities, he takes part in community events, and enjoys hobbies like karaoke and wrestling.

Name: Jackie

Location: South Akron

Benefits/Services Received: Employment, SSA, Transportation

Videos: Jackie Video

Jackie uses transportation services to get to work at Hattie Café and to take part in her favorite activities like shopping and movies.

Name: Timmy

Location: Cuyahoga Falls

Benefits/Services Received: Early Intervention, Calico, SSA

Videos: Timmy Video

Timmy has been a regular in Calico Child Care located in the Weaver Learning Center for 3 years. He receives nursing services while at Calico because of the diagnosis he was given as an infant. Timmy was born with a diagnosis of “multi-handicapped” which included Cerebral Palsy, Cystic Fibrosis, and a condition called Short Gut where he only has half of an intestinal tract.  

While Timmy attends Calico, his parents, Brian and Cari are able to work full time in order to support their family. Timmy’s father stated that Timmy is “everybody’s favorite little boy!” Timmy always has a smile on his face and loves to be tickled. Since attending Calico, an Issue 25 funded program, Timmy has learned to feed himself and is currently learning how to walk.

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