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AdaptAbilities - Frontier Community Services

In the general population not all housing developments are created with inclusion in mind, which is why Frontier Community Services is in the business they are in. Frontier is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to creating safe and affordable housing in Ohio. But they are also leveling the playing field by focusing on the construction of inclusive communities and supporting people with special needs with access to the supports they need to live their lives while being truly integrated into their community.

"You might say it's in our DNA to provide housing for persons with disabilities," suggests Rod Siddons, chief development officer at Frontier Community Services. Frontier's strategy has been simple; for every housing community they build, they incorporate accessible homes designed especially for people with disabilities. These single-story homes include layouts featuring open floor plans for easy maneuverability, ceiling tracks and door cut-outs for lift systems, roll-up sinks to accommodate a wheelchair, and custom-built bathrooms that provide space and flexibility. Recent houses that Frontier has constructed include fenced in backyards with patios and greenspace, and private areas to sit and relax... More


AdaptAbilities - Kathy Kinney

A pediatrician confirmed Reverend Becky Plough's suspicion of her son when he was 12 years old. Plough had done her research and found that some of Will's behavior was characteristic of Asperger's Syndrome. In the years that followed, doctors tried various medications and therapies, but his behavior became more problematic. "He was acting out. He was having meltdowns. Nobody knew what to do about it. There would be days and days where he would stay in his room and not come out," Plough says.

After a particularly bad episode when he was 18 years old, Will was admitted to a mental facility for three months. Plough and her husband spent this time reviewing housing and care options for him in the area. Will wanted to continue working at Peopleworks, a farm outside of Defiance, where he got along fine gardening, caring for livestock, and researching crops. They found an apartment for Will, but the thought of staff administering care in his apartment concerned them. "It was one thing for us to experience these outbursts as mom and dad, but we could not in our conscience expose other people to that," insists Plough.

As a member of the Williams County Board of Developmental Disabilities (WCBDD), Plough attended board training in Defiance where she heard a brief mention of remote monitoring... More


AdaptAbilities - Linda Dunaway

Miss Ashland’s Outstanding Teen Grateful for Early Intervention

On Tuesday, September 27, 2016, Ellie Nickoli dropped three minutes off her cross country time. She is a competitive swimmer, swimming breaststroke for her junior high school, and she holds the title of "Miss Ashland's Outstanding Teen".

"I am always so proud and amazed when I watch her race," says Ellie's mother Libby. "I never dreamed with her diagnosis she would be so active!"

To see Ellie today, you would never guess that she was diagnosed with congenital hip dysplasia when she was four months old. A well-child check led to a specialist appointment, and an orthopedic specialist at Nationwide Children's Hospital confessed that it was one of the most extreme and severe cases of hip dysplasia he had ever seen... More


AdaptAbilities - Linda Dunaway

One year ago the staff at Toward Independence (TI) in Xenia could not get two words out of Linda Dunaway. Her head was always down, she was grouchy, and she didn't want to leave on planned excursions.

Then, in October 2015, Linda had a secret.

"I didn't know Linda, except to see her," Beth Esterkamp from TI reveals. "I was at our agency picnic when Linda approached me."

"I've got a secret. You can't tell anybody," Linda told Beth. "I got a job. Can you believe it? Igot a job!"

The "one" in one bistro's name is short for Our ­Neighbors Eat, a philosophy that  Executive Chef Robert Adamson wanted to bring to the "food desert" that was downtown Xenia. He approached Mary Crockett, community development coordinator for the city. She in turn approached Mark Schlater, CEO of TI, expressing the need for a restaurant in downtown Xenia, and said they were interested in using the empty storefront adjoining TI... More


Adaptabilities - The Cade Sisters

The Cade sisters love to be with each other, and they love to clean.

"Cleaning is their thing," says Rebecca Puckett, an SSA at the Vinton County Board of Developmental Disabilities (VCBDD).

But their love for each other and necessity to work together meant finding a very accommodating employer, which was tricky. "They are just really, really close. Been together their whole lives…never been apart. It was a struggle to find employment because they would have to take on two," Puckett remarks. "They wanted to work the same shifts."

Enter Michael Williams, owner and director at R.M. Funeral Services.  As a student at Ohio University in Athens, Williams saw a young man with developmental disabilities  More