Workers with disabilities find sweet success at waffle company

Brandon fills a box with Lopaus Point waffles
Brandon loves working at Lopaus Point waffles. He recommends chocolate chip and pumpkin spice.

When Stacie Skinner decided to launch a gluten-free waffle company, she knew the product had to taste good. But she didn’t think money should be the only other measure of success.“I knew that I wanted a purpose for my business,” Skinner said. “I just didn’t know what it was.”She discovered the answer at the same …

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Columbus athlete, advocate takes on new role at Special Olympics Ohio

Liz Beu

Elizabeth (Liz) Beu, a six-sport athlete and longtime self-advocate, has joined Special Olympics Ohio as the organization’s first Athlete Leader in the new Unified Champion Schools program in Columbus. Beu, a Columbus native, said she’s excited about the opportunity and considers it her “dream job” in every way. She’s happy that her love and knowledge …

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Down syndrome biobank aids research

Researcher looks at samples in cold-storage biobank.

People with Down syndrome and their families can help support research into the genetic condition through DownSyndrome Achieves, a Dublin-based nonprofit organization that sponsors a centralized biobank.The biobank, now based at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, stores blood, saliva and tissue samples for use in research projects, said Lito Ramirez, CEO of DownSyndrome Achieves and …

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Commissioner Crawley returns to FCBDD

Children holding welcome banner for Commissioner Crawley
Franklin County Commissioner Erica Crawley is greeted by students and staff at the FCBDD Early Childhood Education and Family Center.

Franklin County Commissioner Erica CrawleyThis link opens another website in a new window. paid a visit to the Franklin County Board of Developmental Disabilities and received a cute – and colorful – welcome from children in the Early Childhood Education and Family Center.“Omigosh, that made my day,” Crawley said as children held a banner that …

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Boundless offering dental, primary care

From left, Dr. Cindy Rispin, Boundless Health medical director; Anna Wuerth, Boundless Health executive director; and Renee Stein, Boundless director of program sales and outreach, greet visitors during a Boundless Health open house.

One of central Ohio’s largest disability-services organizations has expanded its programming to include more options for primary and preventative health care, including dental and behavioral-health services.Boundless Health aims to function as a hub of person-centered care for people and families with intellectual and developmental disabilities. That means addressing the snags that people with disabilities sometimes …

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Message about the DSP shortage

As many of you are aware, workforce shortages are affecting various industries throughout our state and nation, including disability-service providers. We are fortunate here in central Ohio to have a strong local economy and thousands of direct-support professionals doing excellent work.Still, the situation may be challenging at times. We want you to know that we …

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‘All you need is a little love to share’

Direct-support professional Brenda Gardner offers fresh cucumbers during a farm visit.

Most every day, Brenda Gardner sees or hears or does something that leaves her heart a little more full. “I enjoy the accomplishments of others,” she said, smiling. “I like seeing them get to do things that lots of people might not give them a chance to try.”Gardner is a direct-support professional (DSP) at Hattie …

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ARC hub a base for community exploring

Richard Furney shows off some of his ceramics pieces during a lunch break at the ARC community hub in Grove City.

The suggestion board in the new ARC community hub usually fills up fast. Participants in the STEP (Start Toward Emerging Possibilities) program have no trouble coming up with places to go, things to do and people to see.“Ride a pontoon boat. Watch drag racing. Visit a bookstore. It’s fun to see what everyone chooses,” said …

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Students grow, explore with summer jobs

The summer Transition to Work program gives students job experience at many sites, including pet-care businesses.

Kaled Soufi cannot communicate verbally, so his family relies on his expressions and reactions. And there was never any mistaking how the 19-year-old felt about his experience in this summer’s Transition to Work program.“So happy,” said his older sister, Sana. “He was super excited when we dropped him off in the morning, and at night, …

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