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Services for Adults
Men and women enrolled with the Board of DD may work in the community or attend one of our adult activities centers, a community agency with whom we contract for services, a senior center or an adult day care center. Adult Services are designed to help all individuals choose new vocational and social challenges and to pursue them in the least restrictive and most normal setttings. Men and women with DD receive support in several skill areas including mobility, self-help and daily living skills, communication, community awareness, social and emotional growth, functional academics, human sexuality, work skills training and job placement assistance.
Community employment is the primary objective for the men and women enrolled in Employment Services. Options include competitive employment, where an employer hires an individual for a job and after an appropriate amount of orientation and training from our staff, the individual continues in that job fairly independently; enclaves, where small groups of workers who have DD work at factories, restaurants, hotels, stores and dozens of other work sites under the supervision of our staff; mobile work crews, who provide grounds maintenance or custodial services at various locations throughout the county under the supervision of our staff, orone of the enterprises we have established with SAW, Inc., our nonprofit parnter. These include River Copy and Mail, an entrepreneurial group that handles high-volume copying and mailing projects for customers; Just-A-Buck, dollar stores located in Parma and South Euclid (and soon to be in Rocky River!); Pulleys, our cafe operation in the Virgil Brown Building downtown, and Cleveland Crops, our urban farming venture.
What kind of jobs do people with DD hold? Lots of jobs that you would expect and a few that might surprise you: stock clerk, dishwasher, landscape laborer, mail handler, assembly worker, factory worker, grocery bagger, baker's helper, freight handler, data entry operator, surgical courier, painter's helper, nurse's aide, ticket taker, law office aide, courier, bus person, receptionist, candy dipper, porter, health care attendant, packer, laundry worker, usher, hotel maid, salad bar attendant, animal caretaker, light maintenance worker, file clerk, coffee shop assistant.
Men and women who need a more sheltered environment may enroll in Activities Services at one of our adult activities centers. There they are employed by SAW, Inc., the nonprofit organization responsible for securing subcontract work from area businesses and industries and overseeing its completion at our sites. The work consists of manually-oriented jobs such as collating, packaging, assembly and salvaging for more than 200 area companies and organizations. Or they may participate in various activities at the center, including classes, outings, crafts and personal development.
When they reach retirement age, seniors may choose to work part-time and take part in our seniors programs or to participate only in seniors programs. As with our community employment efforts, our seniors programs more and more take place in the community at senior citizen centers where people with DD enjoy the companionship of others the same age, learn new leisure skills and develop new interests. Many also volunteer at churches, food banks and preschools.