Jayson was referred to Creative Rehab for a Community-Based Assessment by Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities (OOD). Lacking in experience, and facing some physical challenges, Jayson was nervous to explore job opportunities. Creative Rehab was able to set up an Assessment for Jayson at a Discount Drug Mart in Northern Summit County. Jayson worked for five days with a Creative Rehab Job Coach to help as needed. Jayson learned a wide variety of skills during these five days, and he even got paid! Management was quickly impressed with Jayson’s willingness to learn, great attitude, and overall work ethic. Jayson was able to improvise in order to overcome his physical challenges, and he made huge strides in a short amount of time. Discount Drug Mart was so impressed with Jayson’s work habits, that they offered him a permanent position on the last day of his Assessment. Jayson quickly accepted and began the following week. Jayson is doing great at Discount Drug Mart and is thrilled at how accepting and supportive the employees and management have been to him. Though Jayson was hesitant about this experience in the beginning, he overcame the anxiety and adversity, and came out on top as a successful employee. Jayson has gained so much self-esteem from these accomplishments, and we at Creative Rehab could not be prouder!
On 2/28/20, one of Creative Rehab's clients was featured in the Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities Works e-news letter! Please enjoy Steven's success story below!
Today Steven Pryce from North Canton is happily employed in a manufacturing position with the auto industry, but that wasn’t always the case.
After college, Steven was diagnosed with schizophrenia and began a long journey of coming to terms with having a mental health disability. He had ups and downs with medication and tried different kinds of mental health treatment. Once he found stability, Steven wanted to work. He was able to get a peer support job and helped maintain apartments. “I left this job and started working with an employment agency, and OOD was right next door. I’m so glad they were there,” said Steven.
Steven worked with Raenell May, OOD Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor, on career exploration. They planned a course of action and investigated the employment fields of retail, manufacturing, and insurance. Steven chose to pursue work in a factory. “We provided Steven with job coaching to help him get and keep the job. We provided him with information about the Americans with Disabilities Act and his choices regarding disclosure. We also helped him with interpersonal skills,” said Raenell.
"Steven was capable and a quick learner when it came to his job," said Gary Green, Job Developer with Creative Rehab, who provided Steven with job coaching. “I worked with him on interpersonal skills and problem solving so the job was more manageable and less overwhelming. As he got more comfortable, his confidence grew,” Gary said.
“I found so much support from OOD, and they gave me options," said Steven. "They are there for people with disabilities, no matter what the disability.” Steven worked hard, made it through his four-month probationary period, and was hired in a permanent position. Today he works on assembly and distribution. He was recently given an award for perfect attendance five years in a row. In his spare time, he enjoys writing and was recently published by the Akron Beacon Journal, describing his experience with schizophrenia.
Raenell explained, “We rarely get to find out what happens after we close a person’s case. Steven has kept us informed about how he is doing, and it is wonderful and rewarding to know that he is successful and is doing well.”
If you have a disability and would like to work, visit www.OODWorks.com or call 800-282-4536 to get started.
On 6/5/20, one of Creative Rehab's clients was featured in the Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities Works e-news letter! Please enjoy Alex's success story below!
Alex Claus graduated from Medina High School in 2019. He now attends Cuyahoga Community College in Cleveland and participates in OOD’s Ohio College2Careers program, where he works with Mary Hennessey, OOD Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor. The Ohio College2Careers program ensures students with disabilities have the support they need to complete their degree and/or credential, earn higher wages, and meet the demands of tomorrow’s labor market.
Last month, Alex participated in a virtual mock interview training and worked with Lori Peters-McCracken, Job Developer with Creative Rehab to find a part-time job and build his resume. Alex interviewed at The Home Depot and was offered a job as a lot attendant, handling carts, maintaining the parking lot, helping customers take items to their cars, and watering flowers in the garden center. This experience will help Alex gain new skills and experience in preparation for his long-term goals after college.
"Work is important to me because I get to learn and discover trying new things," said Alex. His goal after graduation is to become a marketing manager or establish a business such as a bakery or ice cream shop.
"Alex came to see me on his own," said Mary. "He goes to school full-time, maintains his schedule, has excellent grades, and is a hard worker.” Mary, who stays in regular contact with Alex, also lends support to his family as Alex seeks greater independence.
"As a parent, I want him to find a job that he is happy and comfortable with, and that will provide him with benefits so he can get an apartment with a roommate," said Lisa, Alex’s mother. "Alex has been guided by caring people and counselors, in addition to his family, to help him reach his goals. We are so proud of him and grateful for this support.”
Alex began building his work skills and preparation for college by participating in OOD services beginning in 2015 after a referral by his transition coordinator at Medina High School. In 2016, Alex participated in a three-week Summer Youth Career Exploration, in partnership with the Medina County Board of Developmental Disabilities. This program introduces students to the world of work. Alex visited various Medina businesses and learned about essential work skills and behaviors.
The following year, Alex took part in the Summer Youth Work Experience at Elmcroft of Medina. He worked at the assisted living facility, preparing snacks, helping with activities, and interacting with residents. In 2018, Alex participated in a paid internship with the Medina County Career and Vocational Training Center. There he helped with filing, document management, and general office duties. Alex also took part in a competition sponsored by the Business Professionals of America and was awarded third place for his mock interview project.
Alex traveled to Columbus to participate in OOD’s Youth Leadership Forum during the summer of 2019, where he learned about self-advocacy and made a lot of new friends. "It has been rewarding to be a part of his journey," said Chris Crine, OOD Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor, who assisted Alex in high school. "I watched him grow to a very determined young man.”
If you know a youth, 14 years of age or older with a disability who could benefit from services, reach out to OOD for assistance with career exploration, skill development, and strategies to get a job after graduation.
Creative Rehab client, Danielle, had an opportunity during her Community Based Assessment assignment at the Cuyahoga Falls Parks and Recreation Department to use her creative and technical skills as a project manager for two upcoming art projects scheduled for this spring: Chalk Safari and Rainworks. For these projects, Danielle was asked to create exciting stencils that will provide fun and information for the public for Cuyahoga Falls “Flicks on the Falls” event and the grand opening of “Downtown Cuyahoga Falls” in 2018.
For Rainworks, Danielle began her work by researching local history and interesting geographical facts about the area, and for Chalk Safari, Danielle did research on African animals and geography. With the assistance of her job coach, Cheryl Heer, Danielle learned different research techniques on how to find accurate, credible information on the Internet for her assignment.
On the last day of the assignment, Danielle conducted a group presentation on her projects. Assistant Superintendent Megan Moreland who supervised the projects stated she was “impressed with Danielle’s work ethic and creativity” after the presentation. Danielle commented that the Community Based Assessment benefited her in many different ways. As Danielle stated, “I have become more independent, I have learned new research and computer skills, and I have learned how to perform well on a job.”
Pictured are three of the five laptop winners; Kris, Chloe, and Zak (not pictured are Deangelo and Nick)
Work with a Perk
The summer of 2022 was a great one for Creative Rehab and our Summer Youth Work Experience participants. Over 75 local high school students participated in this paid 5-week program. These awesome students were able to choose from a wide variety of industries including farm, grocery, greenhouse, hotel, dog warden, restaurant, hardware store, auto detailing, movie theater, and even a donut shop!
Each participant gained the experience of holding a job in the community, while learning many useful skills along the way. In addition to earning their own income, some of our participants were lucky enough to win a prize at our yearly end-of-summer drawing. Nine students won $50 gift cards, and five others won a new laptop!
Creative Rehab extends our appreciation and thanks to all of the wonderful businesses that partnered with us this summer, and a big congratulations goes out to all of the lucky winners!!
Creative Rehab’s 2021 Summer Youth Work Experience had a record number of participants this year! We had over 100 youth participate from six of the seven counties that we service. In a vast variety of work settings and environments, these participants worked hands-on,
learning important skills and lessons. Everyone who completed the five-week program grew as individuals and gained valuable work experience that will benefit them as they move towards their future careers. We love to watch this program grow in its offerings each year, and we are
so proud of the strides made from everyone involved!
Every participant who completed the Summer Youth Work Experience was entered into a contest filled with gift cards and new laptops. Pictured are the four laptop winners (chosen at random). Congratulations to
Sierra, Joe, Hannah, and Trey!
Thank you to all the youth and employers who worked with us this summer!
The summer of 2020 was an unusual summer for all. COVID-19 upended summer routines, wrecked vacations, and cancelled work plans for so many people this year. COVID-19 didn’t stop every young person from working this summer though. This year, over 70 local high school students participated in Creative Rehab’s annual Summer Youth Work Program. Temperature checks, masks, and hand sanitizer were integral parts of this year’s work program, but even with those extra challenges, the program was a huge success!
Participants from six counties worked, learned (some virtually), and received paychecks. Those who completed the program had their names put into a drawing at the end of the summer. As a way of saying congratulations, Creative Rehab randomly pulled names and rewarded them with new laptops and gift cards. Pictured above are 3 of the 4 laptop winners; Faith, Luke, and Connor (Matthias is not pictured). Creative Rehab is proud of all of the participants and wish them the best moving forward. The skills learned this summer will transfer to future jobs and help them throughout their lifetime. Great job everyone!