Community Employment Resource Map

Summit County

The Summit County Board of Developmental Disabilities (Summit DD) provides community employment follow-along supports for more than 100 individuals. Industries include retail, clerical, manufacturing, assembly, food service, maintenance and social services.

Summit DD is in the process of developing and adopting an Employment First policy which includes a Discovery process. Discovery creates a positive personal profile that places individuals on the path to employment and identifies interests and aptitudes. Hattie Larlham, ViaQuest and Goodwill Industries of Akron are all partners with Summit DD to implement the Discovery process. Additionally, Summit DD has hired a manager to work with all private providers to support them in shifting service expectations towards community employment for individuals served. Another part of Employment First for Summit DD relates to transition. Summit County has a strong transition team that meets regularly and encompasses the Regional ESC, private providers, Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities and others to discuss trainings, evidence-based practices and employment programs, such as Bridges to Transition, to assist students transition to adult services.

Collaboration is another key component of Employment First for Summit DD. They are active with Ohio Means Jobs, local chambers of commerce, and the Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM). The county has developed a group called Summit 2020 that includes job seekers, families, providers, employers and county employees to focus on developing resources to overcome perceived barriers to integrated employment. In October, Summit DD recognizes National Disability Employment Awareness Month and reminds employers about the benefits of hiring individuals with disabilities.

Summit DD supports over 28 individual microenterprises. One of these is Todd, who sells greeting cards. His family is especially supportive, and he has travelled across the country speaking about his business. Todd’s story was recently profiled in DODD’s Pipeline. Summit DD assists in this business by providing small annual grants.

Loyal employers, both large and small, who work with Summit DD to ensure the continued success of the individuals served, are one of the most influential aspects in the community. Summit DD works diligently to integrate individuals into the community through volunteerism, speaking engagements, etc. and this outreach has created awareness and support from local employers.