The In-Sider, November 2014
A publication of the Richland County Board of Developmental Disabilities
New program providing inspiration
The process of supporting another person or persons to discover and claim personal power.
Prather named interim
Crawford DD leader
It’s not every day that a woman born in a log cabin in
the southern United States in the 1930s becomes the
first female mayor of Mansfield. But that’s just what
Lydia Reid did and her personal story and those of other
successful females in our community are providing
inspiration for participants in Richland Newhope’s new
Women Empowerment (WE) program.
“WE was inspired by a program called ‘Ladies in Training,’
which was implemented by the Mansfield City Schools
for ‘at-risk’ high school girls,” says WE Coordinator
Aurelio Diaz. “I wanted to develop a similar program for
adult women, but tailor it more as a mentorship program
where women could learn valuable lessons from strong
community leaders, become empowered from those
lessons, and develop additional meaningful relationships with other women.”
“The purpose is to give women who are supported by the Richland County Board of
Developmental Disabilities the tools needed to flourish and become the best person
they can be,” Diaz added.
Since Sept. 29, nine young women have been meeting weekly with different
community leaders to talk about things such as community pride, art, safety, cultural
awareness, education, health, and family. The meetings are held at various locations
around Mansfield – sometimes at the speaker’s place of employment.
Reid was the first of 15 people scheduled to talk to the young women. She spoke
at length about coming from poverty and eventually getting into politics – first as a
campaigner for her husband and then as a councilwoman, city finance director, and
eventually mayor of Mansfield for 14 years.
“I love to help people,” Reid said. “Don’t [sic] it make you feel good when you can help
Meet the Employee
of the Month
She told the gathering that it’s important to always surround yourself with good people.
CONTINUED ON PAGE 4
K of C Councils donate to
Richland Newhope’s Gift
Two local Knights of Columbus councils recently
made donations to Richland Newhope’s Gift
During the September meeting of the Richland
County Board of Developmental Disabilities,
representatives of K of C Council 8357 at
Resurrection Parish in Lexington presented a
check for $505.60. This past summer, council
members collected donations from customers at
Wayne’s Country Market and Geyer’s Market in
Lexington and from Walmart on Possum Run Rd.
K of C Council 4448 from St. Mary’s of the Snows
on Ashland Rd., Mansfield also donated $320.
The donation has been earmarked for use by
Both of the councils raised the money as part
of their annual “Measure Up” campaign, which
involves all K of C Councils in Ohio. They’re
among several local councils that support
Richland Newhope and its programs.
Over the years, money donated to the gift fund
has been used to provide various supports
for individuals with developmental disabilities,
such as the purchase of wheelchairs and other
adaptive equipment. Purchases in the past
year include a lift system to help a teenager
with Muscular Dystrophy to be moved from his
wheelchair to the shower and new uniforms for
the Special Olympics boys basketball team.
Prather named interim
Crawford DD leader
Prather has been
named the interim
the Crawford County
Board of Developmental
Disabilities. Prather will
lead both agencies for
a period of six months.
Her appointment was
effective Oct. 23.
The Crawford County
Board of DD is looking
for a successor to
Charles H. Frobose, who stepped down from the
post on Oct. 2 after more than two decades with the
“We view this agreement with Crawford County
Developmental Disabilities Board as helping our
neighbor, as well as an opportunity for Richland
County,” said Richland County DD Board President
Geneva Cummins. “We expect that by sharing a
superintendent, even if for only an interim period,
there will be an exchange of ideas and best practices
between the organizations. In turn, this will enable
us to provide even better support and services to the
individuals and families in both of our counties.”
“The addition of Liz Prather as the interim
superintendent of the Crawford County Board of DD
is a tremendous boon to Crawford County,” noted
Crawford County DD Board President Geoffrey Stoll.
“We believe that Liz’s wealth of experience and
enthusiasm will result in nothing but positive growth
for our organization, and will serve to improve the
quality of life for all whom our organization supports.”
Prather has been Richland Newhope’s superintendent
Currently 15 county DD boards in Ohio share the
services of seven superintendents on a permanent
Commissioners salute disability employment
About two dozen people filled the meeting room at the
Richland County commissioners’ office on Sept. 30 to
hear the commissioners proclaim October as Disability
Employment Awareness Month.
Only 20% of people with disabilities are currently
employed, according to a report from the U.S.
Department of Labor. “Everybody has value; it’s a matter of looking at
people’s potential, not looking at limitations,” noted
Commissioner Ed Olson.
“We have a large workforce and a lot of people that are really interested in working in the community, so
many times they just need the opportunity to prove themselves on the job,” said Richland Newhope Adult
Services Director Amanda South.
Commissioner Tim Wert credited job training programs like those offered through Richland Newhope for
helping people with disabilities develop skills needed to be successful employees.
“Prior to these programs, society just did not see your clientele possibly as even employable. They
couldn’t even figure out how they would use them. Now, what we know is, your clientele has great
capability, fantastic work ethic…really a valuable employee,” Olson added.
South told the commissioners last year
Richland Newhope supported more than 200
individuals in community employment services
and another 300-plus at Richland Newhope
Industries, Inc. (RNI). Employment efforts at
RNI’s woodshop have recently expanded with
the addition of a picture framing business.
“I encourage all employers to look to
your organization and don’t come in with
preconceived ideas,” said Olson. “Let
Newhope say ‘I think I can give you quality
people for a number of these jobs.’”
Among those also in attendance for the
proclamation presentation were two of the
2014 Employees of the Year at RNI - Daniel
Davies and Justin Rose.
Five billboards, public service announcements
on four local radio stations, and a recognition
breakfast were also part of Disability
Employment Awareness Month activities.
Look for a full report on the breakfast in the
next edition of The In-Sider.
Fire Safety week
Members of the Mifflin Township Fire Department
of Ashland County visited the Early Childhood
Center on Oct. 9 to talk about fire safety. They
practiced “stop, drop, and roll” and crawling under
the smoke to escape a fire. The preschoolers had
an opportunity to get up close to a real fire truck
and spray the hose like a real fireman!
Sam’s Club hosts Disability Mentoring Day
Eleven individuals interested in community employment got
a chance to experience different jobs at Sam’s Club as the
wholesale giant held its annual Disability Mentoring Day on Oct.
Held the third Wednesday of October to coincide with National
Disability Employment Awareness Month, Disability Mentoring
Day provides an opportunity for Sam’s Club to connect with
people with disabilities and help them evaluate personal goals,
explore possible career paths, and develop lasting mentor
This year’s participants are all members of the current
Employment Connection class at Richland Newhope Industries,
Inc. They had the chance to tour the store and then do job
shadowing in different departments for about two hours.
At the end of Mentoring Day, the individuals gathered in the
Sam’s Club café where they were each
presented with a certificate and enjoyed
New inspiring program...continued from pg. 1
Sam’s Club and Walmart are the lead
sponsors of Disability Mentoring Day
across the nation.
“Pick people for your friends that are going to make you feel
good,” advised Reid. “Don’t let your friends drag you down. Pick
Reid asked each of the WE women about their career
aspirations. The responses ranged from working in a day care
to becoming a chef or a talk show host.
“You can start out from a very poor place but, if you work hard
and you keep your wits about you and you try hard, you really
can be anything you want,” said Reid.
The young ladies already see the benefits of the program.
Youngsters at the Early Childhood
Center (ECC) were excited to receive
200 pumpkins from the characters of
Despicable Me on Oct. 15. Marion
Correctional Institution staff dressed in
costume as they presented the pumpkins
grown by the prison’s agriculture
program. ECC was one of 25 area
agencies to receive pumpkins this year.
“I just want to better some things in my life and prepare for my
future, so I think I will like hearing from all of the women,” said
“I might meet more friends,” added Andreia White.
“Lydia was nice and I liked hearing about how she grew up,” said
At the end of the 13-week program, Diaz hopes to have a
banquet and invite all of the speakers and individuals to come
together to celebrate their new friendships and what they’ve
Diaz is also hoping to start a similar program for men.
Harvest time at Raintree
The weather could not have been more
perfect for the 14th Annual Harvest Festival
at Raintree on Oct. 2.
Mild temperatures and sunny skies greeted
the nearly 275 people who attended the celebration for individuals who live at Raintree
and Richland Newhope’s six group homes
and their families.
This year’s Harvest Festival included a
baked goods contest, a petting zoo with
three alpacas, various games, hayrides, a
maze, the “apple sling”, homemade chicken
noodle soup, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, a nacho bar, popcorn, fried apple rings, warm apple cider, a DJ, dancing, and even an open air
It also served as a fundraiser. Raffle tickets were sold for dozens of beautiful and unique gift baskets
made by staff and individuals. The raffle raised $1,135, most of which will be used for residential-related
activities and enhancements but a quarter of it, or about $285, went to Hospice of North Central Ohio.
New this year was a “Punch-A-Pumpkin” game. Tickets were sold and everyone was guaranteed to win
a prize. Proceeds totaling $113 will go to the Humane Society of Richland County.
Newhope transportation ready for winter
Winter will soon be here and that means all of us need to be ready for ever-changing road conditions
and other challenges that the season brings, especially if we have a repeat of last year.
When inclement weather looks like it might interrupt Richland Newhope’s transportation service or our
operations, information will be broadcast on the following stations: WMAN-AM/FM, WNCO-AM/FM,
WYHT-FM, WSWR-FM, WVNO-FM, WFXN-FM, , and WMFD-TV. Notification of delays and closings
will also be available on local media websites as well as Facebook, Twitter, and the Newhope website,
Due to the space limitations of the media outlet websites, the most complete information will always be
communicated on the Richland Newhope website so families can find out if their bus is running behind.
You can even sign up to have emergency alerts automatically emailed to you when we post them. Families and providers can also call 419-774-4236 for transportation information.
Newhope may provide limited transportation on a delayed schedule to some or all areas when weather
and road conditions allow. When delays occur, they will be announced by bus/van number and normally
will be hourly delays, such as one-hour or two-hour delays.
If weather conditions would require the workshops or the Early Childhood Center to close early, an announcement will be made as to a release time. If someone needs to meet the bus, make sure his or her
name is on transportation’s “bus stop authorization” form.
For more information about Newhope transportation, call 419-774-4236.
Top employee feels appreciated
Less than a year on the job and Fiscal Specialist Maria
Koser is already being recognized for her performance.
Maria is Richland Newhope’s November Employee of the
A co-worker says, since she started, Maria has worked
beyond her scheduled hours to learn the position and to
make sure payroll is completed. “She comes in early and
many times works over. She has asked to come in and
work with me on the weekends,” says the co-worker.
Maria says it is great to be selected as the Employee
of the Month. “It means that my peers and co-workers
appreciate and recognize my dedication and hard work,”
says Maria. “I like being part of a great team atmosphere
in the Fiscal Department at Richland Newhope.”
Finance Director Gary McKean supports this honor and
recognition of Maria. “Maria has only been with us for a short period but she has already demonstrated
exceptional self-starter characteristics,” says Gary.
Marie’s favorite moment or experience while working at Newhope was orientation. “I had the opportunity
to see and meet other employees of Richland Newhope and the jobs that they performed and the service
that they provide for individuals. This gave me a better understanding of what Richland Newhope is all
about outside the Fiscal Department. Also, I look forward to Friday lunches with my co-workers,” added
the Richland Newhope dance troupe for leading the
“Breakin’ It Down About Bullying” session at the recent
Synergy Conference in Columbus. The dancers shared
their personal stories about being bullied and talked
about how to prevent it. They also performed for those
who attended the session. Many said they would like
the dancers to help them establish a similar group in
their county. The Synergy Conference is sponsored
each year by PAR (Professionals, Advocates,
Resources) and the Ohio Self-Determination
Ryan Ulmer, who works in Sterile Reprocessing at Ohio
Health MedCentral. Ryan and his co-workers in his
department recently received a 2014 Prism Award from
Ohio Health. In just nine hours the team accomplished
changes in the department that had been ongoing for
six months. Many associates gave up their time off to
participate, and they were praised for their teamwork.
Ryan was one of the first participants in Project
SEARCH and has worked at MedCentral since 2006.
Maria is described as a person
who is very polite and has a calm
demeanor. “She puts people at ease
and permits a very open and honest
dialogue. She works closely with
both Newhope and county personnel
to identify and solve payrolls
problems. Maria has definitely taken
and earned ownership of the payroll
function,” adds Gary.
Maria is currently studying and
preparing to take her U.S. citizenship
test in the spring of 2015. At the
same time, she is planning on
keeping her Canadian citizenship
status. Maria originally immigrated to
Canada in 2002 from the Philippines.
In 2008 she moved to the U.S., got
married, and started a new journey.
The best advice that she has ever
received is from her parents. “They
told me to make education my priority
to ensure a bright and successful
future,” said Maria.
Denise Van Meter
Richland Newhope Calendar of Events*
Nov. 10 - SCRAP recycling trailer, 2-4 p.m., Early Childhood Center, 255 Hedges St.,
Nov. 11 – Veterans’ Day: Newhope offices, Early Childhood Center & Richland Newhope
Industries, Inc. (RNI) closed
Nov. 12 – Aktion Club meeting, 1 p.m., Richland Newhope Industries, Inc. (RNI), 150 E. 4th St.,
Nov. 18 – Richland Newhope Industries, Inc. (RNI) Board meeting, 11:30 a.m., 150 E. 4th St.,
Nov. 24 – People First meeting, 1:15 p.m., RNI, 150 E. 4th St., Mansfield
Nov. 27 - 28 – Thanksgiving Day holiday: Newhope offices, Early Childhood Center & RNI
Dec. 2 – 2015 Strategic Plan meeting, 8:30 a.m., Newhope Administration Building,
314 Cleveland Ave., Mansfield
Dec. 5 – First Friday, 5 p.m. – 8 p.m., Element of Art Studio/Gallery, 96 N. Main St., Mansfield
Dec. 5 – Richland Newhope Christmas party, 7 p.m. – 9 p.m., Fairhaven Hall, Richland County
Fairgrounds, 750 Home Rd., Mansfield
Dec. 8 - SCRAP recycling trailer, 2-4 p.m., Early Childhood Center, 255 Hedges St., Mansfield
Dec. 25 – Dec. 26 – Christmas holiday: Newhope offices, Early Childhood Center & RNI closed
*For more information, go to www.rnewhope.org
The 2014 Walk to End Alzheimer’s to benefit the Alzheimer’s Association of Northwest
Ohio once again featured a team from
Richland Newhope. Nine employees and
family members took part in the Oct. 11 event
in downtown Mansfield. Team Newhope
raised more than $1,280! THANK YOU TO
EVERYONE WHO DONATED! The money will
be used to help provide education, counseling
and support services in 24 Northwest Ohio
counties served by the Alzheimer’s Association,
including Richland County.
Richland County Board of
Geneva Cummins, President
Virginia Harmon, Vice President
Nicholas Gesouras, Secretary
Liz Prather, Superintendent
Published by the Richland County Board of
Developmental Disabilities. News releases,
story ideas, comments, and suggestions should
be addressed to The In-Sider at:
314 Cleveland Avenue
Mansfield, Ohio 44902
Jane Imbody, Director of Community Relations
Nikki Kepple, Community Relations Associate
THE RICHLAND COUNTY BOARD OF DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES
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