LEAP serves people with any type of disability, including long-standing disabilities; disabilities acquired as a result of an accident, injury, or illness; or emerging disabilities resulting form work and life experiences.
Short answer: Yes, you can use personal assistance services in the workplace!
LEAP staff members are available to help you figure out how best to meet your personal assistance needs while at work. Of equal importance, they can provide suggestions on how to discuss these needs with your employer and address their questions and concerns.
Personal assistance in the workplace is considered a job accommodation, and the Job Accommodation Network (JAN) is an excellent resource for information.
LEAP's peer-support program can help you learn to advocate for yourself more effectively.
At times, however, a barrier or problem cannot be overcome on an individual basis. It may require working with others to change practices, policies, rules, regulations, or laws. LEAP's Center for Public Policy offers many ways for you to become involved in advocating for the changes you wish to see in our communities, government, and society.
LEAP provides information, education, training, employment services, and independent living services to people with disabilities. We can also help you discover how to advocate for yourself and others on the issues that affect persons with disabilities.
LEAP is a Center for Independent Living and as such, defines the term individual with a significant disability as "someone who has a severe physical or mental impairment that substantially limits their ability to function independently in their family or community or to obtain, maintain, or advance in employment. Furthermore, the individual must be able to benefit from the delivery of independent living skills that would enhance the individual's ability to function independently in their family or community or at a job."
Most of LEAP's services require a referral and a source for payment.
Centers for Independent Living were created through the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and are funded in part by grants from the Rehabilitation Services Administration. The law requires that CILs be consumer-controlled, community-based, cross-disability, nonresidential, private, nonprofit agencies. CILs promote the philosophy of independent living and must provide four core services: advocacy, information and referral, skills development, and peer support.
The independent living philosophy emphasizes the right of people with disabilities to make their own decisions and focuses on the concepts of choice, control, freedom, and equality. Inherent in the philosophy is the idea that people with disabilities want the same life opportunities and choices in everyday life that non-disabled people enjoy. Rather than focusing on disabilities, it focuses on the barriers faced by individuals with disabilities and how barriers can be eliminated. The philosophy rejects the notion that people with disabilities must adapt to environments that are inaccessible to them; instead, it places the need to adapt on the larger society.
To qualify for services at LEAP, a person must be an individual with a significant physical, mental, cognitive, or sensory disability who would benefit from independent living services. Each program has specific entrance criteria. Services are often paid for by a third-party funder with no costs to the individual.
To access LEAP's employment services, you must have a documented disability and a referral Many of our referrals come from the Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities (OOD) agency. (OOD was formerly the Ohio Rehabilitation Services Commission.) Many individuals are also referred from the county boards of developmental disabilities or One-Stop career centers.
The Lakewood office is the closest OOD location for residents of Cuyahoga and Lorain counties.
Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities Agency
14650 Detroit Ave., Suite 300
Lakewood, OH 44107-4210
Depending on a person's disability, a variety of community resources for employment services exists. Regardless of disability, we recommend contacting the Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities (OOD) agency, formerly known as the Ohio Rehabilitation Services Commission (RSC). Another resource is the Employment Connection, which is funded by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS). ODJFS has OhioMeansJobs Centers in each county to assist job seekers. For more information about services for specific disabilities please contact our information and referral specialist.
Employment Connection: http://employmentconnection.us/
OhioMeansJobs Centers: http://jfs.ohio.gov/owd/wia/wiamap.stm
The best resource for job accommodations is the Job Accommodation Network (JAN). Once an accommodation is determined, it is best to speak with your Human Resource department.
Social Security's Ticket to Work program is a free and voluntary program for people with disabilities who want to return to work or begin working for the first time. The program offers people ages 18 through 64 and who receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits choices and supports as they seek meaningful employment. The goal is to reduce or eliminate reliance on disability benefits.
LEAP participates in the Ticket to Work program by accepting referrals from the Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities (OOD) agency and the Cuyahoga County Board of Developmental Disabilities (CCBDD). When an individual enters the Ticket to Work program, they'd first assign their ticket to either OOD or CCBDD, and as they move toward their employment goals, they can assign their ticket to LEAP for retention services.
Social Security's ticket site: http://www.choosework.net/index.html
Not necessarily. LEAP's certified benefits specialists can help you determine the impact of wages on your eligibility for federal and state benefits and overall financial well-being. Many work incentive programs for persons with disabilities exist that allow them to maintain a level of benefits and return to work.
Alternatives to nursing facilities can include congregate living, such as assisted living and group homes, or living in one's own apartment or home. Many people who need a nursing-home level of care can live comfortably in their communities with supports ranging from the minimal to the intensive. LEAP's options counselors can help you explore possibilities and identify potential public and natural supports available to you or your family member.
Managing a personal assistant or home health aide can be overwhelming when you first begin. It's important that you understand the options available, as well as your role and responsibilities as the leader of your care team.
LEAP's options counselors can help you develop skills to manage your care-giving supports regardless of whether they are employees of a home-health agency, independent providers, or an employee you hire directly. The options counselors can also offer practical advice on funding possibilities, finding and hiring potential providers, scheduling, and addressing day-to-day management issues.
The term personal assistance services covers a broad array of supports and can include personal care (e.g., bathing, dressing, and toileting), meal preparation, shopping, driving, and running errands. LEAP staff members can help you identify which supports you may need, as well as help you develop a plan for back-up supports.
As a partner in a multi-agency aging and disability resources network, LEAP offers counseling to help individuals and their family members identify and access community-based long-term services and supports.
A good idea is to ask your doctor to request an evaluation of your home by a physical therapist. You may also be able to find home-health agencies that offer this service.
The need for accessible, affordable housing in our communities is a huge issue. If you would like to help address this need, contact LEAP's Center for Public Policy to discuss how you can become involved.
In Cuyahoga County, the Greater Cleveland Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) provides the following accessible transportation services:
1. Buses with the universal "wheelchair symbol" on the front, with wheelchair lifts or ramps to help people board buses safely and easily.
2. A bus fleet that is totally accessible.
3. ADA-accessible Rapid Transit stations, to help passengers safely ride RTA trains.
Paratransit service in specially equipped vehicles is provided to individuals who need more assistance than is available on the standard RTA services. These individuals must complete an application for ADA certification, available on the RTA Paratransit Service web site or by calling 216.566.5124 or 216.781.4757 (TDD). For more information, visit the RTA Paratransit Service web site: http://www.riderta.com/paratransit.
In Lorain County, public transportation options are quite limited. Lorain County Transit (LCT) offers Dial-A-Ride service for LCT customers living and traveling within 3/4 of a mile on either side of a fixed LCT bus route. Ride-scheduling priority is given to ADA-certified customers with disabilities and customers who need transportation for urgent medical purposes. Service is available from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays and may be scheduled up to two weeks in advance, subject to seating availability. To schedule a trip, call 1-800-406-7541 or 440-365-0224.
For additional information, see the Dial-A-Ride Service Options web page: http://www.loraincounty.us/getdoc/6aa5ed53-585c-45f5-9e94-e67dc9141bcd/Service-Options.aspx
This page contains a link to a map of LCT fixed routes.
There are several regional providers for van modifications. LEAP's information and assistance specialist can provide the most up-to-date information on providers that can meet your needs.
LEAP welcomes walk-ins, but to make the best use of your time and to ensure that a staff member will be available to assist you, it is wise to call ahead for an appointment.
LEAP is a nonprofit organization that offers programs and services to help people with disabilities live more independently. We also can help you discover how to advocate for yourself and others on the issues that affect persons with disabilities.