Programs and Services for People with Disabilities
Independent Living Services
GOAL: To facilitate the development and achievement of independent living goals selected by individuals with significant disabilities to assist them in functioning more independently in family, work, and community settings
Contact: Therese Conner, Independent Living Services Director, 216.696.2716
Independent Living Services
Independent Living Skills Assessment and Training provides opportunities for people with disabilities to gain skills that enable them to live more independently and participate more fully in community life. Assessment and trainings include such topics as self-care, social development, time management, money management, and assistive technology. provides opportunities for people with disabilities to gain skills that enable them to live more independently and participate more fully in community life. Assessment and trainings include such topics as self-care, social development, time management, and money management. LEAP's Assistive Technology Center also offers classes and workshops and has a lending library that allows consumers to try out AT items before making a purchase.
Peer Support is a service in which a person with a disability networks with other persons who have disabilities and who are living independently in the community. The objective is to explore options and to solve problems that sometimes occur for people with disabilities.
Information and Referral provides information about disability-related issues and services.
Advocacy works for and promotes changes in legislation and policies to include opportunities for full inclusion of people with disabilities in all aspects of community life.
Disability Benefits Assistance
Disability Outreach and Community Education informs people with disabilities about eligibility criteria and connects them to state and federal programs.
Disability Benefits Application, Enrollment, and Appeals Assistance helps people with disabilities apply for and enroll in various benefits programs. It also provides information and assistance with Social Security reconsideration appeals.
Disability Benefits Analysis provides one-on-one consultation to Social Security beneficiaries and their families.
Nursing Home Transition
Nursing Home Transition assists people in Cuyahoga, Erie, and Lorain counties who wish to move from long-term-care facilities into the community.
Personal Care Assistance
Personal Care Assistance (PCA) helps consumers who are entering or who are already members of the work force in hiring personal care assistants to perform activities of daily living. The program is open to residents of Cuyahoga, Lorain, Medina, Erie, and Huron counties.
The Quantum LEAP program offers opportunities for socialization, recreation, and athletic activities to people with developmental disabilities who are residents of eastern Cuyahoga County. Activities are offered at various east-side locations.
Low-Vision Services are designed to allow maximum independence and safety in the home and community through the use of technology and adaptive skills. Services include prevention services, community-based assessments, and community-based rehabilitation and education that help individuals maintain or regain their independence. Services are provided to Lorain County residents aged 55 and older.
Personal Adjustment helps consumers identify and improve various issues that pose barriers to employment and independent living. Barriers addressed include access to housing, transportation, health care, income supports, assistive technology, and personal care assistance. Training includes personal management, interpersonal skills, community access, resource management, job search skills training, and employment preparation.
GOAL: To promote independence and self-sufficiency for persons with disabilities
Contact: Julia Donovan, Employment Services Director, 216.696.2716
Competitive Employment Services
Evaluation, Assessment, and Training provides a wide range of services designed to help individuals with disabilities prepare for and engage in gainful employment consistent with their strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, interests, and informed choice.
Job Development and Placement assists the consumer in obtaining employment that matches their strengths, abilities, vocational interests, and personal needs and preferences, as well as the needs of the local labor market. Services include making contacts with employers and identifying potential job leads to help an individual with a disability find a job. Specific tasks may include assistance with completing applications, sending resumes and cover letters, and following up with employers; accompanying the individual to appointments; reinforcing interviewing skills; requesting accommodations; and negotiating hiring. LEAP also educates employers on hiring incentives, reasonable accommodations, worksite modifications, accessibility, and understanding the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Customized Employment Services
Customized Employment is a flexible process designed to personalize the employment relationship between a job candidate and an employer in a way that meets the needs of both. The process is based on a customized match between the strengths, conditions, and interests of a job candidate and the identified business needs of an employer. Customized employment uses an individualized approach to employment planning and job development. Customized employment consumers may also choose to pursue self-employment. The consumer may choose to create an independently owned small business—typically a micro-enterprise—that draws on their own strengths and dreams and fulfills the unmet needs of a local market. This option would still incorporate the individualized planning and support strategies needed for success.
Supported Employment Services
Supported Employment assumes that all individuals, regardless of the nature or extent of their disabilities, should have the opportunity and support needed for paid work. Positions are in community settings that include persons with and without disabilities. Services include locating and/or modifying meaningful jobs in the community, providing individualized training and services at the job site, and ongoing support.
Youth Transition Services
GOAL: To assist high school students with disabilities in making a successful transition from high school to employment and adult community life
Job Link School-to-Work Transition
A year-round, school-to-work transition program that has been recognized by the National Youth Employment Coalition, Job Link operates in six high schools in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District. Combining on-the-job training at local businesses with community-based, work-related instructional activities, the program instills attitudes, behaviors, and skills needed to obtain and retain employment. Students discover their potential, plan for the future, and become contributing members of the community.
High School/High Tech High School/High Tech (HSHT) is a community-based enrichment program that exposes youth with disabilities to the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields, prepares them for post-secondary education, and encourages them to achieve long-term success. HSHT incorporates four components that reflect the latest in evidence-based research on what youth with disabilities need to transition successfully into employment. The program is open to high school students in the Greater Cleveland area with the capacity and interest to pursue post-secondary education in STEM fields. A minimum of a sixth-grade level of achievement is required to enter the program. An initiative of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), HSHT annually serves up to 20 students with sensory and physical disabilities and autism-spectrum disorders.
GOAL: To increase the availability and improve the quality of options for individuals with significant disabilities and to conduct activities that increase the capacity of communities to meet the needs of individuals with significant disabilities
Public Policy Center
The Public Policy Center focuses on policies and practices affecting people with disabilities by advocating for legislation and policy changes to support the full inclusion of people with disabilities in all aspects of community life.
Aging and Disability Resource Center
The Aging and Disability Resource Center provides a single point of entry for information and access to long-term services and community supports. Services include information and assistance, options counseling, and benefits assistance.
Contact: Katherine Foley, Aging and Disability Resource Center, 216.696.2716
Local Housing and Services Cooperatives
Local Housing and Services Cooperatives are being developed in Cuyahoga and Lorain counties to develop, expand, and strengthen disability advocacy efforts and to educate communities about the needs and desires of people with disabilities.
Assistive Technology Center
The Assistive Technology Center provides information and education about available adaptive technologies and educates people on the use of such technology.
Contact: Shannon Monyak, Accessibility Coordinator, 216.696.2716
Community Outreach and Education
Community Outreach and Education provides technical assistance and training on accessibility and compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, as well as community awareness programs ion disability rights laws. It also offers consultations for employers on hiring people with disabilities and providing reasonable accommodations.