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LEAP pivots service delivery, continues to support consumers’ independence during pandemic

Posted October 16, 2020 in Press Releases

Autumn in Northeast Ohio, with its ushering of a host of environmental changes, serves as a natural season of reflection. As the final quarter of a year that’s been defined by two crises – one affecting our physical health and another dividing our communities by race – continues to progress, LEAP is as committed as ever to our mission of advancing a society of equal opportunity for all.

LEAP empowers people with disabilities to live independently by providing opportunities and supporting consumer choice. As a center for independent living, we foster accessible, inclusive communities, and serve as an agent of positive change.

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has codified our agency’s role as a convener and connector of people.

"Despite staff working primarily remotely, we’ve adapted our programming to reflect the realities of today," said Melanie Hogan, LEAP’s executive director. "We continue to deliver the high-quality, individualized services that help our consumers achieve their independent living goals while prioritizing everyone’s safety."

During the early stages of the pandemic, LEAP team members reached out to more than 500 consumers to identify unmet needs and to help connect those interested with the appropriate services and resources.

We’re proud to share a snapshot of our service-related accomplishments since the pandemic’s onset.

  • LEAP employment specialists have assisted 28 consumers secure jobs.
  • LEAP has supported 18 consumers transition from a long-term care facility into the community.
  • LEAP has helped more than 115 consumers complete benefits screenings and applications.

In addition, more than 50 Cleveland-area youth participated in LEAP’s revamped virtual work experience and career exploration programming this summer. Similarly, participants in Quantum LEAP, our adult adapted recreation program, continued to connect virtually throughout the spring and summer with multiple programs held each week. In August, we began the gradual restart of in-person recreational activities and continue to offer virtual sessions.

We continue our systems advocacy to educate stakeholders on issues affecting the local disability community. To learn more about LEAP’s advocacy efforts to protect disability rights during the current health crisis and more, visit our blog.

"The need for our agency’s services is as apparent now as ever," Hogan said. "LEAP’s commitment to empowering and supporting people with disabilities achieve economic self-sufficiency, live independently in their own homes and participate fully in community life remains steadfast."

Inspired by the leadership of our board of directors and the dedication of our staff, LEAP is poised to continue providing life-changing services to people with disabilities in Northeast Ohio with the same determination and enthusiasm demonstrated throughout our 37-year history.