Congratulations to each Attitude of Gratitude nominee in the month of February and winner Carolyn Long from Auglaize County! We are so fortunate to have so many amazing employees doing incredible work. Thank you for all you do!
We also celebrate Kristy Rippetoe, PS in Van Wert County, for her 15 years with CRSI. Congratulations Kristy!
Kristy worked FT at a workshop in Williams County, and for extra income, she came to work for CRSI as a part-time DSP at a drop-in site in Defiance County. She said that over the years, her position with CRSI became about the individuals, not about the income.
In 2019, Kristy came to Van Wert County as the full-time Program Specialist. Kristy said she has enjoyed working with the individuals, seeing what they are capable of, teaching them, & learning from them. She said they have definitely taught her patience. Kristy was unable to attend our recognition lunch.
David Bruggeman is legally blind, has seizures (wears a helmet when walking), and communication limitations. He lives in his home with roommates in the community, and they receive support from Champaign Residential Services, Inc. (CRSI).
In August 2018, the Auglaize County Board of Developmental Disabilities (Auglaize DD) referred David to Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities (OOD). Since David’s sight was quickly diminishing, OOD connected him to the Toledo Sight Center to learn home safety skills, receive training in using a white cane, and become familiar with assistive technology.
After learning new skills, David set a goal to work in the community. Working with Jené Frueh, OOD Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor with the Bureau of Services for the Visually Impaired, David received assistive technology to help overcome disability challenges, especially visual. Goodwill Easterseals Miami Valley helped David learn how to navigate his environment and gain skills for independence. We Can Too, which provides vocational habilitation services to people with developmental disabilities, helped David work on skills to prepare to work in the community. David also worked with Amanda Seigle, Auglaize DD Service and Support Administrator, who coordinated services with the team supporting David.
In September 2019, David worked with Bill Dellinger of Capabilities, and after looking for a job for only two months, David landed a part-time job at CJ’s Pizza. His primary duty was folding pizza boxes. After several months on the job, David received job coaching from Dave Grimm of Capabilities to learn expanded job duties, and OOD provided additional orientation and mobility services.
In March 2020, David decided that he would stop working temporarily due to living with others vulnerable to COVID-19. His employer allowed him to take time off and return to work when he was ready.
In June 2020, David decided to return to work, and CJ’s Pizza welcomed him back. Dave Grimm worked with David to ensure he remembered his job duties. To keep David successful on the job, OOD purchased a wireless doorbell so that as needed, he could request assistance from staff working in another room.
“It has been truly an honor to work with David and his amazing team, including Jené, CRSI staff, Auglaize Industries (provides transportation), We Can Too staff, and Dave with Capabilities. David’s case is an example of how everyone looked at his abilities and problem solved together to overcome every barrier to ensure David met his ultimate goal of getting a job in the community,” said Amanda.
“David’s commitment to his job and his work ethic is the reason for his accomplishment, but I’m proud to be a part of the team that helped him get there,” said Jené.
If you or somebody you know has a disability and would like to work, visit OODWorks.com or call 800-282-4536.
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