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CHILD FIRST of OHIO launches Friendship Nights, A MRDD Social Initiative
CHILD FIRST of OHIO, the City of Akron Ohio, and its MRDD Community are building healthy relationships one community at a time..."A Community of Caring"
By: featured columnist Marchae Griar, AMG
Friendship Nights will include dining opportunities, sporting events, gaming tournaments, concerts, competitions, and many other exciting experiences. Each event will provide a starting point for local companies and organizations in the Akron area to integrate those in the MRDD community. Friendship Nights offer support groups, social clubs, and networking opportunities.
CHILD FIRST wants to ensure a positive learning experience for everyone who participates in Friendship Nights. Many businesses do not understand the importance of making proper adjustments to accommodate MRDD individuals. Friendship Nights will provide a chance for the Akron community to acknowledge the MRDD community as an extraordinary group who enjoys the same activities as those without disabilities.
People with MRDD tend to have smaller, weaker social networks, increased risk for abuse, 60% of persons with MRDD live with their families, a quarter of those households primary caregiver is age 60 or older.
"This is a community that is growing, that works hard, that's compassionate, and that's fun,” Program Director Latia S. Solomon said. “More than anything, this community is like a breath of fresh air waiting to be embraced.”
Solomon has worked with MRDD individuals for more than five years, and MRDD integration is one of her professional focuses. Solomon hopes Friendship Nights will serve as a catalyst for other areas to start similar programs. All Friendship Night events will be publicized and will be available for interested prospects. All interested companies will receive learning materials about accommodating MRDD individuals.
For more information about CHILD FIRST’S Friendship Nights, contact Program Director Latia S. Solomon at (330)962-3514.
CHILD FIRST of Ohio is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, which was established in 1994. CHILD FIRST provides case management services to economically challenged children and their families throughout Ohio. Case Management is the process that identifies, assesses, plans, implements, and evaluates client needs and service delivery. This social service approach increases the availability of social services to meet the needs of MRDD individuals, their families, and friends. Case managers follow the families through all care coordination steps and play a key, ongoing role in developing the family’s plans and decision-making. CHILD FIRST has successfully implemented its family intervention program in 21 school districts along with numerous educational based programs, serving thousands of Ohio’s youth.
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CHILD FIRST of OHIO is a nonprofit 501 (c)(3) organization providing educational based programs and case management services to children and families economically challenged.
CHILD FIRST of OHIO P.O. Box 1464 Akron, Ohio 44309
Page Updated Last on: May 31, 2009