Autism: A Skillset the “New” Cleveland needs

In just under a decade, Swedish company Specialisterne has contracted out 35 consultants to 19 different companies.  What’s so special about that?  All 35 of them are people who have autism. Read more about The Autism Advantage.

 High-tech businesses like The Dandelion Project in Silicon Valley are also taking advantage of the unique skillsets folks with autism offer. A recent study released in the November 2012 issue of Scientific American concluded that “tech savvy communities report exceptionally high rates of autism.  And, they see that as a very good thing!

Got to wonder, where does autism fit in greater Cleveland’s efforts to reshape itself as a city of the future? 

Koinonia hosts Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for new Mayfield location

In just over a year, what started as a conversation has now become reality. In March 2012, when governor Kasich signed the executive order naming Ohio as an Employment First State, we at Koinonia knew that we had to step up to the plate and act. Today, we celebrated the opening of our new location in Mayfield Village, which focuses on employment and career preparedness for individuals with intellectual disabilities.

The mission of the program is to provide the training that will bridge the transition gap between school graduates with disabilities who wish to obtain and contribute to their community through competitive, integrated employment. Koinonia will provide the tools to all that participate in this program, regardless of disability, to obtain a job of their choice in which they are productive.

The Career Center will utilize an outcome-based curriculum with an Employment First focus tailored to all skills and abilities.  Job development experience including career internships and volunteer opportunities will guide participants towards their personal goals including employment.

We could not do this alone.  We sincerely appreciate the support of many, including the Cuyahoga County Board of Developmental Disabilities, The City and Community of Mayfield Village, Geis Companies,  and CEVEC (Cuyahoga East Vocational Education Consortium) who have worked tirelessly to make this a reality.  Thank you all for your support.Image

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Koinonia participates in Cleveland Marathon events!

Koinonia participates in Cleveland Marathon events!

Congratulations to our participants in the Cleveland Marathon event this past Sunday. We had 3 10K walkers and 2 half marathon runners from Koinonia!

(L-R) were Nancy Disbrow, Mary Hardwick, Amanda Huffman, Patti Matzinger, and Diane Beastrom.

Great job ladies!

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Koinonia’s Cleveland Marathon Water Stop Volunteers

Koinonia's Cleveland Marathon Water Stop Volunteers

A BIG thank you to our volunteers who mixed, poured, and handed out TONS of Powerade, and water, as well as cheered and encouraged the
participants (running the full marathon) at the 24 mile marker, sharing the station with Burning River Roller Girls and Cleveland Running.

Koinonia Enterprises earns 3 year CARF Accreditation

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Koinonia Homes, Inc. has been accredited for a period of three years for its Community Employment Services: Employment Supports, Job Development; Community Integration and Organizational Employment Services programs. This is the first accreditation that the international accrediting body, CARF, has awarded to Koinonia.

This accreditation decision represents the highest level of accreditation that can be awarded to an organization and shows the organization’s substantial conformance to the CARF standards. An organization receiving a Three-Year Accreditation has put itself through a rigorous peer review process. It has demonstrated to a team of surveyors during an on-site visit its commitment to offering programs and services that are measurable, accountable, and of the highest quality.

Koinonia is a nonprofit organization with offices at 6161 Oak Tree Blvd, Independence, OH. It has been providing services for intellectual and/or developmental disabilities in the Cleveland area since 1974.

CARF is an independent, nonprofit accrediting body whose mission is to promote the quality, value, and optimal outcomes of services through a consultative accreditation process that centers on enhancing the lives of the persons served. Founded in 1966 as the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities, and now known as CARF International, the accrediting body establishes consumer-focused standards to help organizations measure and improve the quality of their programs and services. For more information about the accreditation process, please visit the CARF website at www.carf.org.

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Visit Koinonia at The Northeast Ohio Tolerance Fair March 10, 2013

Visit Koinonia at The Northeast Ohio Tolerance Fair March 10, 2013

This free event will feature a variety of organizations that will showcase how you and your family can become involved in making a difference and embracing your differences.

 

Sunday March 10, 2013

2:00pm – 7:00 pm

IX Center

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Koinonia Enterprises awarded Business of the Year

Koinonia Enterprises awarded Business of the Year

Last night, Koinonia Enterprises was recognized as the 2012 Business of the Year at the Cuyahoga Valley Chamber of Commerce 4th Annual Impact Awards! Koinonia was selected out of 11 local businesses. The nomination came after Brooklyn Heights Economic Development Director Ken Perry was given a tour of our Day and Vocational Centers on Resource Drive and could not express enough how impressed he was with KE’s operation. The Chamber recognized and spoke about the incredible work you all do to provide opportunities for the individuals in our programs. This award wouldn’t have been possible without all of the hard work from each and every staff member in Koinonia Enterprises Center for Day Vocational and Career Services and for that we say thank you and CONGRATULATIONS!!!