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Hattie Larlham partners with local organizations to host community exploration day for people with disabilities

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On Wed., July 12, Hattie Larlham partnered with seven Northeast Ohio businesses and organizations to host Community Compass, a community exploration day for its Constant Companions participants. Constant Companions is Hattie Larlham’s day program for adults with disabilities. Partnering businesses and organizations included radio station 107.3 The WAVE, the United States Army Reserve Center in Canton, Ohio, Akron Children’s Hospital, Stow City Hall, Department of Parks and Recreation, Darko, Walgreens and the Stow Monroe Falls Library.

Each Community Compass location provided participants with a behind-the-scenes tour of their operations. This opportunity went beyond a normal day trip for Constant Companions and gave participants greater knowledge of how people and businesses contribute to their community.

“Community Compass has been a great opportunity for both the people we serve and for the surrounding community,” says Constant Companions Program Director Stacy Timm. “It has allowed our participants to see what skills it takes to work at some of these places while also getting a greater appreciation for how these businesses and organizations work operationally. Connecting them at this level provides a great opportunity for community integration and a learning experience for everyone involved.”

Morning show host at 107.3 The Wave Grace Roberts gave participants a tour, showed them how the radio works including timing and recording and had practice interviews with them. At the Army Reserve Center, participants viewed information on the Lakota Helicopter and had a hands-on experience with the Black Hawk, Shinook and night vision goggles. The Akron Children’s Hospital tour included information on employment opportunities and a visit to the Nutrition and Food Services department where they made pizza and cookies. At the City of Stow, participants toured several departments including Parks and Recreation, learned about the mapping program and discussed a handicap accessible fishing dock. The team at Darko provided a tour and showed the participants how to package products. The Walgreens tour included store operations and photo services, as well as the loading docks. Stow Monroe Falls Library the participants learned about book storage and repair, modern uses of the Dewey Decimal Classification System and services available to them.

Constant Companions serves more than 233 adults with disabilities across nine Ohio locations. The program is currently accepting referrals. Services are available weekdays from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. If you are interested in services for your loved one, contact Program Director Stacy Timm at 330-760-2744. For more information and location details, visit www.hattielarlham.org.