September 12, 2019 – Independence, Ohio – As part of a nationwide movement to recognize the impact of direct service support professionals (DSPs), Koinonia hosted a local appreciation event at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo on September 12. The event, called CREW AT THE ZOO, celebrated more than 300 DSPs who serve adults with intellectual and developmental disability (IDD).

The celebration, which ran from 10:30 am until 5:30 pm, featured delicious food, scavenger hunts, prizes, raffle baskets, and a special visit from Jeffrey Davis, the Director of the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities. The event is part of a nationwide movement the week of September 8-14 to recognize the incredible impact DSPs have on those with IDD.

“What matters in our system the most is the experience of the individual that provides support and the individual. It’s the experience on the ground that matters, it doesn’t matter who I am, it’s the experience that matters,” said Director Davis. “That’s why you matter. Because what you do is the most important thing of all.”  Director Davis went on to compliment Koinonia on their excellent reputation statewide for being a “go-to provider.”

In addition to the celebration at Stillwater Place, Koinonia also sponsored the Annual Ohio DSP Recognition Event on Tuesday, September 10, 2019, at Xenos in Columbus. 50 Koinonia DSPs traveled to the event which includes inspiring keynote speakers, annual graduation and recognition of DSPs that have earned credentials and participate in special activities designed to allow DSPs to network and celebrate with one another.

“We are so proud of our community of direct support professionals,” said Diane Beastrom, president and chief executive officer, Koinonia Homes. “Their commitment to helping the IDD community plays an integral role in fulfilling our mission. We appreciate their hard work, dedication and outstanding caregiving.”

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