We’re celebrating National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) by sharing local employment success stories. As Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine stated in his proclamation on Oct. 1, this awareness month helps educate the public about disability employment issues and celebrate the many and varied contributions of workers with disabilities. This year is the 76th anniversary of NDEAM!
Nathan Michelson – Fifth Third Bank
Nathan Michelson has been a full-time employee at Fifth Third Bank for 16 Years. He recently changed positions and has adjusted well to his new tasks. “I’m happy to be a part of my new team at Fifth Third and love being able to go to work every day,” he said. “I feel like I fit in well with my new co-workers.”
Maya Walton – Kroger
Maya Walton works at the Forest Park Kroger, where she’s been for almost seven years. She is a bagging and lot associate and also helps stock shelves. Maya always comes into work with a positive outlook and a huge smile on her face. She is a favorite among her co-workers, who consistently give her positive feedback and praise during her shifts. “I look forward to continuing to provide great customer service in my community,” Maya says.
Tim Albert – Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center
Tim Albert has worked at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center (CCHMC) for more than 20 years. He began as an operating room tech and was responsible for refilling all the supplies in the 19 operating rooms and in the surrounding area. Tim is now a histology tech in the Division of Pathology where he has been for 14 years.
In this job, Tim scans and organizes the biopsy slides for filing, puts away supplies for the laboratory, checks the temperatures of the refrigerators and freezers to make sure they are within range, files paperwork, goes to the morgue to dispose of remnant tissue specimens, and helps coworkers as needed with any side jobs.
He enjoys his work because it “keeps me busy. It can be different every day.” Tim also uses a computer to complete his work, and his job coach created step-by-step instructions to help him learn the software.
“I like working in the medical field because I have been involved with doctors my whole life,” he says. “Just because you have a disability doesn’t mean you have to get a job in a fast-food place. Project SEARCH helped me find a job at CCHMC and there are other ways to get help with getting a job.”
Cody Steele – Frisch’s
Cody Steele’s warm smile and gentle demeanor make him a favorite among his coworkers. Cody washes dishes and busses tables at Frisch’s in Hartwell, and occasionally helps the cook flip a few burgers! He has also worked in food service for several years at Kings Island Festhaus. “Cody is appreciated by his coworkers and customers for his hard work and friendly personality,” says Beth Maltry, job developer and coach at IKRON Corporation. “This year, Cody has learned to take the Access transportation to work, developing even more independence. He always seems to rise to meet new challenges!”
Mike Holmes – GBBN Architects
For the past decade, Mike Holmes has been the guest and staff experience ambassador at GBBN Architects. On a daily basis, Mike delivers mail, restocks supplies or cleans, and he maintained his job during the pandemic. In his free time, Mike enjoys coaching girls’ basketball and being a part of the Cincy Swish team.
Jenny Scurry – Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center
Jenny Scurry works in guest services at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and helps patients navigate the maze of buildings to get to their appointments. Jenny has worked there for 20 years—she knows all the shortcuts and always jumps at the chance to share her knowledge! She always has a smile on her face and never hesitates when coworkers need something. “I like my job and I like everything I do,” she said. “I always try to do my best and help people get to where they are going.”
Jenny especially enjoys talking to the families and loves the kids, and visitors often comment on how thankful they are for her assistance.
Eddie Gregory – HomeBuys
Eddie Gregory works at HomeBuys on Highland Avenue, a job he started at the beginning of 2021. He says it is a great place to work and shop because of all the great deals. Eddie takes pride in unloading trucks and stocking the merchandise. He also likes having daytime hours that fit with the rest of his schedule. “The job is easy and offers me a plenty to do,” Eddie says. “It is fun because you never know what we are going to get in!”
Hayden Schunk – TopGolf in West Chester
Hayden Schunk works at TopGolf in West Chester, where he’s been for three years. He wanted to find a job at an entertainment venue and worked with LADD to make that happen. Hayden loves the atmosphere and helping customers as they arrive at the venue. “I work with a great team and the benefits are great because I feel that I can work and play at the same time,” he says. “I’m also getting pretty good at driving a golf ball!”
Raphael Price – Cincinnati Children’s Division of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics
Raphael Price has been a supply chain tech at Cincinnati Children’s Division of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics for 10 years. He cleans vital signs rooms that are used at the beginning of each appointment and cleans patient rooms after the appointment is finished. He also cleans and puts away toys used by patients.
Raphael must follow strict protocols for the cleaning such as wearing gloves and using the proper wipe, depending on what type of surface he is cleaning. At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Raphael’s department was closed for several weeks. As the hospital slowly re-opened, Raphael returned to his job but did not have enough work to stay busy. To fill his time and help his department, he eagerly and quickly learned new tasks such as stocking items.
Raphael likes everything about his job and coworkers love working with him. “Raphael is the positive encouragement that every department needs each day. He remembers each staff person by name, sometimes even has a fun nickname for them, and is always complimenting everyone,” said Clinical Manager Stacey Van Stanten.
“Our patients love seeing him in our hallways working hard to make their visit as safe and enjoyable as possible. Raphael is truly an amazing, hard-working, and positive person, he is loved by our entire staff and of course our patients and families, too!”