Adulthood, rethought

. September 5, 2012.

What happens to children with developmental disabilities as they become adults? It’s a question all parents of special needs kids will face as their children age — and it’s question to be answered by Jordan Mocek and Melissa Harris. Mocek and Harris are founders of Creative Living Services, a local agency that employs individuals with developmental disabilities and pays them a fair wage. “We start paying our individuals at minimum wage,” Mocek says, which he says is notable because many disabled workers are often paid less. They also help them gain independence, guiding them through everyday skills like balancing a check book or applying for social security benefits. Participants provide services to the community, like disposing of paper waste (the shredded paper is donated to the Toledo Area Humane Society for animal bedding) and selling beautifully wrapped candles. Helping the developmentally disabled lead fulfilling lives is a cause close to Mocek’s heart. “I have family members that were in care facilities where they were mistreated, and I always vowed to do something so people wouldn’t have to go through what my family went through,” he says. CLS serves adults starting from age 18 and up with any diagnosed disability (physical or mental) who apply for their services through the Lucas County Board of Developmental Disabilities. “We want to help not only the individual with the disability lead a more enriching life,” Mocek says, “but also help their families.” Creative Living Services, 1801 Adams St. 419-724-4690.

(Director Jordan Mocek, left, with client Jim)