Gazette News Report
XENIA — Xenia-based Toward Independence Inc. (TI), a nonprofit agency that provides residential services and day support programs for individuals with developmental disabilities, recently celebrated 40 years of caring with an anniversary celebration.
The evening included proclamations from Xenia Mayor Marsha Bayless and the director of the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities, John Martin.
“We are proud of what we have accomplished at Toward Independence and the positive impact we have made on the individuals we have served over these many years,” said TI Executive Director Mark Schlater.
TI’s mission is to assist adults with developmental disabilities to live the fullest life possible by providing individualized services in a variety of community settings. In addition to caring residential and day rehabilitation programs, TI has pioneered non-conventional ways to fulfill that mission.
In 2001 the agency opened the Inner I Gallery — Ohio’s first dedicated art gallery to display the work of people with developmental disabilities.
Continuing the tradition of providing opportunities for the individuals served by TI, the agency announced in early 2015 that it had entered a partnership with the nonprofit restaurant One Bistro. This partnership gives TI clients the opportunity to gain valuable vocational skills by volunteering in the restaurant, which will be housed within TI’s headquarters. One Bistro is scheduled to open its Xenia location in October and a ribbon cutting ceremony was held at TI’s anniversary celebration.
“Toward Independence is proud to celebrate 40 years of caring,” Schlater said. “The longevity and success of our agency and our ability to meet the needs of the individuals we serve would not be possible without our caring employees.”
The celebration was held during Direct Service Professionals Week.
“It is fitting to recognize all the dedicated and hard-working staff that contributed to our reputation of excellence in care to individuals with developmental disabilities,” Schlater said.
TI is a certified adult day support provider and residential provider offering an alternative to traditional workshop/day support services and providing residential services under the HCSB Waiver Rule.
Founded in 1975 by a group of dedicated parents and professionals, TI’s mission is to assist people with developmental disabilities to live the fullest life possible by providing individualized services in a variety of community settings. Over the course of four decades, TI has assisted more than 250 individuals in fulfilling their personal needs, choices, hopes and dreams.
Gazette news report compiled by Scott Halasz.