Finding meaningful work for people with disabilities

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July 4th portrait of Dotty Grexa, vice president of community living for Hattie Larlham, taken at Hattie's Cafe in Canal Place, on Tuesday, June 25, 2013, in Akron, Ohio. (Ed Suba Jr./Akron Beacon Journal)

Advocating for others

Name: Dotty Grexa.

Age: 50.

Hometown: Barberton.

Role: Vice president of vocational and enterprise services at Hattie Larlham, advocating for people with developmental disabilities in the workplace. She helps create business ventures suitable to abilities of her people, among them coffee shops, cafes, dog service, gifts and agriculture.

“I like to focus on the ability versus the disability.”

“[Clients] come into our program shy and afraid and unsure of themselves,” but with training and work experience, “this confident person emerges. For me, that’s what makes it worthwhile.”

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