Groundbreaking organization to provide support for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities throughout Northeast Ohio
Cleveland, OH, April 22, 2017 –(PR.com)– Best Buddies International, a groundbreaking nonprofit founded in 1989 by Anthony K. Shriver to create opportunities for one-on-one friendships, integrated employment and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), is happy to announce the opening of its first Cleveland, Ohio office. The office will open this May inside of Beachwood Adult Activities Center, located within the Cuyahoga County Board of Developmental Disabilities facility (23750 Mercantile Rd. in Beachwood) and aims to serve those with IDD in Northeast Ohio. Taking on the role of Program Supervisor is Ryan Wirth.
Wirth plans to create and manage Best Buddies friendship chapters within Cleveland area high schools and colleges. The program aims to create long-lasting friendships; opportunities for leadership for students with and without IDD; and self-empowerment opportunities for adults with IDD. Wirth will also launch a new initiative funded by the Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council, which seeks to engage large and small businesses in Ohio in the benefits of hiring adults with IDD into their workforce.. In addition, Wirth will oversee the planning and execution of local special events, including the Second Annual Kyrie Irving Friendship Walk and Basketball Challenge (September 23, 2017.)
Wirth’s involvement with Best Buddies dates back to high school, first serving as a chapter leader at both his high school and in college. Wirth graduated from Slippery Rock University in 2013 with a degree in Community Programs for Americans with Disabilities and Nonprofit Management. Immediately following graduation, he moved to Baltimore, Maryland where he served as the Citizens Program Manager for Best Buddies Maryland for two years. In addition he worked as the School Friendship Program Manager for the Pittsburgh chapter for another year.
Wirth is also personally invested in the success of Best Buddies in Northeast Ohio. His fiancé’s brother, Branden, a young man with Autism, has enjoyed participating in events through Ryan’s involvement with Best Buddies Pennsylvania. “I am overjoyed and excited to help introduce the Cleveland community to Best Buddies. I want to bring that same joy and sense of belonging that Branden has experienced to all of the people in Cleveland with intellectual and developmental disabilities,” said Wirth.
Best Buddies International is the world’s largest organization dedicated to ending the social, physical and economic isolation of the 200 million people worldwide with IDD. Since 1989 the nonprofit has grown dramatically and now impacts over a million people in all 50 states and in 54 countries around the world.