The AEP Ohio Promise community giving program allows employees to direct charitable dollars toward organizations and causes they’re passionate about. In Central Ohio, one of those causes is helping individuals and families of individuals with developmental disabilities.

Special Olympics Equestrian Competition

The global pandemic was challenging for Special Olympics athletes, many of whom were medically at higher risk of serious COVID-19 symptoms. That misfortune continued into 2022 when the State of Ohio’s Special Olympics equestrian competition was canceled at the last minute because of the dangerous equine virus affecting the region.

As a backup, Westerville Special Olympics held its own safer, smaller event at Otterbein University. Several Special Olympics committee members were on hand to score the competition and hand out medals.

AEP Ohio’s $1,000 donation went toward award event costs. Remaining funds have been allocated for next year, including to help pay participant fees and support athletes who can’t afford riding gear.

Adult Literacy Pilot Project

The foundational skill of reading is important not just for day-to-day living but for unlocking educational doors and pursuing additional career and financial opportunities.

The Down Syndrome Association of Central Ohio (DSACO) is increasing its focus on this area of need for the individuals and families it supports. The goal of DSACO’s new pilot program is to connect adults with Down syndrome to qualified tutors who can improve the participants’ reading skills and address any gaps through targeted, one-on-one instruction.

AEP Ohio’s $1,000 donation helped support the launch of the pilot, which started earlier this year and should eventually expand to all 23 counties DSACO serves across Ohio.

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