Archive for September, 2014


6th Annual Harvest Homecoming Bean Dinner

Bean Dinner flyer 2014


Students Engage in the Democratic Process

With election season looming, Pioneer students eagerly joined the democratic process – campaigning, voting, and enthusiastically debating. Instead of electing a leader however, they were voting on the name of a new pony.

The baby pony, born May 26, is the offspring of Sugar, an Irish Draught pony owned by Star Gazey Equine Therapy, with whom Pioneer partners with for events such as Pony Camp.

Last week, students began the election process in their respective classrooms. First, every class had to come to a consensus on a name for which they would campaign. This was followed by an assembly where each class introduced their proposed name. Some classes made banners, others cheered (pompoms included); everyone came up with a creative and unique way to unveil their chosen name and subsequent campaign.  The names on the ballot included Pumpkin, Sunshine, Pioneer, Babie, Marshall, Rowdy, and Elmer.

On Monday of this week, students cast their ballot for their favorite pony name. The following day everyone gathered in the shelter house on the playground of the Pioneer School to hear the results of the voting. The event encompassed the grandiosity and merriment of any election night, complete with special hats, musical performances (“Happy Trails…Babie”), a Q&A session, and information about the candidate in question (covering the vitals – growth, diet, etc.).

Thanks to clever campaigning, enthusiasm, and wordplay that targeted those with a sweet tooth, Patti Smith’s classroom was successful in gaining a majority vote for the new pony’s name – Babie!

Click here to see all the pictures from these events.

Click here to visit Star Gazey’s website, where you can keep track of Babie’s progress.


Pioneer Preschooler and Staff travel to Wooster, Ohio to “Celebrate Communication”

On July 22, 2014, Pioneer therapy staff, preschool student Zephyr Shoemaker and his family were invited to attend Prentke Romich Company’s special “Summer Jam” event. This “By Invitation Only” event was dedicated to the children, families, and team members who helped with testing CoreScanner, an auditory scanning program for children who require switch access to speech-generating devices.  Zephyr and his mother received a special consultation by PRC consultants and occupational therapist David Kaye from.  Mr. Kaye specialized with switch access to technology for children with complex challenges.  Zephyr and his mother received direct training and a trial use of this exciting technology as well as collaborate with other students and families with similar challenges.  Pioneer therapy staff was educated on application principles of the software as well as networked with other professionals in Ohio who have experience in positioning and mounting of equipment.  During lunch, parents had an opportunity to share something regarding their child’s use of a communication device. PRC Consultant Jennifer Monahan, CCC-SLP and “Ruby” her red conducted a group language activity involving the families.  Each child used a speech-generating device in a song as well as play dress-up.  Zephyr transformed into Batman with his mother Becca at his side.

Click here to see pictures from this special event!



Voting FAQ’s for Individuals with Disabilities

This fact sheet will answer frequently asked questions about the rights of individuals with disabilities who may run into barriers when trying to vote. You can find general information about voting rights and requirements on the Ohio Secretary of State’s website.

Who can I call if I have a disability-related voting concern? Disability Rights Ohio operates a voter hotline every Election Day. The hotline is available the same hours that the polls are open. Before an election, you may contact our intake department at 800-282- 9181 on business days between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Can I get assistance with my ballot at the voting booth? Yes. If you need assistance because of your disability (for example, you are unable to physically mark your ballot, or you have a mental disability and need guidance), you may bring someone with you to help you vote. You may ask anyone to help you vote, except your employer, an agent of your employer, an agent of your union, or a political candidate on the ballot. You also may ask for assistance from two precinct election officials from each of the major political parties. No one who helps you vote can tell you how you must vote or provide information to others about how you voted.

Is my voting location accessible for people with disabilities? Federal and state laws protect the right to vote for people with disabilities. Voting locations must be free of barriers to enter and exit and must have ramps, wide doors, and accessible parking for people with disabilities. At any location that is exempt from accessibility requirements, curbside voting must be offered to people with disabilities who are unable to enter the polling location. That means two election officials from the two major political parties will bring a ballot to the individual. Also, voting machines must be accessible to people who are blind or have other limitations. If your voting location is not accessible, you should contact Disability Rights Ohio.

Am I allowed to vote even though I have a guardian? Yes, having a guardian does not mean you cannot vote. Before your right to vote is taken away a probate court must declare that you are incompetent for voting purposes. We have the legal right of way.

What are the different ways in which I can cast a ballot? You can vote in person at your polling location between the hours of 6:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Election Day. You need to make sure you are at the correct precinct and polling location, which is based on your current address; otherwise, your vote will not be counted. You should bring current and valid photo identification (driver’s license or state identification card) with you or a copy of a current utility bill, a bank statement, a paycheck, or government document (other than a notice from a county board of elections) that shows your name and current address. By law, a person with a disability can take as much time as needed to cast a ballot. Although you have the right to vote in person, you can also request an absentee ballot to be sent to you by mail so that you never have to leave your home. Some people find this more convenient, although others enjoy the experience of voting in person. There is also a period of time in the weeks before Election Day in which you can vote early. Each county has a different location where you can vote early, but usually it is at the county board of elections.

Can I vote if I live in a nursing home, hospital or other facility? Yes. You can vote in person or by absentee ballot, as described above. Alternatively, you can send a form requesting assistance with your ballot. This form is available on the website of the Ohio Secretary of State, and on this form you must describe the nature of your illness or disability and your inability to travel to the voting location on Election Day. The request must be delivered before noon the Saturday before Election Day. Two elected officials of different political parties from the county board of elections will then deliver a ballot to you and return it to the board of elections. If you need to register to vote first, you can talk to the client’s rights advocate, social worker, or patient representative to request a registration form, which must be submitted to the county board of elections at least 30 days before Election Day.

If I am a registered voter who is in a hospital on voting day, how do I arrange to vote? If you are unable to travel to the voting booth in your precinct on Election Day because you or your minor child are confined in a hospital as a result of an accident or unforeseeable medical emergency occurring before the election, you may apply to the county board of elections to vote by absentee ballot. You must submit this written absentee request by 3 p.m. on Election Day. You can request that a family member deliver the absentee ballot to you, or you can have two county board of election officials from different political parties deliver the ballot to you and return it to the board of elections. If you are hospitalized in a different county than the one in which you are registered to vote, you can request that your home county board of elections send the your absentee ballot (by fax or email, for example) to the county board of elections where you are hospitalized as a reasonable accommodation for your disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act. If this type of situation arises, you should contact Disability Rights Ohio immediately.

If you have any further questions regarding your voting rights, please contact your SSA by calling 740-773-8044.

VOTING RIGHTS: Frequently Asked Questions for People with Disabilities Disability Rights Ohio 50 W. Broad St., Suite 1400 Columbus, Ohio 43215-5923 614-466-7264 or 800-282-9181 FAX 614-644-1888 TTY 614-728-2553 or 800-858-3542 Ohio Disability Rights Law and Policy Center, Inc.


Performing Arts Enrichment Event – Guest Artist Ryan Van Scoyk

The Pioneer Center is pleased to announce our first Performing Arts Enrichment Event, featuring saxophonist and educator Ryan Van Scoyk. The goal of the Performing Arts Enrichment program is to provide a broadening musical and cultural experience for our students. We strive to create opportunities for our individuals to learn about and listen to instruments that they might not otherwise have an opportunity to see live.

The event, orchestrated by Pioneer Center Music Therapist Cami Dubler, will be held on Thursday, October 2, 2014, at the Pioneer Center (11268 Co. Rd. 550, Chillicothe, OH).

Ryan will start the day by conducting an educational presentation/demonstration of Woodwind Instruments (Saxophones, clarinet, and flute) for students of the Pioneer Center. Later that day, at 1:00 p.m., Ryan will be performing a concert in the gymnasium. The concert is open to all individuals served by the Pioneer Center as well as their families.

If you are interested in attending the performance, please RSVP by September 26 by contacting Patrick McFadden at or by calling 740-773-8044.

More about our Guest Artist:

Saxophonist Ryan Van Scoyk hails from Aurora, Colorado, and is currently based in Chillicothe, Ohio.  Graduating from Colorado State University with Bachelor’s Degrees in Music Performance and Education, he also holds a Master of Music Degree in Saxophone from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. Equally comfortable in classical, jazz, popular, and sacred settings, Ryan has shared the stage with Fareed Haque, Matt Wilson, Greg Gisbert, The Lettermen, and many others.  In addition to his performing career, Ryan also works as a woodwind instructor and recording engineer.  For more information on Ryan please visit his website at