Stepping Stones

Entering Stepping Stones grounds is like putting on invisible glasses that let you see beyond DISabilities to POSSibilities.

A young woman who didn’t know how to turn on a computer is now writing her own blog. A child with autism who was removed from school because of his violent rages now interacts safely with peers and is building communication and self-calming skills.

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Children who thought their disabilities would leave them forever on the outside, watching others have fun and friends, are getting out of wheelchairs to go sled riding, soar in hot air balloons, use specially adapted tools and equipment to paint pictures, hold a fishing rod and feel the tug of a bite, bake cookies, ride an adapted bicycle, win a prize and just be a kid.

More than 1,000 children, teens and adults with disabilities are realizing a world of possibilities in Stepping Stones’ summer day and overnight camps, adult day programs, alternative education program for students with severe autism, overnight respites, and Saturday Clubs for children and young adults.

Many of those possibilities exist because of the Cincinnati International Wine Festival’s support.

In 2015, The Wine Festival funding bought a critical part for a multi-function lift that helps move and position people with mobility limitations. The Wine Festival also supported cooking projects and adaptive equipment in summer camp and in the Adult Day Program and supported one-on-one aides for children who need constant support and care.

Stepping Stones was founded in 1963 as Greater Cincinnati’s first summer camp for children with developmental disabilities. The programs now meet the needs of people with disabilities from age 5 through 65+.

Stepping Stones welcomes more than 1000 volunteers annually, from teens and college students at summer camp to corporate teams helping with everything from landscaping and painting to office support.

What Parents say: 

“He has friends here. He’s never had friends before.”
– D.W, father of a camper

“Stepping Stones has just turned our lives around.  I know he’s safe. I know he’s happy. It’s given him a life. That’s what it’s done.”
– M.M, mother of a participant in Adult Day Services

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