MONTVILLE TWP. — Dianne DePasquale-Hagerty said she gets an award every day.
“My daily award comes in the form of hugs that I receive throughout every day, and the privilege of touching so many lives,” she said Thursday.
DePasquale-Hagerty, a Medina resident, is the executive director of Medina Creative Housing, a nonprofit organization that provides housing and services to people with disabilities.
She received the 2012 Agent of Change award from the American Association of University Women, Medina County branch. The award recognizes someone who has made positive change in the county on behalf of women or children. It was presented during a luncheon at the Rustic Hills Country Club.
DePasquale-Hagerty, who has worked for Medina Creative Housing for about eight years, said she was “extremely honored” and “humbled by this award.”
She said she feels tremendous compassion for those with disabilities. DePasquale-Hagerty said her brother struggled with physical disabilities from a car accident, and she has an autistic nephew.
People who have disabilities want the same things everyone wants, she said, such as a home, employment, recreation and education.
Medina Creative Housing has 14 single-family homes and 34 apartment units, and maintains a waiting list of more than 170 people, DePasquale-Hagerty said.
The organization provides employment and vocational training.
“Our goal is to equip individuals with disabilities with marketable skills to step into community employment, and we have had several individuals achieve this goal,” she said.
Chief Justice Alice Batchelder, of the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, was Thursday’s keynote speaker.
She said Medina has a longstanding tradition of providing community support to those with disabilities.
“Dianne has come into a wonderful tradition, has expanded it, has improved it,” she said. “Dianne set the bar high for future honorees,” she added.
Batchelder is married to Ohio House Speaker William Batchelder, R-Medina.
Contact Kiera Manion-Fischer at (330) 721-4049 or firstname.lastname@example.org.