But some of the challenges he faces are uniquely his. 

When his Aunt Erica first brought him to URS, he had endured multiple gastric surgeries and struggled to even hold his head up. But now, after two years of extensive therapy, she says, “He has progressed very well here.” 

Every step forward is a celebration. Erica says she’s seen the progress as Tion can sit on his own, crawl, and pull himself up. “And there was even a day that he stood by himself for a little period of time, which was a great. A milestone for him.” 

In addition to physical therapy, Tion also receives feeding therapy at URS. Because he uses a feeding tube, Erica knows he’s getting the best care possible with nurses trained to handle Tion’s specific needs. “He’s very complex medically. But he’s just a regular kid though, you know. But just his medical condition is complex.” 

As Tion grows, his aunt is hopeful he’ll become even more independent. She says, “He’s getting to be a big boy. I just want for him to definitely walk and to talk, so that is what I see that’s coming up. And he’s reaching those milestones.” 

Erica says she leans on her husband for support. She has two other children of her own and she admits caring for Tion is a challenge. Making his care at URS a vital tool for their family. She says, “But with the help of this place I know I can bring him here he’s going to be safe here. He’s going to learn here. They’re going to take care of him. I trust them here.” 

by: Brooke Moore Posted: Dec 3, 2020 / 03:45 PM EST / Updated: Dec 3, 2020 / 04:16 PM EST

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – The United Rehabilitation Services Telethon is Sunday on WDTN, and we are introducing you to URS Adult Ambassador Josh Tye.

Spend a few minutes with Josh Tye and his mom Jodi Phares and it’s obvious their relationship is special.

“You have really really grown in your skills with the laundry and your vocational training haven’t you?” Phares said. “Yes, dear… and his confidence, he’s very charming… as everyone can see. Yes, dear.”

Josh was born with cerebral palsy and a developmental delay, coming into the world six weeks early, and 30 minutes ahead of his twin brother, Matthew.

“URS to us, especially during the pandemic, has been a safe haven for him,” said Phares. Josh receives physical therapy at United Rehabilitation Services using a walker and a cane. But maybe, most famously, he’s known for riding his bike around campus. The bike has helped Josh build strength, and soon, he will have one of his own at home. “Helmet’s going to be so I can keep my head.. safety first,” Josh laughed.

Jodi says she has also noticed a major difference in his social skills and overall confidence through the vocational training program.

“I’m very proud of his initiative more at home. He likes to help out with all kinds of things — dishwasher, laundry. But it’s just been an all-encompassing difference in how he holds himself and how he goes through the world,” Phares said.

When asked what he wants for the future, Josh said, “I’d like to have a bunch of money and go on vacation.” When mom points out getting a job would help him reach that goal, Josh said, “I’m perfect just living at home, doing everything at home, even taking care of you.”

In the meantime, Josh will enjoy the activities, trips, and volunteering as Jodi raises awareness about how important URS is for her son.                          

“You want everything better for me for some reason, you are absolutely right. I want everything better for you,” said Phares.

The URS Telethon airs Sunday, Dec. 6 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on WDTN.

by: Kelley King Posted: Dec 4, 2020 / 04:29 PM EST / Updated: Dec 6, 2020 / 02:30 PM EST

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — Firehouse Subs is giving back to clients at United Rehabilitation Services by giving them a taste of the workforce.

“I’ve got long loving relationship with URS. I’ve got family that actually has been there for years,” smiles Firehouse Subs owner Seth Grusenmeyer. “I’ve got a cousin that’s been attending there since way back in the beginning when I believed they first opened. Their mission is something that we really believe in.”

His relationship with URS has morphed into a partnership in the last two years. In 2018, Grusenmeyer welcomed in clients and put them to work to give them real-world job experience,

“They do everything from portioning out things for us, wrapping pickles, doing the silverware– things that are different tasks that we are burdened down with that really helps us out a lot to have them in here and being able to give them training and help us at the same time,” describes Grusenmeyer.

“Their ability to make a life for themselves, and to have their own money, their own income, and the job they enjoy, I mean that’s the American dream and we want that for them as well,” says Jeremy Nelson, the Employment Services Manager for URS.

Even in the midst of the pandemic, Firehouse Subs still put URS clients to work to give them job experience. Because of Firehouse Subs’ efforts especially during this year, it has been awarded as URS’s 2020 Employer of the Year.

“They were able to go above and beyond when other employers weren’t really willing to do that right now,” states Nelson.

“I was surprised. I was really proud of my teams that have sat there and helped earn this award. This is not so much my award as it is my crew’s award,” humbly states Grusenmeyer. “This is more than just, you know, these kids helping us make a sandwich. This is, you know, actually helping them further something in their life.”

The relationship between the restaurant and URS is reciprocal.

“We feel the employers are able to get something out of it just as much as the participants,” says Nelson.

Firehouse Subs is hoping to continue to grow and expand that relationship.

“It means the world to us,” says Grusenmeyer. “We’d love to bring more in, potentially hire some of the participants that come in and help us out.”