Patty McGuire is a certified Jazzercise fitness instructor specializing in adapted programs for individuals
with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IIDD).
Having an older brother with severe IIDD Patty became acutely aware of the needs of the IIDD
population and how important and necessary it was to find heathy and fun activities that her brother
After their parents passing Patty became legal guardian and advocate to her brother David McDonnell
for 17 years until his passing in 2018. Since her brother’s passing Patty continues to be a compassionate
and informed activist for IIDD population. Also being ask to serve by Cuyahoga County Board of
Developmental Disabilities (CCBDD) on their MUI committee.
Being diagnosed with a learning disability, school was a struggle for Patty however she believed that not
all people learn the same way that learning/activities should be engaging, enjoyable and leave the
participant feeling successful.
While studying at Cuyahoga Community College (CCC) Patty received a certificate of excellence twice in
developing lesson plans and applying different forms of learning. Her love of music, movement and
dance lead her to attend many symposiums at CCC on this subject and discovered not only physical
benefits but the cognitive and social benefits of music and movement. Patty went on to receive an
Associate’s degree in Applied Science in Early Childhood.
Patty then became certified as a Jazzercise instructor taking what she had learned and adapted classes
for children and adults with IIDD. Patty has offered these adapted classes for CCBDD at their Adult
Activity Centers (AAC) since 2011. As well as offering classes in privately owned IIDD day centers.
Since 2015 Patty also has classes with CCBDD from a state and federal initiative that integrates this
adapted fitness program in the community. These particular classes take place at several senior centers
and have been overwhelming well-received with enthusiastic participation.
In 2017 Patty added yoga training from Childlight yoga and currently instructing a class at Achievement
Centers for Children, their River Rock Adult day program and Camp Cheerful.
Patty believes an adapted fitness and yoga programs are absolutely essential for IIDD population. The
benefits of these programs are not only beneficial physically but also for cognitive, social and emotional
development as well.