Bearacade partners with Hattie Larlham to assemble new door safety device

Hattie Larlham and Bearacade™ are proud to announce a newly formed partnership that will create local jobs and could change emergency procedures. Bearacade™ is a company that has invented a door control system to protect people in lockdown situations. When the safety device was debuted in the spring of 2014, company cofounder Bill Cushwa hired employees with developmental disabilities at Hattie’s Assembly to assemble the product.

Hattie’s Assembly is a Hattie Larlham work training program located at Canal Place in Akron in which people with developmental disabilities earn employment experience. Hattie’s Assembly, which performs production for local businesses, currently has two shifts of 24 employees working on the Bearacade™ product. Since May 1, Hattie’s Assembly has produced more than 1,500 of the lockdown safety devices.

Cushwa was first introduced to Hattie Larlham by friends. He wanted to support the mission of the nonprofit organization, which is to enhance the quality of life for people with disabilities and their families through its commitment to comfort, joy, and achievement. He found the opportunity to do that when he and colleague Dave Soulsby started Bearacade™.

“Very early in the development of this business, we knew we wanted to involve many and give back to the community. In Hattie Larlham, we found a professional operation with an exacting eye for detail and a great workplace training program all in one,” says Cushwa. “As long as we fill the pipeline with sales, I have no worries about Hattie Larlham’s assembly, packing, and shipping to any customer, anywhere. This is certainly a win-win-win scenario.”

The Bearacade™ fits on any door to prevent the door from opening in either direction during a lockdown situation. The unit features reflective markings on the outer facing portion to signal to authorities that the device has been deployed. Bearacade™ is suited for all doors: classrooms, offices, restrooms, dorm rooms, doors without locks, and any other place of possible shelter.

“It is an honor to partner with Bearacade on this new effort,” said Dotty Grexa, Hattie Larlham vice president of vocational and enterprise services. “We have a fantastic team committed to the quality of the product and happy to be a part of this project.”

To learn more about Hattie Larlham’s work training programs, contact Dotty Grexa at (330) 274-2272, ext. 7000, or For more information about Bearacade™, contact Bill Cushwa or Dave Soulsby at (855) 350-2321 or

About Hattie’s Assembly
Hattie’s Assembly performs production for local businesses. Production includes clerical work, housekeeping, garden maintenance, packaging and light assembly. Hattie’s Assembly works with the Akron Rubber Ducks, Bearacade, Canal Place, Keystone Components, Pro Design LLC, Progressive Machine Die, Inc., Hattie’s Café & Gifts and Hattie Larlham Community Living.

About Hattie Larlham
Established in 1961, Hattie Larlham is a Northeast Ohio nonprofit organization that provides services to 1,500 children and adults with developmental disabilities. Hattie Larlham inspires people with disabilities and their families to dream and achieve through the medical, residential, vocational and recreational services the organization offers. For more information, visit

About National School Control Systems
Formed in Hudson, Ohio in May 2013, National School Control Systems was formed around the patent-pending and trademarked device, Bearacade™. In addition to Bearacade™, National School Control Systems provides Emergency Operations Planning wayfinder signs and ballistic glass treatments for schools and businesses.

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Jacqueline LoPresti

Communications Coordinator       

Hattie Larlham

(330) 274-2272, ext. 3011


Scott Juba    


Radar Public Relations & Consulting    

(216) 210-3717