How I Self-Direct: Meet John “DJ Jumpin’ Johnny G” Ginther
John Ginther, also known as DJ Jumpin’ Johnny G, 32, has been DJing since he was sixteen years old. Supported by Citizens Options Unlimited Self-Direction Services, John is well known throughout our community as the “Unofficial DJ of Citizens.”
“I’m self-taught. I learned through trial and error,” John said. “Music is my main passion.”
John’s favorite genres are dance and pop music from the ‘80s, ‘90s, and today. When he’s not DJing a set, John likes to attend concerts and festivals with his family, friends, and community habilitation direct support professionals (DSPs).
“Me, his father, and him all chipped in for his first DJ set,” Denise Ginther, John’s mother, recalled.
Not only is John passionate about music, he is also an active member of the LGBTQ+ community. He recently started a Facebook Group for Long Islanders who identify as LGBTQ+ as well as have an intellectual and developmental disability (I/DD).
Over the years, John has DJed many events across the family of organizations, including the Wheatley Farms Harvest Festival, AHRC Foundation Walk, Staff Appreciation Day, the Recreation Services bowling league, as well as group home birthdays, holidays, and parties.
“I like DJing because it makes other people happy and that makes me feel good,” he said.
Without the support of DSPs, John wouldn’t be able to make it to seven-hour DJ gigs or evening events. His staff also support him to shop for new equipment and take classes, like the ones he previously attended at Caffeine Academy, a workshop for musicians with disabilities held at iDJ now in Babylon, and Spin DJ Academy in Rockville Centre.
John is currently working to set up a karaoke night at Wheatley Farms & Arts Center. His long-term goal is to create an official DJ company in the future.