Matt Campbell, Superintendent
Community Employment First

The Carroll County Board of Developmental Disabilities is currently working on their 2014 Annual Action Plan and 2014 to 2018 Strategic Plan, required by Ohio Revised Code. The Board and management staff take both of these plans very seriously. As part of these plans, the Board is required to address self-advocacy, employment first, and integration. The Developmental Disabilities system's goal is to become more person centered and reduce costs of legacy programs. The Carroll County Board continues to strive to provide quality services to as many Carroll County citizens as possible.

The Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities (DODD) is collaborating with Opportunities for Ohioans (OOD) with Disabilities. This means that an OOD counselor was hired to serve Carroll County with the goal to place 5 individuals who currently receive day services at a workshop in community jobs. The OOD counselor's job is to assess the eligibility for the person, schedule work assessments, help the individual choose a job coach provider, and ensure funds are provided so job coaching and job placement can occur. Management staff has already met with the counselor and her supervisor and gave them the list of 5 individuals for this year. This is meant to be an ongoing process where 5 new individuals will be identified each year.

The OOD regional supervisor Jennifer Wells recommended the Carroll County Board have a staff as the job coach for those receiving services from the Board. She reported that Boards know those they serve the best and would be more successful with the transition to community employment. As a result, the Board intends to hire a job coach in 2014. The job coach will be responsible to find jobs for the 5 individuals identified. The job coach will also monitor and assist with the transition piece at Carroll Hills School and possibly other Carroll County schools.

The Employment First initiative is a change in philosophy. This means Carroll County Board of Developmental Disabilities will be spending more resources on finding people jobs in the community. Carroll Hills School will be used as training grounds to prepare students for employment in the community. As a result, Carroll Hills Industries should serve less people since those that are able will be working in the community. The Board will have to either find jobs for those who are able to work or create jobs by helping individuals start their own business.

The reality of the situation is these are exciting times! The system is preparing to become more person centered and eliminate some of the laws that prohibited individuals from getting their wants and needs fulfilled. The Employment First initiative will help with integration of those with disabilities living and working in the community. Thank you for your support! Please feel free to share your comments and suggestions on the direction of Board services.