I have been the Superintendent of the Champaign County Board of DD for a little over a year now. As with many County Boards across the state, there can be some confusion as to what services we provide. I hope that through this column, I’ll be able to answer some of these questions and provide readers with a greater understanding of the valuable services we provide.
Every county in the state of Ohio must have a County Board of Developmental Disabilities that provides certain mandated services to people with disabilities in their home county. Boards are made up of various community members, including family members of people eligible for services. The County Commissioners and the Probate Judge appoint board members. The Board hires the Superintendent and the Superintendent is responsible for the daily operations of the organization, including hiring employees and ensuring compliance with all laws and regulations.
People interested in services at the County Board must meet certain eligibility requirements. We are required to focus our services on individuals with developmental disabilities. This means that a person must have a diagnosed disability before the age of 22 and have certain challenges with daily life skills. We have trained staff available to conduct assessments to determine eligibility.
That is often where the similarities end across the state. Although we are all required to offer certain services, such as eligibility, service coordination/case management, incident investigation and administering and funding certain programs and services, County Boards have evolved based on the unique needs of each County.
County Boards are mostly funded by local tax levies. We do utilize other funding streams, such as Medicaid, state and federal monies and grant funding, but we rely on the voters to continue to support us. The reason that the Champaign County Board of DD can offer additional services, such as provider support, employment support, community connections and outreach because of the wonderful support of our community. Additionally, we do many things to assist with saving money in order to be financially responsible and to continue offering these services. Currently the Champaign County Board of DD shares several employees, including the Superintendent, with the Shelby County Board of DD to save on the costs of salary and benefits. This allows us to offer additional specialized services that we otherwise might not be able to offer due to the size of our county. It is often a balance to ensure we are able to provide the services we are required to, while continuing to offer the services that we are known for and that the community needs.
We offer services that support people from the time they are born, all throughout and until the end of their lives. From early intervention to service and support administration, we are here to support people with disabilities no matter where they are in life’s journey. I hope to provide you with more information on these services in the upcoming months. In the mean-time, if you have additional questions about what we do here at the Champaign County Board of DD, please call 937-653-5217 or check out our website at www.champaigncbdd.org. Also, don’t forget to follow us on Facebook for updates on what’s happening on the hill!
Leigh Anne Wenning is the superintendent of Champaign County Board of DD.