Board Appointment Application

The Delaware County Commissioners are seeking applications to fill current DCBDD Board Member, Jeffrey Wallace’s seat. After 11 years of dedicated service, Jeffrey has resigned his position on the board effective February 28. We greatly appreciate Jeffrey’s dedication and support to the Delaware County Board of Developmental Disabilities.

To apply for this open position, applicants must be a resident of Delaware County and a citizen of the United States, and must be interested and knowledgeable in the field of developmental disabilities and related fields. Individuals and family members of individuals receiving services from the Board are eligible to apply. Individuals who have professional training and experience in business management, finance, law, health care practice, personnel administration or government service are encouraged to apply. The Commissioners are seeking to appoint one citizen member for a term that will expire December 31, 2020.

Interested individuals can apply by using Delaware County’s online application portal.  For any questions regarding this application procedure, please contact Dana Bushong, Delaware County Human Resources, 740-833-2129 or dbushong@co.delaware.oh.us. Completed Board Appointment applications must be received through the Applicant Tracking portal no later than 11:59 p.m. on Feb. 8, 2018.

Meet Kaitlin!

Kaitlin recently received her teaching license and is now certified to teach kindergarten through 12th grade! She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Findlay and her master’s degree from Otterbein University. When asked how it felt to finally receive her teaching license Kaitlin said, “It feels surreal.” In the next few weeks Kaitlin will be taking the test to receive her Reading Endorsement.

Having grown up on an IEP, Kaitlin is interested in being an Intervention Specialist or a Reading Specialist. “I know the process and understand the child’s perspective,” Kaitlin explains. The Ohio School for the Blind and Woodward Elementary were two of the schools where Kaitlin did her student teaching. She experienced a variety of inclusionary classroom models, preparing her for her future career.

Kaitlin has a team of people who have supported her along the way. Family, friends, and former teachers were all there to cheer her on when times were tough. “When I said ‘I can’t,’ I had a team that showed me how far I’ve come and what I’ve accomplished.”

Understanding what her future students will experience uniquely qualifies Kaitlin for her job. When asked what she hopes to pass on to other students who have disabilities she said, “a diagnoses doesn’t stop you.” It certainly has not stopped Kaitlin. Her incredible determination and perseverance has shown that nothing is impossible.

Kaitlin is currently serving as a long-term substitute teacher until the end of the year. She will begin her full-time teaching position in the fall.

New Bathtub Creates Big Difference

Siblings, Rachel and Matthew are your typical teenagers. They have hobbies, passions, and bright visions for the future. Rachel is a sophomore at The Ohio State University Marion studying Early Childhood Education.  Matthew is a senior at Delaware Christian and loves playing video games and watching the Cincinnati Reds.

Both Rachel and Matthew were born with Epidermolysis Bullosa otherwise known as EB. EB is a rare genetic connective tissue disorder that affects 1 out of every 20,000 births in the U.S. The unofficial “mascot” for EB is the butterfly because people with EB have skin that is as delicate as a butterfly’s wings. The skin of people with EB blisters and tears very easily.

Because of the nature of their skin, bathing can be a very painful process. However, over the summer, Rachel and Matthew received a new bathtub that changed their bathing experience entirely.  According to Jason Hydrotherapy, the MicroSilk Hydrotherapy tub oxygenates bath water up to 70% more than regular tap water. The “microbubbles enter the skin’s pores, removing impurities, carrying oxygen for improved metabolism, lightly caressing skin for exfoliation, and improving hydration for dry skin.” Both Rachel and Matthew complete two 20-minute cycles in the tub every other day. It is a four hour process from the removal of their bandages, to the tub, to the reapplication of the bandages. While unfortunately the tub does not shorten this process any, it does make it much less painful and more importantly, it cleans the wounds more effectively. By using the hydrotherapy approach, there is less need for pool salts, bleach, vinegar, and other cleaning products commonly used to clean the skin of people with EB.

“This tub makes it easier to know they’re getting clean and are in less pain. It’s a much more relaxing process than it was before we got this tub,” explained Molly, Rachel and Matthew’s mom.

There are only four comprehensive interdisciplinary EB centers in the United States. Rachel and Matthew visit the EB center located within the Cincinnati Children’s hospital.  Since they visit Cincinnati so regularly, Molly always tries to plan something fun to do while they are there. They have become big fans of the Cincinnati Reds and in fact, Matthew attended spring training in Arizona in 2011 as a part of his Make-A-Wish and received Joey Votto’s bat.

A sophomore in college, Rachel is getting ready to start her student teaching. She enjoys working with younger children and appreciates their candidness when it comes to her skin condition. When asked what she wishes people knew about EB, Rachel said, “I wish they knew it wasn’t contagious and that they’d be brave enough to ask about it.”  As a part of Rachel’s Make-A-Wish, she had the joy of meeting the cast of NCIS. “It was awesome,” she exclaimed! If she could do Make-A-Wish again, she said she’d like to go to Hawaii or meet the original casts of Once Upon-A-Time and Hawaii Five-0.

As a family, they have attended many of the EB conferences that occur every two years bringing people, doctors, and researchers from all over the world.  Molly said the most valuable part of the conference is talking to other families. There are only three families in Ohio that Molly is aware of who have children with EB.  Facebook has become an incredibly useful tool for questions about new products and medications, as well as tips and advice. In fact, it was a family Molly connected with through the EB Facebook group who informed her about the MicroSilk tub.

Rachel and Matthew are simply remarkable young adults. Not because they have an extremely rare diagnosis but because in spite of their diagnosis, they push forward to lead the same lives as their peers, participate in clinical trials to promote the research of EB, and strive to achieve their dreams. The determination and openness that both Rachel and Matthew share, is what allows them to lead personally fulfilling lives and achieve their full potential.

Meet Tristan!

Tristan recently graduated from Delaware Hayes High School on December 15, 2017 and is now a Delaware City Schools employee! He began working in the school system over the summer completing landscaping and custodial work. Tristan is a very determined and fast paced worker. In one afternoon, he collected nearly 10 large bags of walnuts from the grounds at Willis. A true member of our community, Tristan played a major role in clearing the playground at Willis in preparation for the ice skating rink for the December First Friday, one of the city of Delaware’s most beloved events.

Working for Delaware City Schools is Tristan’s first job. When asked how he felt about receiving his first paycheck he said, “happy.” His coworkers are happy to work with Tristan too. “Tristan filled a major need. Willis had limited custodial support. Tristan took care of areas that had been totally neglected,” shared Rhonda, Tristan’s mom.

Not only is Tristan a great worker but he has become a role model. Rhonda has been told many times that Tristan has been a role model for other students who see him working around the school.  “We couldn’t be happier with what happened with Tristan’s transition after high school. It has exceeded my expectations,” Rhonda explained. “We are so grateful to the collaboration between DCBDD, DCS and our family in supporting Tristan’s successful transition.”

When Tristan is not working, you will likely find him being active outside! Tristan enjoys kayaking, watching lacrosse, long hikes, biking and riding wave runners. Last summer, Tristan participated in the summer Letterbox Adventure through Preservation Parks. He has hiked through all of the parks in Delaware County and is working his way through the parks in Franklin County.

“Tristan’s supports were community-based, coordinated and self-determined enabling outcomes in living, learning, working, recreating, and socializing. We are excited about what his future holds,” Rhonda said.

We too, look forward to seeing what Tristan accomplishes next. The sky is the limit!