Archives by Year: 2019
DCBDD has nearly completed the third and final year of the 2017-2019 Strategic Plan. Within this plan, DCBDD focused on six core goals:
- Goal One: Strengthen community inclusion opportunities, supports, and successes
- Goal Two: Increase community employment success
- Goal Three: Educate and support individuals and family members
- Goal Four: Strengthen providers’ ability to meet the needs of people with developmental disabilities
- Goal Five: Strengthen person-centered thinking throughout the agency
- Goal Six: Continuously improve internal operations
DCBDD is proud of the many achievements that were accomplished through the work of this three-year plan. To review our 2019 Progress Report, please click here. After you review, please click here to complete our brief 3-question survey to offer your feedback.
We had a great time catching up with Jeremy the other day! Jeremy is one active guy and participates in five different sports throughout the year. Jeremy is a member of the Delaware County Special Olympics golf, powerlifting, and bowling teams. He recently reached a personal best for deadlifting 240 pounds and for bench pressing 160 pounds! Over the summer, Jeremy took first place in his bowling tournament and placed second in his first golf tournament. In addition to his involvement with Special Olympics, Jeremy stays busy with Ohio Wesleyan’s inclusive exercise program and the Miracle League’s baseball team.
When he’s not participating in sports, Jeremy can be found cheering on his favorite professional teams the Cincinnati Reds, Cincinnati Bengals, and The Ohio State University. When those teams aren’t performing to his standards, Jeremy has been known to be an occasional Cleveland Indians and Cleveland Browns fan. Perhaps one of Jeremy’s greatest moments was meeting Hall of Fame, Cincinnati Reds pitcher Jack Billingham and receiving an autographed game day bobblehead.
There’s much more to Jeremy than just sports. Jeremy has built quite the fan base at the Kroger where he has worked as a curtesy clerk for the last eight years. Jeremy has several customers who come to Kroger to see him specifically. His employer loves when Jeremy is working on Ohio State Football Saturdays because he gets customers involved in the O-H-I-O cheer all day long. We asked Jeremy how long he would like to work at Kroger and he said, “Fifty-nine years!” We think that’s a great goal.
Jeremy and Kroger have been a great employment match to say the least. We asked Jeremy how he got his job at Kroger and his mom had to giggle. “He wasn’t even trying to get a job,” she said. “We were checking out our groceries and the clerk told Jeremy he should work at Kroger. By the time I had finished paying, Jeremy had completed the application and gotten himself a job!” Eight years later, Jeremy is still working there!
When Jeremy isn’t working or playing sports, he enjoys watching old TV shows like Family Matters and the Cosby Show. He also has a love for music. His favorite singer is Bruce Springsteen and he hopes someday the two will get to meet.
Jeremy is living his best life and we can’t wait to see what he does next.
After bringing home two gold medals and one silver medal from the 2019 Special Olympic Summer Games, Zach’s medal count has reached an impressive 70 medals! Zach has been competing since 6th grade and has become quite the athlete. His favorite sports to participate in are swimming, basketball and track and field.
At the end of the school year, Zach graduated from the ACT Program at Olentangy. Throughout the program he gained employment experience at Panera Bread Co. and We Rock the Spectrum. After working with Zach through the ACT Program, both companies hired Zach to work for them. Zach was the first student from the ACT Program to be hired to work at the Lewis Center Panera. While Zach enjoyed his job at Panera very much, Zach chose to allow more time for college and work solely for We Rock the Spectrum.
Since graduation, Zach has enrolled in Columbus State to pursue a degree in Early Childhood. After meeting with Zach, it is clear he has a true passion for working with children. We asked Zack how he helps children at work and he said, “When a kid is having a difficult time I take them to the calming room.” Zach went on to explain how he takes time to understand what the child needs and how he can help them feel better. Zach is known to many of the children at We Rock the Spectrum as “the funny man.” If you’ve ever met Zach, you’d know why. He has an infectious smile and exudes happiness. Zach is a compassionate teacher that any student would be lucky to have.
Outside of his work and school, Zach enjoys watching movies, reading comics, traveling and playing video games with his friends. He loves learning about historical events and visiting different battle fields. His ability to rattle off movie trivia and historical facts is remarkable. We asked Zach’s mom what she would like people to know about him and she said, “That he is smart, hardworking, friendly, and has a great sense of humor.” We couldn’t agree more! We know Zach is destined for great things and we look forward to seeing where he goes next!
Passionate, adventurous, and determined are just a few of the words we would use to describe John. After 25 years of service, John retired from his beloved job at Orton Ceramic in 2015 after being diagnosed with cancer. Loving his job and the people he worked with, John had hoped to work for 30 years. While his cancer diagnosis interfered with this plan, John remains connected with his former coworkers and has not let his diagnosis keep him from living his best life.
John’s life is impressively busy. Passionate about volunteering, John works at Big Walnut’s Friends Who Share every Monday morning sorting clothes for people and families in need. His commitment to service doesn’t end there. John is also an active member of his church, St. John Neumann, sings in the choir, and is a Fourth Degree Knight of the Knights of Columbus.
In addition to volunteering, John stays active through various hobbies. John is a very talented woodworker and has created many pieces of furniture for his home. He is also quite skilled at model trains and was proud to show us his latest additions to his train sets. John also loves to travel. Whenever he crosses into a new state, he likes to film himself walking over the state line. The story of John would not be complete if we didn’t convey his passion for Ohio State. John enjoys cheering on the buckeyes and even has in own cheerleading uniform to share his spirit. He hopes that someday he can meet head coach Ryan Day.
John’s positive nature is enjoyed by everyone who interacts with him. His smile is contagious and spreads joy wherever he goes. We continued to be amazed by all that John is able to fit into a week and we can’t wait to see where he travels to next!
Due to a power outage, DCBDD will be closed today, July 3, 2019. We are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause. If you need immediate assistance, please contact Helpline at 740-369-3316.
Please note that our request for proposals for strategic planning facilitation released on April 24, 2019 incorrectly listed two submission deadlines. Interested parties should submit their proposals no later than May 8, 2019. Our apologies for the miscommunication. Please click here to review the complete RFP.
Meet Bonnie and Tony. This dynamic duo has been successfully working together for over 30 years. Bonnie has been part of Tony’s life in different ways and currently supports him as his provider. During a time when Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) are in high demand, it is rare to hear of a provider being with one person for such a long period of time. So what has kept these two together for so long? Bonnie said it’s because, “he accepts me and I accept him. The good days outweigh the bad for both of us.”
It’s hard to miss the sparkle in Bonnie’s eyes as she talks about her relationship with Tony. “My kids have grown up with him, he knows my animals and I can tell he likes to be with me,” Bonnie shared. When talking about what Bonnie and Tony enjoy doing, it is clear that Bonnie knows everything Tony likes and dislikes. Bonnie knows what Tony needs to have a good day and just what to do when challenges appear.
Marty, Tony’s mom, shared that Tony would never be where he is today without the support of his two dedicated providers Bonnie and Kathy. “If you know Tony, we have been good advocates for him,” explained Bonnie. Tony has been living in his own apartment for eight years, something his mom never thought would have been possible. “We were concerned about how [Tony] would do living on his own, but he did just fine,” Bonnie proudly exclaimed.
“People forget about their own lives when they have a child with a disability,” shared Marty. “It’s important to keep your interests and be your child’s advocate. Finding a balance is the key.” Bonnie commended Marty for the job she and her husband have done in supporting Tony in his transition to adulthood.
We asked Bonnie what advice she would offer to people interested in becoming a DSP and she said, “You must have a lot of respect for the people you work with.” Tony and Bonnie’s mutual respect for one another is definitely a key contributing factor in their longtime relationship.
Tony is fortunate to have such wonderful support in his life. But more importantly, many others are fortunate to have Tony as a part of their lives.
The Delaware County Board of Developmental Disabilities (DCBDD) is requesting proposals for strategic planning facilitation services to guide the development and implementation of our next three year plan. The purpose of this three year plan is to enhance the services and support we provide to our community.
Interested parties are asked to submit their detailed proposal to Superintendent Kristine Hodge at Kristine.Hodge@dcbdd.org. Proposals must include a timeline for scope of work, cost projection, past strategic planning experience, and references. Please submit your letter of interest and proposal no later than Wednesday, May 8, 2019.
To read the full RFP, please click here.
Ben is a charming, sweet, 19 month old and recently graduated from our Early Intervention program. Ben loves swimming, playing with his older brother, and reading books. At two months old, Ben’s parents were referred by their doctor to DCBDD to receive services through Early Intervention. “When you hear developmental disability, your brain immediately goes to the dark side,” shared Ben’s mom, Maura. As scary and overwhelming as this news was, Ben’s family was immediately surrounded by support.
When Maura met Ben’s DCBDD Service Coordinator she said she immediately felt like family. She walked them through the process of navigating the system and accessing the support Ben needed. We asked Maura what advice she would give other parents and she said, “You’re building your toolkit. Put your trust in the team, they know what is best.”
Supporting Ben in his goal to learn to walk was a true team effort. Ben’s older brother Patrick enjoyed helping Ben with his strength exercises. Patrick would places stickers on Ben’s toes to encourage him to reach his toes. Now, Ben is so mobile it is hard to keep up with him!
Maura and her husband felt very supported by their Early Intervention team. “They helped us find tools and solutions,” said Maura. “They helped us find a helmet for Ben and really expanded our knowledge base of available resources.” Maura felt like the tools they received were practical and easy to work into their everyday routine.
“He has more independence. We are grateful for all the possibilities out there for him now,” shared Maura.
We are so proud of you, Ben! Keep up the great work!
Last year during the holidays, the Glenross community organized a spectacular light show. Over 130 homes participated in this synchronized display of holiday lights. According to NBC4i, “the display took more than 500 hours to set up and program.” While the free light display for community enjoyment would have been enough, the neighbors took it a step further. Hoping to support one of their own neighbors, the community accepted donations from visitors who came to see the light show. Together, they raised over $2,000!
So who is the neighbor who benefited from this amazing display of community generosity? Let us introduce you to the star of the show, Miss Lucy. To the outside observer, Lucy is your average three year old. She loves books, birthday cakes, and playing with her siblings. What you can’t see, is Lucy’s extremely rare mitochondrial disorder known as NUBPL.
According to the NUBPL Foundation’s website, “NUBPL is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects children. There are zero FDA approved treatments for this disease.” The severity and impact of NUBPL is different for each person. With no current cure or even treatment available, families of children like Lucy are left to raise money to fund more research.
We asked Lucy’s mom what advice she had for other parents. She shared three important tips: 1. Spread awareness; 2. Connect with other families; and 3. Don’t be afraid to share your story. “We have many people on this ride with us and we have a great community,” she said.
Lucy’s family was overwhelmed with gratitude for their neighbors’ generous idea to turn the Lights of Glenross into a fundraiser for NUBPL. To read the full Lights of Glenross story, click here. To follow Lucy’s journey, join her Facebook Group We Love Lucy – NUBPL Warrior.
This heartwarming story of community is just another example of how we are #BetterTogether.
Like many six year olds, Caden is very interested in Ninjas! As Caden’s parents thought about different activities he might enjoy, they thought karate would be a great blend of physical activity and his love for ninjas. Caden’s mom called a few different dojos to see how they would feel about having a child with Down syndrome in one of their classes. After receiving a variety of responses, she was excited to receive the Delaware YMCA’s response that they’d be more than happy to have Caden join their class.
Caden has been practicing martial arts for just over a year at the YMCA. “The YMCA worked with us to develop a plan specifically to help Caden reach his goals,” explained his mom. While the YMCA’s plan is very individualized, Caden works on his goals by participating in classes with typically developing peers and is held to the same expectation as the other students.
We asked Caden’s mom what advice she would offer other parents and she said, “Don’t put limits on your kid and set high expectations.”
From breaking boards, to sparring with his older brother, to the “cool” outfits, Caden enjoys all of the elements associated with martial arts. While Caden has a lot of fun in his class, they also talk about very serious topics such as bullying and getting away from bad guys. “Caden doesn’t know stranger danger,” explained his teacher. “That’s a very real concern. We teach him how to get away from a bad guy.”
Caden loves to compete in martial arts competitions and has done quite well! “at the December tournament he earned a first place medal in board breaking, and a second place medal in self-defense against typical peers,” his mom proudly shared. We had the opportunity to observe Caden in action at one of his practices. At the end of the practice it was Caden’s turn to test for his next belt level and with no surprise, he earned it!
These classes cover more than just physical exercises. They learn about the origins of martial arts, responsibility, and respect. “Those behind us are learning from us.” This phrase is an important teaching point in the class. “Caden has made a lot of progress since starting martial arts,” shared his mom. “Outside of class he is more engaged and developed better listening skills.”
We celebrate the inclusive opportunity the Delaware YMCA has created for kids of all abilities to develop healthy skills. Congratulations to Caden on his latest martial arts achievements! Together we are #BetterTogether.
DCBDD is on a 2-hour delay due to weather. We will reopen at 10 a.m. If you experience an emergency, please contact Helpline at 740-369-3316 and ask for the DCBDD SSA on call.