Delaware Woman Hits the Ground Rolling to Serve Others
Words and photos by Olivia Minnier
After entering through the doorway at the Delaware County Board of Developmental Disabilities, past the photo of smiling children and the reception area on the first floor, visitors might hear the whizz of a powered wheelchair. They might see a streak of brightly colored hair tied up in space buns or hear a boisterous laugh echoing from a corner office. If so, that can only mean one thing: the Outreach Advocate is in the office.
Courtney Hines, 29, DCBDD’s Outreach Advocate, said she originally aspired to be a receptionist after graduating from Rutherford B. Hayes High School.
After holding receptionist jobs at her former high school and with The Alpha Group, she came to DCBDD originally just seeking more hours.
“I started to realize I was capable of a lot more than even what I thought I was,” she said.
After being a receptionist for a few years with DCBDD and once the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020, she realized she was truly done with being a receptionist.
Then, Courtney applied for DCBDD’s Outreach Advocate position in 2021, thinking the position would give her the ability to grow.
“As I started to do more in the role and get my feet wet, I realized I could go to school and get my degree and become a social worker and help people with disabilities more in-depth,” she said.
Growing up in Delaware with her parents and older sister, Courtney said she never felt like she could not achieve whatever she wanted to do in life.
“I give my family a lot of credit because they never treated me any differently than anybody else. They said ‘You’re going to do this, you’re going to get a job and live your life as typically as possible.’”
She also said she gives the people that she worked with at Rutherford B. Hayes High School a lot of credit for giving her tangible job experience and encouraging her to do volunteer work while still a high school student.
“I worked in the school office, so I got to get a lot of experience,” she said.
As a student, Courtney said she was very included in the community all the way through school and never felt different. She has positive memories of hanging out with her friends and being Homecoming Queen.
“I enjoyed my high school experience, but unfortunately, a lot of people with disabilities don’t always have that and that makes me sad. Everyone deserves a good high school experience,” she said.
Courtney said it hasn’t always been incredibly easy and there have been times in the past where she wishes she could be more typical. Courtney said both these positive and negative experiences have been what motivates her to help others as she continues forward in her career and life. Additionally, she said the Outreach Advocate position has made her realize her own power and agency.
“The Outreach Advocate position kind of forced me to realize I could do a lot more,” she said.
Courtney is putting that power to use and is currently in college working on a bachelor’s degree in social work at Ohio State Marion while working in her advocacy role at DCBDD. She said after graduation she wants to work for DCBDD as a full-time Service and Support Administrator.
She also wants to live life with a partner one day, get married, and have children.
“I have a disability but that doesn’t mean that I don’t want what everybody else wants.”
DCBDD Board Meeting: November 9 at 6:30 p.m.
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DCBDD to Distribute iBill
We have partnered with the U.S. Treasury Department to be a distributor of the iBill.
Read below to learn more about the iBill and how to acquire one from DCBDD.
DCBDD Funding Modernization
Ohio’s new biennial budget includes much-needed and well-deserved increases in Direct Support Professional (DSP) wages – the largest investment in Ohio’s developmental disabilities system in history! This is important to DCBDD and the people we support because it means that the essential and tireless work of our system’s DSPs is valued both inside and outside of the developmental disabilities system. DCBDD thanks DSPs, today and always, for the role they play in helping all people live personally fulfilling lives!
To learn about the local financial impact of the historic rate increases and the potential impact on services, visit www.dcbdd.org/FundingModernization
SSI Savings Penalty Elimination Act
Technology Resource Feature
Ohio's Tech Ambassadors
Ohio’s Tech Ambassadors are a resource on how Supportive Technology can be used at home, at school, at work, and in the community. Tech Ambassadors share their personal experiences through peer-to-peer mentoring sessions, either in person or virtually.
Request a meeting with one of Ohio’s Tech Ambassadors here: https://ohiotechambassadors.org/request
Assistive Technology Library
Interested in trying assistive technology to see if it meets your needs? Borrow a device from the DCBDD Assistive Technology Lending Library! Our current inventory includes:
- Echo Show
- Echo Dot
- Ring Video Doorbell
- Smart Plug
- Wyze Camera
- Electronic Reading Aid
- Miku Monitor
- Schlage Electronic Deadbolt
- Clip Different
To borrow a device, review the following documents and submit the request to AssistiveTechnology@dcbdd.org.
Community Events & Resources
Health Linkage Program
The Health Linkage Program can help with:
- healthcare providers not understanding disabilities
- being denied appointments
- physical inaccessibility of buildings and places
inaccessibility of equipment like exam tables
- inadequate insurance coverage
- lack of transportation
The Health Linkage Program helps make these problems go away so you can just focus on your health!
Adult Literacy Ohio
Enrolling now! Adult Literacy Ohio exists to connect adults with developmental disabilities to licensed educators and speech-language therapists who offer 1:1 learning support for improving reading, writing, and communication skills. Apply at AdultLiteracyOhio.org
Thanksgiving Meal Kit Giveaway
2 p.m. until supplies are exhausted