State taskforce to set 10-year plan

FOSTORIA – Meeting at Fostoria Early Childhood Center Tuesday afternoon, Seneca County Board of Developmental Disabilities members listened as Superintendent Lew Hurst shared results of the recent state conference he attended. State Director John Martin wants a taskforce of superintendents to develop a five- to 10-year plan for the direction of the developmentally disabled system. The last two initiatives that went through the statehouse did not seek county boards’ advice and the question was asked – why would counties want the state to dictate what they must do when the county boards know their local issues better?

Hurst said the state provides only 10 percent of funding, but dictates 70 percent of what is done. The taskforce is to present a plan to the director at the end of September.

Forty-eight students and parents or guardians are invited to the open house at the School of Opportunity 5-6:30 p.m. Monday. Children’s Services Director Rick Gagnon said the public is welcome to attend and view the art work on display created by the students with the guidance of Beth Smith.

With the help of Smith and staff, more art creations have been produced by adult clientele that are to be on display during the Tiffin Jazz Festival.

Adult Services Director Rod Biggert said Tiffin Re-ads has acquired a new opportunity preparing boxes for Findlay Packaging. He has been involved in scheduling client participation in the technology and sensory stimulation areas.

Consumer Advocacy and Supports Director Cynthia Morrison is planning the next Unity Conference for self advocates. The Steps Toward Independence and Responsibility leaders have been training the trainers for the new STIRS participants.

Human Resources Director Janet Vay reported an inservice for staff members is to be at Camp Glen. She said the state has changed the rules for certification of staff members. Categories are to be divided between a worker person and a supervisory person and more in-house training may be done. Mentors also are to be assigned to some personnel.

Business manager Dick Williams said July repair costs of $2,300 was spent on exhaust units. They are looking to install motion sensors to monitor use for reduced expenses.

In other matters, the board:

Approved the ethics council recommendation of renewing seven contracts for services.

Approved the re-design of the Adult Services staffing by moving three workshop specialists to habilitation specialists.

Approved the school bus stops offering door-to-door service for the 2013-14 school year.

Approved the purchase of the Gatekeeper database software system that tracks individual service plans, not to exceed $25,000.

Reviewed 13 policies and revised seven, one of which reiterated more clearly the policy of using no restraints or isolating students.

Have reposted for the Service and Support Administration position and have two candidates interested.

The 169 Board is to meet at 5 p.m. Sept. 10 at the Opportunity Center.