Ohio leader in serving DD clients

Opportunity Center Adult Services Director Rod Biggert talked about his experiences at the Ohio Adult Services Conference during a Seneca County Board of Developmental Disabilities meeting Tuesday afternoon. He said Employment First was the main topic and a push is being made to employee disabled in community positions.

He said figures show Ohio is serving many more clients than other states. In other states, if a client is unable to work in the community, they spend their time staying home. In Ohio, if they are unable to work in the community, they have the option of participating in a sheltered workshop and receive payment for their labors.

Biggert said they are trying to obtain certifications to be job coaches and developers. He learned ways that iPads and iPods can be used as task reminders for clients and also to explain the process necessary if needed to carry out the task.

Adult Services is having a luncheon with 2014 graduates Wednesday to inform them of their services and future options before moving to community employment or the sheltered workshop.

Student Council had elections and Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz announced the winners. Those elected were Logan Ellerton, president; Nick Long, vice president; and Mitch Long, secretary, said Children’s Services Director Rick Gagnon.

Superintendent Lew Hurst reported on county board levies in the general election for developmental disabilities. Most passed, but several failed with Morrow County being turned down for the 14th time.

Cynthia Morrison’s report noted 75 volunteers were involved in the United Day of Caring sprucing up at the Opportunity Center. The facility’s “Hoot in the Park” brought 200 children and their family members to the center for Halloween. The Unity conference this past weekend had 97 individuals participating.

Transportation Director Ron Davidson presented the specifications for a new 234 inch wheelbase passenger van. The van is to include a lift with a 34 inch platform, five flip down/fold away seats located at wheelchair locations. The board approved those specifications and Davidson is to seek a vehicle to assist in meeting the needs of the program.

In other business, the board:

Approved continuing the wellness program for employees.

Approved the health insurance premium increase of 5.93 percent with Anthem as recommended by the personnel committee.

Approved the Master Housing Maintenance and Management contract with Northland Homes and Properties effective Jan.-Dec. 31, 2014.

Approved Hurst attending the 30th annual Ohio Association of County Boards conference Dec. 4-6 in Columbus.

Approved the appointment of Joe Wott to the Northland Homes and Properties board, Jan. 1-Dec. 31, 2017.

Approved the creation up to five Good Life trainers for a year and to provide them with an additional stipend.

Approved providing last year’s Good Life trainers retroactively with a stipend of $1,000 each.

Approved paying Morrison $6,000 for fulfilling extra duties while a services and support administrator was being sought.

After discussion of the retire/rehire of employees, a resolution was approved to authorize the superintendent to hire the most qualified candidate for any position.

The board is to meet Dec. 10 following a 4 p.m. Financial committee meeting to discuss the 2014 temporary budget and a 5 p.m. public forum where the 2013 annual report and 2014 action plan will be presented.