Written by Governing Board President, Kerry Brugger
As we begin the holiday season and start the final countdown of another year, the governing board for the Champaign County Board of Developmental Disabilities (CCBDD) is mindful to reflect on those individuals throughout the county whom the CCBDD had the privilege to assist throughout the year.
Especially at this time of year, it’s a good opportunity to take stock in our busy lives and try to discern what matters most. For the CCBDD organization, what matters most is the call to serve those with special needs, for they provide the perspective we need and have unique gifts to give our community.
The CCBDD believes everyone has abilities and strives to provide support to individuals of all ages who have developmental disabilities to unlock individual potential. The county board helps them succeed in what they do towards the common good.
The late Mother Teresa said, “You have never really lived until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.” In keeping with the mission of the CCBDD “to promote independence and a pathway to success” for those we serve, assisting those in need is payment enough.
The CCBDD provides, coordinates, and monitors services and support for eligible individuals in Champaign County, and their families, that promote a pathway to individual success. Our team hosts numerous programs for residents with special needs aimed to improve their skills, allow them to be active, and help them be part of our community. We help connect individuals and families to other organizations in the community which assist in fostering their skills and providing them activities to experience.
Serving on the governing board of the Champaign County Board of Developmental Disabilities, in support of people with developmental disabilities, is one of the most rewarding experiences we could ask for.
In a world where there is so much unrest, it is uplifting to witness the unselfish dedication and commitment each staff member displays to those in need. It is an honor and a privilege to support the CCBDD team who, day-in and day-out, do for those who can never repay them.
Written by: Communications Specialist, Amy Kerrigan
Whether it is navigating complicated waivers and Medicaid systems, creating yearly Individual Service Plans, or simply finding transportation to an appointment, Service and Support Administrators (SSA) are here to assist people with developmental disabilities. We asked team members at the Champaign Co Board of DD to share some of their favorite moments working as SSAs. Here is what they told us:
The mission of the Champaign Co Board of DD is to promote independence and a pathway to success for individuals with developmental disabilities. SSAs are here to fulfill that mission. If you or someone you know has developmental disabilities and lives in Champaign County, you can contact the county board to ask about eligibility for services. Call 937-653-5217 or Email email@example.com.
Written by: Communications Specialist, Amy Kerrigan
From birth through the age of 3 years, learning and growth happen quickly. This is a very important time for a child’s body and brain. That is why having a routine, or doing things at the same time every day, is a big deal. Let's talk about routines and why the Ohio Early Intervention program says they are important.
Why Routines Are Great
Imagine knowing what's going to happen each day. Routines do that. When babies and toddlers have routines, they learn about time, what happens next, and they feel safe because of it. It's a plan that helps teach the order of things, like when you eat breakfast, play, take a nap, and go to bed at night. This creates more predictable behavior.
Routines help a child’s brain get smarter, too. When the child completes tasks in the same order, their brain learns patterns. You might not know this, but brains love patterns! Patterns help brains build memories and figure out how the world works.
Ohio Early Intervention Program and Routines
Ohio Early Intervention (EI) is a statewide program offered through the Champaign County Board of Developmental Disabilities (CCBDD). EI is designed to help parents who have concerns about the development of their children, ages birth to 3 years. The CCBDD has a fully trained staff to provide these services to families in Champaign County at no cost to the family. (See end of article for more information about making a referral to the Champaign County EI program.)
Part of the Ohio EI program is helping families make a plan that will encourage a child’s developmental success. The best plans involve creating routines. The EI staff understands that establishing routines within a family will create healthy habits that can continue throughout life. Routines are built around what kids do every day and how to help them learn new skills. This way, a child develops skills while doing things they already enjoy, like playing and eating.
Benefits of Routines
How to Make Your Own Routine
It’s obvious that having a routine is amazing, but how can you start one? Here are some tips:
Remember, routines are like a secret weapon to becoming a super learner and explorer. The CCBDD Early Intervention program understands the importance of routine and wants to share that knowledge with all families.
If you live in Champaign County, suspect that your child has a developmental delay, and need help; please, contact the Champaign County Board of DD office at (937) 653-5217 or the Early Intervention Service Coordinator at 937-658-8443.
Written by: Superintendent Leigh Anne Wenning
October is recognized as National Disability Employment Awareness Month. This is a special time for us to highlight the contributions of workers with disabilities and to raise awareness on the very real impact and importance of inclusion in the workplace.
Ohio is an Employment First state. That means we believe that all individuals should be presumed capable of community employment, given the appropriate supports. Statistics have continued to demonstrate that people with disabilities are reliable and dedicated employees. The Employment First website states that 62% of people with disabilities have kept their jobs for three years or longer, which reduces turnover costs for employers. The website also states that employees with disabilities are consistently rated as average or above average in performance, quality and quantity of work, as well as attendance.
Locally, we at the Champaign County Board of Developmental Disabilities (CCBDD) support over 40 individuals with disabilities to be competitively employed in our local community. We collaborate with Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities to support employees to help remove obstacles, as well as the employers to make sure the job is a fit for all parties.
We would like to thank our local business partners who continue to employ people with disabilities in Champaign County. Our top employers in Champaign County are Aramark, Walmart, Burger King, Steve’s Market, Colepak, Spotted Cow and Kroger.
If you or someone you know wants more information about how you can hire people with disabilities, please call 937-653-5217 and ask for Jeff Coaty.
For more information on other services provided by the CCBDD, please visit our website at www.champaigncbdd.org and make sure to follow us on social media.
Written by: Leigh Anne Wenning, Superintendent
There is a very special week in September that we at the Champaign County Board of Developmental Disabilities like to celebrate. The week is Direct Support Professionals Recognition week and was celebrated the 10th – 16th this month.
You may be wondering what a Direct Support Professional (DSP) is and why that role is so special. DSPs work directly with people with disabilities to provide care and support to assist people to live more independently. You can find DSPs in homes and apartments or out and about in the community assisting people with a variety of daily tasks, like grocery shopping or banking. DSPs may also work in programs that provide day or vocational support to people with developmental disabilities.
DSPs can work as independent contractors with the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities or they can work with one of the provider agencies located in our area. CCBDD works directly with both the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities and our local provider agencies to support DSPs and the people they serve.
Without our DSPs, people with disabilities would have less choices for their living situations. In 2024, after much advocacy, the rate that DSPs will be paid is going up by as much as 38%. This is a great opportunity to attract more people to the field and to reward the dedicated DSPs in our area for their hard work.
In Champaign County, we wanted to recognize our DSPs for their hard work and dedication. The CCBDD was able to provide each DSP that works in Champaign County with a token of appreciation for continuing to work with individuals served who live in our community.
If you or someone you know wants to learn more about how to become a DSP, the CCBDD can help with that. We have a dedicated Provider Support Coordinator who can assist with the certification process, from start to finish. Please call us at 937-653-5217 and ask for Amy Hubbard.
If you would like to learn more about CCBDD and other services we provide, please visit our website at www.champaigncdbdd.org and make sure to follow us on social media.
Written by: Leigh Anne Wenning, Superintendent
After months of working behind the scenes and advocating for the need for higher wages for Direct Support Professionals, Ohio has included an historic rate increase to assist with raising the average wage for that role in the 2024 state budget.
In case you’re not aware, Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) are people who work with individuals with disabilities, providing support in homes, in the community and even in the workplace. The majority of DSPs in Ohio’s developmentally disabilities service system are paid through Medicaid waivers. They may work as independent providers or work for one our agency partners. Not only does the Champaign County Board of DD write the service plan, but we also pay for part of the cost of each of the waiver services.
Beginning January 1, 2024, the average wage for DSPs across the state is required to be $18 per hour. That average wage will go up again in July 2024 to $19 per hour with the additional amount provided by local county boards of DD.
We believe that this historic increase in rates is a significant step in the right direction. We have all experienced the consequences of a labor shortage, but for the people we serve these consequences often mean so much more. It could mean that they have to go into a nursing home because there is no one to care for them at their apartment. It could mean that they might not have the support they need to attend the day program of their choice or keep their community job. Without quality DSPs, our support system just does not work.
I’d like to thank Governor DeWine and Ohio’s legislators for recognizing the importance of this issue and helping to address it by including it in this budget.
If you or someone you know are interested in how to become a DSP, the Champaign County Board of DD can help with that! We offer support and free training and are here to help. Please call 937-653-5217 and ask for Amy Hubbard, Provider Support Coordinator.
For more information about our lifetime of services, please visit our website at www.champaigncbdd.org and make sure to follow us on social media.
Written by: Amy Kerrigan, Communication Specialist
Service & Support Administrators (SSAs) are tasked with completing Individual Service Plans (ISPs) for each person who qualifies for services with the county board. These plans are done annually, usually spread out over the course of the year.
Recently, the Ohio Department of Development Disabilities created one statewide ISP template for all 88 counties to use. Until now, each county had their own form.
Now that the SSAs’ training on the new statewide ISP is complete, summer days are for renewing plans with each person on their caseload. We asked the SSAs a few questions about how the new Ohio ISP process is going, and this is what they told us…
How long, on average, does it take to onboard one person to the new Ohio ISP?
ANSWER: It varies person to person; between scheduling the ISP meeting, having the meeting, then updating to the OISP, the process currently is averaging around 15 hours per person.
What is your biggest challenge with implementing the new Ohio ISP?
ANSWER: Well, the new Ohio ISP is very time intensive. So, finding the time to complete it with the individual/team, know where everything goes in the plan, and complete it. Just when you think you know what you’re doing there will be a change, e-mail, or a glitch in the system. Trying to balance the time it takes to complete the OISP and have all other duties completed can be a balancing act at times. I know it will get easier with time, and CCBDD is figuring out where to put the important components. I have a great supportive team that has been helping me figure things out, and answer questions. We got this.
One question in the Ohio ISP is “What makes the person’s typical day better?” - How would you answer that question about yourself?
ANSWER: Coffee to get the day rolling.
If you could use the Ohio ISP to interview any celebrity, who would you choose? Why?
ANSWER: Gary Busey – because he’s a wild and crazy guy!