In early times, services and treatment of people with developmental disabilities were often shocking and horrific. Prior to the 19th century there were virtually no recorded services for people with disabilities, and prior to the 20th century people with disabilities were often neglected and abandoned.
Fortunately, in the 20th century, in Logan County and across the nation, parents and concerned citizens stood up for individuals’ rights including people of all abilities.
2017 marks a significant milestone — it is the 50th anniversary of the founding of Ohio’s 88 county boards of DD by the Ohio General Assembly. Since 1967, county boards have been Side by Side, supporting people with developmental disabilities in Ohio.
The story of the Logan County Board of Developmental Disabilities begins with a grassroots effort by parents who wanted an education for their sons and daughters with developmental disabilities. Looking back over 50 years, LCBDD can trace its beginnings to a handful of concerned parents in the late 1950s who wanted more for their children.
Before the 1960’s
Prior to the 1950s, parents of children with developmental disabilities had two choices for services: they could raise their child at home with no public services, or, they could give up involvement and interaction with their child by sending their child to an institution where their child would often be mistreated and, in many cases, abused. With either choice the child was typically hidden from the public.
In the 1950s parents throughout Ohio began calling out for help for their children. They cried out for their child's education and for a better life. Parents begged for help from their state legislatures. In 1951, state lawmakers pulled together and passed SB157, which set aside state money for children with developmental disabilities to attend classes. It wasn’t much but it was a start. In Logan County in 1959 interested parents and friends got together to start a school for children with disabilities. Raymond Troyer, a parent, and reverend Anthony Wolf, priest at Saint Mary of the Woods, were the chairpersons. With a budget of $4,600 raised from private donations, the Logan County Council for Retarded Children was formed and the Hi-Point Day School opened in January 1960 with eleven children enrolled. Mrs. James (Annabel) Grimes was the teacher. Many of the students attending Hi-Point Day School in 1960 attend today at RTC industries.
Finally, the state responded to the parents' pleas. In July 1967, the state passed SB 169 and established County Boards of Mental Retardation (often called 169 Boards). In 1967 the Logan County Board held its first organizational meeting and the Board hired its first Administrator (now titled Superintendent). The 169 Board chose the name “Ludlow Center Program of Logan County”, named after Israel Ludlow, surveyor 1804. Also, a workshop was built and opened in 1967 with four clients. The workshop building now holds the Discovery Center.
In 1961 a .3 mill levy was passed to generate $27,994 annually to pay for two teachers, two bus drivers, two station wagons, equipment, supplies and rent.
By 1971 there were 31 clients with 10 more who graduated into self –supporting community employment. The workshop had to be enlarged to accommodate over 40 clients in 1974. The workshop was officially named the Ross Training Center in honor of Grace and Bernard Ross.
The school age children moved into a new school in 1976 with five classrooms. The Board began programming for young children from birth up to age three through Early Intervention and the DD board started its first school age classes.
In 1975 Congress passed Public Law 94-142, the Education of the Handicapped Act, which guaranteed free, appropriate public education to all “handicapped” children. Ohio passed its companion legislation, Amended Substitute House Bill 455, the following year. On the home front, the Board entered into residential services when it opened the first group home in Logan County in 1978.
Many residents in state institutions began moving back to their home communities in the late 1970s. Logan County opened two homes in Belle Center to house fourteen individuals when Orient, a state institution, was closed.
The first national Special Olympics meet was held in 1968 at Soldier Field in Chicago. Shortly thereafter, Ohio began a Special Olympics program under the name of the Ohio Athletic Association. Special Olympics Ohio became incorporated in 1975.
The state legislature added “developmental disabilities” to the County Boards’ name in 1982. We then became the Logan County Board of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities.
The Board’s focus was toward community inclusion and supports: In 1983, the agency started a movement into the Least Restrictive Environment as defined by the Supreme Court. The Court supported the concept that students should be allowed to have the freedom to learn in classrooms most appropriate to their educational abilities. In November 1988, the Board announced it would help students become a part of their community by encouraging integration and the least restrictive environment. During this time, classrooms were scattered throughout the county. Early Intervention was housed at the JVS and preschool classrooms were held in the basements of local churches.
Also, during the 1980’s, there was an influx of residents coming from state institutions. Adult Services had to create more space for adult programs. A new RTC building was opened in 1983.
In 1987 The Gruter Foundation in NE Ohio was shut down. Heartland of Indian Lake opened a wing of their nursing home to house up to 20 individuals.
In 1987 the Board started our famous Chicken BBQ fundraiser to help defray costs of levy campaigns and to help support the needs of individuals and their families. This delicious meal has raised over $200,000 to support many services including healthy living, grave markers, future levy campaigns and other unique services for individuals with DD. Thanks to the many community volunteers who make this fundraiser a tremendous success.
Three levees were passed in the 1980s (two in 1986 and one in 1988) totaling 1.95 mills.
In the 1990s we focused on residential services in the community. We opened several homes of no more than five beds in smaller neighborhood communities. Heartland closed their 20 bed ICF-MR wing.
In 1989 independent housing funds became available and in 1990 the Housing Board was created, a non-profit board which purchased and maintained accessible housing for individuals with disabilities. Two people moved into a small house together on South Park. Mindy Daring was the landlord and Becky Warner (Charles) was the provider with AnMec.
Today the non-profit Housing Board owns 12 homes which individuals can live in the community, using their own income to pay rent and utilize Supported Living to fund in-home supports.
In 1994 RTC Industries and the Board offices moved into our current building. In 1996 we received a State Capital Improvement grant of 2.1 million dollars to renovate and double the size of the Discovery Center creating the Early Childhood Center for Logan County.
As part of the application process for the grant, the task force agreed to transition all school age services to districts in support of full inclusion. All preschool responsibilities were accepted by the Logan County Board of DD in support of an all-inclusive Early Childhood Center for Logan County. The new center would provide space for Preschool Programs, Early Intervention, Head Start and Family and Children First.
In 2000, DD advocates returned to their grassroots efforts to expand supports for individuals with developmental disabilities. In June 2001, in a landmark decision, State House Bills 94 and 405 were approved. These two bills paved the way for more community services, including Medicaid Waiver funding. This funding helped to refinance services across the State for individuals with disabilities.
In 2004 the Board started a second fundraiser to help support the growing needs of individuals with disabilities in Logan County - the Flower Sale in the spring. Both fundraisers are supported by community volunteers.
In 2005, the Logan County voters approved a three-mill continuing replacement levy. We have not been back to the voters since 2005.
In 2008, we updated our vision to include community integration and job development. We also joined “Bridges to Transition” and made it a priority to support high school students and adults to get and keep community employment.
In 2009, in a statewide effort led by self-advocates, the term “mental retardation” was legislatively taken out of the County Boards’ name giving us our current title, “The Logan County Board of Developmental Disabilities.”
In 2012, the Logan County Board adopted a plan to maximize our Medicaid dollars. Through this effort we minimized the local costs of services. By more fully implementing the efficiencies created by HB 94 and 405 and through other efficiencies the Board reduced its long term dependence on local tax dollars. By 2014 our expenditures were reduced by 20%.
In 2014 we adopted a new plan in response to several system drivers including the new Medicaid HCBS definition and conflict free case management. The new plan places emphasis on community integrated services and on the transition of RTC Industries to a more independent entity.
In 2016 RTC Industries Inc privatized and the LCBDD no longer directly operates adult day services. Adult day programs are now operated by private providers. RTC Industries picked up new services including TLC transportation, transportation to and from the day program and they
now run “The Studio” which provides support for those who want to express their artistic abilities.
Services to individuals with disabilities continue to expand and change. Individuals are encouraged to dream and plan for a future that hold much promise and new possibilities. Advocacy efforts have become commonplace through numerous groups and teams. Self-advocates have representation on several committees and community groups including: Aktion Club, Kiwanis, Best Buddies and Special Olympics. Self-advocates provide support, mentoring and training to each other as well as to high school students and others in the community.
Inclusion of people with disabilities is found in all aspects of community living and citizenship. There are many employment opportunities for individuals throughout Logan County. We celebrate the many and varied contributions of workers with disabilities in Logan County and we continue to partner with RTC and other providers to increase opportunities for meaningful employment.
We provide services to children ages 0-3 and their parents in their homes including the PLAY Project for children on the autism spectrum. We provide a five-star preschool program for all the school districts in the County. A collaboration project with the Mental Health Board has allowed us to expand services for individuals with developmental disabilities who need mental health services. Adults have expanded choices for day programs. Also, individuals who attend day programs have more opportunities for integration including opportunities for community employment and involvement in community projects and outings.
We are very proud of the services we provide to people with disabilities, and we are very proud to be a part of a generous, supporting and welcoming community. Thank you Logan County for allowing us to serve individuals with developmental disabilities. We are very grateful for your confidence and we are very appreciative of the Logan County community who continues to support us. For further information about the Logan County Board of DD visit our website at, http://logancbdd.org/.
Logan County Board of Developmental Disabilities History Video:
50 Year Anniversary!
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