We accomplished much in 2018, including our agency receiving its three-year accreditation from the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities (DODD). This is the highest accreditation rating, and we’re proud to be recognized for the quality of our work.
We also received several grants, including a joint grant from DODD and The Ohio State University Nisonger Center, to expand the use of remote support. Thanks to the great work of our service and support administration team, Hamilton County DD Services leads the state in the use of remote support technology. This grant will allow us to expand the number of people using this service. We recently opened a model smart home that will allow families to learn more about available technologies and how they might be able to use those technologies in their own homes.
We spent significant time engaging with educators and families of students with disabilities to understand how we can best support students with DD. This work culminated in a resolution from our Board in March committing to strengthening existing supports for students with DD in their local school districts while also continuing to provide a safety net of services through our schools.
In 2018 we also expanded innovative programs like Project STIR, which empowers people with DD to be advocates for themselves, and the Future is Now, which helps aging caregivers actively plan for the future. These programs are giving people we support and their families the knowledge and tools they need to build the lives they want.
On Sept. 1, the new waiver waiting list rule went into effect across Ohio. Our staff has done a fantastic job preparing our internal processes, communicating changes to families and stakeholders, and beginning to administer required assessments. Latrice Smith, our eligibility and waiting list manager, was recognized by the Ohio Association of County Boards of DD for her work on a statewide waiver waiting list workgroup, which ensured a smooth transition to the new rule.
In addition to these milestones, we continued to provide the highest quality support to families in Hamilton County so people with developmental disabilities can live, work, learn, and fully participate in their communities.
I want to thank all of our stakeholders for your dedication to our mission. We could not have accomplished so much in 2018 without your support. I look forward to continuing to work with all of you toward our goals.
Alice C. Pavey