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Everyone has unique abilities. Imagine what we can do when we work together.


Mahoning County Board of Developmental Disabilities

Mahoning County Board of Developmental Disabilities The Mahoning County Board of Developmental Disabilities (MCBDD) is the primary funder and provider of services for children and adults with developmental disabilities. This county agency provides direct and contracted educational, employment and support services to residents of Mahoning County who meet eligibility requirements. Services are provided at no charge to the individuals served and are supported by local tax dollars as well as state and federal funding. Programs include: • The Early Intervention/Help Me Grow program which is designed to ensure that Ohio’s children receive a healthy birth and the resources to warrant a healthy and productive start in life. • School-age programs designed to assist children with disabilities to flourish in an environment that is best suited to their special needs. • Adult services designed to increase independence including vocational programs and habilitation services. • Employment services which are available to individuals who have an interest in working in the community. • Senior services and programs for medically fragile individuals. • Transportation services • Case management and Community Services • Administration of waiver programs providing for residential and community-based services. This wide range of comprehensive educational, vocational and support services is provided throughout the life span of each individual served. Approximately 1,400 individuals and families receive services each year from the MCBDD. The Board of Directors of the MCBDD is comprised of seven members who are appointed by the Mahoning County Commissioners or the Probate Judge. The law requires that at least three of the Board members are family members of individuals who either receive, or are eligible to receive, services from the Board. All Board members serve on a voluntary basis with no compensation for their services.

Our Mission: To provide ongoing programs, services and supports which assist eligible individuals with developmental disabilities in choosing and achieving a life of increasing capacity to live and work in the community and to reach their full potential as members of society. Our Vision: Every person eligible for Mahoning County Board of Developmental Disabilities programs will have access to quality services for as long as they need them.

“What’s Your Story?” Developmental Disabilities Awareness Project In an effort to educate the p u b lic a b o u t the services it provides, the Mahoning Count y Board of Developmental Disabilities is pleased to present this special insert. The theme, “What’s Your Story?” encourages each of us to get to know someone with a disability to better understand that we are all connected and alike in many ways. It encourages each of us to look beyond an individual’s disabilities and see their capabilities and to focus on how they make a difference in our community. Statewide, and across the nation, organizations devoted to serving individuals with developmental disabilities work to raise public awareness of the many abilities people have, regardless of disability. “What’s Your Story?” encourages people to understand that when people with disabilities are welcomed into local neighborhoods, workplaces, house of worship, and schools, everyone wins. The purpose of this special circular is to increase awareness of what developmental disabilities are, to educate the pub-

lic about the services and programs provided by the Mahoning County Board of Developmental Disabilities (MCBDD) and community partners, and to encourage the public to better understand the individuals served. “Through the work we do on a daily basis, our organization focuses on encouraging the public to better understand the individuals we serve,” said Bill Whitacre, Superintendent of the Mahoning County Board of Developmental Disabilities. “We encourage people to learn more about the hundreds of people in this community who have developmental disabilities and to recognize that all of us have talents and abilities that we can offer to make this a better place to live,” Whitacre added. Everyone has unique abilities. Imagine what we can do when we work together! It is often attitudinal barriers that affect everyday life for people with developmental disabilities. In addressing these barriers through positive awareness efforts, fears and negative attitudes can be replaced with knowledge and understanding.


t is often attitudinal barriers that affect everyday life for people with developmental disabilities. In addressing these barriers through positive awareness efforts, fears and negative attitudes can be replaced with knowledge and understanding.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Mahoning County Board of Developmental Disabilities


A Message from the Superintendent The Mahoning County Board of Develdividuals and their opmental Disabilities will be going through families. some major changes over the next severWhile our role al years. Recent rule changes at the federof providing direct al and state levels will directly impact how services may be reservices are provided in the developmenduced in the future, tal disabilities system. Although our agency our responsibility to will be going through a transition, our misfund and oversee/ sion and core values will remain the same. monitor the serMCBDD will remain committed to assisting vices provided by individuals reach their full potential and be others will remain. Bill Whitacre a part of their local community. ThroughLevy funds providout the insert, you will notice that MCBDD ed by your generis not alone in this mission. There are numer- ous support of our agency have always ous other providers in this county that share been used to support people, no matter our values and commitment to serving in- where they choose to receive services. Now

more than ever, MCBDD and other provider agencies must work together to provide a reliable service delivery system to meet the needs of Mahoning County citizens. Having multiple providers in the county creates greater choice for individuals and their family to determine which agency they feel can best meet their needs. Working to support these other agencies will strengthen our system and provide meaningful service delivery options for our constituents. I invite you to visit our website at www. and our Facebook page to learn more about MCBDD and keep up to date on the latest information impacting our agency. Departmental and contact in-

formation is posted on the website. If you ever have any questions, please feel free to contact us via email or phone. On behalf of the nearly 1,400 individuals and families we support, our board members and MCBDD staff, I would like to thank you for your continued support of our agency and its mission.

Bill Whitacre, Superintendent 330-797-2827

Board Office: Mahoning County Board of Developmental Disabilities 4791 Woodridge Drive Austintown, OH 44515-5100 Phone: 330.797.2825 Fax: 330.797.2843 Superintendent Bill Whitacre MCBDD Board Members Jack Gruber, President Gary O’Nesti, Vice President Henrietta Lewis, Recording Secretary Marilee Meloy Peter Noll Joseph Pecchia Anthony Sertick Mahoning County Commissioners David Ditzler Carol Rimedio-Righetti Anthony Traficanti Mahoning County Probate Court Judge The Honorable Judge Robert N. Rusu, Jr.

Front Row: (L to R) Anthony Sertick, Henrietta Lewis, Jack Gruber and Marilee Meloy Back Row: (L to R) Gary O’Nesti, Christopher Sammarone (Board Attorney), Bill Whitacre, Peter Noll and Joseph Pecchia.


Mahoning County Board of Developmental Disabilities

Saturday, November 5, 2016

MCBDD Core Values Integrity to instill public confidence in our judgment. Professionalism in our delivery of services and supports. Accountability for what we say and do. Responsibility for our actions and the duties we perform. Flexibility to adapt to changing needs and circumstances. Collaboration with other organizations and groups to increase the opportunities and resources available to help those we serve. Continuity of service delivery so that individuals and families can reliably count on the availability of services and supports in their lives. Objectivity in our decision-making, free from bias or unreasonable influence. Community integration for the individuals we serve to enable them to participate and be part of the community in which they live, work and play. Positive attitude that generates a “can-do” approach to our work.

Mahoning County Board of Developmental Disabilities Philosophy Excellence in every aspect of the service we provide is embedded in our Core Values Individualized programs will exhibit “best practices” We will provide flexible, equitable and balanced programs for each individual with developmental disabilities in our county. All programs will: • Incorporate the current “best practices in the field.” • Be integrated into the community to the greatest degree possible. • Reflect the individual abilities and needs of each person we serve. • Display teamwork and mutual respect. • Focus on outcomes so that each individual can achieve his/her maximum capability. Financial strategies will focus on the long-term Prudent budgeting that makes the best use of available resources is the only way to achieve long term stability and offer appropriate accountability to the taxpayers who so generously fund our services. We will maximize all available resources and will not engage in deficit spending that threatens the long-term health of the organization.

Facilities will be attractive, appropriate and accessible All facilities maintained by the MCBDD will be clean, safe, accessible, appropriate and attractive and will comply with all building codes. Architecture will blend into the community to the greatest degree possible. We will be a good neighbor in the communities we serve As a member of the community, the MCBDD will be a prudent steward of the dollars that taxpayers entrust to us. We will be ethical, reasonable and credible in our practices. We will provide the best services possible within the resources available to each person we serve. We will reach out to the community and become involved as individuals, and as an organization, in projects that make a difference.

Personnel will be productive and positive Those employed by the MCBDD will be productive, positive team players focused on advancing the goals of the individuals we serve. Initiative, mutual respect and flexibility are expected at all times to ensure that common interest will prevail over individual self-interest. Ethical and professional behavior will be the norm.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Think “People First”

Mahoning County Board of Developmental Disabilities


The Rights of Individuals with Developmental Disabilities • To be treated nicely at all times and as a person. • To have a clean, safe place to live, and a place to be alone. • To have food that is good for you. • Be able to go, if you want, to any church, temple, or mosque. • Be able to go to a doctor or dentist when you are sick. • Be able to have people help you, if you need it, with the way you walk, talk, do things with your hands, act or feel. • Be able to have people help and teach you, if you want. • Be able to have time and a place to go to be by yourself.

Language is a reflection of how people see each other. That’s why the words we use can hurt. It’s also why responsible communicators are now choosing language which reflects the dignity of people with disabilities - words that put the person first, rather than the disability. Read on for a short course on using language that empowers. 1. Think people first. Say “a woman who has a disability” rather than “a disabled woman.” 2. Avoid words like “unfortunate,” “afflicted,” and “victim.” Also, try to avoid casting a person with a disability as a superhuman model of courage. People with disabilities are just people, not tragic figures or demigods.

• Be able to call, write letters or talk to anyone you want about anything you want. • Be able to have your own things and be able to use them. • Be able to have men and women as friends. • Be able to join in activities and do things that will help you grow to be the best person you can be. • Be able to work and make money. • Be treated like everyone else. • Not to be hit, yelled at, cursed at, or called names. • Be able to learn new things, make friends, have activities to do, and to go out in the community. • Be able to tell people what you want and to be part of making plans or decisions about your life.

• Be able to ask someone for help and to let others know how you feel or what you want. • Be able to use your money to pay for things you need and want, with help, if you need it. • Be able to say yes or no before people talk about what you do at work or home or look at your file. • Be able to complain or ask for changes if you don’t like something without being afraid of getting in trouble. • Not be given medicine that you don’t need or held down if you are not hurting yourself or others. • To vote and learn about laws and your community. • To say yes or no to being part of a study or experiment.

3. A developmental disability is not a disease. Do not mention “symptoms,” “patients,” or “treatment,” unless the person you’re describing has an illness as well as a disability. 4. Use common sense. Avoid terms with obvious negative or judgmental connotations, such as “crippled,” “deaf and dumb,” “lame,” and “defective.” If you aren’t sure how to refer to a person’s condition, ask. Further, if the disability is not relevant to your conversation, why mention it at all? 5. Never refer to a person as “confined to a wheelchair.” Wheelchairs enable people to escape confinement. A person with mobility impairment “uses” a wheelchair. 6. Try to describe people without disabilities as “typical” rather than “normal.”

“I work hard and I dance with my friends and sing at the dances.”

Source: Ohio Public Images, Inc.

Individual in MASCO day programming


Mahoning County Board of Developmental Disabilities

“T Jada: Rocks that extra chromosome

“The more you know, the less you are afraid.” One of Jada’s favorite T-shirts proudly states: “I rock that extra chromosome!” Down syndrome often results from an extra chromosome 21 or an extra piece of that chromosome. For Jada, that has meant some developmental delays and medical worries. But at 10 Jada is brighteyed, curious, creative and surrounded by love. When they learned that this much-wanted little girl would be born with Down Syndrome, her parents and extended family were worried. They remembered a time when children with the condition were hidden or sent away. And that state institutions did not always care for individuals with disabilities appropriately or with compassion. Jada’s mother Michele made sure that her daughter would have every possible opportunity. Michele remembers the day her family welcomed Jada into the world. “She was just our baby. The baby we’d been waiting for.” Michele engaged with Help Me Grow’s Early Intervention program to collaborate with doctors, hospitals and MCBDD to develop a plan of action. They addressed Jada’s developmental and medical issues as she grew from infant to toddler and beyond. Looking back, Michele credits MCBDD with helping Jada thrive as well as helping the family by providing vital information and support. “The more you know, the less you are afraid,” she says.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

o me, Leonard Kirtz School is like family. The whole staff pulls together for every student. ” Parents of a child at Leonard Kirtz School

Leonard Kirtz School Located in Austintown, Leonard Kirtz School is a chartered public school, which provides comprehensive programs and education for students between the ages of 6 and 22 with developmental disabilities. The content of the program is designed to provide social, academic, and vocational programs geared to the individual functioning level of each student. All students are from Mahoning County and are placed at Leonard Kirtz School through their school district of residence. It is the Board’s intent that all students who enter Leonard Kirtz School increase their cognition and benefit physically and vocationally, so they may reach their fullest potential. Certified teachers and specialists provide instruction through the implementation of Individual Education Plans (IEP). IEP goals concentrate on developing skills in communication, self-help, functional daily living, social interaction, cognitive development, vocational preparation, and vocational training. Leonard Kirtz School offers related services in the areas of speech, physical therapy, and contracted occupational therapy to those students in need


y teacher helps me.”

of intervention as warranted through a comprehensive evaluation. Other related services available to all students include nursing, transportation, and case management. All students are provided transportation services to and from school and for field trips. In addition to classroom programs, school-age students receive instruction in six departments each week from certified instructors. Departments include;

Student at Leonard Kirtz School adaptive physical education, swimming, Snoezelen, music, language arts and horticulture. Social activities are an important part of Leonard Kirtz School and include events such as a Halloween party, holiday fest, spring party, prom and graduation. For additional information, please contact Jeff Novak, Leonard Kirtz School Director of Education, at 330-797-2846 or

“Help Me Grow” Early Intervention Program After an absence of nearly ten years, the Mahoning County Board of Developmental Disabilities has re-launched the Help Me Grow Early Intervention Program to assist families in the Valley with needed services for children from birth to age three. As stated by the Ohio Department of Health, the Help Me Grow program is designed to ensure Ohio’s children receive a healthy birth and the resources to warrant a healthy and productive start in life. An integral part of Ohio’s prenatal to age three system of supports; the services offered by Help Me Grow equip parents with the means to help their child acquire the early building blocks necessary for long term success. These initial achievements last a lifetime, as scientific evidence strongly suggests that a child’s success is significantly determined by the quality of nurturing in the first three years

of life. The core belief of the Help Me Grow program is that all young children deserve the same opportunities to realize their full potential in life, regardless of economic, geographic, and demographic considerations. The parenting education and child development resources provided to families allows them to maximize this critical period of development in their child’s life, providing a foundation for lasting success. The MCBDD Help Me Grow Early Intervention Program provides Service Coordination for families of children with a developmental delay, disability, or a medical condition that is likely to result in a delay or disability. The Help Me Grow Early Intervention Service Coordinator coordinates a Developmental Evaluation and/or Assessment and a Family-Directed Assessment conducted by a multidisciplinary team to determine eligibility and

need for service. Once eligibility and service needs have been determined and the family’s priorities have been identified, the family’s Help Me Grow Early Intervention Service Coordinator facilitates the development of the Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP). The Service Coordinator then works with the family to gain access to needed services and monitor service delivery. The MCBDD is proud to be a part of this important program and looks forward to assisting families during this critical developmental period and providing them with needed supports and strategies to promote their child’s growth and development. For additional information, please contact Melissa Leighton, Help Me Grow/ Early Intervention Supervisor at 330-7992967 or mleighton@mahoningcountyoh. gov.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Mahoning County Board of Developmental Disabilities

Waiver Program and listing of Community Providers What is a Waiver? You may have heard families and providers in our community talk about waivers and Medicaid. A waiver is a way to fund services for an individual with developmental disabilities.   Services that are available through a waiver include respite, transportation, supervision and personal care in one’s own home or in a home that serves other individuals with disabilities.  Other services that waivers can pay for are adult day programs and employment services.  Families can begin the process to apply for Medicaid and a waiver for their loved one by contacting an SSA in the Community Services Department at 330- 797-2925.  MCBDD is proud to contract with the following community partners in providing services to individuals with developmental disabilities in Mahoning County: HPC (personal care in the home) A Special Touch Home Services, LLC Accessible Home Sevices, Inc. Active Home Care LLC Associates in Child Guidance Consumer Support Services, Inc. Easter Seals of Mahoning, Trumbull and Columbiana County Family First Supports and Consulting, LLC Friendly Support Services Ltd Gateways to Better Living, Inc. Golden String Inc Home Care Network Inc. Homecare with Heart LLC In Christ’s Hands Iron and String Life Enhancement Kareng 4 U LLC Knapp Center for Childhood Development LaLa Love Healthcare Legacy Visiting Health Services Maxim Healthcare Services New Leaf Residential Services Inc. Noble Health Care PNP Inc. Raearc Industries Inc. Sacred Arms, Inc. Second Phase, Inc. Share and Kare, Inc. Siffrin, Inc. Synergy Enrichment Threshold Residential Services, Inc. TLM Residential Services Turning Point Residential Services ViaQuest Residential Services Transportation to/from Adult Day Services A Special Touch Home Services, LLC Accessible Home Sevices, Inc. Active Home Care LLC Consumer Support Services, Inc. Easter Seals of Mahoning, Trumbull and Columbiana County Friendly Support Services Ltd Gateways Industries In Christ’s Hands Iron and String Life Enhancement Kareng 4 U LLC Leeda Northeast, Inc. MCBDD Raearc Industries, Inc. Second Phase, Inc. Siffrin, Inc. Synergy Enrichment TLM Residential Services Transit Service Inc. True Hearts of Care LLC Turning Point Residential Services Adult Day Services Accessible Home Sevices, Inc. Antonine Sisters Adult Day Care Consumer Support Services, Inc.


Transportation Services

Easter Seals of Mahoning, Trumbull and Columbiana County Friendly Support Services Ltd Gateways Industries In Christ’s Hands Iron and String Life Enhancement Leeda Northeast, Inc. MCBDD Raearc Industries, Inc. Second Phase, Inc. Siffrin, Inc. Synergy Enrichment True Hearts of Care LLC Turning Point Residential Services Transportation (General/Not Adult Day Services) A Special Touch Home Services, LLC Accessible Home Sevices, Inc. Active Home Care LLC Caregiver Homes of Ohio Inc Consumer Support Services, Inc. Gateways to Better Living, Inc. Golden String Inc Home Care Network, Inc. Iron and String Life Enhancement Knabe Two Sisters Homes, LLC Leeda Northeast, Inc. Legacy Visiting Health Services Midwest Health Services, Inc. New Leaf Residential Services Inc. Noble Health Care Raearc Industries, Inc. Second Phase, Inc. Siffrin, Inc. Synergy Enrichment TLM Residential Services Turning Point Residential Services ViaQuest Residential Services Residential Services Accessible Home Sevices, Inc. Consumer Support Services, Inc. Gateways to Better Living, Inc. Genesis Home Iron and String Life Enhancement Knabe Two Sisters Homes, LLC Leeda Northeast, Inc. Legacy Visiting Health Services New Leaf Residential Services Inc. Raearc Industries, Inc. Second Phase, Inc. Siffrin, Inc. Synergy Enrichment Turning Point Residential Services ViaQuest Residential Services Supported Employment Services Active Home Care LLC Family First Supports and Consulting,LLC Gateways Industries Iron and String Life Enhancement MCBDD Raearc Industries, Inc. Second Phase, Inc. Siffrin, Inc.


y son is non-verbal, but I know he is happy by the way he acts. He is always eager to get on the bus.” Comment from Annual Plan Survey

Transportation to and from the school, workshops, and the senior and habilitation programs is available to any student or adult enrolled in all of the day programs provided by the MCBDD, as well as to individuals who work in the supportive employment program. Transportation is provided five days a week, Monday thru Friday, from 6 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Each year, transportation services are provided to approximately 330 individuals. Consisting of over 34 buses and 17 other vehicles, the Transportation Department fleet logs more than 2,800 miles per work day, 750,000 miles per year, and provides door to door services to passengers throughout Mahoning County. All MCBDD buses are equipped with hydraulic lifts to accommodate the 112 passengers who use wheelchairs. The safety and comfort of MCBDD passengers are top priorities of the Transportation Department. Each bus is equipped with a two-way radio. The radios allow bus drivers and dispatchers instant contact in case of emergency, and the radios ensure accurate and timely service to all riders. All school buses undergo a rigid inspection each year by the Ohio State Highway Patrol. Each bus is Board-owned, and maintenance is performed at the Board’s bus maintenance facility located next to Leonard Kirtz School. To ensure the health and safety of passengers, the MCBDD employs a transportation aide for each bus. Transportation aides meet the needs of the riders while on route, so bus drivers may devote their full attention to operating the bus. All drivers must hold a Commercial Driver’s License, and all drivers and aides must maintain CPR and First Aid Certification. Transportation staff also attend monthly in-service training sessions to continue to update their knowledge and skills. Drivers and aides are well-trained, caring professionals and are the “driving force” behind MCBDD programs. For additional information, contact Waymond Grace, Transportation Supervisor at 330-797-2837 or


Mahoning County Board of Developmental Disabilities

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Adult Services Jared: Passionate about living his own life

“Without MCBDD, he wouldn’t have the opportunities he has today.” Jared’s recent birthday celebration caused his father, Robert, to pause and look back on the journey his son has travelled since he was born 26 years ago. Jared was born the year that Ohio House Bill 900 created a separate department to serve individuals with developmental disabilities. With the support of his family, Jared has passionately sought every opportunity to become as independent as possible. As a result, using a wheelchair hasn’t proved to be much of a barrier to his goals. Additionally, receiving a paycheck for his work at MASCO is particularly rewarding for this individual who has an exceptionally strong work ethic. Jared’s mother comments, “At MASCO, they are equally passionate about helping Jared fulfill his dreams.” His father agrees. “Isn’t a sense of purpose what we all strive for? Without MCBDD, Jared might not have the opportunities he has today.”

The Adult Services Program provides services and funds a wide range of habilitation and vocational services for adults with developmental disabilities who are 16 years of age and older. Services are provided in a variety of settings, including two day program sites, employment and training services, and programs for retirement and individuals with intensive medical needs. Habilitation activities are geared toward increasing the independence and quality of life for each individual. Activities may include training or assistance with the activities of daily living, social and recreational experiences, and functional academics. Ancillary services such as speech, physical and occupational therapy are available when needed. Social activities such as field trips, picnics, holiday parties and the annual softball game are popular. Evening activity nights with themes such as Elvis Night, Bike Night, Classic Car Night and the Halloween Party are the most popular social events. Volunteer help from parents and caregivers is an important part of the success of these activities. Mahoning Adult Services Company (MASCO), Inc., a nonprofit company, operates as the business entity for the two day programs under contract with the MCBDD. MASCO, Inc. employs adults enrolled with the MCBDD. Approximately 355 individuals are utilizing the services provided by the Adult Services program at the Bev and Meshel programs located in Boardman. MASCO, Inc. employees engage in a variety of subcontract work procured from the local business community. Examples of production work include assembly, packaging and sorting. Staff provide supervision and assistance to the individuals employed at the adult day programs who are paid in accordance with the U.S. Department of Labor Standards for day program settings. Further information about the Adult Services Program may be obtained by contacting Toni Scurpa, Adult Services Director, at 330-797-2914 or


taff should be commended for their outstanding professional qualities and work ethic.” Survey response


he day program that my son attends has been a blessing for me as well as for him. It is a place he can go to be with his peers and feel a sense of friendship. It is his workplace where the smallest task that he completes is a large achievement, which gives him a feeling of self-worth. When he is happy and content I am happy and content for him.”

Parent/guardian of an individual in the Adult Services Program

Saturday, November 5, 2016


Mahoning County Board of Developmental Disabilities


is job means everything to him. He loves to work and has much better awareness of activities going on around him.” Parent of an individual in the employment program.

Lavoy: Poet and self-advocate

Employment Services The Employment Ser vices Pro gram is available to individuals who have an interest in working in the community. Through agency partnerships, a variety of services and supports are available to individuals so they may achieve their desired vocational goals. Many individuals are currently working at sites throughout the community thanks to the MCBDD Employment Services Program. Individuals begin the employment process at the assessment and planning stage. During this phase, individuals choose the members of their planning team, develop goals, and

identify supports needed to reach their goals. MCBDD Employment Specialists use the planning team’s recommendations to develop a job that best suits each individual’s goals. Services are coordinated with other agencies that serve people with disabilities, such as the Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities Agency (OOD). On the job training and coaching is also available to assure the success of the individuals in the program. The job coach’s responsibilities include the implementation of support strategies, direct instruction of job tasks and related behav-

ioral skills, developing friendships in the work environment, and documenting the individual’s progress. Upon completion of the training process, follow-along services are available to ensure the long term success of the individual working in the community. All individuals with developmental disabilities have the right, and should have the opportunity, to become participating members of the community through employment. For information about MCBDD Employment Services, contact George Gabriel at 330-799-9035 or

Provider Spotlight: Gallagher’s Lunch Bucket Gallagher’s Lunch Bucket was created by Golden String Inc., a MCBDD Community Provider, in collaboration with the Oak Hill Renaissance Center. Gallagher’s employs over 25 adults with disabilities through Golden String Inc. and the Purple Cat. The “Lunch Bucket” provides employees an opportunity to work in a full-fledged restaurant where the employees learn skills in cooking, baking, food prepping, and customer service. The employees participate in all vocational areas of running the restaurant. Gallagher’s Lunch Bucket is located in the lower lever of the Oak Hill Renaissance building (former Southside Hospital) 345 Oak Hill Ave. Youngstown, Ohio 44502. Light breakfasts and lunches are served Monday thru Friday in the former cafeteria area of the building from 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. Daily specials feature made-to-order sandwiches as well as soups, salads and desserts. For more information on Golden String Inc. and Gallagher’s Lunch Bucket visit

“The help is there.” When Lavoy’s mother Darlene describes his accomplishments, pride shines through her eyes. Lavoy attended Rayen High School, and now goes to Eastern Gateway Community College. He also participates in the Special Olympics and enjoys bowling, video games and music. Lavoy’s gift for language extends to poetry and he enjoys an active social life, including an extensive online presence. Lavoy is also an enthusiastic and articulate self-advocate with a talent for raising awareness of the abilities of individuals like himself within the community. Darlene credits MCBDD with providing Lavoy with many opportunities for growth along the way. As a participant in Bev MASCO programs, Lavoy learned employment skills while working on projects for local businesses, he volunteered and enjoyed community activities, movies and sporting events. Bev MASCO prepared Lavoy for his job at the Center @ Javit Court where he provides mobility and program assistance for older adults with developmental disabilities. In discussing his work at Javit, Lavoy emphasizes the importance of creating unique relationships with each individual. “You have to create a bond with that person that no one else has,” he says. “MCBDD has been an excellent resource for Lavoy,” Darlene states. And she wants the community to know that, thanks to their support, “The help is there.”


Mahoning County Board of Developmental Disabilities

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Senior and Habilitation Program The Adult Services Senior and Habilitation Program is located at the Centre @ Javit Court and is geared to serve the individual needs of older adults with developmental disabilities or those in need of more intense medical care. The 21,000 square foot building features include wide hallways, indirect lighting, colored floor pathing, sky lights and large windows in all program areas. There are nine pod or program areas, four spacious changing rooms, large restrooms, a multi-sensory room, a kitchen and lunch room, a therapy pool, outdoor pavilions and a memory garden. Senior Program: The Senior Program is designed to serve the individual needs of older adults with developmental disabilities. This program was created because the need for services for older adults with developmental disabilities has consistently increased over the last several years. This day program emphasizes recreation, arts, leisure activities, and socialization for adults who are 55 and older, including crafts, exercise, socialization, memory therapy, music, choice making and community outings. All services are based on an individual plan developed by an interdisciplinary team, in accordance with the individual’s choices, desires, and preferences. Habilitation Services: The Centre @ Javit Court’s Habilitation Services Program is designed to serve individuals with complex medical and physical needs. Most of the individuals in this program re-


hank you for caring for my son. I appreciate everything that is done for him.” Survey response from a parent

ceive nursing services for seizure disorders, breathing difficulties and even issues with eating. Several individuals receive nutrition via a feeding tube and some require continuous oxygen for breathing. Individuals in this program require total assistance from staff to complete all daily needs in the areas of movement, eating, toileting, medical care and activities. Many persons in the Habilitation program require the use of a wheelchair for ambulation. Each individual spends time daily, outside of their wheelchair for stretching, range of motion, relaxation and therapy. Staff utilizes adaptive rocking chairs, therapy tables, floor mats and bean bag chairs in order to accommodate this goal. Staff at the Centre utilizes one of the ten automatic or manual lifting devices to move individuals from their wheelchairs to the changing rooms or program areas. Another feature of the Habilitation Program is the therapy pool which is used for aquatic therapy by specially trained therapists. The Aquatics Program is designed to strengthen individuals in the water, so that they may receive land therapy in the future. Further information about The Centre @ Javit Court may be obtained by contacting Toni Scurpa, Adult Services Director at 330-797-2914 or tscurpa@mahoningcountyoh. gov.

Provider Spotlight: Siffrin The difference is experience. Celebrating their 40th year, Siffrin offers internationally accredited supports and outcomes to people with disabilities. Siffrin demonstrates their commitment by continuing to offer quality service delivery with an intense focus on the satisfaction of those served. Established in 1976, Siffrin’s legacy began with an estate donation made by Elsie Siffrin. She cared about a young man that lived next door to her that had a disability, and was concerned about what would happen when his parents were no longer able to care for him. She wanted her donation to help secure ongoing quality services for him, in a residential setting. A home was purchased, and over time, more people with disabilities were able to choose community living which kept them out of institutions. Siffrin’s services span across 10 counties in Northeast Ohio. Services include Supervised Living, Community Support, Shared Living, and Fiscal Services. As a vendor of Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities, Siffrin is able to work with people of all ages with varying disabilities because of their CARF accreditation []; including people that do not meet DD eligibility with the County Boards of DD. Additionally, Siffrin offers 24/7 Transportation Services to people in an effort to eliminate transportation barriers that could affect their employment. Siffrin’s Community Integration & Pre-Vocational Training Service, The Bridge, bridges the gap between sheltered workshops and the community. With The Bridge’s unique model of service delivery, people that attend The Bridge intensely focus on volunteerism, learning, self-advocacy, and citizenship. Accessible supports, including a chang-

ing room and shower, are available to ensure dignity and self-esteem are maintained at all times. Additionally, a Sensory Room is also available for people that would benefit from a therapeutic space that promotes sensory support. Please contact Siffrin’s Regional Director, Ryan Cavanaugh, for questions or to schedule a tour. 132 Westchester Drive Austintown, OH 44515 330.799.8932

Self-Advocacy Self-advocacy is about bringing people with developmental disabilities together to create a strong voice with others that will be heard enough to make a change. It’s about making legislators and communities aware of individuals’ needs and the needs of others. Self-advocacy involves people with developmental disabilities making decisions in all aspects of their life:  having optimal health, choosing where they want to live, experiencing emotional well-being, selecting their own friends, becoming employable, and being a viable part of the community. People with developmental disabilities have the right to possess the necessary tools to succeed in life and to be given the opportunity to make a difference. MCBDD believes that people with developmental disabilities have the right be self-advocates; to assert their own interests, to express creativity and needs, understand their rights and to be empowered to make decisions to the best of their abilities. People with developmental disabilities have the right to make their voices heard and the right to speak up and recognize that their voice matters. Learning about and practicing peer advocacy skills can enhance a person with developmental disabilities role and improve confidence to make decisions that affect an individual’s life.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Mahoning County Board of Developmental Disabilities

Community Services The mission of MCBDD Community Services is to support individuals in determining and choosing life goals and/or services; to aggressively work toward that attainment; to work with families, guardians and natural supports to access, provide and/or enlist whatever assistance or support is needed in any life area, including protective intervention; and to maintain the individual as the focus while coordinating services across multiple systems. Over 800 individuals are currently receiving case management services through Community Services. Service & Support Administrators are employed by the MCBDD and follow rules written by the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities to provide a variety of services. Service & Support Administrators make sure that individuals with developmental disabilities receive the services they want and need to ensure a high quality of life. Eligibility is determined after a series of questions are answered by or on behalf of the person applying for services. What services do Service & Support Administrators provide? • Information and Referral • Service Placement • Service Coordination • Crisis Intervention

Self Determination and the Person-Centered Planning Process Self Determination is a framework that helps an individual with disabilities to design and receive needed services and supports. Individuals and their families meet and work with county board staff to develop an Individual Service Plan (ISP).

• Major Unusual Incident Investigation/Reporting • Service Monitoring If you or someone you know thinks they are eligible for MCBDD Community Support services, call Vince Paolucci at 330-799-2942 or vpaolucci@mahoningcountyoh. gov. If you have an emergency, call Help Hotline at 330-747-2696, and ask for the MCBDD Service & Support Administrator on call. Service & Support Administrators are on call 24-hours a day, seven days a week.

Provider Spotlight: The Arc The Arc is a non-profit, tax-exempt corporation established in 1955, for the express purpose of advocating, assisting and furthering the goals of persons with developmental disabilities. The goal of the Arc is to advocate for human rights, personal dignity and community participation of individuals with developmental disabilities in the Tri-County area, through information and referral, education, family involvement, legislative and social action. The Arc of Ohio Northeast Branch provides regularly scheduled educational conferences and trainings to families and professionals as well as our Annual Family Advocacy Conference. The Arc participates in various legislative events to advocate for individuals with developmental disabilities. Social Interaction is just as important for persons with Developmental Disabilities as they are for everyone else. The Arc tries to fill that need by working with community sponsors and by providing our own programs such as: The Next Chapter Book Club a community-based literacy and social program for adolescents and adults with disabilities of ALL reading levels. Bingo for our special population is held the first Friday of each month at Leonard Kirtz School. Library/Activity Night is held on the second Thursday of each month at the Bev Masco Workshop. Shows are regularly presented. Dances are held on the third Friday of each month at


the Youngstown Developmental Center. Golf League is held from June thru September at Stambaugh Golf Course. Annual Family Advocacy Conference - Details to be announced at at later date All Arc of Ohio Northeast Branch programs are made possible through fundraisers, donations, grants, membership dues and allocations from The Mahoning County Board of Developmental Disabilities, The Hine Memorial Fund, and The United Way. For more information, contact: Jennifer J. Bionci, Executive Director 3040 Center Rd. (Rt. 224) Poland, Ohio 44514 (330) 707-1134

Self Determination Means: • People have the freedom to choose and design the support they need to pursue the life they envision. • People have the freedom to plan their own life and to pursue things that are important to them with support. • People have the freedom to experience the same life opportunities as other people their age. • People enjoy the freedom of economic independence and security with opportunities to earn income. • Each person has authority over their own individual support budget. • People take responsibility for decisions in their own lives and for the support money allocated to them. Individual Service Plan (ISP): An individual service plan (ISP) is like a map. It helps the individual to navigate a path to success that they themselves help to design. The ISP contains goals for the individual to help them to become as independent as they would like to be in a particular life area. Supports are listed as well so that staff, family and friends know what services are needed and what assistance to provide without compromising the individual’s independence. An Individual Service Plan is unique for each individual and includes what he or she sees as important in reaching his/her life’s goals.


Mahoning County Board of Developmental Disabilities

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Provider Spotlight: Gateways to Better Living With locations throughout Mahoning County, Gateways to Better Living, Inc. offers services including group homes, respite care, waiver services, and housing management. Gateways Industries provides employment opportunities in the production of piece work. Utilizing person centered planning provides the opportunity to customize services based on each individuals’ personal goals. Gateways to Better Living and the individ-

Employment Locations MCBDD is grateful to the following businesses and organizations that provide employment opportunities for the individuals we serve: • 130 Javit • AGC Glass • ARCRAE • Carousel Center • Centre @ Javit Court • Gia Russa • Giant Eagle, Canfield • Goodwill Industries • Home Depot • ISLE Candy Store • Leonard Kirtz School • MASCO • MCBDD Bus Garage • NEI Janitorial • Pine Industries • Pizza Hut • Poland Medical Center • Purple Cat • Ruby Tuesday’s • Sandwich Factory • Sparkle, Cornersburg • Stonebridge Restaurant • Subway, Canfield • Tamarkin Company • The Ranch • Turning Point • Wedgewood Pizza For information about MCBDD Employment Services, contact George Gabriel at 330 -7999035 or

uals they serve also strive to be a valuable part of the community through participation in volunteer activities. From St. Vincent De Paul to the Rescue Mission, our individuals give back and offer assistance with meals for those less fortunate.  This helps our community and at the same time teaches our individuals a sense of self-fulfillment and empowerment.  Gateways to Better Living also provides the opportunity for individuals to experience

the arts and exercise programs including exposure to artists, yoga, zumba, Special Olympics and other enriching options to one’s life. Trips to Cleveland Browns and Scrappers games, the Good Time II, and Kalahari are but a few of the fun outings individuals have enjoyed this year. Gateways to Better Living has recently expanded services into Trumbull county, in residential waiver and a unique day habilitation experience, The Gateways Galleria.

Provider Spotlight: New Leaf Residential Services New Leaf Residential Services Inc. was founded in early 2004. This supported living agency was built on the belief that all individuals can excel in community based settings regardless of the challenges that may be faced on a daily basis. As a result, over the last decade, New Leaf has expanded from their original office in Austintown to serving Mahoning, Trumbull, Columbiana, Portage, Stark and Cuyahoga Counties through three regional offices. New Leaf Residential Services Inc. is committed to providing the best possible quality of care to individuals with developmental disabilities; the agency is committed to working towards the principles of Self Determination: Freedom, Authority, Support and Responsibility. The individuals served are always given

the outlet to promote their dreams, wants and individuality. Additionally, through a rigorous system of checks and balances, New Leaf has always ensured that their supported living homes are clean and safe environments which match the personality of the people living there. Personal relationships with consumers, their families and friends are very important to New Leaf. New Leaf staff strive every day to build and strengthen these relationships; their service will always be about the consumer first. New Leaf management has made a commitment to never lose touch with individuals served or the events of their daily lives. If you are interested in learning more about what the services provided by New Leaf Residential Services, please call 330-793-8582.

Provider Spotlight: Turning Point Residential, Inc. The mission of Turning Point Residential is to empower people with disabilities through advocacy, education and support. In Mahoning, Columbiana and Trumbull Counties, Turning Point offers Supported Living, Shared Living, Habilitation Services and Work Training, recently partnering with Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities to offer Vocational Services to individuals who want a job in the community. Turning Point operates Crumbles Bakery which has expanded to three locations. Crumbles Bakery provides hands-on training and skill building for individuals with disabilities. Turning Points’ No Limits Alternative Center offers adults with developmental disabilities, from Mahoning, Columbiana and Trumbull counties, the opportunity to learn job skills on their path to successful community employment. Once the skills are mastered, they provide job placement, resume building, application assistance, soft skills training and on-the-job training. All of our

individuals are paid minimum wage for independently performed job tasks. No Limits Alternative Center employs maintenance and sanitation crews, clerical workers, food preparation staff, assistance at TJ Maxx and Crumbles Bakery. As interest in community employment for adults with disabilities increases, Turning Point Residential Inc. has begun an employment curriculum named “Employment 101”. Groups of four to ten participate in a series of interactive five week classes that help participants develop skills in communication, enthusiasm and attitude, teamwork, networking, problem solving, critical thinking, professionalism, resume building, and interviewing designed to improve employability and confidence in the workforce. Turning Point believes that caring for someone is more important than “taking care of someone.” Turning Point focuses on individual strengths and interests, keying in on the truth that every goal in life is

obtainable if you work towards it. For more information about the services offered by Turning Point Residential, please visit or call 330-788-0669, ext. 116.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Community Outreach and Events MCBDD staff has developed a number of community partnerships to incorporate into programming for the individuals they serve. Outreach sites include: • Rescue Mission • Angels for Animals • Struthers Baseball • Making Kids Count • Greenbriar Nursing Home • Mahoning County Dog Pound • Assumption Nursing Home • Aquaponics at Choffin • Second Harvest Food Bank • New Life Church • Mill Creek Library • Girl Scouts • Meals on Wheels • Girl Scouts • Falcon Cat Rescue • YNDC (Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corporation) Also enriching the lives of our individuals through exposure to various events and sites in the community, including: • Butler Art Museum • Canfield Fair • Fellows Riverside Gardens • Italian Festival • Mahoning Valley Scrappers games • Oh, WOW! Museum Special Events include: • American Idol Night at Meshel MASCO • Bike Night at Meshel MASCO • Easter Egg Hunt at the Leonard Kirtz School • Fall Carnival and Haunted Hallway at Leonard Kirtz School • Halloween Trick or Treat for LKS at the Centre • Library Night at Bev MASCO • Red Hat Ladies Group at the Centre @Javit Court • Annual Softball Game • Summer picnic • Valentine’s Day Dance

Mahoning County Board of Developmental Disabilities

Provider Spotlight: The Carousel Center Operated by RaeArc Industries, the mission of The Carousel Center is “to educate our individuals through leisure based activities throughout the community. We will strive to promote informative decision making, community participation, and self-sufficiency. We will help them turn their lives around with the support and involvement of family and friends.” Having recently celebrated their sixth anniversary, the Carousel Center serves over 50 individuals and strives for excellent service and provides care to best suit each individual’s needs. Through small groups, educational activities, and leisure activities, The Carousel Center creates the most individualized experience possible for individuals served. A certified coordinator plans a monthly recreation calendar and develops educational plans specific to individual needs. With the help of various agencies and businesses, we integrate our individuals into the community to enhance their learning experiences. We promote self-sufficiency and integration ensuring our individuals achieve their maximum potential. Services offered include: habilitation and day programming, transportation, community involvement, Adult Basic Education (A.B.E.) classes, sensory room, arts and crafts, exercise, self help, language and mobility skills, self direction, economic self-sufficiency, on-call nurse, and residential care. For more information visit or call 330-793-4080.

Provider Spotlight: The Purple Cat The Purple Cat was founded in 2003 to offer day-program alternatives for adults. Clients participate in a wide range of vocational functions, creative projects and classes that develop daily-living skills. The goal is to prompt each individual to achieve his or her potential. The Purple Cat motto is “Work hard, be kind and have fun.” The creative arts program develops talent in the areas of ceramics, painting, theater, music, drawing, writing, jewelry making, and sewing crafts. Purple Cat creations are handmade products by artists with disabilities. Proceeds are paid to all Purple Cat clients. With training and coaching, clients perform duties in agriculture, lawn care, snow removal, building maintenance, food service, animal care and office work. Individuals enjoy the satisfaction of receiving a paycheck for a job well done. Clients learn supplementary skills that benefit them at home, work and in the community. Healthy eating, exercise, pedestrian rules, reading and computer usage are skills that promote independence. The Purple Cat offers day programming at Farmer Casey’s Ranch in Coitsville, The Pearl Street Mission, Purple Cat Productions at the Morley Theater downtown and The Oakhill Renaissance building. Visit Isle’s Purple Cat on Facebook, or visit the website at



Mahoning County Board of Developmental Disabilities

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Community Activities The MCBDD has become more visible through public service oriented projects and engagement in activities designed for community integration. These activities included participation in the Canfield Fair, American Cancer Society Relay for Life, the Down Syndrome Association of the Valley Buddy Walk, volunteering at Angels for Animals, Second Harvest Food Bank and working with The Green Team. Staff and enrollees have participated with the United Way Day of Caring and volunteered at Fellows Riverside Gardens. The MCBDD participated for the first time in the YMCA’s Community Cup competition.

Special Olympics The MCBDD supports and encourages participation in the Special Olympics program. The Special Olympics provide individuals with the opportunity to become active in the community and stay physically fit while participating in individual or team sports with their peers. Teaching teamwork and responsibility to others and promoting physical activity are all goals of this worldwide organization founded by the late Eunice Kennedy Shriver. This organization has operated with MCBDD for over 30 years and enables over 100 athletes to participate in the sport of their choice. The local organization, consisting of athletes, coaches and volunteers, hosts a variety of sporting competitions throughout the year including bowling, baseball, basketball, golf, swimming, track and field, and volleyball. The annual Mahoning County Invitational Track Meet is held at Austintown Fitch High School each June. Individuals from the Mahoning Valley also participate in the State Summer Games held in Columbus in late June. Participants are recognized at an annual banquet held in November. For more information, contact Paul Iden at 330797-3051.

Individuals Served by Program Community Services..................................851 Transportation..........................................386 Adult Services (ages 16+)..........................355 Total Waivers Administered........................782 Family Support Services............................. 129 Employment Program...................................41 School Age Program (ages 6 – 22)...............71

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Dedicated Staff One of the strengths of the Mahoning County Board of Developmental Disabilities is the quality of its staff. The MCBDD staff is a highly dedicated, committed and specially trained group of people representing many professions. Staff members must meet certification or registration standards set by the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities and/or the Ohio Department of Education. Each professional also meets standards in his/her own particular field. Approximately 337 full and parttime and substitute staff members are employed by the MCBDD. The majority of the staff provide direct services to the children and adults being served by Board Programs. Despite their different roles, the one thing they all have in common is their commitment and dedication to improving the lives of individuals with developmental disabilities in Mahoning County.

Mahoning County Board of Developmental Disabilities


“We think you do a great job!”

Survey response


e love the staff.” Survey response

Mahoning County Board of Developmental Disabilities

Program and Service Locations

Board Office

4791 Woodridge Drive • Austintown, OH 44515 Phone: 330.797.2825 • Fax: 330.797.2843

Meshel MASCO

160 Marwood Circle • Boardman, OH 44512 Phone: 330.797.2902 • Fax: 330.726.1522

Leonard Kirtz School

4801 Woodridge Drive • Austintown, OH 44515 Phone: 330.797.2847 • Fax: 330.797.2861

Community Services

130 Javit Court • Austintown, OH 44515 Phone: 330.797.2925 • Fax: 330.799.2977

Transportation Department

4795 Woodridge Drive • Austintown, OH 44515 Phone: 330.797.2837 • Fax: 330.797.2929

The Centre @ Javit Court

153 Javit Court • Austintown, OH 44515 Phone: 330.799.2120 • Fax: 330.799.2530


825 Bev Road • Boardman, OH 44512 Phone: 330.797.2886 • Fax: 330.758.4236


Mahoning County Board of Developmental Disabilities

Highlights about our organization 1. The Board funds services to more than 1,400 individuals Chances are, you know an individual or a family that depends on the Board for schooling, work experiences and support. The MCBDD serves people from every corner of the county, from birth through their senior years. 2. Service the county has relied on for 40+ years The Mahoning County Board of Developmental Disabilities has been providing vocational, educational and recreation programs for children and adults with developmental disabilities since 1967.


hank you from the bottom of my heart.” Parent of a program participant

8. Nearly one million miles of transportation The County Board operates a fleet of buses and vans that provides transportation to individuals who would otherwise find it difficult or impossible to get to school, work or recreational activities. These vehicles traveled close to 750,000 miles this past program year.

3. Cuts in other sources of funding State and Federal funding has been reduced signifi- 9. Improved access to services cantly over the years. The phasing out of the tangible All waiting lists for county Board services have been personal property tax reimbursement means approxi- eliminated except for residential services. Approximately 700 additional Medicaid waivers have been obtained mately $3 million less for Board programs. for families in the past ten years. 4. Quality programs Board programs are highly regarded throughout the 10. A commitment to giving back state and have served as a model for other counties. The staff and individuals in Board programs take pride MCBDD has received Ohio Public Images awards in 10 in helping others. They actively support programs like of the last 11 years. The awards recognize excellence in the Rescue Mission, Food Bank, Relay for Life, Red Cross creating positive images of people with developmental Blood Drives and United Way Day of Caring through fund raising and volunteering. disabilities. 5. Staff that is caring and highly qualified The County Board administrators and direct care staff have extensive professional experience, education and credentials to provide everything from personal care to educational and work experiences for individuals with developmental disabilities.

For more information, visit

6. Choices for families and individuals Individuals can choose the services they feel will be of the most benefit from the qualified providers that they want to work with. 7. Responsible fiscal management The County Board has been doing more and more with less and less for many years. As Federal and state funding has been reduced, and individual needs increased, the Board has adjusted and continues to provide a full range of services without deficit spending. It’s important to know that local levy dollars are used as matching funds to bring in Federal funding to pay for services.

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Saturday, November 5, 2016

2016 MCBDD Special Section  

The Vindicator's 2016 MCBDD Special Section publication.

2016 MCBDD Special Section  

The Vindicator's 2016 MCBDD Special Section publication.