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March is al pment Develo ilities b Disa ness Aware th Mon

friendships blossom at hlc Meet avery & grace

As the winter snow melts and the fresh scent of spring grows near, the flowers will not be the only thing blossoming at the Harold Lewis Center (HLC)! Relationships and friendships also will be in bloom. The relationships are between peer models and students receiving services from the UCBDD. Like anything in bloom, a little nurturing goes a long way toward anchoring the roots. That is where intervention specialists, classroom aides and therapists assist through various academic strategies. The Harold Lewis Center emphasizes the importance of developing social interaction and play skills CONTINUED:


Avery, left, and her best buddy Grace pose for a photo at the Harold Lewis Center

Enrollment Numbers up, dollars down; no easy answers to future of funding

Kim Miller

Most people associate the job of superintendent with someone who takes care of the boring stuff. You know, tax levies, funding, and the budget. To a degree, they’re right. And, to be perfectly honest, there are many times when I find it boring.

What gets my blood pumping is witnessing the incredible work our staff does that makes a difference in the lives of people with disabilities. Sadly, the fiscal reality we face is by far our No. 1 challenge. Although I can appreciate your lack of interest in the “boring” stuff, finances have never been more of a threat to our future than they are today.

Let me share four boring items with you: 1) Enrollment has dramatically increased over the past three years and the rate of increase is expected to continue for the foreseeable future. In December 2007, we provided services to 117 adults. Today, we serve 151 adults, an increase of 32 percent in just three years. There are 105 people currently eligible or will be eligible for adult services by the end of 2013, a potential 60 percent increase. 2) The range and depth of services continues to increase. In 2007, 77 people received waiver services. In 2010, that number reached 150, a 95 percent increase. With ever-increasing demands for services, along with our goal to eliminate the Level 1 waiting list, those numbers are projected to more than double by the end of 2014. CONTINUED:


FAMILY INVOLVEMENT Individualized Education Program (IEP) Tips IEP is a familiar acronym in the world of working with individuals with developmental disabilities. It stands for Individualized Education Program. An IEP is a legally binding document for individuals Arlene Porter - age 3 to 21 - that spells out the special education services a child will receive and why. It includes an individual’s: • Classification - the categories that qualify an individual child for special education; • Placement - where the child will receive special education services; • Individual services - could include a one-on-one aide and therapies; • Academic and behavioral goals; • A behavior plan, if needed; • Percentage of time in regular education; and • Progress reports from teachers and therapists. It is called an Individualized Education Plan for a reason. It is to be tailored specifically to a student’s special needs -- not those of the teacher, school, or district. Goals, modifications, accommodations, personnel, placement, all should be selected, enforced and maintained with the particular needs of an individual in mind. Should someone tell you, “We don’t do that,” be aware that is not an individualized response and is unacceptable. If a service is appropriate to his or her needs, then your response should be, “Well, you do it now.” For a more detailed and legal description, go to and click on “Part B.” Under “Browse Major Topics” on the left side, click on “Individualized Education Program (IEP).”

Request a copy of the proposed IEP before the meeting to allow sufficient time for you to prepare for the meeting, and attempt to build a positive relationship with a person on the IEP team. Plan ahead and put your thoughts and goals for your child down on paper. Involve your child in the IEP meeting to the extent appropriate for his/her age. At age 14, they must be invited to attend; at age 16, they will be expected to participate. When an individual is 18, they will be an adult making decisions about their own placement, so it’s never too early to include them in the process. Keep focused on what you want answered or provided for your child. Don’t hesitate to ask questions and seek clarification. Bring a trusted person with you. They can be an extra set of eyes and ears. They can take notes for you and help you stay focused. This person can be a professional and/or someone invested in your child. Don’t abdicate your role as the expert on your child. Do make sure data includes objective or scientific test data and not only on subjective observations. Make sure your child’s IEP goals are SMART – Specific, Measureable, use Action words, are Realistic, and Time specific. Don’t forget you are an equal member of your child’s IEP team. Be polite, but firm. When you disagree, use facts to support your position. Ask to take the IEP home to review it if you need more time. Place the IEP in a file or where you keep other reports for easy access for the future. Develop a collaborative relationship with the people who interact with your child and learn how you can reinforce the skills and strategies they learn at school. Arlene Porter is the Family Involvement Coordinator for the UCBDD.

Family Involvement Dates to Remember: Family Advisory Council


Monday, April 11 - 10 a.m.-12 p.m. at Support Services

Friday, March 25 - 5 p.m.-8 p.m. Saturday, April 30 - 10 a.m.-1 p.m. at Harold Lewis Center


Goddard and morris join union county board of dd The UCBDD Board welcomed its newest members at its January meeting. Mike Goddard and Kelly Morris were appointed to the Board by the Union County Commissioners. Mike and Kelly replace Steve Streng and Bruce Davis, both of whom left the Board at the end of their 12-year terms. mike goddard

A long-time Union County resident, Mike is an associate chief engineer in the HAM Purchasing Division at Honda, where he has worked since 1983. A 1978 graduate of North Union High School, Mike and his wife of 32 years, Laurie, have three children: Brooke (Brian) Foster of Cincinnati, Abby of Dayton, and Drew (Sarah) of Marysville. Kelly Morris

Kelly works for Primary Care Nursing as a home health nurse. She also is the founder and executive director for Brighter Beginnings through Conductive Education, which opened in Marysville last year. She is a graduate of Dublin Coffman High School and the Licensed Practical Nursing Program at Ohio Hi-Point. Kelly lives in Marysville with her husband, Larry, who is the executive chef of The Country Club at Muirfield Village, and their three daughters: Brittany, 13; Jayden, 9; and Ella, 4. Brittany was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy at the age of six months and receives services through UCBDD.

George Finn recently accepted a position as service consultant with the Support Services Division. George began his employment at UCBDD working at WorkNet as an employment consultant and job developer.

Jeanette Bury is the new program specialist transition coordinator with WorkNet. Jeanette was previously a service consultant with Support Services. Jeanette enjoys music, traveling and spending time with family and friends. She currently serves as a UCBDD representative for United Way Fund Raising and Community Investment committees.

George enjoys reading, walking and fishing. A U.S. Navy veteran of seven years, George is a member of the Knights of Columbus and attends Our Lady of Lourdes Church.




SUPPORT SERVICES together we inspire possibilities One of the ways UCBDD has been a good steward of taxpayers’ dollars, while expanding services to the people we serve, is through the expansion of Medicaid waiver services. A Medicaid waiver allows individuals to stay in their homes and receive support, rather than having to live in an institution. While helping individuals stay in their homes and their communities, Medicaid waivers help UCBDD provide services to more people. How is this possible? Medicaid pays approximately 60 percent of the costs of an individual on a waiver. UCBDD pays the remaining 40 percent of the cost. Currently, 141 individuals receive services through the Medicaid waiver. By the end of the year, it will be 171 individuals.

with a roommate. With plenty of support from her staff, she is finally living the life she enjoys. Mamie has a job at the U-CO Workshop where she enjoys friends, staff and meaningful employment. Pretty good for a 90 year-old! When recently asked if she is ready to retire, her response was “NO!” At The hard-workin’, Elvis-lovin’ home, Mamie has enough Mamie Murphy room for furniture to call her own, her own choice of what to eat, when to eat, and how to eat, and an extensive country music CD collection including such artists as Alan Jackson, Keith Urban and Elvis Presley. Her favorite singer, however, is Toby Keith and she recently saw him in concert - twice!

For some, the Medicaid waiver offers many possibilities that may not have otherwise existed. Perhaps one compelling example of how waivers can impact lives is the story of a young lady named Mamie Murphy. In a time when many individuals were institutionalized, Mamie was actually “born and raised” in an institution as her mother already lived there. After her mother died, Mamie moved to a group home and then eventually to an apartment. When her health began to decline, Mamie was forced to move to a nursing home because there weren’t enough funds to help support her in her own apartment with the staff necessary to meet her unique needs. Mamie knew that the nursing home life was not for her.

Mamie loves to venture out into the community and her providers see that she does that frequently. For Mamie, life is so much more enriching with waiver services. She has more freedom and opportunity than ever before. Mamie loves her independent life, her home and her pet bird . . . named Toby, of course.

In September of 2008, Mamie received an IO Waiver and was able to move into the community


Together, we inspire possibilities!

continued from pg. 1 survey of Ohio taxpayers, only 37 percent of voters said they would be more likely to vote for a levy request if they knew the money was needed to replace critical funds the state would no longer provide because of budget cuts. Most alarmingly, it only made 40 percent of parents more likely to vote for a levy. This suggests that it may not even be an effective rallying cry for the most critical constituency that most agencies rely on to approve levies.

3) For the foreseeable future, our best days of funding are behind us. This is a sad reality. State funding has decreased for the past several years and that trend is expected to accelerate. The loss of tangible personal property tax (TPPT) in Union County threatens to reduce our local funding by more than 20 percent. Local funding makes up more than 80 percent of our budget. The countywide loss of TPPT to all Union County taxing authorities is more than $16 million annually. Additionally, the State of Ohio is trying to fill a $6 billion hole in its upcoming budget. Without an increase in state taxes, which the governor has pledged he will not do, drastic cuts are inevitable.

How has UCBDD responded to this reality? 1) Our salary schedule has been frozen since 2007. This has been an unfortunate but necessary step. 2) Conservative estimates show that UCBDD will have saved more than $6 million due to cost cutting

4) Agencies shouldn’t rely on increasing local revenue to make up for lost state revenue. In a recent




BLOSSOMING FRIENDSHIPS between peer-models and children with disabilities to build an educational foundation for all children.

continued from pg. 1

Avery has also played a positive role in Grace’s preschool experience. Cari said Avery has taught Grace that it is okay to learn, laugh and to ask for help when she needs it.

The budding connection between HLC students Grace and Avery is a prime example of how students help each other learn and grow.

Just like flowers blooming in a garden, every student at the Harold Lewis Center, whether he or she is a peer model or a child with a disability, has unique qualities to help cultivate a colorful classroom dynamic.

Grace and Avery met two years ago when they entered the HLC program as Butterflies in Angela Brooks’ classroom, and they have been nearly inseparable since. “Grace and Avery have such a cute friendship for being so young and only knowing each other for two years,” said Grace’s mother, Cari. “The girls always make sure they sit by each other, whether it is in class, on the bus, or on a field trip.” The Harold Lewis Center Preschool Coordinator Sue LaMendola said that Grace, Avery and their fellow students are given the unique opportunity to learn from one another in an academically and socially balanced environment where every child is treated equally and as an individual. Not only do the children acquire age-appropriate language and social-behavior skills from each other, but they also learn that peer-models and children with disabilities are more alike than they are different. Coupled with on-site speech, occupational, and physical therapy services, as well as an inclusive classroom environment, the HLC’s emphasis on the relationships between peer models and service-eligible students was an added bonus when Avery’s parents were considering her enrollment. “Avery would not have progressed as quickly as she has without having a peer model like Grace in her class,” said Avery’s mother, Amanda. “Peer models are essential to maximizing our children’s potential.”

Harold Lewis Center Dates to Remember: March 7

UCBDD Staff In-service Day

May 13

A.M. Class Family Field Trip

March 24

HLC Spring Field Trip

May 20

P.M. Class Family Field Trip

April 11

Parent-Teacher Conference Day

May 30

Closed for Memorial Day

April 18–29

HLC Spring Break

June 7

Field Day

April 22

Closed for Good Friday

June 9

Recognition Night/Last Day of School




U-CO NEWS Together We Can...Bring About Change A trip through the solar system or some time at the beach?

themes and related activities for the next month. Targeted activities displayed on a hallway bulletin board allow participants to “see” the focus for each month.

These are two of the choices available each day to adults in the Union County Board of Developmental Disabilities (UCBDD) Day Support program. Asked for ideas to improve the non-vocational program, six dedicated Employee Assistance Specialists (EAS) combined initiative, knowledge of people served, and creativity to develop an ever-changing menu of activities and make program space more inviting.

On a typical day, each person in the Day Support program is offered four to six different activities. Selected activities are adapted to meet individual skill sets. All activities are designed to engage motor skills, communication, sensory skills and of course, be fun! On Amelia Earhart Day a small group made and decorated paper airplanes. Later the planes were taxied to the hallway for a longest flight contest. A study of jazz music allowed individuals to design flapper costumes, learn about Betty Boop, and craft bowls from vinyl records. An exotic foods cooking class is planned as an activity to support exploration of other cultures.

A stroll through the habilitation area at U-CO now leads to a tropical paradise where respite from the harsh winter is provided by a comfy rope swing and the sounds of waves crashing on the shore. Two walls in the next room support a glowing solar system, inviting star gazers to watch tiny bursts of light dance across the ceiling. In a third area vibrant colors and over-sized silhouettes encourages participation in a myriad of motor activities.

“It’s a busy day, and people are excited by the themes and all the activities,” said Emily Burmeister, program specialist. “EAS staff does a great job balancing structure, support and novelty each day. They really work hard to make sure that everyone has the best day possible.”

Innovative thinking, careful planning, and individual support allows each person in adult day support to enjoy a well structured day packed with learning opportunities and a variety of activities. Each month, the staff conducts brainstorming sessions to develop

The Habilitation Program at U-CO Industries is dedicated to proving that together we can bring about change.

Art Day at Habilitation Mary Writesel

Lee Edwards

Allen Wilson

U-CO Dates to Remember: March 4

U-CO Closed - Staff Work Day

April 22

U-CO Closed - Spring Break

March 7

U-CO Closed - All Staff In-service

May 17

U-CO Closed - Staff Work Day

April 1

U-CO Closed - Staff Work Day

May 30

U-CO Closed - Memorial Day

April 21

U-CO Closed - Staff Training 6

TEAMWORK TURNS MAIL SERVICE INTO GROWING BUSINESS Mailings by Brooke is open for business.

tation), Kevin Ernst (Enterprise Works), Adam Nicol (WorkNet of UCBDD) and Brooke’s family (mother Barb Russell and sister Jennifer Huff).

Located at 16900 Square Dr., Suite 100B, in Marysville, Ohio, Mailings by Brooke is the result of people working collaboratively with one purpose in mind - develop a viable and valued mailing business that provides steady employment for Brooke Russell.

For the past year this team has been writing a plan that truly reflects the goals, objectives and sales forecasts of this business. “As a small enterprise it has been important to identify our strengths as well as our weaknesses,” said Barb Russell. “In addition, this process forced us to define our marketing and sales strategies which assures that our path forward is clear.”

Mailings by Brooke provides cost savings and convenience for anyone wishing to mail at least 200 pieces. “This is a great opportunity for clubs, social organizations, government entities and businesses wishing to complete a direct bulk mailing,” said Barb Russell, owner of the mailing service. “In most cases, customers have found that we can process their materials - fold, insert, apply postage, etc. - and mail them for less than the cost of first class postage.”

everyone is moving forward “Iftogether, then success takes care of itself. ” - Henry Ford

Formerly known as Marysville Mailbag, Mailings by Brooke was recently purchased from James E. “Jamie” Brown Jr. and his family. The Brown family originally developed Mailbag in 1992 as a way of introducing Jamie into the work force.

As a result of their hard work the business has recently received a leased Pitney Bowes folder/inserter through the Ohio Rehabilitation Services Commission. “This one piece of equipment will vastly enhance the services offered through Mailings by Brooke. It will allow Brooke to become more efficient with an outcome of lower prices for her customers,” said Adam Nicol, business manager for small businesses supported through WorkNet.

In 2001, Jamie was hired as a production associate with Advanced Technology Products in Milford Center. Since then, the Brown family has employed Brooke as its sole employee. Teamwork has played an integral role in the makings of Mailings by Brooke as it was developed through the efforts of Joanie Shell (Bureau of Vocational Rehabili-

For more information about Mailings by Brooke, contact Adam at

WorkNet Dates to Remember: WorkNet Office Closed: April 22, May 30

WorkNet Crew at Monarch Pizza: April 27 - 4:30 p.m.-6 p.m.

WorkNet Crew Meetings: Every Wednesday afternoon from 4:30pm – 5:30pm at WorkNet

Lunch Bunch at Monarch Pizza: April 28 - 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. WorkNet Crew at Wendy’s (East): May 25 - 4:30 p.m.-6 p.m.

Lunch Bunch Meetings: Every Thursday from 11:30am – 12:30pm at WorkNet

Lunch Bunch at Wendy’s (East): May 26 - 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.

LIFE Works Morning Meetings: Every Monday from 10 a.m.-11 a.m.

WorkNet Crew at Benny’s Pizza: June 29 - 4:30 p.m.-6 p.m.

LIFE Works Afternoon Meetings: Every Wednesday from 2:15 p.m.-3:15 p.m.

Lunch Bunch at Benny’s Pizza: June 30 - 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. 7



U.S. Postage Paid Standard Mail Permit #58 Marysville, Ohio 43040

1280 Charles Lane Marysville, OH 43040

An old man was walking an ocean shoreline littered with hundreds of starfish. He observed a young boy attempting to save them all by throwing them back into the water. “You can’t save them all,” said the old man. “And besides, what difference will it really make?” The young boy picked up another, threw it in the water and said, “I’m not sure, but I think it will make a difference to that one!”

(937) 645-6733 • (888) 644-8145 Kaleidoscope is published by the UCBDD, 1280 Charles Lane, Marysville, Ohio 43040. To receive the newsletter, or if you have any questions, comments or story ideas to share, please call us. If you would prefer to receive our electronic edition, please email Kathy Jamison at


“To ensure services and supports are available for individuals with developmental disabilities.”


“To be a primary community force that ensures a consumer-driven system and that assists eligible individuals to become full citizens within the community.”


EXCELLENCE is exceeding high EXCELLENCE is exceeding thethe high standards for ourselves. standards we setwe forset ourselves.


continued from pg. 4

efforts between 2007-2012. This does not include any savings in personnel costs due to the salary schedule freeze. 3) UCBDD has not asked for additional taxes since 2001 and has no plans to seek additional revenue until at least 2015. 4) UCBDD has sought other sources of revenue. Since 2007, we have tripled our federal revenue and we will aggressively seek other non-local revenue sources. 5) Our recently adopted 2011-13 strategic plan calls for several cost saving initiatives while maintaining quality.

CUSTOMER DRIVEN is identifying and CUSTOMER DRIVEN is identifying and meeting the needs our customers. meeting the needs of of our customers.

I have been asked several times by others, “Kim, in spite of these incredible challenges, why are you so optimistic about the future of UCBDD?”

COLLABORATION is partnering COLLABORATION is partnering withwith internal external stakeholders. internal andand external stakeholders.

Although the work has been hard, the answer is simple. For the past five years we have invested in strategic planning. We are preparing for tomorrow, today. We aren’t afraid of the challenges; we aren’t intimidated by the obstacles; we are motivated to collaboratively find solutions. We aren’t just driven by our core values; we are united by them. Our mission and vision doesn’t live on the wall, it lives in the hearts of those striving to make a difference. Yes, the answer is simple; we know where we are going and we are doing it together.

INTEGRITY INTEGRITY is is doing doing the the right right thing...period. thing...period. STEWARDSHIP is the efficient and effective of people, time, facilities, money, useuse of people, time, facilities, money and other and resources. other resources.


An open line of communication is the key to providing excellent services to the citizens of Union County with developmental disabilities. Persons with any questions or concerns about programs/services being provided by the Union County Board of Developmental Disabilities are urged to contact the program. Please feel free to contact Kim Miller, Superintendent.


The Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities: 1.877.464.6733 • 1.800.228.5405 (TDD) Ohio Legal Rights Service: 1.800.282.9181

That is why I am so optimistic about the future of UCBDD. –Kim Miller, Superintendent

Union County Board of DD Spring Newsletter  

Spring 2011 newsletter of the Union County Board of Developmental Disabilities

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