Organization Spotlight – January 2020

What is the Auglaize County Board of Developmental Disabilities?

It has been 67 years since the parents of 21 Auglaize County children began a grassroots movement to ensure their children with disabilities had the opportunity to attend school. Since that time, opportunities for people with developmental disabilities have grown tremendously, and the agency which began as the Auglaize School has evolved into the Auglaize County Board of Developmental Disabilities (CBDD), serving nearly 370 people and their families.

Many still think of the CBDD, located at 20 East First Street in New Bremen, as a school, although the provision of preschool and school-aged services moved to the county’s school districts in 1995. Twenty years later, in 2015, Early Intervention (EI) services which had been delivered in the building known as the ABC Center transitioned from a center-based model to a community-based model. In accordance with evidence-based practices proving children learn best in their natural environment, EI staff now travel Auglaize County, serving over 100 children and coaching parents and caregivers on techniques and interventions to enhance development.

While the CBDD has not operated preschool and school-aged programs in almost 25 years, the agency continues to partner with the Auglaize Educational Service Center, providing space for 3 preschool classrooms serving children from the Minster, New Bremen and New Knoxville School districts.

This partnership reflects the evolution of services and society over the years. At one time, people with disabilities either lived with family or were sent away to institutions, receiving an education and, eventually, vocational training in a segregation. Changes in rules and regulations over the years, however, in addition to civil rights advocacy and changing attitudes, have led to a shift in where people with disabilities are spending their time.

This means Ohio’s county boards of DD have evolved as well. The CBDD works collaboratively with schools and adult provider agencies to ensure the health and safety of people with developmental disabilities as they live, learn, work and play as independently as possible throughout Auglaize County. In addition to a multitude of outreach and educational programs intended to support adults, children and their families, CBDD staff are professionally trained to assess individual needs, authorize home and community-based Medicaid services and monitor the outcomes related to those services.

The CBDD also advocates for the understanding and acceptance of individuals with developmental disabilities so they may thrive as truly included members of their communities.

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content submitted by the Superintendent of the Auglaize County DD