The Williams County Board of Developmental Disabilities is determined to ensure the availability of programs, services, and supports that assist individuals with developmental disabilities in choosing and achieving a life of increasing capability such that they can live, work, and play in the community, and to assist and support the families of these individuals in achieving this objective.
Oh, the old Sunnyside School? Do you still have a school? What do you do out there? These are just a few of the questions we commonly hear. It’s time to set the record straight and answer some of these questions we hear from members of our community.
About the Williams County Board of Developmental Disabilities
Yes, our building, housing the Williams County Board of DD, also known as The Enrichment Center, used to be known as Sunnyside School. The school portion of our program “closed” as school age students integrated into the public schools, with the pre-school students following a similar path. Looking back, Williams County Board of DD was actually ahead of the times, ending the segregation of students with disabilities in specialized programs/buildings, allowing them to attend school with their peers. Early Intervention services continued at The Enrichment Center, providing services, including therapy, to children, birth to 3 yrs. of age. In 2014, a directive was given, by the State of Ohio, to discontinue center based services and begin providing services in the children’s natural environment. Currently, our Developmental Specialist, along with Speech, Occupational and Physical Therapist provide services in the home and/or community environment. Occasionally, due to scheduling issues, therapies are sometimes provided at The Enrichment Center. Other services provided include Early Childhood Screenings and evaluations.
While pre-school and school age children are now integrated in the public school, they continue to be eligible for a variety of County Board services, including Service and Support Administration (SSA) and Family Support Services (FSS). FSS helps ensure the availability of supports that help people live as they choose and promotes their health, safety and welfare. Supports provided with FSS funds enhance the quality of life for the entire family unit. Services include: Respite care, mileage reimbursement, adaptive equipment, home modifications to accommodate family member with a disability and other individualized services/items to help meet the family’s needs. To access FSS funds, the family must be caring for the person with a developmental disability at home, and the individual must be eligible for services through their local County Board of DD. An SSA serves as the point of contact to assist the individual with developmental disabilities in coordinating all the services they may need to meet their health, safety, and welfare needs. Other services offered to school age children include assistance with transition for those individuals that will be exiting school.
As students exit the school system, they may continue to receive SSA services. The SSA works with the individual and family members to determine the type of supports they need. Areas of support may be needed in the area of residential, employment, or other day services. The Williams County Board of DD does not provide direct services; however, the SSA may assist the individual in selecting a provider of service. The County Board also maintains a waiting list for some services. The county board also facilitates a Self Advocacy group, which meets on a monthly basis. Individuals support each other as they learn how to make their own decisions, speak up for themselves, and learn about and act on issues that affect their daily lives. We provide an Adult Recreation Program that offers a variety of activities 3 to 4 times per month. Individuals may also participate in Special Olympics, administered by the Williams County Special Olympics Advisory Committee. So, as you can see, while Sunnyside School no longer exists, the Williams County Board of Developmental Disabilities is still very busy providing an array of service to individuals with developmental disabilities in Williams County.