(Posted Oct. 23, 2019)
By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor
The Madison County Board of Developmental Disabilities (MCBDD) is seeking a five-year renewal of a 1.3-mill operating levy. The request appears on the Nov. 5 general election ballot.
The levy has been on the books since 1995 and has been renewed or replaced every five years since then. It generates a little over $1 million per year and represents about 20 percent of the agency’s budget. The annual cost to the taxpayer is $24.81 per $100,000 of property valuation. If the levy passes, that cost will remain the same.
MCBDD serves approximately 400 children and adults with disabilities.
“We can help through every facet of a person’s life,” said Superintendent Susan Thompson.
The board’s case managers advocate for individuals with disabilities and their families, helping them to identify and obtain needed services and support, some available directly through MCBDD and some through referrals to other providers.
Board services geared toward younger children include early intervention, such as physical, speech and occupational therapies, and the Fairhaven preschool program, providing youngsters with intensive instruction to prepare them for kindergarten.
The board offers behavior support services, residential support for adults, nursing services, and critical needs funding to ensure an individual’s health and safety when they lack other financial resources. The board helps youths and young adults ages 14 and older transition from school to work. The board also contracts with other providers to help individuals with daily living skills, personal care, home maintenance and employment opportunities.
Special Olympics and recreation is another facet of the board’s services.
“We have 200 partners and athletes participating in Special Olympics. The team piece helps to elevate confidence. Sometimes, that’s all someone needs,” Thompson said.
MCBDD also provides transportation through Madison County Ride, available to individuals with disabilities, other local agencies, and all Madison County residents. Drivers trained in First Aid and CPR are available to transport individuals to and from a variety of locations, such as doctor’s appointments. Many of the vehicles are wheelchair accessible and equipped with ramps or hydraulic lifts.
“Our drivers log nearly 1 million miles a year,” Thompson said.
For its quality of services and adherence to standards, last year MCBDD received the maximum accreditation of three years from the Ohio Department of Disabilities.