The Allen County Board of Developmental Disabilities offers a full range of services beginning with in-home early intervention programs for very young children and their families to service coordination for individuals who are elderly. Our service and support administration staff links individuals and their families to needed services including but not limited to: preschool and school services, family support services which can include respite care, supported residential services, vocational training, community employment, and crisis intervention.
The Ohio General Assembly established boards of mental retardation (as they were then known) in all of Ohio’s counties in 1967 as a result of the strong lobbying efforts of parents whose local school districts refused to enroll their children. It was not until 1975 that federal law mandated that children with disabilities receive a free and appropriate public education. (The legislature added ‘developmental disabilities’ to the name and responsibilities in the early 1980s, and in 2009 it removed the term ‘mental retardation’ from our name.)
Early on, services centered on school-age programs, but since then, services have expanded far beyond that. Today, enrollment among very young children and adults far surpasses the school enrollment, and our involvement with school-age children focuses on serving children in their local schools, not in schools that we operate.
A seven-member unpaid board oversees our overall operations. The Allen County Commissioners appoint five members; the presiding judge of Probate Court appoints two. At least three of the board members must be the parents or immediate family members of enrollees.
Funding for our operations comes from three sources, a countywide property tax and state and federal funds. The local tax, which accounts for 42 percent of our primary support, comes from a 3.45 mill operating levy and a 0.3 mill capital levy which were last voted on in 2002 and 2003 respectively.
The mission of the Allen County Board of Developmental Disabilities is to:
People with developmental disabilities are valued, respected, and supported as they live, learn, work and play in our community.