Always There: Memories from the past 50 years


September 6, 2017

In Ohio, County Boards of DD were officially established in 1967. 2017 marks a huge milestone, as we’re celebrating 50 years in existence! For the past few months, we’ve enjoyed going through photos and hearing memories from the past 50 years. Now, we want to share these memories with you!

Our first post features an interview with Anne Dunbar. She’s been at ACBDD for 23 years (!) and currently works as our Intake/Support Services Coordinator.

Why did you get into the field of developmental disabilities?

I planned to be a teacher, but I hadn’t found a teaching position, so I applied to ACBDD as an Employment Coordinator. I loved it from the start and have been here ever since!

What has been the most significant change – regarding developmental disabilities – during your time?

The advent of Medicaid waivers has greatly changed how people with disabilities get the services they need. The variety of services and providers that individuals can choose from and the access to funding for these services has greatly improved since the ‘old days.’

Have opportunities for individuals with disabilities improved?

I think they have, but the process has been slow at times. Right now, the opportunities for students and young adults ‘transitioning’ from school to life after school are really exciting!

How has care and treatment of individuals evolved?

Care has become much more individualized than it used to be, but there’s still work to be done with that. Hopefully, with the practices of trauma-informed care and positive culture initiatives – like The Good Life – care will continue to evolve. Such practices help train DD professionals to be more aware of how their daily actions and practices can affect those they serve. They also teach professionals how to be intentional with building relationships based on respect, compassion, and trust, creating better communities for all.

What’s one of your best memories?

There are so many; it’s hard to choose. In my role as Intake Coordinator, I get to know people really well as they enroll in services, but then I don’t usually see them again very often after that. Sometimes, it’s a few years later. It is the best feeling to catch up with someone I worked with through intake long ago and see how much they’ve grown and all they have achieved. The perseverance and courage some people have continue to inspire me to be more like they are!