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LCF Donor Profile: Licking County Board of Developmental Disabilities

LCF Donor Profile: Licking County Board of Developmental Disabilities

Q: Tell us about the Licking County Board of Developmental Disabilities:

A: The foundation for the Licking County Board of Developmental Disabilities (LCBDD) was laid in the 1950s when local parents came together to provide more educational opportunities for their children with disabilities. Their efforts helped set Licking County apart as a progressive community that pushed for more inclusion.

In 1967, a state law was passed that formally established DD boards in every county in Ohio, including Licking. That same year, LCBDD dedicated the E.S. Weiant Starlight School, which educated children with developmental disabilities for more than 40 years.

As the system of supports for people with disabilities in Ohio continued to change, LCBDD’s mission has also evolved.  In our early days, our agency provided educational and employment services, transportation and direct care. But over time, the focus of our system has moved to a more “person centered” approach which emphasizes people spending more time in the community and having more choices.

Today, LCBDD supports nearly 1,800 Licking County residents and their families. Our primary roles are to fund and approve services and connect people with the resources they need to be successful.

LCBDD recently completed a renovation of the former Starlight School. The updated building, at 116 N. 22nd St., now houses all 84 LCBDD employees, providing a one-stop resource to our community. 

Although our agency has transitioned over the years, our core values and beliefs have remained the same. We exist to support people with disabilities as they discover, pursue and achieve the life that is important to them. 

Q: Why did the LCBDD decide to set up a fund at Licking County Foundation? What is the purpose/goal of the fund?

A: In 2005, the Licking County Board of Developmental Disabilities received a $25,000 bequest from Martha Welsh a lifelong resident of Licking County, in honor of her granddaughters, Tammy and Lori Dumbauld, who have been supported by LCBDD since birth.

After carefully considering options, the Board chose to use this donation to establish the LCBDD Endowment Fund through the Licking County Foundation.

LCBDD and Mrs. Welsh’s family hope more people will follow their example by adding to this fund, therefore providing additional assistance for adults and children who have developmental disabilities.

Once the Endowment Fund goal of $150,000 is achieved, the interest income will be dispersed annually to local people with developmental disabilities and their families with these needs:

  • Respite care or a short period of rest from care giving responsibilities;
  • Adaptive equipment such as wheelchairs, walkers and communication-enhancing devices;
  • Home modifications such as ramps and accessible bathrooms;
  • Recreational experiences such as camps, trips and sporting events.

Q: What is something you wish more in the community knew about LCBDD?

A: Many people don’t know that we support people from birth until they are no longer with us, and through all the life stages in between.

LCBDD provides Early Intervention for children birth to 3, resources for families of school-age children, assistance with the transition from high school to the workforce and help navigating the needs of older adults.

We have expert staff with decades of experience and our service coordinators, who provide case management, specialize in different age groups, so they can provide the most relevant information for those specific life stages.

LCBDD also works in partnership with the direct support professionals and provider agencies who have taken on the role of providing direct care to the people with disabilities in our community. We currently provide funding, training and support to 64 active agency providers and 109 independent providers of residential and transportation services.

If you would like more information about the services and supports we provide, please don’t hesitate to call us at 740-349-6588.

Q: What inspires the LCBDD about this community?

A: Licking County is not only a very caring community, but it is a community that values collaboration. We have forged some amazing partnerships with local agencies that have been beneficial to everyone involved, and are looking forward to establishing even more. People here are always willing to step up and lend a hand and work together to find solutions to a problem.

Q: Anything else we haven't touched on but feel is important to share?

This is a very exciting time for those working to support people with developmental disabilities. Assistive technology is providing people with more options to live their lives independently. The leaders in difference facets of our field are working together to strengthen the direct care workforce and give people more options for transportation. Locally we are working to provide more resources to families of young people who are supported by multiple systems and need additional support and stability. We feel very fortunate to be in this county and are excited about the future and the ways we can continue to help people move forward.

Photo: Licking County Board of Developmental Disabilities Superintendent Jason Umstot was joined by Mayor Jeff Hall and members of the LCBDD Board of Directors in cutting the ribbon for the rededicated E.S. Weiant Center in June.

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