BCBDD Archive News
Advocates Visit with State Rep
A number of self-advocates from Belmont County visited with State Rep. Don Jones (R-95th District) when they attended DD Awareness and Advocacy Day on March 5, 2019 in Columbus. These members of People First Belmont County Chapter discussed several issues with their legislator, including the need for more transportation options and more funding in the state budget for Direct Support Professionals,
who help people with daily living. Pictured with the legislator, from left: Pat Jobb of Martins Ferry, Greg Hocking, Fairview; Rep. Jones; Tommie Lindell of Barnesville, and Mary Lou Kent, advisor of People First.
Belmont DD Board Receives Three-Year Accreditation
The Belmont County Board of Developmental Disabilities has been accredited by the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities for the quality of services provided to county residents.
A six-member team from the state department completed a comprehensive review in November that included interviews with individuals and families who receive supports. A three-year accreditation was earned, the maximum possible term.
Superintendent Stephen Williams credited the successful review to the way the Board views what it does.
“Relationships are the foundation of quality supports and that is our focus in everything we do,” Williams said. “We recognize the uniqueness of every person and family served and that means we are better able to help them get what they want out of life.”
The Board coordinates supports for more than 500 eligible children and adults with developmental disabilities. Supports include early intervention (birth to age three), school-age assistance, transition from school to work (ages 14 to 22), job-related training and employment, residential, transportation, and respite.
BHN Superintendent Receives Leadership Award
Stephen L. Williams, Superintendent of the Belmont, Harrison and Noble County Boards of Developmental Disabilities, has received the 2018 Kenneth Legats Visionary Leadership Award from the Ohio Association of County Boards of Developmental Disabilities.
The award is presented annually to an executive who, over a career of more than 20 years, has shown high ideals, vision, and moral leadership in the administration of services for people with developmental disabilities.
Williams received the award at the OACB 35th annual convention in Columbus on November 30, 2018.
“I am humbled and grateful to be recognized in this way, but awards aren’t individual in nature,” Williams said. “I have a great team that strives to provide the best possible service to the people we support.”
In the nomination, Williams was described as “a thoughtful and passionate leader who is focused on building teams, enhancing relationships and ensuring success for the future. Through his humor, calm and focus, he brings out the best of those around him and always leads with an eye on the future and long-term success.”
Williams began his career with the Belmont County Board of DD in 1988 as a case manager, working in various leadership positions through the years until being named Superintendent of the Belmont, Harrison and Noble County Boards of Developmental Disabilities (BHN Alliance) in 2012. He is the only superintendent in Ohio who serves as superintendent of three county boards of developmental disabilities.
COUNTY BOARDS OF DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES
County Boards of DD Mark 50 Years of Support
The Ohio Legislature created a unique and vital resource for people with developmental disabilities in 1967 and that resource continues to be a lifelong support 50 years later.
Always There 50 YearsOhio’s County Boards of Developmental Disabilities are celebrating their 50th Anniversary in 2017. The year-long theme - Always There - reflects the continuity of support, promotion of opportunity and history of partnership county boards have offered to the people they serve throughout the past, in the present and in the future.
Throughout the next year, the Belmont, Harrison and Noble County Boards of Developmental Disabilities (BHN Alliance) will be sharing stories of what people are achieving in their community.
“Our goal with any effort like this is to build awareness and understanding around what people with disabilities are achieving and how we are there to support their efforts,” said BHN Alliance Superintendent Stephen Williams.
County Boards are responsible for the coordination and funding of quality supports and services people need and this can begin at birth and continue throughout a person’s entire life. Supports funded or provided by the county boards include early intervention for infants and toddlers with developmental delays; transition services to help young adults successfully move from school to work; job-related skill training and employment for adults; and personal growth, residential and transportation services.
Williams noted that some people have intensive needs requiring constant care while others are more independent, living, working and contributing to their community with minimal supports from the County Board.
“We believe in the inherent right of all people to make their own decisions about what they want out of life,” Williams said. “Our mission then is to be there as a support as they seek what matters the most to them.”
The BHN Alliance is a partnership between the three county boards that share a person-centered approach to identifying, coordinating and delivering supports to more than 700 eligible children and adults in Belmont, Harrison and Noble counties.
Wellness initiative kicks off this fall
The Wellness Fund is a reimbursement grant designed to support the wellness goals of people with disabilities across Belmont, Harrison and Noble counties.
The fund operates as a grant. People choose what they would like to do, sign up and pay for the activity and then submit receipts/paid invoices to the County Board for reimbursement. It’s that simple.
The Wellness Fund provides reimbursement for activities like:
Fitness facilities / gyms / pools
Weight loss programs [Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, etc.]
Healthy Cooking Classes
Smoking cessation programs
Registration fees for healthy walks/runs
Fitness classes like yoga, Zumba and others
Community team activities like softball, Pickleball, etc.
“The people we support are interested in healthy living and the Wellness Fund will provide a means for them to get active by joining community-based health and fitness activities,” said BHN Alliance Superintendent Stephen Williams.
If you are a person served by the Belmont, Harrison or Noble County Boards of Developmental Disabilities and would like to learn more, contact the Service and Support Department at 740-695-7433.