Agency History

We are here to ensure that our friends, neighbors and co-workers living with developmental disabilities have available to them the programs, services and supports necessary to help them enjoy a fuller, richer life.

Before 1950, children and adults with developmental disabilities had little opportunity to become educated or trained for jobs. Public school systems and local businesses excluded them. TuscBDD arose from a grassroots effort by parents and concerned citizens in 1955 to provide educational services to 12 children with developmental disabilities through the creation of Starlight School. This was the first hope for many to remain outside institutions and still receive services.

Over time, Starlight School has evolved into the TuscBDD, which is a publicly funded county governmental entity offering an array of programs for over 600 eligible individuals. Community-based services for persons with developmental disabilities were placed on more solid ground with the passage of Senate Bill 169 in 1967. The bill officially created Tuscarawas County Board of Mental Retardation. The name was later changed to the Tuscarawas County Board of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities as a result of Amended Senate Bill 160, which became effective in 1980. We officially became Tuscarawas County Board of Developmental Disabilities in October 2009 with the passing of HB79, removing the term "mental retardation" from our name and the name of all county boards in Ohio. Regardless of our size, name, and funding sources, our purpose has remained the same ~ quality services to eligible individuals for all life stages:

  • Early Intervention (Children)
  • Preschool (Children)
  • School Age (Children)
  • Vocational Habilitation (Adult)
  • Day Habilitation (Adult)
  • Supported Employment (Adult)
  • Activities (Adult)
  • Transportation
  • Service & Support Administration (SSA)
  • Family Support
  • Residential

Our goal is to help each individual live, learn, and work as independently as possible and to become contributing members of the community.

Self-Determination is our approach to services and supports for people with disabilities. TuscBDD is committed through their programs to individual freedom and the opportunity to choose needed supports and services.

Over the years, the ways in which we deliver services has changed. But one thing will never change — the caring and concern our staff members have for each person we are privileged to serve.