Anniversary of the County Board System

by   |   Wed, Nov 1st, 2017

2017 marks the 50th anniversary of Ohio's County Board system. In Tuscarawas County, we trace our roots back a bit further, so we are currently honoring the 60th anniversary of the Tuscarawas County Board of Developmental Disabilities. It is with great humility and reverence that I reflect on the past sixty years of service and the individuals, families and caregivers who together labored to build the extensive system that many enjoy today.

TuscBDD was founded upon the movement spearheaded by a local mother by the name of Ruth Carlson. Ms. Carlson sought to challenge the status quo by rejecting the notion that institutionalization was the best option for children with developmental disabilities. The innovation and tenacity exhibited by Ms. Carlson and other concerned citizens laid the foundation for today's system in Tuscarawas County.
I see this spirit of innovation continue to live on as it manifests itself in the lives of the individuals served as they pursue new community-based experiences and employment. I note this innovative spirit as well when I visit local providers and watch as they pursue new and creative ways of partnering with individuals with disabilities. I also witness this spirit when I interact with the staff of TuscBDD and experience firsthand how they go above and beyond to collaborate with our friends, family, co-workers and neighbors who happen to have a developmental disability. It is my earnest hope that this commitment to innovation will continue on for many, many more years.

In addition to the incredible legacy and current efforts of those involved in our local system of services and supports, a great strength of our system is the emphasis given to the county-level facilitation of services. A little less than half of the states in our country have a locally-based developmental disabilities system like what we enjoy in Ohio. A local system provides individuals and families with a direct connection to the facilitation of their unique plan of services and supports. The locally-based system in Ohio also allows counties to generate funding to support the developmental disabilities program through local levies. Of the states that are locally-based, approximately $1.8 billion dollars are raised per year. Nearly one billion of that total amount is raised in Ohio alone! This makes Ohio the envy of many other states across this country due to the amount of money that is raised and able to be reinvested into a wide-array of services and supports. This is truly something to celebrate.
As we reflect upon the past sixty years and dream about the future, I ask you to join TuscBDD and our community partners as we continue to foster innovation by collaborating alongside our friends with developmental disabilities. I am overwhelmingly convinced that our community is truly a better place when people with developmental disabilities are fully integrated into our society.


Nate Kamban

Wed, Nov 1st, 2017