More than 900 staff, individuals, families and community members expected
(Tallmadge, Ohio) – On Sunday, August 30, approximately 900 people will celebrate Inclusion Day with the Summit County Developmental Disabilities Board, or Summit DD, as the Akron RubberDucks play the Richmond Flying Squirrels at Canal Park, 300 South Main Street, Akron. The festivities begin at 1:05 with a ballpark lunch and then a chance to run the bases after the game. First pitch is at 2:05.
“We are overwhelmed by the show of support,” said Summit DD Superintendent John Trunk. “Our goal is to help create communities that are welcoming to individuals of all abilities. And to see this many people coming together to celebrate inclusion, this tells us that the community is behind us.”
Inclusion Day, made possible in part to donated funds, is an opportunity to celebrate the abilities of all citizens – including the more than 4,000 children and adults with developmental disabilities that Summit DD serves.
On June 30 Governor Kasich signed the FY 2016 – 2017 Budget, making an historic investment into Ohioans with Developmental Disabilities. The budget invests $286 million ($116.5 million State share) over the next two years to increase opportunities for Ohioans with disabilities to live and work in the community.
Highlights of the FY 2016 – 2017 Budget include:
- The budget invests in residential options, including funding for additional waivers to reduce the waiting list and transition those from Intermediate Care Facilities (ICF) to community living if they chose. Additionally, all ICF’s will move to only having two individuals in a room providing more space and privacy.
- An additional $3 Million in funding is allocated per year is allocated in the budget to create new service models that promote both community employment and integrated day models. Additional funds for community employment are earmarked for ongoing support of DODD’s partnership with Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities (OOD) to assist in the cost of transitioning to integrated day services and supported employment.
- Funding will allow DODD to add nursing services to the IO waiver to enable people with medical needs to live in community settings; provide for much-deserved increase for direct care staff; increase the availability of add-on services for individuals with complex needs and behavioral challenges; provide training for those who receive, plan, and deliver waiver services; and strengthen oversight and quality assurance efforts so the person-centered plan is delivering meaningful outcomes.
- Also included in the budget was a funding fix for the phase out of Tangible Personal Property Tax (TPPT), which will provide County Boards across the state $20 Million over the next two years to be allocated toward Waiver match to ensure the money was put towards services for people with developmental disabilities. When an allocation methodology is determined Summit DD will receive a portion of those dollars to offset a $500,000 loss in TPPT funding in 2016.
The budget funds several statewide initiatives to promote more opportunities for people with disabilities to live fully inclusive lives and will be vital for the system to evolve.