Our Timeline: A History of Advocacy

Throughout our 50-year history, we’ve continued to ask “what is possible?” And time and time again our community proved that anything is possible through collaboration and a willingness to try something new.

While our role has evolved through the years, we continue to connect adults, kids and families to the supports that help them thrive. And the citizens of Summit County can be sure that we will continue to challenge the status quo and make our community a place where people of all abilities are welcome.

Akron Begins Classes for Kids with Disabilities

November 20, 1949
Akron Begins Classes for Kids with Disabilities

In July 1949, Summit County began providing community-based disability services. Two small classes were held in the basement of an Akron church, thanks to parent advocates.

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Child Welfare Board Assumes Responsibility

January 18, 1963
Child Welfare Board Assumes Responsibility

Child Welfare Board assumes responsibility from Akron schools to finance, staff and operate classes for kids with developmental disabilities.

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House Bill 169 Passes

July 18, 1967
House Bill 169 Passes

House Bill 169 passes – creating the Mental Retardation Board in Summit County.

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1970s

January 2, 1970
1970s

The 1970s marked a decade of growth.

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Weaver School and Workshop Opened

September 10, 1971
Weaver School and Workshop Opened

Thanks to the efforts of parents and advocates, the Weaver School and Workshop opens in Tallmadge.

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Group Homes Open

July 1, 1979
Group Homes Open

The first group home for women with disabilities opened in 1979.

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1980s

January 1, 1980
1980s

The 80s brought growth for adult programs and expansion of community employment services. New legislation solidified rights, provided protections from abuse and neglect and increased funding for Supported Living.

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1st Winter Games of the Special Olympics

February 3, 1983
1st Winter Games of the Special Olympics

Akron hosted Ohio’s first-ever Winter Games of the Special Olympics in February of 1983, with approximately 100 athletes from around the state competing.

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Focus Shifts to Creating Inclusive Communities

April 11, 1983
Focus Shifts to Creating Inclusive Communities

“Mainstreaming” (inclusive community) discussions begin as a way to give people with disabilities more access to their peers and community.

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1990s

January 1, 1990
1990s

In the 1990s the focus shifted to empowerment, inclusion and self-advocacy for individuals with disabilities.

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Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Passes

July 26, 1990
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Passes

On July 26, 1990 the Americans with Disabilities Act was passed.

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First Inclusive Child Care Program

April 10, 1995
First Inclusive Child Care Program

The Board then opens the Collaborative Agencies for Learning and Innovative Childhood Options Center (CALICO), an integrated daycare center.

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2000s

January 1, 2000
2000s

Integration and inclusion helped services evolve in the early 2000s.

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Early Intervention Shifts to Community-Based Model

June 1, 2006
Early Intervention Shifts to Community-Based Model

In 2006 and 2007, the CALICO Early Intervention Center-Based program transitioned into a community-based model.

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Community-Based Schooling for All Students

August 1, 2007
Community-Based Schooling for All Students

In 2007, changes in special education rules and regulations, made it possible for more students with disabilities to enroll in public schools.

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Waiting Lists for Day Services Eliminated

November 1, 2007
Waiting Lists for Day Services Eliminated

The Agency focused on decreasing waiting lists for services. In 2007, the waiting list for core day services was eliminated.

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The CPI Program Begins

January 1, 2009

Summit DD’s revolutionary Community Partnership for Inclusion (CPI) program opened up a new world of possibilities for families who have kids with disabilities.

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“MR” Removed from County Boards’ Names

July 12, 2009
“MR” Removed from County Boards’ Names

In 2009, the Agency removed Mental Retardation from their name in accordance with a new state law.

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2010s

January 1, 2010
2010s

Focusing on the idea of empowering people of all abilities, the Agency made it its mission in the 2010s to make Summit County’s communities inclusive for all people.

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Summit DD Focuses on Creating Community Partnerships

October 19, 2013
Summit DD Focuses on Creating Community Partnerships

Summit DD focuses on creating various partnerships within the community to foster inclusive programs.

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Calico Transitions Last Child Out into Community

May 24, 2014
Calico Transitions Last Child Out into Community

With the evolution of inclusive community child care, Summit DD’s CALICO program transitioned its last child into a community child care center.

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Conflict Free Case Management Rule Goes Into Effect

April 10, 2015
Conflict Free Case Management Rule Goes Into Effect

A 2014 CMS rule called for “conflict free case management”. 

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New Person-Centered ISP Rolled Out

October 13, 2015
New Person-Centered ISP Rolled Out

A cross functional team of families, Agency staff and private providers came together to dramatically improve the Individualized Service Plan, or ISP.

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Collaboration Provides Summer Work Experience for Teens

June 16, 2016
Collaboration Provides Summer Work Experience for Teens

Summit DD partnered with Summit County Job & Family Services, private disability service providers, and employers to provide summer work to dozens of teens with disabilities.

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Transition Program for Youth Piloted

June 24, 2017
Transition Program for Youth Piloted

Local teens get hands-on experience that will help them find jobs after graduation thanks to the Transition Pilot program.

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© Summit County Developmental Disabilities Board