Summit DD blog item

Quality Is Our Highest Priority

Everyone deserves high-quality services and supports paired with the best care so they can work to achieve their life goals and dreams. As we continue toward our long-range goals of increasing provider support and ensuring quality supports in the community, Summit DD has developed tools, trainings and resources to support disability service providers and empower people of ALL abilities.

Best Practice Resources

Through a collaboration between Summit DD’s Community Supports and Development department and community partners, providers, families, guardians and people we support, best practice resources have been created for four service areas:

“We’ve formed four collaborative work groups around each service to address the barriers and gaps in the service delivery system as well as discuss things that are working well and strategies to improve services,” shared Jan Dougherty, Summit DD Community Supports and Development Manager. “We also have on-going meetings with family members and guardians to gather feedback and input on how services should and need to be delivered.”

Simple charts for each service area were created and broken into two columns: on the left is the standard practice and the right is the best practice. This format allows families and individuals to evaluate programs and services offered by providers and compare their practices to those outlined on the chart to help them choose a provider that best fits their needs.

Not only does this tool assist individuals and families, but also helps providers make changes to move toward providing best practice services so people with developmental disabilities can be a part of their community and achieve success.

“As the demand for services continue to rise, individuals, families and guardians in Summit County have a tradition of expecting high quality services,” Dougherty said. “In fact, they want a quality of service that goes way beyond the minimum requirements that the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities requires.”


Summit DD recently started offering  trainings and orientations for agency and independent providers and people in the community who would like to become providers. Classes include: Initial Eight Hour Provider Certification Training, Renewal Provider Certification, Physical/Psychological Management Training (PMT), American Red Cross First Aid and CPR, ‘So, you want to be a provider…’ Orientation and Post Certification Orientation. There is a small fee CPR and First Aid, while all other trainings and orientations are free. View our events calendar for more information and to register!

“We believe in our providers and we want the providers’ performance to be of the highest quality,” explained Summit DD’s Provider Relations Manager Carolyn Akakpo. “We want to maintain a strong collaborative relationship with our providers and continue to help them utilize resources available, as well as develop new resources, so they can provide the best services for every individual we support.”

Provider Support

In an effort to increase efficiency, Summit DD has developed an easier and quicker way for providers to communicate with the Agency. Providers can use the support line: 330-634-8110 or email to submit questions, concerns, feedback and more.  Calls and emails will be tracked and logged so Summit DD staff supporting providers can view previous conversations and ensure high quality customer service. This will also allow Summit DD’s Community Supports and Development department to analyze frequently asked questions or concerns and create new resources and tools to address them.

A new provider support website has been created to give providers a place to get information, tools, resources, contact information and more. Visit to explore the provider site!

Summit DD will continue expanding support for providers by developing new trainings and webinars, as well as building capacity throughout the community and monitoring health and safety for every individual we support.

“All of these efforts will help our provider community in continuing to provide the best quality of services to the people we serve and support,” Dougherty expressed.

Read more about our plans and accomplishments in our 2016 Annual Report/2017 Action Plan!

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