Dec 30, 2019

From the Superintendent

Looking back on 2019, I’m struck by the number of major accomplishments we’ve had as an agency during the last year. I think it’s important that we reflect on the past year so we can appreciate this great work and continue to build on these successes in 2020.

In a clear sign the community recognizes and values what we do, 76% of Hamilton County voters approved our levy in November – the highest margin of approval in the history of the levy. As part of that process, we successfully completed an audit that was highly complimentary of our work and had only minor suggestions for improvement.

Hamilton County DD Services worked to connect with families in their communities in 2019. This included advertising campaigns on television, radio, billboards, and social media to share information about our services, remote support technology, and the need for direct support professionals. Likewise, we partnered with Local 12 on a job fair highlighting people with disabilities as valued employees. We also shared information at more than 30 community events and hosted multiple events for the families and people we serve, including Project STIR, the Future Is Now, Your Money Your Goals, and the first Advocacy Summit.

In addition to our work in the community, we invested in our staff by providing Civil Treatment Training for all employees and we invested in our facilities by making major mechanical upgrades such as installing sprinklers at Bobbie B. Fairfax School and replacing the HVAC system at the Support Center.

We spent much of 2019 focused on technology, including collaborating with neighboring counties to open a model smart home, and hosting a technology fair at Kennedy Heights Arts Center. This effort resulted in hundreds of families touring the smart home and an increasing number of people using remote support technology.

On top of all of that, we accomplished other significant milestones this year. We recruited more than 20 new businesses to hire people with disabilities. We completed more than 75% of waiting list assessments, putting us well ahead of the state’s mandated schedule. We launched Home Think Tank’s Housing Options Guide on our website to help families better understand what choices they have to provide housing for their loved one. We also extended early childhood supports to children ages 3 to 5.

For all of this year’s outstanding work, it’s no surprise that some of our teammates were recognized with awards this year. Jen Meadows, director of the HCDDS Office of Medicaid, Contracts and SSA, won the Partners in Excellence Award from the Ohio Association of County Boards of DD for her roles on numerous statewide workgroups. Our Community Relations team was recognized by the Cincinnati chapter of the Public Relations Society of America with six awards, including Best in Show and top honors in three categories.

I am overwhelmed by the magnitude of what we’ve accomplished this year as an agency. We could not have done this without the dedication of each and every one of our wonderful staff. I’m truly grateful for everything you do. I want to thank our entire team for a fantastic 2019 and wish you all a Happy New Year.
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