Coshocton County Board of DD hosts luncheon for providers

| June 20, 2018

COSHOCTON – The Coshocton County Board of Developmental Disabilities hosted a luncheon on Tuesday, June 19 for its providers to those in the community with developmental disabilities. This was the first year for the luncheon which honored the time and dedication these providers have for individuals in the community with developmental disabilities.

Both independent and agency providers were present at the luncheon, which was held at the picnic shelter at Hopewell School. There are about 10 agencies and 32 independent providers in the county.

“They’re the ones doing all the work,” said Sherrie Simmons, provider relations manager. “In our world, the providers are the heart of everything we do. We just want to say thank you. They’re the ones working long hours, holidays, and weekends.”

The board served hot dogs, hamburgers, pasta salad, potato salad, chips, cake, tea, and lemonade to their honored guests. Everybody had their name put into a basket for a chance to win a drawing for small giveaways.

“We would be nowhere without the providers,” said Brittany Coon, public outreach coordinator. “They are the ones who do all the hard work. They are in the frontline. I can’t imagine what their [the people with disabilities] lives would be like without our providers.”

Superintendent of Coshocton County Board of Developmental Disabilities Steve Oster welcomed providers to the luncheon.

“We can’t do what we do without all of you,” he said. “Without any of you, we couldn’t be successful as a county board.”

Oster said they serve many children and adults in the community with disabilities and many need providers to sustain day-to-day life through day programs which gives individuals places of employment to earn some money or residential where some may live who require around-the-clock care.

“People with disabilities want to be a part of the community which is really important,” said Oster. “Providers give them a chance to work in the community, give back, and volunteer.”

Oster said that recognizing providers during a luncheon was important to the board.

“We don’t recognize our providers enough because they’re working all the time,” he said. “They’re just a great group of people.”

Providers give so much of their time, sometimes 80 to 90 hours a week. They are certified through the program which includes background checks, CPR, etc., and are contracted through the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities. Individuals can also choose their own providers through an interview process.

“Our goal is inclusion,” said Simmons. “To get individuals out and be a part of their community and we have a lot of wonderful providers who do that.”

Simmons said that most providers help the individual juggle day-to-day activities, often for multiple individuals in a household.

“It’s not all sunshine and rainbows,” said Simmons. “But they [the providers] still come back every day. The dedication of the people in Coshocton County, it’s amazing.”

Linda Leach is the program director for Midwest Community Service, a store in the Downtowner Plaza on Second Street that sells items made by individuals with disabilities.

“It gives them a chance to have a job and especially self-worth with making their own products and having them displayed,” said Leach. “They also run the store front. It gives them that need of self-worth of having a job.”

She said she enjoys the reward of working with individuals with developmental disabilities.

“Just seeing the reward it gives to them and it shows you how fortunate you really are,” she said. “Just the everyday reward you get from them. You can go in to work in the worst mood and all it takes is one smile or one asking for a hug and it makes it all better.”

Dave Millard has been with Horizons for 37 years and attended the luncheon.

“I just like being involved in their day-to-day lives,” he said. “It’s not always easy, but I believe we make a difference.”

Wendy Shearn, who has been with the program for 18 years and has a total of 35 years of experience, sat across from Millard at the luncheon and agreed with him.

“I like to think we make a difference in their lives,” she said.

The program is always looking for more providers as there is barely enough to go around. For more information on how you can become a provider, contact Simmons at [email protected]

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Category: People & Places

About the Author ()

I have been employed at the Coshocton County Beacon since September 2009 as a news reporter and assistant graphic artist. I am a 2004 graduate of Newcomerstown High School and a 2008 graduate of Capital University with a bachelor’s degree in Professional Writing. I am married to John Scott and live in Newcomerstown. We have two beautiful daughters, Amelia Grace Scott and Leanna Rose Scott.

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