Helping People Live, Learn and Earn in Our Community

Adults

Geauga County Board of Developmental Disabilities strives to support adults with developmental disabilities as they face many important decisions.  Where to work, where to find community inclusive opportunities, and where to call home are all choices our individuals make as we fulfill our mission to help them live, learn and earn in our community.

Employment

The Geauga County Board of Developmental Disabilities is here to help support and enhance the lives of adults with special needs. The Board develops partnerships with private providers for adult day support, vocational habilitation, individual employment supports, and non-medical transportation.

Employment is a goal for many adults, including those with developmental disabilities. Private providers help in our effort to assist individuals in finding and maintaining competitive employment. Community employment can bring benefits including greater independence, financial and social skills, improved self-esteem and personal satisfaction. Every individual has different interests, skills and abilities therefore employment does not require 40 hours a week.

In March of 2012, Governor Kasich signed the Employment First Executive Order. Employment First in Ohio is part of a national movement to better ensure equal employment opportunities for all people. Employment First means that the individual is given a chance to think about having a job in the community as a first choice. For more information about Employment First, visit www.ohioemploymentfirst.org.

As part of the person- centered planning process, individuals decide upon a job goal and determine where they are on the Path to Employment.

The path to employment is a four-step process to determine how employment applies to an individual and helps facilitate future planning. Path to employment is a combination of assessments and individual feedback through person-centered planning that ensures every individual will have the opportunity to learn about community employment and decide their own employment goals.

The four Paths to Employment:

  • I have a job but would like a better one or to move up.
    I want a job but I need help to find one.
    I am not sure about work. I need help to learn more.
    I don’t think I want to work, but I may not know enough about it.

The planning meeting will help the individual choose a goal, discuss what is needed to reach goal, and will guide the services chosen to support the individual in their ISP. This meeting will take place every year or more often if their goal or support needs change.

Once an individual has decided that they are ready to work they will choose a private provider. Private providers are able to provide job development (helping individuals with resume building, interview skills, and find jobs) and job coaching (assisting our individuals to learn and to accurately carry out job duties). After job coaching, follow-along services are available. This may include following-up with the employer and/or the individual to see how things are going and should there be any problems the job coach would come in an assist the individual to help retain employment.

Social Opportunities

Having the opportunity to socialize, participate in recreation activities and to be a part of the community is incredibly important to the wellbeing of the individuals we serve at GCBDD, and we are proud to provide a wide variety. Social opportunities include the Special Olympics, Aktion Club, dinner club, dance, water aerobics, recreational outings, overnight camping and more. All of these programs help our clients become civic-minded members of our community.

Aktion Club

The Aktion Club is open to all clients of the Geauga County Board of Developmental Disabilities. The club is sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of West Geauga. The Aktion Club’s mission is to provide adults living with disabilities with the opportunity to develop initiative, leadership skills and to serve their communities.

To get more information about the Aktion Club or about joining, visit www.aktionclub.org/join.aspx.

Dinner Club

The Geauga County Board of Developmental Disabilities’ Dinner Club meets once a month in two different locations. Club members get together to eat, socialize and have fun. To join the Dinner Club, contact the Metzenbaum Recreation Department at 440.729.9406.

Special Olympics

Special Olympics is the world’s largest sports organization for people with intellectual disabilities, with more than 4.5 million athletes in 170 countries and millions more volunteers and supporters. It is also a global social movement.

Special Olympics contributes to the physical, social and psychological development of all participating athletes. Through successful experiences in sports, they gain confidence and build a positive self-image which carries over into their homes, jobs and communities. At the GCBDD, every athlete’s goal is to be a good sport, do their best in every activity, make new friends and have fun.

The GCBDD’s Special Olympics teams include volleyball, track and field, soccer, softball, individual and team bowling, swimming, basketball and golf. Approximately 120 athletes currently participate on these teams.

If you or your loved one would like to sign up for a Special Olympics team, please contact Bonnie Veleba at bveleba@geaugadd.org.

Mission

The mission of Special Olympics Ohio is to provide year-round sports training and competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage and experience joy, as well as participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community.

Winter Sports

Swimming
December – February. Practice is normally at Wembley Club in Bainbridge. The area event is the beginning of November and the State meet is the middle of December.

Basketball
October – February. There are many games scheduled against other organizations throughout the season. The playoffs take place during the end of February. If Metzenbaum Center athletes win, they proceed to the State Championship at the end of March.

Spring Sports

Individual Bowling
February – April. Practices are held at Ernst Lanes. The area event takes place in May.

Team Bowling
February – April. A team consists of two or four players. The state meet for this sport is the end of October.  Practices are held at Ernst Lanes.

Volleyball
March – May. It is slightly modified, so that the ball is bigger and softer and the server may move into the court to serve the ball. The area event is in the beginning of May.

Track and Field
March – May. There are all sorts of events that are offered, including walking, running, wheelchair competition, softball throw, long jump and relays. The area event is in the beginning of May.

Summer Sports

Golf
June – July. This is a unified sport, meaning each athlete is paired up with a partner from the community. They use one ball and will alternate shots until the ball is holed out. The area event is at the beginning of August in Olmstead Falls.

Softball
July – September. A team consists of no more than 15 players. Games are scheduled against other teams throughout the season. The area event is held in August and the State event takes place in the middle of September.

Soccer
July – September. The games are played with two teams consisting of five players each with one player as goalkeeper.

Residential

Community Homes

In Geauga County, there is a variety of residential service options available. Living options include, supported living homes (shared services with housemates), adult shared living (living with the provider), Medicaid funded facilities, Intermediate Care Facility (ICF), in-home supports, apartments or houses. Services may be shared, up to twenty-four hours, or intermittent. Residential supports are provided by a network of private providers. Contact your SSA if you need assistance exploring and securing housing options.

With independent living services, higher-functioning clients live on their own in an apartment. Supported living is for residents who need more care. The homes serve up to four residents and are generally staffed 24 hours a day by a support staff member.

With shared living, through the Ohio Shared Living Option, an individual with developmental disabilities has a live-in caregiver, either in their home or the home of the caregiver. Respite programs are also available for the caregiver.

An Intermediate Care Facility is for those individuals who need 24-hour nursing care. The Metzenbaum Center offers residential care in houses on campus but has limited openings so please plan early when possible.

The houses on the GCBDD’s campus were renovated in 2014 to better serve individuals. These units now have single-occupancy rooms with in-suite bathrooms and roll-in showers, as well as larger, more open social areas. One house features a centralized commercial kitchen where meals for all the residents are prepared. Under the operation of Jewish Family Services Association (JFSA), we work together to provide quality care as well as intensive medical support 24 hours a day, seven days a week, in order to meet the specialized needs of individuals with developmental disabilities. Programs are implemented to develop skills that enable individuals to function with as much self-determination and independence as possible.

To report abuse, neglect or other major incidents: