We are almost a year into a global pandemic and even through everything, our Service and Support Administration (SSA) staff at the Shelby County Board of Developmental Disabilities have continued to diligently serve their caseloads. Work may look a little different, as it does for many of us, but people supported by the Shelby County Board of DD can still look to their SSAs for assistance with a variety of issues or concerns.
The SSA department at the Shelby County Board of DD consists of 11 SSAs, a behavior support specialist, an eligibility coordinator and an investigative Agent who all work directly with eligible people in Shelby County. The SSA caseloads range from approximately 25 to 75 depending on whether the SSA is supporting adults or children. Our SSAs serve children as young as 3 and adults through the end of their lives. Our behavior support specialist assists individuals with challenging behaviors by assessing and developing interventions to improve their outcomes and hopefully, their quality of life. Our investigative agent investigates allegations of abuse, neglect, or rights violations to ensure the health and welfare of the people we support. Our eligibility coordinator assesses eligibility children and adults for county board services.
Life has changed for many of us with the ongoing pandemic, but daily needs still impact people with disabilities, as they do for all of us. SSAs are supporting individuals by ensuring that their needs are met by their residential or vocational providers, that people get the medical care they need and that they have housing and food to meet their needs. SSAs are also available for emergency situations and our after-hours staff often receive calls on nights and weekends for urgent needs.
One of the major accomplishments of our SSA department is our partnership with the Shelby County Health Department to assist in identifying people with disabilities who are eligible to obtain the vaccine. Across Ohio, people with disabilities are impacted and have died from COVID-19. Many people with developmental disabilities live in congregate settings and/or have underlying medical conditions that make them susceptible to serious consequences from the virus. Gov. Mike Dewine issued direction that allows some people with developmental disabilities to be identified as priority for the vaccine.
SSAs at the Shelby County Board of DD worked tirelessly to provide information to people with DD who were eligible to receive the vaccine. The SSAs have also assisted those who wanted the vaccine to sign up to receive their dose. We are fortunate to have a very responsive health department in Shelby County and experienced a very smooth process for those people with disabilities who chose to get the vaccine.
If you have any questions about the SSA department or any other services provided at the Shelby County Board of DD, please call 937-497-8155. Please be sure to follow our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/shelbydd.org.
The writer is the superintendent of the Shelby County Board of Developmental Disabilities.