What are these County Boards for?

Ohio’s county boards of developmental disabilities are the local government agencies that fund, oversee, and sometimes directly provide services and supports needed by people with developmental disabilities to live happy, healthy, and fulfilling lives.

County boards of DD were originally created in the Ohio Revised Code in 1967 when the state recognized that no other existing systems were able to meet the needs of people with developmental disabilities and their families. To learn more about the history of Ohio’s county boards of DD, visit alwaysthereforohio.org/history.

Each board is governed by seven volunteer (unpaid) board members. Five of these board members are appointed by county commissioners, while two board members are appointed by county probate judges. At least three total board members must be a family member of a person with a developmental disability who is eligible for services from a county board. Because they are county-based and locally-controlled, boards are best positioned to help meet the unique needs of people with developmental disabilities in their communities.

Board members govern the work of the county board of DD in conjunction with the county superintendent and his or her staff to ensure the development and operation of local programs fulfill the needs of people with developmental disabilities. All 88 of Ohio’s counties have a county board of DD to meet the needs of people with disabilities and their family members.

Responsibilities of a County Board of DD include:

  • Assessing county residents’ eligibility for board services;
  • Providing service and support administration (case management) for people with developmental
    disabilities and their families;
  • Administering, funding, and/or operating some facilities, programs, and services for people with
    developmental disabilities and their families (including Medicaid waiver services);
  • Coordinating, monitoring, and evaluating existing services and available to people with developmental
    disabilities and their families;
  • Providing or contracting for early childhood services, supportive home and personal care services, and
    adult programs (including employment and job training);
  • Providing or contracting for special education services;
  • Adopting a budget and authorizing expenditures;
  • Submitting annual reports of board work and expenditures;
  • Implementing an Employment First policy that clearly identifies community employment as the desired
    outcome for every person of working age who receives services from the board; and
  • Setting benchmarks for improving community employment outcomes, among others

The work performed by county boards of DD has grown immensely since they were established a half-century ago. Today, county boards fulfill a wide variety of important roles in the lives of people with developmental disabilities and their families – making them invaluable pillars of our communities.