Archive for March, 2016


RossDD Receives Community Impact Pacesetter Award

The Ross County Board of DD was awarded with the Community Impact Pacesetter Award in the Education Division!  We received the award because of the work we do with United Way partners, our positive impact on the Ross County community, and our employee contributions through the United Way workplace fundraising campaign.  Thank you to the United Way for this recognition! We are honored.

leia award



Chamber of Commerce – Message to the Community


Tuesday is a very important day for many across our nation and for us living in Ohio and Ross County. It’s Election Day.


There are so many issues and candidates that will be appearing on this Primary ballot, I encourage you to take the time to do your research and vote your heart. Many of the issues have a direct impact here in Ross County. One is the levy for Pioneer Center. The center is asking voters to replace a 2.1-mill levy from 2004 and vote to add an additional 0.9 mills. The board of directors of the chamber met with center officials and unanimously endorsed this levy that will help provide a variety of services to children and adults throughout our community.


Other races are also important so exercise your right to vote.


Last week, the chamber celebrated the accomplishments of 2015 and honored three companies and individuals with our annual awards. Chad Walters was named the 2016 Entrepreneur of the Year for his success with his Valero businesses. Adena Health System was honored as the Corporate Citizenship winner and Charles Ware, of Ware Funeral Home, received the chamber’s Legacy Award. Congratulations to these business and individuals for your accomplishments and dedication to our community.


We also were thrilled to hear the inspiring keynote address from Marine and Indianapolis Colts Community Spokesman Josh Bleill. His story was heartwarming and touching. His encouragement to make a difference within our lives and our community is one we all should embrace.


Thank you to the 311 people that attended the Annual Meeting. From the caterers, restaurants, AV technicians, volunteers, those who decorated the tables, and everyone who came – I hope you saw the benefit of your investment to the chamber and to your community. Thanks again for making Chillicothe and Ross County a great place to live, work and play.


Click Here to View Our Website                                                                    ~Randy Davies


DRO – Voting Rights

Man using wheelchair at polling location
Election Day is Tuesday, March 15.
Our Voter Hotline will be open.

If you have problems or questions about casting your ballot, call us. 
Election Day in Ohio is Tuesday, March 15, and the polls will be open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. DRO’s Voter Hotline will be open the same hours, with lawyers available to answer your questions and provide assistance if your voting rights are being violated.

The hotline number is 614-466-7264 or toll free 800-282-9181; (TTY) 614-728-2553 or toll free 800-858-3542.
Before or after the election, DRO’s intake department is open from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m. on business days to answer your questions about any disability-related matter. You can also leave a message anytime and someone will return your call during business hours.
For answers to the most common questions we get about voting, download our
The mission of Disability Rights Ohio is to advocate for the human, civil and legal rights of people with disabilities in Ohio. 

Disability Rights Ohio on the Web


Keep up with disability-related issues on our website, Facebook page, and Twitter feed!


Preschooler’s Take Meeting with the Mayor


Preschoolers from the Pioneer Center’s integrated preschool classrooms housed at OU-C’s Early Childhood Development Center tackled one of their biggest meetings of the year earlier this week. The kids sat down with Chillicothe’s new mayor, Luke Feeney, at the City Administration Building in downtown Chillicothe. The meeting has become an annual pilgrimage of sorts, in honor of Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month, which takes place each March.

After presenting the mayor with the latest copy of the Pioneer School yearbook and a t-shirt commemorating DD Awareness Month, the young students got down to business. Several of the students came prepared with questions and were eager to hear the mayor’s response.  Bella, age 5, jumped in first, asking “What is your favorite part about being the mayor?”

The mayor responded with an honest answer that went over well: “Meetings like this!”

Next up was Zavier, asked the following question with assistance from an augmentative communication device: “What’s your favorite color?”

Green was answer – this also went over well, though one of the children seemed to be hoping for an answer that matched her own. Green was obviously not the answer for her.

Finally, Maele asked the name of the mayor’s new baby, who just turned 5 weeks old. For inquiring minds, the baby boy’s name is Collin.

If you have any other questions for the mayor, be sure to attend Mayor Feeney’s Neighborhood Office Hours event at Allen Elementary School later this month, check and check your local media outlets for the time and date.



Eli’s Story



Eli is a ten year old boy who attends the Pioneer School.  He lives with his mom, dad, and sister. His family is his biggest advocate and supports him in every aspect of his life, along with helping to support Autism Awareness.  He is a child who is non-verbal autistic.  While Eli may not be able to speak to you utilizing traditional methods of communication, he still has a lot to say.  He speaks in many different ways using pictures, his body, showing people what he wants, and also making sounds.

He loves to swim, jump, swing, and take walks.  He loves his I-pad and spoons.  Eli at times gets anxious and needs something to fidget to help calm his nerves.  His absolute favorite spoons are long handled but sometimes any silverware will work.  He bends and shapes the spoons until they feel right in his fingers.  He at times seems to not be able to get them right even though he tries really hard.  A lot of times he ends up breaking the spoons.  His mom and dad have a lot of broken and unique formed spoons at their house.  Eli’s dad, mom, and sister Eryne came up with an idea to use his spoons to create works of art that help promote Autism Awareness.  Eli loves this idea and thinks it is really wonderful.  Now his mom isn’t so upset when the spoon breaks because she uses them to help Eli create these beautiful works of art!  This makes Eli really happy and he hopes that his spoon art makes you feel the same way!

-Lovingly submitted by Eli and his family

The Pioneer Center would like to extend their heartfelt thanks for giving us the opportunity to share Eli’s story. We encourage you to get to know the stories of the other people we are proud to serve during Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month – March 2016.

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