About Us


Leia Snyder,  Superintendent
Ross County Board of Developmental Disabilities
Pioneer Center
167 W. Main St.
Chillicothe, OH 45601
(740) 773-8044

What is The Pioneer Center?

The Ross County Board of Developmental Disabilities, also known as the Pioneer Center, was created legislatively in 1967, along with other Boards of DD in all of Ohio’s 88 counties.

The idea was to create an agency whose mission would provide life opportunities for children and adults in Ross County who had developmental disabilities (those disabilities which arise in children before the age of 21.)

Historically, parents or relatives of children and adults with DD were advised to place their loved ones in large institutions. The prevailing thought was that these folks could never learn to live and function as regular people among “normal” community members.

However, Ross county was one of the few places in Ohio which very early decided to open a school for children with DD. Staffed with volunteers and items donated by the community. The Pioneer School began in the Salvation Army building on E. Fourth St. in Chillicothe in 1953. Since the 70’s, the school has been located at 11268 Co. Rd. 550, Chillicothe, OH 45601. Following the establishment of the school, there became a need to provide assistance to the individuals who had completed their K-12 requirements.

Today, Pioneer Center provides assistance through programs for infants, preschoolers, school age children and adults. These programs include early intervention, various therapy programs, preschool programs, k-12 assistance to those students attending regular school in all schools in the county, a school age program at Pioneer School, and adult rehabilitation, residential, employment, and recreational opportunities. You can read more about the services provided by Pioneer Center at every age in this PDF document: Life Map for a person served by the Pioneer Center.

Today people with all kinds of disabilities can be working, tax paying citizens of Ross County, contributing to the diversity of our area, making Ross County a great place to live!