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Health & Respite Notice

Effective January 1, 2016, we will not pay utility bills as part of our Health and Respite Program unless there is a risk to the individual’s health and safety or a disconnect notice has been issued by the utility.

-Greg Williamson, Residential Service Director




Preparing for Emergencies

November is here; clocks have been turned back, and I hope that has been a good reminder to you to  replace the batteries in the smoke detectors in your homes and the homes of those whom you care for and care about (many local fire stations will help with supplies).

It is also a good time of year to revisit emergency disaster plans and kits to make sure the information and supplies are up to date, refreshed, and ready to use in case of emergency or disaster.  Below are just a few of the handy information guides and resources you can use and share with others to help be prepared – just in case.

Preparing for an emergency can be difficult for individuals with developmental and other disabilities. To help address the needs of individuals with disabilities, the Red Cross created:

Preparing for Disaster for People with Disabilities and Other Special Needs.” Individuals and their families and support system can use this guide to help plan for disasters.  It can be found at this web address

For more in-depth information from the American Red Cross, get a copy of “Disaster Preparedness for People with Disabilities” (A5091), or visit:

Disability Rights Ohio has many handy forms for creating emergency preparedness plans and kits on their web site:

The Ohio Department of Health has great resources and tools:

And here is the link to the Ohio Disability Health Program web site where can find many resources for training planners and first responders to assist people who may have unique needs associated with a disability including a free video training available for viewing anytime via You Tube.




The Fin in Finance


Kim Large, a Senior Licensed Personal Banker from WesBanco in Chillicothe, became a familiar face this fall at The Pioneer Center. Ms. Large has been stopping by on Wednesday afternoons to teach a finance class to a group of 10 adults who are served by Pioneer. The 7-class series serves to assist adults with developmental disabilities by helping them better maintain their finances and thereby obtain greater independence. This week marked the last of the series, with all of the participants graduating and receiving a certificate of completion.

The classes cover important financial basics such as balancing check books, depositing money, writing checks, and understanding bank statements. Participants also learn how to keep credit in good standing, avoiding fraud, and practicing good financial decision making.

Ms. Large conducts classes for many different groups across central-Ohio to teach people about personal finance and savings. Participants’ ages range from 5 to 50, and the financial topics covered reach across a similarly broad base.

One agenda item covered for this specific group was a discussion of representative payees. A representative payee is a person or an organization appointed to receive Social Security or SSI benefits for anyone who can’t manage or direct the management of his or her benefits. The main benefit of not having a representative payee, aside from the financial one ($39 or less per month), is gaining financial independence.

Kim explained that she typically starts out her classes with fact-finding, or “getting a feel for your crowd, to see what level they’re at” as she puts it.

“Some are very advanced, while others struggle with the concept of a statement,” said Kim. It’s not all button-down business though, as I learned when I stopped in to the second class. “They’re fun,” she said. “Especially when you see that the lightbulb goes off. The students are always smiling and interactive. It’s a positive environment. They’re just good people.”

If you are interested in Ms. Large visiting a group you’re affiliated with, you can contact her at 740-422-7443. For more information on the Pioneer Finance Program, please contact Patrick McFadden at 740-773-8044.


Take Our Strategic Planning Survey

The Ross County Board of Developmental Disabilities (RCBDD), also known as the Pioneer Center, is completing a strategic plan to guide the agency’s future work.  Input from people we serve, families, partners and community members is very important to us and will be used when creating our strategic plan.  Please follow the link below to complete the survey (it will only take 2 minutes). If you have any problems with the survey or questions, please contact Patrick McFadden. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts!