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County BDD adjusts to coronavirus crisis

By DEANNE JOHNSON

Staff Writer

LISBON — Not unlike any other school in the county, the Columbiana County Board of Developmental Disability has had to cancel or postpone many events due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, with the clients and children served by the CCBDD there can be a lot more things to take into consideration.

During Wednesday’s meeting it was noted all the events and programs which require mass gatherings have been canceled.

Although the Robert Bycroft School has closed, the staff is developing at-home educational programs for the special needs children who attend there.

Additionally, the CCBDD has been purchasing personal protective equipment such as hand sanitizer, medical supplies and other products to allow their people to safely help the individuals they serve at their homes. The CCBDD is working with a wholesale food supplier to obtain ready-made frozen meals for those unable to purchase groceries.

The CCBDD also is establishing a dedicated supporting living fund to help those who need support staff to care for clients who now have to be home all day, in cases where their usual family members are at work. The CCBDD additionally is helping with grocery deliveries, prescription medicine, coordinating healthcare appointments and other tasks if the need arises.

The CCBDD is also helping to train, provide background checks and other expedited processes needed to get certified workers to provide direct care for individuals.

Finally, the CCBDD is also developing a list of community resources for the families in the area, such as food banks, in case of job losses.

Superintendent Bill Devon said he knows there will be problems for families with most private workshops closing. He predicts understandably adult clients may have problems dealing with the change.

“The staff is doing a fabulous job adjusting,” Devon said.

The board also had to adjust, with four of its members unable to attend the meeting in person but able to attend by teleconference.

During the meeting the board hired Avery Andric to maintain the new web page at $400 per month, approved Phil Carter as behavioral intervention specialist for adults and set graduation for seven students for 1:30 p.m. May 21.

Devon said he hopes the graduation can go forward at this point. Recently canceled events included the Spring Fling, the employer recognition dinner and the annual staff-client basketball game.

djohnson@mojonews.com

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