Background and History
The Jackson County Board of Developmental Disabilities was founded through the dreams and tenacity of Jackson County parents with special needs children. Programming and classes began in the basement of a local church in 1968. Volunteers were teachers, transportation providers, custodians, etc. While funding came from donations, bake sales and other local fundraising efforts, little or no funding was provided through any public entity. Established by Ohio State Law, the Jackson County Board of MR/DD became the fiscal and programmatic vehicle to provide services for those with mental retardation and developmental disabilities from birth to death.
In 1972, the Jackson County Board of MR/DD, under the direction of Mrs. Marjorie Sellers, Superintendent, created J-VAC Industries, Inc. under a not-for-profit board. J-VAC was designed to provide sheltered workshop employment for special needs adults. This facility is located on Pennsylvania Avenue in Wellston. A second facility, on Second Street in Wellston, now houses the Day Habilitation portion of the Adult Service Center.
The Hope Haven Building houses the school (serving preschoolers through age 21) and the central offices of the Jackson County Board of Developmental Disabilities. (MR/DD became DD in January 2010.) The faciltiy was built on Sellars Drive in Jackson in 1980. Through the generousity of community donations, an additional 2.6 acres adjacent to the Hope Haven property was acquired in 2007. Within the past couple of years, an age-appropriate recreation center for adults and school age students and an expanded paved parking area were developed on the site.Funding for Jackson County DD comes primarily from public sources – 50% from local levy support; 37% from state funds, and 13% from federal sources. Two 10-year replacement levies (1 mil each) were passed by Jackson County voters in November 2005 and in May 2006. Jackson County DD has an annual operating budget of nearly $2,000,000.
The Jackson County DD Board is comprised of seven members. Five are appointed by the Jackson County Commissioners and the other two members are appointed by the County Probate Judge. Board Members are representative of the geography of the county and have a variety of associations with the Agency's target audiences (clients, individuals and families). The Board-hired administrator, the Superintendent, oversees the management and everyday operational functions of the Jackson County DD agency-program. In 2012, full and part-time staff numbered 52, working with 39 school age students and 64 adults. The Early Intervention program began in the fall of 2011. Accreditation was received from the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities in 2011.
- Joyce McClurg, President
- Philip Howe, Vice President
- Bob McCoy, Secretary
- Pat Pletcher
- Joyce Haag
- Greg Blankenship
- Adam Massie