Quadco celebrates DD Awareness Month

Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month was the focus of much of the discussion at Quadco Rehabilitation Center’s recently-held monthly meeting.

Bruce Abell, Quadco executive director, told those in attendance, “It’s a time set aside each year designed to increase awareness of the issues faced by individuals with developmental disabilities and the things that we can do to support their successful inclusion in the community.”

Abell presented the group with information packets available from the Ohio Disabilities Council. They contained handouts related to a variety of topics including employment, community inclusion, public policy, and technology.

He said the Defiance County Board of Developmental Disabilities hosted a kick-off event March 11 at 10 a.m. in the Good Samaritan School Gymnasium. It featured Jeff Davis, director of Ohio’s Department of Developmental Disabilities; Bridget Gargan, executive director of the Ohio Association of County Boards; Timothy Bower, Defiance County Board of DD superintendent; and Defiance County Commissioners Ryan Mack, Gary Plots, and Mick Pocrastksy.

Stryker Public Library will host an event March 25 that will include a presentation from Rachel Lange, Quadco’s Northwest Employment Services manager. Additionally, participants from Quadco’s Art Club will demonstrate an art project.

In other business, newly-appointed board member Todd Friend, president of Wilton Keck in Bryan, said two of the company’s employees will be highlighted in a video being produced by the Williams County Board of Developmental Disabilities. Friend said the individuals were placed with his organization through the efforts of Lange and her department.

“They have proven to be a great asset to our organization, and we are pleased that they are being recognized in the up-coming video,” he said.

Abell thanked Friend and Wilton Keck for their continued support for individuals with disabilities, and added, “The individuals working at Wilton Keck are perfect examples of what Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month is all about.”

He reminded members that the March 24 board meeting will include the annual planning session to discuss long-term goals and priorities. Abell also reported that an update related to the organization’s Internal Compliance Committee was presented, and that the team is focusing more on criminal background checks to ensure that individuals hired meet the necessary qualifications for employment.

Quadco Program Manager Shannon Zellers told board members that individuals in the Community Clubs had recently visited the local Humane Society, Napoleon’s bowling alley, Buffalo Wild Wings, Pet Supplies Plus, Hobby Lobby, and Stryker Public Library. She showed examples of completed Art Club projects including a Valentine’s Day craft, a hand stitched groundhog craft, and a calendar bird wall hanging.

Rachel Lange, Quadco’s Northwest Employment Services manager, said the services are currently serving 37 individuals in job placement and retention services.

The next meeting of the non-profit board will be March 24 in the Stryker facility conference room.