“We need to look at making sure the services we provide are as integrated into the community as possible.” That’s what Quadco (QRC) Executive Director Bruce Abell told members of the QRC Administrative and Non Profit Board members when they met in regular session on Tuesday, March 25th.
During a planning session held by the board, Mr. Abell explained the emphasis being placed on community employment and integration for individuals with disabilities across the country and in the state of Ohio.
Decisions by the Department of Justice and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid are directing that individuals with disabilities have full access to benefits of community living and the opportunity to receive services in the most integrated settings appropriate.
Mr. Abell noted that officials in Ohio had been promoting efforts in support of these objectives even before the decisions were made, including an emphasis on community employment.
The Employment First Initiative was signed by Governor Kasich over a year ago providing that adult Ohioans with developmental disabilities, including young people reaching graduation, explore community employment opportunities.
Mr. Abell pointed out that the new Employment First rule includes a provision that every adult with developmental disabilities of working age is to have an employment goal in their plan.
QRC supports those measures in a number of ways. During her report to the board, Sharon von Seggern, manager of QRC’s Northwest Employment Services, pointed out that QRC has been a noted provider of employment services for individuals with disabilities for many years and is now beginning to provide employment services for a couple individuals through the Employment First program.
As he mentioned in last month’s board meeting, Mr. Abell said that he felt it will be necessary to take a broader view of the kinds of services QRC will provide in the future to make sure they help people work toward their own independence whether they have a disability or not.
This is not something new for the center, as they have served individuals referred to them by local Jobs and Family Services agencies for many years in a variety of ways including job training and skill development.
It will mean that the center will broaden their array of services, he said, in order to assist people to reach the goals they need to achieve in their lives.
One of the first orders to business will be to broaden the center’s mission statement. Mr. Abell said he expects to review the mission statement at the next board meeting in April.
In department reports, Program Coordinator Shannon Zellers told the board about a number of activities over the past month.
She said with the weather improving and people looking forward to the beginning of baseball season that the participants in one area at the Stryker building recently picked their favorite baseball player. Photos were taken as they held up a picture of the player they picked, and then a bulletin board was made with all the photos.
She said art club members made Mardi Gras masks during the month and each of the areas at the Stryker building made miniature Mardi Gras floats. She said on Fat Tuesday the floats were judged.
Now that the season of Lent has arrived, members of the Senior Activities Center are attending Lenten lunches in Stryker.
She said the healthy living club has been exercising each day and the men’s and women’s clubs recently took advantage of the break in the weather to go out to the Bryan Lanes for some bowling.
Program Director Philip Zuver said the NASCAR club at Northwest Products started with the running of the Daytona 500. He said there are regular weigh-ins held for the healthy choices club, meetings of a group of people who follow the TV show Duck Dynasty and that the baseball club is getting ready to start at the Archbold building.