The purpose of Stone County Developmental Disabilities Board is to assist in self-reliance and reduce dependence on government assistance for any person with the ability and desire to work, live independently and be an active participant in our community.
Here are commonly asked questions about the Stone County Developmental Disability Board:
Q: What is a developmental disability?
A: A diverse group of severe chronic conditions that are due to mental and/or physical impairments. People with developmental disabilities have problems with major life activities such as language, mobility, learning self-help, and independent living. Developmental disabilities begin any time during development up to 22 years of age, and they usually last throughout a person’s lifetime.
Q: How many people are affected?
A: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) determined that in the US, about 1 in 6 children have a developmental disability, and the numbers are rising for certain diagnoses like Autism Spectrum Disorder. In Stone County, there are approximately 65 individuals (and their families) that receive case management through the State of Missouri. In the school system countywide, 549 children are currently in special education classes, many of whom will have a need for services when they graduate.
Q: What is a county board for developmental disabilities?
A: Governed by Missouri Senate Bill 40 (SB40), an established board for the developmentally disabled is a political sub-division of the county, empowered to collect a county-wide property tax for the establishment and/or operation of a sheltered workshop, residential facilities and/or related services for the care or employment of county residents with developmental disabilities. (Read the SB40 text here.) Here is more information on the legal expectations of how that Board will operate.
Q: Why does my county need it?
A: A county developmental disability board allows Stone County to provide services not currently available to its developmentally disabled residents and their families. Taney County has been operating a DD board since 1980 and has developed a robust support system for families and consumers.
While Taney County offers residential facilities, day habilitation programs, community employment services, transportation and children’s services and operate a sheltered workshop that employs over 45 adults, only case management could previously be provided to Stone County residents. All other services are paid for by an assessed Taney County property tax and are exclusive to their residents.
Q: Why is it important to me?
A: Communities are already seeing a dramatic increase in the number of children entering adulthood that have developmental disabilities and need resources, services and training to integrate into the community and workforce to lead productive, fulfilling lives.
“Not everyone looks different; not every disability is visible.” Judy Stone, Amy’s mother
Q: What will my tax dollars be used for?
A: Through an initial assessment of individuals with developmental disabilities in Stone County, these are the top needs:
- Home Skills/Community Inclusion Training
- Transportation to Employment Programs in Branson or Springfield (like Tantone Industries and Cedar Creek Coffee)
- Therapeutic Services
- Employment Programs
- Project Lifesaver tracking bracelets for those at risk of wandering
- Specialized Summer Camp for children and adults
“Our choice is to support them now or support them, at an increased cost, later.” — Kirk Richardson, David’s dad
Q: How is this effort proceeding?
A: The County Board positions have appointed (through an application process) by the Stone County Commission. The 9 member board is meeting monthly to assess Stone County’s priorities. Funding will become available in January 2018 and services will begin thereafter. Here is more information on the legal expectations of how that Board will operate.