The Stone County Developmental Disability Board (SCDDB), comprised of nine members appointed by the Stone County Commissioners, has set a goal for all of Stone County to be aware of the board and the tax dollars the board administers. The board members are: Chair, Mindy Smolnik, Vice-Chair, Sue Tanner, Secretary, Ruby Gideon, Treasurer, Sean Gasper and general members, Malissa Johnson, Jeremy Rouch, Tina Essick, Amy Larson, and Anne Coleman. The board has an office located at the Brooks Center, 15765 State Highway 13, Suite 7, Branson West, MO and meets there on the second and fourth Thursday of each month from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The meeting is open to the public and notice of meetings can be found on the board’s website, www.stoneddboard.com, and there is a link to the board’s website on the Stone County website.
The Vision of the board is “An inclusive community where all people have value and opportunities.” To bring the vision to life, the board has become involved in answering questions as to how individuals with developmental disabilities can qualify for eligibility to receive assistance for services. The process of qualifying for assistance has multiple steps and the first step starts with the Regional Center in Springfield. By calling the Regional Center, 417-895-7400, the process begins with an intake in which information is gathered over the phone including the medical diagnosis. After the intake is taken, a packet of information is sent in the mail requiring signature and that paperwork is returned to the Regional Center. The next step in the process of qualifying for eligibility is an assessment conducted by a representative of the Regional Center that can take place at the center in Springfield, in the home of the individual, or at a public place. After the assessment is made and it is determined that the individual does qualify, the information is passed along to Linkability, (417-334-8985), located in Branson, which serves Stone County by providing case management through the service coordinators. According to the representative of the Regional Center, ninety days are allowed for the process of determining eligibility to be concluded. Support and help with the necessary paperwork is available through Linkability and/or the Regional Center. Individuals and their families who are preparing to submit the necessary paperwork are encouraged to access this important help in completing the important documents. The personnel from the Regional Center and/or Linkability are familiar with the details of the paperwork so are ready to answer questions and provide information that will facilitate the process of getting the important paperwork completed and submitted.
After an individual has submitted the paperwork to the Regional Center, has had an assessment, Linkability becomes the primary resource. A service coordinator is assigned to provide case management by identifying needed services in a personal care plan and the possible providers of the needed services are located. It is at this point that the available sources of funding are identified and application for financial assistance from the SCDDB may be made with the authorization of the Linkability service coordinator. Funding from the Stone County Developmental Disability Board is used as a last resort, after other funding sources are accessed. The policies and procedures for applying to receive financial assistance from the board in addition to the actual funding documents can be found on the SCDDB website: www.stoneddboard.com. Examples of services that may be appropriate are transportation to a job or an appointment, career exploration, community integration, music therapy, art therapy, job coaching or other services authorized by the service coordinator and accepted by the SCDDB.
In its first year of operation, the SCDDB, is eager for the county to be fully aware of its work and anticipates receiving applications for assistance as the year progresses. Citizens are encouraged to go to the website, www.stoneddboard.com, for additional information or to call the SCDDB office at 417-272-0444, where a phone message can be left with a call back number so a board member can follow-up to provide the requested information.
SCDDB again expresses appreciation to Stone County residents who through their tax dollars are funding the board’s work. These funds will bring to life the board’s Mission which is: “Providing resources for Stone County individuals with developmental disabilities to thrive, connect with others, and achieve their goals.”