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The Value of the Stone County Developmental Disability Board

The Stone County Developmental Disability Board is a crucial life line to those in our community with developmental disabilities. We recognize the importance of inclusivity and the need for individuals with developmental disabilities to be given the same rights and privileges as everyone else. Our board works with community partners, government agencies, and other stakeholders to ensure individuals with developmental disabilities have what is necessary to live independent, safe, and successful lives.  As an educator in the community, I know the services our board provides are vital in the growth and development of our students as they graduate and enter the adult world. I am honored to serve on a board that is bridging the gap, and making it possible for those with developmental disabilities to make meaningful connections within the community. The Stone County Developmental Disability Board strives to support those we serve in becoming accepted, respected, and valued members of the community. 

Liz Enochs, Educator

In 2017 I was appointed to the first Stone County Developmental Disability Board.  My interest in the board arose from my work, as a school counselor, which included identifying helpful resources in Stone County and my familiarity with the rigorous procedures that often accompany requests for services.  Little did I know at that time, what amazing accomplishments would take place to benefit the citizens of our county.  It was a daunting challenge to start from scratch in understanding the needs of our county and to coordinate services for those persons with developmental disabilities and their families.  Initially, we attempted to identify service providers for our work but it became evident if we were going to make it possible for our persons served to have the opportunity to live fully and to their full potential, we needed to go beyond coordinating services and actually become a provider of services. 

In retrospect, that decision was a game changer with the creation and development of our day program and residential program.  Each program was inspired by our executive director, LaDella Thomas, who brought the idea to reality in 2021, and brought our mission, “providing resources for Stone County individuals with developmental disabilities to thrive, connect with others, and achieve their goals,” to life.   Approximately 170 persons served and their families are benefitting from the variety of services that are now available to them thanks to the tax money paid by the citizens of Stone County.  Whether it is individual funding, respite care, scholarships to Camp Barnabas, music/art therapy, athletic activities, social interactions with peers, volunteering at community agencies such as senior centers, libraries, city hall, or experiencing local events, our person served now have access to opportunities that benefit the community and our persons served.   Now, over 5 years later, I am serving as board chair and persons served have more opportunities than ever before — all thanks to the voters of Stone County for providing for the needs of our citizens with developmental disabilities.  

Anne Coleman, Retired School Counselor

I am amazed at the services provided through the Stone County Developmental Disabilities Board during the past couple of years.  The day services program has been successful in providing opportunities for clients to experience a variety of activities that would not have been possible just a few years ago.  The one to one connections that are made are helpful not only to those served but to their families as well.  The recent expansion into providing residential services will be a real boost in terms of overall confidence and self-esteem for those who take advantage of it.  

As a retired educator, I can think of nothing more important than enabling those we serve to attain their true potential.  SCDDB is just getting started in terms of providing resources and services.  It was always encouraging to see the progress and success achieved by those with various disabilities when I was teaching.  Frequently, however, such progress would end following high school graduation.  Since the approval of the SCDDB in 2016, individuals and their families are given new opportunities and programs that were just a dream less than ten years ago.  It is a dream of mine to see these opportunities and programs become sustainable and expand in future years.  

Jim Holt, Retired Educator/Administrator

The SCDDB means giving developmentally challenged adults the opportunity to enjoy life to the fullest in the beauty of Stone & Taney counties.  They learn not only life skills but spend ample time getting to know their peers and those that not only transport them throughout the area but also the management staff as well.  They are encouraged to be the best that they can be and have a good time doing it.  For me personally, it also gives my wife and I some hours each and every day to enjoy each other doing whatever activities Seniors like without having to worry about our son.  We know he is with very highly trained and capable people who care very much about him and his interests, which makes us feel good as well.  

I have served on the Board of SCDDB for four years now.  Initially we were kind of feeling our way in the dark as we tried to reach clients and their families in the county through various functions (Easter Egg Hunts, Halloween Events, etc). In my opinion it all came together when we successfully launched our Day Program.  Suddenly we were meeting the needs of the developmentally challenged adults in our community and being a part of that was very moving and fulfilling.  I am proud to serve on the SCDDB board.

Woodworking at CHANCES of Stone County

It is very important that the SCDDB continue to serve this community as it’s the only way the developmentally disabled adults of this county will enjoy the life experiences that they are enjoying now.  While some of these adults still go to Chances, it’s a program that only meets for a few hours one day a week.  The SCDDB program is here five days a week every week to serve the clients needs and provide them with wonderful opportunities to get outside in the fresh air and share experiences with their peers and others.  The Staff of SCDDB at all levels are very talented and care deeply for the adults they care for.  That is evident by the smiles on the clients faces when they return home each day.  Also SCDDB is moving forward with a Residential Program that allows adults the opportunity to live in an apartment or home with their peers.  As parents of these adults age, having this program available is a God Send.  The residents of Stone County are blessed to have these programs (Day Program & Residential) available and we need to continue them forever.  

Randy Moore, Retired, father of son with a developmental disability