‘Starry Night’ Dinner Dance

YADA (Youth & Adults with Disabilities Association) will host its 7th Annual Semi-Formal/Formal Dinner and Dance on Sat., July 22, 2017 at Osiris Shriners – Monument Place in Elm Grove, Wheeling, WV.

People of all ages and disabilities and their families/guardians are invited to attend this free event. Doors open at 2:30 p.m. and the dance will be held from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. Dinner will be served at 3:30 p.m.

Reservations are being taken until July 12, 2017. Call June Chiplinski at 304-242-6973.

Space is limited so make your reservations early.


 BHN Alliance Director Named Child Advocate of the Year


Darlene Pempek is shown accepting the Child Advocate of the Year Award from Vince Gianangeli, Director of the Belmont County Department of Job and Family Services. Pempek is the Director of Community Supports for the BHN Alliance and the award was bestowed on her at the Annual Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Luncheon held April 6 at Undo’s West in St. Clairsville. Also pictured with Pempek and Gianangeli are, from left: Stephen L. Williams, Superintendent of the BHN Alliance, and Commissioner J.P. Dutton, and Judge Frank Fregiato (far right), who was emcee of the program.Darlene Pempek, Director of Community Supports for the BHN Alliance, received the Child Advocate of the Year honor today at the Annual Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Lunch held at Undo’s West in St. Clairsville.

The recognition was given by the Belmont County Department of Job and Family Services and the Belmont County Commissioners.

Pempek is well-known across the county from her work in the Commissioners’ office from 1989-2005, serving as the Board of Commissioners’ Clerk for 10 years.

Pempek joined the Belmont County Board of Developmental Disabilities in 2005 where she oversees the coordination of supports for families of children with disabilities in Belmont, Harrison and Noble counties (BHN Alliance). She also represents the Alliance at the county Clusters where she collaborates with the other agencies to serve youth at risk.

In presenting the award, Belmont County DJFS Director Vince Gianangeli noted Pempek’s strong support of county agencies when she was still in the commissioners’ office. He also pointed out the influence of Pempek’s older brother, the late Chet Kalis, who served as Director of Belmont DJFS and later District Manager for the State of Ohio Job and Family Services. He said that she credits him with helping her find her purpose and calling through his example of selfless commitment to others.

In accepting the honor, Pempek said she was blessed to be part of a collaborative team across Belmont County that works together for the benefit of children.

“In order for effective treatment to occur and families to remain together, coordination is imperative,” Pempek said.

She noted the positive influence one person can have on an abused child looking for hope.

“Any one of us can be that hope for a child – any one of us by our actions, our words, can be the one that touches a young life and enlightens that hope,” Pempek said.

Pempek and her husband, Gary, are the parents of two adult daughters and grandparents to two grandsons.


BELMONT-HARRISON-NOBLE
COUNTY BOARDS OF DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES

County Boards of DD Mark 50 Years of Support


The Ohio Legislature created a unique and vital resource for people with developmental disabilities in 1967 and that resource continues to be a lifelong support 50 years later.

Always There 50 YearsOhio’s County Boards of Developmental Disabilities are celebrating their 50th Anniversary in 2017. The year-long theme - Always There - reflects the continuity of support, promotion of opportunity and history of partnership county boards have offered to the people they serve throughout the past, in the present and in the future.

Throughout the next year, the Belmont, Harrison and Noble County Boards of Developmental Disabilities (BHN Alliance) will be sharing stories of what people are achieving in their community.

“Our goal with any effort like this is to build awareness and understanding around what people with disabilities are achieving and how we are there to support their efforts,” said BHN Alliance Superintendent Stephen Williams.

County Boards are responsible for the coordination and funding of quality supports and services people need and this can begin at birth and continue throughout a person’s entire life. Supports funded or provided by the county boards include early intervention for infants and toddlers with developmental delays; transition services to help young adults successfully move from school to work; job-related skill training and employment for adults; and personal growth, residential and transportation services.

Williams noted that some people have intensive needs requiring constant care while others are more independent, living, working and contributing to their community with minimal supports from the County Board.

“We believe in the inherent right of all people to make their own decisions about what they want out of life,” Williams said. “Our mission then is to be there as a support as they seek what matters the most to them.”

The BHN Alliance is a partnership between the three county boards that share a person-centered approach to identifying, coordinating and delivering supports to more than 700 eligible children and adults in Belmont, Harrison and Noble counties.


 

BELMONT – HARRISON – NOBLE
COUNTY BOARDS OF DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES

Rising Above Trauma Focus of Training

ST. CLAIRSVILLE – People with disabilities experience more abuse than others, yet their needs often go undertreated or minimized, even though the trauma continues to have an impact on their lives years after the abuse occurred. This fact has led the BHN Alliance to adopt a Trauma-Informed Care approach to supporting people with disabilities and why it is bringing two leading authorities on trauma-informed care to its annual staff in-service in March.
Mary Vicario and Carol Hudgins-Mitchell of Cincinnati-based Finding Hope Consulting will address the gap in training available to communities by turning current brain chemistry research into practical interventions for people with developmental disabilities who have experienced trauma.

Through her ongoing trauma training at Harvard Medical School, Mary Vicario, LPCC-S takes the latest trauma research and works with her audience to share and develop interventions that can be used in a variety of settings by those who work most closely with traumatized people of all ages and abilities. She has trained on trauma worldwide for 25 years.

Carol Hudgins-Mitchell, M.Ed., LSW, NBCCH is a Certified Trauma Specialist who works with children and families around issues of trauma, grief and facilitating attachment.

Carol has over 30 years of experience in trauma treatment with a specialty in early childhood, relational and play therapy.
The BHN Alliance Staff In-Service will be held at Thoburn United Methodist Church in St. Clairsville on March 28th. Lunch will be provided for the all-day training.
A limited number of seats are available to provider partners across the Alliance. For more information, call Darlene Pempek at 740-695-0407, ext. 330.


Noble DD Board Reorganizes

The Noble County Board of Developmental Disabilities held its re-organizational meeting January 11, 2017 and re-elected Bryan Chandler of Caldwell as president. Also re-elected to their posts were vice-president Don Bridgman of Summerfield and secretary April Stottsberry of Caldwell. Other members of the board are Tara Estadt, Linda Buckey, Abby Moorman and Norma Porter, all of Caldwell.

The Noble County Board of DD is the primary funder of supports and services to more than 100 children and adults with intellectual and physical disabilities in Noble County. Supports include early intervention for infants and toddlers; preschool and school-age supports, transition for youth ages 14 to 25; job-related training, employment, residential, transportation, respite and 24-hour emergency assistance.

The board meets on the second Wednesday of each month at 5:00 p.m. in the Noble County Multi-Agency building, 46049 Marietta Road, Caldwell, OH.


STABLE accounts let people save money without losing benefits

For the first time ever, people with disabilities can now save and invest in their futures without losing government benefits.

For Lorri and John Phillips of Scio, that means being able to put money aside for their daughter Staci’s future with confidence.

This ability to save is offered through STABLE Accounts, made possible by the federal ABLE (Achieving a Better Life Experience) Act and administered in Ohio by State Treasurer Josh Mandel.

A STABLE Account is an investment account that allows people to put their money in up to five different saving and investment options. Balances and distributions do not affect needs-based benefits such as Medicaid or Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

The investment option was the appeal of a STABLE account for Lorri and John.

“Stocks and bonds are really exciting to me and since we are investing long-term, her money will hopefully grow,” Lorri said.

The maximum yearly contribution limit is currently $14,000 with a maximum lifetime contribution of $414,000.

Staci’s STABLE account is an investment in her future, yet it is so much more.

“(STABLE) is not just for the future, it can be used for education and other things Staci wants and needs now,” Lorri said.

She’s right.

The money can be used when needed and the investment earnings are tax-free when used to pay for qualified expenses, like housing, transportation, employment training, health and wellness, and others.

Account set up and enrollment is done online and participants can monitor their investments, make contributions and request withdrawals, all online.

Lorri learned about STABLE accounts more than a year ago and was ready to go once they opened on June 1, 2016, making Staci the first person in the BHN Alliance to open a STABLE Account.

Lorri said the process was easy. When she made an error in the application, she called the toll-free number and a representative helped her correct it.
Staci Phillips and her mom, Lorri, look over a brochure explaining Ohio’s new STABLE Account that lets people with disabilities save and invest money.


Staci’s parents considered a trust, but they felt more secure with a STABLE account.

“We are not going to be around forever and we want things to be available for Staci when she gets older,” Lorri said.

To learn how a STABLE Account might benefit you or someone you know, call 1-800-439-1653 or email team@stableaccount.com 

To enroll, go to www.stableaccount.com

 

 



Make the Connection
By Stephen L. Williams
Superintendent

How connected are you?

We don't often think about our connections, yet they are how things get done. Our first and most important connection is to our family, the people we love, nurture and support. After our families are community connections – our friends, coworkers, the people we worship with and volunteer alongside. Connections are in the fabric of our lives, so when we pause to answer the question, it's easy to see that a life without connection is not much of a life at all.

For some time now, the Belmont, Harrison and Noble county boards of developmental disabilities have been at work connecting people to their community. This purposeful effort started by asking the people we support what they wanted and then listening - really listening - to their answers. Their answers included statements like "I want a job where I can make more money" and "I want to live closer to my family" and "I want to learn how to drive a car."

Armed with those answers, we set our course to make these goals and ambitions happen. We do this by connecting people with disabilities to their community and we are seeing real results. Every day someone else is engaged in their community and everyone is better because of it.

You see, connections are not about programs, processes, or systems. They are about relationships, the kind that link people to what matters the most. What does this look like? It looks like a young man whose goal is to help senior citizens so he finds a job in a nursing home. It looks like a young woman who collects toys so children without can have a happier holiday. It looks like an adult who has always wanted to read and then finds the Adult Basic Education teacher who will take the time to teach him. These ambitions are all accomplished through connections.

The 2015 awareness theme we have chosen is MAKE THE CONNECTION. Ready. Willing. Able. It is a call to action that our community is already answering. Business owners, churches, schools, civic organizations and neighbors are embracing what the people we support have to offer and our community is better because of it.

Consider becoming a connection for someone today. It will have a lasting impact on you, the person you connect with, and your community.

Make the connection and make a difference in the life of someone you have yet to meet.

 

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