Newsletter June 2016 - Mahoning County Board of Developmental
Mahoning County Board of Developmental Disabilities
Aspiring to Excellence with CARF Accreditation
By Paul Iden
The Mahoning County Board of Developmental Disabilities
is proud to announce the issuance of a three year
accreditation from The Commission on Accreditation of
Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) in the following services:
Community Employment Services, Employment Supports
Community Employment Services, Job Development
CARF is an independent nonprofit organization focused
on advancing the quality of services for individuals served
and to provide accreditation standards and surveyors
for organizations working in the human services field
Toni Scurpa, Adult Services Director
at MCBDD, commented “This truly
was a team effort and everyone should
be commended for their hard work
gathering necessary documentation
and completing surveys, questions,
etc. Your hard work and dedication
is shown in the quality services our agency provides to
According to CARF, “This achievement is an indication
of your organization’s dedication and commitment to
improving the quality of the lives of the persons served.
Services, personnel, and documentation clearly indicate an
established pattern of conformance to standards.”
The MCBDD is very proud of the hard work and
determination undertaken by its staff on behalf of the nearly
1400 individuals served by our organization in Mahoning
County. Superintendent Bill Whitacre complimented
his staff: “Great job everyone. All of you played a part in
achieving this accreditation. I know many hours were spent
gathering and organizing the information for the review.”
This accreditation will extend through April 30, 2019.
The MCBDD, in cooperation with ISLE, Turning Point and RaeArc,
recently released a Community
It’s not the Final
Connections Video to showcase
the Valley’s efforts to improve the
lives of individuals served by our
programs. You can view the
You Tube Video at:
Going All Out for the
Community Cup Events
By Anthony Janone
dedication and reliability
are some of the characteristics that help make up a team.
Whether you’re into volleyball, bowling or swimming,
the Youngstown YMCA has something to suit most. The
YMCA will be hosting the 26th annual Community Cup.
The event is made up of several different businesses, with
one thought in mind: to bring together the meaning of
teamwork and unity amongst employees of each business,
while competing for top honors. That’s exactly what the
MCBDD staff are looking for as we get ready to compete in
our fourth appearance in the local Community Cup. We are
currently putting together teams for different events to vie
for the first place cup.
The MCBDD has competed in most of the events that are
offered. After several years of competing well, our hopes
are set again to finally raise the Cup in victory on the final
day of competition. We are looking for staff members
from our buildings to fill rosters in as many events as
possible. Our agency will be competing in bocce, kickball,
walking, biking, basketball, golf, tug-o-war, and even a
cheer competition. Our team rosters are open to all of the
MCBDD staff and any spouses that would like to show
support. While some take this seriously, for others it’s okay
to participate for an opportunity to have a good time. The
weight loss meltdown is currently underway, while the other
events begin in August and will finish up in September.
MCBDD & Siffrin to host Career Exploration Camp
By George Gabriel
The MCBDD Employment Department will be offering a
Career Exploration Camp for transition age youth from
July 25 through August 12. The MCBDD’s collaborating
agency for this project is Siffrin, which is CARF accredited
and is a vendor for the Opportunities for Ohioans with
Disabilities. This first time program will take up to ten
students for fifteen hour per week. The Career Exploration
(CX) program is utilized to assist individuals in selecting
an employment goal amongst several potential options.
Career exploration may be utilized when an individual
has participated in vocational training and narrowed their
(Continued on page 2)
By Bill Whitacre
It’s hard to believe that summer is almost here and another
school year has been completed. Leonard Kirtz School
recently held its graduation ceremony at A La Carte
Catering in Canfield for seven student graduates. I would
like to congratulate our seven graduates and their families.
It was wonderful to see the excitement in the students
as they received their diplomas. MCBDD wishes each
graduate great success as they move on to the next chapter
of their lives.
Although the school year is ending, there will still be
plenty of activity at LKS during the summer months.
Summer Camp for students age 6-22 will run from June
20th through August 5th with staff orientation/ training
taking place the week of June 13th. The summer camp
will blend work in academics and IEP goals as well as
social and recreational activities and based in effective
practices and positive behavior supports. Our employment
department will also be hard at work at LKS and various
sites in the community as they work with transition age
high school students. MCBDD staff will be working in
collaboration with Siffrin Inc. staff to provide employment
experiences for local students during their summer break.
Helping transition age students gain work experience is an
important step in the journey towards gainful employment
after high school. Through this experience students get an
understanding of work and the responsibilities that come
with it. Along the way they receive assistance from staff
and employers and get feedback on how they are doing and
areas where they may need improvement.
During the month of May, I conducted two forums to
provide updates to the community about our agency and to
answer questions about the future of MCBDD. The forums
were very well attended and many great questions were
asked during the meetings. If you were unable to attend
either forum I encourage you to visit our website where
we have posted frequently asked questions and the slide
presentation. Our web address is www.mahoningdd.org
(Career Exploration Camp continued from page one )
employment goals to two or three options.
The program is intended to provide the individual job
seeker with opportunities to observe and interact with
people performing job tasks. CX involves the job seeker
conducting informational interviews with individuals who
are actually performing the duties of the identified and
desired occupation and, if possible, be given an opportunity
to attempt actual job tasks as well. For more information on
this exciting new program for transition age youth seeking
employment, please contact George Gabriel at
Provider Spotlight on Siffrin
By Ryan Cavanaugh
Siffrin was established in 1976 because of an estate donation
from Elsie Siffrin. She cared about a young man that lived
next door to her that had a disability, and was concerned
about what would happen when his parents were no longer
able to care for him. She
wanted her donation
to help secure ongoing
quality services for him,
in a residential setting.
A home was purchased,
and over time, more people were able to choose community
living which kept them out of institutions.
In present day, celebrating its 40th year, Siffrin continues
to carry on a legacy of helping others which began with a
gift of love. Internationally accredited by the Commission
on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) since
1993, Siffrin demonstrates their commitment to continue to
offer quality service delivery outcomes with an intense focus
on the satisfaction of those served.
Siffrin’s services are preferred by over 900 people across
nine counties in Northeast Ohio. Services include
Supervised Living, Community Support, Shared Living, and
Fiscal Services. As a partner of Opportunities for Ohioans
with Disabilities, Siffrin is able to work with people of all
ages with varying disabilities because of its accreditation,
most recently providing a Summer Career Exploration
Camp as a collaborative effort with the Mahoning County
Board of Developmental Disabilities. Additionally, Siffrin
offers 24/7 Transportation Services to people in an effort
to eliminate transportation barriers that could affect their
Siffrin’s Mahoning County Office and Community
Integration & Vocational Training Service, The Bridge,
recently underwent major renovations that will provide
additional space for its expanding services. The Bridge also
offers programs for seniors and those that are medically
fragile. A sensory room is available for those that would
benefit from therapeutic space and support. There will be
an open house on August 16th 2016, from 10:30 AM to 2:30
PM at 132 Westchester Drive, Austintown, OH 44515. The
ribbon cutting ceremony will begin at 10:30 AM.
MCBDD Driver Mary Faria and
Aide Allen Scott joined the International Red Nose Day movement
to have fun and make a difference
for kids. They share the vision of a
just world, free from poverty and
the mission to drive positive change
through the power of entertainment.
Health & Safety Corner
New Definitions Drive Adult Day Services
With Spring and Summer
approaching, it’s time to revisit a few scenarios.
• Tornado Season: Do you know where to go when at
work or at home? Make sure your family knows the
plan at home and that staff know the plan when at
• Severe Weather: Are you ready for a power outage? Are
there flashlights available with working batteries? Don’t
open the fridge unless necessary! You want food to
stay cool during a long power outage.
Remember: a WATCH means the conditions are
favorable and a WARNING means it is happening.
• First Aid: Bees, wasps & other insects are very active
and sometimes aggressive this time of year. Make sure
Epipens are accessible and not expired.
• Hydration: If you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated!
Drink plenty of fluids, especially when working
• Cover up! When you’re out in the sun, cover up with
light clothing or use a good sun block. Re-apply every
hour and especially after going into water.
More health & safety tips are available at
Effective October 1, 2016 Ohio will have new services
definitions for individuals receiving day services. The
priority for Ohio’s future Adult Day services is to promote
person-centered planning, community access, and
community employment options. These new definitions will focus on:
•Creating opportunities to develop individual abilities
•Making stronger community connections
•Improving earnings and employment benefits
•Enhancing quality of life
•Expanding natural support
Several enrollees at Bev Masco have participated in a pilot
project since January focusing on these new definitions.
The enrollees have expressed happiness, increased selfworth and excitement about the program and goals they
are working towards. Soon, all enrollees will have the
opportunity to participate in similar programming. I am
optimistic that enrollees and their families will be excited
to participate in the planning process and determine
what services they would like to receive to assist them in
achieving their life goals.
Individuals from The
Centre are on the move
Good Life News
By Toni Scurpa
By Tim Gabrelcik
By Tim Gabrelcik
By Ashley Handel
Individuals from the Centre
are experiencing their community more often and in
new ways. Many of our outings are focused on obtaining exposure to new hobbies and
participating in leisure activities that interest the MCBDD
enrollees. Since the start of the program year in September,
over 173 trips have left from our building. In addition, we
also volunteer at a number of community sites, along with
enrollees from Bev, Meshel, and the Opportunities at Work
These community integration sites are listed below.
Angels for Animals
Making Kids Count
New Life Church
Mill Creek Library
Meals on Wheels
Falcon Cat Rescue
YNDC (Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corporation)
The Good Life philosophy focuses on
positive intentional interactions. The Hats
of Service is one of the many tools used to
help employees self-reflect.
The Red Hat employees are forceful,
controlling and coercive. They may use a loud voice
& point fingers. This employee is often negative and
sometimes seen as a bully.
The Black Hat employees are seen as critical, sarcastic and
pessimistic. Their focus is on problems and failures, not
solutions. They are often rigid, negative and not willing to
change. This hat doesn’t like change and may say, “We’ve
always done it that way. It won’t work. You can’t do that.”
The White Hat employees are seen as indifferent, tuned out
or disengaged. They are simply there to collect a check and
put in their time.
The Green Hat employees are supportive, positive,
appreciative and helpful. They look for solutions, ideas and
What type of customer service are you providing to your
co-workers and those we serve? See the video at
Carolane Gordon (right) has recently changed area assignments. With this change she has
made many new friends. She has been very helpful in her area, assisting her supervisors when
needed. Carolane has shown great improvement in accepting, respecting and being kind to
others regardless of their differences.
Annie Woods (left) attends The Centre every day and
has a wonderful smile that melts your heart. To know
her is to love her! She is 84 years old and as spunky as
ever! Congratulations, Annie!
Heather Davies (right) is a person with a gentle heart that strongly embraces her
relationships with others. Heather is a unique person when it comes to work and takes
great pride in her appearance. She is a wonderful friend of many and is welcoming to others.
Stephanie Szabo (left) is being recognized for her outstanding efforts as an LKS student.
Stephanie graduated this year and has attended LKS since 1996. She has exhibited wonderful
attendance, creative mobility, a curious and inquisitive nature, an infectious smile and a love
of technology, especially the iPads. Stephanie will be greatly missed by all staff and peers.
Congratulations Stephanie and we wish you the best of luck in all your future endeavours!
In appreciation of their ongoing commitment
to providing individuals with disabilities the
opportunity to improve their work skills, The
Mahoning County Probate Court (above) and
The Girl Scouts of North East Ohio (right)were
recognized by the Employment Department.
Ashley Kannal (above) was recognized by
the Men’s Garden Club of Youngstown for
her submissions to the Club’s competitions.
She is an excellent representative for the
club and received a framed collage of photos
from the Club. Congratulations Ashley!
MCBDD Service Awards
• Debbie Multari – 20 years
Logo Challenge: Find the symbol hidden
in this edition of the Communicator. Send your
guess to [email protected]
For more information on MCBDD programs and activities,
visit us on the web at: www.mahoningdd.org