• 81°

LCDD offers services to hundreds in region

The Lawrence County Developmental Disabilities was organized in 1967 and has helped thousands of people over the past five decades.

It started with a school in an old telephone building in Ironton. Over the years, the school moved into the former Lombard Elementary School building on Lorain Street in Ironton and expanded services.

While most people understand what the Lawrence County Developmental Disabilities organization does, they may not realize how many people they help every year.

“It’s close to 500, it fluctuates a little bit. It depends if they stay in the county or not,” said Tim Nunnery, the director of Communications and Resource Development for Lawrence County DD. “We serve children and adults.”

Those services can begin at birth.

“Whenever there is a diagnosis,” he said. Currently, Lawrence County DD has 121 children in early intervention and has 112 preschool students.

“Then we have Open Door School, which has 64 students,” Nunnery said. He added that many people think that they only have students in that school. “That isn’t necessarily true. We still offer our services to the kids who are still going to Ironton or Rock Hill or Fairland or other school districts. Whenever they get to adolescent age, they begin looking at our services and what we can do to help them prepare for life after school.”

Once they get out of school, Lawrence County DD helps coordinate services for their adult lives, such as transportation, in-home care, finding a provider to help them with shopping and going to events. There are 246 people who receive residential support.

“We here at Lawrence County Development Disabilities try to expand those services as much as we can,” Nunnery said.

And those services are paid for by a combination of local and federal money.

Nunnery said about 40 percent is funded by the people of Lawrence County and Medicaid pays about 60 percent.

“Getting federal funds helps generate the local economy here in Lawrence County,” he said. “That pays for providers and transportation and all those services.”

The agency has about roughly 70 employees and roughly another 100 providers and agency providers that are funded through Lawrence County DD.

As part of its strategic plan, Lawrence County DD is looking to increase availability of quality services, engaging with the community and integrating their students into the community, to be a good steward of public funds, increase the use of technology and increase awareness of Lawrence County DD and what they do.

‘So, we are expanding in all those areas through different steps,” Nunnery said. The strategic plan is available upon request.