TROY — Riverside, the Miami County Board of Developmental Disabilities, hosted a special open house event on Friday, inviting the public to celebrate those in the community with special needs.
Refreshments, games, and activities were on site in the facility’s gymnasium for all to enjoy, including miniature golf holes provided by RT Industries.
Riverside has held the open house on the first weekend in March for the last four years as a kick-off to Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month.
“This month is celebrated throughout the nation,” said Superintendent Brian Green. “In the state of Ohio, each county board does their own thing, but for us, it’s about an awareness of how we do our services. We’re not always inside a brick-and-mortar building — many of our folks are out enjoying the community just like anybody else is. The more aware the community is, the more it helps us, because we’re always trying to find that special fit for each individual we serve.”
Representatives from partner agencies, including RT Industries, Capabilities, Empowered Community Services, CRSI, REM, and Safe at Home, were on site to engage with attendees and offer information on their special services.
“These agencies all either provide adult programming or in-home care,” said Executive Director Melissa Nichols. “They partner with us regularly throughout the year.”
“I think the biggest challenge in our field right now is a shortage of provider options for people,” Green said. “We have the funding, but probably similar to other industries, the field of support professionals has a lot of turnover, so we’re trying to do the best we can to help local agencies solve that problem so they can retain staff. That’ll be better for the people we serve, and we’re trying to offer support and trainings in that field as much as possible from our own facility.”
Troy Mayor Mike Beamish and Piqua Mayor Kazy Hinds were also on hand to deliver a proclamation and show their support to the Riverside family.
The Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council has chosen “Support Matters” as the theme for 2019, and will be hosting “DD Awareness and Advocacy Day” on Tuesday, March 5, at the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus, which representatives from Riverside will be attending.
“It’s really important to understand that everyone has value and has something to contribute to our community,” Nichols said. “Regardless of their ability level, we all have something to learn from each other, to appreciate about each other, and the world is a better place because of the people that we serve.”
On Friday, March 8, Riverside will be hosting “Spirit Night” at 6 p.m. as a finale to the Miami Valley Magic basketball season. Susie’s Big Dipper and the Troy cheerleaders will be present for the festivities.
Riverside will also be hosting its “Spring Fling Dinner and Dance” event on Friday, March 22. Registration for admission and dinner is $10, and all proceeds benefit the Miami County Special Olympics program.
The Miami County Board of Developmental Disabilities serves more than 1,000 people of all ages in Miami County. Their mission is to empower people with developmental disabilities to live, work and play as full members of our community. Riverside’s vision is to build a community that supports and values people of all abilities.
The organization offers service coordination and funding for residential care, adult day services and job training. Riverside also provides case management, early intervention, recreational activities, Special Olympics programs, community housing coordination and other valuable services to people from birth through the end of life.
For more information about Riverside, visit riversidedd.org.