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Today's Family Magazine

The Geauga County Board of Developmental Disabilities helps people live, learn and earn in our community

Feb 25, 2020 04:23PM

The annual Community Carnival will be held on March 7, 2020.

As March is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month, it is the perfect opportunity to spotlight all of the tremendous work that the Geauga County Board of Developmental Disabilities (GCBDD) does for the community, the individuals with developmental disabilities they serve, and their families.

The GCBDD is a government agency located in Chesterland, Ohio that funds, oversees and helps individuals with developmental disabilities gain access to the services and supports they need to live happy, healthy and fulfilling lives. The GCBDD operates the Metzenbaum Center, which was established in 1966 to serve the needs of developmentally disabled individuals in Geauga County. It provides services from birth through adulthood. The Early Intervention Program serves children under the age of three, the Transitional Youth program provides educational services to individuals aged 4-22, and adult services are available for people 18 years of age and older.

In addition to traditional services such as family supports, educational programming and work placement, the GCBDD also emphasizes the importance of social programming and community events. The GCBDD and all of its staff members aim to build a caring community where individuals are integrated and accepted.

The Geauga County Board of Developmental Disabilities is celebrating Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month with several special events.  To kick off the month, they will be hosting their fifth annual free Community Carnival on March 7, 2020 at the Metzenbaum Center.  Event attendees will enjoy carnival-type games such as balloon break, coin toss, milk bottle knock-down and much more. There will also be a bounce house, face-painting and other activities as well as free carnival-style foods, such as popcorn and cotton candy.

“This event is very exciting and fun for us because it allows us to showcase the Metzenbaum Center and the services we help provide, while also giving the community a fun event, free of charge,” said GCBDD Superintendent Don Rice. “With March being Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month, it is the perfect time of year to raise awareness about developmental disabilities, teach the importance of inclusion within every aspect of life and share the stories of individuals with a disability to show that they are just like anybody else.”

This March, the Metzenbaum Center will also be hosting its sixth annual Night to Shine event for children enrolled in the Early Intervention Program.  The event allows each child served by the GCBDD to walk a red carpet and showcase his/her personality and accomplishments.  It also gives families the opportunity to come together and share their experiences with others who are going through similar developmental delays. The event is funded by donations received from local businesses in Geauga County.

For more information about the GCBDD, please visit www.geaugadd.org.

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