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BCBDD Adopts Ohio’s Technology First Initiative!

The Butler County Board of Developmental Disabilities (BCBDD) has always believed in evolving and utilizing new resources in order to fulfill the lives of those we serve. This is why we have committed to implementing Ohio’s Technology First initiative, through our “Thriving Through Technology Team,” led by Lynne Hibbard and Tracy Boraz-Shepherd.

Employees on laptops in a conference room

We are committed to identifying needs and utilizing enabling technology to meet these identified needs across all age groups and environments for the people and families we serve. This concept was presented and accepted by the Board just a few weeks ago.

To ensure that the Technology First Program Policy is adhered to and actively used to its fullest capabilities, the BCBDD and several technology advocates from various BCBDD departments developed a “Thriving Through Technology Team.”

Both Hibbard and Boraz-Shepherd completed the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities’ (DODD) Enabling Technology Leadership Certification which has given them the knowledge to lead this team. They are joined by eight additional staff members representing each department within the agency.

The Thriving Through Technology Team will be responsible for things such as inter-departmental communication, monitoring data on utilizing enabling technology, and introducing enabling technology to teams and families. Below are a few more responsibilities the Technology Team will take on:

  • Meet monthly to review the progress of utilizing Enabling Technology across the agency
  • Meet with departments to problem solve and identify how technology can be utilized
  • Consult on challenging situations and develop strategies for presenting technology options to teams
  • Develop strategies for increasing the level of knowledge, skill and comfort of staff related to the use of technology solutions
  • Establish benchmarks for increasing the number of individuals who benefit from the use of technology solutions
  • Maintain data relevant to Enabling Technology
  • Research and learn about available technology for home, work, and community

The Technology Team will also ensure that each individual served by BCBDD participates in a person-centered planning process, which identifies the individual’s unique strengths, interests, abilities, preferences, resources, and desired outcomes as they relate to enabling technology and solutions.

The Service and Support Administrator (SSA) department and the Early Intervention (EI) department have both developed person-centered planning processes so that each individual gets the most effective technology tools based on their needs.

A collage of photos with people using technology in different ways

In addition, we will actively collaborate with individuals served and their families, providers of services, neighboring county boards of DD, DODD, and community partners to expand awareness and use of technology solutions by individuals served by BCBDD.

Communication approaches will be designed for the family and individuals the BCBDD serves, the internal agency, service providers, the BCBDD social media and marketing, DODD, and our community partners.

The Thriving Through Technology Team will place a strong focus on educating the Board, the BCBDD staff, our community partners, and those families and individuals we serve through developing a “Community of Practice focused on promoting Enabling Technology using a consistent, positive, and supportive message.”

The BCBDD and the Thriving Through Technology Team are excited to begin using technology to help those we serve more easily overcome barriers, improve their quality of life, and experience more independence and personal freedom!

a man and a women standing side by side smiling for a photo

BCBDD’s Thriving Through Technology Team are already making steps towards making technology more accessible to those we serve! Below watch the BCBDD’s Lynne Hibbard, Tracy Boraz Shepherd, and Cassie Mattia as they take the “Grand Tour” with Miami University Oxford’s AccessMU Team! In this video presentation you will see our Thriving Through Technology Team leaders gain more resources and knowledge on accessible technology for students with disabilities.

If you would like to learn more information about Ohio’s Technology First initiative click here!

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