From The Superintendent Ryan Braun June 15, 2021

From The Superintendent

As COVID-19 vaccination rates continue to increase and cases continue to decline, the state of Ohio and local officials have adjusted their public health guidance. After the past year, we know many people are anxious to return to in-person services while others are still nervous about their health and the health of loved ones. This month we began the gradual process of returning to in-person services.

Our goal is to ensure the people we support and their families are able to receive the services they need in ways that will reduce risk for them, for other people we support, and for our staff. We also want to ensure we maintain the flexible and creative service options we’ve established throughout the pandemic.

In June, HCDDS staff are resuming in-person meetings and visits as they feel comfortable. During this time, our employees are required to still follow public health guidelines and to consider risk levels and preferences for everyone involved.

Beginning in July, all staff will be required to resume in-person meetings and visits for people and families who would prefer that option. Staff will be required to continue following any applicable public health guidelines during in-person visits. We know that many people valued the flexibility and ease of virtual meetings and services throughout the pandemic, and that option is not going away. We’ve also learned that some tasks can be completed quickly and easily without an in-person meeting, such as signing documents or brief check-ins. We will continue to complete some of these services remotely in the future. You will be able to work with your service and support administrator or primary contact at HCDDS to ensure you’re receiving support in the way that works best for you.

Although we are resuming in-person services, many of our employees continue to have the option to work from home. Throughout the last year, our staff have shown they can work efficiently and effectively without physically being in the office. We’re still in the process of evaluating our future operations. Our goal is to ensure we continue to provide high-quality services to the people we support and their families, to maintain an inclusive and positive work environment, and to provide employees with greater flexibility and the support they need to work effectively.

I’m optimistic about the future as we emerge from a difficult 16 months. Thank you for your flexibility and collaboration throughout this time. I look forward to working together to carry forward the lessons we’ve learned and improve support options for people with developmental disabilities in our community.