A developmental disability is a mental or physical impairment that starts before age 22, continues indefinitely, and causes substantial difficulties in self-care, language, mobility, self-direction, independent living, learning, and economic self-sufficiency. Developmental disabilities can range in severity from mild to profound based on an individual's need for supports.
Your journey begins with the Intake and Eligibility department of your local county board of developmental disabilities. They will work with you to complete the Ohio Eligibility Determination Instrument to determine "substantial functional limitations" and eligibility for services. Evaluation Specialists and Service and Support Administrators will assist you through this process.
In addition to children, Individuals age 16 and above are usually eligible for County DD services if they have a documented history of life-long developmental disability and significant functional limitations in at least three of seven life areas on the Ohio Eligibility Determination Instrument (OEDI). Areas evaluated are mobility, receptive and expressive language, self-care, self-direction, and capacity for independent living and learning.
To begin the process, your county board of developmental disabilities must receive an intake referral. They accept referrals for individuals three and older looking to receive services. Referrals can be made by individuals, parents, physicians, teachers, or anyone who believes a person residing in Ohio may benefit from and qualify for services from their county board of developmental disabilities.
The Ohio Eligibility Determination Instrument, or OEDI, is an assessment used to determine eligibility for services for individuals ages 16 and older.
Many services are funded through Medicaid. Waiver programs, which fund most residential services, give a great deal of flexibility to individuals to choose his or her residence and provider. A waiver is a way that Medicaid can pay for services to keep you in your home, or a home in the community, so you do not have to move to a long-term care facility or nursing home.
The county board creates a waiting list for waiver services if there are not enough resources to meet the needs of all individuals who request waiver services. There may be a waiting list for each waiver program. If you ask to be enrolled on a waiver program for which there is a waiting list, you will be placed on the waiting list if you so choose. You can be on a waiting list for multiple waiver programs.