Within Blanchard Valley Center, a team from the Service and Support Administration (SSA) helps people of all ages and abilities find the services and support they need. SSA is a statewide program with the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities. A service and support administrator (SSA) is a person who works for a County Board of DD and is assigned to act as the primary, or main point of coordination for your services and supports. An SSA is a trouble-shooter, problem-solver and an advocate.
How the process works and what you can gain
Nicole Bowen, SSA director, explains that to be eligible for SSA assistance, one must reside in Hancock County, and meet one of the following criteria: for ages three to five, two developmental delays in two different life areas; for ages six and older, a diagnosis of a mental disability; and for adults to have three substantial functional limitations in major life areas.
“We use an instrument and assessment, depending on age, to note a qualifying disability,” said Bowen. “After looking for disabilities or delays, we offer services like contract therapy, referrals to other agencies and support, if they’re qualified.”
Working with the SSA team, individuals can access benefits including help with their physical or emotional well being, work on relationships and social inclusion, knowing their rights and self-determination. They connect individuals to resources that can support them with everything from services in their home to community employment. With person-centered thinking and advocacy, the SSA works with individuals and their team to develop a plan that reflects their life goals.
Bowen notes that support and advocacy are essential. She and her team strive to meet needs, whether that is connecting them with resources, seeking funding for them or supporting them at meetings. Bowen and her team stay connected and updated on training and issues within the community.
“There are successes every day,” Bowen said. “Developing independence and growth while working with people is one of my favorite parts of my job, as well as my team’s.”
For more information visit Service & Support Administration, 1700 E. Sandusky Street, 419-425-8747, blanchardvalley.org and “Blanchard Valley Center” on Facebook.