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TuscBDD awarded $521k to support children, adults with disabilities

| January 23, 2024
Individuals with disabilities in Tuscarawas County and their families will benefit from a state grant awarded to the local DD board. (Tuscarawas County Board of Developmental Disabilities)

NEW PHILADELPHIA (WJER) (Jan. 23, 2024) – A grant from the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities will help meet needs here in Tuscarawas County.

TuscBDD is getting $521,000 that Executive Director Nate Kamban says will fund multiple projects, the largest being renovating the preschool and sensory rooms at their Starlight School. 

“We’re gonna get all of our documents together, put it out for bid to see who would like to maybe participate in this project, and then we’ll have to go through that process but ideally I would love to see everything done in time for next school year.”

The agency is one of 67 statewide receiving a share of almost $15-million in American Rescue Plan money to help support Ohioans with disabilities and their families. Kamban says the award is in addition to one the board received another grant last year to develop a technology-powered house where people with disabilities can learn to live independently.

“With things like Alexa, ways of turning off the oven. You can even have staff check in with individuals via an iPad to make sure they’re ok. And so we’re working with Starlight Enterprises to develop a home where individuals can test it out, maybe stay overnight with a family member or a friend.” 

The latest grant will also strengthen and support early intervention services, transform land next to the board’s headquarters into an accessible soccer field, add adult-sized changing tables to the restrooms at Tuscora Park and other public places, and help them reach more non-English speaking families.

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