County Board System Established

County Board System EstablishedIn 1967, Ohio’s 88 county boards of mental retardation were created by the Ohio General Assembly through amended Senate Bill 169, which was signed into law by Gov. James Rhodes. The county boards were established to raise funds and provide services and support to people with developmental disabilities, as well as further the training and education of professional personnel.

This marked a significant shift in philosophy and public policy toward the care of people with developmental disabilities, and provided alternatives to state-run institutions. The new philosophy gave individuals the opportunity to live, work, and participate in their local community. County boards began offering supportive home services with work activity and sheltered employment. By the late 1960s, the benefits of more localized services were being realized, and public support for funding large institutions was eroding.

The following year in Ohio, State Issue 1 enabled the General Assembly to issue revenue bonds for capital improvements for state mental retardation and other institutional systems.

Photo Source: Hocking County Board of DD