New Focus on Service Delivery

Ohio rang in the new decade with the opening of the Youngstown Developmental Center, serving Ashtabula, Columbiana, Mahoning, and Trumbull counties.

At the state level, in an effort to improve service delivery for people with developmental disabilities, Ohio separated the Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation into two cabinet-level departments: the Ohio Department of Mental Health and the Ohio Department of Mental Retardation/Developmental Disabilities.

In other legislative actions, Ohio Senate Bill 160 provided reforms to the make-up and responsibilities of the County Boards of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities, and separated their role entirely from that of the community mental health board. House Bill 693 established a Joint Committee on Mental Retardation within both houses of the Ohio General Assembly.

Impacting Americans with developmental disabilities coast to coast was the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act of 1980 (CRIPA), which provided the Department of Justice the authority to bring cases to protect people living in institutions.