The Ross County Board of Developmental Disabilities, also known as the Pioneer Center, was created legislatively in 1967, along with other Boards of DD in all of Ohio’s 88 counties.
The idea was to create an agency whose mission would provide life opportunities for children and adults in Ross County who had developmental disabilities (those disabilities which arise in children before the age of 21.)
Historically, parents or relatives of children and adults with DD were advised to place their loved ones in large institutions. The prevailing thought was that these folks could never learn to live and function as regular people among “normal” community members.
However, Ross county was one of the few places in Ohio which very early decided to open a school for children with DD. Staffed with volunteers and items donated by the community. The Pioneer School began in the Salvation Army building on E. Fourth St. in Chillicothe in 1953. Since the 70’s, the school has been located at 11268 Co. Rd. 550, Chillicothe, OH 45601. Following the establishment of the school, there became a need to provide assistance to the individuals who had completed their K-12 requirements.
Today, Pioneer Center provides assistance through programs for infants, preschoolers, school age children and adults. These programs include early intervention, various therapy programs, preschool programs, k-12 assistance to those students attending regular school in all schools in the county, a school age program at Pioneer School, and adult rehabilitation, residential, employment, and recreational opportunities. You can read more about the services provided by Pioneer Center at every age in this PDF document: Life Map for a person served by the Pioneer Center.
Today people with all kinds of disabilities can be working, tax paying citizens of Ross County, contributing to the diversity of our area, making Ross County a great place to live!
Improving lives by supporting choices of people through community partnerships and quality services.
People with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Ross County are included in the community as equal citizens, are as independent as possible, know their rights and speak up for themselves and direct their own lives through informed choices and with needed supports.
The mission of the Ross County Board of DD is promoted through the following principles:
- The Board recognizes that all individuals desire and deserve the opportunity to make decisions about their lives.
- Person-centered planning is a process they enables people with developmental disabilities and their families to communicate their wants and needs to us so that the Board can arrange the supports they need for a quality life.
- Service coordination is a process of assisting individuals and their families to identify and acquire the appropriate service and supports they choose for themselves within the resources available.
- The Dignity and self-worth of each individual shall be respected.
- Service and supports shall be personalized and age appropriate.
- Services for individuals with developmental disabilities should be close to their homes and families.
Board of DD
The Pioneer Center is governed by a Board of Directors, which includes seven members of the community – 2 members nominated by probate judges and the other 5 nominated by county commissioners.
Board meetings are open to the public and are held the second Thursday of every month from 6:00 p.m to 7:00 p.m. at the Pioneer Center, unless otherwise noted. Check our Events Calendar for meeting updates.
Mike Thompson, President
Mike Wilbanks, Vice-President
Baylee Butler, Secretary
Board meetings are open to the public and are held the second Thursday of every month from 6:00 p.m to 7:00 p.m., unless otherwise noted here. Meetings are held at the Pioneer Center – 167 W. Main St., Chillicothe, Ohio. If you are looking for a copy of an older agenda and/or minutes please contact us at 740-773-8044.
Committee Meeting Minutes