About us

Welcome to the Ottawa County Board
of Developmental Disabilities

The Ottawa County Board of Developmental Disabilities operates a county agency providing direct or contracted services on a daily basis. The Board provides support services to children and adults of all ages, who have developmental disabilities.

WHo We are

Our Purpose & Commitment

The Ottawa County Board of Developmental Disabilities provides Early Intervention, Service and Support Services  for children ages three and older through adulthood, as well as our REC (Recreational Experiences in the Community) program.   Through service contracts, OCBDD provides workshop; private day habilitation agencies and in a variety of other settings where support is needed; as well as Residential Services, which assist individuals to live as independently as they can, in their own home. Similar to public schools, most services are provided at no cost and are supported by local, state and federal funds. Services are provided to residents of Ottawa County who meet the eligibility requirements.


Our Board Members

The Board is comprised of seven members who are appointed by the Ottawa County Commissioners or the Probate Judge.

The law requires that at least three of the Board members are family members of individuals who either receive, or are eligible to receive, services from the Board. All Board members serve on a voluntary basis with no compensation for their services.

Lawrence Hattan


Pam McKinley

Vice President

Shannon Hand

Recording Secretary

Dave Blankenbeker


Michelle Petersen


Amy Skolnik


Andrew Wells



Our History

Take a look at where we started and how we have evolved to be the organization we are today. 


State institutions were the only option in Ohio for citizens with disabilities. School districts established the E-1 exclusion for individuals they considered not educable.


The first meeting of parents for what was to become Ottawa County Board of MRDD occurred.


The Association for Retarded Citizens opened a day program with 13 children participating (American Legion Hall). 


The Ottawa County Commissioners granted use of a small building on County Home grounds for a    day program and 1/10 mil levy passed to support it. 


The Ohio Senate passed SB 169 creating County Boards of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities.  The Ottawa County Board of MR/DD was created


Riverview School was built.


Due to the growth of the adult population Riverview Industries was incorporated to provide work options for adults with MRDD.


Due to de-institutionalization a new mission was forth coming. Ottawa County Residential Services was incorporated to provide housing options for people served by the Ottawa County Board of MRDD. 


 Riverview Industries Building was built through a HUD grant at no cost to Ottawa County citizens.   This allowed the Board to serve the increasing number of adults in Ottawa County. Group Home in Port Clinton opened. 


Group Home in Genoa opened. The State Department of MR/DD transferred all funding for   school programs back to the State Department of Education.


The mission state-wide was changing to supporting individuals in the community by providing supports 24hrs a day 365 days a year. Additionally, many of the school age children at Riverview School were now choosing to stay in their home school. This precipitated the transfer of three classroom units and the handicap pre-school to the ESC (Educational Service Center). All children with disabilities ages 3-22 are now served in their home school districts.


The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was passed, promoting both inclusion and self-determination. 


Riverview Industries became a private entity serving adults with mental retardation and other developmental disabilities.


The 124th General Assembly passed House Bill 94 providing a foundation for many individuals to access community waivers with local match dollars drawing down millions of federal dollars. This allowed many adults with disabilities to move into community settings. 


Funding for residential services across the state is in crisis. This causes the continual closing and redefinition of state institutions and group homes. It moves the responsibility for the health and safety and Medicaid match dollars to support individuals with disabilities living in community settings to the County Board of MR/DD. 


Senate Bill 79 passed unanimously due to the efforts of self-advocates in southeast Ohio. This bill takes the words mental retardation out of the legal names of county boards, officially creating County Boards of Developmental Disabilities.  The Ottawa County Board of DD's name changed at their September 21st meeting.     Ottawa County Board of DD services remain the same with a new name.

“However difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at it”

- Stephen Hawking