For 18 years, the Moniteau County SB40 Board has been offering its services for youth and adults with developmental disabilities to better live in their own world. For five days each week, those individuals can learn everything from social skills and personal care to how to grow profitable skills in the workforce.
These opportunities, and many more, are just what the Missouri Senate had in mind when it was passed the bill in the late 1960s. Executive Director Lindell Harrison and his team have been working on the mission to make sure residents with developmental disabilities are getting the care they need.
"The goal is to give everyone here every opportunity to function as highly as possible," Harrison said. "If the skills they already have aren't being used, they can deteriorate."
When the board was first organized, the effort was a multi-county one. However, after downsizing, due to budget constraints, the board is exclusive to Moniteau County. This does not mean the individuals who receive care from the facility are confined to Moniteau County. The SB40 board has two wheelchair-accessible vans to make this possible.
"We run a route to Jefferson City for those who work at the sheltered workshop there," Harrison said. "Another route goes to the Versailles sheltered workshop."
For those individuals who do not hold employment, there is the "day-habilitation" program. This service teaches participants a variety of life skills, such as cooking and social interaction, among other skills. The services provided are personalized for the individual.
"Each individual here has their own case manager," Harrison said. "They're provided to us under the Center for Medicaid Services, which has federal and state regulations. Each year, we all sit down and make individual plans for each person here and work out goals and objectives that person should work on; it's a collaborative work. These goals could be anything from telling time, identifying various currencies and even manual dexterity."
Some individuals reside at Deerbook Apartments, a 12-room home where developmentally disabled participants live independently. Harrison said a respite service also is offered to those who live at home with parents or guardians.
The SB40 Board works diligently to keep their participants' minds active, but services coordinator Amanda Carlyle said there is time each week set aside for diversions.
"Every Wednesday, we go out in the community to eat," Carlyle said. "They've been to Columbia and Jefferson City to either go to the mall and shop or some other things, but they really like to eat."
Getting the individuals out in the community, Harrison said, is a good learning tool for not only the individuals, but the community, as well.
"It's been great for those individuals who have not had the opportunity to get out into the community," Harrison said. "The community itself has been very open and accepting. It's an opportunity for us all to learn together, to educate the community in terms of people who have disabilities. They can do just about anything we can. They're just differently abled."
To further this growth between the community and participants of the SB40 Board, a new feature recently has been adopted. This is to introduce employment skills for those who wish to work in outside of a sheltered workshop.
"We teach them skills in order to get more competitive jobs," Harrison said. "If the individual wants to work, we give them every opportunity to do so."
The Moniteau County SB40 is not showing any signs of slowing down. In fact, Harrison said through the annual tax levy, the board receives $250,000 in local tax money. The board's budget also relies on state and federal revenue.
"This is a good investment," Harrison said of local tax dollars.