Community Employment Resource Map
Ottawa County has a large seasonal and agricultural base for employment with a wide range of employment opportunities for individuals with developmental disabilities. Jobs are available in janitorial services, tourism, hospitality, and food service. Some individuals have worked in the community for several years. One individual has maintained his own lawn mowing microenterprise while working at a local grocery store.
The Ottawa County Board of Developmental Disabilities (Ottawa DD) has several practices and partnerships that support community employment. In addition to traditional waiver service, Ottawa DD utilizes individual budgets, which are local dollars for individuals to use for a variety of services and supports. Individual budgets have been a critical aspect of the community employment success in Ottawa County because it allows flexibility for services to adapt to the needs of the individuals. Services can include transportation, job training, and employment supports. Ottawa DD has strong transition practices that focus on youths age 14-25, which allow for greater funding through individual budgets, in an effort for these youth to obtain community employment. They have partnerships with Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities, the Bridges to Transition program (in partnership with Huron County), and the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities. Currently they are strengthening relationships with local chambers of commerce to help build awareness about hiring individuals with developmental disabilities.