Richland Newhope grant will support remote workers


MANSFIELD — Richland Newhope/Richland County Board of Developmental Disabilities has received a $20,000 grant from the Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council and The Ohio State University Nisonger Center.

The grant is one of 13 awarded since last September to support initiatives that expand remote support or remote monitoring availability in Ohio.

“The ongoing workforce crisis often leaves county boards of developmental disabilities and providers without sufficient staff to fill vacant positions,” says Nisonger Center Technology Project Coordinator Jordan Wagner. “Ohio is now a ‘Technology First’ state, and the grants are offering to advance this mandate by harnessing the benefits of technology to mitigate the workforce crisis and promote independence among individuals with developmental disabilities.”

Richland Newhope plans to use the grant dollars to create a demonstration site where those with developmental disabilities, their family members, staff, and provider partners can experience first-hand remote monitoring and other technologies that are available.

Specifically, the grant money will be used to buy equipment, such as a two-way audio/video screen, cameras, wireless sensors, automated medication dispenses, and other devices, that work with a remote support system. The goal is to have the demonstration site ready by April 1.

“This grant is just the start of educating our staff, individuals, and their supports about how technology can make people more independent and improve the quality of their life,” adds Mary Dalbey, Richland Newhope’s coordinator of Provider Recruitment and Development.

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Richland Newhope supports more than 1,600 Richland County residents through early intervention, preschool, transition services, day services, supported employment, residential, therapy, and other family support programs.