Years before SB 169 mandated County Boards of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities, the Lake County community, through strong grass roots activism of parents, friends, neighbors, educators, and politicians, emerged as an innovator and leader among Ohio counties in establishing local services and facilities for its children with disabilities - children who were otherwise regarded as "uneducable" or "untrainable", and therefore, excluded from public schools or relegated to massive state run warehouses hundreds of miles away from their families and communities. In outrage, Lake County supported funding to establish education and training programs for children at Broadmoor School, as well as local vocational and training programs for adults in sheltered workshops, and uniquely among counties, local residential facilities to provide humane and dignified quality of life for both children and adults.
The Lake County Board of Developmental Disabilities/Deepwood remains a leader among Ohio counties in both the scope and excellence of its programs and services for people with disabilities. While many counties have scaled back programs, including elimination of county board school programs, Lake County continues to support a full range of local programs and services from infancy, pre-school, school-age, vocational training, community employment, and senior services. Uniquely, Lake County supports local residential options encompassing in-home family supports, short term respite (both in-home and out-of-home), multiple small-scale community residences (group homes, apartment settings), and 24-hour residential facilities on our main Deepwood campus. All our programs and services receive the highest recognition and accolades at both state and national levels.