My sister, Leah Scott, has worked at the Robert Bycroft Sheltered Workshop - EDI South (Employment Development Inc.) for more than 22 years. This job gives her a great sense of self-worth and pride. It continues to provide her with an opportunity to feel important in the community by allowing her to earn a paycheck and work everyday, while still making a contribution despite her disabilities.
I just found out on June 5 that the CCBDD (Columbiana County Board of Developmental Disabilities) is merging EDI Central and EDI South - closing the EDI South facility. It seems to me that the board went behind our backs and made this decision. They did this without taking into consideration how much this change will impact all of the clients, caregivers, families and employees of EDI South. I strongly feel that our families should have been notified and our concerns addressed before such a drastic decision like this was made.
My sister will no longer be able to do the one thing that gives her so much joy and pride, not to mention the only social outlet she has in her life, if this location closes. I will not be able to transport her back-and-forth to EDI Central everyday, nor can she ride the bus for such an extended length of time due to her limited mobility.
I would also like to point out how difficult a change like this can be on someone who is mentally disabled. I feel that the board did not take into consideration all of the issues this can cause not only for the individuals themselves, but for the people who care for them. A change in a routine that has been the same for so many years can cause serious behaviors, as well as unnecessary stress and anxiety for a person with developmental disabilities.
I sincerely hope that the members of CCBDD will listen to the concerns of the many caregivers and family members and decide to keep EDI South open so that our loved ones can continue to feel self worth and accomplishment regularly, as every human being should.