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African Delegation visits Kuntz Center

Ten delegates from African countries, four interpreters and three Wright State University representatives were guests of the Montgomery County Board of Developmental Disabilities Services Kuntz Center on July 22. The delegation learned about services and programs for people with disabilities while sharing challenges they face in serving people with disabilities in their own countries.

The visitors were invited to the United States under the auspices of the Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program, which is arranged by the Mississippi Consortium of International Development (MCID Washington.)

Mark Vonderbrink, Director of Agency-Wide Support for the Board, provided the delegates an overview of the history of the Board, the services that are provided and information about how services are funded. Kevin Hayde from The Brighter Tomorrow Foundation discussed how the Foundation was formed and its mission of supporting people with developmental disabilities in the Miami Valley area. Marti Goetz, Manager of the nonprofit housing corporation Miami Valley In-Ovations (MVIO), talked about housing, while Charlie Pierce, Sales and Marketing Supervisor for MONCO Enterprises, Inc., shared a comprehensive presentation on employment training and work opportunities for people with developmental disabilities, which includes several people served by Choices In Community Living and Resident Home Association.

Following the presentations Kuntz Road Facility Manager Joe Akakpo led a tour of the facility that provides job training and work opportunities for people with developmental disabilities.

Ohio and Montgomery County have a history of developing and providing innovative and creative services that focus on the abilities, skills, strengths and interests of people with developmental disabilities as participating members of our communities. That sense of innovation and commitment may well be the most important message these delegates carry back to their countries as they work to support and serve their citizens with disabilities.