Taft's Plan To Close Another Institution Becomes Reality This
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
February 14, 2006
APPLE CREEK, OHIO--Apple Creek Developmental Center will close for good this coming Saturday -- four months ahead of schedule.
Governor Bob Taft had announced plans in his January 2003 State of the State address to close at least one state-run institution housing people with developmental disabilities over the following two years.
A short time later, a panel recommended closing Springview Developmental Center, which was built in 1910, and Apple Creek Developmental Center, which was built in 1931.
But family members of institution residents, along with institution employees, resisted Taft's plan and tried to stop the closures. In order to have more time to come up with ways to defeat the plan, they pressured lawmakers to add an institution review committee to a bill providing protections for crime victims with developmental disabilities.
Taft vetoed the bill, saying he could not live with the review committee requirement. Facing a likely veto override, however, he negotiated with lawmakers to allow the extended review, but only to consider its recommendations -- not be bound by them -- when he made his own decisions. After the extended review, Taft moved forward with his plans.
The Springview institution, which housed 84 residents in February 2003, was closed last year. Apple Creek, which housed 179 residents at the time, was scheduled to close this coming June.
While a handful of the residents moved into homes in the community, most were transferred to the other 10 state-run institutions, the Dayton Daily News reported.
In 1965, more than 10,000 people were housed in Ohio's developmental centers. Today, just 1,600 do.
"As far as I can see, there's no need for them," said Jeff Moyer, whose younger brother, Mark, spent 19 years in state institutions, but now shares a house with two other men.
"State to close home for disabled, fate of other centers in doubt" (Dayton Daily News)
"Ohio Governor Attempts To Close Institutions" (Inclusion Daily Express Archives)