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Developmental disability organization in expansion mode

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The Stone County Developmental Disability Board is expanding, starting with the funding of a full-time executive director.

LaDella Thomas is taking on the role after previously serving on a part-time basis. She said the SCDDB is a political subdivision of Missouri created in 2016 to contract with area nonprofits to provide services for county residents who have developmental disabilities. For its operations, the SCDDB collects a portion of property taxes – 10 cents per $100 of property valuation – equating to around $615,000-$640,000 annually, she said.

“We believe LaDella, with her experience in this field and proven commitment to our organization and to the people of our region with developmental disabilities, is the right fit as our fairly new organization moves into future expansion,” SCDDB board Chairman Ruby Gideon said in a news release. "We are moving into a phase of our strategic plan where we need a strong director."

The SCDDB provides services for residents of Stone County who have developmental disabilities such as autism, cerebral palsy and Down syndrome, according to the release. The organization has worked to provide transportation through OATS, scholarships for campers via Camp Barnabas and sports programs through Champion Athletes of the Ozarks.

Thomas said the SCDDB is seeking to become a Medicaid provider through the Missouri Department of Mental Health, through which it would be reimbursed for a new habilitation program.

Thomas’ past experience includes work as director of marketing and resource development for the Taney County Board for the Developmentally Disabled, for which she helped to bring in more than $300,000 in local, state and federal grants, according to the release.

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