Our Story

Since 1967 the Licking County Board of Developmental Disabilities (LCBDD) has served the Licking County community as the entity to plan for, provide and pay for services for people with developmental disabilities.

In 2017, our agency celebrated its 50th anniversary and marked the occasion with a variety of special projects. Check out the links below to learn more:

In a 2017 interview, retired LCBDD Superintendent Nancy Neely reflected on our agency’s history and future. We believe her words are a fitting introduction to this timeline, which not only highlights the accomplishments of the past but shows how far LCBDD has come — and where we have to go.

“It’s different today than it was 50 years ago, but throughout that time, our community has listened to us…We have just recently begun to realize the huge responsibility we have to help teach the public about what people with developmental disabilities can do.

In the next decade, we will very much be changing more of those earlier sets of expectations. The power of expectations is so important.

We’ve had a tremendous amount of progress, as we’ve learned, we’ve helped the community to learn. That’s the responsibility we have had to bear as a Board…to bring people along.

Thinking about 50 years ago, we know so much more about what works and what doesn’t work…and in 10 years, we’ll know even more.”

— Nancy Neely, LCBDD superintendent from 2001-2015, in January, 2017.

OUR TimeLine

Our Timeline


A Parent’s Struggle

A Parent’s Struggle

Children with developmental disabilities were unable to attend public schools. The only opportunities for local children were the state institutions in Columbus and Mount Vernon. Parents were told, “There is nothing for you.” A group of local parents decided to change that.


Parent’s Unite

Parent’s Unite

Under the leadership of Licking County resident Katie Carter, parents came together to find a way for their children to receive an education in their own community. The fruit of their labor was the Licking County Council for Retarded Children. The Council incorporated in 1952.


Starlight School

Starlight School

Starlight School opened, giving parents of children with developmental disabilities an educational choice. Mrs. Katie Carter suggested the school be named Starlight because it signified “the light that shines in darkness.” Classes were held for 12 students in a room at Mound School. Although the state only provided $200 per eligible..Read More


Job Training

Community job training was met with great success. It was predicted that within five years, many children with developmental disabilities would “find sheltered (working) conditions to be useful in an adult working world.”


New parent group forms

A new parent group was formed. Parents and Friends of Retarded Children was “interested in promoting legislation favorable to all retarded children and in providing services to state institutions for the retarded with special attention for those residents from Licking County.”