About Us

Defiance County is a great place to belong!

Thanks to the voters of Defiance County, we have the opportunity to provide supports and services for individuals with developmental disabilities throughout the lifespan. Thank you!

Mission Statement

The mission statement of the Defiance County Board of DD is to provide needed services which enhance quality of life, not available through generic means or natural supports, to developmentally disabled children, adults, and their families based upon reasonable desires and choices made by the individuals and/or their advocates which can be delivered in a manner that are within available resources, both short term and long term, and are consistent with the individual’s and his/her community values and standards.


The purposes of education for persons with developmental disabilities in our community shall be promoted through the Board’s active commitment to the following principles: Each person with DD is a human being first and an individual with handicaps secondarily; he/she should have access to all the general community services that he/she can use in common with others. Only when integrated services fail to meet his/her needs should there be specialized services. Every person with developmental disabilities and his/her family is entitled to the concern and assistance of the community, expressed through public and voluntary resources. This is their right as citizens. There is potential for growth in every human being. For each person, society should provide the opportunity to develop to the limits of his/her capabilities. Services should be planned and provided as part of a continuum, which means that the pattern of facilities and eligibility shall be so complete as to meet the needs of each person with DD, regardless of age or degree of handicap, and at each stage of life development. It also means a continuity, including uniform eligibility standards, to insure that no individual is lost in the transition from one service to another. Services for persons with DD should be close to their homes and families. This applies to state residential institutions and other residential facilities as well as to diagnostic, educational, recreational and other community services. Moreover, no person who can be cared for in the community should enter an institution, and no one should remain in an institution who can adjust to community residential options. The best hope is prevention and society’s responsibility to support and respond to new knowledge through research and to apply it promptly. Meanwhile, the community has an obligation to people developmental disabilities. Provision for training of professional persons to work with individuals with DD should be built into service programs whenever appropriate and possible. Professional training is an essential component of the total program and a pattern of service is incomplete without it.


Good Samaritan School was dedicated in May of 1965. The county commissioners authorized the construction of the proposed Good Samaritan Day Care Center in 1964 at a cost of $68,177 on the property of the Defiance County Children’s Home on East Second Street. Prior to that, classes were held in the basement of the county jail in 1960 for the developmentally disabled and later at First United Presbyterian Church and the Children’s Home. Supervising the school was Mary Alice Woods, with one teacher and one assistant serving as instructors for 23 students ages 6-21. Mary Reeves initially served as a teacher and later went on to become the school superintendent in 1977. The school was founded by Mary Speiser and Elizabeth Cameron. Additional instructional space and a gym were later added to the current facility. Over the last 55 years, enrollment has varied, with the school serving those in the community with developmental disabilities.