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Delight or Disappointment?

Whatever your reaction is when you look out the window on a snowy morning and wonder if the Cuyahoga County Board of DD might be closed, find out quickly.

We use the same system that many school districts and universities use to give notices about emergency closings. It directly calls the homes of those enrolled to deliver a recorded announcement about an emergency closing. The system can call everyone affected by a Cuyahoga County Board of DD closing within a very few minutes. If there is no answer, it will either leave a message on an answering machine or voicemail system, or it will try again up to four times.

It’s important to have your current phone number listed with us. If your number changes, make sure to let your site or support administrator know. Or, if you eliminate your land line (as many people seem to be doing) in favor of a cell phone, make sure that you report that so the number can be corrected in our computer system.

We also use the iAlert announcement system operated by local tv and radio stations to broadcast closings. When conditions warrant closing one, some or all of our centers, we make every effort to announce it in time for the 11 p.m. news the night before the closing. When that’s not possible, we send the announcement out in time for the 6:30 a.m. news.

Tune in at:


WHLO, 640 AM  WGAR, 99.5 FM         WKYC-TV, Channel 3
WTAM, 1100 AM  WMMS, 100.7 FM    WVIZ-TV, Channel 25
Radio Free Ohio, 1350 AM  WCRF, 103.3 FM    
WCPN, 90.3 FM  WCLV, 104.9 FM    
WAKS, 96.5 FM  WMJI, 105.7 FM    
WKDD, 98.1 FM  WMVX, 106.5 FM    
And, finally, we post closing info on our home page, Facebook page, and Twitter.

Remember: Parents and caregivers make the ultimate decision about sending an individual to a center during bad weather. Even when we’re open, you may choose to keep him or her home, based on his or her needs. 


FAQs about emergency closings

Blackboard, our automated telephone message system, is a national notification system used by many universities, school districts and agencies. We use it to announce program closings (usually due to severe weather), individual building closings (usually due to a utility outage or some other serious issue associated with a particular site) and reminders about planned shutdowns (holidays, winter break, summer break).

Why is the Cuyahoga County Board of DD's main office calling me?
When we use Blackboard to call the individuals we serve and/or our staff, the default display number you see on your caller ID is our main phone number (216/241-8230). The call is NOT actually being made from that number. If you see a missed call from this number, don't call back. First, listen to your voicemail messages. If there is no message, then call the site where you attend or work for more information.

Why didn't I receive a call?
Blackboard draws consumer phone numbers from Gatekeeper, the database where we keep information about all of the children and adults enrolled with us. It updates this info daily. It is important that, if your phone number changes or you get rid of your land line and rely on a cell phone, you let your support administrator or supervisor know so that we can change the information in Gatekeeper.
For staff, Blackboard draws phone numbers from Cyborg, our Human Resources Department's database, and updates it daily. Cyborg contains each employee’s contact information. To make sure you have the correct phone number on file, go into the employee self-serve feature on INFONET, our intranet. If you are an employee who doesn't have access to INFONET, call our Human Resources Department.

Why am I getting a call when this closing does not affect me?
Most of our staff travel and may have business at multiple buildings. Since there is no way of knowing where every staff member is scheduled, we notify everyone whenever there is a closure.

Why did my message keep stopping and replaying?
If there is excessive noise on the receiving end when Blackboard attempts to leave a message, it will pause and restart the same as it would with an answering machine or voicemail greeting message. Move to a quieter location to allow the recording to play in entirety.

If a program is closed, is the building still open?
Our buildings do not close unless there is a structural, operational or safety issue. Even when a program is closed at a particular site or multiple sites, we will still have some management staff on site in case a consumer, who hasn't heard about the closing for some reason, comes in.
We only have site-based programs for adults. We may close those programs for calamity days, but not with the same frequency as when we operated schools and early childhood centers.

Am I supposed to come in?
We do not have staff calamity days with the exception of some direct care staff in our adult programs. Each adult activities center should have a clear protocol in place as to which staff report on calamity days. Since our employees live in a wide radius that encompasses many different weather conditions, it’s up to each of us individually to decide if we are capable of the commute and, if unable, how to use flex or leave time.

Remember, the automated telephone notification system is just one tool we use. We also post on our home page, Facebook page, and Twitter. And, we use the iAlert system to notifiy local tv and radio stations about closings. Not all these venues will be updated immediately, but typically within half an hour of when the decision to close is made, you have several resources to check.

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Cuyahoga County Board of Developmental Disabilities
1275 Lakeside Avenue East
Cleveland, Ohio 44114-1129
PHONE: (216)241-8230 - FAX: (216)861-0253