Bittersweet, Inc. – Community

Currently serving individuals with developmental disabilities.
Currently seeking referrals.
Agency Provider


12660 Archbold-Whitehouse Rd

Whitehouse, Ohio 43571
Main: 1-877-879-0254
Fax: (419)875-5593
[ Map It ]


Kelly Elton
Phone: 1-877-879-0254


Individual Budget/Private Pay

Individual Budget/Private Pay: Adult Day Services

Adult Day Support
Supported Employment - Community
Transportation Non-Medical
Vocational Habilitation

Level One Waiver

Home Maker Personal Care

Level One Waiver: Adult Day Services

Adult Day Support
Supported Employment - Community
Transportation Non-Medical
Vocational Habilitation

Individual Options Waiver

Community Respite
Home Maker Personal Care
NonMedical Transportation Mileage
Residential Respite

Individual Options Waiver: Adult Day Services

Adult Day Support
Supported Employment - Community
Vocational Habilitation

Self Empowered Life Funding Waiver (SELF-Waiver)

Community Inclusion Transportation
Community Inclusion-Personal Assistance
Community Respite
Residential Respite

Self Empowered Life Funding Waiver (SELF-Waiver): Adult Day Services

Adult Day Support
Transportation Non-Medical
Vocational Habilitation


No References Provided


DODD Certification

Agency Profile

a) Describe your agency’s philosophy of providing services and supports to individuals with disabilities.

Bittersweet engages in a model which employs meaning and motivation, aerobic activity and active engagement, partnership and purpose, and structure and support. This provides a community of interdependence and a holistic and healthy environment in which the potential of each participant is envisioned and developed. Every interaction is a lesson in reciprocal communication, relationship building, and cooperation between staff and participant.
Bittersweet endeavors to recognize the unique qualities and needs of each individual with autism and to address those needs appropriately. Dignity, respect and kindness are the hallmarks of the staff and participant relationship and all of our behavioral and habilitative programming incorporates these ideals. Bittersweet Farms is owned and operated by Bittersweet, Inc. a non-profit Ohio corporation. Operating Funds are provided by a combination of Federal, State and private sources. Private grants and donations continue to make up an important share of its growth and success.

b) Describe your agency’s staff orientation and training process.

Bittersweet’s New Hire Orientation program surpasses the industry standards and requirements. Bittersweet’s New Hire Orientation program incorporates functional experience of our M.A.P.S. philosophy, qualities of persons with autism, capability training, and an introduction to sign language. The orientation process also instructs and tests the new hire’s knowledge of first aid, CPR, emergency first response, Rights of Ohioans, the core competencies of a Direct Support Professional at Bittersweet, Inc., a tour of the facilities, and program specific information.

c) How are individuals with disabilities involved in selecting the agency’s staff that work with them?

d) Describe your agency’s availability and flexibility in scheduling services and supports (days and hours available, areas of Lucas County willing to provide services, etc).

All services are scheduled and implemented as agreed upon in the Individual Support Plan meeting.

e) Describe how services will be provided in the event of an agency staff illness or emergency.

For ICF/IID and Waiver Residential Programs, Bittersweet has an On Call Leader 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It is incorporated in Bittersweet’s policy that staff cannot leave unless they have been relieved by another staff person.

f) Describe how your agency would address individual or family concerns.

Families are informed of the process for addressing concerns and who to contact during the Individual Support Plan meeting.

g) Describe your agency’s specific strategies for increasing community inclusion and involvement for individuals served.

Individuals supported by Bittersweet Farms participate in many community based activities. Each Individual has a support program developed around his/her interests. Individuals are encouraged to make informed choices and decisions about their lives, be included in community life, develop interdependent relationships and make contributions to their families and communities.

h) Does your agency offer one to one services?


i) Does your agency offer planned group outings or activities?


j) Identify your agency's areas of expertise.

Bittersweet Farms’ Leadership and Direct Support Staff are experts on Adults with Autism. Bittersweet employees participate in many Autism Specific Conferences through the Autism Society of America, Autism Speaks, Milestone’s and OCALI. Program Leaders participate on the Northwest Ohio Regional Autism Advisory Council. Bittersweet remains an active member of National Association of Residential Providers for Adults with Autism, and Agricultural Communities For Adults with Autism.

k) How many individuals does your agency serve in Lucas County?

41 or more

l) What is the total number of individuals served by your agency Statewide?


m) How long has your agency been providing certified homemaker personal care services in Lucas County to individuals with developmental disabilities?

7 or more

n) Which describes your agency:

Non Profit

o) Are your agency staff certified by the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities to provide medication administration?


p) Is your agency willing to provide Level One services?


q) How many staff in your agency provide direct support services?


r) Does your agency have both male and female staff?


s) What is the average length of service for your agency’s direct support staff?

4 years

t) Describe your agency's plan for continuing education and on-going training for agency staff?

Bittersweet Farms provides continuing education and on-going training to all DSP’s through regular staff meetings, annual retreats and special training sessions. Topics include refresher training for Capability Teaching, UI/MUI, Resident Rights, CPR, First Aid, Health and Safety issues, and other topics of relevance to our organization. In addition, we provide management training to our leadership team through an on-line learning management system.

u) Please describe your agency’s internal system for quality assurance.

v) Include here any information about the agency that you want shared with an individual, family or guardian that will assist him/her to decide whether your agency is the best choice of provider.

The first farm model for adults with autism was established at Somerset Court in England in 1974. Bittersweet Farms was the first of its kind in the United States.
You may be wondering: What is unique or special about serving Individuals with Autism on eighty acres of fields, gardens and woods in a rural area of northwest Ohio?
Over the years, we have found that a farm setting offers rich, varied and abundant opportunities for self-paced, distraction-free activities that are perceived as immediately meaningful by our participants. They are able to see the process of their work and are able to enjoy the product of their labor. This concrete reinforcement is a positive affirmation of their dignity and worth. Farming provides an opportunity for reciprocal partnership and community. It is a bucolic, secure and safe environment in which individuals with challenging behaviors and limited social and communication skills can grow and develop into their fullest potential. All of our activities are designed to meet the wide range and abilities of persons from the entire spectrum of Autism Disorders. Such activities include ...
• agriculture in all its forms, including planting and harvesting
• horticulture in all its forms, including greenhouse operations
• fencing and landscaping
• construction
• repair and maintenance
• produce collection and marketing
• animal feeding and care
• craft-making and art
• woodworking
Those who live here develop a sense of husbandry, accomplishment and ownership. It is their home. By happy coincidence, many of these same wholesome and holistic activities prove to be of great therapeutic value and contribute strongly to vocational training.
The mission of Bittersweet, Inc. is to positively impact the lives of individuals with autism and those whose lives they touch.

- If yes, describe

All services, including one to one are outlined and agreed upon in all Individual Support Plan meetings.

- If yes, describe

Friday Night Fun
A program for young adults with autism, will be held at the Maumee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church, 20189 North Dixie Hwy., Bowling Green, OH 43402 (five miles south of Perrysburg.) The program will be offered the last Friday of each month from January through December, 2012. Friday Night Fun provides structured recreational activities for individuals with autism based on the knowledge and skills that Bittersweet has learned in almost 30 years of serving people with autism. The series of evenings have been made possible through a grant from the Toledo Community Foundation.

Participants must have a diagnosis on the Autism Spectrum to attend. Activities for the evening will include outdoor activities, a family style meal, arts and crafts and a movie. The purpose of Friday Night Fun is to give family members and caregivers respite and give the participants a night on their own. Bittersweet Pemberville is excited to offer the Friday Night Fun series. The program is designed around the recreational model that Bittersweet has successfully implemented for over 25 years. The goal is for not only participants to have an enjoyable evening but also for caregivers to be able to enjoy their free time as well.

Those attending for the first time will be required to fill out an application and include copies of their ISP and Behavior Support Plan if applicable. The application is due at least one week prior to the first Friday Night Fun that the individual attends.

A reservation is required for each Friday that an individual attends; the reservation should be made at least three days prior to the Friday session. Cost of each session is $25.

For a copy of the application, contact or call 419 875 6986, ext. 1230. If the individual has attended Friday Night Fun previously, call or email Shelley Kotz, 419 875 6986, ext. 1231 or to make a reservation.

Summer Enrichment
This 6-10 week program is individualized to meet the needs of Extended School Year funding while also providing the recreational experience of a traditional summer camp. It is open to participants without ESY funding. Other sources of funds may be available. For questions or more information, contact Tammy at 419 875 6986, ext. 1230 or send email to

Adult Day Services

a) Does your agency offer paid employment?


- Piece Rate

Varies per product/activity

- Hourly Rate

Varies per time study/job

- Other

Portion of profits from hand crafted art & product sales

- Describe your paid employment opportunities.

b) Does your agency offer community outings?


- Describe community outings

Bittersweet Farms’ Whitehouse Adult Day Services program offers a variety of paid employment opportunities in the areas of horticulture, culinary/meal preparation, landscaping & lawn care, janitorial & housekeeping, arts & crafts, woodworking, animal care, and clerical/administrative assistance. We also offer opportunities for supported employment in the community on an individualized basis.

c) Does your agency offer recreational/leisure activities?


- Describe recreational/leisure activities

Recreational/Leisure activities include biking, swimming, hiking, sensory based activities, arts & crafts, animal care/interaction, gardening, woodworking, and music.

d) Does your agency offer volunteer opportunities?


- Describe volunteer opportunities

Volunteer opportunities include dog care/play at “Doggy Day Care”, sorting/delivering charitable donations, participating in regional advocacy organizations & events.

e) Describe other activities offered

Holiday parties, farm & community events (festivals, flower/product sales events, “Woods day”), optional weekly/bi-weekly therapeutic massage, art exhibits.

f) Does your agency have an established day services site that is in operation?


- Describe current services

Bittersweet’s Adult Day Services include habilitation, pre-vocation and vocation activities. We utilize positive behavioral supports and a holistic approach which incorporates skill development in areas of communication, sensory modulation, activities of daily living, socialization, and health & wellness, in addition to work/occupationally related skill development.

g) Where is your agency’s day service site located?

Whitehouse, OH

h) What are the typical hours of your agency’s services/supports?

8:30a.m. – 2:00 or 3:00p.m. (based upon transportation arrangement)

i) Describe a typical day for an individual who receives your agency’s day services?

Staff members greet participants upon arrival and review schedules/activities for the day. Participants and staff report to their assigned work areas in the morning (based upon an individualized weekly schedule) and work in partnership with staff in that area until their designated lunch time. After lunch, participants and staff report to their assigned area for the afternoon. Breakout activities, 1:1 or group, are also provided as needed/prescribed. The schedule & activities for the day are accommodated individually as indicated by the presenting needs/circumstances for each participant.

j) Is your day service agency certified by the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities, or licensed by the Ohio Board of Nursing to administer medication?


k) Does your agency provide non-medical transportation?


l) How long has your agency been providing day services in Lucas County to individuals with developmental disabilities?

7 or more years

m) Date your agency began providing Adult Day Services (month/year):


n) How many individuals does your day program serve?

41 or more

Does your agency provide Adult Day Services?