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Read about the Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council (Ohio DD Council) and other disability-related news and announcements. Please also "Like" the Ohio DD Council on Facebook and stay in touch with us on Twitter to get more news and updates.

Celebrate CommUNITY during Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month

March is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month, a time to create awareness about developmental disabilities, teach the importance of inclusion within every aspect of life, and to share the stories of individuals with a disability to show that a successful life is possible! The Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council has chosen Celebrate CommUNITY as the theme for 2018.

Visit our DD Awareness Month web page, our Facebook page and our Twitter page throughout the month to discover resources, stories and more from around the state and the country on how people with disabilities have become a part of their community.

We encourage you to participate in DD Awareness Month, too! Send us your own resources, stories and pictures by email to kimberly.crishbaum@dodd.ohio.gov. And don't forget to post information to your own personal social media pages, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. If you do, be sure to use the hashtag #DDAwareness18 to join in on the conversation with the rest of the country!

Announcing the 2018 SIL Leadership Academy Session!

Posted March 2, 2018

Services for Independent Living (SIL) is excited to announce that there will be three sessions of the Leadership Academy this year as part of a renewal grant from the Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council. The Leadership Academy is designed to help people with disabilities gain skills needed to participate on community boards of directors, committees, taskforces, and coalitions in a meaningful way. The goal of the academy is to increase the number of persons with disabilities prepared to engage in community leadership roles.

Session I will begin on April 4, 2018 and is an eight-week class. Session II will be an “Immersion Class” with two classes held every week for four weeks during the month of June, beginning on June 5, 2018. Session III is scheduled to start on October 18, 2018, and is an eight-week class. The training sessions will be followed by hands-on “internship” experiences in the community. Click here to download a flyer to share with others who may be interested in applying to the Leadership Academy.

The SIL is currently accepting applications for all three sessions. Applications for Session I are due by March 20th. Space is limited so interested participants are encouraged to early. If you would like an application and/or if you have any questions, please contact Laura Gold via email at lgold@sil-oh.org or via telephone at 216-815-0015 (please leave a detailed message).

The Leadership Academy is funded by the Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council under the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act.

ODE announces schedule of regional meetings for public input review to Ohio’s Draft Strategic Plan

Posted March 2, 2018

According to the Ohio Department of Education (ODE), regional meetings will begin this month for the public to review and respond to Ohio’s Draft Strategic Plan. The meetings will be held from March 14 through April 17, covering different regions of Ohio. The strategic education plan is intended to create a unified system that results in success for each student. Philanthropy Ohio, in partnership with the State Board, will host the meetings. According to Philanthropy Ohio, "the Plan will be Ohio’s roadmap for taking innovative approaches to meet the state’s major education challenges. It identifies a clear, statewide goal for preK-12 education, along with enabling strategies and tactics that explain how the goal will be achieved."

Read more, including dates and locations of meetings, here: Regional meetings planned for review and response to Ohio’s Strategic Plan

ReachOut e-Diversity News - February issue is now available

February 8, 2018

The February ReachOut e-Diversity News is now available. Articles include:

  • The Relationship Between Culture and Language
  • Getting on the Same Page: Defining Cultural and Linguistic Competence
  • 5 Benefits of Conducting a Cultural Linguistic Competence Self Assessment
  • New Initiative: Community of Practice

The purpose of Reach Out e-Diversity News is to promote interagency collaboration and coordination that result in agencies providing culturally competent services to the unserved/underserved populations in Ohio. The newsletter is produced by The Outcomes Management Group, Ltd. and is funded all or in part by the Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council.

Read the newsletter here: ReachOut e-Diversity News - February 2018

New assistive technology online video series is hosted by former Council member

The Hamilton County Developmental Disability Services (HCDDS) recently announced the debut of a new three-part web-video series, "How I See It." The series is hosted by advocate Robert Shuemak, a former member of the Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council and chair of the Assistive Technology & Communication Committee. Robert, who is an Advocate Support Advisor at HCDDS uses a talk-show style format that focuses on how accessible technology can help people with and without disabilities in their everyday lives. 

For the first episode, consultant and advocate Heather Sturgill discusses the smart home technology she uses to make her home more accessible. You can watch the video from the HCDDS website at www.hamiltondds.org/news/204/40/New-web-series or on YouTube at https://youtu.be/N_t3f95Y2oQ. New episodes, all about 10 minutes long, will be released every two weeks on the HCDDS YouTube Channel, and all episodes include closed captions.

2018 DD Awareness and Advocacy Day Registration is OPEN!

January 23, 2018

DD Advocacy and Awareness Day logo

UPDATE: As of February 8, 2018, registration is now closed.

Registration is now open for the Developmental Disability (DD) Awareness and Advocacy Day. Don't miss out. This event always fills up fast! The event will be held Wednesday, March 7, 2018 from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM at the Ohio Statehouse in downtown Columbus.

Registration Information

To register, you MUST have an email address. If you don't have one, you can use a family, advocate or co-worker's email address. Duplicate email addresses cannot be used - each registrant must have their own unique email address.

Click here to register for DD Awareness and Advocacy Day


Contact Shane Schaefer of the DD Awareness & Advocacy Day Planning Committee at 614-224-6772 or sschaefer@opra.org.

Please also follow event updates on the event's Facebook page at www.facebook.com/OhioDDAwareness/.

Event Speakers

The following are the people scheduled to speak at the opening ceremony on March 7, 2018 at 10:00 a.m.

  • 10:00 - 10:05
    Shari Cooper, Welcome
  • 10:05 - 10:15
    Christine Brown, Introduction by Jeff Davis
  • 10:15 - 10:25
    Wallace Peck, Introduction by Sharon Dorsey
  • 10:25 - 10:35
    Ed McClain, Introduction by Dana Charlton
  • 10:35 - 10:45
    Josh Anderson, Introduction by Suzie Burke
  • 10:45 - 10:55
    Director Martin, Speaker Wrap Up
  • 10:55 - 11:00
    Shari Cooper, Closing

The Waiting List is broken.
It's time to FIX THE LIST.

January 22, 2018

Ohioans with developmental disabilities and their families have made it clear: our state's waiver waiting list needs work.

That is why the Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council joined a coalition of people with developmental disabilities, family members, and organizations representing guardians, county boards, and providers who believe it's time to Fix The List.

You Spoke Up, We Listened

People with developmental disabilities and their families have repeatedly told us that Ohio's waiting list for Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) waivers is overly complex and in need of simplification. The current waiting list confuses people with developmental disabilities and their families, misleads advocates, and hinders efforts by policymakers to direct resources to where they are needed most.

That is why DD Council has joined a coalition to modernize Ohio's failed waiting list. This coalition includes groups representing people with developmental disabilities, parents, families, advocates, county boards of DD, providers, and the State of Ohio.

Through the efforts of this coalition and informed by the feedback of people with developmental disabilities and their families, we believe that a new approach to the way Ohio's HCBS waiver waiting list operates is needed. It's time to Fix The List.

Resources for Parents and Families

Are you a person with a developmental disability, a parent, or a family member who has questions about how Ohio is planning to Fix The List? Click here to see a list of groups that can answer your questions, and visit FixTheList.info for up-to-date information.

Follow Our Progress

Coalition Members

  • Advocacy and Protection Services, Inc. (APSI)
  • The Arc of Ohio
  • Ohio Association of County Boards of Developmental Disabilities (OACB)
  • Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities
  • Ohio Developmental Disabilites Council
  • Ohio Olmstead Taskforce
  • Ohio Provider Resource Association (OPRA)
  • Ohio Self Determination Association (OSDA)
  • Ohio Superintendents of County Boards of Developmental Disabilites
  • People First of Ohio
  • The YMCA

Learn about becoming a Direct Support Professional in Ohio!

The Ohio Provider Resource Association, in collaboration with the Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council and the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities have launched a new campaign to bring awareness to the need for Direct Support Professionals. Check out the 30 second ad below and be sure to visit www.dspohio.org to learn more about opportunities to become a DSP in Ohio.

Meeting announcement: DD Council's Executive Committee to meet on January 11

January 10, 2018

The Ohio DD Council's Executive Committee will meet on Thursday, January 11, 2018 from 11am - 12pm. The location of the meeting is at the DD Council office at 899 E. Broad Street in Columbus in the 3rd Floor Conference Room. The subject of the meeting with be about the Revolving Door/Conflict of Interest Policy. You can contact DD Council at 614-466-5205 if you have questions.

Ohio DD Council updates its "Guardianship in Ohio" booklet

January 2, 2018

The Ohio DD Council has updated "Guardianship in Ohio," a booklet that offers a comprehensive overview of guardianship and alternatives in Ohio. The information is written for families who have a child with a developmental disability but may be relevant for others who need to navigate the often confusing and intimidating world of probate court and guardianship.

Logan Philipps and Bill Root, principal attorneys with Resch, Root & Philipps, LLC, are the authors of this booklet, supported by funding from the Ohio DD Council.

Download the book here: http://ddc.ohio.gov/Portals/0/guardianship2017.pdf. Hard copies are also available upon request - call the DD Council office at 614-466-5205 to place an order.

Attention families of young children and childcare professionals: Take the Project Open House survey!

December 22, 2017

By Shana Pyle, Project Director, College of Education; Department of Early Childhood Education, Higher Education & Special Education at the University of Toledo

Project Open House (POH) is a project housed at the University of Toledo and funded by the Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council. Our goal is to improve access to high-quality, inclusive child care for young children with disabilities and their families. We need your help to achieve that goal!

We want to hear from parents of young children with disabilities and childcare professionals who provide childcare to young children with disabilities. Please take 20 minutes to complete our survey. You can access the survey by clicking the link below. If you would prefer to complete a hard copy of the survey, please call 1-833-POH-SURV and provide us with your name and contact information. We will send a hard copy of the survey to you as well as a self-addressed, stamped envelope that you can use to return it.

While your participation is voluntary, the information you provide will be very valuable to us. We will keep your identity confidential and will not share any identifiable information with anyone. The UT Institutional Review Board has approved this survey.

The deadline to complete the survey is February 28, 2018.

We know your time is valuable…THANK YOU for your help! 


Please contact Ms. Shana Pyle at shana.pyle@utoledo.edu or 419-530-5292.

To access the survey:


To view the survey consent forms:

Download a printable version of this announcement: Project Open House Flyer

This research project is funded by the Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council, and is conducted by Dr. Laurie Dinnebeil and Dr. William McInerney at the University of Toledo.

Read the latest edition of ReachOut e-Diversity News

December 11, 2017

The December issue of ReachOut e-Diversity News is now available! The December newsletter focuses on creating an inclusive culture. Articles include:

  • Inclusion Starts at the Top!
  • Hidden Bias Exists
  • Are You Listening?
  • Personal Commitment

This is a bi-monthly newsletter funded by the Ohio DD Council’s Outreach Committee. The purpose of the newsletter is to provide information on the need to promote more interagency collaboration and coordination that results in agencies providing culturally competent services to the unserved and underserved populations in Ohio.

Click here to read the December edition of ReachOut e-Diversity News

Council's November newsletter is now available!

November 29, 2017

The latest edition of DD Council's newsletter, Council Connection, is now available. This month's articles include:

  • Council Member Spotlight – Blaine O’Leary
  • Grantee Spotlight: ReachOut e-Diversity News
  • Action Alert: Technology Use and Remote Supports Survey
  • Best Buddies Hosts Leadership Developmental Training for Self-Advocates
  • OPRA Launches DSPOhio to Recruit Direct Support Professionals

Click here to read the November Council Connection newsletter

Take a survey on technology and remote services

November 13, 2017

You are invited to complete a survey, as a part of a research study conducted by The Ohio State University Nisonger Center, in collaboration with the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities. The survey is for family members of people with developmental disabilities and is about remote supports (also known as remote monitoring). Your answers are helpful, even if you have not used or heard of remote supports.

Remote supports use electronic equipment to support and assist people with developmental disabilities in their home. This service is provided from an off-site location, typically using home and community based waivers to fund the cost and maintenance of equipment and staff.

Your feedback will provide the Nisonger Center and DODD with valuable suggestions for the improvement and expansion of remote services.

Click here to take the survey

If you have any questions about this survey or the research study it's a part of, please contact either Jordan Wagner at Nisonger Center at 614-688-3155 or Jordan.Wagner@osumc.edu or Kyle Corbin at DODD at 614-285-3839 or Kyle.Corbin@dodd.ohio.gov.