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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 to get more news and updates.


DD Council and OPRA issue press release bringing attention to Direct Support Professionals Week and the employment need for Ohioans with disabilities
September 13, 2017

With over 20% of the direct care positions in the State unfilled, the Ohio Provider Resource Association (OPRA) and the Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council (Ohio DD Council) are calling attention to this need for fulfillment as they recognize Sept. 10-16 as Direct Support Professionals Week in Ohio. Direct Support Professionals (DSP) assist and ensure that people with disabilities have the necessary supports that enable them to live, work and enjoy life as independently as possible in the community of their choice.

Direct Support Professionals (DSP) assist and ensure that people with disabilities have the necessary supports that enable them to live, work and enjoy life as independently as possible in the community of their choice.

“DSPs are the backbone of the efforts to provide inclusive, independent living opportunities for people with disabilities,” said Mark Davis, president and CEO of OPRA. “It is important to recognize the value that DSPs bring to individuals with disabilities and their families, and also ensure that they are provided with the resources to succeed in their profession.”

Currently, providers are facing high vacancies and the demand for Direct Support Professionals is expected to increase by 35% by 2018. Direct care is also expected to be the number one job in demand over the next 20 years, according to the US Department of Labor.

To bridge the gap, OPRA and the Ohio DD Council are preparing to launch DSP Ohio, a statewide recruitment effort that will connect potential employees with job opportunities in direct care support across the State.

“There is a critical need for more DSPs in Ohio, and we hope DSP Ohio will provide a coordinated, centralized process to increase awareness of the importance and value of this role and help people understand who it supports,” added Davis.

Direct Support Professionals work in a number of different settings and often have opportunities to share their own passions and talents with the people they support. The workforce is made up of over 3.6 million workers in the United States

“We are excited about partnering with OPRA to launch DSP Ohio,” said Carolyn Knight, executive director of the Ohio DD Council. “We think this effort will have an immediate impact on improving the employment rate of DSPs. Our hope is that this initiative will improve opportunities for people with disabilities to live, work and play in the community, just like everyone else.”

On Wednesday, Sept. 13, DSPs from around the State will gather for a celebration of the DSP Week in Ohio. Ohio Alliance for Direct Support Professionals (OADSP) will host a one-day conference to kick off its "Be A HERO" campaign. The campaign is designed to get current DSPs talking about their profession with others to help recruit more people to the field.

The DSP Ohio campaign will feature statewide multi-media marketing efforts and a dedicated website for job seekers and creators in the developmental disabilities field. DSP Ohio will launch in November 2017.

Read the press release: Direct Support Professionals Week brings attention to employment need for Ohioans with disabilities


Read the latest "ReachOut e-Diversity News" newsletter
August 9, 2017

The latest edition of Council's outreach newsletter is now available. This issue's topic is "Meet the Change Challenge" and includes articles on:

  • Use of communication to create an open environment;
  • Re-examining personal values & aligning behaviors;
  • Recognizing & managing cultural intersections; and
  • Moving from technical to adaptive work.

Click here to read the August Reachout e-Diversity News


DD Council Chair Mark Seifarth interviewed on DD Council's transportation study report
August 9, 2017

Mark Seifarth, Chair for the Ohio DD Council, was interviewed by WOSU and the Columbus Dispatch about a study recently released by the DD Council, "Transportation Challenges for Ohioans with Disabilities." The study was completed by the Ohio Colleges of Medicine, Government Resource Center that included survey responses from more than 2,200 Ohioans in 63 counties across the state. Survey participants included people with disabilities, family members, transportation providers and advocacy organizations.


Take a survey about Ohio's Waiver Waiting List
August 4, 2017

Ohio’s Waiver Waiting List process is being improved. A stakeholder group, including the Ohio DD Council, invites you to take a moment to complete a survey so we can know what parts of the Waiver Waiting List are useful to you and others across Ohio. The new process will allow people and families to inform their local county boards of developmental disabilities on what their current needs for services are so they can match the right services to the right people who need them. Did you know there are local services that do not require waiver funding and can be provided without having to wait on a list? We appreciate your time to let us know what you think about this important topic. The information gathered through this survey will help the group communicate with everyone about the improvements to the Waiver Waiting List in the best way possible. Thank you for your help.

Take the survey: Waiver Waiting List Improvement Survey


Transportation Study Identifies Challenges for People with Disabilities
July 28, 2017

More than half of the people with disabilities responding to a statewide transportation survey indicated that they had to wait at least 30 minutes or longer to be picked up for a ride. Approximately half (51%) of the survey’s 534 respondents with disabilities stated they were 15 minutes late, or longer, for rides they depend on. These findings, and many others, are part of a study released today by the Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council. The study was completed by the Ohio Colleges of Medicine, Government Resource Center and included survey responses from more than 2,200 Ohioans in 63 counties across the state. Survey participants included people with disabilities, family members, transportation providers and advocacy organizations.

Learn more about the results of the study and download the report.


Announcing Ohio DD Council's brand new e-newsletter!
July 25, 2017

ODDC e-News will be published monthly, and you will find stories from the community; about our active Council members; grantees who are doing great work towards inclusion and integration; public policy updates and more.


Council is currently accepting applications for a new Data and Policy Research Grant
July 24, 2017

The Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council released a Notice of Funds Available on Monday, July 24, 2017 seeking applicants for its Data and Policy Research Grant for the 2018 calendar year. The grant amount is $50,000 of federal funds and applications are due by Friday, October 6, 2017. The Council has developed 13 research topics that applicants can choose from when applying for the grant. Applications should focus on one topic and be written to that topic. All applications for this project are due at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on Friday, October 6, 2017. The awarded project is scheduled to begin on January 1, 2018 and run until December 31, 2018.

Click here for more information about the Data and Policy Research Grant


Governor John Kasich Appoints New Member to Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council
July 5, 2017

Governor John Kasich has appointed Jean Jakovlic to the Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council (ODDC). Jakovlic, a resident of Franklin County, begins her service to promote equal opportunities for the statewide disability community.

Read more about Jean and her reasons for wanting to be a Council member.


New publication highlights Council's successful outreach efforts
July 5, 2017

The Ohio DD Council contracted with the Outcomes Management Group to evaluate DD Council's outreach efforts to unserved and underserved populations. A report of the findings provides information about 10 targeted grants, and includes the determined overall outcomes, defines operational best practices, benchmarks Council's efforts to other state councils, and determines how best to move forward.

Read the report: The Impact of Our Work: Evaluating the Outreach of the Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council


June edition of ReachOut e-Diversity News now available
June 7, 2017

"ReachOut e-Diversity News" is a bi-monthly newsletter funded by the Ohio DD Council. The purpose of this newsletter is to bring awareness about and to reach out to the un-served and under-served populations in Ohio. This issue includes articles about self driving cars, advocacy stories, and information about remote monitoring.

Download the newsletter at http://ddc.ohio.gov/Portals/0/reach-6-17.pdf.


Council member and Artist Linda Kunick featured on television interview
June 1, 2017

Ohio DD Council member Linda Kunick was recently interviewed on TV about her artwork on display during the Visionaries & Voices Gallery Garden Party Exhibition. Her artwork, along with other art by people with disabilities, will be on display through July 27, 2017 in Cincinnati. Way to go Linda!


Take a survey to help improve employment opportunities
May 31, 2017

Attention people with developmental disabilities, family members, guardians, providers and county boards of developmental disabilities staff! Please fill out an Ohio Employment First Stakeholder Feedback Online Survey at http://goo.gl/dMI2FO. The ideas you share will help state agency staff understand and plan for how to increase opportunities for employment and community living for people living with developmental disabilities. Survey deadline is June 22, 2017.


Follow DD Council on Twitter!
May 12, 2017

The Ohio DD Council is now on Twitter! Join in the conversation by following us at https://twitter.com/ohioddcouncil for the latest news and announcements about Council members, Council grantees, disability-related events happening in Ohio and much more. And remember to like us on our Facebook page too at https://www.facebook.com/ohioddcouncil.