Welcome to the July 2018 edition of the DD Council Connection newsletter!
DD Council Connection is a way for the Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council to introduce to you our Council members, provide updates on the work we do and the grant projects we manage, and inform you on the activities and initiatives of Ohio's community of self-advocates and others who work on behalf of people with disabilities and their families. We hope you enjoy this e-newsletter.
Please share your thoughts, story ideas and event calendar submissions with us at DDCInfo@dodd.ohio.gov. You can also read previous issues of DD Council Connection here: http://ddc.ohio.gov/News-Media/Newsletters/oddc-news.
This month's articles include:
Legislative Staff Tour Universal Design Living Laboratory
Mark Leder and Rosemarie Rossetti answer questions about accessible housing features before giving a tour of the Universal Design Living Laboratory.
As part of the General Assembly Briefing Session grant provided by the Ohio DD Council, a handful of legislative staff participated in a tour of the national model home on universal design in July to learn more about accessible housing.
The tour, led by the homeowners Rosemarie Rossetti and her husband Mark Leder, provided legislative staff with an in-depth look at how accessible housing features can be integrated into residential homes.
Rossetti shared her story of how when she was cycling one day a large tree fell on her and nearly killed her. The quick response of Leder saved her life. The accident left her paralyzed from the waist down and opened her eyes to the fact that most houses, including their current home at the time of the accident, didn’t have even basic accessible features to enable a person with a temporary or permanent disability to remain in their home.
Rossetti and Leder, frustrated with living in a home that was not fully accessible, planned for a new home that would fully incorporate universal design features.
Rossetti demonstrates how lowering the cabinets by 4 inches make them usable for her and are still usable by her husband.
During the construction process for their new home, Rossetti and Leder moved from their existing two-story home into an apartment.
“We asked for a wheelchair accessible apartment, but they were all rented,” Rossetti said, responding to a question about demand for accessible apartments and housing. “Those are the first apartments to be leased because they are in high demand.”
Leder added that policymakers should look at increasing the number of accessible apartment units that are required under the Fair Housing Act to reflect the actual need.
“I think if you were to just look at the number of vehicle handicap placards the BMV is issuing each year, you’d realize very quickly that the four percent threshold for accessible units in multifamily apartment complexes is not enough,” said Leder.
Following a briefing on visitability, universal design, and federal and state housing laws, Rossetti invited the legislative staff to start pointing out features in the kitchen that looked accessible. Participants noted multiple countertop heights, the toe kick area, the height of wall cabinets, and appliance design features. Rossetti was quick to point out many of the features were installed without any additional costs.
“We wanted the countertops to be a little lower and the cabinets to be mounted a little lower too,” she said. “It’s comfortable for me and it’s comfortable for Mark and it didn’t cost any extra to do it.”
Leder provided a tour of each of the three and a half bathrooms and the two bedrooms included in the home. The bathrooms incorporated different design features to provide maximum usability by anyone.
With time running out, Rossetti ended the tour in the combined closet and laundry room, but invited the staff to stick around if they wanted to see the accessible features of the back patio and garden. Nearly everyone stayed behind to continue the tour.
Rick Colby, the grantee for the General Assembly Briefing Sessions, commented afterwards that staff interest in this topic was genuine, but that summer break and the campaign season had an impact on attendance.
The Universal Design Living Laboratory is a national demonstration home and garden located on Clark State Road in Jefferson Township. Over 200 contributors provided products and services to help build this home. Group tours are offered year-round by appointment.
For More Information
More information about the Universal Design Living Laboratory can be found online at www.udll.com.
DD Council Releases Public Policy NOFA
On Monday, July 23, 2018, the Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council released a Notice of Funds Available (NOFA). The Council is seeking applicants for its Data and Policy Research Grant for the 2019 calendar year.
The grant amount is $50,000 of federal funds and applications are due at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on Friday, October 5, 2018. The awarded project is scheduled to begin on January 1, 2019 and run until December 31, 2019.
The Council has developed 12 research topics that applicants can choose from when applying for the grant. Applications should focus on one topic and be written to that topic.
For More Information
More information, including the application process, can be found within the NOFA: http://ddc.ohio.gov/Portals/0/nofo-data-policy-research-2019.pdf
Contact Paul Jarvis at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The NOFA complies with 2 CFR 200.203, "Notices of Funding Opportunities".
Disability Tech:Fest Comes to Cincinnati!
Disability Cocoon’s inaugural one day disability technology festival will be held on October 15, 2018 in Cincinnati at the American Sign Museum.
Several short Ignite-style presentations/demonstrations, disability technology expert sessions, "innovation-storming" and more will make for a day of fun, learning and collaboration.
This event welcomes:
- Provider agency employees
- Case managers
- Guardians/family members
- Other disability professionals
- Anyone interested in disability services
Not able to attend in person? Not a problem! You can “attend” via the web or Facebook Live.
Find the details of the event and register here. For friends of DD Council, enter code DDCOUNCIL to receive a discounted registration.
About Disability Cocoon
Disability Cocoon's goal is to be a resource where people come to learn, connect, explore, collaborate, and more. The organization’s founder, Dustin Wright, states Disability Cocoon is “a catalyst for a national disability technology movement” and expects that the organization will always be changing into something new.
Council Member Spotlight: Renee Wood, DD Council Special Advisor – An Advocate in Action!
Each month, we like to introduce you to our members – both past and present – by sharing information about advocacy activities they are involved in. This month, we are highlighting recent accomplishments of Renee Wood. Wood is a former chairperson of the Ohio DD Council, and is currently a Special Advisor to the Ohio DD Council's Community Living Committee.
Wood, of Lucas County, was recently appointed to the Ohio Statewide Independent Living Council (OSILC). OSILC is committed to promoting a philosophy of consumer control, peer support, self-help, self-determination, equal access, and individual and systems advocacy, in order to maximize leadership, empowerment, independence, productivity and to support full inclusion and integration of individuals with disabilities.
Additionally, Wood was featured in Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities’ Pipeline Weekly as an example of using Amazon’s Echo to navigate her home. In a video, she shares about her experience with this device that helps to promote greater independence for her and others. Watch her video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z7VxEhwibtI&t=13s
Finally, reminding us that voting is an important form of advocacy, Wood wrote a guest blog for Disability Rights Ohio on National Disability Voter Registration Week, and reminding self-advocates, advocates, families and the general community why it is important to have your voice heard at the polls. Read her thoughts here: http://www.disabilityrightsohio.org/blog/national-disability-voter-registration-week
You can also check out Wood’s own personal blog, “Renee’s Ramblings,” here: https://reneewood2.wordpress.com/