Welcome to the June 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:
Grant Spotlight: OCALI Supports Schools to Ensure Post-Secondary Success
Through the Ohio DD Council, OCALI, or the Ohio Center for Autism and Low Incidence, received a grant titled “Realizing Employment First for Youth: Evidence Based Practices and Predictors of Adult Success.”
The pilot program called “What Works for Work”, studied how evidence-based practices and predictors that supported school-based teams help achieve post-secondary success – or life after high school - for students with developmental disabilities.
The grant support school-based teams, “find successful methods that would improve transitions into employment, independent living skills and community living,” said Madeline Rosenshein, OCALI consultant and grantee.
Through research focused on transition youth, it was found that certain evidence-based practices and predictors, if implemented during the school years, can improve adult outcomes, which includes employment.
The practices created structured processes for a student to find success. Methods such as chaining (linking steps towards an outcome); prompting; and using mobile technology were proving to be successful for the students.
From September to June, OCALI hosted four whole-day sessions for teachers to learn the curriculums to help their students succeed while in school, and how to achieve success after leaving high school.
“The curriculum provided tools for the school-based teams to see the needs of the student and how to define them, and also focus on the most important need first, which differs for each student,” added Rosenshein. “Additionally, this also empowers our students because we are focusing on their individual need and working with them directly to be successful.”
The curriculum also provided more ways and methods for interventions due to the evidence-based format.
Through this grant, OCALI has also been able to provide a broader understanding of how improved transition outcomes are an integral part of school improvement and positive behavior supports.
Council Member Spotlights
Our former and current Council members are strong advocates in the community; and we always like to share what they are doing in their own community to advocate for people with developmental disabilities.
Michael Richards is Appointed to County Board on DD
One of our new members, Michael Richards, was named as a board member to the Highland County Board of Developmental Disabilities. Richards becomes another self-advocate to be appointed to a board. What makes this even more special is that this appointment marks the first time someone with a developmental disability has served in this capacity on the Highland County Board.
“We always encourage our members to get involved in their local DD boards because most do not have a person with a disability sitting and representing the interests and advocating for issues that also affect people with disabilities in their county,” said Carolyn Knight, executive director of Ohio DD Council. “We are excited about Michael’s new appointment, and we know that he is a great addition to the county board and will bring a great wealth of knowledge to make Highland County more inclusive.”
Read an article about Michael's appointment from the Times Gazette here: Torch passed on at Highland County Board of DD
Former Council Chair Featured on Podcast on Disability and Employment
Women In Government released a new podcast on disability and employment called “Employer Perspectives for Improving Employment Outcomes for People with Disabilities”. The third in a series, the episode features Mark Seifarth, past chair of the Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council, Maryland Delegate Sheree Sample-Hughes, Tennessee Senator Becky Duncan Massey and Kathy Burris of CVS Health.
Moderator Sheree Sample-Hughes led the panel in talking about effective employer policies and practices for recruiting, hiring, retaining and advancing qualified individuals with disabilities.
One of the points Seifarth made was about the importance of having people with disabilities at the table when making policy recommendations and decisions on how to improve employment opportunities for people with disabilities.
“In the disability community, it’s nothing about us without us. And, you have all these folks that sit down and decide they’re going to figure out how to hire people with disabilities and nobody with a disability is sitting at the table,” said Seifarth. “There’s a problem with that. That’s like trying to build a building and not hiring and not having anyone at the table that knows how to build a building. So, we really need to look at all those ways you can include people with disabilities in all sections, in all functions as you’re going down the line.”
Listen to the entire podcast here: https://soundcloud.com/user-548999638-454857255/women-in-government-podcast-episode3
Or read a transcript of the podcast here: http://www.womeningovernment.org/sites/default/files/documents/pub-policy/WIG%20Podcast%20Ep%203-%20Employer%20Perspectives.pdf
The podcasts are part of the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) State Exchange on Employment and Disability (SEED) initiative to help state legislators effectively address policy barriers that may hinder the employment of people with disabilities. Through these collaborations SEED is dedicated to ensuring that state policymakers have the tools and resources they need to develop policies related to disability-inclusive workforce development.
Inaugural TechSummit Brings Together Technology and Disability Community
The Ohio State University’s Nisonger Center, with the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities, held the first TechSummit on June 15, 2018 in Columbus, Ohio. The inaugural conference was a way to bridge the gap between the advancing tech field and the needs of the disability community.
The event welcomed individuals with developmental disabilities, their family members, and professionals who work in the field of developmental disabilities to learn about current and emerging technologies that may benefit people with developmental disabilities by promoting independence.
“The aim of the TechSummit was to stimulate ideas for how technology may be used today and in the near future to promote independence for people with developmental disabilities,” said Jordan Wagner, coordinator of the Technology Project at the Nisonger Center.
Nearly 180 people attended and learned about and tested various technologies that can support people with developmental disabilities to live independent lives.
The conference also touched on the national direct service provider crisis that is currently facing a major shortage on individuals who can provide direct care.
“The role of caregiving is not going away, and there will always be a need for the physical presence of caregivers to provide support. However, in situations where the physical presence of a caregiver is not needed, it’s important to consider solutions offered by advancements in technology to promote independence,” said Wagner.
The families spoke about their success in using technologies such as the use of remote support from direct support professionals, and also the use of smart home devices like Google Home or Alexa from Amazon.
The conference was a part of the Technology Project, which is a collaborative enterprise between the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities and The Ohio State University Nisonger Center. The project aims to take an in-depth look at the role technology, including remote support, plays in the lives of people with developmental disabilities and their families, create a vision for how the use of technology may be improved and expanded upon, and identify technological advances that might benefit people with developmental disabilities by increasing their independence.
Ohio DD Council Offers Free Publications!
Did you know the Ohio DD Council offers free publications that provide valuable, helpful information for Ohioans with disabilities? Council has published nearly 50 different publications covering many topics, including transportation, employment, housing, self-advocacy, and more. Here are some of our most frequently requested publications:
Check out Council’s complete list of publications at http://ddc.ohio.gov/Publications. You can search for publications by title or topic. All publications are available to download and print. Many are also available in a printed booklet format. Instructions on how to request pre-printed copies is included with those publications that are available in that format.