Welcome to the Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council

The Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council is made up of over 30 members, with the majority being individuals with developmental disabilities, and parents and guardians of people with developmental disabilities who are appointed by the Governor of Ohio. By the direction of our members, the Ohio DD Council funds grant projects that aim to enrich the lives of people with developmental disabilities with an emphasis on self-determination, diversity and inclusion. Through our work, the Council aims to:Logo for Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council

  • Advocate for people with developmental disabilities and their families.
  • Initiate programs that enrich their lives.
  • Demonstrate a consistent commitment to our mission.
  • Educate about disability rights and the importance of self-determination.
  • Encourage diversity and inclusion through our membership and activities.

Our mission is to create change that improves independence, productivity and inclusion for people with developmental disabilities and their families in community life.

Questions about COVID-19? Visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH for answers.

See also our COVID-19 Resources for People with Developmental Disabilities page for links to helpful information and videos.

The Ohio DD Council staff are currently teleworking from home. We are checking email and voicemail regularly on weekdays, and continue to work on projects, grants and other tasks just as if we were at the office. If you need to reach us, send an email to DDCInfo@dodd.ohio.gov or call our main line at 614-466-5205 or 800-766-7426. If you need to contact a specific staff person, refer to our Staff and Contact Information page. 

Next Council Meeting

The next meeting will be June 2 - 5, 2020 and will be held online using GoToMeeting. Please note that only Committee meetings will be held and they will be on different days and times during the week. The next Full Council meeting will be on July 10, 2020. Go to our Council Meeting Schedule page for details of each Committee meeting.

Council Newsletters

Events Around Ohio

Even with Ohio's current restrictions on meetings and gatherings, many events are now being offered virtually. Our Events Calendar is filling up quickly!

Check out the events being offered by disability-focused agencies and organizations throughout Ohio on our Events Calendar!

Council Updates

Tribute to Sue Willis

Sue Willis

May 14, 2020: This week, the disability community, family, friends and many others are mourning the loss of one of the most influential advocates for disability rights in Ohio. The Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council learned on Monday that Sue Willis, a long-time friend and member of Council, passed away. Sue was the Director of the AXIS Center for Public Awareness of People with Disabilities. Last year, she completed her terms as a Board Member of Disability Rights Ohio and a Member of the Ohio DD Council. With a career that spanned decades, Sue’s efforts always worked to bring people together to advance the cause of people with disabilities.

To pay our respects to Sue and the work she did for not only the Ohio DD Council, but also throughout Ohio, we have set up a tribute page detailing her years of experience. And if you were a friend of Sue's or worked with her, please take a moment to fill out a form on the tribute page to share your fondest memories of Sue.

SIL Opens Applications for Virtual Summer Leadership Academy Session

Logo for the Services for Independent Living, inc.Services for Independent Living (SIL) is now accepting applications for its Virtual Summer 2020 Leadership Academy “Immersion Session”. The Leadership Academy is a course designed to help people with disabilities gain skills needed to participate on nonprofit boards, community coalitions, task forces, and/or system change committees 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.

The Summer 2020 “Immersion Session” will begin on Monday, July 6, 2020 and end on Thursday, July 30, 2020. Classes will be held twice weekly on Monday and Thursday afternoons from 1 pm to 4 pm. All classes will be held virtually.

Upon completion of the Leadership Academy, SIL will work with participants to identify areas of interest and potential leadership opportunities.

The deadline for applications is June 15, 2020.  Because space is limited, we encourage interested applicants to apply early. If you have any questions, please contact Laura Gold at lgold@sil-oh.org or 216-815-0015 (please leave a detailed message).  If you require the application and/or flyer in an alternative format, please let Laura know.

Download the applications here, and please share with others: SIL's Leadership Academy

The Leadership Academy is made possible as part of a grant from the Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council under the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act.

Ohio Aging and Disabilities Transportation Coalition Hosts Transportation Equity Forum

Logo for the Ohio Aging & Disability Transportation CoalitionThe Northeast Ohio Transportation Equity Forum on June 3 will give an overview of disability rights with regards to transportation. The online presentation will also share how disability rights play into current "hot topics". In addition, tips will be provided on how professionals and individuals with disabilities can advocate for additional public transportation.

Speaker Katie Hunt Thomas is the Disability Rights Attorney for the Ability Center of Greater Toledo, a Center for Independent Living in northwest Ohio with the mission to assist people with disabilities to live, work, and socialize within a fully accessible community.


Please contact Kathy Foley at least a week prior to the event to request an accommodation. Connect with her at: kfoley@sil-oh.org or by calling 216-731-1529.

More news and announcements

Other News and Notes

Transportation issues and policy: The Ability Center of Toledo recently published a booklet to provide information on civil rights and public policy issues affecting people with disabilities in pursuing inclusive, accessible transportation. Read the booklet here: Vital Connections

How do you feel about your health? A research study on the health of adults with Intellectual Disability (ID) is being done by Nisonger Center's Rehabilitation Research and Training Center (RRTC). You and your support person will answer questions about your health in two interviews. The interviews are done online, by phone or in-person. You will receive gift cards for your participation. Learn more about this research study.

New online training for DSPs: In a new online training module available at DidYouNotice.org, learn from people with developmental disabilities, DSPs, and experts on the importance of noticing that all behavior is a form of communication. This training was developed by the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities and OCALI.