Welcome to the Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council

Our Mission

Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council - A Powerful Partner for People with Developmental DisabilitiesOur mission is to create change that improves independence, productivity and inclusion for people with developmental disabilities and their families in community life in Ohio.

Our Members

The Ohio DD Council is made up of over 30 members, with the majority being people with developmental disabilities, and parents and guardians of people with developmental disabilities who are appointment by the Governor of Ohio.

What We Do

The DD Council meets throughout the year to discuss disability-related issues and to identify grant projects that can improve supports and services for Ohioans with disabilities.

The Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council funds programs that enrich the lives of people with developmental disabilites with an emphasis on self-determination, diversity and inclusion.


Estate Planning Guide Provides Insights for Ohioans with Disabilities

Cover of the Estate Planning booklet showing a family of four people sitting together and smilingApril 15, 2019 – The Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council has released a new book today designed to improve understanding of the different strategies available for estate and special needs planning for individuals with disabilities, their families and others.

"Planning for Bright Tomorrows: Estate and Future Planning for Ohioans with Disabilities and Those Who Love Them" was authored by Dublin attorneys Logan K. Philipps and William K. Root. The book provides a complete overview of the different estate planning options available to families and individuals who have a disability.

Programs that people with disabilities rely on, such as Medicaid or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), include strict income and asset limits. According to Philips, naming a loved one with a disability in a will or trust can upset the balance of income or assets available to that individual and may cause them more harm than good.  

“Proper estate planning is important for the disability community. If done incorrectly, government benefits can be lost,” said Philipps, who is an attorney at Resch, Root, Philipps, & Graham, an estate planning firm with a focus on helping people with disabilities and their families. 

The book is an update and overhaul on a previous book released by the Ohio DD Council and includes changes to Medicaid, Trusts, and incorporates the new STABLE Account option available to individuals with disabilities. 

“The goal of the book is to provide a non-technical explanation of what benefits are out there and to ensure how the individual or family member can keep them,” added Root, who is also a parent of a child with a disability.

Carolyn Knight, executive director of the Ohio DD Council, said the book was important because it illustrates how a lack of a plan can cause problems for a loved one with a disability.

“Every time a person with a disability or a family member is asked about a new program, their first question is always, ‘how will this affect my current benefits,’” said Knight. “Logan and Bill have done a masterful job of explaining these complex options in a way that families and individuals can understand.”

Copies of this new publication can be obtained by contacting the Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council at 614-466-5205 or 1-800-766-7426. Electronic versions of the book are also available on the Council’s website: Planning for Bright Tomorrows: Estate and Future Planning for Ohioans with Disabilities and Those Who Love Them

Senators Brenner & Antonio Announce Creation of Ohio Developmental Disabilities Caucus

Senators Brenner and Antonio are joined by stakeholders for an interested party meeting to set goals and highlight priorities for the Ohio Developmental Disabilities Caucus.April 2, 2019: Senators Andrew Brenner (R-Powell) and Nickie Antonio (D-Cuyahoga) today announced details for the inaugural meeting of the Ohio Developmental Disabilities Caucus, which will be exploring new and innovative ways to provide support and improve the quality of life for Ohioans living with disabilities. The bipartisan co-chairs plan to hold the first meeting in Columbus on Tuesday, April 16 at 4:30 p.m.

"I look forward to working with my colleagues across the aisle and the many advocacy groups who are committed to helping us achieve our goals and better serve those with disabilities and their families," said Brenner. "We work hard to ensure there is opportunity and a future for all Ohioans, and this caucus will find new ways to continue to grow and improve."

According to the 2018 Department of Developmental Disabilities' Annual Report, there are over 100,000 Ohioans who access services by working with their county board of developmental disabilities, direct service providers, and provider agencies to receive support so that they may live their lives to their fullest potential.

“As a former special education teacher and advocate for the disability community, I am happy to join my colleague, Senator Brenner, in this new Caucus,” said Antonio. “People who make up the disability community are an important part of the fabric of our society and we as legislators should do everything we can to work together for shared goals.”

Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities currently offers an employer toolkit that contains information for recruiting, hiring and retaining workers with disabilities. Here you can learn about best practices from some of Ohio's top employers, tax incentives for hiring workers with disabilities, and other important information.

"I especially want to expand on proven strategies to drive the workforce forward and help improve opportunities for quality employment, education and independent living for Ohio citizens with disabilities," added Brenner.

Carolyn Knight, executive director of the Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council, is pleased to be among the stakeholders involved with the Ohio Developmental Disabilities Caucus.

If you would like to receive additional information, updates or future meeting notices, please email Brenner@OhioSenate.gov or Antonio@OhioSenate.gov.

Download the press release: Senators Brenner & Antonio Announce Creation of Ohio Developmental Disabilities Caucus

Read more News and Announcements

Discover more about the Ohio DD Council


The Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council conducts outreach activities to identify individuals with developmental disabilities and their families who otherwise might not come to the attention of the Council. This population is considered to be the unserved or underserved population.

Learn more about Outreach to the Unserved and Underserved

Next DD Council Meeting

People attending a DD Council Meeting

Ohio DD Council Member Meeting
May 2 - 3, 2019
Embassy Suites - Dublin
5100 Upper Metro Place, Dublin, Ohio


Are you looking for conference, workshops, trainings, webinars, and to attend? Check out our Events Calendar! Our calendar is packed with events from other organizations around Ohio and online who provide information that may be of interest to people with developmental disabilities, their families and others. 

Check out the Events Calendar


Orange and green box with the word Newsletters.The Ohio DD Council offers three newsletters covering different areas of emphasis of our work. Click on the newsletter name to read current and past newsletters, and to find out how to subscribe.

DD Council Connection: This monthly newsletter provides information about Council's members, grantees, publications and more. 

ReachOut e-Diversity News: This bi-monthly newsletter provides information about Council's outreach efforts to the unserved and underserved populations, and information about diversity.

This Week in Public Policy: This weekly newsletter provides a summary of policy and legislation in Ohio and at the federal level of interest to people with disabilities.