Council in the Community

The Ohio DD Council is always actively advocating for our mission to create change that improves independence, productivity and inclusion for people with developmental disabilities and their families in community life in Ohio. Below are some examples of ways that Council and it's members are active in their communities.



Council in the Community - Rachel Rice attends Synergy Ohio 2021

Picture of Ohio DD Council member Rachel RiceOhio Developmental Disabilities Council (ODDC) member, Rachel Rice, recently returned from the Synergy Ohio 2021 Conference in Sandusky, Ohio. The conference featured sessions in the areas of residential, direct service, day services, social work, management, and service coordination for people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities (I/DD).

“The best thing about the conference was meeting people with disabilities and those that support them. I learned about mental health and what stress can do to your body and how to relieve it. I also learned about lots of ways to eat smart,” Rice said.

One of the highlights at the conference for Rice was being interviewed by Christopher Milo, an international motivational speaker known for his “13 Messages from Milo” that he shares with leaders and businesses to help them focus on the positive and to be less judgmental.

“Christopher Milo asked about how I use his 13 messages and the one I use the most.  I let him know that I use communication the most and how it helped me get to where I am. I explained that communication is used in my job as Advocacy Assistant for Warren County DD and self-advocating for myself and others,” Rice added.

Most recently the chair of  the Council’s Children and Health Committee, Rice was just named the vice-chair of ODDC. “I was excited and a bit shocked at my announcement as vice chair of ODDC, but it means a lot to me.  My duties will be to fill in if the chair cannot be at the full council meetings and help the chair as needed. Being on the council means a lot to me. It is enjoyable and allows me to feel like I help a lot of people. I learn new things that I can take back and use to help those in my community,” Rice said.

"In Focus" Highlights DD Council in a Video Interview

December 27, 2020: The year 2020 was the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Mike Kallmeyer of the Spectrum News program, In Focus, interviewed  Executive Director Carolyn Knight about how the Ohio DD Council works to achieve the goals of the ADA. This short video provides a great overview of who Council is and what we do.

View the interview here: Americans with Disabilities Act Celebrates 30 Years 

Ohio Disability Blog features DD Council's Executive Director, Carolyn Knight

December 21, 2020: The Ohio DD Council's executive director, Carolyn Knight, was recently interviewed for the Ohio Disability Blog. The three-part interview was done by Bill Darling, director of Assistive Technology of Ohio (AT Ohio) in the College of Engineering at The Ohio State University. Darling is also a former member and past chairperson of the Ohio DD Council.

During the video interviews, Knight shares information about the Ohio DD Council's mission, vision and work: 

The Ohio Disability Blog is a new venture of AT Ohio. "We aim to become Ohio's online home for disability-related content," said Darling. "We will be covering timely topics that affect Ohioans with disabilities and keeping everyone up to date on the latest developments in the field of assistive technology." The blog features interviews with Ohio's disability leaders on important projects and initiatives that affect the disability community.  

Be sure to check out and subscribe to the Ohio Disability Blog.

Council supports DRO's effort to ensure equality of care for people with disabilities

April 2020: On Friday, April 3, 2020, the Ohio DD Council signed onto a letter to Governor Mike DeWine and Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton asking the state to provide guidance to healthcare providers to not make decisions about the availability of care or equipment that is based on a person’s disability. The letter identifies other states that have rules in place that allow ventilators and other care to be redirected away from people with disabilities to provide care for those without disabilities. The letter states, in part, “These protocols fail to recognize the humanity and dignity of people with disabilities by devaluing their lives. They also violate, among other laws, the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (“Section 504”), and Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”).” The letter was drafted by Disability Rights Ohio and signed by DRO, DD Council, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital UCEDD, OSILC, National MS Society, and Ohio Association of Area Agencies on Aging.

Stay up-to-date with public policy by subscribing to DD Council's This Week in Public Policy.

Rep. Erica Crawley Visits Ohio DD Council

March 2020: Representative Erica Crawley (D - 26th District) visited the Ohio DD Council at its March council meeting on Thursday, March 5, 2020 in Worthington. A freshman, or first time lawmaker, Crawley was elected into the state legislature in the 2018 midterm elections.

“I thought that I had lived an experience that gave me a different perspective on policies, and I could possibly fill a void that was in the legislature,” said Crawley, the lawyer and veteran, on her decision to run when Heather Bishop resigned from the Ohio Statehouse.

Crawley spoke before Council members at the March Five-Year Planning Meeting. She began by talking about the challenges she faced while growing up and how they shaped her into the leader she is now. As she continues her work in the state legislature, she aims to expand her work with the disability community across her district and Ohio. She has been involved with the Franklin CGroup picture of Council members with Rep. Erica Crawleyounty Board on Developmental Disabilities, and then one of her constituents, Eric Duffy, invited her to a chapter meeting for the National Federation of the Blind.

“I was hearing stories about parents who were experiencing having their children taken away out of their custody or taken because they weren't even able to bring their baby home because somebody made the determination that they weren't a fit parent due to their blindness,” recalls Crawley. Through her research she found that other states were looking at or implementing the same legislation.

“We saw the same things happen with people who are quadriplegic, who might have been in a car accident, as a fit parent prior to their accident but then something happened. And they met with a disability and then had their rights challenged and have had children taken away. Even people who have developmental disabilities or have IQ challenges have had their rights challenged just because of something that is no fault of their own,” she said.

Crawley’s mission is also to always be in touch with her constituents, or as she calls them, her neighbors. She reminded DD Council members that it's important for people to be involved in government — to have their voice be heard.

“I was elected by a group of individuals who sent me to the Statehouse, and I like to believe in their best interest. I don't know what their interests are if they don't tell me. This piece of legislation came to my attention because someone in my district has seen other people be impacted. And so, this is his legislation. We do it together. And if there's nobody knocking on the doors of my colleagues, then my colleagues don't necessarily take me seriously or they don't see it as a real problem,” said Crawley.

Council in The Community: Rochelle Hall-Rollins

Pictures of participants of the panel discussionMarch 2020: Ohio DD Council member Rochelle Hall-Rollins recently participated as a panelist on the “Change Makers Forum” panel discussion. This was a part of the Ohio Statewide Founders Day celebration activities hosted by the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., Akron Alumnae Chapter.

A primary goal of the organization is to encourage social actions in communities across the nation. For the panel discussion, the planning committee wanted to make women across the state of Ohio aware of how important it is to get involved and commit to elected political and appointed governor positions.

Hall-Rollins was chosen for the panel because of her appointment to Council by former Governor Kasich. She spoke on how important it is to be at the table and not just in the room to help make a difference to help people who might not ever get services that one rightfully deserves.

Learn more about Rochelle by watching a video of her as she talks about the importance of being a member of the Ohio DD Council.