DD Council Connection - April 2021

logo of dd council connection newsletter bannerDD 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.

This month's articles include:


Assistive Technology & Everyday Life

Assistive Technology of Ohio (AT Ohio) recently announced that Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted proclaimed April 14, 2021 as Ohio AT Awareness Day. This coincided with Congress designating that same day as National Assistive Technology Awareness Day. 

Congress originally passed the Technology Related Assistance to Individuals with Disabilities Act (now known as the Assistive Technology Act) in 1988. Decades later, the importance and growth of assistive technology for people with disabilities continues, especially during this time of change due to the pandemic.

Assistive technology for people with disabilities is such an important and growing field," said William Darling, Director of Assistive Technology of Ohio. "Technology gives people with disabilities the chance to compete in the classroom, succeed in the world of work, and live more independent and inter-connected lives."

Assistive Technology of Ohio works with people of all ages and abilities, providing assessments, equipment demos, short-term device loans, used refurbished computer equipment, training and referrals to funding sources. AT Ohio, part of the College of Engineering at The Ohio State University, is Ohio's official Assistive Technology Act program. The Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council and AT Ohio collaborate to support ongoing technology-related projects and initiatives.

"I want to thank the Governor and Lt. Governor for bringing needed awareness to Assistive Technology," continued Darling. "Ohio is one of the leading states in the country in using remote supports and improving AT access for individuals with disabilities in independence, employment, education and community living."

Watch videos from State Agency Directors about AT Awareness:

Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities (OOD) Director Kevin Miller who speaks on how assistive technology plays a vital role in helping Ohioans with disabilities find employment.

Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities Director Jeff Davis who speaks on how Ohio is among the nation's leaders in assistive technology and remote support.

You can also listen to what Darling has to say about the importance of assistive technology in DD Council’s latest podcast of Ohio DD Talks. Check out this month’s episode, Assistive Technology and Everyday Life. You can also view it below.

For more information about AT Ohio and AT Awareness Day: Contact Eric Rathburn at 614-688-3222 or email at rathburn.17@osu.edu.


DD Council Seeks New Members

Want to make a difference for Ohio's disability community? Join the Ohio DD Council! The Ohio DD Council is recruiting new membership for the following categories:

  • Individual with a developmental disability,
  • Parent or guardian of a child with a developmental disability, and
  • A representative from a private non-profit organization serving persons with developmental disabilities.

If you are interested in becoming a member, go to our website to the New Member Application page for more information. You may apply online or download documents to complete and mail to our office.

Deadline to apply has been extended to May 28, 2021.


Registration for Tech Summit 2021 is now open!

Registration is now open for the TechSummit 2021 being held virtually on July 22-23, 2021 from 9 AM - 12 PM, both days. 

TechSummit is an annual conference with a focus on technology as it relates to developmental disabilities. From smart homes and in-home remote support systems to independent transportation options, this two-day event offers attendees a chance to learn about different kinds of current and emerging technology options to support people with developmental disabilities who want more independence in their lives. For information on speakers, agenda and other resources, visit TechSummit’s website.

The Nisonger Center at The Ohio State University hosts this conference through funding from the Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council and support from Assistive Technology of Ohio and the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities.

Register for the 2021 TechSummit


Ohio DD Council Announces Notice of Funds Available for Multiple Projects

The Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council has issued a Notice of Funds Available (NOFA) for multiple projects for the Council's 2022-2026 Five-Year State Plan.

All applications for these projects are due at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on Friday, July 2, 2021. Each awarded project is scheduled to begin on October 1, 2021 and run until September 30, 2026, unless otherwise noted.

The Council will also host a Bidders Conference for applicants to talk with Council staff about the intent, purpose and expectations of the grant they are applying for. Staff will also discuss the application process.

  • When: Wednesday, May 12, 2021 or Wednesday, May 19, 2021
  • Time: Sessions covering different topics will be held from 10:00AM to 5:10PM. You can sign up for the entire day, or for just the sessions you want to attend.
  • Where: Online via Zoom

Register for the Bidders Conference 


Lucas County Resident Named Co-Host of Ohio DD Council’s Podcast

Lucas County resident Nathan Turner has been named as the new co-host of the Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council (Ohio DD Council) web series and podcast, Ohio DD Talks. The series features stories of and conversations with Ohioans with disabilities. Turner will share hosting duties with DD Council member Dara Walburn, of Athens, Ohio.

Turner’s first episode as host is on Assistive Technology with William Darling of Assistive Technology of Ohio. Watch it here or listen to it wherever you listen to podcasts

Turner is employed as a Senior Web Quality Rater for Lionbridge Global Support Services and also works as a freelance data annotator supporting many of the major technology companies in the state. He also serves as the technology ambassador from Northwestern Ohio for the Ohio Technology Ambassador Network.

Born with cerebral palsy, Turner was recently appointed to serve on the Board of Trustees for the Ohio Self Determination Association. He is also an ambassador with the National Institute on Disability focusing on financial education and outreach on ABLE accounts to BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) disability communities.

Turner shares, “While this is my first time hosting a podcast, I know people with disabilities, their families and the professionals supporting us are resilient, determined and creative. I will facilitate discussion to allow our guests to communicate their ideas and listen attentively to emphasize unique strengths. My goal for the podcast is to highlight the successes of people with disabilities in the post ADA generation and truly demonstrate the value of an inclusive society.”

Learn more about Ohio DD Talks