DD Council Connection - December 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:


The Impact - Grantee Highlights

Project TREES (Tools & Resources for Engaging, Empowering & Supporting Families) is an Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council grant initiative with a goal to increase support for families of children with disabilities through activities that build capacity and systemic change.

They accomplish this through outreach, training, research, technical assistance, supporting and educating communities, interagency collaboration and coordination, demonstration of new approaches, informing policymakers, system design and redesign.

Picture of two rocks painted with trees on them sitting on a pad for the Licking County Board of Developmental DisabilitiesThe grantee, the Ohio Association of County Boards of Developmental Disabilities (OACB), began its work in 2017 by selecting Early Intervention (EI) Teams from seven county boards of developmental disabilities to participate in the project.

“Supporting families is a constellation of beliefs, values, strategies, and relationships that strengthen families during their time in Ohio Early Intervention, enhancing their capacity to flourish and face the future with increased resilience, self-efficacy, well-being and optimism,” explained OACB’s Project TREES grant consultant, Susan Jones.

The EI Teams are from Erie, Highland, Knox, Licking, Miami, Scioto, and Williams counties. Grant funding ends December 31, 2021.

Grant accomplishments include:

  • Creation of a multi-level stakeholder advisory committee. Members included state, regional, and county providers of early intervention services and family members who had received early intervention (EI) services. This made for rich sharing of ideas and in the end, a contract from the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities was given to continue the work on several priorities of this project. This group met quarterly throughout the past five years.

  • Development of a cohort of local county EI teams. In this design, local Early Intervention providers could test new ideas and share their work with their colleagues, with the data to support the efficacy. Grant consultants provided the foundational training and ongoing support needed to begin, implement, revise, and produce new practices to improve the EI experience for families. An evidence-based implementation science approach called the IDEAS framework out of the Harvard Center of the Developing Child was used for this body of work. A padlet is being used to share the work of these teams, which you can view here: https://padlet.com/susanjonesgrant/eawq4hchz60eyd63.

  • An addition of State level professional development and advocacy. Each year, grant consultants offered many opportunities to enlighten the Early Intervention field by presenting at state level conferences, webinars and facilitating book studies.  Grant consultants also joined committees and advisories to collaborate on and support other initiatives that benefitted EI families to facilitate implementation with the cohort teams as well as the statewide field of EI.

In the five years during this grant, family support and family-centered practices were fundamental components of Early Intervention in Ohio. Families were able to leave the EI system with deeper connections and roots to navigate their next journey with increased confidence, competence, and self-efficacy, according to the Project TREES team.


Ohio Statewide Independent Living Council logoYour Input is Needed!

The Ohio Statewide Independent Living Council is currently working on gathering information on what people in Ohio think about disability issues and Independent Living.  They have released a brief survey to help in its future planning efforts and activities.

The results from the survey can help shape services, advocacy efforts, and understanding of needs in each community and across the state. 

Take the survey by February 4, 2022.


Hellos & Goodbyes

Thank you, Director Jeff Davis!

Earlier this month, Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities (DODD) Director Jeff Davis announced that he will be retiring from the Department. Governor DeWine appointed Kim Hauck, current DODD deputy director for the Division of Policy and Strategic Direction, to serve as the department’s director beginning on January 1, 2022.

“I thank Director Davis for his decades of service, and I wish him the best in his retirement. Throughout his career his tireless dedication to serving Ohioans living with developmental disabilities has impacted countless families. Director Davis once told me that to do this kind of work, you really have to have a love for it. He has had that love for the work and the individuals whom he served,” Governor DeWine said in an email announcement from DODD.

Director Davis has been a fierce advocate for people with developmental disabilities in Ohio, and participated in many events hosted by the Ohio DD Council such as the DD Awareness Advocacy Day held in March every year.

Ohio DD Council Welcomes New Councils Members

Purple, yellow and white graphic with the words Happy Holidays and Happy New Year

Governor Mike DeWine appointed new members to the Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council (Ohio DD Council), a federally designated organization whose mission is to create change that improves independence, productivity, and inclusion for people with developmental disabilities and their families in community life. 

The new appointees from across Ohio fill several open positions on the Council. They include:

  • Kari Jones (Franklin County)
  • Monica McCain (Lucas County)
  • Timothy Newell (Clark County)
  • Javan Brown (Franklin County)
  • Molly Dible (Hancock County)
  • Isabel Ganz (Hamilton County)
  • Matthew LaFontaine (Hancock County)

In addition, the Governor re-appointed Rhonda Rich (Miami County), Brenda Brandon (Ottawa County) and Matthew Harrison (Darke County) for another Council term.

Ohio DD Council Thanks Council Members for Their Service

The Ohio DD Council would like to thank the following members as they have completed their terms with the Council. We thank each person for their service, time, and dedication to making Ohio a better place for people with developmental disabilities.

  • Morgan Gattermeyer
  • Rochelle Hall-Rollins
  • Blaine O’Leary
  • James Plasencia
  • Jill Radler
  • Michael Richards
  • Victor Wilson