DD Council Connection - February 2020

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:


Council grant supports growth of Remote Support

In December 2019, The Ohio State University Nisonger Center submitted a final report providing a summary of the activities and insights gained from a project to increase the use of Remote Support in Ohio. The project was funded by the Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council.

Ohio Technology First logo

Remote Support uses two-way communication in real time, like Skype or FaceTime, so a person can talk with their direct service provider, even when the provider is not in their home. The service also includes supports like sensors that can call for help if a person has fallen or cameras that show who is at the door. All Medicaid waivers cover the cost and maintenance of equipment used for Remote Support service delivery. The use of Remote Support provides options for individuals to live a more independent life in their own home and supports Ohio's commitment as a Technology First State.

In June 2018, Nisonger Center, through funding received from the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities (DODD), released a request for proposals for County Boards of Developmental Disabilities (CBDD) and Councils of Government (COGs). The intent was to fund projects that would expand Remote Support in local regions throughout the state. In all, 17 applications were submitted, but the available grant funds from DODD only permitted Nisonger to fund the top eight applications. To expand this project to more areas of Ohio, the Ohio DD Council provided funding to Nisonger to support five additional grants to CBDDs and COGs.

Each grantee hired a “technology expert” to help Service and Support Administrators (SSAs) enroll individuals and family members onto Remote Support. The grantees also implemented a plan to grow the use of Remote Support services. Activities varied based on what would be most helpful within the grantees county or region. For example, most grantees created a Remote Support demonstration home, with one being a modified RV trailer that could travel throughout the counties to provide tours. In another example, grantees identified and paid people with developmental disabilities to be Remote Support ambassadors.

In Nisonger’s final report to the Ohio DD Council, they provided a summary of each of the five project activities, including why people did or did not select to enroll in remote support. Overall, Remote Support is now more widely accepted and efforts will continue by DODD, Nisonger Center and Council to ensure that SSAs and people with developmental disabilities learn about the benefits of Remote Support.

Read the report: Remote Support Grant Final Report


Do you have a REAL ID?

Do you have a driver license or state identification card? Beginning October 1, 2020, Ohio Driver's License and Identification cards that were issued prior to July 2, 2018 will not be accepted by the Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) as acceptable forms of identification for air travel. Instead, you will be required to have a federally compliant driver license, identification card or another acceptable form of identification, such as a US passport or military ID to fly within the United States.

Since the REAL ID will be your “license to fly,” airlines and airports are concerned that beginning October 1st, there will be major problems at all U.S. airports because many people are not aware of this change. If you plan to travel inside the U.S., be sure to renew your license early to get a REAL ID.

For more information: Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) - REAL-ID


Council partners with Nisonger Center to bring “Heart of Glass” to Columbus

Hearts of Glass logoThe Ohio DD Council is proud to partner with The Ohio State University Nisonger Center and Gateway Film Center to bring Hearts of Glass to Columbus, Ohio on Wednesday, April 15th from 5-8 pm. The event includes a reception, film screening and panel discussion.

Hearts of Glass follows the first 15 months of the start-up operation of Vertical Harvest (VH), located in Jackson, Wyoming. VH is a multi-story, state-of-the-art hydroponic greenhouse that grows crops while providing meaningful, competitively-paid jobs for people with disabilities. The film weaves the story of VH’s launch with the personal journeys of several employees with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The film is described as "an intimate portrait of social entrepreneurship at the intersection of disability rights and sustainable, local food production."

Check out the film trailer here: Hearts of Glass Movie Trailer


Last call for the SSA Assistive Technology Training Needs Survey

Earlier this month, a survey was sent to all 88 Ohio county board of developmental disabilities asking for Service and Support Administrators (SSAs) to complete a survey about their training needs for providing information and support to people who can benefit from using assistive technology. Currently, SSAs from 71% of the 88 counties have responded. Since the survey seeks input from all county boards, responses from all counties are desired. With that in mind, responses from the following counties are still needed: Belmont, Clinton, Columbiana, Crawford, Erie, Fayette, Gallia, Guernsey, Harrison, Huron, Jackson, Knox, Logan, Meigs, Morgan, Noble, Pike, Portage, Seneca, Shelby, Union, Van Wert, Vinton, Williams and Wyandot

The opinions and input from SSAs from all county boards is valued and important! The deadline to take the survey is February 28, 2020.

Take the survey here: SSA Training Needs Survey

About the survey:

The Assistive Technology & Accessible Educational Materials Center (AT&AEM) Center at OCALI received a two-year grant from the Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council to focus on building the knowledge of SSAs to improve the provision of assistive technology supports and services within the county boards of developmental disabilities.

The grant activities began in January 2020 with the development of this training needs survey. The survey will gather information from Ohio SSAs about their disposition regarding AT awareness and their preferences regarding AT training needs.

The feedback obtained from this survey will guide selection of training formats and topics to be provided during the fall of 2020 and throughout 2021.


Youth Leadership Forum now accepting applications

Reprinted from the OOD Works weekly newsletter of February 7, 2020

Ohio Youth Leadership Forum logoOpportunities for Ohioans with Disability’s (OOD) Statewide Youth Leadership Forum (YLF) is now accepting applications for Summer 2020. The program is a five-day career, leadership, and advocacy training for high school juniors and seniors with disabilities. The Columbus-based, statewide, overnight program will take place this summer, from July 19-23, 2020.

In addition to the Columbus-based statewide program, YLF will also expand regionally this year, opening opportunities for more students with disabilities around the state to participate. The regional YLF programs will be held in Cleveland, Cincinnati, Canton, Toledo, and Columbus. The regional version of the program will take place over four business days and will not have an overnight component. Dates and specific locations will be announced on the YLF website as soon as they are available.

“By expanding the program to different areas of the state, we are hoping to engage more students who are interested in developing their advocacy and leadership skills. We also want to engage local stakeholders and former YLF alumni to build local area support and involve regional government. Many times, advocacy begins at home or within your own community,” said Donna Foster, OOD Program Administrator for YLF.

The Ohio Statewide Independent Living Council (OSILC) will coordinate the regional programs that will reach an additional 100 students (20 at each site) in the first year. OSILC works with 12 Centers for Independent Living (CILs), all charged with helping to advance the disability community and independent living in Ohio. CILs are unique, as most of the board and staff members are individuals with disabilities. This aligns with the required principles of the national Youth Leadership Forum model, which requires that all guest presenters/role models and at least 50% of the volunteer staff at every YLF are individuals with disabilities.

Regional Steering Committees, one for each area, are being formed to share information and recruit more students. Committee membership will draw from community partners, local education agencies, local employers, and OOD staff.

The YLF program is for students with any disability who have demonstrated potential to be a leader and who are interested in self-advocacy and leadership development. To attend, students will need to apply and be interviewed for a position as a “delegate” in the program. All applicants must be willing to be referred to OOD for services.

For more information: Youth Leadership Forum