DD Council Connection - January 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:


DD Council Seeks Feedback on Five-Year State Plan Drafts

Based on survey results collected about the issues that are important to Ohioans with developmental disabilities, the Ohio DD Council drafted the 2022-2026 Five-Year State Plan. Now, the Council is seeking public comment on its Five-Year State Plan.

The State Plan lists projects that the Council plans to fund to address the needs identified by people with developmental disabilities, families and stakeholders across the state. Projects are proposed in the following areas:

  • Children and Health
  • Community Living
  • Employment
  • Leadership Development
  • Outreach
  • Public Awareness
  • Public Policy

Here’s how you can submit your comments:

1. Review the draft Five-Year Plan by reading the Executive Summary of the projects; or the entire 2022-2026 State Plan; or reviewing specific projects that interest you.

2. Submit your comments on all projects or the ones that are of interest to you.

The comment period will end on February 28, 2021.

Review the draft and submit your input here: https://ddc.ohio.gov/state-plan-comments.

Translated versions of the Executive Summary, State Plan and Public Comment Survey are also available in Spanish and Somali are also available for download on that web page. 


Register for the 2021 Developmental Disabilities Awareness and Advocacy Day!

Logo for DD Awareness and Advocacy Day

This year's Developmental Disabilities Awareness and Advocacy Day will be held on March 2, 2021 at 10:00AM. Due to the on-going COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s event will be hosted all online.

We look forward to “coming together through the distance” for a special hour-long presentation from leaders and self-advocates and meetings with state legislators.

The presentation and legislative meetings will be streamed through Zoom. Legislative appointments will be held during the afternoon and based on legislator availability.

Register for the 2021 DD Awareness and Advocacy Day

Instructions on how to access the hour-long presentation will be sent immediately upon registration. Instructions on how to access legislative appointments, including meeting time, will be sent prior to March 2, 2021.

Follow the DD Awareness and Advocacy Day on Facebook

Special thanks to the event planning committee members: Ohio Self-Determination Association, People First of Ohio, The ARC of Ohio, Disability Rights Ohio, Ohio Provider Resource Association, Ohio Association of County Boards of Developmental Disabilities, University of Cincinnati UCEDD, The Ohio State University Nisonger Center, Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council, Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities.


Governor Appoints New Members to Statewide Disabilities Council

The Ohio DD Council is excited to welcome five new members to the Council!

Appointed by Governor Mike DeWine, the new members from across Ohio fill open self-advocate and family members positions on Council. They include:

  • William Ackman (Franklin County)
  • Courtney Hineman (Butler County)
  • Debbie Lozano (Lake County)
  • Amanda Via (Miami County)
  • Brian Vieth (Hamilton County)

In addition, the Governor re-appointed Jean Jakovlic (Franklin County) for another Council term. The newly appointed members will serve two three-year terms on the Ohio DD Council. 

The Ohio DD Council is one of a national network of state councils, committed to self-determination and community inclusion for people with developmental disabilities.  The Council has over 30 members of which 60% represent people with developmental disabilities, and parents and guardians of people with developmental disabilities. The remaining members include representatives from state agencies, non-profit organizations and agencies providing services to people with developmental disabilities.

For more information on the Ohio DD Council, its work, and its members, please go to https://ddc.ohio.gov/.


Executive Director, Carolyn Knight Spreads the Word about Council’s Work

Picture of Carolyn Knight who is the executive director of the Ohio Developmental Disabilities CouncilThe Ohio DD Council’s executive director, Carolyn Knight, was busy in December with interviews by Assistive Technology of Ohio and Spectrum News. 

Assistive Technology of Ohio (AT Ohio), through its Ohio Disability Blog, conducted a three-part interview by Bill Darling, director of AT Ohio. Darling is also a former member and past chairperson of the Ohio DD Council.

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

Part 1: What is the Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council?

Part 2: Turning Innovative Ideas Into Disability Grants

Part 3: Collaboration and Action are the Keys to Success

Knight was also interviewed by Mike Kallmeyer of the Spectrum News program, In Focus. The year 2020 was the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the In Focus episode highlighted 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.

You can view the InFocus interview here: Americans with Disabilities Act Celebrates 30 Years