DD Council Connection - July 2019

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:


Cartoon image of an African American woman with a chef's hat on her head and stirring something in a pot.Council In The Community: Marci Straughter “Keeps It Cookin'” with New Blog

Ohio DD Council Member and self-advocate Marci Straughter has launched her very own blog to share cooking recipes and self-advocacy tips for other self-advocates like her. Marci’s “Keep It Cookin’” Cookbook Facebook page allows the young leader to share her day, her progress in culinary skills, and tips and discussion on working with direct support professionals and advocating for yourself.

According to Marci, she created this blog to share with people with disabilities ways to find a good provider and be a self-advocate. The blog has already reached 140 likes and continues to grow everyday.

Follow Marci’s Keep It Cookin’ Cookbook page on Facebook!


Disability Rights Ohio Announces Two Events

Disability Rights Ohio is hosting two advocacy events in August for people with disabilities and their families. Check out the events below and register or log in to participate.

DRO 101: Advocacy for Kids with Disabilities

When: August 1, 2019

Where: DRO Facebook Page (Facebook Live)

Time: 12 PM

DRO will host a Facebook Live series to help families of children with disabilities better understand special education and transition services in Ohio. The event will provide an overview of how DRO advocates for children with disabilities from infancy through school age, and on through post-secondary education and employment; what its consider priorities; and where to find self-advocacy resources on its website. An ASL interpreter will be provided on-screen, and captioning will be added in the archived video.

Franklin County Voting Demo

When: August 7, 2019

Where: Franklin County Board of Elections, 1700 Morse Road, Columbus, Ohio

Time: 5 - 7 PM

In order to educate and inform Franklin county voters, this event will include:

  • A demonstration of the new machines, including the accessibility features
  • A demonstration of the new remote absentee ballot marking tool that allows people who are blind or who have other print disabilities to vote by mail privately and independently
  • An overview of voting rights for people with disabilities and discussion of the voter hotline DRO runs each Election Day

Refreshments will be served. Please RSVP online. You can also request accommodations on that form. The building is wheelchair accessible and located on the #8 and #34 COTA lines. 


Picture of a man in a wheelchair and the words Public Transit and AccessibilityAccess to Transportation for the Disability Community

On July 18, All Sides with Ann Fisher on WOSU Public Media brought on experts, including Ohio DD Council's former Chair Mark Seifarth, to discuss access to transportation for people with disabilities. Citing Transportation Challenges for Ohioans with Disabilities, a 2017 survey and study done by Ohio DD Council, Seifarth shared why access to transportation also means access to jobs, friends, and living in the community.

The interview also shared that a majority of individuals with intellectual disabilities struggled to read or understand a bus schedule. It discussed the differences between transportation access between rural and urban areas; financial barriers; and how ride-share services like Uber and Lyft are impacting transportation.

Listen to the interview


Ohio DD Council Launches Tech Access Article Series

Ohio DD Council is excited to launch The State of Tech, an article series that will aim to educate and inform people about the impact of technology advances and the digital divide on Ohioans with developmental disabilities.

When talking about technology and people with developmental disabilities, people often think of assistive technology, such as screen readers and switch-enabled devices. In recent years, advancements in mainstream technology have made off-the-shelf tech devices, such as smartphones and voice assistance devices, usable by people with disabilities. This is a huge step toward narrowing the “digital divide”, which is a term to describe the gap between those who have ready access to computers and the internet, and those who do not.

There are four topics covered in this series:

  • Technology Access in Ohio
  • Getting and Communicating Information
  • Expanding Access
  • Teaching Technology

The articles will be released once a month and will also share ways individuals, self-advocates, and family members can get access to information about using tech in their everyday life.

Read the first article: Technology Access in Ohio