DD Council Connection - November 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:

Ohio DD Council Digest - Caregivers in Crisis

Caregiving in Crisis picture for National Family Caregivers MonthThe Ohio DD Council covers topics of interest in its blog, Ohio DD Council Digest. This month, we talk about National Family Caregivers Month.

Every November, National Family Caregivers Month recognizes and honors family caregivers across the country. Led by Caregiver Action Network, it is also an opportunity to raise awareness of caregiving issues, celebrate the efforts of caregivers, educate family caregivers about self-identification, and increase support for family caregivers.  

This year's theme is "Caregiving in Crisis" and focuses on the new reality family caregivers face with their loved ones during these uncertain times caused by the pandemic and other changes in society.  

The Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council agrees with Caregiver Action Network's statement:

"Family caregivers manage health emergencies, juggle priorities, and suffer isolation - and all that was before COVID. The pandemic brings even more challenges as family caregivers handle Caregiving in Crisis." 

The Ohio DD Council is aware of the challenges that Ohio families are facing: a shrinking home health care and direct support professional workforce; shortages in medical supplies; transportation issues and more. Council continues to look at ways to partner with other state organizations to strengthen family support to Ohio's families who have a member with a disability, and commends the family caregivers who are working hard to keep their loved ones safe at home and in the community. 

Learn more about caregivers, including tips and information to support them: National Family Caregivers Month

Spread the Cheer, Not COVID-19 This Year

The holidays are typically a time of food, family, and fun. This year looks a little bit different due to the COVID-19 pandemic. What is safe, and how can you celebrate and stay healthy? 

The Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities (DODD) is encouraging Ohioans with disabilities and their families to take precautionary measures to stay safe as the pandemic cases surge throughout the United States. Their comprehensive web page allows people with disabilities and their families to navigate services and supports during COVID-19.

As the holidays approach, the Ohio DD Council wishes all of you a safe and happy season.

Trailblazers for Inclusion: Celebrating State Councils on DD & Protection and Advocacy Agencies

by the Adminstration on Community Living

This month, we celebrate two milestones for people with developmental disabilities, their families, and the country: 50 years of State Councils on Developmental Disabilities and 45 years of Protection and Advocacy (P&A) systems. 

As two parts of the trio of programs that make up the Developmental Disabilities Act network on the ground in every state and territory, these programs have worked alongside individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (ID/DD) and their families to increase opportunities for community living. 

Both milestones offer us the chance to collectively reflect on, and celebrate, how much a group of dedicated self-advocates, family members, and professionals working together can achieve. 

Read the entire article to learn more about the DD Council and P&A connection

AT Ohio Launches Ohio Disability Blog

Assistive Technology of Ohio (AT Ohio), at The Ohio State University, has officially launched the Ohio Disability Blog. Led by William Darling, the director of AT Ohio, the blog features articles on internships, news and policy developments that affect people with developmental disabilities.

Mark Seifarth, former Ohio DD Council Chair, is also leading this blog effort to raise awareness about issues that matter to Ohioans with disabilities. His latest blog entry title What We Have Learned contemplates some of our recent remembrances in the disability community - what we have learned - and all of us as future leaders. 

Check out the Ohio Disability Blog.

SABE Seeks Input on 2020 Election

Red, white and blue colors with the words SABE GoVoter Project

Self-Advocates Becoming Empowered’s (SABE) GoVote Project has opened a survey to learn about the voting experience of people with disabilities. Whether you voted by mail-in, by absentee ballot, in-person early voting or on Election Day, the SABE GoVoter Project wants to know if you had any problems or questions about your voting experience. This includes your experiences with registering to vote, getting information about candidates, the attitude of poll workers and issues to casting your ballot. 

SABE will take all the completed surveys and create a report of the results to share with election officials at the federal, state and local levels. SABE will also work with Civil Rights groups like self advocacy groups and organizations that help voters with disabilities to make it better for everyone to participate in the voting process.  

Take survey in English or Spanish.

If you have any questions, contact Juliana Huerena at julianahuerena@sabeusa.org.