DD Council Connection - October 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:


Ohio's Updated ARPA HCBS Plan

The federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) included a temporary increased federal return on spending for home and community-based services (HCBS) utilized primarily through Medicaid waivers. Section 9817 of ARPA gives states enhanced federal funding that can be invested to enhance, expand, or strengthen home and community-based services.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) requires that states submit plans for approval prior to funds being distributed. In July, the Ohio Department of Medicaid (ODM) submitted Ohio’s initial plan on behalf of ODM, Ohio Department of Aging (ODA), Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities (DODD), and Ohio Department of Mental Health of Addiction Services (ODMHAS).

CMS has requested a plan with additional detail, and that updated plan was submitted today. Ohio worked with stakeholders to gather spending ideas and establish priority areas for the development of this updated plan.

Ohio’s updated plan will generate an investment of approximately $961 million to enhance, expand, and strengthen home and community-based services. The plan targets the following four priority areas:

  1. Immediate Provider Workforce Relief
  2. Technology Enhancement
  3. Workforce Support to Sustain and Expand
  4. Other Program and System Enhancements

The updated plan submitted today can be viewed here.

This update was provided by the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities.


Council in the Community - Rachel Rice attends Synergy Ohio 2021

Picture of Ohio DD Council member Rachel RiceOhio Developmental Disabilities Council (ODDC) member, Rachel Rice, recently returned from the Synergy Ohio 2021 Conference in Sandusky, Ohio. The conference featured sessions in the areas of residential, direct service, day services, social work, management, and service coordination for people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities (I/DD).

“The best thing about the conference was meeting people with disabilities and those that support them. I learned about mental health and what stress can do to your body and how to relieve it. I also learned about lots of ways to eat smart,” Rice said.

One of the highlights at the conference for Rice was being interviewed by Christopher Milo, an international motivational speaker known for his “13 Messages from Milo” that he shares with leaders and businesses to help them focus on the positive and to be less judgmental.

“Christopher Milo asked about how I use his 13 messages and the one I use the most.  I let him know that I use communication the most and how it helped me get to where I am. I explained that communication is used in my job as Advocacy Assistant for Warren County DD and self-advocating for myself and others,” Rice added.

Most recently the chair of  the Council’s Children and Health Committee, Rice was just named the vice-chair of ODDC. “I was excited and a bit shocked at my announcement as vice chair of ODDC, but it means a lot to me.  My duties will be to fill in if the chair cannot be at the full council meetings and help the chair as needed. Being on the council means a lot to me. It is enjoyable and allows me to feel like I help a lot of people. I learn new things that I can take back and use to help those in my community,” Rice said.


Ohio DD Talks: A Nursing Guide to Support Families

Amy Clawson, of Ohio Family to Family, discussed how conversations with parents helped launch the Ohio Nursing Collaborative and launched a new nursing guide to help parents and families to navigate at home care.

Share your story with Ohio DD Council: https://ddc.ohio.gov/News/Ohio-DD-Talks/Ohio-DD-Talks-Story-Submission-Form


Family Engagement is Critical to Supporting People With Disabilities

Screen shot of the cover of the It Starts with Family booklet showing many pictures of people with disabilitiesFamilies are an important asset in the equation of ensuring people with disabilities have the opportunity to live their best lives for their whole lives.

Did you know?

  • Approximately 119,000 or 65% of Ohioans with intellectual or developmental disabilities (I/DD) live with their families? And in most cases, the support provided does not end when the family member turns 18. 
  • Over 58% of parents/caregivers spend more than 40 hours per week providing support to their loved one with I/DD beyond typical care.
  • 52% of families caring for children with disabilities experience difficulty paying medical bills.

Connecting Families

Extensive research on individuals with disabilities and their families recognizes that supports are most effective when provided to the family so they have the capacity and knowledge to provide assistance. Strategies to support the family unit must be a fundamental consideration across all agencies, at all levels of each agency, and in all aspects of planning.

As partner agencies and organizations that support people with disabilities, you play an important role in helping to build families’ confidence and encourage a vision for the possibilities and opportunities for the whole family. To do this, we must connect families to important information, research, and resources and support effective family engagement strategies.

New Guide Offers Support

The Ohio Employment First Taskforce and its member agencies are developing a cross-agency professional learning experience designed for local professionals working to prepare, involve, and empower families of students with disabilities as they transition from secondary education to adulthood.

To help you get started before the training in spring 2022, we want to share It Starts With Families, a guide designed to support local professionals serving individuals and their families to become familiar with the research around family engagement and understanding their unique needs.

We encourage you to review and share the information in this guide with your colleagues as you plan for family engagement activities and resources at the local level.

For More Information

To learn more about the professional learning opportunity, contact ItStartsWithFamilies@dodd.ohio.gov.


Transportation Equity Forum Webinar Wraps up on Oct. 28

Picture of a person in a wheelchair with information about the upcoming transportation webinarsThe Ohio Aging and Disability Transportation Coalition (OADTC) will host its last webinar on October 28 on issues surrounding transportation equity designed to inform Ohioans who are aging and with disabilities on work around equity and access.

The last webinar of the series is titled Technology and Transportation: The Future. It will cover the potential benefits of using technology in relation to transportation for people with disabilities and who are aging.

October 28, 2021
Title: Technology and Transportation; The Future
Time: 1:30 PM- 2:30 PM EST

Registration is now open and available on Ohio DD Council’s website.

The Coalition launched a four-part series to inform and educate people about transportation options and how to utilize sources such as Mobility Managers and more.