Ohio DD Council Connection - June 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:

Share your experiences with transportation access - and listen to others!

You are invited to participate in a survey about your transportation experiences. Conducted by the Ohio Colleges of Medicine Government Resource Center, through a grant funded by the Ohio DD Council, the survey aims to better understand transportation equity and transportation access for people with disabilities in Ohio.

Logo for Transportation Access Survey for Ohioans with Disabilities

Who should take this survey?

  • Ohioans ages 19 and older with a disability.
  • A family member, friend, caregiver, or other person who is helping may respond on your behalf.
  • Transportation providers who provide services to Ohioans with disabilities.

What will the survey ask you about?

  • Types of transportation you use.
  • Finding transportation to get where you need and want to go.
  • How the COVID-19 pandemic has changed your transportation choices.
  • Communities you serve and services provided. (For transportation providers)

How do you take the survey?

The survey is found online at http://go.osu.edu/B7XY. The deadline to take the survey is July 31, 2021.

Why take the survey?

Check out our latest Ohio DD Talks podcast, Why Transportation is #1 for People with Disabilities, featuring Cara Whalen-Smith from the Ohio Colleges of Medicine Government Resource Center. Cara speaks with host Nathan Turner on the latest effort to better understand transportation equity and transportation access for people with disabilities in Ohio.


For questions or if you would like a paper copy of the survey to return via mail or to take the survey via telephone, please contact Ann Robinson at Ann.Robinson@osumc.edu.

TechSummit coming in July - Register today!

TechSummit 2021 Register Today - picture of young boy looking through virtual glassesThe TechSummit 2021 is a free, two-day online event hosted by the Nisonger Center through a grant from Ohio DD Council and in collaboration with Assistive Technology of Ohio and the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities. 

Attend the Summit to hear from families and experts about supportive and assistive technology opportunities in Ohio. You can even meet with vendors and explore a smart home virtually! 

The event will be held July 22 - 23, 2021 from 9AM - 12PM each day. The event is free, but registration is required. 

Register for TechSummit 2021

HHS launches hotline to improve access to COVID-19 vaccines for people with disabilities

Logo from the Administration for Community Living about the COVID-19 DIAL hotlineThe U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) launched a first-of-its-kind national hotline to connect people with disabilities to information and services to improve access to COVID-19 vaccines.

The Disability Information and Access Line (DIAL) is now available to help people with disabilities find vaccination locations in their communities, assist callers with making vaccination appointments, and connect callers to local services – such as accessible transportation – to overcome barriers to vaccination. 

The hotline also can provide information and resources to answer questions and address concerns about the vaccines and connect callers to information and services that promote independent living and address fundamental needs, such as food, housing, and transportation.

Visit acl.gov/dial or call 888-677-1199 from 9:00 AM to 8:00 PM ET. You can also send an email to DIAL@n4a.org.

Input request for new product for people who use wheelchairs

The Assistive Technology Center at The Ohio State University seeks to interview individuals who use wheelchairs, assistive technology professionals, wheelchair manufacturer sales representatives, occupational therapists, physical therapists, physiatrists, and healthcare professionals. 

The interviews will support their research into customer needs for a product, called a wheelchair logger, to support the health and well-being of individuals who use a manual wheelchair. The logger will also support clinicians and suppliers during the wheelchair service delivery process and support clinical/supplier quality improvement initiatives. 

Complete an online form to learn how to become involved

Grants available for people with disabilities pursuing community employment

The Capabilities Charitable Fund is offering small, one-time grants of up to $500 to people with developmental disabilities ages 14 and up who are pursuing community employment. If awarded, grant funds can be used for paying for transportation, interview clothes, tools for work; professional services, and assistive technology. There will be two rounds of grant awardees in 2021. The deadlines for each round are July 30, 2021 and September 30, 2021. 

Learn more including how to apply

Attention DD Council grantees: Consumer satisfaction survey is coming soon

Each year, the Ohio DD Council is required by the federal DD Act to examine its goals and determine customer satisfaction with Council supported or conducted activities. To help Council achieve this requirement, the Nisonger Center at The Ohio State University conducts a Consumer Satisfaction Survey. They are in charge of assessing and reporting the results of the survey to Council.

If you are a grantee receiving funding from the Ohio DD Council, your grant may have been chosen to be a part of this year’s Consumer Satisfaction Survey. If it was, you should have received a notification by now. The following is a list of grants chosen for review. 

  • Better Child Care for the Student with Developmental Disabilities
  • SOAR Ohio Project & OSILCs
  • Change Makes Sense
  • Empowering Self Advocates - SIL
  • Expanding The Amish Community Project
  • DD Awareness & Advocacy Day
  • Communication to Increase Public Awareness for People with Developmental Disabilities

Carly Zehr from the Nisonger Center will be conducting the survey by phone, email or video conference. If she hasn’t already contacted you, she will soon. What she needs from you is the names and ways to contact stakeholders who are participating in your project or those who are receiving information from your project to assist them in their work. These stakeholders can be people with disabilities, family members or professionals. Please let these people know Carly’s name and why she will be contacting them so they will feel comfortable to participate.

The survey used was developed by the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and focuses on the following objectives: 

  1. To provide Council with meaningful information;
  2. To satisfy the Office of Management & Budget Performance and Results Act requirements;
  3. To provide information to plan for systems change; and
  4. To document Council’s effectiveness.

The survey period will begin in July and end in November of this year. 

Continue to be safe and know Council is your partner and we wish you good health and success in all you do! Thank you for helping us with this important survey.

If you have any questions, please contact Fatica Ayers at fatica.ayers@dodd.ohio.gov.