This Week in Public Policy - October 21 - 25, 2019

This Week in Public Policy provides a summary of policy and legislation in Ohio and at the federal level that is of interest to people with disabilities.

To subscribe to these weekly updates, send an email to Paul Jarvis at

Click here to read previous week's updates.

In Ohio

On Friday, October 18th, 2019, Disability Rights Ohio and the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities finalized a settlement agreement in the class action lawsuit brought by DRO to expand community support programs for people with developmental disabilities. The Ball v. DeWine Settlement Agreement can be found here. The agreement will result in additional pre-admission counseling for individuals seeking to reside in an ICF, proposes to create 700 new Individual Options Waivers in 2020 and 2021 and prioritize the new waivers for exit or diversion from an ICF, and DODD will seek $250,000 to provide funding for planned transitions from facility to community-based services.

On Friday, October 18th, 2019, Governor Mike DeWine announced several appointments to the Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities Council, to include: Carolyn Peters of Dayton, Jeremy Morris of Reynoldsburg, Pete Moore of Pataskala, David Baker of Columbus, Andrea Kramer of Findlay and Allison McKay of Columbus. The Governor also made one appointment to the Ohio Statewide Independent Living Council, naming Paul Glock of Dublin.

On Monday, October 21, the Ohio Department of Education and Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities announced they would be expanding their Ohio Transition Support Partnership, a program that helps students with disabilities gain job skills. The program was given support in the budget bill to provide services to targeted counties, but Monday’s announcement states the program will provide services to an additional 360 students in the 2020-2021 school year.

In Washington

On Wednesday, October 23, 2019, the National Council on Disabilities issues a report entitled, “Genetic Testing and the Rush to Perfection.” The report identifies a variety of concerns related to the issue of genetic testing and disability. The report calls for more regulation of genetic testing by the Food and Drug Administration, Federal Trade Commission, HHS and CMS, and Congress should pass additional laws to strengthen transparency and delineate conflicts of interest.

NEXT Week in Public Policy: October 28 - November 1, 2019

On Tuesday, October 29th, 2019, the Senate Education Committee will hold SPONSOR Testimony on Senate Bill 200 (Dyslexia Education). The bill would require the Ohio Department of Education to develop guidelines and professional development courses regarding dyslexia screening and intervention and require all new public school teachers to complete a screening and professional development courses. The hearing will take place at 10:15 a.m. in the South Hearing Room of the Ohio Senate Building.

On Tuesday, October 29th, 2019, the House Health Committee will hold ALL Testimony on House Bill 287 (Medicaid Waivers for Military Families). The bill would require the state to set aside a number of HCBS Waivers to accommodate military families who are transferred into Ohio for military service and who were receiving services on a waiver in another state. Witnesses have already testified the bill would allow individuals to bring their families with them during their time in the service without fear of losing access to services for their children with developmental disabilities. The Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities is on record saying the state would plan to provide the matching funds for these set-aside waivers. The hearing will take place at 11:00 a.m. in Room 116 of the Ohio Statehouse. The bill is slated for a possible vote, too.

In Washington

On Wednesday, October 19th, 2019, the US Department of Transportation will host the Access and Mobility for All Summit. The Summit will feature Secretary Elaine Chao (Transportation) and Secretary Ben Carson (HUD) and Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers. In addition to these keynote speakers, the following individuals will be presenting throughout the afternoon session, which will be live-streamed for individuals who cannot attend in person (Registration Required by Monday, October 28th.):

  • Michael Akinyele, Acting Chief Innovation Officer, Veteran Affairs
  • Mary Lazare, Principal Deputy Administrator, ACL
  • Neil Romano, Chairperson, NCD
  • Jennifer Sheehy, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor of Disability Employment Policy, DOL
  • Vincent Valdes, Demonstration and Innovation, Federal Transit Administration
  • David Capozzi, Executive Director, US Access Board
  • Michelle Boomhower, Director of Policy, Planning and Intermodal Development, Vermont Agency on Transportation
  • Kelly Buckland, Executive Director, National Council on Independent Living
  • Andrei Greenawalt, Vice President for Public Policy, Via
  • Anne Marie Lewis, Director of Safety and Technology Policy, Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers
  • Jordana Maisel, Inclusive Design and Environmental Access Center, University of Buffalo
  • Miriam Manary, Biosciences Lead Engineer, University of Michigan
  • Maria Town, President and CEO, AAPD