Ohio DD Talks

Logo for the Ohio DD Talks program from the Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council


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Ohio DD Talks is a web series featuring stories and conversations of Ohioans with disabilities. Tune in each month for the newest episode on any of the channels listed below. You can also sign-up to receive an email notification when a new episode is available. 

Share your story!

We want to hear from YOU! The Ohio DD Council is collecting stories to highlight on our website and would like to hear your. Perhaps you will even be invited to appear on the series! Share your story by completing a short online form: Ohio DD Talks Story Submission Form

Season 1

Episode 1: Life During COVID19

June 2020: This episode features Council Members Morgan Gattermeyer and Dara Walburn, both self-advocates who share what they have learned during quarantine and what they are looking forward to.

What are others saying?

Read comments from people who shared what they have been doing during the pandemic and how they have been dealing with it:

  • "Nothing good comes from solitary confinement. And that is about what it's been like here." - Thomas
  • "Actively working on my book that I started 3 years ago. Not being able to go to my usual places has given me the time to focus and devote to this project." - Renee
  • "During this worldwide crisis it's more important than ever for people with disabilities to keep their voices heard - lest we're set on the shelf and forgotten among the mis of many other concerns during this time." - Renee
  • " My mind is on Best Buddy's and working to see my friends and helping my family. I can't wait untiil all this to be gone." - Robin
  • "I have been mowintg lawns. I have also been writing stories. I don't like not being able to do a whole lot of outings." - William

Episode 2: The Power of Advocacy

July 2020: To commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, Council Members Marci Straughter and Michael Denlinger, two community leaders and powerful self-advocates, share their journey in becoming self-advocates, what the ADA means to them and their advice for other advocates.

What are others saying?

Read comments from people about what the ADA means to them:

  • "It means that people help and restaurants change for people who arein a wheelchair. I can go into places that we couldn't go in before." - Viola
  • "The ADA means to me that people with disabilities have the opportunity to live, work and participate in their community. This law has given me the right to live in an apartment which is accessible for me so I can maintain my independence. I am thankful for the ADA also because it has provided me the opportunity for a college eduation." - Robert
  • "I don't wish to be disrepectful but ADA really doesn't mean much to me. On paper I have several rights, but in actual life, I have few. I feel a deep and profound sadness that laws are even needed in the first place." - Christine

Episode 3: How are People with Disabilities are #AbletoSave

August 2020: Council Member Morgan Gattermeyer spoke with STABLE Account Deputy Director Doug Jackson about STABLE accounts, saving money and becoming financially independent while not losing SSI or Medicaid benefits.

Episode 4: The Importance of DSPs

September 2020: September celebrates Direct Support Professionals, and this episode of Ohio DD Talks talks to Bethany Toledo, Executive Director of Ohio Alliance of Direct Support Professionals - OADSP & Joshua Peterson, DSP, RHDD speak to Michael Denlinger about the shortage of DSPs, advocating for DSPs, and why they are important to the community.

Episode 5: Employment During COVID-19

October 2020: Michael Denlinger, Ohio DD Talks host and Council Member, and Christine Miranda, Executive Director of Disability:IN Ohio, talk about the impact of employment for people with disabilities during the COVID-19 era.

Episode 6: The #1 Issue Facing Ohioans with Disabilities

November 2020: This episode talks about the #1 issue for Ohioans with disabilities - transportation - featuring self-advocate Renee Wood and India Jones of The Ohio Aging and Disability Transportation Coalition. Renee and India, along with council member Michael Denglinger, talk about why access to transportation is important for people with disabilities to live, work, and play in the community of their choice.

Episode 7: The Mailbag!

December 2020: Midway through 2020, Ohio DD Talks began as a way for Ohioans with developmental disabilities to stay connected to each other during the pandemic. Speakers talked on specific topics each month and viewers were asked to submit their comments and experiences about the topics being discussed. This episode features some of the people who shared their stories throughout 2020.

Season 2

Episode 1: Getting Started with Advocacy

March 2021: Season 2 of Ohio DD Talks is here! Kicking it off during Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month, this new episode is all about advocacy! With self-advocates Shari Cooper and Nathan Turner, the episode explores what advocacy actually means and how someone can get started.

Episode 2: Assistive Technology and Everyday Life

April 2021: Governor Mike DeWine declared April 14 as Assistive Technology Awareness Day. In the spirit of supporting AT awareness, Ohio DD Talks welcomed Bill Darling from  Assistive Technology of Ohio (AT Ohio) who discussed the benefits of AT and how it supports people with disabilities in their everyday life.

Episode 3: Transportation and why it's important for people with disabilities

June 2021: This episode features 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.

Episode 4: Back to School

July 2021: Host Nathan Turner speaks to parent Brian Veith about being a parent of a child with a disability, preparing for heading back to school and starting the IEP process.

Episode 5: Inclusive Recreation & The Importance of Play

September 2021: Susan Monegan, founder of Mila's Hope and Rowyn's Dreams Playground, talks about what it took the create the first all inclusive playground in Portage County, Ohio. She also spoke on inclusive recreation and why play is important for kids with and without disabilities.

Episode 5: Nursing Guide

October 2021: 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.

Season 3

Episode 1: Let's Talk about Housing!

January 2022: "And with the right supports, even subsidies, I think home ownership can be a really vital tool when we think about people with disabilities potentially building wealth as well." — Bob Laux, owner of Wild River Consulting and grantee of a DD Council housing grant, joins the podcast to discuss maximizing resources and changing public policy for housing for adults with disabilities. 

Episode 2: Building Healthy Relationships

February 2022: Barbara Thomas, Executive Director, TECS Education Center and Founder and Director of Education, The TALL Institute, joins the podcast this month to talk about people with disabilities and how to build healthy relationships.

Episode 3: Advocating for IEPs

Mother-and-son duo, Jackie and Justin Martin, join host Nathan Turner in the latest Ohio DD Talks podcast to speak about advocating for IEPs and what parents need to know. Learn from the Martins experiences and advice!

What are your experiences? 

Please share your story with us by completing a quick online form: Share Your Story

This project was supported, in part by the Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council, under grant number 17AC01FA20 from the U.S. Administration for Community Living, Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, D.C. 20201. Grantees undertaking projects with government sponsorship are encouraged to express freely their findings and conclusions. Points of view or opinions do not, therefore, necessarily represent official ACL policy.