The Ohio DD Council's Outreach Committee began in 2002 as a sub-committee charged with focusing on people with disabilities who are unserved or underserved, overlooked or excluded from needed services. The sub-committee reported to the executive committee and offered recommendations, but could not make final decisions. Gradually the sub-committee's approach to awarding grant funds for this work became fine-tuned. At that time, the group was ready to become a standing committee and the change was approved by DD Council in 2012.
Currently, the Outreach Committee continues to focus on the niches within the developmental disabilities population that need assistance. For example, the Amish community is one that has many individuals in need of services, and represents certain cultural differences that must be understood in the process of offering services. Appalachian areas is another, along with many more.
In March 2017, the Outcomes Management Group, Ltd. conducted an evaluation of the Ohio DD Council's outreach outcomes achieved from 2002 to 2016 as a result of Council's focus on outreach to unserved/underserved individuals with developmental disabilities and their families in Ohio. The report highlights ten targeted grants, defines operational best practices, details benchmarks for other state councils; and determines how best to move forward. You can read the report here, which can serve as a guide for other DD Council's to follow in their work: Unserved/Underserved Populations Outreach Outcomes Evaluation Report