Welcome to the October 2018 edition of the DD Council Connection newsletter!
DD 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. You can also read previous issues of DD Council Connection here: http://ddc.ohio.gov/News-Media/Newsletters/oddc-news.
This month's articles include:
Michael Denlinger Goes to Disability Cocoon Tech:Festival
Ohio DD Council Member Michael Denlinger went to the very first Disability Cocoon Tech:Festival in Cincinnati at the American Sign Museum this month. And his experience couldn’t have been better.
The inaugural one-day technology festival focused on technology for people with disabilities and included several short presentations/demos, disability technology expert sessions, innovation-storming sessions, food trucks, games and much more.
Promoted as a “disability technology catalyst organization,” Disability Cocoon Tech:Festival focused on disability technology solutions and innovation that would support increased independence.
“I met so many people and learned so much about what technology is available to people with disabilities, that goes beyond tools like Alexa,” said Denlinger.
For example, Denlinger learned about the Lean On Me app that allows individuals to be in touch with families and caregivers, while still remaining independent. Additionally, he met with Scioto, a company in Ohio that helps people with disabilities get their own homes.
“Not only is there a lot of tech out there, but the conference allowed me to learn about all that we may not know about and how it could be helpful to the disability community,” he added. Supporting the Council’s mission, Denlinger hopes to introduce these companies to the Council in hopes that it could be beneficial to its members and also the community-at-large.
Founded by Dustin Wright, Disability Cocoon's goal is to be the resource where people come to learn, connect, explore, and collaborate around the national technology movement to support people with disabilities. For more information: Disability Cocoon
ODHP Releases Survey to Learn about Health Opportunities for People with Disabilities
The Ohio Disability and Health Program (ODHP) is one of 19 state programs funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to work towards increasing opportunities for health for people with disabilities. The program seeks to design health resources that provider organizations can offer to adults with developmental disabilities and direct support staff to assist with health education and setting and achieving self-directed health goals.
In its first step, ODHP designed a survey to those in leadership roles or management at organizations that provide services to people with disabilities. The survey will assess current strengths and opportunities for inclusive health programs at disability provider organizations. Survey responses will be used to inform strategies to reduce health disparities and barriers to health programs among people with disabilities in the state of Ohio.
The deadline to take the survey is November 16, 2018: Ohio Provider Wellness Activity Survey
Advocacy for Competitive Employment Continues
Every October, Ohio DD Council celebrates National Disability Employment Awareness Month to recognize that competitive, inclusive integrated employment is important for people with disabilities.
While the month is wrapping up, the efforts are year-long. The Ohio DD Council supports many initiatives that promote employment for people with developmental disabilities in Ohio.
Currently, the Council funds several grants that work to create a comprehensive approach towards employment. Focusing on employers, the Employment Demonstrations/Jobcom grant with Goodwill Easter Seals of Miami Valley and the Employer Engagement grant with Best Buddies, the Council hopes to increase employer engagement to ensure more businesses hire people with developmental disabilities. The recently added Money Matters grant will aim to improve the economic stability and advancement of 200 individuals with disabilities and family members.
Additionally, over the years, Ohio DD Council has published several publications focusing on Employment First, Medicaid Buy-In for Workers with Disabilities and more to highlight the benefit for hiring people with developmental disabilities.
Many Ohio agencies offer resources for employers and job seekers with disabilities, such as the Hiring Ohioans with Disabilities Toolkit, and OODWorks.
With these great initiatives in the community and tools available for employers and potential employees, the Council continues to make sure competitive employment is available for people with developmental disabilities across the State not just in October, but all year long.
DODD Hosts Family Engagement Series Across the State
Over the next several months, the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities (DODD) will travel around the State to host several Family Engagement Series, an opportunity for families who have a family member with a disability to get personal and work together to solve common — and uncommon — family stressors.
The Family Engagement Series includes regional hands-on sessions that will teach families practical ways to manage pressure, patience, and learn creative strategies to modify existing methods of coping and caring for those they love. Those attending will learn how unlock strength, build a foundation, and develop skills and strategies to manage family stressors. The hands-on sessions will teach families practical ways to manage pressure, patience, and learn creative strategies to modify existing methods of coping and caring for those they love. Moderators will work with each group’s real-life obstacles to find solutions that work for your entire family.
When registering for the Family Engagement Series you must commit to attending four sessions. More than one family member is welcome to attend the series, but they should be registered and committed to attending the same sessions.
For more details on the event in your region and to register, click the region below:
Southeast Ohio: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/southeast-ohio-family-engagement-series-tickets-51561595119
Southwest Ohio: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/southwest-ohio-family-engagement-series-tickets-51561878968
Northeast Ohio: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/northeast-ohio-family-engagement-series-tickets-51257286925
Northwest Ohio: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/northwest-ohio-family-engagement-series-tickets-51561269144
Central Ohio: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/central-ohio-family-engagement-series-tickets-51560680383