DD Council Connection - December 2019

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:

Council wraps up 2019 with retreat

Picture of a room with large number of Council members listening to a presentationIn early December, the Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council held its annual retreat meeting, a time for Council members to hear from advocates, experts and others about emerging issues, future plans and accomplishments related to improving services and supports to people with developmental disabilities. All presentations were highly informative and provided an opportunity for Council members to voice their opinions and share their own stories and ideas.

Guest speakers included people with developmental disabilities, Council members, representatives from the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities (DODD), Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities (OOD), the Ohio Provider Resource Association (OPRA) and the National Association of Council on Developmental Disabilities (NACDD).

Picture of Council members meeting with Jeff Davis, Director of DODDDay one was filled with several presentations packed with information. The retreat opened with Christopher Milo, an internationally renowned concert pianist, motivational speaker, performer and entrepreneur who shared his life story and how that shaped his presentation about “13 messages.” The purpose of his messages are to help create real life solutions to help others find their voice to advocate for change. During a break, he entertained the audience with a short piano recital.

The council members also shared about their trip to Washington, DC. Paul Jarvis, Ohio DD Council Public Policy Liaison, shared that the Council members met with both senators and all representatives.

“There was DD council member and SILC members in each meeting. It was very valuable for them to see people with disabilities in the hallways there and ready to advocate,” said Jarvis.

Picture of panel of speakers at the Council meetingOther presentations throughout the first day included:

  • Viewing and discussion of a training video about the Americans with Disabilities Act and how it relates to interacting with state employees with disabilities. All State of Ohio employees are required to watch this training. Shannon Komiserak, Assistant Deputy Director, OOD was the presenter.
  • An ethics training required by all Council members and staff that was an entertaining and interactive presentation, thanks to the presenter, Susan Willeke, Education and Communications Administrator from the Ohio Ethics Commission.
  • Information about the National Association of Council on Developmental Disabilities (NACDD) presented by Erin Prangley, Policy Director, including what’s going on with NACDD from a federal perspective. 
  • An interactive discussion to help provide input for the development of a blueprint for adult and employment services for DODD. Jacqueline Romer-Sensky and Stacy Collins from DODD were the presenters.
  • Information about the Ohio Provider Resource Association (OPRA) from Pete Moore and how OPRA and Council may be able to work together.

The director of DODD, Jeff Davis, opened up the retreat on the second day, giving a review of his first year “on the job” at the Department. Director Davis also asked to hear from the Council members on personal successes they had throughout 2019 which led to a lively discussion among the audience.

A hot topic of conversation and discussion also centered around independence and the high demand of remote supports for people with disabilities.

“The demand is high because people enjoy their freedom and independence, but providers cannot ramp up fast enough,” said Director Davis. He said his focus is on the professionals in the field so they are empowered to get the resources to the people and their families.

“It’s all about people and relationships,” he said. “And it can only get better.”Picture of outgoing Council members with DODD Director Jeff Davis

Other presentations throughout the day included:

  • Update on the progress of DODD’s single plan process by Kelly Mosely-Miller, Deputy Director, DODD.
  • Information and discussion about multi-systems youth and early intervention programs through DODD by Tina Evans and Nathan Dedino of DODD.
  • Report of findings and recommendations from representatives of the Task Force for Advocacy, a grant that is funded by the Ohio DD Council to the Ohio Statewide Independent Living Centers (OSILC).

The retreat ended with a brief business meeting, including the recognition of several Council members whose terms end this year.

We need your input!

Logo with the words 5 Year State Plan SurveyThe Ohio DD Council has received over 500 surveys, but only 14% of the surveys are from people with developmental disabilities. The survey results will help us as we plan for our next Five-Year State Plan.  

Now is your chance to share what matters to you! 

Although we have received a lot of input from family members, guardians, and professionals, we really need to hear directly from people with developmental disabilities. Hearing from you will help the Council learn about issues that matter to you and develop grants and projects that benefit the developmental disability community across the state.

Click here to take the survey

Happy Holidays from the Ohio DD Council!

Holiday picture wishing Happy Holidays from the Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council