DD Council Connection - June 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:


Picture of Marc Tasse presenting an award to Dr. Paula RabidouxMarc Tasse, Director of Nisonger Center presents Paula Rabidoux with her award.

Council In The Community: Dr. Paula Rabidoux

Council member Paula Rabidoux, Ph.D, CCC-SLP was recently awarded The Nisonger Champion Award, an honor given by The Ohio State University’s Nisonger Center to an individual who has made significant contributions to improving the quality of life of people with developmental disabilities and their families. The recipient demonstrates a strong commitment to the advancement of science and/or care and displays a sincere interest in the well-being of people with developmental disabilities.

“Paula has always been thoughtful, committed, and steady when pursuing an initiative, making a decision, and being a team player as well as an individual thinker,” said Kenneth Latham, policy analyst for Ohio DD Council’s Outreach Committee.

Rabidoux has served on the Ohio DD Council since January 2003 as the representative of one of Ohio’s University Centers of Excellence in Developmental Disabilities. She is a member of several of Council’s issues committees, including being the Chair of the Outreach committee. At the Nisonger Center, she is a practicing speech language pathologist and the associate director and co-director of the Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND) program.

Congratulations, Paula!


In The News: Ohio DD Council Wants Inclusion and Integration for All

Ohio DD Council Executive Director Carolyn Knight recently visited Spectrum News to discuss what the Council does and how it continues support and increase inclusion and integration for people with developmental disabilities in Ohio. She also spoke about the Five Year Plan, the driving force for the Council’s work across Ohio. Through the plan, the Council provides grants to various organizations for work on its goals.

Watch her interview on Spectrum News


Pictured are Katherine Foley, Karen Kerr, Fatica Ayers, and Jim Pietrzycki as Fatica hold the award given to DD Council from the Center for Independent LivingPictured L to R: Katherine Foley, SIL Executive Director; Karen Kerr, Council Member; Fatica Ayers, Council Staff; and Jim Pietrzycki, SIL Board Chair

SIL Presents Award to Ohio DD Council

In May, the Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council was awarded the Inclusion Award from the Services for Independent Living (SIL). This award is given to an individual, group or agency that actively promotes community inclusion for persons with disabilities.

According to SIL’s Executive Director Katherine Foley, “This is the third such award our agency has given out in the past six years and one that is not given lightly! The Ohio DD Council is often thought of as a funding source, however they are so much more. The Council and its members are the agents of change, encouraging innovation and creativity to address barriers faced by persons with disabilities and their families. They are active participants at systems-change tables. They are cheerleaders, bringing like-minded people together to brainstorm possibilities. They are active partners with their grantees. And they are an agency with a huge heart and absolutely deserving of this award.”

The Ohio DD Council thanks the SIL for this prestigious award.


National Disability Voter Registration Week

Logo for the REV UP voting campaignIn order to bring more attention to the power of the disability vote, the week of July 15 - 19 is declared as National Disability Voter Registration Week (NDVRW) as a part of the REV UP Campaign. This week is a focused effort to get people with disabilities registered to vote, educated about elections, and prepared to cast a ballot in November or whenever there is a local election.

While there is no federal election this year, there are many special elections and local elections being held for offices locally and statewide that are as important as the federal elections. REV UP’s campaign is designed to keep voters engaged and informed in the voting process.

NDVRW is held annually during the third week of July, just before the anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The REV UP Campaign, launched by the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) in 2016, is a nonpartisan initiative that coordinates with national, state, and local disability organizations to increase the political power of the disability community while also engaging candidates and the media on disability issues. The Campaign focuses on voter registration, education, access, and engagement.

For more information on REV UP Campaign, download this PDF.


Pictured are Kay Treanor and Carolyn KnightExecutive Director Carolyn Knight presents
Kay Treanor with her retirement plaque and pen.

Ohio DD Council Says Farewell to Kay Treanor

Ohio DD Council staff member Kay Treanor will officially retire as of July 1, 2019 after 39 years of state service. She spent the last 18 years with DD Council as a policy analyst for the Children and Health Committee. Prior to working for Council, she was a drug and alcohol counselor providing therapy to inmates in Ohio’s corrections system.

“Kay has always had a special connection with families who have children with developmental disabilities, particularly those in need of or receiving early intervention services,” said Executive Director Carolyn Knight. “Over the years, her expertise in this area and her connections with families and professionals have been a valuable resource for Council and its work. She will truly be missed by Council and countless others.”

Kay is the mother of three children and has two grandchildren. Her 35-year-old son is on the autism spectrum and receives services from his county board of developmental disabilities to support him to live in his own apartment and participate in his community. Kay said that part of her decision to retire is to have more time to focus on assisting her son to ensure his supports are in place and to be more readily available for his medical and daily living needs.

Congratulations on your retirement, Kay! We thank you for your time at the Ohio DD Council and wish you the best in your next chapter of life.