DD Council Connection - July 2017

Welcome to our newsletter!

Welcome to the first edition of Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council’s new e-newsletter! We at the Ohio DD Council wanted to find another way to reach out to our community about all of the latest news related to developmental disabilities across Ohio.

The DD Council Connection newsletter will be published monthly, and you will find stories from the community; about our active Council members; grantees who are doing great work towards inclusion and integration and public policy updates.

We are also excited to introduce to you our amazing Council members, grantees, staff and entire statewide community of self-advocates and others who work tirelessly on behalf of people with disabilities and their families throughout the State of Ohio.

We hope you enjoy this e-newsletter, and share your thoughts, story ideas and calendar submissions with us at DDCInfo@dodd.ohio.gov.

Council Member Spotlight

Meet Marci Straughter. This young self-advocate from Franklin County is a go-getter and driven individual who leads the Council’s Assistive Technology & Communication Committee. When she is not attending Council meetings or advocating on behalf of the disability community, she works at Arc Industries East. Meet Marci here:

If you are interested in applying for appointment to ODDC, visit ddc.ohio.gov/Council-Members/New-Member-Application

University of Toledo kicks off initiative for young students with disabilities

University of Toledo logoUnder its Children & Health Projects, ODDC awarded the University of Toledo a grant to pursue the Better Child Care for the Student with Developmental Disabilities initiative.

The goal of this initiative will support young students with developmental disabilities to receive quality child care through 10 demonstrated best practices and procedures.

This project is based on a 2015 joint policy statement from the Departments of Education and Health and Human Services that highlights on the inclusion of children with disabilities in Early Childhood Programs.

In Ohio, children with disabilities and their families continue to face significant barriers to gaining access to inclusive high-quality early childhood programs. Many preschool children with disabilities are only offered special education services in settings separate from their peers without disabilities.

The policy states that all young children with disabilities should have access to inclusive high-quality early childhood programs, where they are provided with individualized and appropriate support in meeting high expectations.

With its grantee, the University of Toledo, the ODDC will work in partnership with others in the field of early child care in Ohio to demonstrate new and improved best practices and procedures to increase both the quality of care and the inclusion of students with developmental disabilities in child care settings.

One of the primary purposes of the Ohio DD Council is to offer grant opportunities. Driven by the Council’s Five Year Plan, the grants seek innovative advocacy, capacity building and systems change activities. These activities are designed to contribute to a coordinated system of services, supports and other assistance that is centered around and driven by individuals with developmental disabilities and their families.

Evaluating the Outreach of the Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council

The Ohio DD Council is dedicated to serving individuals with developmental disabilities. There is no more important role than reaching out to unserved and underserved individuals across the State. As the Council provides grants to make the State more inclusive and integrated, we want to make sure our efforts are having the most impact.

The Council contracted Outcomes Management Group to evaluate its outreach efforts for the previous 14 years. The group was tasked to:

  • Determine overall outcomes;
  • Define operational best practices;
  • Benchmark our efforts to other state councils; and
  • Determine how best to move forward.

After a thorough analysis, the Council produced this latest publication that documents the impact of our grants and projects across the State of Ohio. Read The Impact of Our Work here: http://ddc.ohio.gov/Portals/0/outreach-outcomes-6-17.pdf