Administration News, MBR Clarifications

In the Mid-Biennium Review bill (HB483) signed by Governor John Kasich on June 16, language was included that requires County Boards of Developmental Disabilities to consider sharing the services of Superintendents or other management employees, when vacancies occur. The intent is to encourage the shared services model.

Counties that have shared Superintendents during the past few years have reported good operational results, and have identified functional areas in which programs can become more streamlined and consistent from county to neighboring county, such as Early Intervention services and staff training. In effect, HB 483 opens the door to opportunities for County Boards to develop strengths in staffing, in program space availability, and day-to-day operations.  Read more in HB 483.

For additional information on shared services, see the Ohio Association of County Boards of DD, report on supporting people by sharing services.

Strategic Planning Leadership Group Focuses on Supporting Families

The June 25 meeting of the DODD Strategic Planning Leadership Group (SPLG) provided opportunities for several individual and family-focused agencies to dive more deeply into issues that had been identified as important for Ohio’s developmental disabilities services system to improve. SPLG participants, including representatives from several stakeholder groups and individuals served, shared such observations as, “We need to look at how families are supported to make informed decisions,” and, “Sometimes we see that people have to move to another county to get the services they need. Geographical and funding factors make this a challenge.”

Positive observations included this one from supporters of Project STIR — a program of the Ohio Self Determination Association. Self Advocate Diana Mairose and OSDA Director Dana Charlton noted, “When people join Project STIR, they learn that they have permission to share what they have inside of them.”

Diana Mairose

“When Families have good information and enough information, they have confidence in what they are doing – In what decisions they are making.”

-Self Advocate Diana Mairose

The SPLG meets regularly to explore new ideas that can help set statewide strategic direction and improve the overall service system.The group is comprised of approximately 20 people representing more than ten organizations, and includes people participating in services, family members, people providing services, and agency staff. The ongoing series of informational gatherings on subjects of statewide and national interest continues to engage DODD stakeholders in new conversations for the long-term benefit of Ohio’s developmental disabilities community.

Letter from DRO

On Tuesday, July 1, Disability Rights Ohio sent a letter outlining their concerns with the status of Ohio’s developmental disabilities system. Read the complete letter here. As noted in Pipeline EXTRA, July 3, 2014, the Strategic Planning Leadership Group is developing recommendations about the future of Ohio’s system. The work group anticipates making final recommendations by December, and will take the information in the DRO letter into consideration when developing these recommendations.

We welcome the opportunity to work collaboratively with our partners, including Disability Rights Ohio, in pursuit of our common goal – helping Ohio’s citizens with developmental disabilities live and work as integrated members of the community.

Project STIR stands for Steps Toward Independence and Responsibility, and is a program of the Ohio Self-Determination Association.