During Third Quarter, Key Topics Included:
Letter from Disability Rights Ohio, Budget, Strong Families Safe Communities, Strategic Planning Leadership Group, Legislation
- On July 1, Disability Rights Ohio (DRO) sent this letter to DODD Director John Martin, Governor John Kasich, and other state agencies outlining their concerns with the status of Ohio’s developmental disabilities system. 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; DODD Responded on July 31 — In his response, Director Martin noted that, while we disagree with DRO’s findings, both organizations share a similar vision for supporting individuals with disabilities. DODD, the Governor’s Office of Health Transformation, and the Ohio Department of Medicaid plan to meet with DRO to discuss their concerns, and share more information about work underway.
- SPLG Discusses Workforce Development — Continuing to explore ways to improve services for Ohio citizens with DD and determine benchmarks to guide the future, the DODD Strategic Planning Leadership Group (SPLG) met during Third Quarter to discuss workforce development for Direct Support Professionals (DSPs). Provider organizations representing DSPs offered input regarding the affect improvements to this profession can have on people with developmental disabilities and their families. In addition, the July SPLG meeting provided opportunities for participants — including people served in Ohio’s DD system and representatives from other stakeholder groups — to share observations on changing systems, as well as focus on opportunities to collaborate with other state agencies.
- Focus on Early Intervention – Best Practices — Last year, DODD and the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) announced a plan to move some areas of technical assistance and training to DODD, and improve coordination efforts for Early Intervention (EI) Services, Part C. A federal program administered by states, EI Part C serves families with infants and toddlers through age two with developmental delays, or who have diagnosed physical or mental conditions likely to result in developmental delays. To support these efforts, DODD hired an Assistant Deputy Director in the Division of Policy and Strategic Direction who manages the Department’s responsibilities for Part C, offered under the ODH Help Me Grow program, ensuring that Ohio children and families in all counties can access the full range of services throughout the system.
- Strong Families, Safe Communities (SFSC) — DODD and the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (OhioMHAS) announced more than $1.4 million in funding for the SFSC initiative to provide care coordination and crisis intervention services for youth at-risk due to a developmental disability and/or mental illness. This new funding supports seven new projects, and brings the total number of counties served by the initiative to 46. DODD Director John Martin and OhioMHAS Director Tracy Plouck are visiting each of the community partnerships to announce the grants and share project details, and a group was convened in late September to brainstorm best practices regarding the grant-funded projects.
- Budget Information; Annual Report — The Office of Budget and Management (OBM) issued guidance to state agency directors for use in planning for fiscal years 2015-2016. Agencies in Governor John Kasich’s cabinet are required to submit budget and language requests for this time period to OBM by October 31. Following the initial submission, OBM will review and analyze the requests, and may ask for more information to help develop recommendations, or propose modifications. Also, wrapping up Fiscal Year 2014 at the end of July, the DODD Annual Report published and was posted in the DODD online News Room.
- Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Celebrated — The 24th Anniversary of the ADA was celebrated July 26. Good progress has been made since its enactment in 1990, and yet some challenges remain. In addition, new legislation – the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act moved forward in July. The bill redirects funding for sheltered workshops and has been signed by President Barack Obama. Included in the bill are major changes to the path from school to work.
- 9408 Now Enrolled in Medicaid Buy-In – An update on the Medicaid Buy-In for Workers with Disabilities (MBIWD) program was provided at the DODD Family Advisory Council meeting in July. This Medicaid-funded program allows individuals with disabilities who are employed to qualify for Medicaid benefits with higher income and resource limits, and buy into Medicaid by paying a premium based on income. As of May 2014, there were 9408 Ohioans with disabilities enrolled, showing a significant monthly increase during the past year;
- Administration News, MBR Clarifications — In the Mid-Biennium Review bill (HB483) signed by Governor John Kasich in June, 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 and consider other collaborative opportunities and efficiencies.
- Trauma-Informed Care — At a June training, the effects of emotional and physical trauma on brain development and resulting behavior opened new doors to greater understanding. Trauma-Informed Care: A Universal Precaution for Service and Support Administrators and Individuals with Developmental Disabilities training focused on serving the emotional needs of people who have developmental disabilities, and/or co-occurring mental illness.
All issues from Third Quarter are in the new Pipeline format at the DODD website, Pipeline page.