Each year in December, DODD and other state agencies report to the Governor’s Office a list of major accomplishments for the calendar year. Below we share a short list of the top five for 2014:
- $5 million to help kids in crisis: DODD and the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services awarded more than $1.4 million in Strong Families, Safe Communities funding to seven community collaborative projects to provide care coordination and crisis intervention services for youth at-risk due to a mental illness and/or developmental disability. The grants are part of a two-year, $5 million statewide initiative launched last summer. Currently, 46 counties are served by the Strong Families, Safe Communities initiative, and the projects are making a difference for families and communities. Best practices will be shared across the state so other communities can look to implement similar programs in their area.
- More opportunities for community-based employment: With the support of the Employment First initiative, 905 individuals with developmental disabilities are receiving integrated employment services – this is an increase of 13 percent. An additional 1,200 are working with Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities counselors to prepare for and secure community-based employment. More than 1,200 staff have completed training around supported employment, and 15 pilot sites are working toward collaborative, multi-agency transition planning.
- Improving the lives of individuals with autism: Ohio continues to be on the forefront of providing support to individuals with autism, and is developing a new online training and certification program to better equip community members and professionals to work with individuals with autism, and increase the number of qualified providers. Also, the Autism Diagnosis and Education Program (ADEP) continues to aid in early diagnosis – in Ohio, the average age of diagnosis is 30 months, compared to the national average of four years – and the P.L.A.Y. project is teaching families effective strategies for working with their young children during daily interactions. DODD led the Interagency Work Group on Autism to increase collaboration and improve the experience for Ohioans when working with partner agencies across the system.
- Increased transparency helps families make informed decisions: To enable individuals, families, and guardians to have the opportunity to make informed decisions about where loved ones live and work, DODD posted providers’ survey and compliance reports online at the Department’s website. Information for 2013-forward is available for the public to review. This simple step gives families peace of mind, and helps families make informed decisions when selecting a provider.
- More individuals are living in the community: DODD began a major effort to modernize the state’s system of residential resources, including Intermediate Care Facilities for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities (ICF/IIDs) and state-operated Developmental Centers. DODD negotiated an historic agreement with stakeholders to significantly increase individuals’ opportunities to live in community-based settings, including a commitment by the field to convert 600 or more ICF/IID beds to waiver-funded supports, and to downsize 600 or more beds at larger ICF/IIDs to settings no larger than eight-bed homes. Forty-eight (48) individuals moved from ICFs into a community-based setting in 2014, and 38 individuals were discharged from Developmental Centers and moved into a community-based setting.
imagineIS moves forward in 2015
The DODD imagine Information System (imagineIS) is an online tool built to support person-centered planning and administration processes while improving ways to engage the service participant, their family, and their entire planning team. A new logo has been developed to highlight an important distinction between the interactive IT platform that supports person-centered work (imagineIS), and the work done previously to change system processes to be more person-centered (imagine). Learn more about the system processes in the imagine report, online.
SPLG Final Report Online
The Strategic Planning Leadership Group (SPLG) Final Report was released and noted in the Year in Review, December 23 issue of Pipeline. This group engaged Ohio’s developmental disabilities community in processes to help set strategic direction, and improve the state’s service system over the next ten years. SPLG members developed benchmarks toward this goal, resulting in the 24 ten-year benchmarks contained in the report. The recommendations will help to inform and guide the future of Ohio’s DD service system. DODD greatly appreciates the commitment shown by all involved in this important work. More information is online in the Our Future section of the Department’s website.