Video Project Highlights Strong Families, Safe Communities Program Efforts

In 2013, DODD and Ohio Mental Health and Addiction Services (OhioMHAS) sought collaborative community proposals to establish treatment models that focus on crisis stabilization for youth with intensive needs. Many youth at-risk are not engaged in treatment programs, and may not be known to the com­munity until a crisis unfolds. Care coordination and crisis intervention services can quickly stabilize a child’s health, reduce risk of harm, and help a family remain together. A total of $3 million out of a $5 million state grant went to seven community partnerships to implement Strong Families, Safe Communities projects, to coordinate services for youth at risk of harming themselves or others due to a mental illness or developmental disability. In July 2014, DODD and OhioMHAS announced a second round of funding, increasing the number of counties served by the initiative to 46. To learn from program participants involved in the projects, view this brief, informative video.

New OADSP Website Features Jobs and Training

The Ohio Alliance of Direct Support Professionals (OADSP) has launched a comprehensive new website focusing on career opportunities in staffing agencies that serve people with disabilities. The new OADSP website at offers online courses, as well as information about on-site training across the state. OADSP is a state chapter of the National Alliance of Direct Support Professionals (NADSP) and is nationally recognized for the development of the DSPaths Credentialing Program, the first state program accredited by NADSP. OADSP is a 501c(3) nonprofit with funding from DODD and the Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council.

Kent State to Celebrate Autism Awareness with Special Events in April

Kent State University will be hosting ‘Living with Autism’ during Autism Awareness Month. The event will be held April 9 at 7:00 p.m. Sean Barron, author and speaker, will kick off the evening with a presentation about his own journey with autism. The campus community also will host a Rock-A-Thon fundraiser, earning donations from sponsors that will go toward scholarships for Kent State students studying autism spectrum disorder (ASD). More information is at: Rock-a-Thon Fundraiser. 

Level of Care (LOC) Training, April and May

DODD’s system for determining whether or not a person is eligible for services currently consists of two different Level of Care (LOC) tools, two process rules, and offers no requirements for evaluators. In 2012, a work group was formed to create a single LOC tool for County Boards and Intermediate Care Facilities, to ensure a more consistent and efficient process. The group created a tool using criteria based on the Developmental Disabilities and Bill of Rights Act of 2000. Effective July 1, 2015, all evaluators will be required to use the new LOC tool. Before that date, evaluators will be required to complete online courses to effectively operate the tool. In preparation, DODD is hosting webinars that provide an overview of the upcoming rule. Online registration is open now, and several dates and times are available. Online training for the new LOC system will be available in May. Watch your email, the SSA Update, and Pipeline for more information. For questions about the upcoming change, e-mail

In the News

Items in the news concerning Ohio’s developmental disabilities community include:

State Considers Delaying Independent Health-worker Proposal, (Findlay Courier © 03/27/2015)

‘Massive changes’ needed in Ohio’s care of disabled, report says, (The Columbus Dispatch – © 3/27/2015)

State officials tell people with disabilities that they can still choose caregivers, (Columbus Dispatch © 03/26/2015)

Disability support services at a turning point, (Bellefontaine Examiner © 03/20/2015)

OPRA Conference, April 7-8

The Ohio Provider Resource Association (OPRA) spring conference is April 7-8 at the Embassy Suites Hotel, in Dublin. The conference offers an opportunity for hundreds of attendees and dozens of exhibiting companies to network and learn from each other. Informational sessions provide high-level learning opportunities that enable professional growth, and prepare attendees to share new information and ideas with others in their local  communitiesRead more about conference sessions and speakers, and see the registration information at

SIBS Looking Forward Transition Retreat, April 10-12

The Ohio SIBS Looking Forward transition retreat is April 10-12 at YMCA Camp Wilson in Bellefontaine.  The camp is a great opportunity for students with disabilities, ages 17 – 22, and their siblings, ages 15 – 25.  If you or someone you know is interested in attending this retreat, contact Dr. Tom Fish at McCampbell Hall, 1581 Dodd Drive, Columbus, Ohio 43210, Look for registration information soon on the Ohio SIBS website.

Family Advisory Council, April 14

The DODD Family Advisory Council (FAC) digs in to a full agenda on April 14 at Columbus Developmental Center, 1601 W. Broad Street, from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m., including updates by DODD Director Martin on the proposed budget, and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Transition Plan. FAC meetings are open to anyone with an interest in Ohio’s developmental disabilities community. Contact for FAC meetings is Michele Kanode. To RSVP, contact her at, or call her at 614-644-0265.

Accessible Vehicle Fair, April 15

The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) annual Accessible Vehicle Fair is April 15 at the Ohio Expo Center/Lausche Building. The event is intended for administrative and vehicle maintenance staff from any organization that provides transportation services, such as transit providers, taxi companies, senior centers, and County Boards of DD. Attendees will see the latest wheelchair-accessible vehicles, including models offered on ODOT’s term contracts. Vendors will answer questions, and educational sessions will include topics such as mobility management, technological innovations, and funding. For more information, see the event flyer.

Franklin County Self Advocate Group Sponsors Legislative Meeting, April 17

The Franklin County Board of DD Self-Advocate Advisory Council is finalizing plans for their second annual Legislative Advocacy Day on April 17, beginning at 10:30 a.m. at the Bixby Living Skills Center, 4200 Bixby Road, in Groveport.  Several legislators will attend to listen to and seek feedback from self-advocates on various legislative issues and initiatives — including the recently-introduced biennium budget proposals. For more information about the Self-Advocate Advisory Council, visit the FCBDD website.

Assistive Technology Vendor Fair, April 23

The annual Assistive Technology Fair will be held on April 23 at the Ohio Center for Autism and Low Incidence (OCALI) office, 470 Glenmont Ave. in Columbus, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.  There is no registration fee, and there will be door prizes and hands-on demonstrations of assistive technology devices. For details, or to register,

People First of Ohio Annual Meeting, April 25

The People First of Ohio Annual Meeting will be Saturday, April 25, at Roberts Convention Centre in Wilmington. The agenda will include lots of information about upcoming changes to the developmental disabilities service system, as well as election of new People First of Ohio Board members. Register now, and learn more.   

Direct Support Professional Summit, April 28

The second annual Direct Support Professional (DSP) Summit will be April 28 at the Xenos complex, 1340 Community Park Dr., in Columbus. The DSP Summit is packed with unique, fun, and informative presentations that will leave DSPs full of ideas, knowledge, and inspiration. It is the only event of its kind in Ohio, and among the premier conferences for DSPs in the nation! Last year’s event sold out, so register today! The Ohio Alliance of Direct Support Professionals (OADSP) receives a small grant from the Ohio DD Council to help defray the cost of the event, and helps keep the registration at $35 per DSP.  Attendees receive five Continuing Education Units (CEUs), lunch, and a one-year membership to OADSP and the national association, NADSP. The Summit is collaboratively planned by the Ohio DSP Council, funded by Ohio DD Council, and is comprised of leading DSPs from around the state. For more information contact Bethany Toledo at 

PAR Training – School-to-Work Transition and More, April 29 & 30

Professionals, Advocates, Resources (PAR) Training on School-to-Work Transition and Social Security Benefit Programs in 2015, including young adult benefits, will be hosted on April 29, at the Delaware County Board of DD, and on April 30, at the Educational Service Center (ESC) in Independence.  For details and registration information, visit the PAR website.

Call for Presentations: Annual IDD/MI Conference, September

The National Association for the Dually Diagnosed (NADD) is seeking three-hour and 90-minute workshop proposals for the 13th Annual State of Ohio IDD/MI Conference (Individuals with Developmental Disabilities/ Mental Illness), September 21-22 at the Crown Plaza/Columbus North Hotel. Proposals are encouraged to illustrate this year’s theme: Mental Health Aspects – Treatment and Support, and must be received by NADD no later than April 24. Submissions received after that date will not be considered. Notification of acceptance will be emailed by April 30. Submit your proposal online.

Franklin County Provider Fair, May 13

It gets bigger every year! Save the date for the next Franklin County Board of DD Provider Fair, May 13. This event will be held at the Lausche Building on the Ohio State Fairgrounds from 1:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Plans are being made for even more space for displays and conversations, and more parking for providers and attendees. Details will be provided on the FCBDD website as plans are finalized.

Tech II – Assistive Technology Fair, May 13-14

Tech II – Technology Toward Employment, builds on last year’s successful technology conference that focused only on tablets. This year, on May 13 and 14, from 9:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Columbus, Tech II will present many types of assistive technology that help people with disabilities get or keep a job—and will emphasize evaluation, funding, and training. Tech II will include hands-on exhibits, break-out sessions, and opportunities to talk one-on-one with assistive technology experts. It is sponsored by DODD, Ohio DD Council, Ohio Statewide Independent Living Council, Ohio Association of County Boards of DD, Disability Rights Ohio, CareSource, and the Ohio Olmstead Task Force. Registration is $150, and financial assistance and scholarships are available on a limited first-come/first-served basis. Registration information is online now.

Save the Dates! OACB Spring Conference, May 14-15

The Ohio Association of County Boards of DD spring conference will be May 14-15 at the Columbus Hilton at Easton. Join DD service professionals from across the state for two days of professional development and discussions of the latest trends and best practices in the industry. Visit the OACBDD website for more information and registration.

Mark Your Calendar!  The Arc of Ohio, Day at Cedar Point, May 20  

Registration is now open! Request your tickets today for this is an annual event for Ohioans with disabilities, their families, friends, providers and support staff. The day is open to everyone, and The Arc encourages you to join them and the approximately 10,000 people who have attended each year, for decades.  Cedar Point has generously donated a limited number of admission tickets and free picnic lunches again this year, and those tickets will be distributed as fairly as possible.  All others can participate for $32.00, which is almost half the regular admission price, and purchase picnic lunches at $9.95 each.

DODD Hotline for Reporting Abuse, Neglect, or Other Major Unusual Incidents (MUIs)

To report abuse/neglect and other MUIs, call toll-free: 866-313-6733.  Please note that MUIs are to be reported to the local County Board of DD, however, there may be times an individual, staff member, or family member may feel it is a conflict — or that, potentially, a County Board may be involved in the allegation.  In those instances it is important to remember the hotline number is there to be used for reporting concerns.