January 2017
        In this issue 
Welcome our new board member

Stephen J. Jones was recently appointed to the Board of Hamilton County Developmental Disabilities Services by the Hamilton County Commissioners. 

Jones is a senior vice president and commercial banker with KeyBank. He holds a bachelor's degree in business administration from Miami University and a master's degree in business administration from the University of Cincinnati.  

He is a lifelong resident of Cincinnati and lives in Anderson Township with his wife and twin sons, one of who has Down syndrome.

"Steve brings a wealth of business and finance knowledge that will be a welcome addition to our board," said HCDDS Superintendent Alice Pavey. "We're very happy that he's willing to share his experience and help advance our mission."  
Determination, dedication lead to third-degree black belt
Laura shows off the pieces of the wooden block she broke into half using her hand.
From a young age, Laura Williams just knew she could do it.

"I had a vision in my mind," she said. "I knew I had an awesome martial arts power inside me."

Williams, 34, practiced karate for six years before moving to Anderson Township in 2006. It was then she switched her focus to taekwondo to attend classes with her brothers.

After practicing taekwondo for a decade, Williams, who has Down syndrome, has earned a third-degree black belt. She's placed well in multiple competitions and is currently working toward the next level belt.

Steph Tacy said her daughter attends classes twice a week at ATA Black Belt Academy and practices at home five days a week. "Laura is working on getting precise form for her routine, which is 83 moves," she said. "To get to the next level there is a lot of testing, and it can take a year or more." 

Though it can be difficult, Williams said excelling at taekwondo is all about determination and working to get better. "When something is hard, you have to push through and be determined," she said. "I like to say I have the spirit of Chuck Norris in me because he fights for good and with honor."

 In addition to taekwondo, Williams enjoys bowling with the Special Olympics and works at the Mt. Washington Kroger, where she's loved by her co-workers and customers. 

HCDDS 2017 Annual PlanAnnualPlan2017
Proposed Rule for Independent Providers

Hamilton County DD Services' 2017 Annual Plan was recently approved by the Board. 

Each of the 10 goals follows two fundamental beliefs: move toward integration in everything we do and build the capacity of community organizations to meet the needs of people with disabilities. 

You can download a copy of the final Annual Plan  on our website.

The Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities is proposing a 40-hour work week limit for independent providers. 

This proposed rule states it is 40 hours in total per week per Independent Provider, not 40 hours per individual the provider serves. Find more information from The Arc of Ohio and read the public hearing notice by clicking here. 

Comments will be accepted until Feb. 9.

We are happy to announce we were awarded the Future is Now: Supporting Aging Caregivers Ohio DD Council Grant. The grant is $50,000 per year over the next five years. 

This grant will help streamline and integratea ging and DD services, piloting small family-directed budgets to maximize safety and quality of life, and adapt and lead Future is Now planning sessions. 

ReelAbilitiesSave the date for the 2017 Cincinnati ReelAbilites Festival, set for March 9-12 at the Duke Energy Center. This year's festival includes more than 40 film screenings, many of which have never been shown before in this region. It also includes a local film night with powerful, transformational messages.

ReelAbilities benefits 28 local nonprofit organizations, whose work is about enriching and strengthening the lives of people who experience disability.

Learn more, find an event schedule and watch previews on the festival website

The Mayerson JCC is hosting "Kaleidoscope: An Inclusive Community Art Exhibit" from 7-9 p.m.Wednesday, March 8. T his art fair features works created by adults and children with disabilities to showcase their creativity and accomplishments. 

Entries are being accepted until Wednesday. Feb 22. Click here for more details and an art entry form.

Learning through art

Madcap Puppets filled Rost School with fairytales when they stopped by to perform. The show featured stories of Humpty Dumpty, the Old Woman who Lives in a Shoe and many more. 

It was a fun and interactive show for students and staff! Check out more photos on our Facebook page.
  • Supporting Families Regional Kick-Off.10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 2, at the Sharonville Public Library, 10980 Thornview Drive. Join this training to learn the framework and tools from Charting the Life Course, which helps individuals of all abilities and their families identify and create supports needed to help achieve the life they want to live.  Registration for this free event available online. Questions? Contact Celia Schloemer at 513-636-4723 via email.
  • Pathways to Employment Open House.11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, Feb. 3, at Scarlet Oaks campus, 3254 E. Kemper Road. Learn about community job experiences and other skill-training programs. Click here for more information.
  • Book Club. 6:30-7:30 p.m. Mondays, Feb. 6 to March 13, at Down Syndrome Association of Greater Cincinnati, 4623 Wesley Ave. Book Club is a six-week series of interactive meetings led by a licensed speech and language pathologist. Click here for more information.
  • Structural Dreams Opening Night. 5-8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 9, at Visionaries and Voices, 3841 Spring Grove Ave. This exhibit features art that begins with structure and geometry then allows creative free associations to flourish. Exhibit runs through March 16. More information online.
  • Autism Conversation: Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. 6-8 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 9, at The Children's Home, Emery Building, 5050 Madison Road. HCDDS Benefits Manager Antonio Akins will share information and resources. RSVP to Carole Willenborg via email.
  • The Wizard of Oz, sensory-friendly performance. 12:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 13, at The Taft Theatre, 317 E. Fifth St. This is part of a series from The Children's Theatre of Cincinnati. Click here for details.
  • When Behavior is a Challenge. 5:30-7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 15 and Feb. 22, at Cincinnati Children's Medical Office Building, 3430 Burnet Ave. This two-night series is for family members who want strategies for working with their child with ASD/DD, including a focus on positive ways of dealing with behaviors. Click here for more information and registration details.
  • Ohio SIBS gathering. 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 18, at Warren County DD, 107 Oregonia Road in Lebanon. Join peers to discuss successes and struggles facing siblings today. Light food and beverages provided. RSVP via email or call 614-565-6469.
  • President's Day.Monday, Feb. 20. All buildings and offices closed. 
  • Ohio Shared Living regional workgroup. 1:15 - 3 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 21, at HCDDS Queensgate office, 801 W. 8th St. This group will talk about opportunities and challenges to expanding shared living in Ohio. More details and registration available online. 
  • Charting the Life Course. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 23, at the Xenos Center, 1390 Community Park Drive in Columbus. Families can learn about this framework that was developed to help individuals and families of all abilities and at any age or stage of life develop a vision for a good life. The workshop also will be streamed on the Ohio DODD Facebook page. Click here for details and registration information.
  • Guiding People through Systems. 10 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 28. This webinar will demonstrate how to use the GPS care notebook, which allows families to organize medical and school records in one online location. Registration available online.
  • Empowering Families Symposium. 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, March 3, at the Cintas Center. This event helps families access community resources, meet special education advocates and network with others who are facing similar challenges. Registration details online.
  • Heart Mini Marathon. Sunday, March 12. Hamilton County DD Services has a team for this year's event. To join our team or donate, visit this website
  • Transition Bootcamp Booster Session: Pathways to Community Employment. 6-8 p.m. Monday, March 13, at Cincinnati Children's Medical Office Building, 3430 Burnet Ave. Register online. Download a flier for other 2017 sessions.
  • Advocates in Action. 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday, March 14, at Ronald McDonald House, 350 Erkenbrecher Ave. This program is for adults with Down syndrome ages 18 and older to participate in various service projects. Click here for more details.
  • HCDDS Board Meeting. 5 p.m. Tuesday, March 14, at the Support Center, 1520 Madison Road.