May 2017
        In this issue TableOfContents
 
    School's Out
From the Superintendent
To proactively position ourselves to continue to provide the highest quality services and supports while responding to ongoing changes within Ohio's DD system, HCDDS is engaging in a number of activities designed to make sure we're listening to families as we plan for the future, including hosting community conversations. 

We had planned to hold a study group beginning in May, but upon reaching out to stakeholders we found that the early start date was not a good fit for most people. We've continued to explore ways to engage as many people as possible in conversations about how we support students with developmental disabilities, including those who attend DDS-operated schools, and we want to ensure that all voices are heard and able to participate in a truly collaborative process.

We aren't yet sure what the future of DDS-operated schools looks like, but we know we need thorough conversations with all stakeholders about that future. In June, we are holding two sessions to provide a starting point in this ongoing discussion.

A conversation for parents of students who attend DDS-operated schools is scheduled for June 7. Parents should have already received letters inviting them to the conversation. We will also host conversations for parents of children with developmental disabilities who do not attend DDS-operated schools from 10 a.m. to noon Thursday, June 22.  Click here for more information and how to RSVP for this important conversation.

I want to reiterate that no decisions have been made. We are committed to conducting an open and transparent conversation about the schools and believe a group of diverse participants will be able to generate ideas and options that address the needs of all stakeholders. We hope to schedule additional sessions with other stakeholder groups in the near future and will keep you posted as details are finalized. 

Sincerely,
Alice C. Pavey  

NEWwebsite
 
You may have noticed we have a new,  updated website, which also works on mobile devices! Our goal was easier navigation, more pictures, a clean design and more frequent updates. Please take a few minutes to check it out. If you have any comments, suggestions or other feedback, email  Ryan J. Braun or  Lisa Danford

Also, the website for providers has not changed, and a link is at the bottom of the home page. Providers are encouraged to bookmark the website, and you can directly access it by going to providers.hamiltondds.org.
Budget Updates

Ohio's operating budget is being debated in the Senate Finance Committee. In it's current form, DODD would be cut $31.2 million in fiscal year 2018 and $58.7 million the following fiscal year. Proposed initiatives that could be eliminated or reduced as a result of these budget cuts include new waivers, direct service provider wage increases and more.

Click here to read more from The Arc of Ohio and view the bill's timeline. 

A statewide online survey seeks feedback from stakeholders about Ohio's employment and community integration for people with developmental disabilities in Ohio. The goal is to improve opportunities for people with developmental disabilities in Ohio so they can find jobs and live productive, healthy, safe and happy lives in the community.

Click here to fill out the survey. The deadline is Thursday, June 22.


Researchers at Miami University are conducting a research study on the social and cognitive development of children and adolescents, ages 9-17 years old, who have and have not been diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. The study includes two appointments at the university's Hamilton campus and family questionnaires.

Click here to learn more about this study.


End of School Year Fun EndSY17



The end of the school year is a busy time with lots of wonderful events including the annual pasta dinner fundraisers, Rost spring concert featuring music from 'Trolls," Fairfax production of "The Wizard of Oz," the PigAbilities walk during Flying Pig weekend, a trip to the Joe Nuxhall Miracle League baseball fields, a visit from Q102, and graduation ceremonies for the Class of 2017.

Pictures and videos from the end of the year fun are available on the school's Facebook pages. You can click on the pictures above or click here to visit the Fairfax Facebook page or click here to visit the Rost Facebook page.

Also, a special congratulations to Maurice Thomas, who received the Friend of Children award from the Bobbie B. Fairfax School PTA! Maurice, along with his work as an assistant in Adapted Physical Education classes, also takes students out to swimming and bowling in the community. Additionally, he helps support staff through his work on the Spirit Committee.


FIN
The Future is Now is a five-part series designed to help aging caregivers and their family members make plans for the future. Throughout the series, families get help to create a letter of intent, which is a non-legal document that captures family desires and goals for the future. 

Creating a letter of intent can help families gain peace of mind that comes with having a plan.  These sessions are specifically designed for families that include a member with disability whose caregiver is age 60 or older. All members of the family are encouraged to attend, including caregivers, the family member with a disability, siblings of the family member with a disability, and close family friends.

Join us for these free sessions, held every Thursday in June. A light meal will be provided, and transportation assistance is available.  Click here for a flier and registration details. 

Contact   Dawn Freudenberg with questions.


FamilyChat
New college class on DD

The University of Cincinnati School of Social Work is offering a new class this fall called "Foundations in Developmental Disabilities." 

This course is open to students from all disciplines and can be taken as a single class or the first of four for an undergraduate certificate in developmental disabilities. Click here to view more details about the course.
Monthly Family Chats

The Ohio Department of DD and the Family Advisory Council are excited to launch #FamilyTalk, a chat on Facebook Live the first Friday of every month.

Family Liason Kim Weimer and Pickaway County Board of Developmental Disabilities Superintendent Mike Pelcic will talk about the role of county boards and answer your questions live. Click here to visit the DODD Facebook page.


  • Future is Now. 6-8:30 p.m. Thursdays in June at Starfire, 5030 Oaklawn Drive. This five-part series designed to help aging caregivers and their family members make plans for the future. Throughout the series, families get help to create a letter of intent, which is a non-legal document that captures family desires and goals for the future. Click here for a flier.
  • Autism Play Group10-11 a.m. Saturday, June 3, at Pioneer Park in Montgomery. This is for children in kindergarten through age 12. Click here for more information.
  • Safe and Supported Families. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, June 3, at Lighthouse Youth Services, 401 E. McMillan St. Workshop that aims to equip family members with the knowledge, skills, and resources to better understand and support the LGBTQ young person in their life. Click here for details.
  • Inclusive Community Conversations. 9:30-11:30 a.m. Tuesday, June 6, at Starfire, 5030 Oaklawn DriveOpen to all families, ordinary citizens, people with disabilities and inclusion advocates. Weekly community series. Click here for more information. 
  • Autism and Mental Health Across the Lifespan. 8 a.m. to noon June 5-7, a Crossroads Mason, 990 Reading Road. Regional Autism Advisory Council training for families, individuals and professionals. Topics include overcoming odds, reducing anxiety in the classroom, addressing behavior and more. Attendance costs vary: $25-$60 for family members/students. $50-$135 for professionals. Click here for registration and conference details.
  • Transition Booster Session: Financial Planning. 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday, June 7, 2017, Children's Hospital, 3430 Burnet Ave. In this session, attendees will hear about different options for planning financially stable future for their child who has disabilities, including trusts and wills. Presenters: Chris Collier and Laura Drake. Register here.
  • Caring for the Caregiver. 6-8 p.m. Thursday, June 8, at Mercy Health, 1701 Mercy Health Place. Learn the importance of caregivers staying healthy and positive, and resources to make it happen, and network with other caregivers. RSVP to Carole Willenborg.
  • Understanding Behavior in individuals with ASD. 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, June 9, at the Cincinnati Children's Medical Office Building, 3430 Burnet Ave. This session is for professionals/providers with a focus on fundamental behavioral principles including functions of behavior, preventative strategies, reinforcement, and visual supports. Cost is $50 per participant. Contact Jennifer Gastright, 513- 636-2742 or tkoclearn@cchmc.org for details. 
  • HCDDS Board Meeting5 p.m. Tuesday, June 13, at the Support Center, 1520 Madison Road.
  • Educational Advocacy and IEP Workshop. 5:30-8:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 14, at the Cincinnati Children's Medical Office Building, 3430 Burnet Ave. The special education system can seem challenging at times, but it doesn't have to be. This workshop, hosted by UC UCEDD, can help you be a champion for your child at the IEP table. For questions and accommodations, please contact Celia Schloemer at (513) 636-4723 or celia.schloemer@cchmc.org. Click here to learn more and for registration details. 
  • PEERS Summer Clinic. 4:30-6 p.m. Thursdays, June 15 to August 10, at Loveland High School, 1 Tiger Trail. PEERS is a social skills program that helps teens learn ways to make and keep friends. The summer clinic will include nine 90-minute sessions and parent/caregiver participation is mandatory for seven of the sessions. Click here for details and registration information.
  • Arc of Ohio Summer Conference. 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, June 16, at the Hollywood Casino in Columbus. Learn about shared living, an update on Ohio's next budget, STABLE accounts and trusts, and the expansion of remote supports. Click here for an agenda and registration details.
  • Home Think Tank. 10 a.m. to noon Friday, June 16, at the Support Center, 1520 Madison Road. Technology users, family members, and provider organizations will share experiences with a range of 'low and high tech' approaches to improving the quality of home life. Click here for details.
  • Educational Advocacy and IEP Workshop. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, June 16, at the Cincinnati Children's Medical Office Building, 3430 Burnet Ave. The special education system can seem challenging at times, but it doesn't have to be. This workshop, hosted by UC UCEDD, can help you be a champion for your child at the IEP table. For questions and accommodations, please contact Celia Schloemer at (513) 636-4723 or celia.schloemer@cchmc.org. Click here to learn more and for registration details.
  • Family Conversation about Supporting Students. 10 a.m. to noon Thursday, June 22, at the Support Center, 1520 Madison Road. Join a discussion about how HCDDS supports students with developmental disabilities. This session is designed to hear from other families supported by Hamilton County DD Services. A session for families with students who attend Bobbie B. Fairfax and Margaret B. Rost schools is planned for June 7. Click here for details.
  • Transition Booster Session: STABLE Accounts6-8 p.m. Thursday, June 22 at the Cincinnati Children's Medical Office Building, 3430 Burnet Ave. Ohio's STABLE Account can provide financial savings and independence to individuals with disabilities, while also maintaining federal and state benefits.  Click here for details. 
  • Options for Menstrual Management. 5:30-7:30 p.m. Thursday, June 29,Cincinnati Children's Hospital, Medical Office Building, 3430 Burnet Ave. The start of menstrual periods in teens with special needs can cause concern for families and caregivers related to hygiene and menstrual management. This presentation is to inform parents/caregivers and providers on the variety of options available. Contact Jennifer Gastright, 513-636-2742 or  jennifer.gastright@cchmc.org to register. 
  • Special Needs Family Night. 6:30-8 p.m. Friday, June 30, at the Anderson Branch Library, 7450 State Road. After-hours program for families with special needs. This open house event is designed to provide an opportunity for a low stress visit to the Library to explore the collection, activities and educational resources. Open to all ages. Recurs the last Friday of the month through August.
  • Project STIR training. July 24-26 at Embassy Suites in Blue Ash. This training is designed to provide adults with disabilities, ages 18-30, with tools to advocate for yourself, connect with others and gain leadership skills. Free for Hamilton County residents. Click here for a flier and registration details.