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Community integration for all people with developmental disabilities

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November 2021

In this Issue

  • Lending Library
  • Annual Plan Hearing
  • Vaccine Boosters & Additional Doses
  • HCDDS Sponsoring Haircuts for December
  • Home for the Holidays
  • New partnership
  • Award-winning work
  • GoVoter Survey Results
  • Family Resources
  • Upcoming events

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A Team Approach - Early Intervention Success

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When Leanne Henry and Brandy Angelo received the video of Julia’s first steps, they were ecstatic. Julia, now 2, was born with spina bifida and has been enrolled in Early Intervention with Hamilton County DD Services since she was a few months old.

Henry, an HCDDS developmental specialist, and Angelo, an Early Intervention physical therapist, had been working with Julia and her mom, Jessica Erskine, since the beginning of 2020.

The first few in-person visits improved Julia’s coordination and helped her strengthen her muscles for new skills. So when COVID-19 forced Early Intervention services to go virtual, Erskine was skeptical her daughter would continue her progress.

"As a busy mom with two kids and all of the doctor’s appointments we were already doing in person—and working full-time—I thought, ‘how and why am I going to make the time for a virtual visit when we’re practicing hands-on and physical skills?’” Erskine said.

Through virtual video chats, the Early Intervention team would coach through exercises, getting creative and showing proper hand placement with a Cabbage Patch doll. “We adapted what she was doing during physical therapy at Cincinnati Children’s, and figured out how they could do that in the home,” Henry said.

Angelo added that it wasn’t just physical skills—they worked on everything from transitioning off a bottle to Julia’s speech. “Even as a second-time mom, everything is different,” she said. “To have somebody to bounce things off of, even simple things – I needed that support. And Leanne and Brandy have been able to see all that growth over time. It’s been really fun.”

Read the full story here

Lending Library

The Rubenstein Lending Library at Cincinnati Children's is now open! They are a great resource when looking for health-related information on developmental and behavioral issues related to children's health conditions.

Along with non-fiction books, there is a children's literature collection to entertain and educate, and a small collection of educational aids to develop skills such as hand-eye coordination, large and fine motor skills, and social skills. You can find everything in their catalog here and current hours here.

Virtual Public Hearing

Our 2022 Annual Plan public hearing is 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 16. Join us for a virtual session and share your feedback.

Our Annual Plan identifies goals and action steps for the upcoming year. Each goal is rooted in our strategic plan and represents concrete steps toward our long-term objectives.

We'll share a draft of the 2022 Annual Plan and public hearing registration information soon. Contact Dawn Freudenberg with questions.

Vaccine Boosters & Additional Doses

If you are 18 or older and received any authorized COVID-19 vaccine (Pfizer/Comirnaty, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson.), you are eligible for a booster dose. Find the Ohio Department of Health's FAQ on booster doses here.

Vaccines for Children

In the United States, the Pfizer vaccine has been authorized for children ages 5 and older. Children ages 5-11 can receive a smaller pediatric dosage of the vaccine while adolescents ages 12 and older are eligible for the same dosage as adults. Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are currently authorized for those 18 and older. Find more information about vaccines for children from the Ohio Department of Health.

No Booster Clinics at Hamilton County DD Services

Hamilton County DD Services does not plan to offer a vaccine clinic for booster shot or for those newly eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. Earlier this year, we collaborated with Hamilton County Public Health to operate a clinic because of the scarcity of the vaccine and the desire to help people with disabilities, direct support professionals, and caregivers gain priority access.

Now, vaccines are readily available through local clinics, pharmacies, and primary care physicians, and we encourage you to use those options. If you or a family member receives services from HCDDS and your primary care physician or local pharmacy is not a viable option, you can contact your SSA.

Find a Clinic

If you have questions about getting the vaccine, you can speak with your primary care provider. Visit the Test and Protect Cincinnati website for more information on local vaccine resources. You can also find local vaccine clinics, and schedule your appointment through the Ohio Department of Health's Get The Shot website.

Lost Vaccination Card

If you received your vaccine at our clinic and lost your vaccination card, please contact Hamilton County Public Health for a replacement, 513 946-7800 or visit this website to request a new card.


The Center for Disease Control (CDC) released COVID-19 materials for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and care providers. These resources include getting the COVID-19 shot, washing your hands, getting a COVID-19 test, as well as wearing a mask and keeping a safe distance until you have gotten your shot. Find them here.

  • The hotline can also provide information and resources to answer questions and address concerns about the vaccines and can connect callers to information and services that promote independent living and address fundamental needs, such as food, housing, and transportation. Call 888-677-1199 Monday - Friday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. (Eastern) - or - email DIAL@n4a.org for assistance.
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Hamilton County DD Services will sponsor free haircuts for children with developmental and physical disabilities on Monday, Dec. 20, from 1-6 p.m.


Noble Barber & Beauty will cut the hair of children ages 2-12 with DD in a quiet environment. The shop will be closed for other appointments. Both the parking and entrance are wheelchair accessible.


Sign up for an appointment here.

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We're excited to announce a new partnership with the Cincinnati Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired to bring My Life magazine to more people!

Each issue will be read aloud as part of CABVI's Radio Reading Service. You can listen online via Podbean or wherever you get your podcasts.

We'll have more details about other ways to listen soon!

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Home For the Holidays

Center for Independent Living Options (CILO) is creating Home for the Holiday Baskets with essential household items and maybe a game, craft, books or warm blanket. Their staff will deliver the baskets beginning Dec. 15.

Here is how you can help:

  • Create a holiday basket and drop it off
  • Give cash or drop off any new household products to help create baskets
  • Donate a Kroger or Walmart gift card to be passed along to a household in need

Last year CILO was able to assist 18 households with a total of 65 adults and children.

Award-Winning Work!

We were thrilled to win an Award of Excellence for our vaccine communications campaign and for our Instagram takeovers during the Cincinnati PRSA Blacksmith Awards this week! It was also fun to get together to celebrate. 

THANK YOU to everyone who was part of these efforts! You were an integral part of the success and we couldn’t have done it without you!

Voter Experiences

Self Advocates Becoming Empowered (SABE) GoVoter survey results are in!

SABE conducted a survey to find out the experience voters with disabilities had casting a ballot. The survey includes everything from getting information about candidates and issues, to poll workers' attitudes, and completing a ballot.

Some key results:

  • 6 out of 10 voters chose to vote by mail.
  • More voters used mail-in or absentee voting because of their fear of getting COVID-19. Some voting rules did change because of COVID-19 fears. Many voters said they liked these changes.
  • Voters of color had more problems voting than white or Caucasian voters.

View complete survey results.

Family Resources

Ohio’s State Leadership Team on Early Childhood Inclusion is developing an electronic resource guide for families, caregivers, and professionals.

This resource guide will offer reliable, strong and diverse messages on how to engage, build, and support relationship building between families and professionals. The goal is to empower the parents, caregivers, and professionals to collaborate and help each child develop to their full potential.

Please share the survey below with any family member of a young child. The survey is both brief and confidential, with no link between individuals and their responses.

The information collected by this survey will be utilized for toolkit resource planning purposes only.

Click here to complete the survey.

HCDDS Communications Survey

We want to learn how different audiences and stakeholders receive information about Hamilton County DD Services, determine which outlets are most effective, and highlight areas where we can improve. Please take a few minutes to fill out this six-question survey and share your thoughts. Your feedback is appreciated!

The deadline to take this survey is Dec. 29, 2021. 

Upcoming Events

  • Zoom Connection Hour. 2-3 p.m. Tuesdays, and 5-6 p.m. Wednesdays. For adults that HCDDS serves who are looking to be social and meet other people with similar interests. Click here for details.

  • Neighbors in Action. 5-6 p.m. First & Third Thursdays on Zoom. Join to learn more about advocacy and to discuss topics such as voting, transportation, tech. Details here.

  • Provider Forum. 9 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 1 on Zoom. Provider Forum meetings cover local and state issues that affect providers, provide helpful tips, informative discussions and more. Find it here.

  • DSAGC Early Matters Playgroup. 10-11:30 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 1 (ages 0-5). For parents to socialize with each other while childrenplay together. Register here

  • DSAGC Circle Time with Mrs. Maggie. 9:30-10 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 2. Participation in routine and group activities can help your child learn and grow. Learn more here

  • Visionaries + Voices: Holly Dazed. 5-8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 3 in Northside. Exhibition runs through Jan. 14. Snag some bargains, enter a raffle and view a charming curated holiday exhibition. Details here

  • Cincinnati Pops Orchestra Holiday Pops. Dec. 3-5 & 10-12 at Music Hall. Joy to the world! Cincinnati’s beloved holiday tradition returns with music, warmth, laughter and seasonal inspiration for the entire family. Get tickets here

  • CPR & First Aid. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday, Dec. 6 at LADD. Participants will get a card stating the successful completion of course curriculum in CPR and/or First Aid valid for two years through the American Red Cross. Register here

  • DSAGC STEM 101- for Toddlers. 5:30-6:30 p.m. Mondays, Dec. 6, 13 & 20. Kids ages 3-5 will have the opportunity to learn through observation, experiments, exploration, and play! Learn more here

  • Frontline Forum. 10-11:30 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 8 online. For DSPs and frontline supervisors to get updates and information. Click here to register

  • Mandatory Orientation and Annual Renewal Training. 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 8 at LADD. For people who provide services to individuals with DD who must obtain certification from DODD. Details here.

  • Understanding Behavior in Individuals with Developmental Disabilities. 5:30-7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 9 online. For caregivers of children with developmental disabilities, particularly those with challenging behaviors. Register here

  • DSAGC Understanding Grief. 6-7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 9 with virtual option available. This workshop will offer many resources for grieving people and helping parents and/or professionals. Learn more here

  • Virtual Game Night. 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 11 on zoom. All of our games are meant for everyone. Click here.  

  • Connecting the Dots with Sean Bostic. 5-6 p.m. Monday, Dec. 13 on Zoom. Join Sean Bostic, our Family Engagement Coordinator, to have your questions answered as you navigate life. Learn more here

  • HCDDS Board Meeting. 5 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 14 at the Support Center. Contact Kim Sexton for details.

  • Annual Plan Public Hearing. 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 16 on Zoom. Join our virtual session and share your feedback. Learn more here.

  • Family Cooking with Chef Miles. 4:30-5:15 p.m. Thursday, Dec.16 on Zoom. Learn about kitchen tools, ingredients, and recipes while working on fine motor skills and sequencing. Learn more here.  

  • DSAGC Family Dance Party. 4:30-5 p.m. Friday, Dec. 17 on ZoomRegistration required for each individual dance party.

  • CPR & First Aid. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday, Dec. 20 at LADD. Participants will get a card stating the successful completion of course curriculum in CPR and/or First Aid valid for two years through the American Red Cross. Register here.

  • Noble Barber & Beauty Hair Cuts. 1-6 p.m. Monday, Dec. 20 at Noble Barber & Beauty. HCDDS is sponsoring free haircuts for children 2-12 yrs. with any developmental, physical or intellectual disability. Book your appointment.

  • Memory Café. 2-3 p.m. Monday, Dec. 20 in Green Township. People with Alzheimer's or dementia and their care partners can socialize and enjoy fun activities. Registration required.

  • Mandatory Orientation and Annual Renewal Training. 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 21 at LADD. For people who provide services to individuals with DD who must obtain certification from DODD. Details here.

  • Christmas Day Holiday Observed. Friday, Dec. 24. All HCDDS Offices are closed.

  • Cincinnati Pops Orchestra’s Return of the Jedi: Live film with Orchestra. Dec. 29-30, Music Hall. The finale of the original Star Wars trilogy, Luke Skywalker, R2-D2, C-3PO and Princess Leia and more. Get details here

  • New Year's Day Holiday Observed. Friday, Dec. 31. All HCDDS Offices are closed.

  • Cincinnati Pops Orchestra’s New Year’s Eve at Music Hall. Friday, Dec. 31. Shake things up with all things James Bond, including hits like Goldfinger, Diamonds Are Forever, The World Is Not Enough and more. Get tickets here. 

  • Managing Anxiety: Helping Kids with Developmental Disabilities Succeed. 5:30-7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 19 online. For caregivers of children with developmental disabilities, particularly those with symptoms of anxiety. Register here


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