August 2017
        In this issue TableOfContents
    Future Is Now
New Provider SearchProvidersearch
Earlier this month we officially launched our   new provider search tool , which has a number of new features including searching for providers by geographic location and functionality on smartphones and tablets. It also includes a "wizard" to help narrow down a list of potential providers.
The Provider Search offers a wealth of information about developmental disability providers from across Hamilton County, Ohio and surrounding areas to help individuals and families make the best choice.
If you have questions or experience any glitches, please use the contact us link at the bottom of the page. You can bookmark the provider search for easy access:

Learning skills through volunteeringVolunteerSJH
Patrick Havlin smiles wide and lets out a laugh when he pushes the big, white sweatshirt into the green plastic bin next to his wheelchair. It's his main job for the afternoon, as he and two friends fill a volunteer shift at Matthew 25 Ministries.

Patrick Havlin sorts sweatshirts with Jackie Miller at Matthew 25 Ministries.
Havlin, Carl Schreiber and Rob Willer, are part of a regular group of volunteers from St. Joseph Home's day program. Usually, they mark out labels, tape boxes or secure lids for shipping, but this time they're at station five and learning a new task. 
"We're trying to figure out who likes it and have been coming more consistently," said Jackie Miller, assistant manager of the St. Joseph Home day program. "Usually it was one-on-one but now it's more small groups."

They've been coming to Matthew 25's Blue Ash warehouse for about two years, after a retired nurse connected St. Joseph Home to the organization, which provides international humanitarian aid and disaster relief to millions around the world.

Carl Schreiber, Rob Willer and Lisa Gilpin work on a new volunteer task at Matthew 25 Ministries.
It's July and the warehouse is warm, but the group gets right to work. Mary Jo Simpson programs a communication device to count to 10, the number of sweatshirts that go in each bin. Schreiber uses his head to tap the red button, keeping the group on task while also looking around the building, observing the two dozen volunteers at other stations. Nurse Lisa Gilpin grabs sweatshirts from a pile for Willer, who uses his hands to fold each one and put it on the table. Mary Jean Waldbillig, Schreiber's guardian, places those sweatshirts in bins and moves full ones to another table.

 "They see peers from other organizations doing similar tasks around the warehouse," Simpson said. "I feel they know they're doing something for others - a task that's not for them - and they enjoy it."

This story is part of a series about giving back to the community. If you have an idea, email Lisa Danford

Waiver Waiting List SurveyWLsurvey

The Ohio Department of DD, together with stakeholders from across the state, is working on changes to improve the waiver waiting list process. 
This new process will allow people and families to inform their local county boards of developmental disabilities on what their current needs for services are so they can match the right services to the right people who need them.
To collect feedback, The Arc of Ohio created a survey about the waiting list process and improvements.   Click here to take the survey
Sign Language Resources

Disability Rights Ohio (DRO) and Deaf Services Center recently released 18 new videos, interpreting many of DRO's most requested resources into American Sign Language (ASL). 
The videos address a wide variety of important topics, from requesting accommodations at work to negotiating with your child's IEP team for special education services. All 18 videos are available on the  Disability Rights Ohio YouTube channel.
Future is Now FutureNow

Future Is Now is a free  a multi-part series designed to help older caregivers and their family members make plans for the future. Throughout the series, families get help to create a letter of intent, 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.

The next session is 6-8:30 p.m. Thursdays Sept. 7 to Oct. 5.  To register, call (513) 559-6814 or  email Dawn Freudenberg
Click here for more details or watch what families thought of the series by clicking on the image above.

Giving Back

HCDDS employees recently donated more than 200 personal care items like shampoo, soap, toothbrushes and more, as well as nearly 300 school supplies like notebooks, pencils and folders. The Integration and Advocacy Team delivered donations to Epic House, Inter Parish Ministry, Washington United, Cincinnati Youth Collaborative, UpSpring, and Frederick Douglass Elementary, a neighborhood school.
This donation drive was part of Always There, a statewide campaign where county boards across the state participated in a week of service. 
Throwback Thursday

For the 50th anniversary celebration of County Boards of DD in Ohio, we're digging back into our archives and participating in Throwback Thursday, a social media trend most popular on Instagram and Twitter. 

The photo above is from 1977, one year after we started the Early Intervention program. Last year, our EI teams averaged 974 home visits each month.

To see more of our history, follow us on Twitter or Instagram (@hamiltondds)

This year is the 50th anniversary of the County Boards of DD in Ohio. We're collecting stories and photos to celebrate this rich history and sharing  on our website. If you have ideas or items you'd like to share, contact Lisa Danford
Back to school

Bobbie B. Fairfax and Margaret B. Rost schools are back in session! We hope everyone has an amazing year. See more pictures from the first day of school on the  HCDDS Facebook page

Also, if you haven't already, be sure to like the  Fairfax Facebook page  and the  Rost Facebook page  to keep up with what's happening at the schools.

  • Anxiety and ASD. 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, August 30, at the Cincinnati Children's Medical Office Building, 3430 Burnet Ave. This session will discuss symptoms of anxiety, practical strategies to address these symptoms and structured programs to manage anxiety. Register by calling 513-636-2742 or sending an email to or Click here for a flier of all sessions.
  • Labor Day. Monday, Sept. 4. All HCDDS offices and buildings are closed.
  • Intro to Social Role Valorization. Sept. 5-7 at Starfire, 5030 Oaklawn Drive. Social role valorization asserts that the "good life" is more likely to be experienced by people who fill and fulfill social roles that are seen as valued in their communities and in society.  Learn more here.
  • How to regulate sensory systems. 5 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 5, at the Cincinnati Children's Medical Office Building, 3430 Burnet Ave. This session will focus on common sensory sensitivities and strategies to address these sensitivities. Register by calling 513-636-2742 or sending an email to or
  • Future Is Now. 6-8:30 p.m. Thursdays, Sept. 7 to Oct. 5, at Education Matters, 2104 Saint Michael St. Free five-part series designed to help older caregivers and their family members make plans for the future. To register, contact Dawn at (513) 559-6814 or via emailClick here for more details.
  • Medicaid Managed Care Forum. Tuesday, Sept. 12 at UC UCEDD, 7777 Yankee Road in Liberty Township. These regional forums will provide information about Medicaid managed care, a term used to describe coordination of health care benefits for those enrolled in Medicaid. A session for County Board of DD staff begins at 4:30 p.m., and the public session begins at 6:30 p.m. Click here for more information.
  • Transition Bootcamp: Medicaid and County Waiver Services. 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 13, at the Cincinnati Children's Medical Office Building, 3430 Burnet Ave. Click here to learn more.
  • SOAR at CVG. Caregiver training is 6:30-8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 13, and the simulation day is 1-4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 23. This shared-learning opportunity is for people with developmental disabilities to gain first-hand airport familiarization and encouragement to travel by air. Participants and up to three family members experience a guided tour including check-in, security, departure gate, aircraft boarding and bag claim. Click here for details and registration.  
  • EMBRACING NOW. Open through Sept. 14 at Visionaries and Voices, 3841 Spring Grove Ave. This is an exhibition of social commentary artwork balancing the realities of modern life with humorous, satirical, and ironic looks at our contradictions in society. Learn more here
  • Feeding problems in individuals with ASD. 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 14, at the Cincinnati Children's Medical Office Building, 3430 Burnet Ave. This session will discuss common feeding problems in children with ASD/DD, practical tips to address feeding problems, and evidence-based behavioral intervention procedures used to treat feeding problems. Register by calling 513-636-2742 or sending an email to or Click here for a flier of all sessions.
  • Dinner & a movie for adults with autism. 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 16 at Envision Cinemas Bar & Grill in Blue Ash. Click here for a flier. RSVP required.
  • Basic Sign Language. 6-7:30 p.m. Sept. 18 to Nov. 6, at the Janet Clemmons Center, 282 N. Fair Ave. in Hamilton. Click here for details
  • Teaching social skills. 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 20, at the Cincinnati Children's Medical Office Building, 3430 Burnet Ave. This session will focus on evidence-based interventions used to improve social interaction skills of individuals with ASD/DD ages 2-22. Register by calling 513-636-2742 or sending an email to or
  • Paint Nite. 6-8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 21, at Creative Community Connections, 11750 Lippelman Road. Cost is $45 per person. Open to the public. Click here for details to register.
  • Fishing Derby. 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 23, at Fairfield Optimist Club, 194 Forest Lake Lane in Fairfield. Bring your own lawn chairs. Fishing rods and baits will be available or you may bring your own. RSVP is required: contact Connie Mehlman by email or call (513) 785-2881 by Sept. 1. 
  • Great Pumpkin Race. 5 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 28 at Holy Grail at the Banks. Proceeds benefit the Autism Society of Greater Cincinnati. Learn more here.
  • Through the lens, a view of OTR. Saturdays through Sept. 30. A photo project for novice and professional photographers who want to experience Over-The-Rhine through the lens of a camera. Register through Art Beyond Boundaries, 513-421-8726. Free and open to all ages and experience levels.
  • 17th annual Walk & Roll.9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 30 at the Miami Whitewater Forest in Harrison. Benefits the Spina Bifida Coalition of Cincinnati.  Participants Walk, Roll or Run on the paved 1.4 mile Shaker Trace.  After the race, join us for our family picnic and games for the kids. Click here for details.
  • Fit Fest. 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. September 30 at Otto Armleder Park. Health and wellness fair, including free fitness classes, free health screenings, games, and more. Sponsored by LADD, Special Olymipics, and more. Click here for more information
  • Emerging Issues in Fair Housing Summit. Oct. 10-11, at the American Red Cross, 2111 Dana Ave. This two-day learning summit focusing on fair housing issues for returning citizens and the LGBTQ communities, and information shared will benefit tenants, housing providers, case managers, attorneys and community advocates. This summit is free and open to all but registration is required.
  • Stadium Stride. 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 22, at Paul Brown Stadium. The day includes a 1.5 mile walk inside and around Paul Brown Stadium and the Great American Ballpark, followed by watching the Bengals at the Steelers on the Reds outdoor viewing screen. Click here for details.
  • Transition Bootcamp. 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, Oct. 27 at the Sharonville Convention Center. This one-day conference for parents/caregivers, youth with disabilities, educators and other professionals interested in transition preparation from high school to adult life.  Click here for registration details.