July 2018
        In this issue TableOfContents

From the Superintendent
It's the end of July, and summer is drawing to a close. As we prepare to begin the new school year and look forward to our work this fall, I wanted to provide a few updates.

First, I'm happy to share that we successfully completed the DODD review process and received our three-year accreditation! The reviewers were impressed with many of our innovative programs, as well as the high-quality work of our staff. This was a long and incredibly important process. I want to offer a special thanks to the team who worked so hard to prepare for accreditation and ensure a successful review. I also want to thank each of our employees, who focus on our mission and the people we support every day.

Second, earlier this summer Gov. John Kasich declared Ohio a Technology First state. The executive order ensures technology is considered as part of all service and support plans for people with DD. Many new technologies, including remote support, smartphone apps, and smart speakers, are making it possible for people to live more independently and participate in their communities. The goal of this new program is to make people aware of these options as they decide what supports best fit their lives.

Finally, this fall we'll begin implementing the new waiting list rule. As you may be aware, earlier this year the Ohio General Assembly passed legislation to overhaul the waiting list rule across the state to simplify the system and make it more useful to families. We're working to make sure families on the waiting list understand these changes by sharing communications and offering in-person events every Wednesday through the end of August. You can learn more about the events here and more about the waiting list changes at Fix The List.

These changes offer opportunities to improve services for the people and families we support. I'm looking forward to new possibilities this fall as we implement these changes and continue to work toward our vision of community integration for all people with developmental disabilities.


Alice C. Pavey
Celebrating the Americans with Disabilities Act

Thank you to everyone who came out to celebrate the 28th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act with us! We hosted a series of honk and waves with our community partners including Easterseals, Center for Independent Living Options, Ohio Valley Goodwill Industries, Council on Aging of Southwest Ohio, and the city of Cincinnati. We also celebrated with a disability pride walk in Smale Riverfront Park.

Special thanks to Cincinnati City Councilmembers David Mann and PG Sittenfeld, Cincinnati Metro's accessibility team, LADD, Spina Bifida Coalition of Cincinnati, and Hamilton County Commissioners Denise Driehaus and Chris Monzel for joining us to celebrate the ADA! 

We'll share more photos from the celebration on our Facebook page.

Uptown neighbors

Uptown Community Network (UCN) is a family-led, informal association open to anyone who currently lives in - or wants to move to the Uptown area. 

The purpose is to create a cohesive network of residents from across Uptown neighborhoods to foster a supportive, diverse and inclusive community from the perspective of people with disabilities and their families. 

Click here for a flier or contact Cindy Molloy via email to learn more.

Future is Now

The next Future is Now session is set for Sept. 15 and Sept. 22. This multi-part series is designed for older caregivers and their family members.

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 to learn more. To register, contact Dawn Freudenberg at (513) 559-6814 or via email.

New provider site

We've rebuilt our provider site to streamline information and make it easier for you to find the information you need!

You can find the new site at hamiltondds.org/providers . You can also navigate to the site from our website homepage, under the "services" tab. 

Using this page, providers can find forms, documents, information, and other important resources.

If you can't find the form or information you need, contact Provider Support at  (513) 559-6736 or via email
IanEIReaching Milestones with Early Intervention

Nancy Schroeder enjoys celebrating the little things. It could be sorting toys by color or learning a new word in American Sign Language. Each milestone for her son Ian, 3, is a big deal.

"We love every success he has," she said, glancing over at her son, who is darting around the living room between a table full of toys and a bowl of snacks. "He's the best thing ever - and the goofiest person in our household."

Nancy, left, and Ian Schroeder with Jennifer Bach.
When Ian was born, he had pulmonary hypertension and spent two weeks in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Cincinnati Children's Hospital. Before leaving the hospital, Ian was also diagnosed with Down syndrome. That's when social workers and nurses stepped in to share information about Help Me Grow. 

T he Schroeders didn't know much about the program and were linked with Jennifer Bach, a developmental specialist with the Hamilton County DD Services Early Intervention team.

"For me, it was overwhelming. We had to learn about the diagnosis, and we were scared for our child and what it'd mean for our life," Schroeder said. "Within a week of bringing him home, Jen came by for the first visit. It was clear she was on not just Ian's team, but our family's team."

During their visits, Bach would listen to the family's concerns, talk about their goals and focus on strategies to help Ian's development. She'd also find ways to involve his big sister in activities to keep his development moving forward.

"Each family has its own routines and we need to learn those. Life isn't structured, so we adapt to the family," Bach said. "It's one thing at a time, and Nancy is great about creating activities and opportunities for him to learn and progress."

When families in Early Intervention receive a diagnosis for their child, Bach said they tend to focus on the "what ifs" and what they have been told their child "won't do." Her advice for families is to stay positive and when their child needs help, the EI team will provide whatever support they need to be successful. Bach said Ian, who recently aged out of the Early Intervention program, has done incredibly well and continues to improve.

"Having Jen - it's peace of mind. She taught us about slowing down and not focusing on what he "should be" doing," Schroeder said. "I have questions all the time, like any parent, and she helps me think outside the box, be creative and strategize what's best for Ian."

Early Intervention (EI) Services are for children younger than 3 and their families. In Ohio, early intervention is a statewide system with coordinated supports at the local level. Click here to learn more or call (513) 434-3322 for referrals.

Congratulations to Diana Mairose, who recently was elected as the Region 5 representative for Self Advocates Becoming Empowered (SABE), a national organization. 

"My goal is to increase voting awareness and to share our advocacy and leadership pursuits in Ohio," she said. "I am look forward to traveling and speaking to other advocates about how we can make a difference in self-determination, leadership and advocacy."
It's been five years since Ethan Kadish was struck by lightning. The strike caused his heart to stop and he lost oxygen to his brain for almost 45 minutes. 

WCPO reporter Lucy May and photographer Emily Maxwell, who took the above picture, have been following his story ever since, including his time at Bobbie B. Fairfax School. 

Click here to see the most recent story and video.

The Over-the-Rhine International Film Festival is set for Sept. 26-30. This is the new name and expanded vision for the successful Cincinnati ReelAbilities Film Festival which came to Cincinnati in 2011. In 2018, LADD is expanding the scope of the Festival to move beyond a singular focus on disability-specific programming to focus on a celebration of our shared humanity.
The festival features more than 40 films, special events and more. Click here to learn more or to buy tickets.

In addition, Project CARE will be hosting a gallery exhibit in collaboration with FotoFocus and ArtsWAVE as part of the film festival. The exhibit, titled " Vis-Abilities ," is an exhibit showcasing the photography of local women artists with disabilities. These photographs reflect the unique perspectives and experiences of the artists-their ongoing struggle for social inclusion and independence. Click here to learn more. 
  • Provider Certification Training. 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 2 at the LADD-Center for Community Engagement, 3603 Victory Parkway. This class provides the 8 hours of training required by the Ohio Department of DD in order to apply for provider certification and it covers topics that current providers need for annual compliance. Click here for registration.
  • Pop Pop Parent-Child Program. 11 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, at the V+V Visionarium, 3054 Madison RoadDesigned to strengthen the bond between caregiver and child through creativity, problem solving, movement and play, these classes engage all of the senses and capitalize on children's need to make messes and mistakes. $5 per child. Click here for details.
  • Friday Night Social Skills Club. 6-8:30 p.m. Aug. 3 and 17, at the LeBlond RecPlex, 2335 Riverside Drive. Join your teenage friends hanging out and working on social skills, building friendships, and enjoying fun leisure activities. For information, call Taylor Singleton (513) 352-4056.
  • Sibshops. 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 4 at Cincinnati Children's, 3430 Burnet Ave, 5th floor conference room. Nationally acclaimed Sibshops provides peer support, as well as support from professionals and volunteers from Cincinnati Children's. Each session is a carefully designed "event" which celebrates the many contributions made by brothers and sisters of kids with special needs. Click here for a flyer. 
  • Adults with Autism Support Group West6:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 5 at Mercy West Hospital, 3300 Mercy Heath Blvd. A forum for individuals w/ASD to discuss successes, challenges and current events. Click here for a flyer.
  • Room on the Moon. 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 7 at the V+V Visionarium, 3054 Madison Road. Weekly all-ages art program. Learn from real working artists about everything from drawing and painting to found object sculpture, fiber art and ceramics. $10 per student. Click here for information.
  • HealthRHYTHMS Drum Circle. 6:30 p.m. Aug. 7 - Sept. 4 at the LeBlond RecPlex, 2335 Riverside Drive. HealthRHYTHMS is an enlivening group empowerment-drumming program, which research has proven significantly increases the disease-fighting activity of circulating white blood cells. Pre-registration is required. Click here for more information. 
  • S.A.L.T - Employment. 6-7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 8, Janet Clemmons Center, 282 N. Fair, Hamilton. Butler County's School to Adult Life Transition (S.A.L.T) is a free monthly series developed to provide a learning opportunity to families and children with disabilities and students (age 14-22) to navigate through the transition from school to adult life. Click here for a flier. 
  • UNconference. Aug. 9-11 at 10 a.m. at  Starfire, 5030 Oaklawn Drive. This open source event invites the community to come teach and learn together. The three-day event kicks off with a potluck dinner and a blank calendar. Then people like you will volunteer to teach one-hour sessions throughout the rest of the weekend. Click here for more information. 
  • HCDDS Board Meeting, 5 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 14, at the Support Center, 1520 Madison Road.
  • Transition Bootcamp Booster Session. 6-8 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 16 at the Cincinnati Children's Medical Office Building, 3430 Burnet Ave. This session focuses on guardianship and alternatives. Speakers include Andrew Brennan of Disability Rights Ohio, and family members.  Click here for details
  • Provider Certification Training. 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 22, at the LADD Center for Community Engagement, 3603 Victory Parkway. This class provides the 8 hours of training required by the Ohio Department of DD in order to apply for provider certification and it covers topics that current providers need for annual compliance. Click here for registration. 
  • LADD and REI Outdoor Accessibility. Saturday, Aug. 25 in the REI classroom. Everyone should have access to the outdoors and the fear of the unknown can be intimidating and unsettling, especially for those who have social, physical, and mental differences and disabilities. LADD and REI are partnering to offer this programming as an on-ramp to getting outside! Click here for details.
  • Handcycling. 10 a.m. to noon Mondays, Aug. 27 - Oct. 15 at Lunken Playfield, 4740 Playfield Lane. Come out and ride hand cycles with a group of individuals with physical disabilities. Click here for more information. 
  • Trust & Stable Accounts: What Families Need to Know. 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 28 at the Hamilton County DD Services Kingsley Center. This session offers an opportunity to families to learn about trusts, whether they are right for you, and how a STABLE account can be used in conjunction with a trust. For more information, please click here 
  • Provider Certification Training. 10 a.m. - 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 30 at the LADD-Center for Community Engagement, 3603 Victory Parkway. This class provides the 8 hours of training required by the Ohio Department of DD in order to apply for provider certification. It also covers topics that current providers need for annual compliance. Click here for registration. 
  • Labor Day. Monday, September 3. All HCDDS offices are closed.
  • Transition Bootcamp Booster Session. 6-8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 13, at the Cincinnati Children's Medical Office Building, 3430 Burnet AveThis session will focus on the transition from pediatric to adult health care. For more information and to register, please click here.