June 2018
        In this issue TableOfContents


Local Partnership Receives State Grant

A collaboration among Hamilton County Developmental Disabilities Services, Clermont County Board of Developmental Disabilities, and Envision was recently awarded $413,908.

This state grant will allow the partnership to offer planned, therapeutic respite and intensive in-home supports services that will make it easier for children with significant behavioral problems to remain in their family home. The new program is called "RISE" (Respite, Intervention Services& Education) and services will begin in July.

"Although the vast majority of individuals with developmental disabilities do not have significant behavioral problems, there is a smaller sub-group that does. This can often create an untenable situation for their family members. We want to equip and support these families so there are less disruptions that could potentially require their child to leave the home temporarily or permanently," said Jim Steffey, President & CEO of Envision.

In the coming months, Envision staff will recruit and train therapeutic foster care families and develop teachable strategies for parents and foster parents to employ when their child's behavior becomes disruptive.

HCDDS and CCBD will identify youth who can benefit most from this program, provide support and referrals, and serve as the fiscal agent for the grant program. "We're excited about the opportunity this grant presents to innovate and better support youth in their homes," said Alice Pavey, superintendent of HCDDS.

Dan Ottke, Superintendent of CCBDD said, "By developing this program in partnership with Hamilton County and Envision, we're able to have a greater impact in the region and develop something that can potentially be replicated in other parts of Ohio."
Waiver Changeswaiver
Disability Communication Law

The  Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities  is recommending new changes to waivers. These changes would improve access to technology services for those who would benefit from  innovative supportive technolog. It also adds  a transition service that supports people who move from facilities to homes in the community.

Public comment will be accepted until July 18. Read about the changes and learn how to submit feedback
by clicking here.

The new Communication Disability Law was signed last month, and statewide disability agencies, law enforcement partners, and the advocacy community began mapping outreach strategies. 

This new law will help improve the interactions between law enforcement officers and individuals with a communication disability. Anyone with a diagnosed communication disability can voluntarily enroll in a database that alerts officers the driver, or a person in the vehicle, may have difficulty with communication. Learn more here.
denekaEmployment Spotlight

Deneka Jett remembers the exact moment and how she felt. Last August, shortly after her job interview, she found out she was hired as a customer support representative for Sears at Northgate Mall.

"I was really excited and jumping up and down on the inside," she said with a huge smile. It's her first community job and a position created just for her. Jett, who uses a power wheelchair, welcomes customers to the store and guides them to specific departments.

Deneka Jett with her SSA Andrea Bunting, who helped her try to find community employment.
She tried working in the community before but wasn't successful. This time it was different.

"I wanted more than anything to feel good about myself and be more important and motivated," she said. Her Service and Support Administrator Andrea Bunting helped reopen her case with Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities (OOD). 

After a few initial meetings with OOD, Jett, 46, chose Ohio Valley Goodwill Industries as her job developer. Each week, she met with Employment Specialist Mark Leugers to practice her computer and interview skills.

"She's very social and not shy," Bunting said. "Mark worked well with Deneka, and I think that made the difference. He has a knack for creating jobs."

After learning about Jett's interests, strengths and skills, Leugers met with multiple employers to find the right fit. When he walked into the Northgate Sears store, something clicked. "The layout was confusing - I didn't know where the office was - so I told them how Deneka could benefit Sears and how it was a great customer service opportunity," he said. "They loved the idea, and we figured out how to make it work with their job description."

Jett said she struggled a bit at first, especially learning the store layout, but she was open to learning more about her job. "Don't give up, I almost did," she said. "It feels so good to get up and say 'I got to go to work today.' And it feels good to have my manager say I'm doing a great job and am a good employee."

She works two days a week at Sears and attends REM Ohio four days a week, where she's brushing up on her computer skills to advance in her position.

"Deneka initiated this whole process because she wanted to try again. Sometimes that's all it takes," Bunting said.
Join the Healthy Harvest Mobile Market in several neighborhoods each week this summer. This venture provides produce to families living in communities in Greater Cincinnati & Northern Kentucky without ready access to fresh, healthy, and affordable food.

Healthy Harvest Mobile Market provides a dollar-for-dollar match on all SNAP/ EBT purchases, up to $20 free every day.

The Ohio Candidate Forum on Disability Issues is set for Thursday, July 26 in Columbus and moderated by former Columbus Dispatch reporter Alan Johnson.

Candidates for Ohio Governor and U.S. Senate will be asked to express their positions on disability-related issues/policy.

It's free but registration is required. Click here for details.
  • Special Needs Family Night6:30-8 p.m. Friday, June 29, 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. 
  • Independence Day. July 4. All HCDDS offices closed.
  • Yoga with Live Music. 9-10 a.m. Sunday, July 1 at the Dick Hartman Shelter in Madeira. Melodic Connections is partnering with Fitness Firm Yoga and Pilates Studio for Sunday Yoga in the Park. Classes are free. Click here for details.
  • Crafting Buddies. 1 p.m. Thursday, July 5, at the North Central branch of the Cincinnati Public Library. Join adults with and without disabilities to make a craft together. Click here to register.
  • 26th Annual Kids Fly. 5-8 p.m. Saturday, July 7, at GCRCC airfield in Trenton. Activity Day hosted by the Greater Cincinnati Radio Control Club for children and adults with spina bifida and their families. Learn to fly remote control airplanes. Click here for details.
  • Memory CafĂ©. 10:30-11:30 a.m. Tuesday, July 10, at the Harrison branch of the public library. This event is an opportunity to socialize and participate in activities for people with Alzheimer's or dementia and their caregivers. 
  •  Computer classes. 10-11:30 a.m. Tuesday, July 10, at CILO, 2031 Auburn Ave. Free classes for people with disabilities. Multiple dates available. RSVP to Beth Crenshaw or 513-241-2600 ext 114. For more information and classes offered, click here.
  • S.A.L.T-Social Security and Work Incentives. 6-7:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 11, at the Janet Clemmons Center, 282 N. Fair Ave. in 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 flier.
  • Summer DD Conference July 20 in Dublin. A conference hosted by People First of Ohio and The Arc of Ohio for professionals, people with disabilities and family members. Click here for an agenda and registration details.
  • Abilities at Bat Night. 7:10 p.m. Friday, July 20, at Great American Ballpark. Join LADD at the Reds game for an annual celebration of people of all abilities. Pre- and post-game activities. Two ticket packages available. Click here for details.
  •  "Hit and Misdemeanor." 7 p.m. Friday, July 20 and Saturday, July 21, at Dramakinetics, 4222 Hamilton Ave. Performance by the Marjorie Book Continuing Education Society featuring actors with and without disabilities. Saturdays performance will include a signed interpretation for the hearing impaired. Both shows will include audio description for the visually impaired. Admission is $10.
  • Sibling Symposium. 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, July 21, at Cincinnati Children's. Supportive and educational event for siblings of people with disabilities. Resource fair and presentations are part of this free event. Click here for registration details.
  • Night of Hope. 6:35 p.m. Tuesday, July 24, at the Florence Freedom stadium. Join the Florence Freedom and the Spina Bifida Coalition of Cincinnati for the game. Activities include a pre-game parade, a 7th inning salute, and an autograph session with the players. Tickets are $10 each. Click here for tickets.
  • Behavior Support 101 and MUI prevention. 9:15 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 25, at the LADD-Center for Community Engagement, 3603 Victory Parkway. Learn how to make positive changes in the behavior of people with DD, learn basic principles of crisis intervention and more. Click here for registration.
  • LADD and REI Outdoor Accessibility.  3-4:30 p.m. Saturday, July 28 at REI. Hiking, weather, and the fear of the unknown can be intimidating and unsettling, especially for those who have social, physical, and mental differences and disabilities. This session is for everyone to learn basic skills and to interact with the outdoors at your own level. All abilities encouraged. Click here for more information.
  • Transition Bootcamp Booster Session. 6-8 p.m. Monday, July 30, at the Cincinnati Children's Medical Office Building, 3430 Burnet AveThis session will focus on Financial Planning for families of children and adults with DD. For more information and to register, please click  here. 
  • Sibshops. 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 4, at Cincinnati Childrens, 3430 Burnet Ave. 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 flier.
  • Project CARE Community Picnic. 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 9, at Winton Woods Daly Hill area. Join Project CARE for food, games and more during this annual community picnic. Free and open to all. Click here for a flier. 
  • UNconference. Aug. 9-11, at Starfire, 5030 Oaklwan Ave. The unconference is an open source event that invites the community to come teach and learn together. The three-day event will kick off with a pot-luck 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.