Pedal-with-Pete Bike & Hike Event for Cerebral Palsy Research
Saturday, June 6, 2015
Start/finish: Theodore Roosevelt High School, 1400 N. Mantua St (Rte 43), Kent, OH. Registration is from 7:00 to 9:30 AM the day of the ride/hike. Save by pre-registering online or by mail.
Participants can choose from various route distances, so families can enjoy the event together. Select a route to ride/walk at your own pace, planning to finish between 10:30 AM and 1:00 PM. The event will close at 2:00 PM.
The rides and hikes are fully supported with direction/map hand-outs and roving support. Light refreshments and water will be available at rest stops along the bike routes.
Complimentary lunch, music, massages, and door prizes await you at the completion of your ride/hike (starting at 10:30 AM). A bike tune-up station will also be located at the start/finish. A raffle will be held to win a 2015 Raleigh Detour 4.5 bicycle.
To register, please visit the event page:
The Portage County Provider Person Centered Thinking Coalition
The Portage County Board of Developmental Disabilities is happy to share our Person Centered Thinking Champions! This dedicated team of professionals provided a fantastic composition of key personnel from private provider agencies and county board programs. The team participated in two, eight hour trainings on May 6th and 7th to gain a comprehensive understanding of the principles and practices of Person Centered Thinking and ultimately Person Centered Planning.
Barb Sapharas, Speech Language Pathologist and Mentor Trainer for Person centered Practices offered the team guidance and direction on learning the principles of Person Centered Thinking. Barb is incredibly knowledgeable and entertaining in her training style. She draws on her professional experiences spanning about 40 years in the developmental disabilities field and personal experiences of supporting her brother Nick, who had cerebral palsy through life and unfortunately his passing away a few years ago. Barb brings and beautiful balance creating personal empowerment for those that use our supports and services with the conflict of professional and organizational limitations encountered in developing these plans.
The group quickly developed into a team during the two day training. They connected and bonded to one another during the experience and found a common purpose to improve the service delivery system at each of their agencies and the county system as a whole. The team has committed to capitalize on the training to benefit the people they support by making an concentrated effort of advancing the practices in each of our workplaces and Portage County.
I am looking forward to the wonderful things these champions of Person Centered Planning will accomplish in the near future through Person Served Empowerment!
School Bus Inspection (2015-2016)
Let's take a moment to offer a well-earned Congratulations and Thank you to our Transportation Department team! They just successfully completed their final bus inspection evaluation with the Ohio Department of Public Safety, a division of the Ohio State Highway Patrol.
The inspection was a greater challenge this year with the evaluation process moved up approximately two months earlier than last year. They met the challenge of getting ready with optimism and confidence. Only one vehicle was flagged for repair before it was permitted to return to service. This vehicle was found to have a small rust spot near the lift door that they wanted repaired to prevent further vehicle damage. The vehicle was in safe operation and compliance other than this issue.
This is another outstanding inspection and accomplishment for the care and maintenance of our vehicles. The transportation team received a special commendation letter for the 2014-2015 school year from the Department in October 2014. The Licensing and Commercial Standards section of the State Highway Patrol recognized the transportation team's professionalism and pride in maintaining a safe fleet of school buses.
Congratulations to everyone in the transportation department!
State provides additional details on independent provider phase-out proposal
After receiving a large amount of feedback from people who use Independent Providers (IPs), family members, and DD advocacy organizations, the state has provided more information about its proposal to change how IPs operate in Ohio.
State officials have also indicated they plan to convene a workgroup that will include people served, family members, and representatives from DD advocacy groups to discuss how IPs can fit into the future structure of Ohio's existing waivers (including Level One, Individual Options/IO, and SELF).
The state has also announced that it is considering delaying the start of changes to the IP structure until at least 2018 to allow adequate time for these discussions to take place.
Townhall II is Offering a New Program
The purpose of this program is to provide education and support for the family members and loved ones (adults and children) of individuals recovering from, or living with, addiction.
For more information, see attached the flyer:
Cleveland-area parents: We want to hear from you!
The Arc of Greater Cleveland and Disability Rights Ohio (DRO) invite you to a family forum to discuss your child's experiences with special education services.
During the forum, Disability Rights Ohio will discuss its Doe vs. State of Ohio education lawsuit. Only parents and guardians of school-age children with special needs are permitted to attend. This case involves the claim that the state does not provide enough resources to school districts to provide free and appropriate public education to students with disabilities. Parents will learn why this case is important to children with disabilities. Sharing your experiences can help improve the education system.
Wednesday, April 29, 2015
10 a.m. to noon OR 6 to 8 p.m.
The Arc of Greater Cleveland
William Patrick Day, Early Childhood Center
2421 Community College Ave.
Cleveland, OH 44115
Space is limited. Accommodations, including ASL and Spanish-language interpreters, are available upon request. RSVP online Here
Ohio ABLE Act Introduced
Lawmakers from the Ohio House and Senate, as well as Treasurer Josh Mandel, discuss future legislation that would allow Ohioans with disabilities to create their own tax-advantaged savings accounts.
The legislation, which will be sponsored by Reps. Margy Conditt (R-Liberty Township) and Jonathan Dever (R-Cincinnati) in the House and Sens. John Eklund (R-Munson Township) and Shannon Jones (R-Springsboro) in the Senate, is an Ohio-specific adaptation of the federal ABLE (Achieving a Better Life Experience) Act, which was signed into law in December.
The Arc of Ohio, Autism Speaks and the Down Syndrome Association of Central Ohio participated in a press conference today in support of the legislation.
Click here to see the full press conference:
ABLE Act - Federal Fact Sheet
Independent Provider Update
We expect the proposed state budget to be ammended regarding Independent Providers. The ammendment will delay implementation of any proposed changes by at least a year; and a "Self-Direction Advisory Workgroup" will be created.
The Workgroup will include The Arc of Ohio, among other stakeholders, and will make recommendations by December 1, 2015 regarding self-directed services.
There appears to be a misunderstanding among families and independent providers regarding "self-directed services". We have received nurmerous calls of concerns asking if individuals will be forced to exchange their Individual Options (IO) Waiver for a SELF Waiver, which is self-directed. You will not be required to trade your IO Waiver for a SELF Waiver;and, we would recommend you never do that.
The proposal, at this point, is that a new service category will be added to both the IO and Level 1 Waivers, which will allow you to receive a Self-Directed Service as part of your current Waiver. (Remember that individuals on the Transitions DD Waiver will be transitioned to an IO Waiver between July 1, 2015 and June 30, 2017.)
This new Self Directed service wil be added to the IO and Level 1 Waivers BEFORE anything will be done to affect your current Independent Provider.
What does this mean?
Basically, you will still be able to choose your Independent, but he/she will be paid by a fiscal intermediary (currently Morningstar Financial Services
) rather than directly by the State of Ohio. You will retain the right to hire/fire that Independent and you will be given options of what type of authority you want as the "Employer.
What we do not know at this point, is how much you will be able to pay your Independent but we expect, like in the SELF Waiver, you will be able to negotiate that pay, within a range dictated by the state.
The amount of pay will most certainly be one of the recommendations provided by the Self-Directed Workgroup. Work has already begun with another group, under the direction of the Ohio Department of DD (which includes The Arc of Ohio) to modify and improve other areas within our current Waivers.
DODD has posted updates regarding this process on their website:
We are making progress. The delay in implementation gives us time to work out the details.
TDD Waiver Update
The following letter is being mailed to all TDD Waiver recipients: