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Technology Offers Mental Health Access: Ohio Project Hits 5-Year Mark 

Janine from Troy, Ohio, doesn't have to travel the 30 minutes to Dayton in order to see her psychiatrist.

Instead, she video chats with Dr. Allison Cowan after a short drive to the Miami County board, known as Riverside Developmental Disabilities. It's just a three-minute trip from her day program.

In 2012, Ohio launched the Telepsychiatry Project for Intellectual Disability. Telepsychiatry is available for people with disabilities who have a co-occurring mental health need, are enrolled in Medicaid, and have access to a webcam. This project developed from a need for Ohioans in rural or low-income communities to receive mental health care from psychiatrists who specialize in dual diagnosis. Prior to the pilot, nearly half of that population received specialty care from their primary care physicians. The Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities (DODD) collaborates on the project with Wright State University and Access Ohio Mental Health Center of Excellence, a behavioral health organization serving Central and Southern Ohio. Dr. Julie Gentile is the project's director from Wright State's Coordinating Center of Excellence (CCOE).



AdaptAbilities - Will Plough

A pediatrician confirmed Reverend Becky Plough's suspicion of her son when he was 12 years old. Plough had done her research and found that some of Will's behavior was characteristic of Asperger's Syndrome. In the years that followed, doctors tried various medications and therapies, but his behavior became more problematic. "He was acting out. He was having meltdowns. Nobody knew what to do about it. There would be days and days where he would stay in his room and not come out," Plough says.

After a particularly bad episode when he was 18 years old, Will was admitted to a mental facility for three months. Plough and her husband spent this time reviewing housing and care options for him in the area. Will wanted to continue working at Peopleworks, a farm outside of Defiance, where he got along fine gardening, caring for livestock, and researching crops. They found an apartment for Will, but the thought of staff administering care in his apartment concerned them. "It was one thing for us to experience these outbursts as mom and dad, but we could not in our conscience expose other people to that," insists Plough.

As a member of the Williams County Board of Developmental Disabilities (WCBDD), Plough attended board training in Defiance where she heard a brief mention of remote monitoring... More


AdaptAbilities - Ellie Nickoli

Miss Ashland’s Outstanding Teen Grateful for Early Intervention

On Tuesday, September 27, 2016, Ellie Nickoli dropped three minutes off her cross country time. She is a competitive swimmer, swimming breaststroke for her junior high school, and she holds the title of "Miss Ashland's Outstanding Teen".

"I am always so proud and amazed when I watch her race," says Ellie's mother Libby. "I never dreamed with her diagnosis she would be so active!"

To see Ellie today, you would never guess that she was diagnosed with congenital hip dysplasia when she was four months old. A well-child check led to a specialist appointment, and an orthopedic specialist at Nationwide Children's Hospital confessed that it was one of the most extreme and severe cases of hip dysplasia he had ever seen... More


AdaptAbilities - Linda Dunaway

One year ago the staff at Toward Independence (TI) in Xenia could not get two words out of Linda Dunaway. Her head was always down, she was grouchy, and she didn't want to leave on planned excursions.

Then, in October 2015, Linda had a secret.

"I didn't know Linda, except to see her," Beth Esterkamp from TI reveals. "I was at our agency picnic when Linda approached me."

"I've got a secret. You can't tell anybody," Linda told Beth. "I got a job. Can you believe it? Igot a job!"

The "one" in one bistro's name is short for Our ­Neighbors Eat, a philosophy that  Executive Chef Robert Adamson wanted to bring to the "food desert" that was downtown Xenia. He approached Mary Crockett, community development coordinator for the city. She in turn approached Mark Schlater, CEO of TI, expressing the need for a restaurant in downtown Xenia, and said they were interested in using the empty storefront adjoining TI... More


Adaptabilities - The Cade Sisters

The Cade sisters love to be with each other, and they love to clean.

"Cleaning is their thing," says Rebecca Puckett, an SSA at the Vinton County Board of Developmental Disabilities (VCBDD).

But their love for each other and necessity to work together meant finding a very accommodating employer, which was tricky. "They are just really, really close. Been together their whole lives…never been apart. It was a struggle to find employment because they would have to take on two," Puckett remarks. "They wanted to work the same shifts."

Enter Michael Williams, owner and director at R.M. Funeral Services.  As a student at Ohio University in Athens, Williams saw a young man with developmental disabilities  More