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Apr 25
Health and Welfare Alert #18-4-17

April 25, 2017

Health and Welfare Alert #18-4-17

This alert provides critical information to caregivers about preventing choking, a common breathing emergency.

Read Alert

Required Reading

In addition to required annual training to identify and report Major Unusual Incidents (MUIs) and Unusual Incidents (UIs), all developmental disabilities employees are required by Ohio Administrative Code 5123:2-17-02 to review Health and Welfare Alerts released by the department. This training includes the review of any Health and Welfare Alerts released since the previous calendar year’s training. Please contact the MUI Registry Unit at 614.995.3810 with any questions.  

Previous Health and Welfare Alerts


April 12, 2017

Preventing Suffocation #60-4-17


March 29, 2017
Medication Administration #55-3-17

See all previous alerts

For more heath and welfare information, training opportunities and department updates, subscribe to Pipeline Weekly. 

Apr 25
Health and Welfare Alert: Preventing Choking
Apr 24
UC UCEDD, DODD Host Statewide Regional Forums
UC UCEDD and DODD have partnered for five regional stakeholder engagement forums to gather feedback from stakeholders on priorities, policies, and strategic direction for the next budget cycle. These are intended to all stakeholders: People with DD, familites, providers, and county boards.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017 in Cincinnati, Ohio (Cincinnati Public Library – Main)
Wednesday, May 3, 2017
Morning Session: 10 AM to 12 PM 
Evening Session: 6 to 8 PM
Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County
Main Library Branch - Huenefeld Tower Room
800 Vine Street
Cincinnati, OH 45202
(513) 369-6900
Directions, Parking and Public Transportation:

Tuesday, May 9, 2017 Jackson, Ohio (Christ United Methodist Church)
Tuesday, May 9, 2017 
Morning Session: 10 AM to 12 PM 
Evening Session: 6 to 8 PM
Christ United Methodist Church
150 Portsmouth Street
Jackson, Ohio 45640
(740) 286-3419 

Tuesday, May 30, 2017 Cleveland, Ohio (Cuyahoga Public Library - Independence Branch)
Tuesday, May 30, 2017
Morning Session: 10:30 AM to12:30 PM 
Evening Session:  5:30 to 7:30 PM
Cuyahoga Public Library - Independence Branch
Room: Meeting Room
6361 Selig Drive 
Independence, Ohio  44131
(216) 447 - 0160

Wednesday, May 31, 2017  Toledo, Ohio (Toledo-Lucas County Public Library - West Toledo Branch) 
Wednesday, May 31, 2017  
Morning Session: 10 AM to 12 PM 
Evening Session: 6 to 8 PM
Toledo-Lucas County Public Library (West Toledo Branch)
1320 Sylvania Ave.
Toledo, Ohio 43612
(419) 259-5290

Wednesday, June 14, 2017  Columbus, Ohio (Grandview Public Library) 
Wednesday, June 14, 2017  
Morning Session: 10 AM to 12:30 PM
Evening Session:  7 to 8 PM
Grandview Heights Public Library
1685 West First Avenue
Columbus, OH 43212
(614) 486-2951
Apr 21
EI Memo 4/21/2017 Programs Updates 1711

April 21, 2017

Program Updates 1711

Program Updates #1711 is available through the link below.



Nathan DeDino   

Read More

Apr 20
Pipeline Weekly (4/19/2017)

DODD Newsletter                                                                    April 19, 2017


Community Integration Not New for Wood County 

“We need to continue to find meaningful options for these folks,” says Vic Gable, CEO of Work Leads to Independence (WLI). When the Wood County Board of Developmental Disabilities privatized services through WLI, it created a plan that has assisted people like Phil Pierson, who dreamed of working in a tattoo shop.

Read More

'The Importance of Lived Experience'

Kelli Yeagley explains her experience with autism as an adult in this column focusing on how connecting with other people about their autism by sharing their perspectives, strategies and resources transformed her life.

Read More

Animation Outlines DODD System, Services

Watch the Department of Developmental Disabilities' new animation explaining the system that supports more than 95,000 Ohioans with developmental disabilities and their families. It offers a brief overview of who can participate in services, what services are available, and more.


This Week @ DODD

  Training & Tools                        Health & Welfare

Brown Bag: Group, Individual Employment Supports

This month's Brown Bag Thursday webinar focuses on group and individual employment supports. Join Courtney Mullin and members of the Medicaid and billing teams for this online conversation April 27 from noon to 1 PM.

Speak Up-Stay Safe Training

Check out upcoming regional training sessions aimed at informing and supporting people with developmental disabilities to be safe and healthy in their communities. Register with the Center for Disability Empowerment for this month's Akron and Toledo sessions.

  Operations                                 Employment First

Tip List for New Agency CEOs

For agency providers with a new chief executive officer (CEO), consider these seven tips offering reminders on how the CEO can navigate the Provider Certification Wizard and how to submit their information and other documentation to the department.

Live Chat: Outcome Tracking

Join Courtney Mullin 1:30 PM Wednesday, April 26, for a webinar and discussion focused on home and community-based services changes and the Employment First Outcome Tracking System. Your other questions can be addressed, as well!

Like Pipeline Weekly? Check out Family Connection.

Apr 19
AdaptAbilities: Community Integration Not New for Wood County

Through the hard work of the county board, and backing of a supportive community, the Wood County Board of Developmental Disabilities (WCBDD), better known as Wood Lane, has concentrated on community integration for several decades.

"Wood Lane embraced community based," insists Vic Gable, CEO of Work Leads to Independence (WLI).

"Our workshop is the same size in terms of people served since 1985," Gable says. "It's because we have been integrating people into the community for years."

After the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) notified the state regarding conflict-free case management, the county board contacted the WLI nonprofit board about the possibility of beginning an independent company to serve their population.

"Both sides became vested in moving forward," emphasizes Joanne Hayward from WCBDD. "We all developed our vision and mission together. Collaboration and cooperation is what made it successful, and it was for all the right reasons."

Hayward also credits the Project Transformation 2.0 grant through Employment First. "Having the grant availability was a plus," she says.

Gable adds that as a member of the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities, better known as CARF, he has been able to observe entities across the country. "I often times learn what not to do. But almost every time, I bring something back to enhance what we do," he says. "It's hard to step back a little bit and see what the issues are. I know that's one of the reasons for this transformation site visit … to have these conversations."

Phil Pierson

The 2017 Transformation Series provides an opportunity for provider agencies to gather and share ideas, strategies, and practices that will assist them as they move through the systems change process and help improve person-centered planning and employment opportunities for people with developmental disabilities across Ohio.

Gable maintains that when privatization commenced on October 1, 2016, people accessing services did not notice an interruption in their services, including client Phil Pierson.

Phil loved working in the community, but was having a difficult time finding a job that suited him. He worked at a big-box store, signing customers up for credit cards. He worked the cash register at a gift shop. He tired of these jobs quickly because he did not care for the environment.

"Phil's dream was to work in a tattoo shop," recounts Ana Smith of WLI, who led Phil through the career discovery process. Phil, 20 at the time, has cerebral palsy and startle reflex.

"He wanted a tattoo for a long time. He started watching one of those tattoo shows on TV," adds Kay Pierson, Phil's mom.

Through the discovery process, Smith connected with Phil's network, and with their support, helped him take charge of his team. "Phil got exactly what he wants," she says.

"I wasn't sure I wanted him around that clientele," Pierson says. "During our visit to the shop though, I found out the owner had family members with disabilities. He welcomed Phil and took him under his wing."

She adds that the shop even installed handrails outside to help Phil enter and exit his taxi.

"Phil is working in an environment that he loves," Smith reiterates. "He is good at his job, and the shop employees totally embrace him."

"People could not have been better to him," Pierson affirms.

"We need to continue to find meaningful options for these folks," Gable says. "We are here for the people we serve." 

 Phil Pierson_Wood County AdaptAbilities.jpg

 Phil Pierson

Apr 18
The Importance of Lived Experience

​Hearing first-hand how sharing real-life perspectives, strategies, and resources can change lives of autistic people and their families

By: Kelli Yeagley, OCALI

Several years have passed since I first discovered that I have an autistic neurology. Like many autistic women, my path did not begin with a diagnosis in childhood, though I always knew that I had what my family and now-husband once called "sensitivities." Growing up in an under-resourced and underserved community in the late 1980s and '90s, information about autism, disability, and mental health wasn't widely available. Any challenges that I had ever experienced were generally attributed to being born two months premature, so we did what many people choose to do: ignore the little things and adapt to others.

As a child, if I had my way, I would have spent my days floating in a swimming pool, surrounded by glittering sea life. My family thought it was because I had developed a keen interest in all things related to mermaids and marine biology, but it was also because being in the water was the only place I ever felt my body truly relax. It was something I could point to, even though I didn't have the words to describe what was happening, and say this makes me feel better.

I couldn't distinguish between what I perceived my voice to be and what everyone else called an "inside voice," so it became increasingly difficult to participate in conversations without becoming consumed by intense anxiety. Though I had always experienced unexplained stomach pain from a young age, it was when my stomachaches appeared to be linked to anxiety that my parents became concerned. Doctors who treated me dismissed them as the result of my food preferences: lots of salty and sweet, with very little else. My favorites were chips and ice cream.

I only started to reexamine things after I graduated from high school and began to experience escalating panic attacks. I kept telling myself that if I only tried a little harder, things would fall into place. After being referred by a counselor to a psychiatrist for what I thought was typical twenty-something anxiety, an assessment eventually led me to a diagnosis of bipolar II disorder and down the long and winding road of medication trial and error. Over several months, I had a series of conversations with my doctor, which led to an autism assessment and ultimately a formal diagnosis.

I looked for answers to my mounting questions where I had always been most comfortable: books and the Internet. But to my surprise, what I was seeking couldn't be found in a textbook or research paper. While statistics and figures were great, what was most helpful for the day-to-day came from connecting with people with lived experience.

It was life-changing to find out that my family and I are not alone in our experiences. I now had people who really saw me for who I am. As I continued to learn more about what it meant to better care for myself as an autistic adult, people kindly shared their own experiences so that I might adapt strategies that I found useful. I shared those I found most helpful.

Personally and professionally, I have been fortunate to share parts of my story with others. Currently, I focus much of my work on developing resources, tools, and trainings for autistic people, our families, and those who work alongside us in professional or other supportive roles.

As a staff member at OCALI (Ohio Center for Autism and Low Incidence), I contributed to an innovative online learning tool, ASD Strategies in Action. It is a video-based training series about autism spectrum disorder, built around evidence-based strategies for different stages of life and across settings. It combines research with real-life experiences and features the perspectives of autistic people, our families, as well as those of the educators and professionals who have worked with us along the way.

After years of navigating doctor offices, hospitals, and other medical facilities, I have come to understand the important role medical professionals play in each of our lives. Our physical, mental, and emotional health and wellbeing are so deeply interconnected. It is my hope that doctors, nurses, and related professionals use ASD Strategies in Action as one of the resources they refer to families, schools, and neighborhood communities in order to create a welcoming and informative space around the topic of autism. As a possible training tool for a medical practice, ASD Strategies in Action can also support ongoing efforts to become more inclusive, accessible, and effective in supporting autistic and disabled people, and our families.

Author's Note: A statement on identity-first vs. person-first language: The author chooses to use identity-first language, such as "autistic person" or "disabled person" versus "person with autism." For more information on the perspective, visit

More Information

ASD Strategies in Action are divided into four courses: Many Faces of Autism; Toddler and Preschool Age; School Age; and Transition Age. All of the courses are available at no cost for Ohioans, and the age-based coursework is available via subscription for those who reside outside of the state. 

ASD Strategies in Action was developed by OCALI,, in consultation with a blue-ribbon panel of internationally-recognized experts. The project was funded under the leadership of the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities in collaboration with the Ohio Department of Education and the Governor's Office of Health Transformation. For more information, visit Families should visit

kelli yeagley ocali.png

Apr 17
Public Comment Notice IO, LV1, SELF September Waiver Amendment Updates

Public Comment Notice - Individual Options (IO), Level One (LV1), Self Empowered Life Funding (SELF) September Waiver Amendment Updates

To: Public


From: Laurel Geist Steedman


Date: April 17, 2017


Subject: Public Comment Notice IO, LV1, SELF September Waiver Amendment Updates


Good morning,

Please see the public notices links below for IO, LV1 and SELF waiver amendment updates; the proposed effective date is September 1, 2017.

Thank you,

Laurel Geist Steedman


Public Comment Notice Individual Options (IO) Waiver Amendment Updates

Public Comment Notice Level One (LV1) Waiver Amendment Updates

Public Comment Notice Self Empowered Life Funding (SELF) Waiver Amendment Updates

Apr 13
Pipeline Weekly (4/13/2017)

DODD Newsletter                                                                    April 13, 2017

DODD Showcases Erie County for SotS

During Director John Martin's visit to Sandusky for this year’s State of the State (SotS) events, the Department of Developmental Disabilities (DODD) recognized local businesses employing people with developmental disabilities and discussed Early Intervention.

Watch Video

Ohio Shared Living Awareness, Numbers Grow across State

The department's push to increase awareness of Ohio Shared Living has included several regional work groups, videos, webinars and materials. The number of participants in Ohio Shared Living has increased about 8 percent from the first to second quarters in fiscal year 2017. Find out more about this program that's affecting lives for the better.

Learn More

Health and Welfare Alert: Preventing Suffocation 

Review this new Health and Welfare Alert on suffocation. Also known as asphyxiation, suffocation is the condition of being deprived of oxygen by having one's breathing stopped. The alert provides tips and things to remember to prevent suffocation.

Read Alert

April Advisory Council Meeting to Highlight Family Involvement

Wednesday, April 26, the Family Advisory Council (FAC) meeting will focus on opportunities for family involvement and input. The FAC will welcome new core group members, and will hear from the Department of Developmental Disabilities about its rulemaking process and updates on its state budget plan.

FAC Agenda

This Week @ DODD

  Training & Tools                        Health & Welfare

New imagineIS Features

DODD is announcing new and improved imagineIS features, including expanded Service and Support Administrator (SSA) course offerings, more webinars, videos for county boards and providers, and enhanced website performance.

Catch Up on Health Alerts

Missed a Health and Welfare Alert from the department? Review previous alerts about medication administration, preventing and reporting abuse, and being aware of medical emergencies on the Health and Welfare Alerts page.

  HCBS Updates                          Employment First

New Loop Ohio Mentors

Loop Ohio welcomes new mentors from across Ohio and the nation who have expertise in various topics related to community engagement and who bring a different perspective to communities of practice. Read more here!

Providers Visit Circleville Site

The Circleville office of Capabilities Inc. connects employers with job candidates -- and was among the first providers to host the 2017 Transformation Series. Check out pictures from the event, and register for upcoming site visits to see what providers do firsthand!

Like Pipeline Weekly? Check out Family Connection.

Apr 12
Health and Welfare Alert: ​Preventing Suffocation
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