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Internet Assistance Project Description and Use of Funds

Ohio’s Technology First priorities are to:

  • Increase safety, independence, and control for people with developmental disabilities.
  • Use technology as a solution to meet the needs of families, providers, and direct support professionals.
  • Increase the use of technology across the lifespan for people with developmental disabilities.

To meet these priorities, DODD understands it needs to develop opportunities to empower people with developmental disabilities and their families to explore the use of technology. Through stakeholder outreach, DODD learned that many people with developmental disabilities are not financially able to pay for internet connection. As such, DODD shared multiple opportunities for discounted internet services. However, these opportunities have not been enough. Other major components prohibiting the use of technology include people with developmental disabilities having limited digital literacy skills, access to technology and internet connectivity, and concerns with safety and privacy. To address these limitations and concerns, DODD is now launching the Internet Assistance Project. The Internet Assistance Project will provide funding to eligible county boards of developmental disabilities to support the boards in providing internet assistance to people with developmental disabilities.   

Funds will be approved for applications that span FY 22 which is July 1, 2021, through June 30, 2022. The financial assistance provided under this project is funded by Technology First investments made in Governor Mike DeWine’s FY 22-23 budget. Funding is entirely subject to and contingent upon the availability of money appropriated in the budget. If appropriated funds become exhausted during the term of this project, DODD shall immediately terminate the project.  

County Board Requirements 

To participate in the Internet Assistance Project, a county board of developmental disabilities must complete a Master Internet Assistance Agreement.

After the Master Internet Assistance Agreement is fully executed, the county board will then need to complete an application for each person seeking assistance. In this application, the county board must confirm that the person does not have the funds to pay for internet services, all income resources have been explored, and the least costly, most effective internet coverage has been chosen. The county board must then confirm that the funds from the Internet Assistance Project will be used to support the delivery of remote supports, assistive technology, or StationMD services. After the application is complete, it can be emailed to technologyfirst@dodd.ohio.gov.  

DODD Requirements 

Once DODD receives the application, it will either be approved or denied. If approved, DODD will send an invoice template to the county board for payment processing and an approval letter to the applicant. If denied, DODD will contact the county board and identify the reasons for the denial.  

Please direct any questions to technologyfirst@dodd.ohio.gov