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Ohio Technology First Taskforce

Ohio Technology First Taskforce 

Many Ohioans with developmental disabilities encounter obstacles in daily tasks and activities, including accessing education and jobs. Technology can help people to overcome these barriers and live fuller lives. Technology First is an initiative to ensure that people with developmental disabilities have increased opportunities to live, work, and thrive in their homes and communities through state-of-the-art planning, innovative technology, and supports that focus on their talents, interests, and skills. The main priority of the Technology First initiative is to increase the use of innovative technology solutions within service delivery and operations for people with developmental disabilities.  

Governor Mike DeWine and Lieutenant Governor Jon Husted have made innovating technology a priority of their administration. Ohio’s DD system supports over 95,000 people with developmental disabilities. Of those, over 41,000 are enrolled in a Medicaid waiver and over 5,000 in intermediate care facilities (ICFs). As of August 2021, 1,090 people were authorized to use remote supports and 3,002 were authorized to use assistive technology. More must be done to strengthen Ohio as a Technology First state and for people with developmental disabilities and their families to experience all the benefits of technology supports. 

  • It is a priority of the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities (DODD) to support technology 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 strengthen Ohio’s Technology First initiative, the biennium budget for fiscal years 2022 and 2023 included the following items: 

  • Services for people with developmental disabilities should utilize technology whenever possible.   

  • Establish a Technology First Taskforce charged to expand technology solutions within service delivery and operations, reduce barriers, and align state policies. 

  • Require the following state offices and agencies to participate in the taskforce and implement the state’s policy: 

    • Department of Developmental Disabilities 

    • Office of InnovateOhio 

    • Department of Education 

    • Department of Medicaid 

    • Department of Job and Family Services 

    • Department of Aging 

    • Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services 

    • Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities 

    • Department of Transportation 

    • Department of Health   

  • DODD and InnovateOhio shall coordinate the actions taken by state agencies to comply with the state's policy. State agencies shall share information with DODD, and DODD shall track progress toward full implementation of the policy.  
  • DODD, in coordination with any taskforce established by the Governor, shall compile data and submit a report on the implementation of the policy to the Governor and Lt. Governor. 
  • The department and state agencies may adopt rules to implement the state's policy. 

To inform the Technology First Taskforce of the needs of people with developmental disabilities, their families, and their system of support, DODD convened a diverse group of stakeholders to outline recommendations for the Technology First Taskforce. The group met from May 2021 through September 2021 with the charge to outline key recommendations for the Ohio Technology First Taskforce. Their recommendations were finalized in September 2021 and will be presented at the kick-off Technology First Taskforce Meeting on October 28, 2021. 


  1. Provide opportunities to invest and pilot innovative technology solutions for people with developmental disabilities.  

  2. Elevate individuals with developmental disabilities in the conversation with SmartCities, DriveOhio, BroadbandOhio, and technology initiatives through InnovateOhio. 

  3. Develop a communication plan for stakeholders around the purpose and importance of technology. 

  4. Advance the use of the DataOhio platform to evaluate available technology-related services. 

  5. Conduct an evaluation of available technology-related services (i.e., assistive technology and remote support), including the efficacy of service intervention, cost savings, and cost distribution within the state disabilities support systems. 

  6. Work collaboratively to increase provider capacity to increase telehealth and telepsychiatry options for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  

  7. Develop a state-level interagency agreement among all Technology First Taskforce agencies so that these agencies work together to set common policy, definitions, training material, and benchmarks.  

  8. Develop and implement state rules outlining Technology First Policy, including common definitions and policy.    

  9. Ensure regular engagement with stakeholders with disabilities around Technology First needs.  

  10. The Technology First Taskforce will engage two times per year with the DODD Technology First Advisory Committee to identify and celebrate technology breakthroughs and identify barriers to access technology for people with developmental disabilities.  

Meeting Information

Meetings will be held the third Thursday of each month at 1:00p. Meetings will be held in person, but people may join remotely using the information below. 

Microsoft Teams meeting 

Join on your computer or mobile app 

Click here to join the meeting

Join with a video conferencing device


Video Conference ID: 117 898 621 1 

Alternate VTC instructions

Or call in (audio only)

+1 614-721-2972,,464051389#   United States, Columbus 

Phone Conference ID: 464 051 389#


January 20 Meeting Resources

The Technology First Taskforce will not have a formal meeting in January 2022. The meeting was canceled.



December 16 Meeting Resources

December 16, 2021 at 1:00p 

Meeting Agenda | Meeting Minutes


November 18 Meeting Resources

November 18, 2021 at 1:00p

Meeting Agenda | Meeting Minutes


Taskforce Members

First Name Last Name Agency Email
Alison Meloy OOD allison.meloy@ood.ohio.gov
Alissa Otani-Cole OOD alissa.otani-cole@ood.ohio.gov
Bobbi Krabill ODH bobbi.krabill@odh.ohio.gov
Carolyn Kuruc Innovate Ohio carolyn.kuruc@innovate.ohio.gov
David Ellsworth ODH david.ellsworth@odh.ohio.gov
Janel Pequignot OMHAS janel.pequignot@mha.ohio.gov
Karine Hray Innovate Ohio karine.hray@innovate.ohio.gov
Mark Smith ODJFS mark.smith@jfs.ohio.gov
Sarah Buoni ODE sarah.buoni@education.ohio.gov
Susan Hussein ODM susan.hussein@medicaid.ohio.gov
Terri Bettinger ODA terri.bettinger@age.ohio.gov