As Ohio reopens responsibly, DODD continues to support providing Early Intervention services through technology whenever possible. Director Jeff Davis explains updated guidance and best practices to ensure health and safety.
Hello, this is Jeff Davis, director of the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities. I want to start by thanking you for all you've been doing to support infants, toddlers and their families during this challenging time. You've gone above and beyond to find creative ways to support families at home, sometimes being the first to reach out to them.
I wanted to take this opportunity to provide some updated guidance and best practices. While DODD never prohibited in person visits, we have strongly discouraged them. As various activities in the state are reopening and there's still restrictions, we continue to support providing EI service through technology whenever possible.
DODD will continue to develop resources to help this journey. The team should examine each family's situation and decide which method best suits the IFSP outcome, family and team resources. Since many children served in EI are medically fragile and/or have caregivers who are at risk groups over the age of 65 or with certain medical conditions, particular care is needed to ensure sure that families are aware of potential risks, and EI providers are following all relevant public health orders to protect families.
Given the many complexities involved, we cannot give you a yes or no answer about when and whether to resume in person visits, or to what extent your county board will need to work with your local health department to ensure compliance with all appropriate directives and recommendations.
As stated earlier, we are highly encouraging you to use the team process to determine if services can be delivered to technology. Any in-person activities your agency conducts must be consistent with all state and local public health orders. While many activities are resuming throughout the state, it is certainly not business as usual. ODH and your local health department are important resources you can access ODH orders and guidance at coronavirus.ohio.gov