The Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities (DODD) is excited to announce the launch of the Ohio Family Network, which will connect people with disabilities and their families to local information and resources within their communities.
With a focus on the local level, the Ohio Family Network, or OFN, will provide tools and support resources to help grow people's leadership and social skills, as well as offer opportunities for families to make connections with other local families.
To facilitate the Ohio Family Network, DODD awarded more than $500,000 in grant funding over an 18-month period to five entities from across the state: Autism Society of Greater Akron, Center for Disability Empowerment, Down Syndrome Association of Central Ohio, The Family Leadership Network of Starfire, and Milestones Autism Resources.
As OFN members, these organizations will provide resources for people with disabilities throughout 17 counties. OFN members will be identifying the needs of local families so they can connect them with helpful resources based on those needs. Members will also leverage the knowledge, diversity, and current strengths of their communities.
As part of supporting OFN members, DODD has invested more than $400,000 in strategy-based learning sessions to educate the Ohio Family Network about navigating stress, building social networks to reduce social isolation, engaging people in local projects, and empowering people to develop a vision for a good life.
Additionally, DODD expects local community partners will report an increased desire and ability to welcome and support people with disabilities, as well as their families and siblings.
For more information, visit the Ohio Family Network page.