Parents and guardians may be faced with the difficult decision of choosing the best and safest learning environment for their child with special education and/or special healthcare needs. These two resources are created to give parents information related to rights within school for children with disabilities at this time, as well as things for them to consider when determining whether online or in school learning is the most appropriate for their child.
The Ohio Department of Education (ODE) has widely shared proposed changes to the OAC (Ohio Administrative Code) and is allowing for public comment until July 31. One of the proposed changes is the Proposed Rule Change to OAC 3301-51-05 Procedural Safeguards regarding Change of Placement (found in 3301-51-05). Parental consent for change of placement, which currently is found in the OAC language in this section, is proposed to be removed. ODE has shared that the change of placement decision is an IEP team decision, and the parent is a member of the IEP team. However, clarity of the rights of a parent in this situation is important. To continue giving parents their rights that are afforded by IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act), we believe that the language should remain in the OAC.
For parents and families who are concerned about this proposed change, Disability Rights Ohio has drafted a template letter to use to share their concern.
Regardless of whether you agree or disagree with the removal of the language in this section, we encourage everyone to review all of the proposed changes and provide your public comment on the changes. All proposed changes (and instructions on where to send comments) can be found here.
The Ohio Department of Education welcomes comments and encourages everyone to participate in this process. The more voices heard, the more perspectives shared, whatever your perspective is, the better outcome for all of our children.
Ohio’s F2F has teamed up with the Ohio Department of Health (Title V Division) to participate in a national project sponsored by Family Voices and Leadership in Family/Professional Partnerships. We are one of 5 states chosen for the project, with a goal of forming a Collaborative Action Team to encourage parents from underserved populations in Ohio to join advisory groups on local, regional and statewide levels. During the Coronavirus pandemic, our team worked together to disseminate related health information to the Somali and Hispanic communities in their primary languages. These are the two cultural groups our team chose to focus on, and we have added cultural advisors to our team representing these two populations.
Additional goals in the CAT action plan include engaging the CMH parent advisory council in Implicit Bias training, and then working to recruit, support and mentor new members of the PAC from the Somali and Hispanic communities. We hope to apply what we learn in the process to include other underserved populations in this and other decision-making groups in the future.
In view of the most current events and the blatant as well as underlying and systemic racism that people of color experience in our country, Ohio F2F stands in support of all of our stakeholders, family members, self-advocates, children, youth and adults with disabilities, colleagues and friends to address racism, injustice and inequities. Our vision statement, as part of the UCCEDD, clearly states that we envision a future in which “all people, including children and adults living with disabilities, …, fully participate in society and live healthy, safe, self-determined and productive lives.” While our focus is on people with developmental disabilities, we acknowledge that our vision for a just future cannot be achieved in a racist world.
Our F2F is committed to working as a team to recognize and dismantle systems that support racism while actively supporting each other and the people we serve to acknowledge, honor, and appreciate differences. We are with you.
The UCCEDD is excited to announce the release of ten video modules on Rubinstein-Taybi Syndrome (RTS). Nine of the modules focus on medical subspecialty care for patients with RTS and one is dedicated to families’ experiences of living a good life with RTS in their homes, schools and communities. We hope these videos will contribute to increased understanding and optimal treatment of individuals with RTS. We appreciate the time, knowledge and expertise that these medical professionals and families put into making these videos with us.
Individual videos and links are listed below.
Congress is writing the next bill to respond to the needs of Americans in this crisis. In order for the needs of people with disabilities and their families to be addressed in the next bill, members need to hear about the real impacts. Often, a short personal story is helpful for them. Below are tips and tools to share your story.
Important to include:
- How services and supports have been impacted by social distancing and how this impacts you
- Not being able to go to school, work, community activities, day program
- Not being able to have in-home or community support (Direct Support Professionals, aides, personal assistants, nurses)
- Medical and other appointments being canceled
What to send in a story:
- A picture of you at home; members of Congress need to SEE all of us
- Story template
- My name is __________________ and I am _______(a person with disability, family member, friend ). I am from _______(town and state). The COVID-19 emergency has ___________ (stopped services – explain which). I am worried about ____________ (explain what the impact is). I know you are working on the fourth relief package for COVID-19. I want to learn more about how you are going to help people with disabilities in this package. Thank you very much for your time.
- Example: (include photo of yourself)
My name is Liz Weintraub and I am a person with an intellectual and developmental disability. I am from Rockville, MD. The COVID-19 emergency has me working from home. I am worried about getting help from staff coming into my home while “stay home, saves lives.”
I need information about COVID-19 to be in plain language as its hard for me to understand and feel safe during these hard times if information is not accessible. I know you are working on the 4th relief package for COIVD-19. I want to learn more about how you are going to help people with disabilities in this package. Thank you very much for your time.
How to send a story:
- AUCD is happy to compile stories and send them to your members of Congress and to Congressional leaders. If you want us to send your story simply email it to email@example.com.
- If you want to send your story directly to your members of Congress, the best way right now is via email. If you need help locating the right email addresses for your members please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Project REDD (Research and Education on Disability and Disaster) has put together a list of resources for people with disabilities, related to Coronavirus, and we have added some that we think are helpful. Find more here.
We will continue to add resources as new ones become available.
We are here to support you during this time. More details here.