Policy Paper, “Fostering Disability Advocates: A Framework for Training Future Leaders Through Interprofessional Education” Published

Stephanie Weber, Jennifer Smith, Kara Ayers and Jane Gerhardt collaborated on a policy paper titled, “Fostering Disability Advocates: A Framework for Training Future Leaders Through Interprofessional Education. This paper was recently published and can be found here, https://psycnet.apa.org/fulltext/2019-44724-001.html

This article describes the curriculum of an interprofessional training program tasked with teaching policy and advocacy knowledge and skills specific to the underserved population of individuals with developmental disabilities. The program, guided by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau’s Leadership Competencies, emphasizes integrating professionals in health disciplines, including psychology, together with individuals with disabilities and their family members for shared learning experiences. The article discusses the importance of incorporating advocacy training into preparation programs for future psychologists.

Serving on Groups Training Kicked Off for Families in Ohio

This Spring, Ohio Family to Family kicked off a new training for families titled, “How to Serve on Groups that Make Decisions”.

Amy Clawson, Northern Ohio Family Support Specialist, and Lynne Fogel, Central Ohio Family Support Specialist, hosted a four-part training for parents/caregivers of children with special health care needs, delays and/or disabilities on how to become involved in local, state or regional decision-making committees, task forces and/or councils.

These eight family leaders are eager to partner with organizations and committees, and we are excited for them to get involved.

This free training was offered by Ohio Family to Family Health Information Centers, National Family Voices & National Center for Family Professional Partnerships because it is essential that families are working as part of the decision-making team.

Families leaders learned about the importance of being a partner at the table, opportunities to get involved and types of groups, how to be prepared for meetings, effective communication tools, and the keys to being a successful family leader.

“There are many levels at which families can be involved: in their child’s care, their school, their community and as a part of larger, statewide groups that are working to improve the lives of families and children. We want Ohio family leaders to feel empowered to make a difference!” states Amy Clawson.

Theresa Sweeney, parent in Cuyahoga County, said “this training was extremely comprehensive, and I have gained a greater understanding how to be a parent leader and how to improve my communication skills to make changes.”

Another parent who attended the training has applied to a state council and is anxious to use her new leadership skills.

Ohio Family to Family will be scheduling another Serving on Groups training again. Please watch the website and Facebook page for details.

Follow the Money – the US Budget and You

The Autism Self Advocacy Network (ASAN) has developed a plain language toolkit called Follow the Money: The U.S. Budget and You. This resource, not only for people with Autism explains what the federal budget is, what taxes are, what the budget process is, what happens when the budget process doesn’t work and what we can do to influence the federal budget.

Find the toolkit here

Disability Rights Ohio Medicaid Pro Bono Program

Disability Rights Ohio receives many calls from people across the state after their Medicaid insurance denies their requests for services or equipment and they find themselves entangled in the very complicated Medicaid appeals process. In an effort to help more people get the services or equipment they need, Disability Rights Ohio has developed partnerships with Nationwide Insurance and McDonald Hopkins, LLC, to connect people with volunteer attorneys and paralegals who provide free legal representation in certain Medicaid appeal cases. Disability Rights Ohio works collaboratively with the Nationwide and McDonald Hopkins volunteer teams to screen and refer eligible clients and provide training, case preparation and ongoing support to the volunteers.

Read more here


New Estate Planning Guide

The Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council has released a new book designed to improve understanding of the different strategies available for estate and special needs planning for individuals with disabilities, their families and others.

Access it here