Friday Update – December 1

The Friday Update is published every Friday morning by the Lucas County Board of Developmental Disabilities. You may subscribe by sending your email address to You may also read the Friday Update on our website, on our mobile app, or on Facebook.

  1.   In time for holiday gift giving, the popular meat & cheese boxes are back!
  2.   No cost program aims to improve health of Special Olympics athletes
  3.   Bittersweet and Target to offer sensory holiday shopping experience
  4.   Community needs assessment underway for Autism Collaborative
  5.   Tax bill may threaten disabilities services
  6.   Ability Center seeking your opinion
  7.   Job postings
  8.   Download the Board of DD Mobile App
  9.   Job Seeking and Work Readiness Classes begin January 9
  10.   Staff Persons of the Month
  11.   Ohio House considering anti-discrimination organ transplant bill
  12.   Events for the DD Community
  13.   Worth Repeating

1.  In time for holiday gift giving, the popular meat & cheese boxes are back!

Maumee Valley Chapter Partners for Inclusion (formerly Maumee Valley Civitan) is again offering the popular meat and cheese boxes for holiday gift giving. These gift boxes create paid work for persons with developmental disabilities at Triad, Sunshine, Shared Lives Studio, and Anne Grady! For more information and an order form click here or order online.

2.  No cost program aims to improve health of Special Olympics athletes

Healthy Athletes is a new program offered in collaboration with the University of Toledo designed to improve the health and fitness of athletes and their ability to train and compete in Special Olympics as well as in life.  Read more about this innovative effort at this link.

3.   Bittersweet and Target to offer sensory holiday shopping experience

Holiday shopping can be stressful for anyone, but especially for those with sensory sensitivities. Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders are often sensitive to bright lights, loud music, and crowds. This year, Bittersweet and the Target in Rossford (9666 Old US 20, Rossford, OH 43460) will team up to offer a sensory friendly shopping opportunity for local individuals with autism and their families.

On Thursday, Dec. 7, the Toledo SE Target store will open one hour early to provide a sensory friendly shopping experience for individuals with autism. From 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. the lights will be dimmed, the music turned off, and foot traffic limited.

4.   Community needs assessment underway for Autism Collaborative

The Great Lakes Collaborative for Autism is conducting a new needs analysis. The information gathered via this on-line survey will be used by community leaders, service providers, and stakeholders to prioritize efforts and funding over the next several years. Read more at this link or listen to an interview with Catina Harding, Director of the  Great Lakes Collaborative for Autism. Take the survey here.

5.   Tax bill may threaten disabilities services

A Republican proposal to overhaul the tax code could endanger everything from employment services to health care for people with disabilities, advocates say.  Read more here.

6.   Ability Center seeking your opinion

The Ability Center of Greater Toledo is seeking the opinions and experiences of community members to guide our future success. We actively use feedback to improve our delivery and provide you with the best possible service. You can help by completing this community perception survey. Please answer the statements indicative to your feelings of The Ability Center’s activities, services, and practices. We expect the survey to take about five minutes of your time. Your responses will remain confidential, and contact information will not be shared. Please forward the survey link to anyone in your community who you believe can assist in guiding our future success.

Those who complete the survey on or before December 15, 2017 will be entered into a drawing to win a $50 Visa Gift Card.


7.  Job Postings

The Lucas County Board of DD is recruiting for a Service and Support Specialist. Experienced human services professional to assist individuals with developmental disabilities to be a part of their community, achieve gainful employment and receive needed supports to live as independently as possible. Candidates must possess a Bachelor’s degree in a related area, one year of post-Bachelor experience, and a clean driving record. Click here to learn how to apply for a job with the Board.

If you are a provider seeking employees, we would like to help. Send an email to with the details. We’ll be happy to include the information in the next Friday Update email. The following providers are seeking employees.


8.  Download the Board of DD Mobile App

Smartphone users will want to download our newly revised mobile app. On the app you’ll find our latest videos, photos, calendar of events, contact information and more. Plus, when downloading, be sure to allow your smartphone to accept push notifications from the Board. This will allow The Board to send you the latest information about events, delays or closings.  Download from the Apple App Store, Google Play, or click here!


9.   Job Seeking and Work Readiness Classes begin January 9

Employment Connections, the community employment arm of the Lucas County Board of DD, will begin Job Seeking and Work Readiness classes beginning January 9. Topics will include resume development, job seeking skills, and interview techniques. For more information read the flyer at this link.

10.   Staff Persons of the Month

The transition away from being a service provider has been a major change for the Lucas County Board of DD. Kristen Genson, Risk Management Coordinator; Ashley Hopkinson, Human Resources Representative; and Renea Quire, Training and Development Coordinator, have been at the forefront of the transition.

Kristen and Ashley have demonstrated compassion and understanding to staff during an emotional transition. They understand the enormity of the message and have worked tirelessly to ensure that staff has all the necessary information to help them uncover employment options and answer their questions about the State Retirement Program, OPERs.

Renea has provided numerous training opportunities to staff. Many staff are concerned that after working so many years at the Lucas County Board of DD, they may not understand their marketable skills. Renea has been diligently working with staff to help create reswnes that highlight skills they have acquired at the Board. She has also provided monthly classes in resume writing, Microsoft Word and Excel. Renea is a patient trainer who offers a safe place to learn, regardless of the skill level of the learner.

The Lucas County Board of DD proud to recognize them as the November Staff Persons of the Month.

11.  Ohio House considering anti-discrimination organ transplant bill

The Ohio House is considering a bill that would prohibit health care providers from denying a person an organ transplant or a place on an organ transplant waiting list based solely on that person’s disability. HB 332 also requires reasonable modifications to policies to prevent discrimination and gives wronged parties legal recourse if discrimination occurs.

12.    Upcoming Events for the DD Community

December 3 – Soothing Santa at Franklin Park Mall

December 7 – Demystifying Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorders

December 7 – Guys’ Group

December 10 – Soothing Santa at Franklin Park Mall

December 12 – Dyslexia training for parents

January 9 – Job Seeking & Work Readiness Classes at Employment Connections

13. Worth Repeating

“I’d like to make everyday with you a holiday for love.” -Mel Tillis


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