The Friday Update is published on Friday mornings by Lon Mitchell, Public Information Manager of the Lucas County Board of Developmental Disabilities. You may subscribe by sending your email address. You may also read the Friday Update on the Board website and on the mobile app available from the Apple Store and from Google Play.

  1.  You can receive free text message alerts from the Board of DD
  2.  Vellaree Swartout honored as Staff Person of the Month
  3.  Job Postings
  4.  Winter Weather Health & Safety Alert
  5.  Ability Center schedules open house for its new Canine Training Center
  6.  Google seeks help from people with Down syndrome
  7.  Bowling Green to host Special Olympics state winter competition
  8.  Aging Gracefully newsletter
  9.  Camp Courageous releases 2020 schedule
  10.  OACB hires Lisa Comes to new Service and Support Adviser position
  11.  Upcoming Events
  12.  Worth Repeating


1.  You can receive free text message alerts from the Board of DD

You can sign up to receive text messages from the Lucas County Board of DD by sending this message to 40404: follow LucasDDAlert . This is an immediate and cost-efficient way for you to receive information about inclement weather closings, important meetings, or other significant notices about Board of DD operations. And it’s free!

You can also get immediate messaging from the Board of DD via our mobile app. You can download the app to your smart phone from the Apple App Store… Google Play …  0r on your browser type in this address and enter your phone number:

2.  Vellaree Swartout honored as Staff Person of the Month

Vellaree Swartout is a person who always gives 120 percent, and she has been proving it as a Board staff member for the past 31 years. Her career with the Board began at Jay Shuer School where she volunteered to work on proms and delivering food baskets. Her focus was always on making students feel better about themselves.

When Jay Schuer closed, Vellaree moved to the Holland Adult Services Center and then to Senior Options. It was not uncommon to see Vellaree after hours involved in activities with the seniors.

Vellaree served with Employment Connections before moving to Records and Imaging.

She has shown an ongoing commitment to the people we serve and a strong dedication to the Board and its Mission. Vellaree is a credit to herself and the Board.

3.  Job postings

To stay up-to-date on job openings with the Lucas County Board of DD, follow this link.  The Board currently has postings for an Early Intervention Development Specialist and a Service and Support Specialist – Children’s Department.

4.  Winter Weather Health & Safety Alert

This alert provides important information about safety precautions that ensure people with disabilities can manage seasonal challenges, such as travel and dangerous temperatures.  Read the alert.

5.   Ability Center schedules open house for its new Canine Training Center

The new training facility will be home to The Ability Center’s Assistance Dogs for Achieving Independence Program and Agility Angels. The standalone building will provide ample dog training space, a consumer service center, a model independent living apartment, and extended programming opportunities for children and adults with autism.

The shared space will improve programming for both organizations but will continue to function as separate entities.

Consumers with The Ability Center’s therapy dogs will now be able to run agility as an added benefit of the program. Agility Angels will be able to expand programming to offer services to people of all types of disabilities.

Friday | Dec. 6
11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Tuesday | Dec. 10
4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m

6.    Google seeks help from people with Down syndrome

From Siri to Alexa, voice assistants are everywhere, but the technology tends to miss every third word that people with Down syndrome say. Now a new effort is underway to change that.  Google is partnering with the Canadian Down Syndrome Society to collect voice samples from adults with Down syndrome in order to program its algorithm to better decipher the unique speech patterns of this population.  Read more.

7.   Bowling Green to host Special Olympics state winter competition

Bowling Green State University will host the indoor events of the State Winter Games competition. This will include basketball, competitive cheerleading and swimming  on Feb. 21-23. An estimated 1,500 Ohio athletes are expected to compete.

8.  Aging Gracefully newsletter

The December newsletter is available at this link.

9.  Camp Courageous releases 2020 schedule

Click here for the Camp Courageous schedule.

10.   OACB hires Lisa Comes to new Service and Support Adviser position

The Ohio Association of County Boards of DD  announced this week that Lisa Comes, Lucas County Board of DD SSA and Person Centered Planning Specialist, will fill the association’s newly created position of Service and Support Adviser. In this role, she will serve as an SSA subject matter expert, provide SSA-related technical assistance, represent county boards on SSA-related workgroups and in discussions with the Department of DD, and provide reviews and support for SSA best practices.

Lisa has served in multiple roles at Lucas DD since 1988. In her most recent position, she maintained a specialized SSA caseload and assisted teams working on crisis cases. She has also worked as an SSA intake specialist, a support coordinator for the Lucas DD’s children’s unit, a transition/intake and referral specialist, and a language development specialist.

Lisa is an active board member of the Prader Wili Syndrome Association of Ohio and coordinates the local CommUNITY Film Festival in Toledo. She holds a bachelor’s of education in K-12 speech therapy from the University of Toledo and has completed more than 40 hours of post-graduate studies in speech therapy.

11.  Upcoming Events

December 10 – Friend Blend

December 19 – Guys and Gals Night Out

January 16 – People First

January 25 – Special Olympics Polar Plunge

March 1 – Acoustics for Autism

March 7 – Arc Night with the Cavs

12.  Worth Repeating

“The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.” -Albert Einstein

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