The Friday Update is distributed 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 to You may also read the Friday Update on the Board website or on the mobile app.

  1.  Board of DD 2019 Calendar available for download
  2.  George H.W. Bush remembered as a champion for those with disabilities
  3.  Action Alert from the Ohio Autism Society
  4.  New Health & Wellness Alert
  5.  Calamity Day Procedures
  6.  Healthy athletes session begins January 29
  7.  Job Postings
  8.  Free sensory room available in December
  9.  Board approves 2019 Action Plan
  10.  Sibshops resume December 15
  11.  Upcoming activities for the Developmental Disabilities community
  12.  Worth Repeating

1. Board of DD 2019 Calendar available for download

The 2019 Board of DD Calendar is at the printer. But you can download it now. Click here.

2.  George H.W. Bush remembered as a champion for those with disabilities

The former president said that signing the Americans with Disabilities Act was one of his proudest accomplishments during his time in office. Click here to read more.

3.  Action Alert from the Ohio Autism Society

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security published a proposed change to the existing “public charge” policy that would be harmful to people with autism or other disabilities seeking to enter the country lawfully if they may need public services. It would also be harmful to people with autism already in the U.S. if they are trying to become a permanent resident.

Under the existing public charge rule, individuals may be considered a public charge if they need cash benefits, like social security or TANF, or if they live or might live in an institution.

Under the proposed rule, officials would consider use of additional programs as qualifying an applicant as a public charge, such as Medicaid, Food Stamps (SNAP), Medicare Part D, and Section 8 housing and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

In addition to benefits, the rule looks at a person’s health to decide if they might become a public charge. The rule also looks at whether or not a person can get private health insurance to pay for the medical costs the government thinks they will have because of their chronic health condition or disability. If someone does not have health insurance, that counts against them. Because many important community services are only available through Medicaid and are not covered by private insurance, many people with disabilities may not pass this test.

The Department of Homeland Security is accepting comments on this proposed rule change until December 10. If the Department receives many comments, it will be hard to justify making the Rule final. Therefore, we need as many comments as possible to make the case that this proposed Rule should not go forward.  The Autism Society of America will be submitting comments but you can too.

The Autism Society has made it easy for you to provide comments directly to the Department of Homeland Security.  The Action Center already has a pre-written, sample letter that commenters may edit to make it more personal.  Simply enter your contact information, edit the letter, and press submit!

4.   New Health & Wellness Alert

Individuals with developmental disabilities are often at higher risk for the flu. “Preventing the Flu,” is the latest Health & Wellness Alert from the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities.

5.  Calamity Day Procedures

Should it be necessary to close Board facilities due to inclement weather the announcement will be posted in several areas. You can check the Board’s Facebook Page or website. The Board will also send information via its mobile app. You can subscribe to the app through Google Play or the Apple App Store. The Board will also send closing information to the news media.

6.   Healthy athletes session begins January 29

Lucas County Special Olympics is working with the University of Toledo Office of Recreational Services to present another Healthy Athletes session. Health Athletes is a program designed to improve health and fitness. The program is now 10 weeks and all sessions will be held at the University of Toledo
Recreation Center.

There is no cost, but the session is limited to 15 participants. Find out more about the program.

7.  Job Postings

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

The Ability Center has a disability advocate position open. Click here to apply.

8.   Free sensory room available in December

Did you know there is a free sensory room resource for children with special needs and their siblings? It’s located at the Finnegan Family Autism Center on Central Avenue in Toledo.  December schedule.

9. Board approves 2019 Action Plan

The annual Action Plan outlines the goals and priorities for year.   Read the entire Action Plan at this link.

10. Sibshops resume December 15

Sibshops are designed for kids 8-16 who have siblings with a special health or developmental need. The program combines recreation, information and discussion with other kids who share the same challenges and celebrations. Sibshops meet the third Saturday of each month from 10:00 am – 1:00 pm at the Alternate Learning Center in Toledo.

Sibshops are free and lunch is provided. To register, please contact Wendy Smenner at 419-214-3066 or

11.  Upcoming activities for the Developmental Disabilities community

January 31 – Empowering Parents with Students Receiving Special Education

February 2 – Prom for people with disabilities (18 and older)

February 8 – Dinner Dance

February 24 – CommUNITY Film Fest

March 19 – Summer Camp Inclusion Resource Fair

12. Worth Repeating

“”Leadership is not about being the best. Leadership is about making everyone else better.” -Zig Ziglar


















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