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

  1.  Superintendent’s Family & Advocate Forum is March 10
  2.  Lucas County Commissioners proclaim March as DD Awareness Month
  3.  Video denounces the use of the “R” word
  4.  Job postings
  5.  Lucas County crowns unified basketball champs 
  6.  DODD survey on transition from vocational habilitation to BEST service due March 30
  7.  Governor DeWine Announces Early Childhood Mental Health Credential
  8.  Shooting with the Stars will unite celebrities and Special Olympics athletes
  9.  Gliding Stars show is March 15
  10.  Monthly Aging Gracefully newsletter
  11.  SALUTE members discuss self-advocacy in radio interview
  12.  Keep up to date on the coronavirus
  13.  Upcoming Events
  14.  Worth Repeating

1.   Superintendent’s Family & Advocate Forum is March 10

The next Family and Advocate Forum with Superintendent Lori Mariucci will be Tuesday, March 10, 9:30 a.m., at the Administration Building, 1154 Larc Lane.  Topics to be discussed include:

    • How we are commemorating March as DD Awareness Month;
    • Updates on the plans for expansion of the Larc Lane campus; and
    • Making our Annual Meeting a place for the developmental disabilities community to connect.

These open forums are informal discussions with the Superintendent about current issues she feels are important. They are also an opportunity for parents, guardians, advocates and providers to present items they feel are pertinent.

2.    Lucas County Commissioners proclaim March as DD Awareness Month

Lucas County Commissioners presented the SALUTE self-advocacy group with a proclamation declaring March as Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month.

The proclamation, in part, reads, “Individuals with developmental disabilities should be encouraged and be given community support to reach their full potential and, to the best of their abilities, participate in the decisions that affect their lives.” Read the full proclamation.

3.    Video denounces the use of the “R” word

To mark DD Awareness Month, Assured Health Services has produced a video to remind us of the ongoing efforts worldwide to end the use of the “R” word. Click here to view their video.

 4.   Job postings

To stay up-to-date on job openings with the Lucas County Board of DD, follow this link. The Board is currently taking applications for Secretary, Community Inclusion and Employment Manager, Early Intervention Developmental Specialist, and Service and Support Specialist.

The Ability Center is recruiting for two key positions – Director of Community Living and Community Engagement Specialist.

5.    Lucas County crowns unified basketball champs







Unified Basketball featuring Lucas County Special Olympics athletes and students from the University of Toledo were in tournament action at Savage Arena. The event was covered by NBC24. Watch the story.

6.   DODD survey on transition from vocational habilitation to BEST service due March 30

The Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities is conducting a survey to gather public feedback on upcoming changes to vocational habilitation services. Responses must be submitted by Monday, March 30.

Last year, DODD’s vocational habilitation workgroup proposed a replacement for traditional vocational habilitation services. This new framework, which will be called Basic Employment Skills Training (BEST), is targeted to become available in December 2020, after which there will be no new entries into the old vocational habilitation service. Click here to read DODD’s memo. Click here for details on BEST.

As the state prepares for implementation, the department wants to hear from people with developmental disabilities, family members, providers, and board/COG employees on their current level of understanding of BEST, what tools they think would be useful to help others understand the new service, and how they would like DODD to communicate with them about these changes.   Click below to take DODD’s survey.

7.   Governor DeWine Announces Early Childhood Mental Health Credential

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine today announced the launch of Ohio’s new Infant Mental Health Credential for early childhood professionals, the first of its kind in the state. This credential provides professional development to support the social-emotional needs of Ohio’s youngest children. Early childhood professionals who hold this credential will have met the state’s minimum core standards.

“When children are young, they are building the foundation for the rest of their lives. It’s important that we ensure they have the emotional and behavioral skills to succeed,” said Governor DeWine. “This new credential guarantees that those early childhood professionals have specialized skills and training to help young children reach their best possible wellness.”

Applications are being accepted through the Ohio Child Care Resource and Referral Association. Early childhood system professionals working in the following categories may apply:

• Child Care
• Early Learning
• Home Visiting
• Community Health
• Early Intervention
• Maternal Health
• Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health
• Primary Health
• Occupational Therapy
• Any Additional Allied Health Professionals

For more information on Ohio’s Infant Mental Health Credential, please visit

8.   Shooting with the Stars will unite celebrities and Special Olympics athletes

Celebrities from the greater Toledo area will be joining athletes from Lucas County Special Olympics in what promises to be one of the most fun basketball games of the year, Shooting with the Stars, sponsored by the Taylor Automotive Family. Tipoff will be Sunday, March 22, 2:00 p.m., at the Russell J. Ebeid Recreation Center on the Lourdes University campus.

The game will consist of Special Olympics athletes playing with local celebrities in a unified basketball game.
Among the celebrities slated to appear are Ohio State Senators Teresa Fedor and Theresa Gavarone, sportscasters Justin Feldcamp and Jay Hannah, USA National Miss Toledo Mindy Sperry, WBC Super-Featherweight Champ Albert Bell, Toledo Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz, radio personality Denny Schaffer, Muddy, and Muddonna.

Admission is $2 or a donation at the door. All proceeds will benefit Lucas County Special Olympics. 

9.   Gliding Stars show is March 15

The Gliding Stars show on March 15 will conclude the adaptive ice skating program’s 12th season. The show will be at Tam-O-Shanter, 7060 Sylvania Ave., in Sylvania at 2:30 p.m.

10.  Monthly Aging Gracefully newsletter

Click here to read the March edition of the Aging Gracefully newsletter.

11.  SALUTE members discuss self-advocacy in radio interview

Several members of SALUTE were interviewed for the Cumulus Radio public affairs program “Contact.” To listen to the broadcast, follow this link.  They discuss with Lon Mitchell the importance of self-advocacy, the purpose of DD Awareness Month, and the work being done to break down the attitudinal barriers that often stand in the way of full access in the community to employment, housing and social activities.

12.  Keep up to date on the coronavirus

The Ohio Department of Health, in coordination with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, closely monitors COVID-19. Please visit the Ohio Department of Health’s website to learn how to keep yourself and others healthy.

13.  Upcoming Events

March 19 – Guys and Gals Night Out

March 19 – People First – canceled

March 20 – Spring Fling Dinner-Dance – canceled

March 22 – Special Olympics Shooting with the Stars – canceled

March 24 – Inclusion Fair – canceled

March 25 – Autism Awareness Training

March 27 – Arc of Ohio Spring Conference

March 28 – Lott Industries Dinner-Auction

April 5 – Autism Awareness Night with the Walleye

April 15 – Rec Jam

April 19 – Autism Awareness Day with the Mud Hens

May 1 – Luther Home of Mercy Bid for the Roses

May 9 – Touch a Truck

14.  Worth Repeating

“I have made the choices that work best for me. I know I cannot please everyone, and that’s fine.” –Marlee Matlin

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