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 or on the mobile app.

  1.   Forum today will discuss gasoline tax and public transit
  2.   TARTA/TARPS fare increases begin April 1
  3.   Congrats to Jefferson Award nominees
  4.   Lucas County Lightning D3 Basketball Team is headed to State Tournament
  5.   Special Olympics spring brochure is out
  6.   Bittersweet summer enrichment returns
  7.   March is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month
  8.   Jobs
  9.  Department of Education schedules town hall style meetings
  10.  Latest Aging Gracefully newsletter
  11.  Upcoming events for the Developmental Disabilities community
  12.  Worth Repeating

1. Forum today will discuss gasoline tax and public transit

Could a percent of any increase in the Ohio gasoline tax be dedicated to public transit? The Ability Center and the Toledo-Lucas County Commission on Disabilities are holding a public forum on the issue March 15, 1:00 to 4:00, at the Rossford Recreation Center, 400 Dixie Highway.

Public transit advocates will discuss the opportunity to designate a portion of Ohio’s Infrastructure Funding (the Gas Tax) to public transit. There will also be a panel of professionals from throughout the community to create a dialogue about what strong public transportation would mean in the Northwest Ohio region. People from throughout Northwest Ohio who rely on public transportation encouraged to attend, as well as those who may be interested in a strong, regional public transit system in our area.

2.   TARTA/TARPS fare increases begin April 1

“Effective April 1 the cost of riding TARTA and TARPS will increase.  The monthly TARTA passes will increase from $25.00 to $30.00/month and the cost of TARPS tickets will increase from $2.50/ticket to $3.00/ticket.  Beginning April 1,   passengers paying cash to ride TARPS will need to pay $3.00.  If they are using a $2.50/ticket, TARPS will continue to accept those tickets at face value through the month of April.  Effective May 1, if an individual uses a $2.50/ticket, they will need to add 50 cents cash to the ticket or place two tickets into the fare box.

Any certified TARPS rider will continue to be able to ride TARTA for free by showing the TARTA driver their TARPS ID card.  The exception to this, however, will be with the TARTA suburban Call-A-Ride buses.  TARPS riders will no longer be able to ride the TARTA Call-A-Ride buses for free effective April 1.  The cost to ride Call-A-Ride will be $3.00 for a one-way trip.

TARTA riders can continue to utilize any TARTA bus as often as they desire with their monthly TARTA passes. Any questions, please contact Michele Shepler, the Community Travel Specialist, at (419) 380-4061.

3.  Congrats to Jefferson Award nominees

We want to congratulate Lisa Comes, Service and Support Specialist, and Tammy Eisenreich, Parent Partner, who are among the nominees this year for the prestigious Jefferson Awards. The Jefferson Awards are known as “an American Nobel Prize for public service.” Since its founding in 1972 by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Sam Beard and Senator Robert Taft, Jr., the Jefferson Awards has honored outstanding community and public service. Lisa is being recognized for her work with the CommUNITY Film Fest; Tammy for her efforts with iTaalk.

The Awards Breakfast is April 4 at the Premiere Banquet Hall.  Order tickets at this link.

4.  Lucas County Lightning D3 Basketball Team is headed to State Tournament

The Lucas County Lightning Division 3 basketball team is headed to the state tournament on March 22.  Click here to see the story about the team from 13abc.

Lucas County Athlete Antrone “Juice” Williams joined other athletes in Washington, DC from Special Olympics programs all over the U.S. to meet with Congressional leaders to urge their continued commitment to ensuring people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

with Ohio Congressman Bill Johnson

5.  Special Olympics spring brochure is out

Lucas County Special Olympics has published its spring brochure. And don’t forget to check out the local Special Olympics web page. Click here.

6.   Bittersweet summer enrichment returns
For over 20 years, Bittersweet’s dynamic Summer Enrichment Program has been serving adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders, ages 12-21. The Summer Enrichment Program offers campers rich and abundant opportunities for self-paced, distraction free, vocational activities that provide immediate meaning and purpose. The Summer Enrichment program is supported by the Lucas County Board of DD. The Summer Enrichment Program focuses on physical engagement such as baking, creative arts, bicycling, dancing, farming, gardening, hiking, memory games, music, nature, puzzles, relays, science projects, sports, swimming, and woodworking. These activities help to develop behavior management, language development, sensory integration, and social skills development for adolescents with autism. At the end of the program, the participants have developed a sense of community, accomplishment, and ownership.  For more information contact Steve Mentrek at  419-875-6986, ext. 1211 or by email at

7.  March is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month

At their meeting on Monday morning, Lucas County Commissioners are presenting a proclamation declaring March as Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month. Show support by attending the meeting at 11:00 at the Government Center.

For Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month the self-advocacy group SALUTE has created a mural outlining all the activities of a self-advocate. The mural hangs in hallway at Larc Lane Center.

Katie shows off the mural at Larc Lane Center

8.  Jobs 

  • An open house and job fair this month will showcase Sunshine Communities’ new family care home in Walbridge, as well as job opportunities at Sunshine throughout Lucas, Fulton and Wood counties. Current openings include Direct Support Professionals, nurses, drivers, and others. The job fair will be held Thursday, March 21 from noon to 3 p.m. at the new family care home, 403 Allen St., Walbridge. For more information about Sunshine’s benefits and other openings:
  • Ambassadors is seeking Home Health and Day Hab Aides and Drivers. Click here for more information.

9.   Department of Education schedules town hall style meetings

Share your thoughts to create and enhance opportunities for students with disabilities!
The Ohio Department of Education is developing recommendations to improve educational experiences and outcomes for students with disabilities in Ohio. As our most important partners, we are calling on you — parents, guardians, grandparents, aunts, uncles, foster parents, family members and advocates — to assist in developing those recommendations.
Attend the Family Town Hall Meeting in your region.  Please click on the Family Town Hall Meetings link for a complete list of locations and date.
To RSVP, click here.

10.   Latest Aging Gracefully newsletter

The Aging Gracefully newsletter for March is at this link.

11.   Upcoming events for the Developmental Disabilities community 

March 19 – Summer Camp Inclusion Resource Fair

March 19 – Guys Group

March 20 – FANS Goodwill Donation Drive

March 21 – People First

March 21 – Giving Back to Yourself workshop

March 21 – Job Fair at Sunshine

March 22 – Storytime at Educare

March 23 – Pasta for Pooches

March 26 – Exploring the Future of Independence

March 26 – Friend Blend

March 26 – Parents Rights Training

March 27 – Rec Jam

March 30 – U.T. Songfest to benefit Zepf Center

March 30 – Relationships and Dating presented by Courageous Community Services

April 5 – Girls Night Out

April 7 – Bowlympics

May 11 – NAMI Walks

12.  Worth Repeating 

“A true friend is someone who is there for you when he’d rather be anywhere else.” -Len Wein

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