Friday Update – March 2

The Friday Update is published on Friday mornings 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 or on our mobile app.

  1.    CommUNITY Film Fest celebrates life in the community
  2.    County Commissioners reappoint Henzler and Noonan to the Board
  3.    Trump directive spurs proposal to delay IDEA rule
  4.    High-flying dream comes true for Mary Rita
  5.    Partnership growing with UT athletics
  6.    Free training scheduled March 13 for parents and professionals
  7.    Job Postings
  8.    Bittersweet Summer Enrichment will be back for a 19th year
  9.    Donation will help athletes going to the National Games
  10.    TARTA to develop new transit hub downtown
  11.    ProviderGuidePlus to expand from three-county pilot to statewide service in mid-May
  12.    Events for the DD Community
  13.    Worth Repeating

1.  CommUNITY Film Fest celebrates life in the community

Entering its fourth year, the CommUNITY Film Festival will bring together individuals with disabilities and members of the community to celebrate extraordinary lives on Sunday, March 4 at the Ohio Theatre on Lagrange Street in Toledo.

For the 2018 CommUNITY Film Fest, movie screening and awards will take place from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m., followed by a “Meet and Greet the Stars/Filmmakers” from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. For the media, b-roll opportunities are suggested from 3:00 to 3:30 p.m., with interviews starting between 3:45 and 4:00 p.m.

“We have a new venue this year so that our crowd has an opportunity to experience all that the Toledo Arts Culture has to offer.  The Ohio Theater will give us a great venue to celebrate these awesome stories,” said Lisa Comes, Director of the CommUNITY Film Fest. “We can’t wait to share our movies that illustrate the lives of people with disabilities thriving in our community.  The movies encompass a wide range of ages and interests from photography to epic love stories.  We know that you will smile, laugh and maybe even learn a few things! Click  here for parking information.

Over 14 short films were submitted, reviewed by a panel of judges, and will be shown at the CommUNITY Film Fest. The featured award categories are: Inspiring Audiences, Celebrating Everyday Lives, Promoting Inclusion, and Independently Made. Admission to attend the festival is free; however, donations are welcomed.

Guest judges include: Sandy Spang (City Councilwoman), Raquel Bravo (Arts Commission), Charles Wetzel (Actor), Kim Sanchez (Reel Ohio) and Malena Caruso (WTOL). In addition, the event emcees will be Tom Cole from BCSN and Jordan Strack of WTOL. Other notable guests at the festival will be a performance by iDance, an adaptive performing arts group.

Numerous local organizations have partnered to organize the 2018 CommUNITY Film Fest, including: Lucas County Board of Developmental Disabilities, SuperSchades Foundation, Down Syndrome Association of Greater Toledo, and Camp Courageous and The Arc of Lucas County.

2.    County Commissioners reappoint Henzler and Noonan to the Board

Rick Henzler

Lucas County Commissioners have reappointed Board members Rick Henzler and Scott Noonan. Mr. Henzler, who is the Board Vice-President, first joined the Board of DD in 2011. Mr. Noonan was appointed to the Board in 2017.

3.    Trump directive spurs proposal to delay IDEA rule

The Trump administration is officially proceeding with plans to delay an Obama-era rule that aimed to ensure students from certain backgrounds are not wrongly placed in special education. Click here to read more.

4.  High-flying dream comes true for Mary Rita

Pictured are Theresa Allgier, HPC House Manager with Luther Home of Mercy; Mary Rita, Sara Fulton, Service and Support Specialist; and Jody, Mary Rita’s friend. This photo was taken just before Mary Rita took off on her dream ride of a lifetime — in a helicopter!

The ride was donated by Maxflightof Grose Ile, Michigan and arranged by Rebecca Thieman in the Community Inclusion Department.

5.   Partnership growing with UT athletics

Athletes in Lucas County Special Olympics now have the opportunity to participate in two new programs developed out of a growing partnership with the University of Toledo: Healthy Athlete and Unified Intramural Basketball. These programs will not only support the athletes’ physical health but also provide an opportunity to make new friends and build relationships. We would also like to give a shout out to the University of Toledo because it is again providing its facilities to Special Olympics at no cost.

To hep defray some of the costs of the Unified program, UT is holding a fundraiser. Shirts with the slogan Welcome to the Unified Generation are on sale. Click here to learn how you can obtain a shirt.  The cost for a shirt is $15. Payment can be by credit card, cash or check payable to the University of Toledo Recreation Center. Call 419-530-3700.    Sizes available are small, medium, large, X-L and XX-L.  \

6.   Free training scheduled March 13 for parents and professionals

Parents of children with disabilities and professionals are invited to register for a free training on  the basic concepts of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Free Appropriate Public Education, the fundamentals of addressing behaviors in Individualized Education Programs, positive behavioral services, supports and interventions.  This training will be March 13, 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. in the Family First Zone at Larc Lane Center, 1155 Larc Lane in Toledo.   The cost is free.

Participants will gain an understanding of what may cause undesirable behaviors, how to manage behaviors, and interventions that really work to help make the child more happy and productive at home and in the learning environment.  Click here to read the flyer.

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.


8.   Bittersweet Summer Enrichment will be back for a 19th year

For over 19 years, Bittersweet’s 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. Click here for more information.

9.   Donation will help athletes going to the National Games

Hats off and a heartfelt thanks to staff at Root, Inc. for their donation to Lucas County Special Olympics. The donation will help with the cost of sending athletes Brian Mignin and Chris Cash to the National Games in Seattle.

10.   TARTA to develop new transit hub downtown

The board of trustees for the Toledo Area Regional Transit Authority has approved a resolution authorizing TARTA officials to negotiate the purchase of a building in downtown Toledo.   The purchase paves the way for the building of a full-service transit hub, elimination of the downtown loop, and  route enhancements. 

The new transit hub will eliminate the antiquated “Loop” that currently surrounds 12 blocks of downtown Toledo. The project is associated with the conversion of Huron Street to two-way traffic and will allow TARTA to improve bus operations, transit connectivity and access to downtown Toledo. In addition to the bus routing improvements, the project will also include streetscape and connectivity upgrades that will benefit pedestrians and bicyclists through exterior benches and shelters. The Park Station and Loop properties, currently owned by TARTA, will be vacated and available for other uses.

The building at 612 N. Huron will become a full-service transit hub, including passenger amenities not previously offered to TARTA riders. The facility will include a climate-controlled indoor waiting area, restrooms and water fountains, information and ticketing center, security and commercial space for a food/beverage provider. The building will become the TARTA headquarters, housing approximately 30 administrative workers.

The project is expected to begin this spring, with the facility opening by early 2019.

11.   ProviderGuidePlus to expand from three-county pilot to statewide service in mid-May

Families in every Ohio county looking for DD services will soon have access to a powerful online tool that will allow them to find, compare, and rate providers.

ProviderGuidePlus, which functions similarly to Angie’s List and other popular consumer rating websites, has been live in Cuyahoga, Coshocton, and Knox Counties on a pilot basis since 2016. The service will be available statewide in mid-May. Demonstrations of the service will be offered to county board professionals and providers at upcoming OACB and Ohio Provider Resource Association (OPRA) events.

People with developmental disabilities and their family members looking for providers in Cuyahoga, Coshocton, an Knox Counties can use the website now. Users looking for services in other counties can explore the tool at before its statewide launch.

The free tool is the result of three years of collaborative effort between OACB, the Ohio Provider Resource Association, the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities, and parent and family groups.

12.    Upcoming Events for the DD Community

March 2 – Glass City BeerFest

March 4 – CommUNITY Film Festival

March 3 – Alzheimer Association Round and Square Dance

March 4 – Acoustics for Autism

March 10 – iPad Grant and Training

March 13 – Family & Advocate Forum with Deb Yenrick

March 14 – Summer Camp Inclusion Resource Fair

March 14 – SALUTE self-advocacy meeting

March 20 – Silent Auction and Wine Tasting for Project iAM

March 24 – Assistance Dogs Pasta for Pooches

March 28 – Rec Jam

April 4 – Alzheimer’s Conference

April 22 – Unified Bowling Tournament with Toledo Police and Lucas County Deputies

July 10-12 – Autism Society National Conference

13. Worth Repeating

“I don’t have anything against work. I just figure, why deprive somebody who really loves it.” -Dobie Gillis


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