Friday Update – May 11

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.    Area IV Spring Meet is May 12
  2.    Mother’s Day Plant Sale at Sunshine
  3.    Governor signs law to improve relations between police and persons with disabilities
  4.    Sunshine taking summer camp reservations
  5.    Job Postings
  6.    Action Alert from the Autism Society
  7.    Trump Administration seeks to bar immigrants with disabilities
  8.    New Legislation Opens the Market for Accessible Cabs
  9.    Events for the DD Community
  10.    Worth Repeating

1.  Area IV Spring Meet is May 12

More than 400 Special Olympic athletes from Lucas, Wood, Fulton, Defiance, Erie, Sandusky, Henry, Ottawa, Williams and Paulding Counties will compete in the annual Area IV competition on Saturday, May 12, at Sylvania Southview High School. Admission is free.

Opening ceremonies will begin at 10:00 a.m.

Athletes will compete in divisions according to age, gender and ability. Track and field events range from races for wheelchair users to race-walking and running events, shot put, softball throw, and standing long jump. There will also be competition in volleyball, cycling and bocce.

This is a qualification meet for the State Summer Games in Columbus on June 22-24.

The Area IV Spring Meet volunteer information.

The new spring brochure for Lucas County Special Olympics

2.   Mother’s Day Plant Sale at Sunshine

From asters to zinnias, a Mother’s Day flower sale continues today through Saturday, benefitting greenhouse workers with developmental disabilities. The public is welcome to shop from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. through at the Sunshine Communities greenhouse, 7223 Maumee Western Road. In addition to flowers, the greenhouse also is selling vegetables, herbs and – new this year – succulents. Each purchase supports operations at the Sunshine Greenhouse.

Older volunteers have found purpose and fun at Sunshine Communities, according to a feature story last week in the Maumee Mirror. Since January 1, 2016, 82 volunteers 65 and older have logged at least 4,890 hours at Sunshine in a variety of tasks – from spending time with individuals to assisting in Sunshine’s offices, greenhouse and barn. To find out more about volunteering, contact Lori Richard, Sunshine’s Manager of Volunteer Services, at 419-794-1388.

3.   Governor signs law to improve relations between police and persons with disabilities

Police officers will soon be able to tell if the driver of a car has a disability that could impede communication. The law was the effort of a Wood County mother of two sons with autism. Read the news report.

4.   Sunshine taking summer camp reservations

Sunshine Communities is taking reservations for its summer camps. Many campers are typically-abled but camp counselors are able to adapt to special needs as well.

Campers learn animal care and riding skills at Sunshine’s Barn Camp in Maumee. A variety of one-day sessions to mix and match: 4 -6 year olds: June 22, June 29, Aug 5, Aug 12. 2-5pm. ($35 per session). 6 years and older: July 8, 12, 15, 19, 22, 26, 29, & Aug 2. Noon to 4pm. ($50/session). 6 years and older: July 13, 20, 27, Aug 3, 10, & 17. 2 to 6pm. ($50/session). Contact Laurie for details at or 419-779-0756.

Campers learn hand-building, extruding clay, and surface techniques at Sunshine’s Studio camp in Uptown Maumee. June 25-29 – 10 am. to 11 a.m. for K-3rd grade; 1 to 2 pm. for 4th – 6th grade. Each week session is $75. July 23-27 – 10 am. to 11 am. for  K-3rd grade; 1 to 2 pm. for 4th – 6th grade. Each week session is $75. Contact Larry at or 419-891-8877

5.  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.

Preferred Properties, Inc. is actively seeking an experienced, nonprofit and/or housing professional to serve as its Executive Director. Click here for complete details.

The Ability Center has openings for a Next Steps Summer Program Coordinator and for a Job Coach. Click here for details.


6.   Action Alert from the Autism Society

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) today announced results of its biannual review of the incidence rate of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in the United States. According to the latest analysis, the prevalence rate jumped to 1 in 59, up from 1 in 68. The Autism Society responded by calling for greater focus on reducing wait lists for services, transition planning, improving job readiness resources, and increasing home and community-based supports and services. The Autism Society also specifically asks Congress to reauthorize the Autism CARES Act (P.L. 113-157) that will expire in 2019 if no action is taken.

To help get more Members of Congress to commit to doing more, we would like your help urging them to join the bipartisan Autism Caucus. This will also help us get support for the reauthorization of the Autism CARES Act. The law’s champions are preparing a draft bill for introduction as soon as next week.

You’re encouraged to ask your Member of Congress to join the bipartisan, bicameral Autism Caucus. Established in 2001, the Congressional Autism Caucus works to raise awareness about autism, provide a forum for policy discussions, promote research funding and develop legislative solutions to ease the burden of families affected by autism. View a current committee roster here.

Please contact your Senators and Representatives today and urge them to join the Autism Caucus. Policymakers must come together to ensure each person with autism is provided with every opportunity to reach their maximum potential and achieve the highest quality of life.

7.   Trump Administration seeks to bar immigrants with disabilities

The Trump Administration is moving to make it more difficult for immigrants with disabilities and their families to get a visa or attain permanent residency in the United States. Read more by clicking here.

8.  New Legislation Opens the Market for Accessible Cabs

Championed by the Center for Independent Living Options and the Ohio Association of Centers for Independent Living which includes The Ability Center of Greater Toledo, House Bill 195 was recently signed into law, paving the way for more accessible cabs in Ohio.

The law rolls back a requirement that any vehicle transporting individuals who use wheelchairs be licensed as an ambulette. Prior to this law, the extra regulations attached to ambulette transportation made it expensive and difficult for public transportation companies to transport persons who use wheelchairs.  House Bill 195 provides an exemption for cab companies and ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft. Suzanne Hopkins, Director of Programs at the Center for Independent Living Options, stated that she is pleased at this progress towards a day when accessible taxis are readily available at the same price anyone else would pay. Suzanne shares, “Like any able- bodied person, I want to have the option to take a spontaneous trip, for pleasure or for work, at a reasonable cost.”

Studies focused on the lives of Ohioans with disabilities emphasize transportation as the single greatest barrier to living, working, and playing in the community. Transportation Challenges for Ohioans with Disabilities (Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council, 2017): This bill is one step towards offering more options.

9.    Upcoming Events for the DD Community

May 12 – Josina Lott Jog and Jaunt

May 12 – Special Olympics Area IV Spring Meet

May 12 – Mother’s Day Celebration at Camp Courageous

May 12 – Triad Starry Night Prom

May 12 – NAMI Walks Greater Toledo

May 17 – People First

May 19 – Special Olympics Golf Scramble – Register now!

May 23 – Friend Blend

May 24 – Bittersweet Farms Spring Fundraiser

June 2 – Miracle League Ride & Rally Poker Run

June 15-16 – Black Swamp Benefit

July 10-12 – Autism Society National Conference

10. Worth Repeating

“I’m a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it.” Thomas Jefferson


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