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.    Voters Forum will be Thursday, September 26
  2.    13abc’s Christina Williams will emcee the Speakeasy Gala
  3.   Parents educating UT pre-service special education teachers.
  4.   Local Special Olympics athlete tells his story in statewide newsletter
  5.    Sibshops start October 26
  6.    Health and Wellness Alert – Suicide Prevention
  7.    ADA Seminar: Access to Buildings Under the ADA
  8.    Forum scheduled to discuss affordable, safe and accessible transportation
  9.    Upcoming events for the Developmental Disabilities community
  10.    Worth Repeating

1.  Voters Forum will be Thursday, September 26

The annual Voters Forum sponsored by Partners for Inclusion and the Toledo/Lucas County Commission on Disabilities will be 6:00 p.m. Thursday, September 26, at the Sanger Branch Library, 3030 Central Avenue, Toledo 43606.

Highlighting the evening will be a discussion of the levy issue for the Area Office on Aging. Plus, Toledo city council member Sandy Spang will lead a discussion on how to get political – how to get involved with a political campaign or issue. Also present will be a representative from the Secretary of State to review accessibility rights at polling locations.

TARPS will provide free transportation to the Voters Forum for registered users.

2.   13abc’s Christina Williams will emcee the Speakeasy Gala

13abc news anchor Christina Williams will be the master of ceremonies for The Speakeasy Gala, a fundraiser to support a future levy campaign.  While we are not ready to go for a levy now, it’s necessary to make sure the levy committee has the necessary financial resources when the time comes. The Gala, to be held at Premiere Banquet Hall, will be a night of fun, music, dancing, prizes and more. You will magically be transported to a speakeasy where we can party like its 1925.

To find out more about the Gala click on to the website, where you can also make your reservations.  And, you can also let all your Facebook friends know you are going! Click here.

3.    Parents educating UT pre-service special education teachers

Partnerships between special education interventionists and parents of children with disabilities are vitally important to quality educational planning. One of the best ways to help pre-service special education interventionists become effective partners is for them to hear from parents.

Would you be willing to share your story and help our pre-service interventionists become better equipped to be an advocate for a family of a child with a disability?

If so, come be a panel member. We are looking for 3-4 parents per panel. Our first panel (November 7) will focus on creating effective partnerships between parents and school personnel. Our second panel (November 14) will focus on empowered parents and community resources. Each panel begins at 6:00pm. If you are interested, please call Dawn Sandt at 419-530-4123 or email her at

4.   Local Special Olympics athlete tells his story in statewide newsletter

The following item, from the recent Special Olympics Ohio newsletter, was written by Lucas County Special Olympics athlete Antrone “Juice” Williams.

My name is Antrone Juice Williams and I’m from the south side of Chicago. I have been around sports my whole life, but basketball has been my sanctuary since I was 5 years old. It kept me from the streets a lot and when times were hard, I held that ball even closer.

Basketball played a major part in my success, getting me a free education through high school and college. I attended Lincoln University in Jefferson City Missouri, University of Maine at Presque Isle, and Augusta. I even played some semi-pro basketball.

On Sept 26 2012, my life changed forever! I had a massive brain hemorrhage stroke that left me in a medically induced coma for 10 days with a 50/50 chance of survival. I was in the hospital for 2 months, fighting to even walk or talk.

I have been called so many names because people don’t understand that I have a brain injury that I have to live with for the rest of my remaining life. In 2017, Special Olympics Ohio embraced me when all I wanted to do is to crawl up under a rock and die!

Playing sports and becoming an athlete leader for Special Olympics Ohio really gave me hope and a purpose to utilize my platform for people with intellectual disabilities. I want to help other people find and use their voices.

5.    Sibshops start October 26

Sibshops, sponsored by the Autism Society, are for 8 to 16 year old brothers and sisters who have a sib with special needs. Read the flyer for more information.

6.    Health and Wellness Alert – Suicide Prevention

People with developmental disabilities can be at a higher risk for suicide because of different risk factors, including co-occurring mental health diagnoses. Knowing the warning signs for suicide and how to get help can save lives. The Ohio Department of DD addresses this topic in its latest Health and Wellness Alert.

7.    ADA Seminar: Access to Buildings Under the ADA

The Ability Center is hosting the seminar on Friday, September 27, from 9:00 to Noon in the Grand Lobby of Dr. Martin Luther King Plaza, 300 Martin Luther King Drive, Toledo, OH 43604.

Keynote Speaker Diane Perry Architect, Disability Rights Section, U.S. Department of Justice, will offer an overview of ADA accessibility requirements, an informative panel will discuss the intersection of the ADA and the Ohio Building Code, and Mark Achinger from Habitat for Humanity will discuss the creation of a universal design floor plan at this free seminar.

More information is available at this link

8.   Forum scheduled to discuss affordable, safe and accessible transportation

Access to affordable, safe and accessible transportation is the oftentimes the determining factor for degree of community inclusion for persons with disabilities and the aging population.   Aging and Disability Transportation Coalition is hosting a forum about transportation equity on Thursday, October 3 in Columbus, Ohio.  Learn more by clicking here.

9.   Upcoming events for the Developmental Disabilities community 

September 22 – Down Syndrome Association Buddy Walk

September 23 – Monthly Board of DD Meeting

September 26 – Voters Forum

September 26 – FANS Goodwill Donation Drive

September 28 – High Noon Showdown

September 30 – Free Sensory Room

October 1 – Double ARC Kaleidoscope Breakfast

October 2 – Ability Center Style Show

October 2-4 – Synergy Conference

October 5 – Speakeasy Gala

October 9 – Medicaid Managed Care Plan Expo

October 15 – Friend Blend

October 18 – Halloween Dinner Bash

10.   Worth Repeating 

“Take your job seriously, but don’t take yourself too seriously.” Alex Trebek

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