1. Focus groups planned to discuss communications strategies
  2. Lucas County Special Olympics will soon start softball practice
  3. Nisonger Center survey measures pandemic’s effects on adults with developmental disabilities
  4. Ability Center will host an online presentation on ADA
  5. The Autism Society of Northwest Ohio is having a scavenger hunt!
  6. TARTA says no bus service on July 4, but there will be TARPS
  7. Stimulus funds and STABLE accounts
  8. Podcast discusses the Employment Navigator
  9. Worth Repeating

1. Focus groups planned to discuss communications strategies

As a follow-up to our recent survey on communication strategies, we would like to invite you to participate in an online focus group. We have two sessions scheduled. One on July 14 at noon, the other on July 15 at 7:00 p.m. You only need to attend one. We would like to learn more about how you wish to receive information from the Board and the kinds of information you want to receive.

While we did get much information from the online survey,  we want to dig deeper and listen to your ideas and feedback. The best way for us to that is through focus group discussions.  You may join a session for the entire time or for as long as your schedule allows.  And, we are asking you to share this information with  families you know that are connected with the Board and encourage them to participate, as well.

 Please join us. To register please email Michele Myerholtz at mmyerholtz@lucasdd.org

2.  Lucas County Special Olympics will soon start softball practice

Covid 19 sure has changed our lives and our Special Olympics program this year!! As you know, all Special Olympics activities have been suspended since March. Unfortunately, we did not get to participate in Spring sports, Regional Spring games or Summer Games this year. We have truly missed all of you and below I will share some information on our gradual return to sports. Please read this information carefully as the look of our program will be much different.

The state has recently released guidelines for local programs to follow in regards to returning to sports. Beginning the week of July 13th, we will start back with softball practices with the athletes that participated in softball last year. Unfortunately, we will not be able to offer skills practices at this time. Many of our skills athletes need hand over hand assistance and we are not able to provide this due to the social distancing guidelines.

Practices are limited to groups of 10 (this includes staff and coaches) which means we are very limited on how many athletes can attend. As restrictions loosen up, we will take a look at our groups to see if we can increase the group sizes. If you did not play softball last year and are interested in participating in softball practices this year, please call 419-380-5109 or email kwatson@lucasdd.org and you will be placed on a wait list. We are also exploring some other options and activities we may be able to offer and we will keep you posted.

Special Olympics Ohio has also announced they will not be holding any Regional or State Competitions in 2020. What does that mean? This means the NW Region and Special Olympics Ohio will not be having golf, softball, or flag football tournaments this year. As we know how disappointing this may be, the health and safety of our athletes is our top priority. At this time, Lucas County will only be offering softball practices, no games.

For right now, this is all the information we can provide. As the next sports season approaches, we will be working closely with Special Olympics Ohio and our County Board to see what a possible winter sports season would look like. We will keep you posted as we get information provided to us. Please know as much as we miss all of you, keeping everyone healthy and safe is most important.

I want to take a moment to recognize the athletes that have been participating in the Fit 5 influencer and consistently turning in their trackers each week. These athletes have worked very hard over the quarantine to track their exercise, fruit, vegetable, and water intake.

Keep up the good work and continue to turn in your trackers!If you would like more information on the Fit 5 influencer challenge please email kwatson@lucasdd.org

3. Nisonger Center survey measures pandemic’s effects on adults with developmental disabilities

The Ohio State University Nisonger Center is conducting a national survey of adults with developmental disabilities to assess how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting people’s needs, access to services, and social connections. The survey is only open to respondents with developmental disabilities ages 18 and up. The survey is completely electronic and built to be virtually accessible to people served.

The survey was co-developed Nisonger Center, DODD, Ohio DD Council, the Ohio Self Determination Association, and the Ohio Provider Resource Association. OACB invites county boards to forward the survey link to people served to ensure Ohio is well-represented in the survey’s conclusions. Take the survey.

4.  Ability Center will host an online presentation on ADA

As we approach the 30th anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act, you are invited to tune in to an overview of the ADA with the Ability Center’s Director of Advocacy, Katie Hunt Thomas. Learn about what the ADA covers, who it affects, and how you can champion the ADA in your community.

The webinar will be live on  the Ability Center Facebook page and website Thursday, July 9 at 10:00 a.m.

5. The Autism Society of Northwest Ohio is having a scavenger hunt!

The Autism Society of Northwest Ohio is hosting a scavenger hunt played through an app on smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices. It will be on July 26.

Register your team by filling out the registration form at this link.  All proceeds from this event, stays here in Northwest Ohio to help the families with autism in our community.

6.  TARTA says no bus service on July 4, but there will be TARPS

In observance of Independence Day, the Toledo Area Regional Transit Authority (TARTA) will not run its fixed-line and express bus routes or Call-A-Ride services on Saturday, July 4, 2020. TARTA’s paratransit service will operate and follow holiday hours of 6:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on July 4.

The Toledo Area Regional Paratransit Service (TARPS) administered by TARTA is available to registered customers who require door-to-door transportation service due to a qualifying disability. The TARPS call center is available Monday – Friday from 9 a.m. – 5. p.m. at 419-382-9901 for paratransit customers to schedule a ride for Independence Day. The call center will also be available on Independence Day from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

TARTA’s bus and paratransit services will resume operation on Monday, July 6 at its currently reduced schedule and routing due to the coronavirus. For more information about TARTA and TARPS services, visit www.tarta.com.

7.  Stimulus funds and STABLE accounts

If you received a COVID19 stimulus payment through the federal CARES Act, you might have questions on what you can do to avoid the payment being counted toward your eligibility for some public assistance programs.

Although the payment is not counted as income right away, after a year, whatever is left will count toward your $2,000 SSI and Medicaid asset limit if you leave it in a regular account. However, if you save it in a STABLE Account, it won’t count toward your $2,000 asset limit at all.  Read more.

8.  Podcast discusses the Employment Navigator

The role of the Employment Navigator can be instrumental in answering the question, “What do I want to do for the rest of my life.” The role of the Employment Navigator is the topic of our latest podcast with guest Sarra Burnham, Service and Support Administration Coordinator. Click here to listen.

9.  Worth Repeating

“There are no exceptions to the rule that everybody likes to be an exception to the rule.” –Charles Osgood


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

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