1. Superintendent’s Family & Advocate Forum will be via Zoom
  2. Board staff continue to work remotely
  3. State releases guidelines for visitation at ICFs
  4. Annual autism survey underway
  5. “Can you hear me now?” recruitment begins
  6. TARTA Returns Call-a-Ride and Express Services on June 8
  7. Support requested for Lucas County’s team in the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics
  8. June Aging Gracefully newsletter
  9. Lucas County Commissioners announce Diversity and Inclusion Initiative
  10. Register for the Family Advisory Council
  11. Worth Repeating

1. Superintendent’s Family & Advocate Forum will be via Zoom

Superintendent Lori Mariucci will host her Family and Advocate Forum on June 9 via Zoom. There will some very interesting and timely  topics, including:

    • Status of summer camps – Heather McVay, Children’s Service and Support Administration Coordinator, will join us to provide an up update on summer camp activities;
    • Wellness calls – SALUTE President, Nate Turner will explain how self-advocates are reaching out to individuals;
    • How parents need to prepare before applying for a grant. Tammy Eisenreich, Parent Partner, will join the group to present on this topic; and
    • Updates on how services and supports are delivered while we continue to operate remotely.

The forum will begin at 9:30 a.m. via Zoom.  Use this link to join the discussion.  https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85434683230?pwd=UmZFbHVwU1hwcW00Q080UmxabDFGZz09   A recording of the  Forum will be made available on the Board’s website.

2.  Board staff continue to work remotely

As our community begins the slow process of re-opening, the Lucas County Board of DD is urging everyone to continue to adhere to social distancing guidelines to include wearing a facial covering whenever in public.  The majority of Board staff continue to work remotely but are accessible through email and the telephone.

There will be increased activity within the Board facilities as some staff will be scheduled back into offices, but building access is still restricted to the public. Visiting a Board facility is still by invitation only. All visitors to the Board must first complete a self-screening health form.

3.  State releases guidelines for visitation at ICFs

As Responsible RestartOhio begins, new visitation guidance is available from the Ohio Department of Health that should be reviewed by intermediate care facilities (ICFs), families and guardians of Ohioans with developmental disabilities, and those who support them.

4.  Annual autism survey underway

Each year, Ohio’s Interagency Work Group on Autism (IWGA) conducts a survey to hear from families who have a loved one with an autism spectrum disorder, other disability or special healthcare need. This year’s survey will be live May 20–June 5, and focuses on family experiences related to COVID-19. Sharing your experiences and feedback can help ensure resources are accessible, especially where they will do the most good.

The IWGA represents multiple state agencies who meet regularly to review policies, learn from current research and data, and identify opportunities to better communicate and coordinate Ohio’s autism efforts.

If you are the parent or primary caregiver of a person with autism, other disability or special healthcare need, please complete the survey here: https://bit.ly/IWGAFamilySurvey

5.  “Can you hear me now?” recruitment begins

The Nisonger Center’s Rehabilitation, Research, and Training Center is seeking study participants for “Can You Hear Me Now?”, a project designed to improve health and quality of life for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities who have mental health needs. To learn more about the interview process, click here.

6.  TARTA Returns Call-a-Ride and Express Services on June 8

In response to the re-opening of Ohio’s businesses, the Toledo Area Regional Transit Authority (TARTA) will return its Call-a-Ride and express Service on June 8 but with new COVID-19 protocols for the safety of riders and drivers. In addition, TARTA is introducing two pilot bus routes in Rossford and Sylvania (township and city) using 35-foot vehicles to be able to accommodate up to 10 passengers in these higher demand service areas. On June 8, TARTA’s current service will also expand its hours of operations to 7:30a.m. to 7:30p.m. Monday through Friday.

TARTA will continue to require that all trips be for essential reasons only such as commuting to work, grocery shopping, medical appointments and treatments, pharmacy visits, and participating in summer school lunch programs. All passengers must use a facial covering and TARTA is able to provide these complimentary if needed.

Call-a-Ride will operate Monday-Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in these communities: Maumee, Ottawa Hills, Rossford, Sylvania, Sylvania Township and Waterville. TARTA is introducing the following new rider safety protocols to minimize the spread of COVID-19:

    • Call-a-Ride reservations must be made by 3p.m. the day before the requested service by calling 419-243 RIDE (7433). For Monday service, reservations must be made by
      3p.m. on Saturday.
    • Call-a-Ride is by reservations only. There is no walk-on option.
    • There will be no fee to use Call-a-Ride.
    • To ensure social distancing within vehicles, there is a limit of 2 passengers at all times.

TARTA will return Express Service to downtown Toledo for Maumee and Waterville commuters. This service is offered Monday through Friday.

7.  Support requested for Lucas County’s team in the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics

This year the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics this year will be held virtually. The Lucas County Special Olympics leadership team has accepted the challenge of participating.  The Virtual Torch Run is a unique way for individuals and businesses to support Special Olympics athletes.  It’s also a  great way to raise awareness for Special Olympics Ohio.

You can help supporting  the team’s fundraising efforts with a tax-deductible donation.

You can make your donation online by simply clicking here.  Or if you prefer, you can also send your gift check made out to Special Olympics Ohio to: 3303 Winchester Pike, Columbus, OH 43232.

Meantime, Kelley Watson reports that Lucas County Special Olympics is holding virtual practices to keep athletes active and to also have the ability to socialize with each other.  Cheer is offered on Sunday mornings and Special Olympic cheer teams across the state will be invited to be a part of the practice and cheer together virtually.  There is a track practice on Tuesdays where track coaches are stretching with athletes and running drills that can be done virtually. The bocce players are participating in practices that are hosted by Sandusky County.

8.  June Aging Gracefully newsletter

Follow this link to read the June newsletter.

9.  Lucas County Commissioners announce Diversity and Inclusion Initiative

The Board of Lucas County Commissioners announced on Tuesday that the Department of Diversity and Inclusion will be established to develop priorities that promote racial equity, county policy initiatives in diversity and inclusion, and implement strategies to address social injustices in Lucas County.

“We are proud of the work that the Board has accomplished over the past years to promote racial equity and diversity and inclusion in county operations. However, we realize we must take the necessary steps to provide a more comprehensive and strategic approach on how we address the challenges that hold back the minority populations in our community,” said Tina Skeldon Wozniak, President of the Lucas County Commissioners. “Today, we are happy to announce a critical first step to enhance engagement in social justice and inclusivity by creating the Department of Diversity and Inclusion.

The department will be tasked with fulfilling the following responsibilities:

    • Review current county policies and procedures to ensure diversity and inclusion in hiring practices and departmental leadership, provide enhanced training and education opportunities for staff that address racism and bias, and offer resources and guidance to elected office-holders and agencies.
    • Develop a robust minority business enterprise (MBE) and tracking program in the county procurement system and provide additional MBE growth opportunities.
    • Engagement of the community to focus on issues impacting minority populations and provide enhanced opportunities for people of color to get access to county services.
    • Create inclusive workforce development opportunities, social services, and additional programming in the community.
    • Oversee the county’s efforts to comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act and provide outreach to those with disabilities.
    • Understand the effects that racial inequality has on the delivery of our economic development initiatives, the criminal justice system, and social, public utilities, and safety services in our community and develop solutions that address the delivery of these services.

10. Register for the Family Advisory Council

The Family Advisory Council (FAC) provides a forum for family members to discuss the issues that affect their lives and learn about department initiatives. Meetings are quarterly and open to all.  Register at this link.

11.  Worth Repeating

“We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.”
― Elie Wiesel

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