With the state’s biennial budget in the midst of debate, the OCALI Policy Team has been hard at work making sure disability is included in the discussion. One example is a presentation provided to the Ohio Developmental Disabilities Caucus, a group of Ohio legislators who joined together to focus on policies impacting Ohioans with disabilities. The team provided a high-level overview of Ohio’s DD system as a baseline educational session for these legislators. You can view a copy of this presentation here: Ohio’s Developmental Disability System (In Twenty Minutes or Less…From 10,000 Feet) presented to the Ohio Developmental Disabilities Caucus April 16, 2019.
Additionally, May was Mental Health Awareness Month. Accordingly, the team researched facts related to mental health issues impacting individuals with autism and developed Facts & Figures: Autism & Mental Health, containing compelling and informative data underscoring the importance of mental health awareness for those who love, work with, support or educate people with autism. For example, children with ASD are nine times more likely to visit an ER for psychiatric problems than children who don’t have autism and individuals with ASD who experience trauma are 28 times more likely to attempt or complete suicide than their peers (see the Facts & Figures for suicide warning signs and action steps).
Lastly, “multisystem youth” have gained increasing attention in Ohio’s media outlets, policy discussions, and budget appropriations. Multisystem youth include children who are:
- served by multiple systems, or in need/at risk of being served by multiple systems;
- whose families and communities have exhausted or are otherwise unable to access or coordinate the needed resources; and
- at serious risk/in need of out-of-home placement, or currently placed out-of-home.
To help inform this discussion, the OCALI Policy Team has put together two fact sheets about this issue: