July 15-19, 2019 is National Disability Voter Registration Week

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Coordinated by the REV UP Campaign, National Disability Voter Registration Week (NDVRW) is a concerted effort to get people with disabilities registered to vote, educated about this year’s election, and prepared to cast a ballot in November. NDVRW is held annually the third week of July, just before the anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

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Coming Soon: New Autism Internet Modules (AIM)

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318,220 and counting.

That’s the number of people who have used the Autism Internet Modules (AIM) to date. The AIM modules provide high-quality information and professional development to those who support, instruct, work with, or live with someone with autism.

Each module guides users through case studies, instructional videos, pre- and post-assessments, glossaries, and much more. The modules are designed to build the capacity of school districts and other education agencies to improve their instruction and support for individuals with autism.

Over the past few months, a team of experts has been hard at work creating three new modules to add to the 45 existing modules. Like the other AIM modules, the new modules will be available at no cost and users can earn graduate credit (for a fee) or professional development certificates.

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OCALI Office of Policy Update – June 2019

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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.

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OCALI Office of Policy Update

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OCALI Team Sharing Ohio’s Work With Other States

To continue learning from other state policy leaders, Melissa Bacon, OCALI Office of Policy, and Danny Gruber, OCALI Impact Office, recently attended the Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs Peer-to-Peer Exchange focused on data and autism policy in Madison, Wisconsin. Representatives of the Ohio Department of Health, Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities and the University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD) of the University of Cincinnati also attended the exchange.

The Ohio Team shared the state’s success with collective impact in the work of the Interagency Work Group on Autism, highlighting the “Pursing Quality Lives” report released in May 2018 as well as the data tools that the group leverages for state policy development. The meeting also focused on the critical role of family in policy development. Representatives discussed the “Charting the Lifecourse Community of Practice” work led by the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities and the UCEDD.

“Learning from other state’s best practices and policy development is an excellent and important opportunity to develop better policy in Ohio,” said Melissa Bacon. “While Ohio is a leader in collective impact leadership, there is always work to be done to improve the lives of those with autism and learning from other state leaders is critical to this work.”

New Legislative Caucus Focused on Serving Ohioans with Disabilities

The Ohio General Assembly recently created the Ohio Developmental Disabilities Caucus, a bipartisan effort, the caucus aims to bring the state’s many partners together into the same room to further lawmakers’ education and find innovative ways to better serve the 90,000 Ohioans living with disabilities and their families.

During the month of April, the caucus held its first meeting, joined by a room full of advocates, members of the General Assembly, members of Governor DeWine’s Administration and staff for a very informative session. During the meeting, OCALI’s own Teresa Kobelt provided an overview of Ohio’s Developmental Disability System. Additionally, the caucus welcomed Director Jeff Davis, who recently took over as the head of the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities.

OCALI’s Guide to Summer Professional Learning

'Summer' written with Scrabble tiles in the sand

The sun is shining. Trees and flowers are in full bloom and the school year is winding down.

Yes, summer is just around the corner. And for many educators and other professionals, we share the giddy excitement of most school kids at this time of year.

While you may be planning your next vacation or just ready to enjoy a more relaxed schedule, summer is a great time to invest in yourself and your professional growth. Whether you’re an educator, administrator, community leader, etc., professional learning provides the opportunity to gain knowledge and learn new skills that will improve your job performance and that of your team.

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OCALI Policy & Research Corner

With March being DD Awareness Month, OCALI’s Office of Policy has been coordinating with multiple organizations and agencies to maximize the opportunity to educate policy makers about the challenges, opportunities and possibilities for Ohio’s DD community, its stakeholders and its supporters. The team’s new webpage has resources and information about these efforts and more!

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How OCALI Promotes Accessibility

Information is everywhere we look—from the books and documents we read, to the videos and movies we watch, and conversations we have at work and in the community. Information shapes our experiences and our experiences shape us. When information and interactions are presented or created in ways that are not accessible, people with disabilities may encounter barriers that prevent full access and participation. Increasing access to information connects us, it empowers us, and it promotes independence.

“At OCALI, we’re striving to ensure all people with disabilities have the opportunity to live their best lives for their whole lives and that starts with accessibility,” explains Jan Rogers, Program Director at the AT&AEM Center.

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