As noted in the October edition of OCALI Now, efforts are underway to develop an action plan to reduce custody relinquishment and improve outcomes for multi-system youth and their families. As part of the Multi-System Youth Action Plan Committee, the Office of Policy is leading a work group focused on modernizing Family and Children First Council, and continues to raise issues and concerns shared by families who have multi-system youth with disabilities. Other work groups include: data; peer mentoring; high fidelity wrap around; safety-net funding; and legal/financial conditions that lead to custody relinquishment.
People with disabilities and those who support them need access to the right materials, technology, and training to ensure they can live their best lives for their whole lives.
To build their capacity, OCALI provides online training, coaching, professional development, and technical assistance to school districts, human service agencies, families, and many others. Using evidence-based strategies with real-life examples, we help to increase people’s knowledge and enhance their practices to better serve and support individuals, families, and professionals.
November 20-22, 2019 Greater Columbus Convention Center | Columbus, OH
OCALICON is the nation’s premier conference where 3,000+ participants from around the nation and across the globe come together to learn, network, and share research, best practices, and resources to support people with autism spectrum disorder, sensory disabilities, and low-incidence disabilities across the lifespan.
With only about a month to go, we couldn’t be more excited to welcome you to Columbus, Ohio! For those already registered or those thinking about attending for the first time, here are a few things you don’t want to miss:
On August 28, OCALI’s Office of Policy led a conversation. But this wasn’t just any conversation. It was part of The Big Table, an initiative created by the Columbus Foundation. It’s a day-long event where community-led conversations take place across central Ohio. Individuals, businesses, nonprofit organizations sit around a table, share a snack, and have a conversation about a topic important to them.
For OCALI, choosing a topic was easy.
Based on Microsoft’s successful efforts to make accessibility and inclusion part of its mission, Teresa Kobelt of OCALI’s Office of Policy, challenged more than 30 Big Table participants to “imagine a future where accessibility and inclusion are in our DNA…what does Columbus look like?”
In July 2019, OCALI’s Office of Policy, on behalf of Ohio’s Interagency Work Group on Autism (IWGA), issued a survey to gain insight into family experiences around the time of diagnosis. More than 280 families responded and the results are available on OCALI’s website.
The good news is, the survey indicates that we are making progress as a state in terms of early diagnosis and helping families find the resources they need. For example, more than half (55 percent) of respondents indicated that their child was diagnosed by age three, and 80 percent were already connected to services and resources once diagnosed. Additionally, 90 percent of families receive services through school-based resources. Notably, families reported that the thing that helps them most in their journey is connecting with other families.
However, the survey also indicated several opportunities where improvements are needed to help children and families get access to the services they need to help children with autism live their best lives for their whole lives. For example, almost all families were initially told their child did not have autism or to “wait and see.” They were not referred for additional screening, evaluation, or services.
Additionally, more needs to be learned about the experiences of racially and ethnically diverse families, single parents, and families living at or below the poverty line, as the survey respondents did not adequately represent these population.
OCALI’s Office of Policy and the IWGA are committed to continuing to learn more and to utilize the information from this survey to guide future development and dissemination of resources for families.
Summer is winding down and schools across Ohio are settling in to a new school year. The team at OCALI welcomes you back and has compiled a list of professional learning and family resources and tips to get your school year started off right.
For more than 13 years, OCALI has been a trusted source for providing high quality research, resources, and training designed to inspire change and promote access for people with disabilities. As you start this new school year, check out these resources, many of which are free!