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OCALI NOW | Issue 42 • October 2022

Meet Valerie text on polaroid photo; background is purple with decorative post it notes and doodles; headline says What's New with OCALI Lending Library logo
What’s New at the OCALI Lending Library; Meet Valerie

What’s New at OCALI’s Lending Library, Including a New Librarian  

She may have only been with OCALI for less than three months, but one of OCALI’s newest staff members and Clearinghouse Librarian, Valerie Frey, has been busy updating, restocking, and helping to enhance the user experience. Meet Valerie and learn more about what’s new at the Lending Library. 

You’re new to OCALI and the Lending Library. Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background. 
“I was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio, and received my BA in Psychology from Otterbein University and my MLIS Degree from Kent State.  I have worked in various public library branches for more than 16 years and have had a wide range of roles, including Youth Services Supervisor and Adult Services Librarian. I am also the mom of two young children, so when I am not at work, I’m spending time with my kids.” 

What are you most excited about in your new position as librarian? 
“I am most excited about working with this wonderful organization. I get to apply my educational knowledge and background working in libraries, but I also have opportunities for development and learning new skills. One of my professional goals this year is to extend the library’s reach and raise more awareness about OCALI by distributing information to targeted libraries across Ohio.”  

Tell us what you’ve been working on to refresh and improve the Lending Library. 
“Since I started almost three months ago, there have been so many updates and new resources. We’ve been creating videos to help users register and navigate our new library site, processing curriculum kits, and the entire book collection has been shifted around to create book displays featuring new titles.”   

For those who aren’t familiar, how would you describe the Lending Library? 
“OCALI’s Lending Library is like a traditional library, but so much more! Our library offers thousands of free materials, resources, and technology on a range of topics that are applicable to various disabilities and for all ages from early childhood to adulthood.”  

Who can use the Lending Library?   
“Anyone 18 or older who lives or works in Ohio can borrow materials from OCALI’s Lending Library. For shipping purposes, users do have to have an Ohio residential or work address. If you meet these requirements, I encourage you to explore the library and our collections. I’m sure you will find something that interests you!”  

What is the greatest benefit for educators, families, or individuals using the Lending Library? 
“The greatest benefit is that we have a unique library with a multitude of resources for families and educators. Our collections range from assistive technology, books, and curriculum kits, to books in braille and large print for individuals who are blind or visually impaired. We also ship everything at no cost to the user—a definite perk for any Ohioan. The great thing about OCALI’s Lending Library is that we are an extension of the organization. So, if we don’t have what someone is looking for, it’s very likely I can connect with another colleague who has what they need. If anyone has a question about our collections or is wondering if we can assist them, I encourage them to please email me at lendinglibrary@ocali.org.”  

Are there any kits/resources that you would like to highlight?  
“Yes, we have so many new curriculum support kits in our library that are designed to help support educators and their class themes/units. Some of these kits are text sets, companion kits, and shared reading kits. While there are many more to come, users can check out what’s available now.”  


Sweet Sixteen purple text on background with candy and cupcake
Sweet Sixteen! OCALICONLINE 2022

Find What You Need at OCALICONLINE 2022
The World’s Premier Autism and Disabilities Conference 

We’re just weeks away from OCALICONLINE 2022 – November 15-18. The 100% online event means anyone can attend from anywhere – so make plans to celebrate our “Sweet 16” anniversary with us!  

With less than a month to go, we couldn’t be more excited to welcome you and others from around the globe. A record number of 16,000+ of your peers and colleagues have already registered – from all 50 states, and 49 other countries. And since the conference continues to offer options and opportunities across the lifespan, across agencies, and across the world, there’s something for everyone at OCALICONLINE 2022. 

OCALICONLINE 2022 features include: 

Keynote Panel – Judy Heumann, Temple Grandin, and Haben Girma: Tuesday, November 15, 12:00 p.m. ET  
OCALICONLINE 2022 welcomes an all-star panel of trailblazers, leaders, and world-changers. Judy Heumann, the mother of the disability rights movement; Haben Girma, the first Deafblind person to graduate from Harvard Law School, and Temple Grandin, distinguished professor of animal science, and author of numerous books including Visual Thinking and The Autistic Brain. You don’t want to miss this dynamic discussion from this amazing trio!

Amazing presenters and diverse content  
With over 300 sessions conducted by 500+ presenters from around the world, sessions highlight content for every age, and every milestone across the lifespan. From early childhood to school-age to adulthood, sessions feature the best-of-the-best in their areas of expertise to share research, best practices, and resources that support the lifelong needs of individuals with disabilities and those who live with, love, and support them. Browse the Session Sorter to find the sessions that match your needs and interests! 

Special events within OCALICONLINE 
Interested in learning more about assistive technology and how it can be leveraged for individuals with developmental disabilities or with visual impairments? OCALICONLINE 2022 features a line-up of special events focused on these very topics. With experts from around the world, these sessions will provide you with practical resources and tips for taking your understanding of assistive technology to the next level.  

  • Tuesday, November 15: Inclusive Education Leadership: Bring a team to this extended session on inclusive leadership! Hear from Ohio Department of Education leaders from the Office for Exceptional Children about special education and gifted education updates, key focus areas of supports and project updates related to Each Child Means Each Child
  • Wednesday, November 16: The BEST AT Forum is an opportunity to learn about cross-curricular braille literacy and assistive technologies for students who are blind or visually impaired 

These are not stand-alone events but are integrated into the conference itself. Attendees wishing to attend these sessions must register for the entire conference. 

New for 2022! The OCALI Channel 
The OCALI Channel is OCALICONLINE’s continuous video streaming channel that runs throughout the conference. Starting on Day 1 with the keynote session, the OCALI Channel will keep you connected, informed, and inspired all week long! You can catch the OCALICON hosts – the Good Life Ambassadors – during each break. They’ll keep your energy and spirits up and keep you in the loop with reminders and suggestions for getting the most out of your conference experience. You can also watch episodes of a collection of OCALI’s greatest hits and highlights – from InspirED to Many Faces of Autism to Ensuring Access to the General Curriculum for ALL Learners – and so much more! Plus, coffee break adventures in the morning, and afternoon Energy Breaks with the conference team in the afternoon. Look for the final schedule and details closer to the conference! 

Good News! – There’s Still Time to Register 
If you haven’t registered, what are you waiting for? Welcome to the community. There’s a place for you here. Register now!  



What’s New at OCALI

Person in wheelchair riding down a brick hallway
Improving Outcomess for People with Disabilities: Care Over the Lifespan

November 8, 12- 1 p.m. 
Improving Outcomes for People with Disabilities: Care Over the Lifespan 
People with disabilities experience consistent barriers to clinical care, preventative services, and good health. Join the Ohio Association of Health Plans, OCALI, and other speakers.

Band Together Central Ohio logo with Autism Open Mic and fall leaves in the corners
Band Together Autism Open Mic

November 13, 2-5 p.m. 
Band Together 
Join us for an Autism Open Mic to celebrate the talents of our Central Ohio Autism community. Individuals with autism are invited to participate. Registration is recommended.

The Journey: A Free Webinar Series featuring image of youth looking at a sunset over a cityscape
The Journey: A Free Webinar Series

November 28, 2:30-3 p.m. 
The Journey: An Overview of SSI and SSDI 
Hear from Social Security Public Affairs Specialists regarding questions about Supplemental Security Income (SSI) versus Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).

Supporting the Wellness of Students and Staff text on blue background with a circular picture of a teacher with two young female students

InspirED Episode:
Supporting the Wellness of Students and Staff
December 15, 4-4:30p.m.

Since the pandemic, school districts and educators have had to ramp up their mental health and behavioral services to support student wellness. Learn how to strengthen partnerships with families and agencies.

Know Your Voting Rights text repeated in rainbox colors on yellow background with Disability Rights Ohio logo and OCALI Family and Community Outreach Center logo
Educational Identification of Students with ASD

Know Your Voting Rights  
As we gear up for Election Day on Nov. 8, it is important for everyone to know their rights. Join us for a conversation with Kevin Truitt, Disability Rights Ohio Legal Advocacy Director, to discuss voting rights for people with disabilities. 

Age Appropriate Transition Assessment with logo of a flower image with colored petal
Age Appropriate Transition Assessment (AATA)

NEW: Age-Appropriate Transition Assessment Planning Guide 
Working through this process results in the team having a detailed, coordinated plan to guide all aspects of gathering transition assessment data and information. Learn more about our new guide to assist the process.

InspirED logo on computer with purple and white background - headline says Watch InspirED episodes on YouTube!
InspirED on YouTube

InspirED Episodes on YouTube  
Did you miss a session? Do you want to go back and re-watch your favorite episodes? Check out our InspirED Playlists on our YouTube Channel, including our latest episodes on PBIS Lessons Learned Parts 1 & 2. Watch now

Autism Center Resource gallery text on turquoise gradient background

Grab-n-Go Resource Gallery Kit 
This kit, available through our Lending Library, offers a variety of interventions with how-to explanations to support all learners, including those with autism spectrum disorder. Explore now

Text says Children's Books on black background with colorful stacks of books, apple and caterpillar in foreground

Children’s Books on Autism 
Discover books to use with children ages preschool through high school to learn more about autism.

We Love What We We Do - OCALI Is Hiring Headline next to image of multiple snapshots of employees smiling
OCALI is Hiring!

OCALI is Hiring!

Do you want to work in a mission-driven environment? Learn more about our open positions for Multi-System Youth and Family Regional Coaches (closes 10/31/22) and an Autism Center Coordinator

OCALI NOW | Issue 41 • September 2022

Graphic of young adults holding signs for Voting with headline reading: Knowing Your Voting Rights
Knowing Your Voting Rights

Knowing Your Voting Rights   

As we gear-up for Election Day on November 8, it is important for everyone to know their rights, particularly those with disabilities. One in five people in the United States have a disability, and after the pandemic, there are millions more newly disabled people who have been impacted by the virus. Voter turnout during the 2020 elections demonstrated the disability community’s desire for civic engagement, advocacy, and to have their voices heard.  

Recently, OCALI’s Family and Community Outreach director, Gwen Harshaw, sat down with Kevin Truitt, legal advocacy director at Disability Rights Ohio—a statewide, non-profit organization that fights for civil, human, and legal rights for people with disabilities across Ohio to discuss voting rights and supports available to the disability community. 

“Over the years, we’ve heard from people with disabilities who think they are not allowed to vote,” shares Truitt. “That’s simply not true and it’s important that we correct any misinformation that is out there and make sure that people know their rights.”  

One of the biggest misconceptions is that people under the care of a guardian or those in nursing homes, residential facilities, or hospitals cannot vote, which is not true. There are special processes and mechanisms in place to make it easier for people to vote. Unfortunately, most people do not know the information.  

“This is an important responsibility that we take on at Disability Rights Ohio—making sure that people know about all of the ways they can vote, what resources are available, and how they can get the support they need to ensure their voices are heard,” explains Truitt. 

The good news is that the pandemic opened up new ways and accommodations for people with disabilities to vote like never before, including early voting, same-day registration, drop boxes, mail-in voting, and more.  

Voter Registration Deadline: October 11  
For the November 8 election, the deadline to register—in-person, online, or by mail—is October 11. Learn more and register.  

For those who need assistance registering or need help completing the form, contact Disability Rights Ohio at https://www.disabilityrightsohio.org/ or 800-282-9181. The team is there to ensure questions are answered and people feel comfortable with the voting process.  

Absentee Ballots  
For those who are unable to vote in-person and would like to vote via absentee ballot, the absentee ballot application deadline is Saturday at noon before Election Day. To learn more about how to how to submit an absentee ballot, visit https://www.ohiosos.gov/elections/voters/absentee-ballot/.   

More to Come  
Watch for more information on laws to support voting rights, additional resources, etc. in a video interview coming soon. In the meantime, to learn more about the work of Disability Rights Ohio, visit https://www.disabilityrightsohio.org/ and for specific information about voting in Ohio, visit the Ohio Secretary of State website at https://www.ohiosos.gov/.   


Find What You Need at OCALICONE 2022 with image of magnifying glass over rainbow dots
Find What You Need at OCALICONLINE 2022

Find What You Need at OCALICONLINE 2022

Don’t miss your chance to attend the world’s premier autism and disabilities conference this November 15-18. Coming to a laptop, tablet, or smartphone near you! 

The event begins with a bang – an All-Star keynote session featuring Haben Girman, Judy Heumann, and Temple Grandin. Mark your calendar for 12:30, November 15 – you don’t want to miss this session!  

From there, choose from over 300 sessions presented by over 500 leaders and practitioners from across the world. Use the online Session Sorter tool to see who is presenting what, when – and build your own personalized schedule that best meets your interests and passions. And with on-demand content, your learning and discovery journey continues through December 15, 2022. 

Need continuing education or graduate credit? Check out the options and opportunities! Never attended the event? Check out our tips for first timers! 

There’s so much to experience and do at OCALICONLINE 2022. Join over 15,000 of your peers and colleagues from all 50 U.S. states and 50 countries. Registration is limited – so don’t delay! Register today. Welcome to the community. There’s a place for you here. 


We Love What We We Do - OCALI Is Hiring Headline next to image of multiple snapshots of employees smiling
OCALI is Hiring!

OCALI is Hiring!

We are a mission-driven team committed to promoting access and inspiring change for people with disabilities and those who live with, love, and support them. Learn more about our search for a Multisystem Youth and Family Regional Coach and an Early Childhood Consultant.

Find out why we love what we do.


What’s New at OCALI

Band Together Central Ohio next to logo of four interlocking arms that end in Guitar struts with a microphone image on the right side
Band Together Central Ohio

October 9, 2-5 p.m. 
Band Together Autism Open Mic 
Join us for an Autism Open Mic to celebrate the talents of our Central Ohio Autism community. Individuals with autism are invited to participate. Registration is recommended.

PBIS Lessons Learned Part 2: Early Childhood on blue background with image of young children raising hands
InspirED: PBIS Lessons Learned, Part 2: Early Childhood

October 20, 4-4:30 p.m.
New InspirED: PBIS Lessons Learned Part 2: Early Childhood
While the features of PBIS are the same across all grades, learn how implementing PBIS looks different for what is developmentally appropriate for our youngest students in grades preschool-grade 3.

The Journey: A Free Webinar Series featuring image of youth looking at a sunset over a cityscape
The Journey: A Free Webinar Series

October 24, 2:30-3 p.m.
The Journey: Family Engagement: Building a Strong Foundation   
Learn more about identifying the conditions that impact a family’s engagement in their child’s education and what we can do to maximize their engagement.

Educational Identification of Students with ASD headline next to photo of adults discussing something at a conference
Educational Identification of Students with ASD

November 2022-March 2023
Educational Identification of Students with ASD 
This introductory training series with 10 two-hour sessions is designed for school-based evaluation teams that want to learn more about the process for educational identification of students with ASD. Register by October 24. Space is limited.

Age Appropriate Transition Assessment with logo of a flower image with colored petal
Age Appropriate Transition Assessment (AATA)

NEW: Age-Appropriate Transition Assessment Planning Guide 
Working through this process results in the team having a detailed, coordinated plan to guide all aspects of gathering transition assessment data and information. Learn more about our new guide to assist the process.

OCALI Lending Library logo with rainbow pages on top center
Lending Library

Grab-n-Go Resource Gallery Kit 
This kit, available through our Lending Library, offers a variety of interventions with how-to explanations to support all learners, including those with autism spectrum disorder.

OCALI NOW | Issue 40 • August 2022

Planning for Transition Assessment, checklist image with people
Planning for Transition Assessment

How to Use Partners and Data to Help Students Set, Refine, and Achieve Post-School Goals 

Schools and agencies have an overlapping responsibility to serve and engage with transition youth. Because many youth with disabilities are eligible to receive services from one or more agencies while in school, it is important to plan as a multi-agency team. By doing this, agency professionals and schools are able to come together to meet with the student and family to collaboratively fulfill their separate responsibilities, which helps to properly sequence supports and help the youth toward their adult life goals. 

Age-appropriate transition assessment, often called AATA or simply ‘transition assessment’ is defined by the Division on Career Development and Transition, DCDT, of the Council for Exceptional Children, as “an ongoing process of collecting data on the individual’s needs, preferences, and interests as they relate to the demands of current and future working, educational, living, personal and social environments.” 

The purpose of transition assessment is different than the purpose of assessment for eligibility or progress monitoring. Transition assessment focuses on what the youth can do, their strengths, and assets. Transition assessment also compares the youth’s current profile of Preferences, Interests, Needs, and Strengths or Skills (PINS) to what they need in order to accomplish their adult life goals, which will help the team develop skill development goals, training opportunities, transition services, and other supports to help the youth prepare for their adult life. 

The transition assessment planning process is designed to address five basic questions:  

  1. What are the youth’s adult life goals?  
  1. What are the youth’s PINS? 
  1. How well-aligned are the youth’s current skills to the set of skills needed in the future? 
  1. What other or additional information does the team need to know?  
  1. What assessment tools, methods, and strategies will be used to address the assessment questions?  

For schools, collecting data from the transition assessment is a required part of the Individuals Education Plan (IEP) beginning no later than age 14. However, it is not always clear what data should be collected or how to interpret and use the data. 

That is where the new, online AATA Planning Guide can help. The guide was designed to support IEP team members and transition-age students in thoughtfully and intentionally planning for transition assessment.  The tool begins with an introduction section that focuses on building a multi-agency team to support the youth.  

“We hope this tool will help guide educators, youth, families, and other team members through the transition assessment planning process, making it easier to identify goals, build that full youth profile from all perspectives, and document ‘the gap’ for a student,” shares Alex Corwin, Director, Lifespan Transitions Center at OCALI. “In the end, we want to help the student and their team successfully navigate to the adult life goals and vision 

Two ways learn more: 

  1. Join us virtually at 4 p.m. tomorrow, August 25, for a new InspirED episode on Planning for Transition Assessment. Learn more and register
  1. Visit https://www.ocali.org/project/AATA to view a brief video and explore the AATA Planning Guide. 

OCALICONLINE 2022 All-star Keynote Trio

OCALICONLINE 2022: Bigger and Better Than Ever 

We are just three short months away from hosting OCALICONLINE 2022 – the world’s premier autism and disabilities conference. And while every year is special, this year, we celebrate our ‘Sweet 16’ birthday and our largest gathering ever. Nearly 16,000 – yes, 16,000! – of your peers and colleagues have already signed up – from 50 states and 49 countries, including many first-time attendees from Pakistan, Barbados, Micronesia, Gambia, Iran, Estonia, Tunisia, and many others. We couldn’t be more excited to welcome everyone to this amazing virtual gathering November 15-18, 2022. Whether you are already registered or are thinking about attending for the first time, here are a few things we’re excited about and hope you will be, too.  

  

  1. All-star keynote trio: Tuesday, November 15, 12:30 p.m. EST   

OCALICONLINE 2022 opens with a dynamite panel discussion featuring Judy Heumann, Temple Grandin, and Haben Girma, all three of whom have been at the forefront of leading and inspiring change for people with disabilities. They’ll share their perspectives on current challenges and opportunities and discuss future possibilities and what it really means to be a part of a community. This panel session alone will be worth the price of registration!   

  

  1. Dynamic presenters and diverse content   

With a record number of presenters (nearly 500!) and sessions (nearly 300!) from around the world, there is content for every age and every milestone across the lifespan. From early childhood to school-age to adulthood, OCALICONLINE sessions feature the best-of-the-best in research, best practices, and resources that support the lifelong needs of individuals with disabilities and those who live with, love, and support them. We’ll also feature content from our collaborative partners. Check out the Session Sorter to preview all the content! You can even make your own schedule!  

  

  1. Refresh and recharge  

Need a quick break or a chance to unwind? Check out the OCALI Channel – your streaming destination for continued learning, discovery, and aha moments! In between sessions, you’ll get updates and announcements courtesy of the OCALICONLINE 2022 hosts, the Good Life Ambassadors, plus cameo appearances from the conference team, and “views from the top” as we check in with leaders from OCALI and the Ohio Department of Education’s Office for Exceptional Children. The OCALI Channel also features content from all 10 OCALI Centers – including clips and highlights from OCALI’s numerous video and audio projects and series – as well as coffee and energy break adventures to get you back in the game. Starting Tuesday, November 15, the OCALI Channel runs continuously through the end of the conference on Friday, November 18.   

  

  1. Celebrating moments of impact for 16 years  

Over the past 16 years, we have seen, heard, and witnessed countless moments of impact. These stories are living examples of how those seemingly small moments of inspiration are transformed into action. These stories are of teachers, parents, and service providers whose lives were changed because of what they experienced at OCALICON. They’re people just like you. And these are their moments of impact, when inspiration transformed into action.  

  

Space Is Limited – So Hurry!  

If you’re not registered, what are you waiting for? Due to the overwhelming demand, space is limited. Don’t wait! Register before September 15, and save $50!  


We Love What We We Do - OCALI Is Hiring
OCALI is Hiring!

OCALI is Hiring an Online Professional Development Specialist!  

We are a mission-driven team committed to promoting access and inspiring change for people with disabilities and those who live with, love, and support them. Learn more about our search for an Online Professional Development Specialist. 

Find out why we love what we do.


What’s New at OCALI

InspirED: Planning for Transition Assessment August 25

August 25, 4:00-4:30 p.m. 
NEW: InspirED: Planning for Transition Assessment 

Explore OCALI’s new online Age-Appropriate Transition Assessment Planning Guide to support the process for students with disabilities to set post-school goals, find meaningful graduation pathways, and more.

The Journey: A free webinar series

August 29, 2:30-3:00 p.m. 
NEW: The Journey: How to Decide? Alternatives to Guardianship 

As youth with complex needs transition to adulthood, many families consider applying for legal guardianship. Learn more about options families and allies can use to continue supporting their loved one.

Band Together Central Ohio
Band Together Central Ohio

September 11, 2:00-5:00 p.m.
Band Together Central Ohio

Join us for an Autism Open Mic to celebrate the talents of our Central Ohio Autism community. Individuals with autism are invited to participate at The Gahanna Sanctuary on the second Sunday of every month from 2:00-5:00 p.m. Registration is recommended. 

Deaf Education Network

September 12, 9:30 a.m.
Deaf Education Network: Fall Meeting 
The Deaf Education Network Fall Meeting’s goal is to connect professionals and agencies who serve D/HH learners in the state of Ohio and provide them with the most current resources available around the state.

Improving Outcomes for People with Disabilities

September 13, 12:00-1:00 p.m. 
Improving Outcomes for People with Disabilities: Clinical Care Over the Lifespan and During Transition  

The Core Competencies in Health Care Education for People with Disabilities serve as a foundation for this 10-part series. Each session provides attendees the opportunity to hear from and engage with leaders from a variety of disciplines.

Innovation Spotlight Series – Relationships Matter

September 13, 7:00-9:00 p.m. 
SSI Benefits 

Learn the basics of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and requirements to apply for SSI benefits. 

Professionals Serving Students with Visual Impairments

September 16, 8:00 a.m. 
Professionals Serving Students with Visual Impairments: Fall Meeting 

The Outreach Center for Deafness and Blindness at OCALI supports networking around Ohio through the Professionals Serving Students with Visual Impairments semi-annual meetings. Join us to connect and collaborate! Learn more and register

Virtual Educational Identification of Students with ASD

November 2022-March 2023
Educational Identification of Students with ASD Virtual Training Series 

This introductory training series with 10 two-hour sessions is designed for school-based evaluation teams that want to learn more about the process for educational identification of students with ASD. Register by October 24. Space is limited.