In May 2018, the Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council (ODDC) established a Task Force on Advocacy through a grant awarded to the Ohio Statewide Independent Living Council (OSILC). It was an effort to bring together the two networks in Ohio that create opportunities for individuals with disabilities to increase their advocacy skills.
The purpose of the Task Force was to:
- Assist ODDC in addressing current self-advocacy efforts across Ohio;
- Determine overarching, systemic issues and current gaps; and
- Develop methods to increase the number of self-advocates and their skills, including a means for participating advocacy organizations to work collaboratively and learn from each other.
The Task Force included individuals with disabilities from all regions of the state. The Task Force on Advocacy met numerous times and engaged in lengthy discussions about self-determination and the current state of self-determination in Ohio. A final report was issued to ODDC on February 29, 2020.
Based on the findings, the Task Force has prioritized the following three issues as the focus of its work across Ohio:
- Increase membership of people with developmental disabilities on County Boards of DD;
- Increase leadership opportunities on DD Network and other boards;
- Strengthen the role of advocacy in Ohio.