What's Happening in Ohio

 

Ohio Statehouse Outside

The Autism Society of Ohio, as a coalition of the seven local Autism Society affiliates in Ohio, works with the Governor's office, Representatives and Senators in the Ohio General Assembly, the various Ohio Departments (including the Departments of Developmental Disabilities, Health, and Medicaid) and other statewide stakeholders like the Ohio Coalition for Autism and Low Incidence (OCALI) and the ARC of Ohio to improve legislation and policy affecting individuals with autism and other disabilities, their families and those who work with them throughout Ohio.   We participate in taskforces, meeting with leaders on policy and legislation, educate policy makers on autism and work to improve the lives and reduce the challenges facing all affected by autism in Ohio.

There are a variety of issues that we are working on at the state level.  These include the following laws, rules and policies:

House Bill 115 -- Created a voluntary register of persons having a communication disability

Senate Bill SB144 - Establish Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities Council

Waiting List Revisions

5160-34-01 Rule change - Provide Intensive Behavioral Services for Children with Autism

 

 

  

House Bill 115 -- Created a register of persons having a communication disability

This bill created a voluntary registration for those with communication disabilities. Those with communication disabilities submit a form to the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles.  Notice of the disability would be tied to the individual's driver's license, state ID or license plate.  The routine police check of the database prior to a traffic stop will inform the officer that a person with a communication disability may be in the car.  The availability of this information affords the officer advance knowledge and awareness in order to enable respectful interactions with individuals with all levels of communication abilities. The Autism Society of Ohio strongly supported this legislation and sent letters of support to the House and Senate

The law defines a "Communication Disability" as "a human condition involving an impairment in the human's ability to receive, send, process, or comprehend concepts or verbal, nonverbal, or graphic symbol systems that may result in a primary disability or may be secondary to other disabilities."

The law provides an individual with such a disability to voluntarily disclose their disability on the Law Enforcement Agencies Data System (LEADS).  This database is not subject to public record. 

Status:  This bill was signed into law by Governor John Kasich.  Registration begins August 1, 2018. 

To Register or for Additional Information, go to:  http://ood.ohio.gov/Information/Communication-Disability-Law-FAQ

 

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Senate Bill SB144 - Establish Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities Council

This bill will abolish the Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities Commission (OOD), Consumer Advisory Committee, and Governor's Council on People with Disabilities in order to establish a state rehabilitation services council known as the Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities Council. The goal of the legislation is to consolidate the current entities (OOD Commissioners, statewide Consumer Advisory Committee and the Governor’s Council on People with Disabilities) representing individuals with disabilities in Ohio, while expanding the opportunities for broader representation from multiple disability systems. It would also streamline communication of concerns and interests by the disability community to OOD. The third goal of moving to this model is financial: reducing reimbursement and travel costs. This bill is intended to allow greater access, greater awareness, and less confusion and to follow a model that has been adopted across the country while saving taxpayer dollars. The Autism Society of Ohio supports this legislation and has sent a letter of support to the Senate.  Click here for complete information on SB144.

Status:  This bill is currently in the Government Oversight and Reform Committee in the Senate

Action:  Contact your State Senator and ask them to co-sponsor and vote for this bill. 

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Waiting List Revisions

Concerns have been raised over the years about how the increasing numbers of people waiting for DODD services and Medicaid Waivers.  A new waiting list has been designed as a single list, improving access to resources and services for those who need it through a transparent and uniform process across the state. Individuals waiting for services are to be assessed for the type of services needed and placed on a waiting list accordingly.  An amendment to HB 49 (the Ohio Budget bill passed in June 2017) provided DODD with the authority to make these changes via Ohio Administrative Code (OAC) with the help of stakeholders. The Autism Society of Ohio participated in the design of this process.  For more information, click here.

Status:  The new waiting list goes into effect on September 1, 2018.

 

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5160-34-01 Rule change - Provide Intensive Behavioral Services for Children with Autism

This rule sets forth definitional information and eligibility criteria for Children’s Intensive Behavioral Services (CIBS) interventions for children under the age of twenty-one who have been diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and are covered by Medicaid.  Medicaid would cover children with intensive behavioral needs to receive coverage for those services without having to have a waiver.  The Autism Society of Ohio supports this rule and has sent a letter of support to the Ohio Director of Medicaid.  

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