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Rep. Koehler Supports Bill Updating Ohio's Developmental Disabilities System

May 12, 2016
J. Kyle Koehler News

Yesterday, the Ohio House of Representatives passed legislation updating Ohio’s developmental disability system. The bill, supported by Representative Kyle Koehler (R-Springfield), voted in support of the legislation, which is based on recommendations from the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities (DODD).

House Bill 483 builds upon progress made in the most recent state operating budget in which an additional $300 million was appropriated over the next two years for Ohioans with developmental disabilities. The bill first proposes to ease regulatory requirements to allow direct staff, such as caretakers, to administer certain medications. The legislation also improves programs for children with developmental disabilities by connecting early intervention to care as they get older.

"We need to do all we can to help connect parents of children with developmental disabilities with the services that our local DD Boards provide.  Continued help, without interruption, from early childhood to adulthood will only help these individuals realize their full potential as adults,” Koehler said.

Provisions in the bill include:
• Transferring the Early Intervention (EI) lead agency status from the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) to the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities to streamline the process for children utilizing the services so that it can continue throughout their lifetime
• Allowing a day service facility operator to close a facility without having to pay any amount left on the depreciation schedule
• Easing regulatory requirements to allow caretakers to administer more medications to those they serve, such as epinephrine, insulin and over-the-counter topical medications such as Bengay.

The Department of Developmental Disabilities supports more than 93,000 Ohioans, along with their families. In coordination with 88 County Boards of Developmental Disability, DODD works to provide health and safety services, foster community participation, and assistance with employment opportunities for those in the developmental disabilities community.

House Bill 483, sponsored by State Representative Ron Amstutz (R-Wooster),  passed with bipartisan support and will now go to the Senate for further consideration.