Michael Rench was appointed as DD for the Div. of Community services by John Martin who was appointed as the new Director of ODMR/dd by Governor Ted Strickland. We need to write Gov. Strickland to make sure he does not close any more MR/dd facilities otherwise he will not be elected into a second term by family and friends of people who will be affected by the decisions his appointees make:
Office of Governor-Elect Strickland
77 South High Street
Riffe Center, Suite 1948
Columbus, Ohio 43215(614) 728-4900
What he needs to know is that the closing of MR/dd facilities, forced mainstreaming, and the creation of new satellites makes no sense because of the following:
1) MR/dd was closed because of decline in attendance but suddenly there is an increase of new satellites opening where the cost is being duplicated many times than what it cost to keep a MR/dd therapy center open.
2) Kids are still being excluded from their peers at their disctrict school; they are included at MR/dd schools
3) Kids were removed from MR/dd therapies throughout Ohio without notification and due process; parents can prove now that services are not even close to what the kids were getting in the form of integrated therapies at MR/dd.
4) Many parents are not aware that they are paying for a tax levy for which their child cannot benefit. For example, property owners are paying for MR/dd through their property taxes for services that are being charged to their schools. Many schools cannot afford these charges so many of the children were sent back to their district school even though their parents are probably paying for MR/dd; MR/dd creates "traveling therapy" within the district calling this "service" but it does not replace what was taken away from the kids.
5) Parents in Cincinnati were not told they have an option to attend a MR/dd therapy school and as a result their children's individualized education rights are being violated. Parents aren't even told what they are entitled by law by any of the school districts in the form of AT; parents have to get this information from a lawyer.