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Tuesday, September 22, 2020


 Planning for a good life for your loved one is a journey. Carolyn Wheeler -- who has spent too many hours to count around kitchen tables assisting families to plan for the future -- will highlight key questions to consider as you plan and tools that may be useful along the way. An adult sibling will also share her journey to plan for a good life for her brother when their parents are no longer able to provide support for him.

Join HCDDS  to be energized and supported in your own planning process!

Register at http://www.hamiltondds.org/register.

This event will take place on Zoom - Register today and you'll receive a link to join the event in advance.

Carolyn B. Wheeler is a native Kentuckian with over thirty years of experience in program development, training and advocacy on behalf of people with developmental disabilities and their families. From 1990 to the present, she has been employed on a variety of projects with the Human Development Institute at the University of Kentucky. She is also, on a voluntary basis, a Power of Attorney and Representative Payee for a woman who has an intellectual disability, receives a Social Security retirement payment from her own work record and has an ABLE account. In 2017, she received the Carl D. Perkins Service Award from The Arc of Kentucky and the Willie Byrd Legislative Award from KY APSE (Association for Persons Supporting Employment First). Carolyn was appointed by State Treasurer Allison Ball in 2019 to the Kentucky Financial Empowerment Commission. Carolyn has a passion for encouraging and supporting people with disabilities and their families to plan for a good life that includes figuring out the “hard stuff” when key family members are no longer able to provide day to day assistance.

Funded by the Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council under the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Its Boot Camp Time, Folks!

Cincinnati Area Transition Booster Sessions 2020
The second booster session in 2020,
Supplemental Security Income & Social Security Disability Insurance (SSI/SSDI)
is scheduled for
Thursday, June 11, 6:00 - 8:00 PM
Booster sessions are intended to provide information on the transition from school to adult life for youth with disabilities. Families, individuals with disabilities, educators, and other professionals are invited to attend these sessions at no cost.

All Sessions are from 6:00 - 8:00 PM.
June's session will be held virtually, and the location for the rest will be determined as we move forward. We will communicate as we know more. 

In this session you will learn how to qualify for SSI beginning at age 18 when parents’ income/resources no longer count; about Disabled Adult Child (DAC) benefits for those disabled before age 22; about Social Security makes a medical decision for an adult vs. a child; about the application process and appeals process; how Medicare and Medicaid work with the disability programs; and about working while disabled and Social Security’s many work incentives.
Speaker:    Kelly Draggoo & Theresa Busher, Social Security Administration   
Register Online: http://bit.ly/2SgC3H6  
Guardianship and Alternatives
In this session you will learn what Guardianship is, what other options exist, and why it is important to think carefully about this decision; develop a better understanding of the legal considerations and process; see examples of county probate court forms and applications and become more prepared and empowered with resources to make informed decisions about your loved one’s life

Speakers: Andrew Brennan, Disability Rights Ohio; Jane Gerhardt, Family Member; Lisa Portune, Family Member
Register Online: http://bit.ly/2UGKbCd

Transition from Pediatric to Adult Health Care
In this session you will learn about the differences between the pediatric and adult health care systems; preparing for a successful transition from pediatric to adult healthcare providers and how to successfully navigate the adult healthcare world. 

Speakers: Jason Woodward, MD, CCHMC; Abby Nye, MD & Lauren Wang, MD, UC Physicians
Register Online: http://bit.ly/2Szop0z

Puberty, Relationships, Sexuality, and General Safety
In this session, we will discuss the rationale for providing comprehensive health and sex education to exceptional learners, review some current research and facts related to relationships, sexuality and safety, share our experiences in teaching health and sex education concepts to young adults and adults with DD and discuss available curriculums and resources.

Speakers: Amanda Tipkemper, HEIDT Center of Excellence & TJ Nestheide, HCDDS
Register Online: http://bit.ly/38hkUTh

University of Cincinnati UCEDD | 3430 Burnet Ave MLC 4002Cincinnati, OH 45229
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Thursday, April 30, 2020


A great article HERE about some of the things we can learn from this dreadful pandemic, mainly about how most families and friends function in isolation even when they're not in the middle of one.

After being in isolation, I  find little change in my life and responsibilities except for a looming threat of a Covid-19 hanging over my head and invading my body if I go out in public.  But, I think a lot of families operate in "pandemic" mode all the time or at least that's what I've observed in a lot of families.

We are isolated in many cases not by choice, but by circumstances beyond our control.  Our loved ones in independent care facilities and nursing homes are there because caring for them is beyond the scope of what their family can provide.  Some of our families who have children or adults with mobility challenges can't get out of the house.  Most times it's very difficult to physically get your son or daughter out of the house because the wheelchair is too heavy to lift into the car. Assuming there is a car that can be used to safely transport an individual with special needs. And everything takes so much time just getting them ready by dressing and cleaning them up to be presentable.

There doesn't have to be a pandemic present for ongoing wiping up and disinfecting after our children and adults especially for the ones who are always fidgeting with their tongue, mouth, clothing, and fingers.   It's just what they do. Even with the countless therapies to which they are subjected,   redirecting the self- stimming it is still very much a part of how we interact with them and who they are and who they will remain to be.

This pandemic is serious. We can't make light of it.   If it hasn't turned your life on end, then count yourself lucky. All our children and families are being compromised in some way and hopefully, we are reaching out in ways that the pandemic will not allow us. For example, I needed bleach to clean and a neighbor's work associate shared her stash with us. We're making masks for each other.  We are helping a  young widow grieve for her young husband.   We are taking dinners to families. We are trying to keep it together while some of us are having to say goodbye to our friends, family, jobs,  and income. Some of us are even losing hope and faith.

Hopefully, this pandemic will bring us all closer together in understanding the barriers that people faced while trying to survive it.  The people who were already isolated and socially distant from us.

Friday, March 27, 2020

Project REDD (Research and Education on Disability and Disaster) has put together a list of resources for people with disabilities, related to Coronavirus, and we have added some that we think are helpful.
University of Cincinnati UCEDD | 3430 Burnet Ave MLC 4002Cincinnati, OH 45229
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Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Message from UCCEDD


EMERGENCY: Urge Senators TODAY to Include Nonprofits in 3rd Relief Package of $1T+
Please join Flat Rock Homes in supporting the United Methodist Association and Lutheran Services in America in efforts to protect member nonprofit organization with   business continuity during the current crisis. Your speedy participation is needed TODAY with regard to the third relief package of over $1 trillion currently being negotiated in the Senate.
Negotiations are taking place in the Senate now on a $1 trillion-plus economic rescue package to offer relief to businesses and nonprofits through loans and grants. This draft legislation currently contains a provision which would make nonprofits with over 500 employees and those that receive Medicaid payments ineligible, including senior living facilities, child welfare organizations, organizations serving people with disabilities, and many others.
We ask that you and your friends call and email your Senators today to urge them to remove this language before voting on the bill.  We are also asking Senators to include additional financial support for nonprofit organizations serving seniors and people with disabilities as they navigate this crisis with the individuals in their communities. In the attached link, you will find and additional link to email your Senators, as well as suggested phone script language and a sample tweet for your use. There is strength in numbers, and the more people who can reach out to Senators today, the better. Decisions on this rescue package are expected to move incredibly quickly, and we urge you to make this a priority today.
Ways You Can Take Action
·         Option 1: Write to your Senators through the advocacy tool. Suggested language is provided.
·         Option 2: Contact your lawmakers by phone using the suggested talking points below. You can find your Senators and their phone numbers in the provided link below. Suggested messaging you may wish to use during your call:
      • I’m calling in regard to the Senate’s negotiations underway today on the third coronavirus relief package of over $1 trillion.  I support Flat Rock Homes [OR ANOTHER ORGANIZATION THAT YOU WISH TO INCLUDE] that serves 76 adults with developmental disabilities, many with major underlying medical conditions [OR SENIORS, IF USING WITH ANOTHER ORGANIZATION] and receives approximately 95% of our funding from Medicaid. I am gravely concerned that the bill currently excludes my organization and other nonprofits that receive Medicaid payments from zero- and low-interest small business loans available to other organizations. Like many nonprofit health and human service organizations, we are on the front lines caring for Americans during the pandemic and are in crisis mode. We are incurring additional expenses and our cash reserves and margins already are tight. The fact is we cannot retain our employees and provide our services that help so many vulnerable people in our state without this support.  I urge you to include nonprofits that receive Medicaid payments as eligible applicants for these much-needed small-business loans. While Flat Rock Homes only has 145 employees, I also ask that you expressly include charitable nonprofits that employ over 500 employees in the bill and include additional financial support for all organizations serving people with disabilities and senior living communities as they navigate this crisis with the individuals in their communities. So many people in our state are relying on our organization, and we’re relying on you.
·         Option 3: Since lawmakers’ staff consistently monitor their social media pages, reaching out via their Twitter pages is also useful.
o    You can find your lawmakers and their twitter handles in the attached link.
o    Suggested tweet:
      • [Insert your lawmaker’s Twitter handle here] #Coronavirus relief bill MUST make nonprofits who get Medicaid reimbursements eligible for $ relief + support aid for nonprofit serving seniors, people with disabilities and child welfare agencies. We are on frontlines of fight & under severe financial stress.
Please share with your contacts. Original link with more details and tools: https://www.lutheranservices.org/content/1-trillion-senate-stimulus-bill
Thank you for your efforts!

Need more information? Please contact Sarah Dobson, Lutheran Services in America Director of Public Policy and Advocacy, at sdobson@lutheranservices.org or 202-499-5832 or Dania Douglas, Lutheran Services in America Director of Policy and Advocacy, LSA-DN at ddouglas@lutheranservices.org or (202) 499-5831.
Karen L. Kilgo
President and Chief Executive Officer
Flat Rock Homes, Care Center, and Community Services
FRLogo_Main_Stacked email signature 3
7353 N. County Road 29, P. O. Box 1
Flat Rock, Ohio 44828
Phone: (419) 483-7330 x1104
Fax: (419) 483-5616
Connect with me on: 



 The Senate version of the Coronavirus relief bill contains a provision that excludes non-profits that receive Medicaid funding from receiving the financial support contained in the bill.  It is my understanding that this means private ICFs that are non-profits would be excluded from the relief bill since they receive Medicaid funding.  As the coronavirus relief bill is quickly making its way through Congress, it is vital that you act today by contacting your Ohio senators.

Senators are not understanding that the vital care that is provided by Medicaid-funded non-profits like ICFs is supported to a great degree with significant private donations - in other words, Medicaid funding does not cover all costs.  The coronavirus crisis and the workforce shortage are creating added financial burdens on ICFs, meaning more financial stress on these organizations.  The Senate bill excludes private non-profit ICFs from relief at a time when ICFs are on the front lines fighting the virus.  

Please contact Ohio’s senators, Rob Portman and Sherrod Brown TODAY:

Tell them:

"I’m calling in regard to the Senate’s coronavirus relief bill.  The bill excludes non-profits that receive Medicaid funding like [NAME OF YOUR NON PROFIT ICF] that provide health care and residential services to vulnerable adults and children with developmental disabilities, many with major underlying medical conditions.  I am gravely concerned that the bill excludes Flat Rock Homes ICF  from crucially needed financial relief, such as zero- and low-interest small business loans.   Flat Rock Homes ICF  and other health and human services organizations are being excluded from relief when they are on the front lines fighting the virus while caring for fragile Americans.  These organizations are in crisis mode.  They are incurring additional expenses and their cash reserves and margins are already are tight.  They cannot retain employees that provide direct care to Ohioans with developmental disabilities without the financial aide that is in the relief bill.  I urge you to include nonprofits that receive Medicaid payments as eligible applicants for the much-needed small-business loans that are in the relief bill.  I also ask that you expressly include charitable nonprofits that employ over 500 employees in the bill and include additional financial support for all organizations serving people with disabilities and senior living communities as they navigate this crisis while serving the health care needs of the most vulnerable Americans. So many people in our state are relying on these organizations, and we’re relying on you."

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

OT/PT Research Update: Gait and Cerebral Palsy

This two-day course is designed for physical therapists that work with individuals with cerebral palsy and wish to enhance their clinical decision-making skills when assessing and treating for movement and gait disorders. Video and interactive cases will be used to demonstrate the common gait patterns of children with cerebral palsy (CP). Research updates related to gait in children with cerebral palsy and clinical suggestions for physical therapy interventions will be presented.
At the end of the course, the learner will:
1) Describe the kinematics, kinetics and electromyography (EMG) of the mature gait cycle and the development of gait in children.
2) Analyze atypical movement patterns and critical impairments interfering with gait in children with cerebral palsy with a focus on differentiating primary impairments from secondary compensations.
3) Discuss the evidence in the literature related to interventions to improve gait in children with CP.
4) Collaborate with colleagues to develop treatment strategies based on clinical experience and best available evidence to improve movement and gait in individuals with CP.

Registration Items

  • Onsite Registration
Early Bird Registration: (May 8th, 2020 and before): $275
 Standard Registration: (after May 8th, 2020): $325
Tuition must be received before a participant can be registered.  Enrollment is limited, please register online early to reserve your spot.
If you do not receive an e-mail confirmation, please call (513)-636-4651 for verbal communication. Refunds (less $35 processing fee) will be made only if notice of cancellation is received in writing by May 8th, 2020.  Should the program be canceled, tuition will be refunded.
The application has been made for approval by the Ohio Physical Therapy Board for 12 hours.