The Franklin County Board of Developmental Disabilities advocates and supports individuals in numerous ways.  The Board believes in supporting self-advocates, whereby individuals who have developmental disabilities are assisted in advocating for themselves.  Examples of self-advocate support include:

Self-Advocate Advisory Council

The Self-Advocate Advisory Council provides an important voice to the Superintendent and the Board, helping to shape policy and services for the Franklin County Board of Developmental Disabilities .

The Council was established in March, 2010 and is comprised of self-advocates representing all adult services of the Board.  The group meets quarterly with the Superintendent and other staff to receive updates on services, legislation and initiatives that relate to individuals who have developmental disabilities.  Council members report back to their work or service locations.

Council members provide feedback to the Superintendent on matters related to self-advocacy and services.  Together the council has established an annual self-advocacy conference, supported Project STIR trainings, provided input to the Board’s Strategic Plan, impacted legislation and increased participation in regional and statewide advocacy efforts.

Ohio Self-Determination Association (OSDA)

The Franklin County Board of Developmental Disabilities supports OSDA which has a strong central region group of self-advocates, family members, providers and county board staff who meet monthly.  Central region advocates come from Delaware, Fairfield, Franklin, Licking, Madison and Union counties to hear updates and to provide feedback on resources, laws, legislation on other timely topics.  Visit the OSDA website or check them out on the Ohio Self-Determination Association Facebook page.

Project STIR

The Franklin County Board of Developmental Disabilities sponsors Project STIR trainings on a consistent basis.  This is a training program designed to provide tools to speak up and gain leadership experience.

Project STIR stands for Steps Towards Independence and Responsibility.  Project STIR covers Knowing Yourself, Communicating Assertively, Problem Solving and Negotiating, Rights and Responsibilities, Self-Determination, being part of the community and starting a self-advocacy group.

Visit the Project STIR website or the Project STIR Facebook page.

Advocacy Day

Advocacy day is an annual educational event that ARC Industries hosts to encourage advocates to join together and learn to speak out and network with other Franklin County advocates.  Past topics included guardianship, voting, healthy lifestyle choices and other topics leading to greater independence and choices.

College Certificate Program

The Columbus State Community College and the Franklin County Board of Developmental Disabilities established a college program for individuals who have developmental disabilities.

The one year certificate program is designed to provide individuals with the skills and qualifications required to secure employment in the field of human services.  This is one of few programs of its kind in the country.

Advocacy Strategic Planning

Self-Advocate leaders gather input from individuals receiving services and establish a strategic plan to keep advocacy efforts moving forward in Franklin County.  This plan establishes goals and is presented to the Board, then monitored and revised yearly.

Bill of Rights

Individuals served by the Franklin County Board of Developmental Disabilities participated in the production of a video on the rights of persons who have developmental disabilities.  View the Bill of Rights video.