Disability coalition thanks Ohio policymakers for removing language that would have weakened DD Bill of Rights

July 21, 2015 / developmental disabilities

Today, a coalition of 11 disability organizations sent a letter to Governor Kasich and key members of the Ohio General Assembly, thanking them for removing language from the state budget bill that would have changed the Developmental Disabilities Bill of Rights without the input of people with disabilities. Read the full text of the letter below or download the PDF version.


Honorable Governor Kasich

Senator Burke
Chair, Senate Medicaid Committee

Senator Oelslager
Chair, Senate Finance Committee

Senator Cafaro
Ranking Member, Senate Medicaid Committee

Senator Skindell
Ranking Member, Senate Finance Committee

Representative Sprague
Chair, House Finance, HHS Subcommittee

Representative Smith
Chair, House Finance Committee

Representative Sykes
Ranking Member, House Finance HHS Subcommittee

Representative Driehaus
Ranking Member, House Finance Committee

Dear Governor Kasich and Senators Oelslager, Skindell, Burke, and Cafaro, and Representatives Smith, Driehaus, Sprague, and Sykes:

We the undersigned organizations write to express our appreciation and gratitude to you for hearing our concerns, valuing our participation, and ultimately removing the misguided amendments to Revised Code § 5123.62 from H.B. 64 (the state biennium budget bill for fiscal years 2016-2017).

The controversial amendments to the “DD Bill of Rights” that were discussed during the budget process would have made significant changes to essential rights of Ohioans with intellectual and developmental disabilities without adequate opportunity for those Ohioans to fully participate in the legislative process. As we approach the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), it is only fitting that during the budget process you heard the call of thousands of people with disabilities who asked you to recognize a simple phrase that conveys a powerful message – “nothing about us without us.”

Indeed, you have honored the spirit of and value for the full participation and inclusion of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities by ensuring that the DD Bill of Rights will remain intact. Should changes be sought, there must be ample opportunity for direct and meaningful input by those most affected: people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Thank you again for your time and efforts on this important matter.

Very truly yours,

Michael Kirkman, Disability Rights Ohio

Carolyn Knight, Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council

Ilka Riddle, University of Cincinnati, UCEDD

Marc Tasse, Ph.D., The Ohio State University Nisonger Center, UCEDD

Gary Tonks, The Arc of Ohio

Sadie Hunter, People First of Ohio

Karla Rinto, Advocacy & Protective Services, Inc.

Kay Grier, Ohio Statewide Independent Living Council

Dana Charlton, Ohio Self-Determination Association

Shelley Papenfuse, Ohio Olmstead Task Force

Shari Cooper, Advocacy United


cc: Honorable Keith Faber, President Ohio Senate
Honorable Cliff Rosenberger, Speaker Ohio House of Representatives
Honorable Joe Schiavoni, Minority Leader, Ohio Senate
Honorable Fred Strahorn, Minority Leader, Ohio House of Representatives



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