To the people we support, their families and guardians,
LCBDD reached out, by email and mail, in July to discuss the DSP workforce shortage and the impact it could have on the supports you receive. It wasn’t the news anyone wanted to hear, but we certainly appreciate the people and families who read that message and responded with feedback and suggestions. Thank you for your patience and kindness during this difficult time in Ohio’s DD system.
It has been several months and we wanted to provide an update on the situation. This letter is accompanied by a video message from our Superintendent. To view the video, click the image on the top of this post, or go to this link: https://youtu.be/mirxv1Mo_lc. We hope that this provides people with several options to learn and understand this information.
In Licking County, DSP staffing shortages have continued and they are affecting every local provider in some capacity. Service Coordinators are continuing to meet with people and their support teams to come up with as many options as possible to make sure their needs continue to be met.
One of the opportunities that will continue to be discussed is assistive technology and remote supports. These options have been gaining popularity in Ohio since 2017, when Ohio became a Technology First state.
While there will always be a need for face-to-face interaction and direct care, we’ve seen many instances where technology has allowed people to live on their own and follow their daily routines with more independence and less staffing.
As a person-centered organization, we know that every person’s needs and comfort level with technology is different. Here are some resources to explore to determine if there’s a tech option that is right for you:
While our LCBDD staff members are here to support you, you are welcome to explore these resources on your own and start using technology at any time. Please stay tuned to our LCBDD website and Facebook page. We are in the process of planning an event that will provide more hands-on opportunities to try out different options and devices.
We understand that the cost of technology and internet access can be barriers, but there is funding available to help. Your SC is the best person to provide that information. People can contact them at any time to start that discussion, they don’t need to wait for their next ISP meeting.
Technology will not single-handedly solve the DSP workforce shortage and we know that it isn’t the right fit for everyone. But we know that for many, technology can bring confidence, independence and stability during this challenging time and we appreciate your willingness to consider it with an open mind. We look forward to exploring some of the positive ways it can impact the people we support.
As always, if you have any questions related to this letter, we ask that you call or email your Service Coordinator. They will be prepared to talk with you and share information about technology. You can also reach out to either of us, using the information below.
Thank you for your kindness, patience and support as we navigate this situation.
Jason L. Umstot
Director of Service Coordination