TOPS continues to grow each year which is very exciting. We do have some staff changes that we want to make you aware of so that you can communicate effectively with our team. Nikki, TOPS Job Coach, left TOPS this summer to pursue her passions in medicine. She is still with the medical center and we wish her the best.
Colleen, student worker, who oversaw a lot of the social activities is no longer working with TOPS. All communications regarding social activities and programming can be directed to Shannon. Her email is Shannon.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Felicia, student worker, who helped with job coaching has also left our office.
We are in the process of replacing all of these positions, so we thank you for your patience in advance as we look to find quality team members.
See below for an opportunity to participate in research.
Description: We are looking for individuals with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities, which may include diagnoses such as Autism Spectrum Disorder, Cerebral Palsy, Down syndrome, ages 15-30 years to participate in a research study! This study is to enhance the usefulness of learning activities for sexual health education. We also want to learn what we can do to make them more fun for you! We need your help!
Currently, there seems to be a never-ending list of apps available for download, and many can increase an individual’s access to and success in the classroom, in the community, or in a variety of other contexts. Over the summer, we’ll highlight several of these apps, so hopefully you find one that fits your lifestyle!
App name: Notability
Where you can access this app: smartphones, tablets, computers
What can this app do?
Notability is one of my favorite apps and has very useful in my college coursework. It works best if you have access to a tablet, such as an iPad. Notability is a notetaking app with several features that are beneficial for studying. First, you can download documents, such as PowerPoints, from CarmenCanvas directly into the app. Once the document is in the app, you can organize your notes by class and by units within the class.
When you open the file, you can write/draw/highlight directly on the document for easy notetaking during a lecture. When you search text on the app (such as when you are looking for a specific topic in your notes), the search feature also searches your handwritten notes! Another benefit of using Notability is that you can record audio that is attached to the document. This is beneficial for recording content (with your professor’s permission!) to review later. Notability also has the option to back up all of your notes for safekeeping.
It can feel pretty overwhelming to learn about candidates and to prepare to vote! The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) has put together a Voter Resource Center, which provides links to information on a variety of voting-related topics. The link includes resources on how to register to vote, how to learn about candidates, how to amplify the power of the disability vote, and more. Consider taking some time to investigate these resources (or bookmark it for later)!
The Ohio Department of Transportation is seeking feedback for their first-ever pedestrian and bicycle plan and is looking for Ohioans to fill out an online survey. The information and feedback collected from the survey will inform the Walk.Bike.Ohio plan. Make your voice heard about accessibility barriers you might face when biking and/or using sidewalks, crosswalks, etc. in Ohio.
Click here to access the survey or here for more information.
In the 2016 election, 16 millions individuals with disabilities voted (Source: AAPD).
In the 2016 election, voter turnout for individuals with disabilities was 6% lower than individuals without disabilities (Source: AAPD).
Employed individuals with disabilities were just as likely to vote as employed individuals without disabilities (Source: AAPD).
“If people with disabilities voted at the same rate as people without disabilities who have the same demographic characteristics, there would be about 2.2 million more voters” (Source: AAPD).
In Ohio, individuals with disabilities had a 12.3% lower turnout rate than individuals without disabilities, demonstrating a higher turnout gap than the national average, which is 6.3% (Source: AAPD).
If you combine the number of individuals with disabilities and their family members, this group makes up 25% of the electorate (Source: AAPD)!
As you can tell from the information above, it’s critical to continue to increase voter turnout of individuals with disabilities! To learn more about how to register to vote, visit our recent blog post.
“An estimated 30-35% of all voters in the next twenty-five years will need some form of accommodation” (Source: AAPD).
Watch this video for a brief overview of your rights as a voter:
Additional Facts about Accessing Your Polling Location/Voting:
If you can’t find transportation to your polling location, you can contact your local campaign headquarters. These headquarters might offer transportation assistance, such as a volunteer who is driving people to their polling locations (Source: Disability Rights Ohio).
Polling locations are required to be accessible to individuals with disabilities. Because some exceptions exist, you can contact your local board of elections ahead of time to ask about your specific polling location (Source: Disability Rights Ohio).
To access the ADA checklist on what makes a polling location accessible, click here.
You can request assistance from someone you know or from poll workers, and you can bring a sample ballot with you when voting (Source: Disability Rights Ohio).
July 15th-19th is National Disability Voter Registration Week, an effort organized by the REV UP Campaign. REV UP, which stands for “Register, Educate, Vote, Use your Power,” aims to increase political involvement of the disability community and to bring awareness to disability-related issues.