The APSI Advisor
Issue 5
Fall 2015

 Hello all,

Change is everywhere and is accelerating in the fast paced world we live in. This is certainly true within the Developmental Disabilities system in Ohio as we see downsizing in Developmental Centers and large ICF's, as well as expanding waivers and community opportunities for adults with developmental disabilities. These changes are intended to provide more opportunity for adults to live and work in their local communities.

As these changes happen APSI guardianship services need to evolve and respond.  APSI has gone through a great deal of change throughout the last several years as well and we will continue to change as the DD system evolves.  Accordingly, how APSI provides guardianship services will continue to evolve.
Recently the APSI Board of Trustees approved an external review of APSI Program Services. The intent of the review is to look at the current program operations, policies, and procedures of APSI, and assess the degree to which internal systems and processes efficiently support APSI's mission. 
Many staff members recently participated in focus groups across the state for the program review process.  These focus groups gathered input from all areas of the state and from Protective Service Representatives, Regional Program Directors and Senior Protective Service Representatives.  What is gleaned from those who do this very important work is critical as we move forward.
Our next step for the program review process is to share the recommendations with the Board of Trustees at their November meeting.  Further communication will occur as we move forward.
I know that APSI and the people we serve will benefit from this program review process and I thank everyone who took the time to participate.
In this newsletter we have included reprints of and links to other articles about  changes in the DD system around Pre-admission counseling before someone moves into an ICF's and rental assistance opportunities offered by DODD.   



Staff Spotlight:  Rick Russo
Rick Russo, APSI Protective Service Representative
Rick has been a Protective Services Representative in APSI's Highland Hills office for over 5 years. 
In June of 2015 Rick was selected to receive the Russell Kinnebrew Advocacy Award. This award is given annually to an APSI program staff member who demonstrates exemplary efforts in advocacy, and who has been employed by APSI for five years or more. 
He was nominated by Wendy Gue, the parent of an individual Rick serves. Rick's strong advocacy for the people he serves is clear, and he makes sure family members are aware of and in agreement with proposed services whenever possible. According to Wendy, "Rick is not afraid to question or challenge any person who stands in the way for people with disabilities, and he loves those whom he serves. He is not just an APSI rep, but a father, uncle, best friend and brother to all."
2015 APSI All Staff Luncheon and Training

On June 11, 2015 APSI held its annual all staff luncheon and training event at Xenos Christian Fellowship.  Barb Sapharas, who acts as a Mentor Trainer in the Learning Community for Person Centered Practices and has worked in the field of DD for close to 40 years,  provided a morning training session dedicated to the topic of Person Centered Planning.

Following lunch, the Ronald Kozlowski Advocacy Award was presented to Dave Zwyer and the Russell Kinnebrew Advocacy Award was presented to APSI representative, Rick Russo. In addition, longevity AWARDS were presented to current APSI employees with five or more years of service to the agency.

Health and Welfare Alert: Transitions

From the DODD Office of MUI/Registry Unit:

The purpose of the Transitions Health and Welfare Alert is to focus on situations where individuals change providers, services, or settings that could impact their health and safety. It is critical for providers, county boards, and families to understand the importance of completing thorough transitions. Not tending to the important details and poor communication can ultimately lead to serious harm.

With any major transition, health and safety needs must be given top priority. Plan ahead for changes in an individual's life that may create a risk. It is important to ask questions to see if a review or assessment should be completed.

DODD Rental Assistance Program (RAP)
From Ernie Fischer, DODD Capital Housing Administrator: 

The Department of Developmental Disabilities is pleased to announce the creation of a new Rental Assistance Program (RAP) as part of its FY 2016-2017 Biennium Budget. This project will fund up to $750,000 in rental assistance in each of the next two years. 

This program is designed to provide assistance to eligible individuals who receive Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Waivers and are moving from a state operated Developmental Center (DC) or a private or county operated ICF/IID into smaller, community homes of their choosing. The intent of this program is to provide rental assistance until the individual becomes eligible for any other local, state or federal rental assistance funding. A detailed outline of the process can be found here.                  

A process for implementation is currently being developed and will be shared with counties via trainings, presentations, webinars and other methods in the coming weeks.  Please be looking for this information.

This is an exciting new program that will provide additional resources to those individuals moving to homes in their community. We look forward to working with you to make this successful for persons receiving waiver services. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at or call at (614) 752-3013.  

ICF Pre-Admission Counseling Referral Process
APSI continues to advocate for the least restrictive and most person centered residential options on behalf of the individuals we serve. One of the ways we will be able to do this is by encouraging the use of the newly developed pre-admission counseling process when appropriate.

The purpose of the pre-admission counseling process is to ensure individuals with developmental disabilities have the opportunity to explore all available options for meeting their needs and to enable them to make an informed choice about moving to an intermediate care facility (ICF). This process does not prevent an individual who wants to move to an ICF from doing so.

The pre-admission counseling process applies only to Ohio residents seeking new admission to a large ICF that has at least nine beds. ICFs and county boards of developmental disabilities are not required to follow the process for individuals transferring from one ICF to another, including transfers between a state-operated developmental center and another ICF, or when a person is seeking admission to an ICF with 8 beds or fewer.

For more detailed information about this process, visit the DODD Work Space.

APSI Receives Grant Funds


On June 1, 2015 APSI submitted a request for $10,000 in grant funds to the Harry C. Moores foundation. We hoped to secure funds to help defray the cost of replacing carpet and flooring throughout the entire Central Office building. These renovations are necessary as the flooring is extremely worn and it is becoming unsafe for the employees of the building to walk on.

We are happy to report that on September 16, 2015 we were notified APSI has been chosen to receive $5,000 from the Harry C.  Moores Foundation. 


APSI Receives Foothold Technology  Impact Prize

Wanda Carroll and Angie Gerding attended the annual Foothold Technology Conference in New York City from June 24- June 26, 2015. During this event, Wanda and Angie attended various training sessions related to the AWARDS information management system used by APSI.

Prior to this event, APSI's Program Team entered the agency in a contest to win a $1000 prize by submitting an essay explaining how implementing the AWARDS system has impacted our agency and the services we provide.

It is very exciting to report that Foothold Technology announced APSI was chosen as a winner of this prize during the conference.

Thanks Foothold Technology!

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We would like to extend a warm welcome to APSI's newest employees

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Thank You Big Give Donors

On May 12, 2015 APSI participated in the 2015 Big Give campaign sponsored by the Columbus Foundation. In mid-June we were informed that APSI received donations from nine individuals (and the bonus pool) totaling $954.18. 

APSI would like to thank the individuals listed below for their generosity:

Angela Gerding
Cindy Ison
Deb Kinzer
Karla Rinto
Ed Sterling D.D.S.
Pat and Mike Uhlenhake
Jamie Vandenbark
John Vlasko
Dr. Ellen Williams

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