Today we unveil the final installment of our interview with Carolyn Knight, director of the Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council. In this segment, she discusses an innovative look at providing transportation solutions for people with disabilities. In all of my different areas of work through the years, access to transportation has always been of paramount importance to people with disabilities. The Ohio DD Council helped start a program to provide more public transportation options to people living in Athens county, a primarily rural county in southeast Ohio. The key to the success of the program, Carolyn explains, is the willingness to reach out in partnership with other agencies and programs that are struggling with the same issue for their constituentcies.
Director Knight also talks about the success of the DD Council Legislative Day, where Ohioans with DD come from all over the state to a political celebration and rally, and then go out and meet with the their state representatives and state senators. It is true that two of the best “abilities” in politics are availability and visibility. To be able to share their concerns – in person – with the powers that be is an important way to help people understand the challenges facing Ohioans with DD every day. The Legislative Day has been a huge success, often featuring visits by the Governor, Lt. Governor and other statewide elected officials. It is an idea Ohio led the way on and has been adopted by many other states across the country.
We thank Carolyn for being generous with her time and for her amazing career helping people with developmental disabilities. You can learn more about the DD Council by going to their website (ddd.ohio.gov). Please enjoy part 3 of our interview with DD Council director Carolyn Knight.