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Ohio Receives Three‐Year Federal Grant for Autism Project

A federal grant was awarded this week to the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities (DODD) to implement a collaborative project for improving services for children and youth with autism. The project, REAL Action in Ohio, will be completely funded by the federal grant, with $243,092 allotted this year and an estimated $300,000 each of the next two years. The REAL Action in Ohio project brings together a partnership to work collectively to improve information about, and access to, comprehensive, coordinated health care and related services for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and other developmental disabilities and their families.
This is really exciting news that comes at a very critical time," said John Martin, Director of DODD. "Autism Spectrum Disorder is now considered one of the fastest growing developmental disabilities that can cause impairment in socialization, communication and behavior. We are very fortunate not only for the grant award, but also to have an innovative partnership of organizations and dedicated leaders to help fulfill this project and empower Ohio's youth with autism and their families."

About the grant: The award is a State Implementation Grant for Improving Services for Children and Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and Other Developmental Disabilities. The grant, administered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, will support the Ohio project for a three‐year period, beginning September 2011 and ending August 2014.

Grant Details are as follows:
Ohio's State Implementation Grant for Improving Services for Children and Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)

Project Name: REAL Action in Ohio: Resources, Education, Alignment, and Linkages

Project Purpose: Project partners will work together to: (1) create practical resources to empower and educate families to navigate Ohio's complex system of services; (2) increase access to early intervention services in resource‐poor areas of the state through an innovative Tele‐health approach; (3) enhance educational opportunities for medical students and residents to better prepare the next generation of pediatricians and physicians to recognize the early signs of autism for appropriate diagnosis and care; and (4) align services and build linkages that support children as they move through important life transitions.

Project Partnership: Led by the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities and in coordination with Ohio's Interagency Work Group on Autism, the partners to spearhead the work of the project will include:

Ohio Center for Autism and Low Incidence
Ohio Department of Health (Ohio's Title V Program)
Ohio Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics
Family Child Learning Center/Akron Children's Hospital
Ohio's two University Centers of Excellence in Developmental Disabilities/LEND Programs (Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities) at both the Nisonger Center at The Ohio State University and the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center/University of Cincinnati
Autism Treatment Network (in coordination with Nationwide Children's Hospital)
The Autism Society of Ohio and the Ohio Autism Coalition (a collaboration of autism support and advocacy groups statewide)
Project Funding: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration: State Implementation Grant for Improving Services for Children and Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and Other Developmental Disabilities. The grant awards $243,092 for the first year and an estimated $300,000 each of the next two years, pending availability of federal funds.

Project Implementation: September 2011 through August 2014

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