NEOEA Special Education Work Group

OEA Special Education Work Group
New Business Item – PASSED Overwhelmingly at OEA RA

==>> If you are interested in serving on the new OEA Special Education Work Group, please contact OEA President Becky Higgins directly with your qualifications. She will appoint members and set up the first meeting.

==>> Continue to check this page and watch for emails for news about the new OEA Special Education Work Group.

Motion to: Create an OEA Special Education Work Group to develop recommendations for professional development programs, sample contract language, OEA Resolutions, and OEA Legislative Policies that would address the needs of OEA members involved in or supporting education programs for students with special needs.

One time action: 10 – 12 members, 3 – 6 meetings over 1 – 2 years

Rationale: OEA members in all settings, especially the roughly 15% that identify as working in special education, report they face critical challenges obtaining and providing the additional supports and accommodations for students with special needs to be successful.  The overwhelming concern is for more professional development for teachers, paraprofessionals, and support staff; especially in the areas of appropriate IEPs, classroom, and behavior management.  Critically important are the issues of staffing, case load, and planning time. Members state that they are stretched too thinly to adequately meet the needs of their students. Contract language needs to be looked at.  Furthermore, the OEA Resolutions and Legislative Policies should be reviewed to assure that they adequately address the needs of members involved with special education.

==>> When the OEA Special Education Work Group completes its work, there will be a need for an OEA organization to continue advocacy for Pre-K-12 Special Educators within OEA.  OADDP is ready to fill that void.  At its March 2-3, 2018, Spring Conference, OADDP will consider changing its name to Ohio Association of Special Needs Professionals (OASNP) and re-brand the previously County Board of Developmental Disabilities focused organization to one more focused on Pre-K-12 educators in our local schools.  Please consider attending the conference.  The theme is Turning Challenging Behaviors into Opportunities presented by Daria DeNoia, OEA Education Policy and Practice Consultant.  For more information visit the OADDP 2018 Annual Conference Page for more information.  Registration will begin in mid-January.

Portage Co SSAs Settled November 22nd

Portage County EADD Unit B Settled November 22nd!

*Call to Action on Behalf of Striking Portage County SSAs*

  • PCEADD Unit B, the OEA local union comprised of 19 Service and Support Administrators for Portage County’s Board of the Developmentally Disabled, has been on strike since October 4.
  • Despite many challenges and the Board’s refusal so far to consider moving off of their September 11 “last, best, and final” offer, Portage SSAs have stayed strong and unified and have refused to cave.
  • Portage SSAs need a large show of unity and support as their bargaining team, mediator, and the Board’s bargaining team reconvene for the first time in over two months. Details are as follow:

When: 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday, November 22

Where: In front of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Services Independence office – 6161 Oak Tree Boulevard in Independence, OH

Why: To provide a visual demonstration of union and community support for striking sisters and brothers and their bargaining team / To pressure the Board to stay until they have reached a fair resolution with Portage SSAs

Dress warm, bring help, and be prepared to help Portage SSAs get the settlement they deserve!

Flyer — Nov. 22 Call to Action on Behalf of Striking Portage County SSAs

Who We Are: We are a 20 member unit of Service and Support Administrators (SSA’s) for the Portage County Board of Developmental Disabilities. We provide coordination and authorization of services that ensure the health and welfare of citizens with developmental disabilities in the county. We serve nearly 700 citizens, and many of their families, county-wide.

Why We’re Taking a Stand: The SSA’s have not had a cost of living increase in pay for 10 years. We have attempted to work with the DD Board for over a year to negotiate a fair and reasonable contract to no avail. Instead, the Board demands that we accept another 3 years with no increases, despite steeply rising employee health care costs and increasing workloads. The Board is currently operating with over a $20 million budget surplus, and the Board has told us, “We have plenty of money, just not for you.”

Where You Can Find Us: Visit and Like “Support Our Portage SSAs” on Facebook. Visit Portage County Educators Association for the Developmentally Disabled – Unit B’s homepage at

Where We’re Taking a Stand: We are picketing the Administrative Center of the Portage County Board of Developmental Disabilities, 2606 Brady Lake Rd. in Ravenna, and Happy Day School, 2500 Brady Lake Rd. in Ravenna, every day Monday-Friday, 7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Parking is available across Brady Lake Road from the two picket sites, directly in between the Happy Day School and the Administrative Center. You’ll see two large tanks, one that is green, as you pull onto the property.

What Else You Can Do to Help: Send donations and letters of support to:

PCEADD – Unit B Strike Headquarters
P.O. Box 7
Kent, OH 44240

Please make checks payable to “PCEADD”

Contact the Portage Co Board of DD and demand that they bargain in Good Faith so we can get the Fair Contract we deserve.

Download the Portage SSA Flyers with Board emails and phone numbers.

Follow on Facebook  – search for “Support our Portage SSAs”

View the video:

Together We Can Do It!  Union Strong!


OADDP Friend of DD Award

The Ohio Association of Developmental Disabilities Professionals seeks nominees for the OADDP Friend of DD Award

The OADDP is seeking to recognize its second Friend of DD.  OADDP’s members are encouraged to nominate individuals and/or organizations who would be worthy recipients of this honor.  If a Friend of DD is selected, the nominee will be honored at the 2018 OADDP Annual Membership Conference in March.

The OADDP Friend of DD Award recognizes a person and/or organization whose leadership, actions, and support have contributed to the improvement of public education and habilitation of people with developmental disabilities; and/or have helped to provide a collective voice for the staff who work with them.

OADDP’s Friend of DD Award may be bestowed upon any person or organization whose leadership, actions, and support are consistent with the stated purpose.

Any member of OADDP may nominate an individual or organization for the Friend of DD Award.

The deadline for submitting nominations is Wednesday, January 15, 2018.  Nominations must be signed by an OADDP active member in good standing.

Download form, go to our Members Only Page.


Special Education and DD Services Survey

OADDP is beginning an outreach to OEA members working in Special Education.

To begin this outreach, OADDP has developed a Special Education and DD Services Survey. (Click to fill out the survey online or download a copy for distribution in your local.)  Copies will be available at the OADDP table at the OEA Spring 2016 RA. The survey is for both Special Education Staff at Local School Districts and County Board of DD staff.

OADDP has traditionally focused on the needs of staff members working at the County Boards of DD. However, approximately one-fifth of our OADDP membership works at Local School Districts and in some way are involved in Special Education. Meanwhile, a vast majority of OEA members working in Special Education are unaware of OADDP or the opportunity to be involved in an organization focused on Special Education.

Several factors have lead OADDP to recognize that our organization must reach out to these members. First, there is no other OEA Associated Organization focused on Special Education. Second, students with developmental disabilities that were previously served by County Boards of DD are now at their local school. Third, OEA members working in Special Education have unique contract and professional issues distinct from those of many K-12 staff.

OADDP Leadership is available to meet with OEA members to explain our mission. We would appreciate any help you can provide to help local leaders and members become aware of our organization and our Survey.