OASNP Issues Report, July 2020

The OASNP Executive Board is pleased to present their OASNP Issues Report, July 2020.  It is the culmination of work begun in April by the OASNP Executive Board and OASNP members serving on OEA Standing Committees. OASNP has prepared this report to inform the OEA Officers and Board of Directors of issues identified by OEA members associated with our group. Concerns fell into four broad areas: Classroom/Worksite Issues, Workload/Caseload, Professional Development, and Student/Adult Client Behavior.

The report is the result of concerns expressed at our annual special education conferences, surveys of the attendees and other members, and surveys of delegates at OEA and District Representative Assemblies in Spring 2016, Fall 2016, and Spring 2017.  Those concerns lead to the Fall 2017 OEA RA passing a NBI 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.” 

The issues identified in this report are perennial concerns of OEA members working with students and adults with special needs.  They were expressed by members working at county boards of DD as far back as 1983 when the forerunner of OASNP was formed.  Now with county board programs being eliminated or downsized, students served by those programs have been transferred to their local school districts.  However, the problems of appropriately serving those students have followed them to their local schools, but without the funding.  Estimates are that some 15% of OEA members are directly involved in serving students with special needs.  Virtually every staff member of every local district is indirectly affected.  Additionally, significant numbers of OEA members continue to do the work of serving Children and adults with special needs in county boards of developmental disabilities facilities and in the community.

Please share with your colleagues and submit any questions or comments to OASNP on our Contact Us page or at oasnp@oasnp.org

Download OASNP Issues Report July 2020

OEA Special Education Work Group


Congratulations to the following OEA Members who have been selected to serve on the OEA Special Education Work Group:

✦ Kathy Abrahamson, Newton Falls ACE, NEOEA
✦ Traci Arway, Columbus EA, Capital
✦ Jane Barnes, Springfield EA – Lucas, NWOEA
✦ Crystal Boyd, Hudson EA, NEOEA
✦ Amber Clark, South Western EA, Central
✦ Megan Flowers, Columbus EA, Capital
✦ Stacy Gibbs, Preble-Shawnee Local EA, WOEA
✦ Theresa Grubaugh-Alai, Brecksville-Broadview Heights EA, NEOEA
✦ Jessica James, Mayfield EA, NEOEA
✦ Jennifer Krause, Fairfield CTA-Butler, SWOEA
✦ Wendy Shubrowsky, Medina City TA, NEOEA

If you have comments or questions, please contact OEA President, Becky Higgins, or Education Policy and Practice Consultant, Daria DeNoia.

During the December 2017 OEA Representative Assembly, members passed the following New Business Item (NBI):

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.

OEA needs our members working as special education educators and service providers to share their expertise, experiences, knowledge and insight. Applications for this Special Education Work Group are being accepted through April 27, 2018. Your completed application will include:

Please note that participation on the OEA Special Education Work Group will require face-to-face meetings in Columbus that will occur during school hours, and virtual meetings that will occur after school hours. Please consider your availability to participate in those meetings prior to applying.

Please contact Daria DeNoia at denoiad@ohea.org if you have questions or concerns.

Links also available on the OEA homepage at https://ohea.org/.

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 http://pceadd-b.ohea.us/.

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: http://pceadd-b.ohea.us/

Together We Can Do It!  Union Strong!


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.