COVID-19: County Boards' Statewide Response to COVID-19

As Ohio responds to the ongoing COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak, county boards of DD must have access to accurate, consistent, up-to-date information and community education to help protect the safety of the people and communities they support and ensure that their mission can continue during and after the public health crisis. OACB has prepared a toolkit of resources for county boards responding to this crisis and is actively seeking additional information from state regulators on ways boards can prepare for and react to the evolving public health situation.

County boards are actively working with the State of Ohio's Department of Developmental Disabilities, service providers, local and state health agencies, and statewide partners such as OACB to respond to the COVID-19 situation and protect the health and safety of people with developmental disabilities.

To people with developmental disabilities and their family members: County boards of DD know this a frightening time for many of you. Many people with developmental disabilities have co-occurring immuno-deficiencies that make them more susceptible to the COVID-19 virus, and many rely on aging caregivers who themselves are vulnerable. Our support managers understand the day-to-day challenges you face and the supports you rely on that are now being strained by this public health crisis. Many of our staff are parents, siblings, or people with developmental disabilities. We are in this crisis together, and we are working around the clock to help ease the burden COVID-19 will place on you. Here's how:

  • County boards are moving swiftly to support service providers—those who work independently and for local agencies—with guidance, county-wide coordination, supplies from board sources, and hands-on support from board staff. We are all in this together.
  • County boards are working with the state and proiders to make sure no one goes without care and support. We are working to make it easier for direct care staff to be hired and to move from one type of service to another. OACB is providing technical know-how to boards so they can roll out these measures in your community.

To county board members, leaders, and staff: The ongoing COVID-19 response is one of the largest challenges our system has faced, and OACB remains committed to supporting you through the days, weeks, and months ahead. All OACB staff are available for typical member services as well as COVID-19-related inquires. Questions related to the statewide response to COVID-19 should be sent to

County board resources and information can be found in MemberConnect Document Center under the "COVID-19" tab, and updates are being distributed on a near-daily basis through OACB's new COVID-19 Updates e-newsletter. If you are a county board leader, please do not hesitate to contact us with COVID-19 questions related to:

  • Board Governance;
  • Personnel;
  • Community Education;
  • Provider Support;
  • Emergency Preparedness; and
  • The latest statewide updates.

Educational Resources

To help county boards of developmental disabilities prepare their communities for COVID-19, OACB has prepared this evolving list of resources. Please note that this document does not contain original OACB content, and all resources should be cited accordingly if used for public purposes.
If you have a resource to add to this list, please feel free to send it to

General Information Resources

  • (Website, General Information)
    Source: Ohio Department of Health
    Information center for Ohio’s statewide response to COVID-19.

  • 6 Steps to Prevent COVID-19 (Video, YouTube)
    Source: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
    General steps to lower one’s risk of contracting COVID-19.

  • 10 Things You Can Do to Manage COVID-19 at Home (Video, YouTube)
    Source: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
    Description: General one can take to manage symptoms if one contracts COVID-19 in a home setting.

  • Coronavirus Tips for Developmental Disability Providers (Video, YouTube)
    Source: Toward Independence
    Description: General video featuring an Ohio nurse going over informational tips from the Ohio Department of Health. Visuals include people with developmental disabilities.

  • The Role of the DSP and the Coronavirus (Video, YouTube)
    Source: National Association of Direct Support Professionals
    Description: Thirty-five-minute webinar for DSPs about working during the COVID-19 response period.

Resources for People with Developmental Disabilities

  • COVID-19 Information By and For People with Disabilities (Booklet, PDF)
    Source: Green Mountain Self-Advocates
    Description: Explanatory booklet written by and for people with developmental disabilities exploring COVID-
    19, the virus’ symptoms, how to avoid getting sick, and what to do if one becomes ill.

  • How to Talk to Kids About the Coronavirus (Video, YouTube)
    Source: Child Mind Institute
    Description: General video for service providers and parents about how to talk to children about the ongoing COVID-19 health crisis and methods for illness prevention.

  • What You Need to Know About Coronavirus (In ASL) (Video, YouTube)
    Source: New York City Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities
    Description: General video on the COVID-19 outbreak in American Sign Language.

Resources for People with Specific Diagnoses

  • What Is The Coronavirus? (Autism, Social Media Posts)
    Source: The Autism Educator
    Free social media “story” for use on Facebook on Instagram, complete with illustrations, explaining COVID-19 in a style designed to be understandable to children with autism.

  • Important Information Regarding COVID-19 (Prader-Willi Syndrome, Text)
    Source: Prader-Willi Syndrome Association (USA)
    Description: General information about COVID-19 and its affects specific to people living with Prader-Willi Syndrome and their family members.

Communications Assets

  • CDC Public Health Image Library (Downloadable Stock Images)
    Source: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
    Description: Free stock images from the CDC displaying images of the COVID-19 virus, people in situations evoking the stress of dealing with the outbreak, etc.

  • World Health Organization Video Library (Embeddable Videos)
    Source: World Health Organization
    Free videos from WHO displaying images of the COVID-19 response and more.