SPEAKERS

We had the honor of hearing from many passionate perspectives from across the entire state of Ohio about the effect of the Workforce Crisis.

John Martin – Keynote

Director, The Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities

Martin has emphasized leadership transformation in several areas for the department, including increased collaboration with stakeholders, upgrading technology infrastructure, and making data driven decisions to help better align resources and programs for long-term sustainability.

Director Martin knows the DD community first-hand, not only as the father of a young adult son with disabilities, but also as the former Executive Director of Sunshine Inc. of Northwest Ohio since 1984, a non-profit organization serving people with DD and their families.

Nick Comstock

Self-Advocate

Nick grew up in northwest Indiana, but has lived the last three years of his life here in Ohio. Nick is on the Richland County Human Rights committee, he is the first person with a disability receiving services from Richland County to be appointed to the Richland County Board of DD. He is also part of the best buddies board with the OSU campus in Mansfield Ohio. He is on the People First Ohio Board and the Independent living Board.

Scott DeLong

President, Champaign Residential Services, Inc.

Scott Delong is the President of Champaign Residential Services, Inc (CRSI). based out of Urbana, Ohio. CRSI provides services in 28 counties and employs over 1,100 employees. Scott is a member of statewide committees with the Department of Developmental Disabilities, is the current Chair of the Policy Committee with the Ohio Provider Resource Association and is the President of the Mechanicsburg Exempted Schools Board of Education.

Gwen Harshaw

Parent Advocate

Scott Delong is the President of Champaign Residential Services, Inc (CRSI). based out of Urbana, Ohio. CRSI provides services in 28 counties and employs over 1,100 employees. Scott is a member of statewide committees with the Department of Developmental Disabilities, is the current Chair of the Policy Committee with the Ohio Provider Resource Association and is the President of the Mechanicsburg Exempted Schools Board of Education.

Joshua Peterson

DSP, RHDD Inc.

Joshua Peterson first came to the field as a teenager in 1998, working as a camp counselor for Camp Echoing Hills. His time there sparked a passion for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities that eventually led him to RHDD, Inc, where he has been employed since 2003. Joshua works as a DSP in residential and adult day service environments, and served on OADSP’s DSP Council from 2016 to 2018. He is the 2018 recipient of the Amy Gerowitz Leadership Legacy Award and a graduate of OADSP’s Leadership LAUNCHPad program. In addition to his work as a DSP, Joshua grew up alongside a sister with autism and a cousin with a developmental disability.

Mark Schlater

CEO, Toward Independence

Mark Schlater is the Chief Executive Officer for Toward Independence located in Xenia, Ohio. Mark has worked tirelessly and passionately for 32 years in the field of developmental disabilities to offer quality services in residential, day habilitation and transportation services to those in need. In Mark’s 30 plus year career, Mark has provided or developed services to individuals with developmental disabilities in 23 Ohio counties. Mark started as a Direct Service Professional in Urbana, Ohio in 1980.

Dr. Matthew Sprowl

Parent Advocate

Dr. Sprowl’s heart for seeing change in Ohio is clear. He is a Native Daytonian and has lived in Greene County for the past 20 years. He attended the University of Dayton as an undergraduate and attended Northwestern Medical School. He has had his own Private Practice in Ophthamology since 1987. He and his wife Sharon have 2 sons, one of which has a developmental disability.

Bethany Toledo

Executive Director, OADSP

Bethany Toledo has worked in the field of developmental disabilities for over twenty years. Throughout her career, she has developed a strong passion for supporting DSPs to develop the skills and knowledge they needed to be successful in supporting people with disabilities. This passion led her to volunteer with the Ohio Alliance of Direct Support Professionals, where she became their first full-time executive director. Bethany and her team have developed a wide variety of nationally recognized and award-winning programs and resources for DSPs and frontline supervisors in Ohio. Bethany’s experience has led her to provide support and consultation to stakeholder groups outside of Ohio to build strong support networks for DSPs, and replicate successful and sustainable models of credentialing and leadership development.

Jason Umstot

Superintendent, Licking County Board of Developmental Disabilities

Jason Umstot is the Superintendent/CEO of Licking County Board of Developmental Disabilities. He started his career as a direct support professional and has spent more than 20 years in this field in various management positions. Currently, he serves as board member for the Disability Housing Network, the Ohio Alliance of Direct Support Professionals and the Licking County Children and Families First Council. He also serves as vice president of the Region V Superintendent’s Association.

Benjamin Young

Self-Advocate

Benjamin Young is 34 years old and has cerebral palsy. Ben has is very involved in his community, including being a part of his church’s disability committee. Ben has always been a strong self-advocate and has worked hard to live the life that he wants. When Ben was young, he started collecting food for the poor and would go around his neighborhood asking neighbors and the community to give what they can. He was featured on National News for his heart to serve others. This heart and determination have grown into his adult life as well, being featured in articles in the Columbus Dispatch and a commercial on WHIO TV.

Zayne Harshaw

Guitarist

Zayne was diagnosed with autism at the age of four. At the age of 14, Zayne expressed interest in playing the guitar. His musical abilities have been featured in various media outlets, such as NBC4’s Autism Puzzle, the Lancaster Eagle Gazette, the Youngstown Vindicator, Bounce TV, Telemundo and Talktainment Radio to name a few.
His primary love is for his band, Blue Spectrum. The members of Blue Spectrum share a deep love of creating and performing music together and living the words of their impassioned motto:
“Life is not to be viewed through the single lens of a diagnosis but to be lived through the Spectrum of potential, promise and purpose”.