Parents and families with children who have disabilities or special needs, regardless of cultural or linguistic background, have had access to services in our community since 1992 with Family Voices. Acting on behalf of children with disabilities and chronic conditions to allow them to thrive alongside their friends in neighborhoods and classrooms across our state, the organization works with school boards, parent/teacher associations, and educators to pave the way for inclusion practices in public schools.
Advocating culturally accurate assistance
Family Voices’ cornerstone value is to provide cultural and linguistically accurate assistance, thereby ensuring that all children with special needs receive the individual help they need. Based on a family-centered approach, Family Voices demonstrates that “the family is a child’s most consistent health care provider.” The services they offer are available at home or in the hospital, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.
Specialized health care
Family Voices of Ohio aims to assure high-quality, affordable, and family-based health care to all children by assisting families with accessing appropriate screening and diagnosis, particularly for children with unique challenges while working in partnership with health insurers. Locally, Family Voices of Ohio is a trusted resource on health care and connects families with a host of support so they can have the tools to make informed decisions for their child’s care and education.
Children with special needs include everyone who has or is at risk for developing long-term physical, developmental, behavioral, or emotional challenges. In Northwest Ohio, families have access to organizations that can provide information about autism, celiac disease, Down syndrome, epilepsy, cystic fibrosis, and a host of other conditions.
The Family-to-Family Health Information Center is especially supportive with assisting parents in navigating health care for their child. The Center provides free, confidential information for families with access to a wide variety of services, including The Ability Center of Greater Toledo, The March of Dimes, Bright Horizons Advocacy and Consulting, as well as connections to both Mercy and Toledo Children’s Hospitals.
Family members as advocates
Family Voices allocates most of its funding to leadership training, where parents first advocate support for their own child, then expand their focus to assisting other families. Family Voices is indebted to the countless family leaders from a variety of cultural communities who actively strive to change the landscape for children who have special needs, continuing the entity’s goal to establish community-based partnerships between families and professionals.
Parents are encouraged to visit Family Voices of Ohio’s website (familyvoicesohio.org) and contact Patty Dovell who can connect them with specific resources that will benefit their child.