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Self-directed transportation (SDT) was introduced by the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities (DODD) in the summer of 2022. SDT is authorized through the Medicaid waiver and can be utilized when a need has been identified. The lack of Medicaid certified transportation providers across Ohio, as well as the limits of public transportation (no evening/weekend services), has certainly resulted in a need for this type of service. SDT offers a way for those who are not DODD certified (like family members, friends, community members, or other local transportation companies) to be paid to transport individuals.

For someone like Tamara, it is a useful tool to be able to travel where she needs to from day to day. “Whenever I need to go to the store when I need something, or if I have a doctor’s appointment, I call and schedule a ride with Black and White,” Tamara says about utilizing the service. Individuals can use SDT for any number of things, including visiting friends, a trip to the mall, to get to and from work, and much more. In Allen County, Black and White Cab and Lyft both participate in self-directed transportation.

Tamara shared that this service also provides a convenience for her, something she hasn’t always had. “I do like it because it works for me. Sometimes I’ll take the bus, but I don’t often because Black & White is more convenient without having to go through multiple stops before reaching the destination.” As long as the rides are scheduled in advance, Tamara is able to travel directly to any destination she chooses.

Having several different choices for travel to employment, appointments, and other community activities has been very beneficial for Tamara and other individuals who utilize this service. With SDT, individuals have more options and flexibility on when and where they want to travel. Tamara can now use SDT to access things important to her, like a late show at the Civic Center, or church on Sunday mornings. SDT is opening new doors and contributing to a more accessible community for individuals with developmental disabilities.  

To learn more about Self-directed transportation visit the DODD website. You can also contact your county board SSA or representative for more information.


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