Hamilton County, Ohio – Michael Denlinger, of Hamilton County, has been named Chairperson of the Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council by Governor Mike DeWine. During his tenure, Denlinger has served on nearly all the Council’s committees including Community Living, Employment, Leadership Development, among others.
Denlinger, who has cerebral palsy, says he has always been a lifelong advocate for people with disabilities. His focus is often on the areas of housing and transportation for people with disabilities. In addition, he has begun to work on an LGBTQ initiative. “I want the voices of those LGBTQ with disabilities to be equally represented, so all have a seat at the table,” Denlinger says.
He also serves as the host of Ohio DD Council’s popular podcast “Ohio DD Talks”, a web series featuring stories and conversations of Ohioans with disabilities. In addition to his Council work, Denlinger is a member of the Housing Network of Hamilton County’s Board on Developmental Disabilities.
As Denlinger looks ahead to being chair of the Council, he says, “One thing I really want to do is to look at the counties in eastern and northeastern Ohio where people either don’t apply to be on the Council or don’t know about it. I’d like to see the Council create an outreach plan to invite people from all over the state to talk to us about advocacy work they’ve done in those underserved populations.”
Denlinger adds,” We are doing wonderful, revolutionary things [on the Council]. Our diversity and inclusion work with various ethnicities and with LGBTQ is making sure everyone is represented and heard. Being a Council member is a reward to me, allowing me to help others.”