Blog Posts For The Week Of September 17, 2014 Through September 23, 2014

Release: The Ohio Education Association launches iPhone and Android applications for advocacy and membership engagement
By Gongwer Staff
Posted: September, 23 2014 2:46 PM

Columbus, Ohio - The Ohio Education Association (OEA) today officially launched the mobile applications for its members and the public to stay up-to-date on the latest news, events and advocacy campaigns affecting educators and students in Ohio. Purple Forge, a leader in providing mobile applications for associations and advocacy organizations across North America, developed the application with the OEA.

The Ohio Education Association (OEA) today announced the release of its iPhone and Android applications. The applications were developed to engage OEA members, the public and policy makers on the most popular mobile app platforms in today’s marketplace. The app includes a tool that will allow members to find meetings or offices anywhere in the state. It also contains an innovative advocacy module that allows members to contact and petition their elected representatives on critical issues.

An innovative postcard feature allows members to create postcards that can be shared via social media to spread a message in support of education across the state. The applications also include access to the association’s social media feeds, videos and other useful information for members.

The mobile apps were also equipped to allow the OEA to send push notifications to their members and the public with their latest news and updates. Push notifications are a useful way of getting up-to-date information on-the-fly. Public service announcements, calls to action and media updates are a few of the possible uses of the push notification feature.


“With this app, we are giving our members state-of-the art tools to help us advocate for our students and advance the goals of the OEA,” said Becky Higgins, OEA President. “These mobile apps will allow us to react swiftly to engage our members for the betterment of education in the state of Ohio.”

The OEA’s mobile applications are developed and maintained by Purple Forge. Purple Forge is the world’s leading provider of mobile applications to associations and advocacy organizations, and have deployed apps for other state affiliates of the NEA, including Missouri, New Mexico, and New Hampshire, and has also deployed the mobile application for the Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation in Canada.

"The OEA has put advocacy and member empowerment at the forefront of its campaign for better education," shared John Craig, VP Sales and Marketing of Purple Forge. "Having the right mobile tools at their disposal will allow OEA members to quickly align their resources to meet that challenge.”

Release: AICUO Celebrates Ohio Legislators with Friend of Independent Higher Education Award
By Gongwer Staff
Posted: September, 23 2014 2:45 PM

COLUMBUS – The Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Ohio (AICUO) will honor champions of the Ohio private college sector with the creation of the Friend of Independent Higher Education Award. “This award recognizes those who have supported our sector by going above and beyond to meet the needs of our students and member institutions,” explains AICUO President C. Todd Jones. “Their commitment to independent higher education helps preserve the academic excellence and economic impact of our institutions.”

The inaugural recipients of the award are Senator Randy Gardner (Bowling Green) and Representative Dave Hall (Millersburg), whose work on the College Credit Plus Program ensured that Ohio independent colleges remained a viable option for high school students in the revised program.

The award for Sen. Gardner will be given at the AICUO Annual meeting on September 24, and the award for Rep. Hall will be presented to him at an event on the Ashland university campus on September 30.

AICUO is the public relations, research and government liaison organization for 50 independent, nonprofit institutions of higher education in Ohio. Members include four-year undergraduate, graduate and professional schools accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools and authorized by the Ohio Board of Regents.

Gongwer Introduces New Legislative Category Tracking Feature
By Gongwer Staff
Posted: September, 18 2014 10:47 AM

Gongwer News Service today announces a new feature that allows subscribers to track and receive alerts on legislation that falls into general categories.

Under the new system, users can identify the categories in which they are interested.

When new legislation is introduced that matches a tracked category, it will be automatically added to subscribers’ bill tracking profiles, and email alerts on subsequent legislative activity will follow.

If a new bill is not one a subscriber wants to track, it can easily be removed from tracking by clicking the “Stop Tracking” link on Gongwer’s Bill Tracking page.

Categories can be tracked from Gongwer’s Bill Tracking page, the Legislation page, or from a page that displays all categories.

These new functions are available to subscribers at no additional cost.

Besides tracking by category, Gongwer’s bill tracking services allow subscribers to track legislation by bill number, keyword, Revised Code section and sponsor. Earlier this summer, Gongwer also introduced a new committee-based alert & tracking service.

For more information about Gongwer’s bill tracking and alert system, please see the Gongwer Bill Tracking Guide.

Release: A Matter of Balance now available in all 88 Ohio counties
By Gongwer Staff
Posted: September, 17 2014 9:34 AM

Community-based workshops help older adults prevent falls

Columbus, Ohio – A Matter of Balance, the award-winning program that helps older adults reduce their risk of falls, is now available in all 88 Ohio counties, just one year after the STEADY U Ohio initiative made statewide expansion a priority. At the time of the launch of STEADY U in September, 2013, “A Matter of Balance” was available in half the state. Over the past year, the Ohio Department of Aging and the Ohio Older Adult Falls Prevention Coalition have worked to secure community partners and grow the program’s infrastructure.

“We know that most older adults would prefer to continue living independently in their own communities for as long as possible, but falls are a major threat to that independence,” said Bonnie K. Burman, director of the Ohio Department of Aging. “A Matter of Balance works because it is both evidence-based and community-based. Those who complete the program report feeling more in control over factors that can cause them to fall.”

An older Ohioan falls every two minutes on average, resulting in an injury every five minutes, six emergency department visits and one hospitalization each hour, and three deaths each day. The number of fatal falls among older Ohioans increased more than 165 percent from 2000 to 2012. But falls are not a normal part of aging, and most falls can be prevented.

“One of the biggest risk factors for falls is a fear of falling. When you get past that fear and take control of your life again, your risk of falling goes down immediately,” added Director Burman.

A Matter of Balance focuses on practical coping strategies to reduce fear of falling and to diminish the risk of falling. The curriculum includes lectures, group discussions, mutual problem solving, role-play activities, exercise training, assertiveness training, and home assignments. Participants practice exercises to improve strength, coordination and balance, as well as learn how to conduct a home safety evaluation and get up and down safely.

Classes are led by coaches who are recruited and trained by master trainers. Earlier this year, the Ohio Department of Aging partnered with MaineHealth’s Partnership for Healthy Aging to coordinate a master trainer train-the-trainer session to help expand the program into unserved and underserved areas.

Learn more about “A Matter of Balance” at

About STEADY U Ohio – Falls are an epidemic among our elders and are the number one cause of injuries leading to ER visits, hospital stays and deaths in Ohioans age 65-plus. STEADY U Ohio is a comprehensive falls prevention initiative led by Governor John Kasich and the Ohio Department of Aging, and supported by Ohio government and state business partners to strengthen existing falls prevention activities, identify opportunities for new initiatives and coordinate a statewide educational campaign to bring falls prevention to the forefront of planning for individuals, families, health care providers, business and community leaders and all Ohioans. Visit

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