The MENTOR Network

Advocacy Spotlight

Gov. Kasich Appoints REM Ohio Executive Director Jo Spargo as Chair of the Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council

Ohio Governor John Kasich has appointed Jo Spargo, Executive Director of REM Ohio, as the new chairperson of the Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council. The state council is committed to self-determination and community inclusion for people with developmental disabilities. Spargo shares in that commitment and has dedicated her career to promoting the rights of individuals with developmental disabilities. She brings years of experience and extensive knowledge to her role as chairperson for the Council.Spargo has been with The MENTOR Network for 30 years and is currently the executive director of REM Ohio, a partner of The Network. In addition to her professional experience, Spargo is also a mother of two children, one of whom has disabilities. Spargo’s experiences as a mother have given her even greater insight into what many parents of children with disabilities go through.

“It’s a whole different world and parents are navigating this alone,” Spargo said. “This experience with my son brought to light many issues that parents go through, and how we can support them in various areas such as healthcare, education, and more.”

Spargo hopes to use her professional and personal experience to support and further enhance the Council’s work.

She also hopes to bring attention to the critical role direct support professionals (DSPs) play in community-based services. DSPs are the foundation of community-based services, and providers in Ohio and throughout the country are advocating for rates that support better wages for DSPs to help ensure caring, qualified staff are able to continue the important work they do while being able to support themselves and their families. Understanding and bringing value to DSPs is one of the many things Spargo hopes to accomplish during her term.

About The Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council

The mission of the Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council (Ohio DD Council) is to create change that improves independence, productivity and inclusion for people with developmental disabilities and their families in community life. The Ohio DD Council advocates for people with developmental disabilities and their families; initiates programs that enrich their lives; demonstrates a consistent commitment to our mission; and educates about disability rights and the importance of self-determination. Learn more at