How Can You Safely Participate in Ombuds Day During COVID

Celebrate Our Profession October 8, 2020

The primary goal of Ombuds Day is to improve public awareness of ombuds. 

Our actions are intended to

  • Educate the public about the role of ombuds
  • Explain the wide variety of services that ombuds provide
  • Encourage greater use of ombuds programs and services
  • Highlight the value ombuds bring to the institutions and constituents they serve.

With all of that in mind. How can you participate this year while keeping safe and healthy? Here are some helpful suggestions from Ken Skodacek, representing the ABA Ombuds Day Subcommittee.

Register Now for Ombuds Day Virtual Events

We encourage all ombuds and those interested in the ombuds profession to join one of the virtual events titled “Ombuds Day – A Recognition of the Ombuds Profession & the Value of Ombuds.”  Please pass along this invitation to anyone in your professional circles that might be interested as well.  There will be two similar events at two different times to accommodate participation nationwide (and outside the U.S. as well).  The event will include Chuck Howard, Executive Director, International Ombudsman Association, as well as a panel discussion with questions and answers with representatives from International Ombudsman Association, United States Ombudsman Association, Coalition of Federal Ombudsman, and National Association for State Long-Term Care Ombudsman.  Additional details are provided at the end of this message and on  under the heading for Events/Webinars. Here are the links to register for the Ombuds Day virtual events:

Register Now for Ombuds-Related Webinars

We are also coordinating ombuds-related webinars before and after Ombuds Day.  You can find a current list of the events at on under the heading for Events/Webinars.

Ombuds Day and  Social Media

We established an  Ombuds Day webpage (, an Ombuds Day Twitter account (@OmbudsDay), and an Ombuds Day YouTube Channel.  This work builds upon the value of the Ombuds Day Tool Kit and the ABA Section of Dispute Resolution Ombuds Committee Twitter account (@ABA_Ombuds). Please visit, follow, and subscribe to our accounts.  We have been using these accounts to share updates and to build a following for Ombuds Day and ombuds-related work. We will be using the YouTube account to capture ombuds-related videos.

State Proclamations

A team of volunteers supported our efforts to request proclamations in all 50 states.  We worked through a list of the states to find the relevant requirements for each request, identified local sponsors as necessary, and submitted the requests using text that is inclusive to all types of ombuds.  We also have a few local individuals and groups that were already actively pursuing a proclamation in their local areas.  Although some states are not currently processing proclamations because of COVID-19, we were able to request proclamations in 40 states. You can view the proclamations as we receive them on under the heading for Proclamations.  We will also be posting the proclamations on Twitter using our @OmbudsDay feed.

Conversations with Ombuds

Are you an ombuds that would like to share your personal and professional experiences with others, to explain what it means to be an ombuds and to encourage others to join the profession?  We’ve established a process that will allow you to share your insights in the form of a virtual interview.  We will provide you some interesting questions, and then you can record your responses as part of a Zoom video recording. Then, we will handle all of the administrative and technical aspects of the process to create a professional-looking video that includes highlights from your responses. We will then distribute links to these videos in the weeks leading up to Ombuds Day.  The goal is to create some compelling content to share with those that are interested in the professional and/or establishing an ombuds program.  Are you interested?  Send me a message!

Presentation Slides

Our Ombuds Day Tool Kit contains a significant number of valuable documents including journal articles, standards of practice, ABA resolution and other detailed sources of information about the profession.  However, we would like to have some presentation slides that are informative, concise, and visually appealing. Rather than creating a slide deck from scratch, we would like to request that you share your slides with us.  Your slides might explain the historical role of ombuds, the different types of ombuds, or the typical characteristics of ombuds. It’s more likely that your slides describe your role to your constituents, and that kind of slides would be even better because the slides would highlight the nuances of the role. Do you have some slides that you would be willing to share with us? Don’t worry, we won’t distribute them to anyone else. Rather, we will review them in support of creating a set of slides that others can use without referencing any one organization or person.  Please contact me directly if you have slides (or even ideas) to share!

Learn More on the IOA Webpage

  IOA Ombuds Day Webpage  
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