Weekly Focus (June 19, 2015)

An update and information report for doctors who provide consultative exams for OOD’s Division of Disability Determination
Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities

Kevin L. Miller, Executive Director

June 19, 2015

The mission of the Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities Agency is to ensure individuals with disabilities achieve quality employment, independence and disability determination outcomes.

What's Inside:

Biennial Budget Update

New Day Ohio

As the new State Fiscal Year quickly approaches, the biennial budget process is in its final stages.  Despite the short time frame remaining, the budget must be signed by Governor John Kasich by midnight on June 30th. Some difficult work remains as the House and Senate wrestle with significant public policy issues.


The budget bill (HB 64) passed the Senate last night, with a 23-10 vote. Conference Committee, consisting of three legislators from each chamber, began discussions today in an attempt to settle on the changes made by each legislative body. The bill is expected to make its way to the Governor’s desk next week.


I will continue to keep you informed as the process unfolds.  Once the budget has passed and is signed by the Governor, we will begin reaching out to our stakeholders and partners to discuss budget provisions impacting the agency and those we serve.  This outreach will include stakeholder conference calls and e-mail updates as well as events and meetings across the state.

Milestones Annual Autism Conference

Executive Director Kevin Miller speaking at the Milestone Autism Conference
Executive Director Kevin Miller speaks about the new partnership with the Ohio Department of Education at the 13th Annual Austim Conference.


On Thursday, I was honored to be a luncheon speaker at the Milestones 13th Annual Autism Conference in Cleveland.   I spoke about our partnership with the Department of Education’s Transition Services project on the importance of earlier discussion about education and employment for students with disabilities and the opportunity it will present for youth and families in Ohio. By targeting students with disabilities as early as 14 years of age we are able to guide these students down a path of successful employment post high school graduation.


Every year, Milestones Autism Resources hosts an annual conference that brings family members and leading experts in the field of autism together to share evidence-based practical strategies and best practices.  It is an opportunity for parents, professionals and adults with autism to find out about local resources and continue learning best practices for school, home, community and work.  I want to thank Milestones Autism Resources for inviting me to speak at this remarkable conference.

Champion Lean Yellow Belt Training

LeanOhio Yellow Belt Champions
Back row (left to right): Executive Director Kevin Miller, Labor Relations Manager Cornell Hale, Disability Claims Manager Allison Lynch, Communications Manager/DDS Liaison Brad Reynolds, Disability Claims Manager Brian Baumgartner, Disability Claims Manager Orlando Rodriguez, Division of Disability Determination (DDD) Deputy Director Erik Williamson, and Business Relations Manager Jon Hackathorn. Front row (left to right): Assistant DDD Deputy Director Rhonda Tanner, Disability Claims Manager Beth Stephens, Disability Claims Manager Kim Price, Bureau Services for the Visually Impaired (BSVI) Deputy Director Mindy Duncan, Assistant DDD Deputy Director Teresa Gray, Bureau of Vocational Rehabilitation (BVR) Susan Pugh, and BVR Northwest Area Manager Curt Morman.

This week, I attended a two-day Lean Yellow Belt (OOD Champion) Training that was provided to OOD Executive Staff, Assistant Deputy Directors, and Managers. Our Division of Performance and Innovation, through the support of LeanOhio, developed this training which included an overview of Lean Six Sigma principles and the structure at OOD to initiate, conduct, and effectively implement Lean Six Sigma projects. Over the next nine months, the remaining senior leadership and all agency supervisors will receive this two-day training. I am committed to building the internal capacity to focus on performance and results, and Lean Six Sigma is a core competency I am expecting of all supervisors and managers.


Also, we will be working on developing the internal capacity to deliver Camo Belt training to OOD staff, which is a one week training focused on providing attendees with knowledge of Lean methods and tools, which will enable them to immediately use these skills to effect positive change.  This training is currently available to staff with limited slots through LeanOhio. Due to demand and interest, I am committed in utilizing our existing agency resources to make this training available to all OOD staff.


For more information about LeanOhio go to www.lean.ohio.gov

Employment First Training

Employment First Training 1
Twenty-five agencies were represented at the Employment First Training in Columbus on June 16 and 17

Employment First Partnership providers participated in the latest round of in-person trainings in Columbus on June 16 and 17. More than 50 staff from 25 agencies learned supported employment strategies and techniques from expert Tammara Geary, a trainer with the Training Resource Network.


Topics included Marketing and Employer Engagement and Job Supports and Training.  These trainings are a requirement for all staff providing services to consumers served through the Employment First Partnership and all OOD Employment First staff, and are intended to improve consistency and better quality of service delivery across the state.  Additional trainings for the next year are being planned throughout the state again and will be announced soon.

Governor's Council on People with Disabilities

GCPD Group Picture
GCPD members (from left to right back row): Melinda Kale, Christine Huggins, Chuck Beatty, GCPD Chair Matthew Sauer, Stephanie Garrett, Bryan Grubb, Marshall Kimmel, Victoria Willford, Harry Prestanski (from left to right front row): Christine Brown, Julie Roberts, and Brian Kellett

The Governor’s Council on People with Disabilities (GCPD) met this week to conduct their regularly scheduled business meeting.  Several new members who were recently appointed by Governor John Kasich joined the Council. Brian Kellet of Franklin County, Julie Roberts of Lucas County and Stephanie Garrett of Preble County were welcomed by the group while long standing member Harry Prestanski of Warren County said his goodbyes.

After a presentation on Medicaid Buy-In for Workers with Disabilities by council member, Chuck Beatty, the members discussed progress on upcoming events including the annual Youth Leadership Forum (YLF) and the annual awards meeting.  Applications are now being accepted for awards to be given at the Annual Awards meeting in October that recognize businesses, groups and individuals who have significantly contributed to employment opportunities and community involvement for people with disabilities.   For more information visit the GCPD website at www.gcpd.ohio.gov

OOD Commissioners Seek Award Nominations

The OOD Commissioners are seeking nominations for two awards that are presented to honor the service of individuals who significantly contribute to assisting individuals with disabilities.


Ben Bonanno Disability Advocate Award:

OOD has established the Ben Bonanno Disability Advocate Award to honor outstanding advocacy accomplishments by non-employees of OOD. Ben Bonanno was a former OOD Commissioner and an unwavering advocate. The Ben Bonanno Disability Advocate Award recognizes a person whose advocacy efforts have significantly improved the employment possibilities of Ohioans with disabilities in a manner that is consistent with OOD’s mission. The deadline date for submitting nominations is July 10, 2015.


Denise Joanne Weisenborn Service Award:

The Denise Joanne Weisenborn Service Award honors non-employees of OOD who provide outstanding services to Ohioans with disabilities to make their participation in society more meaningful. This award has been established in memory of Denise Weisenborn who served as an OOD Commissioner from 1997 to 2006. The deadline date for submitting nominations is July 10, 2015.


The Nomination Forms can be found on OOD’s website at http://www.ood.ohio.gov/About-Us/OOD-Commissioners/Commissioners-Awards


Forms can be e-mailed to Shirley Marchi at shirley.marchi@ood.ohio.gov or mailed to Shirley Marchi, Program Administrator, Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities, 150 E. Campus View Blvd., Columbus, OH 43235. Questions may be directed to Shirley Marchi at 614.438.1477 or e-mail.

Happy Father's Day image

I hope you will take time this weekend to say thank you to all fathers!