Weekly Focus, July 10, 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

July 10, 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:

2016-2017 State Budget

Ohio’s biennial budget process came to an end with the signing of House Bill 64 by Governor John Kasich on the evening of Tuesday, June 30.  We are grateful for all of the support we received during this process, and pleased to report that OOD’s budget initiatives remained substantively unchanged from the executive proposal to the final bill signing.


The 2016-2017 budget positions OOD to build on the success of the last four years and effectively serve even more Ohioans.


OOD priorities included in HB 64:

  • Employment First: continues funding for Employment First, a partnership between OOD and the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities (DODD).  Counselors work with local county boards of developmental disabilities to identify and help individuals move from segregated settings into integrated community employment.
  • Transition Services Partnership with the Ohio Department of Education (ODE): includes $2.5 million in each year of the biennium for a partnership with the Ohio Department of Education (included in the ODE budget).  The partnership, modeled on the Employment First agreement with DODD, is designed to assist students in meeting the “fourth pathway to graduation” requirements and attain a recognized credential for entry into the workforce.  It will involve embedding OOD counselors in targeted school districts and an ongoing collaboration with ODE on how best to assist students with disabilities in reaching their career goals on a year round basis. 
  • Vocational Rehabilitation Self Service Portal:  increases OOD’s state General Revenue Fund (GRF) match funding by $500,000 each year in order to fund the development and sustainability of a vocational rehabilitation portal, including a web-based self-service application.  It will increase access to OOD employment assistance for Ohioans with disabilities and support the resulting increase in individuals being served by the agency.

We held a conference call today with key stakeholders and will continue to communicate further details of these important initiatives in the weeks to come.  We are excited about the opportunity to build on our success and serve even more Ohioans with disabilities.

ADA 25th

ADA 25th Anniversary

Sunday, July 26, 2015 will mark the 25th Anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by President George H.W. Bush. Celebrations of this important milestone are taking place across the nation and OOD will be joining this celebration throughout the month of July.


In the coming weeks we will be participating in public events, highlighting the importance and impact of the ADA on social media, in the Weekly Focus, and celebrating the anniversary as an agency.


Former Governor’s Council on People with Disabilities (GCPD) member Shari Cooper recently shared her experience with the ADA on her blog:


In 1990, I was a junior at Meadowdale High School.  I must be honest…back then, I wasn’t thinking much about my rights as a person with a disability.  My main concerns were the latest trends in fashion, music, school dances and boys! Although, I must admit that every once in a while something would stir up inside of me when I experienced an injustice or public accessibility challenge or when I saw them happen to others with disabilities.  Some barriers at that time were tables in restaurants that were too high for a person in a wheelchair to access, doors that were too heavy for a person with a disability to open or job offers not be presented because some employers could not seem to be able to look beyond disabilities to see a person’s ABILITIES. I did not know what that something inside of me was at first, but it was driving me to want to speak up and be heard to bring about a change. I now know that something is called, ADVOCACY!


Advocacy was the driving force behind getting the Americans with Disabilities Act signed into law.  It is because of the advocates who witnessed discrimination and decided to act, that I am able to live a full quality of life which includes working, shopping and enjoying all the other things that life has to offer.


If you would like more information on events happening around the country, visit the ADA National Network’s website: http://www.adaanniversary.org/events. Also, follow us on Twitter and “Like” us on Facebook to get additional news and information about this and other topics.

When President Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act into law — the world's first comprehensive civil rights law for people with disabilities — in front of 3,000 people on the White House lawn on July 26, 1990, the event represented an historical benchmark and a milestone in America's commitment to full and equal opportunity for all of its citizens.

The President's emphatic directive on that day — "Let the shameful walls of exclusion finally come tumbling down" — neatly encapsulated the simple yet long overdue message of the ADA: that millions of Americans with disabilities are full-fledged citizens and as such are entitled to legal protections that ensure them equal opportunity and access to the mainstream of American life.

Enactment of the ADA reflects deeply held American ideals that treasure the contributions that individuals can make when free from arbitrary, unjust, or outmoded societal attitudes and practices that prevent the realization of their potential. The ADA reflects a recognition that the surest path to America's continued vitality, strength and vibrancy is through the full realization of the contributions of all of its citizens.

-- Preamble, ADA Handbook

On Track for Success

Back in June, Madison County Board of Developmental Disabilities (MCBDD) Organization Services Director John LaCivita had a guest article in the Madison Press highlighting another successful partnership and successful community employment.


LaCivita writes about Adam Campbell’s decision to change careers and seek community employment. Working with MCBDD, OOD Counselor Dave Cingle, and local job coaching and job development partners led to Adam participating in a job fair, and eventually a job at the Scioto Downs Racino.


The Racino hired Adam as a bar back this past February and he has quickly learned all aspects of his job, which include making sure that all beverage stations throughout the Racino and Clubhouse are constantly stocked with napkins, utensils, related condiments and of course all of the popular beverages. Adam checks the stations periodically throughout his shift as well as changes over soda and beer taps as needed in the master dispensing cooler.


When Jenn Coleman and I went to visit Adam during one of his shifts it was apparent that Adam knew his job very well and, better still, the staff at the Racino knew him well and had much high praise for him. Adam’s warm smile and easy going nature have paved the way to developing relationships and friendships everywhere he has worked. His supervisor Terry was very complimentary about the job that Adam does and how quickly he picked up on it. Adam’s knowledge of the aspects of his job and his confidence and ease at working was amazing to see.


“Adam has done an outstanding job for us,” said Scott Levengood, Scioto Downs Racino Beverage Manager. “He is quick to offer help whenever needed and seems to have a solid grasp on exactly what we need out of him. It’s a pleasure to have him on my team.”


Congratulations to Adam and kudos to his team for working together to help him take advantage of this opportunity. Thanks to the Scioto Downs Racino as well, for being such a great partner and their commitment to hiring based on ability.


Richland County Job Fair

Richland County Job Fair 6.26
OOD counselor Tami Keysor, job fair participant Brian Grow, & Knox New Hope Job Developer Kody Kidd


Ohio Means Jobs Richland County held a Job Fair June 26 at the Richland County Longview Center in Mansfield.  OOD staff represented the agency at the event and seventeen individuals registered at our table and participated in the job fair.

Job Ready Status by County

Individuals in Job Ready Status* Statewide: 3,910

(For larger map and county details please click here)

Job Ready by COunty

*Job Ready Status: Have received Vocational Rehabilitation services and are ready and seeking employment.

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