Weekly Focus - November 13, 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

November 13, 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:

Removing Barriers to Employment – Driver’s License Requirements

Ohio Hiring Management System Logo


The Workforce Integration Task Force (WIT), co-chaired by Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) Director Cynthia Dungey and me, was tasked with making recommendations aimed at increasing employment and income parity for individuals who are deaf, blind, or deafblind.  Since its final report, a multi-agency working group has been collaborating on steps that can be taken to implement the recommendations offered by the WIT.


One of the specific recommendations that came out of the WIT was to make having a driver’s license optional within the State of Ohio Jobs online application process for jobs that do not require driving as an integral part of the position.  Currently, job applicants are required to respond to questions regarding driver’s license information in order to submit a job application with the State of Ohio.  Failure to respond to these questions effectively prevents applicants from submitting a completed job application.  This was true despite the fact that most jobs do not require a driver’s license as part of the minimum qualifications. Instead, the driver’s license information was merely for identification purposes.


I am excited to report that the Department of Administration Services (DAS) is now ready to implement the changes needed to make this important reform a reality.


Effective November 16, 2015, the Office of Talent Management will implement changes to the Driver’s License field on the NEOGOV profile for applicants applying for positions with the State of Ohio through the Ohio Hiring Management System.  The settings for these driver’s license questions will be changed from “required” to “optional.”  As a result, applicants will no longer be required to respond to driver’s license questions in order to proceed with and/or submit a job application.


This change will remove a barrier to employment for a great many Ohioans.  Over the years I have heard from a number of individuals with disabilities about this barrier and its impact.   Each of them assumed that if a driver’s license was required to submit an application, they could not apply for State of Ohio jobs if they did not, in fact, possess a driver’s license. 


Thank you to the members of the WIT for raising this issue and to DAS for taking the necessary steps to remove this barrier.  This will mean greater accessibility for individuals with disabilities and a stronger workforce for the State of Ohio.

GCPD Award Winners 11132015
The 2015 Governor’s Council on People with Disabilities (GCPD) Annual Awards Recipients

Governor’s Council Announces Annual Awards

The Governor’s Council on People with Disabilities (GCPD) held its annual awards ceremony today in the Statehouse Atrium, recognizing those who have made significant contributions to the disability community in Ohio in 2015.  Award recipients include:

  • Employer of the Year: Henny Penny Corporation, Eaton, Ohio
  • Advocacy Award: Diane Knupp, Preble County, Ohio and Bowling Green Aktion Club, Wood County, Ohio
  • Accessible Medical Services Award: Dr. Richard Munk, M.D., Toledo, Ohio
  • Maureen Fitzgerald Leadership Award: Karen Bowersox, Downs Designs Dreams, based in Mentor, Ohio
  • Karla Lortz Scholarship: Peter Knab, John Carroll University and Jacob Ralston, Ohio University.
  • Legislator of the Year: Senator Dave Burke and Representative Michael Stinziano 

GCPD Chair Mathew Sauer offered welcoming remarks and thanked those in attendance for their work and support to improve the lives, employment and communities of people with disabilities.


The keynote speech was presented by Adam Helbling, motivational speaker, blogger and civil engineer.  Adam is a 2012 graduate of The Ohio State University and helped lead the university’s Waterski Team to win the 2010 Division II National Championship. Adam has bipolar disorder, which led to two manic episodes. The second led to a car accident that left him as a C6/C7 quadriplegic.  In spite of this, Adam says he believes everything happens for a reason and that he is happier now than ever before. He is pursuing his dream of building more housing like “Creative Living,” where he resides, that are designed for people with physical disabilities.


GCPD members announced and introduced the award winners, as did Bruce Mrofka, husband of the later Maureen Fitzgerald, for whom the leadership award is named. Each award recipient also received a proclamation from Governor John Kasich and Lieutenant Governor Mary Taylor.


Congratulations to the award winners and to the Governor’s Council for highlighting the outstanding contributions they are making to Ohio.


Case Service Efficiencies Deployed


OOD has been piloting a standardized procedure for processing case service billings in the Northwest area of the state.  This pilot was aimed at a timelier and consistent way to pay invoices, allowing OOD to track and measure timeframes associated with the processing of invoices from providers. It also serves as a bridge between the current payables process and preparing for the development of a Provider Portal. 


After piloting this procedure for several months, it is now being rolled out stated-wide.  Training has occurred for staff over the last few weeks and the new procedure will go into effect on Monday, November 16. 

The efficiencies gained from this new procedure will not only improve the quality and timeliness of the invoice process, but it will also improve the way we do business with our vendors.  Most importantly, it will ultimately allow OOD to provide better and timelier service to individuals with disabilities through improved relationships with our providers.


OOD by the Numbers

Vocational Rehabilitation

                                                                               Current            FY2016

Individuals in Job Ready Status:                       3,773                 843

(For county level information and map visit our website)


Individuals Employed:                                         2,133                 765

(Working but less than 90 days)                               


Successful Closures:                                                                     805

(In employed status for over 90 days)


Disability Determination

(FFY2016 as of 11/6)


Applications Received:                        23,014


Determinations:                                     24,452


Pending:                                                 44,314


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