Weekly Focus, November 20, 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 20, 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:

OCALICON 2015 & ASD Strategies in Action

OCALICON 2015 header

Today, one in 68 children is diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Just a few years ago, that number was one in 88 – and the numbers have been steadily increasing over the last decade, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).


This week, I was privileged to offer brief remarks at the opening of OCALICON 2015 at the Greater Columbus Convention Center.  The conference, in its ninth year, focused on meeting the needs of individuals with autism spectrum disorders and low-incidence disabilities.  It was hosted by The Ohio Center for Autism and Low Incidence (OCALI).  Speaking as both an agency director, and as a father of a child with autism, I touched upon the importance of helping individuals with disabilities achieve quality employment and independence.  I also reflected upon the importance of conferences like OCALICON and the work of OCALI in making a difference in the lives of individuals and families.


The conference coincided with the recently created Autism Certification Center and the launch of a groundbreaking online video training program – ASD Strategies in Action. This innovative program, which is easy to access and free to all Ohioans, will help improve the quality of life for individuals with ASD.


Powered by OCALI, the program was developed under the leadership of the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities in collaboration with the Ohio Department of Education and the Governor’s Office of Health Transformation.  A blue-ribbon panel of internationally renowned experts provided consultation.  The training provides practical information and skills from multiple research-based approaches. It’s more than just best practices, it’s the best of the best practices put into action.


Strategies in Action gives families and service providers (even in the most rural areas of our state) tools to ensure they are equipped to effectively care for, support, educate, employ, or work with individuals on the autism spectrum from early childhood to young adulthood.


Thanks to OCALI for hosting such a great conference and for the work they do every day.  It was great to see so many leaders gathering to share and learn about ASD.  For more information on the Autism Certification Center and to access ASD Strategies in Action please visit www.autismcertificationcenter.org.

AEP ADA Presentation

James Clinkscale AEP
James Clinkscale, OOD Diversity and Inclusion Manager, and Kelly Jordan, OOD Business Sourcing Analyst, facilitating a 30 minute ADA presentation for OHBLN member AEP on Monday

Business Enterprise Program Planning for the Future

BE Retreat
Business Enterprise staff at this week's retreat

This week the Business Enterprise (BE) staff met for their annual retreat.  The first day was spent in discussing successes, strategic planning and training in time management. 


The second day of the retreat was dedicated to a working session on finishing the development plan for upgrading vending sites at rest areas. Prior to the retreat, BE Business Consultants assessed all rest areas on primary interstate and secondary highways.  The evaluations took into account the condition of vending equipment, structure, accessibility, signage, branding, cleanliness, HVAC, doors, flooring, paint, plumbing, safety and exterior sidewalks.  Consultants also documented if the machines took credit cards or Apple Pay, and if the site had the operator’s name and number prominently posted.  


At the retreat, BE Business Consultants, lead by managers Vicki Smith and Adam Kieffer, were split into two groups to develop the desired state for rest area locations. The work groups then identified the ideal prototype, the steps necessary at each site to achieve the desired future state and prioritized the action steps.   


We now have a Facility Master Plan process for 75 rest areas for discussions with ODOT.  The end goal is for OOD to partner with ODOT on identifying priority sites, developing a project plan for each site and improving and standardizing rest area vending, all resulting in providing the most pleasant customer service experience for the traveling public.  In doing so, we also expect to increase sales and expand job opportunities for our operators who are blind.


Thanks to staff for their hard work and focus during the retreat.  I am excited about what the future holds for the Business Enterprise Program.

Did You Know? Service Animals

*We are introducing a new section to the Weekly Focus, “Did You Know?,” offering tips and information on interacting with individuals with disabilities in the workplace and in your community.


When encountering a person with a service dog (also known as a service team), it is best to speak to the person and ask permission before talking to, touching, petting, feeding, making noises towards, or reaching for the leash or harness of the dog. These actions can confuse, distract or upset both the working dog and owner. Also, some service dogs may not be wearing a vest, patch or other identification as this is not required by U.S. federal law, and dogs of many breeds can serve in this role. (Source: www.petmd.com)


OOD by the Numbers

Vocational Rehabilitation

                                                                              Current            FFY2016

Individuals in Job Ready Status:                       3,740                977

(For county level information

and map visit our website)


Individuals Employed:                                         2,102                904

(Employed, not yet successfully closed)                               


Successful Closures:                                                                    964

(Employed for over 90 days,

case closed successfully)


Disability Determination

(FFY2016 as of 11/13)


Applications Received:                                       26,446


Determinations:                                                    28,166


Productivity Per Work Year (PPWY)                   386.7*

(total number of cases processed divided

by the number of work years funded)


*Best in the region

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