Weekly Focus - December 4, 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

December 4, 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:

MatrizCX Champion Award 12032015
OOD and MaritzCX staff at the award presentation on Thursday

MaritzCX: Champion of Opportunity

Thursday, I had the pleasure of presenting the “Champion of Opportunity Award” to the MaritzCX in Maumee.  The international company’s Maumee office is being recognized for its commitment to, leadership in, and integration of people with disabilities into the workforce.


During the award presentation, I noted that MaritzCX has provided quality employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities and has gone above and beyond to hire several individuals working with our Bureau of Services for the Visually Impaired (BSVI).  The company has also been especially willing to work with OOD on accommodations including scripting so that our blind or visually impaired individuals can navigate the computer software needed to perform their essential job functions. 


The company, with 18 offices worldwide, combines customer service experiences and research with advanced CX software platforms. With this focus, the company can deliver information about important business issues and trends in a timely competitive manner.  The Maumee office has  500 employees. Of those, three are recent hires from BSVI and it is anticipated that two more hires will begin working for the company before the New Year.


MaritzCX has proven to be a statewide example of promoting diversity and inclusion as the company is a member of the Ohio Business Leadership Network and has been an active partner in the WIO initiative in the Toledo area.  In addition, MaritzCX attended the 2014 OOD Toledo Job Fair and was the first to register for our 2015 Toledo Job Fair.  We are looking forward to our continued partnership with MaritzCX.


“We are committed to being an inclusive employer,” said Krista Haley, employment specialist for MaritzCX. “We’re proud of the opportunities we can offer to our employees and we’re very proud of company culture and what we stand for,” Halley added. “We love our relationship with OOD and together we’ll continue to make MaritzCX a great place to work.”


OOD is grateful for the support and dedication to a diverse workforce that MaritzCX displays and we look forward to future associations with the company and its employees.


Tony Coelho OACB
DODD Director John Martin, Congressman Coelho, Bridget Gargan, OACB executive director, Director Miller

ADA Sponsor Shares His Story

Tuesday evening I was invited to a reception for Anthony Lee "Tony" Coelho.  Congressman Coelho was credited by colleagues as the primary sponsor of the Americans with Disabilities Act. This year marks the 25th anniversary of the landmark law which was signed into law by President George H.W. Bush in 1990.  Congressman Coelho was the keynote speaker at the Ohio Association of County Boards of Developmental Disabilities (OACB) annual conference this week in Columbus.


At the reception and in his keynote address, Congressman Coelho shared his inspirational story.  He was involved in a car accident at the age of 15 and, unknown to him at the time, doctors believed this to be the precipitating cause for the onset of epilepsy.  Seeking to enter the priesthood years later, a medical exam revealed this diagnosis.  Coelho overcame the challenges and stigma of epilepsy and went on to a long and successful career. 


Tuesday evening Bridget Gargan, OACB executive director, DODD Director John Martin and I were able to recognize the Honorable Tony Coelho for his longstanding leadership on disability issues. 


Insights in Inclusion

On Wednesday, I participated in an Inclusion in the Workplace panel discussion at the Insights in Inclusion conference hosted by the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber.  The panel had participants from businesses and a veteran of both Afghanistan and Iraq combat.  I emphasized that business partnerships provide opportunities for businesses to gain knowledge about employing people who happen to have a disability. They help overcome stereotypes, and hiring individuals with disabilities is good for the business’ bottom line.  


Other members of the panel talked about the low turnover rate of those who are developmentally delayed.   Examples of special accommodation myths were discussed. I believe the audience left the presentation with a better understanding that the majority of special accommodations cost less than $500.


Terry Brown, a combat veteran, emphasized that veterans want to be accepted.  He highlighted the skills, training and work ethic that veterans bring to the workforce.  In particular, he noted they tend to be steadfast, courageous, prompt, and have a desire to get a job done.  Additionally, he noted that with these skills, most veterans want to do work that others are doing and that they want to “get back to normal.”  Terry also noted that job fairs, announcements provided to military recruiters, networking, job postings at VA hospitals and vocational rehabilitation agencies,  are some successful employment avenues used by job-ready veterans seeking employment leads.


Global Asset Manager Melissa Milinovich, of Hewlett Packard Enterprises shared her experience in gaining employment as an individual with a disability.  Emphasizing diversity in employment, she stated that instead of viewing herself an individual with a disability in the workforce, she views herself as a diverse variable in the workforce.


Workplace Accommodations: Low Cost, High Impact

As OOD increases its outreach to employers through direct engagement, Windmills presentations and job fairs, one of the most frequently encountered topics concerns reasonable workplace accommodations. Many employers have demonstrated a willingness to hire individuals with disabilities but their unfamiliarity with the Americans with Disabilities Act, reasonable workplace accommodations, and the perceived cost associated with accommodations, make some employers hesitant.


Recently, The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) has updated its “Workplace Accommodations: Low Cost, High Impact” publication for 2015. The results of the JAN study, ongoing since 2004 and involving more than 1,100 employers, shows that the benefits employers receive from making workplace accommodations far outweigh the cost, which is low to begin with.


Employers have reported that providing accommodations resulted in such benefits as:

  • Retaining valuable employees;
  • Improving productivity and morale;
  • Reducing workers’ compensation and training costs;
  • Improving company diversity.

Many of these benefits were obtained with little investment. The employers in the study reported that a high percentage (58%) of accommodations cost nothing, while the rest typically average only $500.


For more information, visit:  Accommodation and Compliance Series Workplace Accommodations: Low Cost, High Impact.

Did You Know? ASL

You might think that modern-day ASL originated in England, but it did not. It came from France. England has its own version of sign language that is very different from ASL. An American who only knows ASL will have a hard time communicating with someone from England who only knows Modern British Sign Language. But a person using ASL has a good chance of being able to communicate with a person using French Sign Language - even if they don't speak French!  [Brigham Young University, ASL Association]

OOD by the Numbers

Vocational Rehabilitation

                                                                              Current            FFY2016


Individuals in Job Ready Status:                       3,725                1,260

(For county level information

and map visit our website)


Individuals Employed:                                         2,115                1,200

(Employed, not yet successfully closed)


Successful Closures:                                                                    1,237

(Employed for over 90 days,

case closed successfully)


Disability Determination 

(FFY2016 as of 11/27)


Applications Received:                                               33,451


Determinations:                                                           35,661


Productivity Per Work Year (PPWY)                          380.2*

(total number of cases processed divided

by the number of work years funded)

*Best in the region

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