Weekly Focus - January 22, 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

January 22, 2016

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:

Interactive Employer Toolkit Released

A new interactive “toolkit” makes it easier for Ohio employers to recruit, hire and retain qualified workers with disabilities.  “Hiring Ohioans with Disabilities: a Toolkit for Employers, Managers and Human Resource Professionals” was produced by OOD and the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS).  It was created in response to a recommendation of the Ohio Workforce Integration Task Force (WIT), which Governor John R. Kasich and the Ohio General Assembly created in 2014.  The toolkit is now available online at www.jfs.ohio.gov/HiringAbility.


During the work of the task force, it became evident that Ohio employers need a clear, consistent and practical resource that outlines how best to tap into the skilled and motivated workforce individuals with disabilities represent.  Hiring Ohioans with Disabilities meets the need by compiling a great deal of information into one convenient, easily accessible location.


Employers can download the toolkit to learn about the following topics and more:

  • Best practices from Ohio’s top employers;
  • Tax incentives for hiring workers with disabilities;
  • Free sources of consultation and assistance;
  • Making reasonable workplace accommodations;
  • Offering more flexible work arrangements;
  • Interacting with people with disabilities;
  • Recruiting and accommodating veterans with disabilities;
  • Using job coaches to help workers with disabilities;
  • Managing disability leave;
  • Accommodating service animals in the workplace.

It is exciting to see the work of the WIT come together to provide this valuable resource to Ohio employers.  We look forward to the positive impact as employers leverage this tool to more effectively integrate individuals with disabilities into their workforce.

Ohio Strengthens Opioid Prescribing Guidelines

Lt. Gov. Opioid Event
Lieutenant Governor Mary Taylor speaks at the Opioid Event on Tuesday

I joined fellow cabinet members at the Statehouse on Tuesday as the Governor’s Cabinet Opiate Action Team announced the adoption of new opioid prescribing guidelines for the outpatient management of patients with acute pain. 


The guidelines, part of Ohio’s continuing effort to curb the misuse and abuse of prescription pain medications and unintentional overdoses, are designed to prevent “doctor shopping” for prescription opioids.  They urge prescribers to first consider non-opioid therapies and pain medications, to reduce leftover opioids that can be diverted for abuse, and to encourage prescribers to check Ohio’s Automated Rx Reporting System before prescribing opioids to see what other controlled medications a patient might already be taking.  All three guidelines were developed by the Governor’s Cabinet Opiate Action Team in conjunction with clinical professional associations, providers, state licensing boards and state agencies.


Governor Kasich touched on the importance of these new guidelines:


“Too many families are being torn apart by drugs and that is why we have been so proactive in exploring new ways to prevent Ohioans from becoming addicted to prescription opioids.  Building upon prescribing guidelines we established for emergency departments and chronic pain, these new protocols for treating short-term pain will strengthen our efforts to fight abuse and ultimately save lives.”


Ohio’s opioid prescribing guidelines complement its multi-pronged approach to tackling the oversupply of prescription opioids, preventing prescription drug abuse before it starts, treating those who fall prey to prescription drug addiction, and utilizing naloxone to reverse drug overdoses and save lives.

DDD Unit 8Z Presented with SSA Commissioner's Team Award

Unit 8z Award


Congratulations to the Division of Disability Determination (DDD) Unit 8Z, recipients of the Social Security Administration (SSA) Commissioner’s Team award, the highest award from the SSA.  


The citation reads: “In recognition of Unit 8Z for their hard work, attitude, actions, and pride in serving the citizens of Ohio.”


Unit 8z members include: Sherri Ross, Kim Robertson, Brian Baumgartner, Jenna Lee, Sarah Loch, Andrew Meador, Ashley Williamson, Jill Odenweller, Kristen Garrett, Justin Carson, Rachael Wilkenfeld, and Kim Shaw.


This team worked together and took additional claims assignment while maintaining high quality assurance reviews and a positive attitude.  Congratulations on receiving this recognition!

Did You Know? Opioids in Ohio

In 2014, more than 262 million opioid doses were dispensed in Ohio for the management of acute pain — 35 percent of the state’s 750 million total dispensed opioid doses.  Prescription opioids remain a significant factor to unintentional drug overdose deaths in Ohio and drug overdoses overall contributed to nearly one-half of all injury-related deaths in 2014. Since 2007, drug overdoses have killed more Ohioans than car crashes annually.

OOD by the Numbers

Vocational Rehabilitation

                                                                              Current            FFY2016


Individuals in Job Ready Status:                       3,616                2,116

(For county level information

and map visit our website)


Individuals Employed:                                         1,801                1,933

(Employed, not yet successfully closed)


Successful Closures:                                                                    2,226

(Employed for over 90 days,

case closed successfully)


Disability Determination

(FFY2016 as of 01/01/16)


Applications Received:                                             58,944


Determinations:                                                          62,296


Productivity Per Work Year (PPWY)                         377.2

(Total number of cases processed divided

by the number of work years funded)

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