Weekly Focus - February 5, 2016

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

February 5, 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:

TJX Champion Award Presentation
HomeGoods staff and associates pose with the Champion of Opportunity Award

TJX Companies: Champion of Opportunity

Thursday, I had the pleasure of presenting the “Champion of Opportunity Award” to the TJX Companies at the HomeGoods store in Lewis Center.  TJX has been a tremendous partner to OOD.  They have a deep commitment to hiring qualified individuals with disabilities and continue to make purposeful efforts to honor this commitment.  Whether it is through direct hire, community based assessments or the single provider training initiative, the individuals who come to OOD for services benefit from our relationship with the TJX Companies. 


The partnership between TJX Companies and OOD has been so successful that 13 individuals with disabilities have been hired since July of 2014.  These employees have been so successful that TJX now actively reaches out to find qualified candidates to help meet their workforce needs. 


KLM TJX Champion Award

Ken Travis, HomeGoods regional manager [Pictured at right with Director Miller], meets with the OOD team on a regular basis to provide updates, feedback, and explore additional avenues of partnership.  He has been instrumental in expanding the success of this partnership statewide.  Whether it is through arranging conference calls with district managers covering all parts of the state, providing contact information for local store managers, or sharing information about the success of our partnership in Central Ohio with his statewide counterparts, OOD consumers throughout Ohio have greater employment opportunities thanks to Ken.


The TJX Companies, Inc. traces its history to 1919 with the founding of the New England Trading Company in Boston.  By the 1950s, the family-owned business opened the first Zayre discount department store focusing on convenience, selection and value for the whole family.  By the mid 70’s, T.J. Maxx opened and the company acquired Chadwick’s of Boston catalog in the 80s and added HomeGoods in the early 1990s, among other retail stores.  By the mid-1990s, T.J. Maxx and Marshalls combined to operate more than 1,000 stores in the U.S.


Thanks again to the TJX Companies, and to Functional Training Services (FTS), for their commitment to integrating individuals with disabilities into the workforce.  We look forward to continuing the strong partnership and helping more Ohioans achieve quality employment and increased independence.

“Taking Care of Business" with Retention Services

Job Save

Individuals with disabilities who are working but are experiencing difficulties on the job can often benefit from the assistance of an OOD counselor.  Counselors can assess an individual’s work situation and create customized solutions to keep them on the job. 


Debbie Meddings, who came to OOD for assistance when her disability began affecting her ability to complete her paperwork, is a good example.  As a licensed practical nurse (LPN) in south-eastern Ohio, Meddings makes home visits and works in a local nursing home.  The lighting, glare and mobility conditions specific to each location were presenting a challenge.  She needed equipment that was portable, multifunctional and adaptable to each job environment. 


After assessing the LPN’s work environment, the counselor looked at various magnifiers, sun filters and pens that could improve contrast and provide portable lighting.  The greatest contribution for mobile documentation turned out to be an iPad, which allows for magnification and color contrast adjustments.  Additionally, pocket magnifying glasses and a headlamp assist with manual and non-electronic tasks such as reading prescription labels.  A high-contrast pen also makes hand writing easier. 


With these adjustments Meddings is back to her normal, exceptional speed and competency.  These low vision applications allow her to perform her work duties such as reading documents, or changing colors, and most importantly, complete the required paperwork while in a patient’s home.  The customized technology has not been expensive, difficult to assess or deliver, and most items used are general consumer, off-the-shelf items.  It just took career counseling, guidance and a little ingenuity to save a job this nurse still loves and performs with pride.

Did You Know? Low Vision

Approximately 1 in 28 Americans age 40 and older are robbed of their sight by low vision, defined as visual impairments that are not correctable through surgery, pharmaceuticals, glasses, or contact lenses.

(Source: Vision Council 2015 Low Vision Report)

OOD by the Numbers

Vocational Rehabilitation

                                                                              Current            FFY2016


Individuals in Job Ready Status:                       3,557                2,403

(For county level information

& map visit our website)


Individuals Employed:                                         1,661                2,153

(Employed, not yet successfully closed)


Successful Closures:                                                                    2,578

(Employed for over 90 days,

case closed successfully)

Disability Determination

(FFY2016 as of 01/29/16  Week 18)


Applications Received:                                               66,194


Determinations:                                                           70,004


Productivity Per Work Year (PPWY)                          376.3

(Total number of cases processed divided

by the number of work years funded)

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