Weekly Focus - March 25, 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

March 25, 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:

Employment First Task Force Focused on Transition Services

Employment First Task Force
Stacy Collins, Employment First project manager Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities, Doug Lumpkin, Director of the Office of Human Service Innovation and Kristen Helling, Assistant Deputy Director of the Bureau of Vocational Rehabilitation


The Employment First Task Force and Advisory Committee met this week to explore the development of an enhanced structure for meeting the needs of young people with disabilities who are transitioning from school to adult life. They are seeking to develop a vision and provide guidance for the field on transition services in a way that results in a stronger and more seamless collaborative approach among agencies.  Their focus is on ensuring these young people are well prepared for a career pathway and long-term employment success. 


Doug Lumpkin of the Governor’s Office of Human Services Innovation (OHSI) provided introductory comments to start the meeting.  OHSI is focused on social and workforce service alignment across systems and Director Lumpkin provided insights into innovative service delivery across agencies and levels of government.  He noted that government resists being the first to implement policy or explore new options.  However, he stressed that true innovation often requires being first; not being afraid to be out front and attempting something new. 


“It is okay to be first,” said Lumpkin.  “You can’t be truly innovative and creative without sometimes being first.”


He also encouraged participants to remember that state policy and processes are just one part of a large and complicated service delivery system that involves state, local and federal agencies.  Innovation requires working together rather than defending your own “turf.”


Governor John Kasich officially launched Ohio’s Employment First Initiative when he signed Executive Order 2012-05K on March 19, 2012.  The Executive Order established statewide collaboration and coordination by creating the Employment First Taskforce and Advisory Committee, and made community employment the preferred outcome for individuals with developmental disabilities.  The taskforce is charged with expanding community employment opportunities by reducing barriers and aligning state policy.

Meeting with the new President of the Ohio Business Leadership Network

I recently had the pleasure of meeting with Mitch Morgan, assistant vice-president of diversity and inclusion with Fifth Third Bank and the new incoming President of the Ohio Business Leadership Network (OHBLN).  Also joining us was Leslie Wilson the business consultant for OHBLN.  OOD and OHBLN work together to include consumers in the workforce using a business-to-business model.


The meeting reinforced the strong partnership between OOD and the OHBLN as well as our commitment to strong partnerships with the business community.  


In Ohio, BLN member companies span a multitude of enterprise categories. Health care, financial services, education, government, consumer products, retail, logistics and employment services are just a few represented in the OHBLN leadership.  OHBLN membership currently stands at 91 and we are looking forward to celebrating 100 members this year.


I look forward to continuing the OOD and OHBLN growing partnership under Mitch’s leadership.  


Regional Commissioners' Honor Awards

DDD Recognition small
Director Miller, Heather E. Wright, Eva Carver and Erik Williamson,Executive Director for the Division of Disability Determination


Thursday, Erik Williamson, executive director for the Division of Disability Determination (DDD), Bill Bishilany, assistant director, and I presented DDD employees with the Regional Commissioners' Honor Awards.  Three separate awards were given to seventeen different individuals. 


The 2015 Regional Commissioners Citation was awarded to Mica Sparks, a disability claims adjudicator.  The Regional Commissioner’s Citation is the highest award presented in recognition of those employees who have made significant contributions throughout the year in assisting the region in delivering outstanding public service.


The Quality Service Award was given to fourteen employees in the DDS Case Control Department.  The department earned this recognition for their original, unique, and creative approaches in communication and service delivery that improves communication and services to the public.  Those recognized include Shelly Burleson, Bethany Burke, Susann Deatherage, Sherry Fath, Rita Gram, Brent Johnson, Diana Jones, Cynthia Lincoln, Debbie McClelland, Gail Moser, Jeremy Rogers, Lorie Ross, Corby Whitesel and Alan Witherspoon.   


The 2015 Deputy Commissioner for Operations (DCO) Honor Award was given to Eva Carver and Heather E. Wright, both adjudicators, for their significant impact on operation's ability to fulfill its mission.


 “We are fortunate to have many fine examples of employees who go above and beyond in their jobs here at OOD,” said Williamson.  “These staff members are the latest to receive recognition for their efforts to serve Ohioans. On behalf of all OOD staff, we offer our congratulations to those receiving this esteemed recognition.”



Did You Know? March 22, 2016 is Rehabilitation Counselor Appreciation Day

Last Wednesday, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed Senate Resolution 401, designating March 22, 2016, as Rehabilitation Counselor Appreciation Day.


Rehabilitation Counselor Appreciation Day is well-deserved recognition for our field staff and for the work that they do.  On behalf of the individuals we serve, I want to say thank you to our counselors for their efforts to promote the employment and independence of Ohioans with disabilities.



OOD by the Numbers

Vocational Rehabilitation

                                                                              Current        FFY2016


Individuals in Job Ready Status:                         3,476            3,345

(For county level information

& map visit our website)


Individuals Employed:                                          1,688              3,036

(Employed, not yet successfully closed)


Successful Closures:                                                                   3,420

(Employed for over 90 days,

case closed successfully)


Disability Determination

  (FFY2016 as of 03/18/2016 – Week 25)


Applications Received:                                                              93,874


Determinations:                                                                           96,438


Productivity Per Work Year (PPWY)                                          374.5

(Total number of cases processed


divided by the number of work years funded)

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