Weekly Focus - April 1, 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

April 1, 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:

State of the State - Wednesday, April 6th

The Seal of Ohio

Next week I will be traveling to Marietta for events surrounding Governor John Kasich’s State of the State Address.  While in the region, OOD staff, along with other cabinet-level agencies, will be hosting a variety of events highlighting the work we do with partners and individuals with disabilities.  OOD’s focus this year is on the different pathways available to help individuals with disabilities achieve quality employment and increased independence.


The planned events include:


  • A disability awareness and etiquette workshop for employers in the Marietta area that will include an overview of the employer toolkit OOD developed in partnership with the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services;
  • Recognition of Washington State Community College (WSCC) for the critical role they play in workforce development in Marietta and the surrounding area along with employees, vendors, and students connected to the college who have been served by OOD;
  • A tour of The Career Center of Washington County and discussion of our Ohio Transition Services Partnership with the Ohio Department of Education;
  • A visit to the local Kroger to recognize the success of our Employment First partnership with the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities. 

We are excited about visiting Marietta to showcase the great work we are doing in the region while acknowledging the important work of our partners.


That evening, Governor Kasich will offer his State of the State address and highlight the progress Ohio has made over the last 12 months and the important work that remains.  Look for reports on these exciting events in next week’s Focus.


Independent Living Services Making a Difference

What follows is a success story from OOD caseload assistant Anna Freitag


One of the first individuals I worked with in OOD’s Independent Living/Older Blind (IL/OB) program was a man with a degree of life-long vision loss.  His recent retinal detachments had left him with only light perception in both eyes.  In our first interview, it was obvious that he felt very discouraged.  He spoke a lot about his career in security, which he had to give up.  It was evident that he needed training on the activities of daily living, along with assistance with orientation & mobility in order to stay alone and travel independently.


When we met, he had to rely on “guessing” to get through the day; in order to prepare meals and complete household tasks.  In many instances he became disoriented, running into walls and getting lost in his own home. Recently, he had gone outside to take out the trash and walk the family dog, but he became lost in the cul-de-sac where he lives and had to call his wife for help getting home.


Through IL/OB, we were able to provide training in orientation & mobility and the activities of daily living.  By the end of his training, this individual was able to meet all of his goals related to indoor cane skills such as room familiarization, obstacle detection, and stair skills.  He also learned to load and operate the dishwasher, reheat meals in the microwave using tactual labeling, pour liquids using a liquid level indicator, safely remove and transfer foods and use a talking timer to assist with cooking food.   He learned how to label items in the home with a Pen Friend, tell time using talking timepieces, manipulate a telephone and keep track of appointments on a calendar with visual adaptations.  He was also able to use adaptive money skills and set timing and temperature on the washer and dryer.  All of this meant he could now be independent and safer.  Equally important to him, is that he can contribute toward household tasks while his wife is at work.


We were also able to offer training on using his white cane in residential areas with intermittent traffic.  This training has given him the confidence to consider pursuing employment through OOD’s Bureau of Services for the Visually Impaired.  This important decision was not even an option prior to his training and preparation.


For many of us, it is easy to take the ability to live and work independently for granted.  We move freely and relatively easily through our day.  This case was a reminder of the powerful impact of independent living training and services.  It is gratifying to help someone gain a level of independence and freedom of movement.  It truly makes a difference.

Did You Know? April 2nd is World Autism Awareness Day

World Autism Awareness Day

April is Autism Awareness Month and this Saturday, April 2nd, is the 8th annual World Autism Awareness Day.  On Saturday, and throughout the month, Autism organizations and participants from around the world will come together to raise awareness and increase understanding for Autism. 


Join us on Saturday, and all month, to take a moment to think of the individuals in your family and community who possess the unique skills and talents of persons with autism.

OOD by the Numbers

                                           Vocational Rehabilitation

                                                                        Current                    FFY2016


Individuals in Job Ready Status:                  3,449                       3,456   

(For county level information

& map visit our website)


Individuals Employed:                                   1,744                        3,194

(Employed, not yet

successfully closed)


Successful Closures:                                                                      3,518

(Employed for over 90 days,

case closed successfully)

      Disability Determination

                                    (FFY2016 as of 03/25/2016 – Week 26)


Applications Received:                                                                  97,521


Determinations:                                                                              100,431


Productivity Per Work Year (PPWY)                                             375.3

(Total number of cases processed divided

by the number of work years funded)

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