Weekly Focus - June 10, 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

June 10, 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:

Making the Transition from School to Work

Successfully transitioning from school to work can be a challenge.  It involves the collaboration of a number of people and organizations, including the student and his or her family, school and employers.  It not only requires specific skills and knowledge, but also the “soft” skills involved in employment; interpersonal skills, work habits, effective communication, etc.  Juggling a more complex schedule and arranging transportation are often factors as well.


Students with disabilities face the same challenges and issues as those without disabilities during their transition.  Devanta Wiggins, who recently finished school and secured employment, highlights the nature of this process.


Wiggins, who has autism and does not communicate verbally, came to OOD last summer while still attending Clay High School.  He participated in a Summer Youth Work Experience with Goodwill as a dishwasher at The Spaghetti Warehouse in Toledo.  In the beginning, a job coach helped Devanta learn the job; using pictures to indicate what tasks he needed to complete and where to go.  Soon he was comfortable with the routine and working on his own.


Devanta clearly enjoyed the job, giving two thumbs up and a big smile when asked and his coworkers were impressed.  “Best dishwasher we have!” offered one coworker.  “He’s good” and “”Takes pride in his work” were other unsolicited comments.


Given this positive experience, discussions turned to making this a permanent job for Devanta.  A community assessment was suggested to determine if he was up to the task of working in a fast-paced high-pressure environment of a busy restaurant on weekends and holidays.  Devanta did amazingly well and was hired.  After a short transition, he was working without a job coach.  He loves his job and his coworkers appreciate the hard work and dedication.


Devanta’s success was a true collaboration between the OOD Bridges to Transition partnership, Tonya Mortimer his vocational rehabilitation counselor, the Lucas County Board of Developmental Disabilities, Devanta, his mother Cindy Williams, and Clay High School.  His teacher at Clay High School, Sheryl Koepf, assisted Devanta with the ongoing teaching of work skills, meeting employer expectations and work behavior in school.  His Lucas County  Board of Developmental Disabilities Service and Support Specialists, Mary Beth Olender and Elizabeth Oyster, worked on assisting with transportation, since no public transportation is available from his home to his work site.  A waiver is about to go into effect for Devanta (in June 2016), to cover non-medical transportation costs and allow him to continue working at his job.  Devanta graduated from Clay High School this past weekend while continuing to work at The Spaghetti Warehouse.


Congratulations to Devanta on his graduation and successful transition from school to work.  Your hard work and the dedication of your services team paid off!


DDD Improves Security Measures

On August 27, 2004, President George W. Bush signed Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12 (HSPD-12): Policy for a Common Identification Standard for Federal Employees and Contractors.  This directive was put into place citing “wide variations in the quality and security of identification used to gain access to secure facilities.”


The Division of Disability Determination (DDD) staff has access to vast amounts of Personally Identifiable Information that must be secured and protected.  DDD takes this matter very seriously and the integrity of this confidential information is of paramount importance.  To that end, all DDD staff has undergone credentialing from the federal government, as per this directive.


This 6-month credentialing process culminated this week with the issuing of new Personal Identity Verification (PIV) identification cards to DDD employees.  The PIV card is an ID card issued by the Social Security Administration that contains a computer chip.  It allows information to be received, sent, stored, and recalled in a secure method.  The main function of the card is to encrypt or code data to strengthen the security of information for both employee and claimant, as well as provide physical access to secured areas.


DDD, and all of OOD, strive to maintain excellent customer service to Ohioans.  Securing confidential information with which DDD is entrusted is a focal point in maintaining the confidence of the public for the job we do in determining medical eligibility for Social Security Disability applicants.

Steve Tribbe Camo Belt
Raivo Murnieks, deputy director of Performance and Innovationand, Steve Tribbie, program integrity & evaluation manager, Bill Bishilany, assistant executive director


Division of Performance and Innovation's Steve Tribbie earned his Lean Camo Belt for working with OOD and ODJFS staff to improve the process for exchanging and verifying Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) information.


This new process will further ensure employers, who hire individuals served by OOD's vocational rehabilitation program, get their tax credit in a more expedited and accurate manner.

Did you know? Statewide Home and Community-Based Services Transition Plan Approved


The Departments of Developmental Disabilities (DODD), Medicaid, and Aging, along with the Governor’s Office of Health Transformation, announced that Ohio received initial approval of its Statewide Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Transition Plan from the federal agency, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).  Ohio joins Tennessee and Kentucky as the only states to date to achieve CMS approval.


For more information see this Pipeline article from DODD.


OOD by the Numbers

Vocational Rehabilitation

                                                               Current                     FFY2016


Individuals in Job Ready Status:            3,296                    4,673

(For county level information

& map visit our website)


Individuals Employed:                             1,933                     4,497

(Employed, not yet

successfully closed)


Successful Closures:                                                             4,606

(Employed for over 90 days,

case closed successfully)


Disability Determination

(FFY2016 as of 06/03/2016 – Week 36)


Applications Received:                                                            136,947


Determinations:                                                                        138,908


Productivity Per Work Year (PPWY)                                       374.3

(Total number of cases processed divided

by the number of work years funded)

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