Weekly Focus - June 17, 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 17, 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:

Ohio Business Leadership Network Reaches 100 Members

OHBLN 100 Logo

On Tuesday we celebrated an important milestone in our business engagement efforts: the Ohio Business Leadership Network (OHBLN) reaching 100 members.  This peer-to-peer business organization provides employers with information and resources about how best to recruit, select, train and retain a workforce that includes individuals with disabilities.


When I was appointed by Governor John Kasich in 2011, I knew that business engagement would need to be an important part of our success.  And growing this organization from a handful of companies to over 100 is testament to the commitment of this agency, and our dedicated staff, to engage and educate the business community on the benefits of hiring individuals with disabilities. 


The OHBLN plays a critical role in this engagement for a couple of reasons.  First, businesses are much more likely to listen and learn from their peers than they are from a government agency.  Second, we have moved beyond hiring an individual with a disability because it is the “nice thing to do.”  Ohio companies are focused on building a workforce, delivering quality products and services and growing their business.  The OHBLN helps us communicate to these companies that individuals with disabilities are a largely untapped workforce that can help companies’ lower turnover, improve morale and reach a large and loyal market segment.


Mitch Morgan, president of the Ohio Business Leadership Network and assistant vice president, diversity and inclusion strategy manager for Fifth Third Bank noted that Ohio is playing a leadership role:


“We are proud to achieve this milestone that makes Ohio one of the largest and most active affiliates of the Business Leadership Network in the country because it means more Ohio businesses have access to resources to help enhance hiring and retaining a workforce that includes people with disabilities.”


Increasingly, Ohio companies are recognizing that building a workforce that includes individuals with disabilities is good for business.  Nationally, it is estimated that 52 percent of the 77 million baby boomers will become disabled.  “By employing people with disabilities, employers can effectively position themselves to develop products and services that are more likely to appeal to a diverse customer base, resulting in a significant increase in profits,” Morgan added.


Individuals with disabilities are an asset not a burden.  According to a DePaul University study of 314 workplaces, employees with disabilities have the same job performance ratings, do not require more supervisory time, are no more likely to be absent, late or have time off work, do not have more work place accidents and are less likely to quit the job.  In fact, many companies report lower turnover and higher morale.


An inclusive workforce is good for business and good for Ohio’s economy.  We are proud to partner with OHBLN to increase awareness and provide the resources companies need to successfully integrate their workforce.  Lieutenant Governor Mary Taylor offered congratulations to the OHBLN on Tuesday.  You can watch the video online at www.vimeo/ood/OHBLN100.


Membership in the Ohio Business Leadership Network is free.  Businesses interested in becoming members can find more information at: www.ohiobln.org.  Ohio is an affiliate of the U.S. Business Leadership Network which represents 51 chapters and more than 5,000 employers across the United States.  In 2014, Ohio was awarded Outstanding Affiliate of the Year for its work to help businesses hire more workers with disabilities.

OHBLN 100 Certificate

Businesses on OHBLN and Hiring Individuals with Disabilities


When businesses identify the strengths of employees with disabilities, then put them in jobs that match their skills, those employees turn out to be faithful, low turnover, hard-working employees.

Teresa Tanner

Executive Vice President,

Chief Human Resource Officer

Fifth Third Bank


GE Aviation is proud to be part of the first 100 businesses to join the Ohio Business Leadership Network.”  GE Aviation is committed to hiring the best talent for our company, and these candidates include individuals with disabilities.  The OHBLN is a strong resource to help companies strengthen their workforce diversity.

Ernest Marshall,

Vice President of Human Resources

GE Aviation


At Crown Equipment Corporation, our employees’ diverse capabilities are the force behind our success in the material handling industry.  We cultivate a culture of passionate people and inspired innovation, and we are committed to promoting diversity and inclusion throughout our organization. Crown is pleased to be among the first 100 businesses to join the Ohio Business Leadership Network (OHBLN). Our partnerships with the OHBLN and the Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities (OOD) are invaluable resources for successful recruitment, selection, training and retention of a diverse workforce that includes individuals with disabilities.


Samantha Boutaam

EEO / Immigration Specialist

Crown Equipment Corporation


As a leading freight railroad, we move many different products, so it takes many different employee skillsets to best serve our customers.  That’s why we’re focused fostering an inclusive workforce where all employees can help further CSX’s mission.  We’re proud to be member of the US Business Leadership Network and one of the first 100 members in Ohio – and we invite other businesses to join us in the pursuit of an inclusive, connected workforce for everyone.


Rusty Orben,

Resident Vice President, Ohio,

CSX Transportation


DoDots Boot Camp

Bryan Grubb DoDots signing
Bryan Grubb works with a DoDots attendee


June 12th marked the start of a two-week “Braille and independent living boot camp” for learners who are deafblind called DoDots.


Housed at the Ohio School for the Deaf, DoDots attendees are divided into three classes where adults will be exposed to two Braille lessons a day.  Each individual is designing his or her own plan for lessons in independent living and exploring the environment.  Evenings involve a mix of Braille-fluent volunteers answering questions and playing Braille-based games with learners, or exposing learners to a variety of resources including OOD’s Bureau of Services for the Visually Impaired (BSVI), Helen Keller National Center, ICanConnect, the Ohio Deaf-Blind Association, and dialogue with other adults who have learned Braille after losing vision or hearing.


DoDots is the first of its kind boot camp in the country!

Did you know? Haben Girma, deafblind advocate and Harvard Law School graduate


This week deafblind advocate Haben Girma discussed accessibility and technology at WWDC16, Apple's annual Worldwide Developers Conference.  Girma was the first deafblind person to graduate from Harvard Law School.  After practicing as a civil rights attorney, she became an independent advocate on accessibility and inclusion.  Girma was honored by President Barack Obama as a White House Champion of Change in 2013 and gave introductory remarks celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act at the White House last July.  In her spare time, Girma enjoys rock climbing, kayaking and surfing.


OOD by the Numbers

Vocational Rehabilitation

                                                               Current                     FFY2016


Individuals in Job Ready Status:            3,314                    4,794

(For county level information

& map visit our website)


Individuals Employed:                             1,963                     4,632

(Employed, not yet

successfully closed)


Successful Closures:                                                             4,711

(Employed for over 90 days,

case closed successfully)


Disability Determination

(FFY2016 as of 06/10/2016 – Week 37)


Applications Received:                                                            140,851


Determinations:                                                                        142,745


Productivity Per Work Year (PPWY)                                       374.7

(Total number of cases processed divided

by the number of work years funded)

Happy Father's Day!

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