Weekly Focus - July 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

July 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:

Helen Keller Deaf-Blind Awareness Week

DoDots Braille Camp 2016
DoDots Braille independent living program participants at the Ohio School for the Deaf


As disability activism built in the 1980’s, President Ronald Reagan issued a proclamation designating the last week of June as “Helen Keller Deaf-Blind Awareness Week” in 1984. In 2016 this special week is celebrated from June 26th to July 2 in honor of Helen Keller’s birth anniversary. “Every year since President Reagan’s proclamation, the Helen Keller National Center for Deaf-Blind Youths & Adults (HKNC) has commemorated the week with a national advocacy campaign in recognition of the achievements and capabilities of people who are deaf-blind,” explains President & CEO Joseph F. Bruno. “This year the focus is on employment, celebrating businesses that have hired deaf-blind individuals and educating others on the benefits of hiring from this very talented community.”


OOD is grateful for the hard work and dedication of Elizabeth Sammons for her coordination and leadership of this project and for staff support from Judy Knisely, HKNC Region 5B Representative at the recent DoDots Braille and independent living program held at Ohio School for the Deaf June 12-24. Several of the 11 adults participating, all of whom are deaf-blind, have employment as a goal. Learners had two Braille lessons daily, along with numerous discovery experiences ranging from better use of a white cane, to a visit from the Leader Dog guide dog school. Also included were tips on safe cooking, hands-on trials of low-vision aids, labeling every-day items accessibly and applying to National Library Services to receive tactile currency readers and to continue Braille learning and usage.


In all, DoDots included about 50 staff involved in interpreting, accompanying students, and teaching. Each learner received a certificate of completion last Friday. We wish these new Braille enthusiasts greater ease in communication and ultimately, the achievement of their career goals.


Employment First Partnership Exceeding Its Goals

With nearly three months remaining in the federal fiscal year (FFY), our Employment First (EF) Partnership with the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities (DODD) has already exceeded its FFY 2016 rehabilitation closure goal. So far this year, the Partnership has helped more than 388 people obtain real jobs for real pay in the community, and another 204 individuals are currently in employed status (working but have yet to reach 90 days).


Employment First Logo


The Partnership has been instrumental in the overall improvement of referral development, outreach and collaboration with local county boards of developmental disabilities. This has resulted in a greater number of employment outcomes and individuals served. For example, in FFY 2013, one year prior to the launch of the Partnership, OOD had 2,364 DD-eligible (developmentally disabled) applicants. Two years later, in FFY 2015, there were 3,583 DD-eligible applicants, a 52% increase. In addition, OOD is helping more people with developmental disabilities find employment. The number of successful closures for DD-eligible individuals increased from 465 to 1007 from FFY 2013 to 2015, a 117% increase.


Because of this success, and the identified need to continue to expand resources to serve DD-eligible adults, DODD and OOD are expanding the EF Partnership by five dedicated Counselors beginning in FFY 2017 (October 1, 2016). With this expansion, the EF Partnership will serve an additional 300 job seekers with developmental disabilities, bringing the total served to 1800. In addition, OOD will align the EF regions with local field office territories to improve efficiency. As a result of this expansion, regional coverage and some staff changes will occur. It will be a priority to maintain open communication with our partners during this transition.


Did you know? 26 Days of the ADA: A to Z

President Bush ADA Signing
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was passed and signed into law by President George H.W. Bush on July 26, 1990

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) celebrates its 26th anniversary on July 26, 2016. Disability.gov will recognize this landmark milestone on social media next month. Starting today, July 1, they will be launching “26 Days of the ADA: A to Z” on Twitter. Every day they will post a fact related to the ADA corresponding to each letter of the alphabet and will also be featuring ADA related content on Facebook and the Disability.Blog.


OOD by the Numbers

Vocational Rehabilitation

                                                               Current                     FFY2016


Individuals in Job Ready Status:            3,305                    5,035

(For county level information

& map visit our website)


Individuals Employed:                             1,951                     4,920

(Employed, not yet

successfully closed)


Successful Closures:                                                             5,007

(Employed for over 90 days,

case closed successfully)


Disability Determination

(FFY2016 as of 06/24/2016 – Week 39)


Applications Received:                                                            148,565


Determinations:                                                                        149,878


Productivity Per Work Year (PPWY)                                       373.8

(Total number of cases processed divided

by the number of work years funded)

Happy fourth of July 2016

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