Weekly Focus - August 5, 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

August 5, 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:

YLF 2016 Statehouse Steps Group Photo
2016 YLF participants on the steps of the Ohio Statehouse

2016 Youth Leadership Forum


The Governor’s Council on People with Disabilities’ Youth Leadership Forum (YLF) was held this week at the Embassy Suites Hotel (Airport) in Columbus. More than 50 high school juniors and seniors from around Ohio came together to learn about choosing a career, the history of disability as a culture, the latest technology, and self-advocacy. Students participated in a variety of activities, including a mentoring session where they were introduced to professionals many with disabilities themselves. They also developed their own personal leadership plan to be used to reach goals in education, employment and the community.


Below are some of the highlights from YLF:

  • Being a Leader in Your Community: On Tuesday, YLF delegates had the chance to visit the Ohio Statehouse. They were able to tour the historic building and visit the gift shop. They also met with State Representatives Tim Derickson and David Leland to discuss community leadership and advocacy. The legislators shared how they came to be involved in public service and offered advice on leadership, getting involved in the community, and how to advocate on behalf of a cause before the legislature. The students were able to ask questions and afterward posed for pictures in the Senate Finance Hearing Room.


Reps Derickson & Leland YLF
State Representatives Tim Derickson (left) and David Leland (right) spoke to YLF participants.


  • Paralympic Games: OOD partnered with Champions for America’s Future (a national network of sports leaders championing proven public investments in youth) to host a Paralympic-like experience for delegates on Wednesday. Adaptive Sports of Ohio, which has partnered with the U.S. Olympic Committee to launch Paralympic Sport Ohio, offered YLF participants the opportunity to explore their athletic potential across many types of adaptive sports including visual, hearing and mobility challenges. Local Paralympic athlete Blake Haxton (an OOD Commissioner) and Paralympic hopeful Casey Followay also attended and supported participants throughout the competition.
  • Talent Show: The week wrapped up with a talent show featuring delegates showcasing their wide range of skills and talents. Participants performed music, skits and dances individually and as a group. The camaraderie built over the course of the week shines through at this event each year and highlights the impact of the time delegates have spent together.

YLF is an important part of preparing youth with disabilities as they transition from school to work. It is always exciting and encouraging to see the students learn, grow and open up as they participate in this unique forum. Thank you to the staff and volunteers for all of the work that goes into making YLF such a success each year.


Balke Haxton and Casey Followay Handshake at YLF
Paralympian and OOD Commission Vice Chair Blake Haxton and Paralypian hopeful Casey Followay talked with YLF participants encouraging them to believe in themselves and never give up on their goals.

Commissioners Retreat






On Wednesday and Thursday, the OOD Commissioners held their annual retreat at OOD in Columbus. Over the course of two days, the Commissioners heard presentations from OOD deputy directors and staff on a range of subjects including:

  • The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act
  • The Ohio Transition Support Partnership and Employment First initiative
  • The Ohio Business Leadership Network
  • The fee schedule
  • The future of Medicaid

Commissioners also received an update on ethics, financial disclosure, and payroll and travel rules, along with participating in the YLF mentoring event. 



OOD Hosts Annual Take Your Child to Work Day

Take Your Child to Work Day 2016 Group Photo
2016 OOD Take your Child to Work Day participants





With 75 children attending, OOD hosted our annual Take Your Child to Work Day event yesterday. Students learned about issues that affect individuals who have disabilities and participated in hands-on educational activities.



Attendees participated in events that highlighted the abilities of individuals with disabilities. Wheelchair basketball continued to be a favorite, as well as a presentation from National K-9. The National K-9 Learning Center is regarded as a leader within the fields of dog training, behavior modification and dog trainer education. Sherlock and Future, trained service and companion dogs, put on a demonstration of their skills for each group of children.



OOD employees Elizabeth Sammons and Nate Fernandez led sessions on visual impairment education for children attending, many of whom may have not previously interacted with individuals who are visually impaired. Abbie Frase guided groups through a presentation called Inclusion Fusion and the SHARE organization assisted children as they discussed homelessness issues affecting individuals who are disabled. This SHARE session took time to assemble blankets that will be donated to those in need.



OOD by the Numbers


Vocational Rehabilitation


                                                               Current                     FFY2016




Individuals in Job Ready Status:            3,112                        5,495


(For county level information


& map visit our website)




Individuals Employed:                             2,036                        5,628


(Employed, not yet


successfully closed)




Successful Closures:                                                                5,625


(Employed for over 90 days,


case closed successfully)




Disability Determination


(FFY2016 as of 07/29/2016 – Week 44)




Applications Received:                                                           166,593




Determinations:                                                                       167,242




Productivity Per Work Year (PPWY)                                       369.5


(Total number of cases processed divided


by the number of work years funded)


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