Weekly Focus - August 12, 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 12, 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’s Combined State Workforce Plan

Office of Workforce Transformation Logo


As part of the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), states are required to submit a unified or combined workforce plan to the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) and the U.S. Department of Education (USDOE). 


On June 24th, Ohio received notice from USDOL and USDOE that Ohio’s 4-year Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Combined State Plan was substantially approved, subject to plan modifications. Today, Ohio is releasing the WIOA Combined State Plan draft modifications for a 7-day public review and comment period.


To view the Combined State Plan modifications, click here, use the “find” feature and type in the key words from the list of modifications. Public comments can be submitted via the on-line portal. The portal will close on Wednesday, August 17th at 5 p.m.


Together, we are making progress toward a better coordinated workforce system. We hope you will take the time to review the Combined State Plan modifications and take advantage of the public comment process.


Business Enterprise Conference Provides Learning Opportunity for Staff

Business Enterprise Program Vending Machines


Eighty years ago this summer, passage of the Randolph-Sheppard Act established a federal program for employing blind vendors at stands in the lobbies of federal office buildings. The Ohio Commission for the Blind was designated as the state's Randolph-Sheppard licensing agency, a function still retained today through OOD’s Business Enterprise (BE) program.  


Business Enterprise operators from around the country meet annually at two conferences - the Sagebrush meeting affiliated with The American Council of the Blind (ACB) and the Business Leadership and Superior Training (BLAST) affiliated with the National Federation of the Blind (NFB).


OOD Business Enterprise Program Administrator Vicky Smith attended BLAST this spring and answered some questions about her experience.


Were there many state level BE administrators there, and if so, how was the networking?


Thirty-five state licensing agencies were represented. There were various networking prospects, which provided insight into the many ways individual programs manage day-to-day business and seek opportunities. It was a powerful reminder that Ohio has one of the most robust Randolph-Sheppard programs in the country.


What were the major themes/issues addressed at BLAST?

The themes included business building, maximizing Randolph-Sheppard priority opportunities, customer service, security and leadership.


What did you discover, such as new technology, opportunities, training, etc.?


There were several outstanding training modules such as the Disney Customer Service training. One important theme from this training was to over manage your business to ensure outstanding customer service.


Additionally, we enjoyed presentations on cashless payment systems, healthy vending programs and commissary systems. A state licensing agency roundtable discussion gave us new insight into the status of business in other states on Department of Veteran's Affairs and Department of Defense properties.


The National Association of Blind Merchants honored former Congresswoman Barbara Kennelly with the Champion Award for her work on behalf of blind entrepreneurs. Her proposal to grant priority to blind vendors to operate vending machines at interstate rest areas resulted in the Kennelly Amendments to the Surface Transportation Act. 


For more on NFB’s National Association of Blind Merchants and BLAST, go to www.blindmerchants.org


For more on ACB's Randolph-Sheppard Vendors of America and Sagebrush, go to www.randolph-sheppard.org


Disability Determination BE Cookout

400 building BE Cookout 08112016
Vendor Ken Shipman and his wife Deb Shipman with Director Miller enjoyed the cookout on Wednesday.


Our Division of Disability Determination’s new blind vending operator, Ken Shipman, hosted a cookout on Wednesday, August 10th. The menu included hot dogs, brats, burgers, baked beans, chips and cookies. The cookout was popular with staff and provided a welcomed alternative for staff to purchase lunch without having to leave the premises. In January, Shipman will celebrate his 50th anniversary as a blind vending operator in the Business Enterprise Program. His expertise as a business man has resulted in increased quality and service provided to the OOD building located at 400 Campus View Boulevard.  

Commissioner's Awards Announced

The OOD Commissioners are happy to announce the 2016 winners of the commissioner's awards.


Eric Hibinger of Cleveland is the recipient of the 2016 Ben Bonanno Disability Advocate Award. Hibinger is an employment specialist for OakLeaf Partners, a Center of Excellence for Adults at United Cerebral Palsy of Greater Cleveland.


The Ben Bonanno Disability Advocate Award honors outstanding advocacy accomplishments by non-employees of OOD. It is awarded to a person whose advocacy efforts have significantly improved the employment possibilities of Ohioans with disabilities in a manner that is consistent with OOD's mission.


Keith Chatfield of Lucasville was selected for the Denise Joanne Weisenborn Service Award. Chatfield heads up the Mobile, Partnership, Action, !MPACT Team for STAR, Inc., which operates the Scioto County Board of Developmental Disabilities’ Community Employment Program. 


The Denise Joanne Weisenborn Service Award honors non-employees of OOD who provide outstanding services to Ohioans with disabilities to make their participation in society more meaningful. This award has been established in memory of Denise Weisenborn, who served as a commissioner from 1997 to 2006.


Both recipients will be invited to the November 15th OOD Commission meeting to receive their awards. Congratulations to them both and thank you for your service.


2016 Combined Charitable Campaign

OOD has hosted the statewide Combined Charitable Campaign (CCC) coordinator training for the last few years as the campaign transitions to e-pledge. On Wednesday and Thursday, CCC coordinators met at OOD’s Learning Center to get hands-on training about the e-pledge process and recent campaign updates. I challenged them to find ways to make the campaign fun and personal for their staff and thanked them for their hard work.


The CCC is an annual initiative for State of Ohio employees to consider donating to one or more of nearly 1,600 charitable organizations at the local, regional and international levels. The 2016 CCC campaign begins August 31st. Stay tuned for additional information.


Did you know? The Workforce Initiative of Ohio (WIO) Continues to Succeed

Our Workforce Initiative of Ohio (WIO), focusing on business engagement, has had 7 consecutive months of more than 100 individuals in interview/application status. Currently, there are 141 individuals in application/interview status. Additionally, there were 30 placements in the month of July which brings total placements to 311 or 113% of the program’s goal of 275 for this fiscal year.

OOD by the Numbers

Vocational Rehabilitation

                                                               Current                     FFY2016


Individuals in Job Ready Status:            3,064                        5,585

(For county level information

& map visit our website)


Individuals Employed:                             2,095                        5,806

(Employed, not yet

successfully closed)


Successful Closures:                                                                5,743

(Employed for over 90 days,

case closed successfully)


Disability Determination

(FFY2016 as of 08/5/2016 – Week 45)


Applications Received:                                                           170,198


Determinations:                                                                       171,218


Productivity Per Work Year (PPWY)                                       369.6

(Total number of cases processed divided

by the number of work years funded)

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