Weekly Focus - September 9, 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

September 9, 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:

Guiding Students from School to Work

Students looking at a computer

Across Ohio change is in the air. Buses are back on the roads. Parents and children struggle to get back into their daily routines.


Yes, another school year has begun. It is a time we marvel at how fast our children have grown and wrestle with busy schedules. It is also an opportunity to think about how we can better prepare our children for the journey from school to work.


In September 2015, the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) and OOD, under the leadership of Governor John Kasich and with the support of the Ohio General Assembly, launched the Ohio Transition Support Partnership (OTSP). The goal is to increase capacity and improve post-secondary employment for students with disabilities, beginning at age 14.


This innovative collaboration has already begun changing the nature and impact of transition services for students with disabilities in Ohio. We are helping students get a head start on becoming job ready and better prepared to enter the workforce with the skills necessary to be successful. After one year, there have been more than 1,900 applicants and 250 individuals employed through OTSP alone.  


This fall, as students head back to school, ODE and OOD are working together to bring a stronger and a more focused career development presence to Ohio schools for students with disabilities with an increased presence in more than 90 career technical planning districts across the state. OOD staff are actively participating in Individualized Education Plan (IEP) meetings and working with school staff to support students as they explore and plan for post-secondary options. 


If Ohio is to succeed in the global economy and provide jobs for the future, we need a system that more effectively guides students from school to work. OTSP is an important part of making this a reality.


To learn more about the Ohio Transition Support Partnership, click here or visit our website at www.ood.ohio.gov.

One Door Opens Another for OOD Consumer


Growing up, Tellie Russell was no stranger to blindness. Several family members had visual impairments from a hereditary disease that she knew she, too, might inherit. By age 30, Tellie’s vision and overall health had declined, though not related to the issues her relatives faced. She wanted to find a career that would suit her with or without functional vision, preferably in or near Sandusky. Tellie explored a range of options from clerical duties to cashiering.


Meanwhile, Tellie’s mother had to enter the Meadows Nursing Home for rehabilitation. When she visited, Tellie began thinking about how nice it would be to find a place in the personable, ordered environment this employer provided. As she inventoried her skills, the thought occurred to her, why not take skills she already knew and use them on the job? Aramark contracts with the nursing home to provide laundry and dining services, and with the help of others, Tellie was hired on for a 20-hour-a-week laundry job. Local paratransit (public transport for people with disabilities) gets her to and from work.


“The people are great and it’s a smooth, well-oiled workplace,” she says. Additionally, Aramark was impressed enough with Tellie’s reliability and job success to open an opportunity for another OOD client, this time, in the kitchen. “Everybody out there with a disability should try to get a job. There’s a place for you out there,” Tellie says. 


Tellie would like to extend thanks to Brad Lubke her job developer with Goodwill Industries in Erie County, for his patience and determination in helping her find a job. She would also like to thank her OOD BSVI Counselor Audrey Mueller for helping her link with the right service provider and reaching the goal she set for herself three years ago. And finally, a thanks to Aramark for taking a chance on her.  


GCPD Announces Award Recipients


The Governor’s Council on People with Disabilities (GCPD) announced winners of the 2016 Legislator of the Year Award and the 2016 Accessible Medical Services Award. The honorees are: 


Legislator of the Year Award 

  • Representative Anne Gonzales, R-Westerville
  • Senator Bill Beagle, R-Tipp City

Accessible Medical Services Award

This award is given to clinicians in private practice, emergency responders or clinics/hospitals, who demonstrate a commitment to improving the quality of health care and emergency medical services for Ohioans with disabilities.

  • Diana Deimling, RN, Air Care & Mobile Care University Hospital, Cincinnati
  • Stanley G. Deimling, Fire Chief, Union Township Fire Department, Cincinnati 

Awardees will be honored at the GCPD annual awards ceremony scheduled on October 18th in Columbus.


For the 2016 GCPD winners mentioned in a previous edition of the Weekly Focus, click here.

Did You Know? September is National Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month

United Spinal Association Logo

In the U.S. more than 200,000 individuals live with some kind of spinal cord injury (SCI). Injuries can occur in various ways including sports injuries, falls, vehicle accidents and accidents at work.


People with SCI are faced with physical barriers, which result in the need for mobile assistants, like wheelchairs and technical devices. According to the United Spinal Association these injuries can cause other complications, as nearly 80 percent of people with spinal cord injuries have urinary complications. The World Health Organization states that people with spinal cord injuries are 2 to 5 times more likely to die prematurely.


There are two different kinds of spinal cord injuries, indicated by the Mayo Clinic - complete and incomplete. With complete spinal cord injuries, a person loses all ability to feel, where as with incomplete spinal injuries, they may have some feeling below the injury. Treatment can include different kinds of therapy, medication, assistive device or technologies, such as a wheelchair or computer device.


To find out more about spinal cord injuries, click here or go to www.unitedspinal.org.

OOD by the Numbers

Vocational Rehabilitation

                                                               Current                     FFY2016


Individuals in Job Ready Status:            3,040                        6,076

(For county level information

& map visit our website)


Individuals Employed:                             2,280                        6,461

(Employed, not yet

successfully closed)


Successful Closures:                                                                6,200

(Employed for over 90 days,

case closed successfully)


Disability Determination

(FFY2016 as of 09/2/2016 – Week 49)


Applications Received:                                                           185,353


Determinations:                                                                       187,925


Productivity Per Work Year (PPWY)                                              371

(Total number of cases processed divided

by the number of work years funded)

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