Weekly Focus - September 23, 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 23, 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:

OOD Shares Expertise with Social Security Administration on New System

Williamson and Zirger

The Division of Disability Determination (DDD) at OOD is often asked by the Social Security Administration (SSA) to assist with the roll-out of new programs and special projects. They are usually aimed at processing claims faster and more efficiently in an effort to save money and provide better service to applicants.


One project of high importance is the Disability Case Processing System (DCPS). As part of the DCPS development, several OOD staff members consulted with SSA at their headquarters in Baltimore, Maryland. Last spring, OOD Disability Claims Adjudicator Eric Zirger provided subject matter expertise to the DCPS programming team.


Zirger was there for the month of April, along with representatives from other states. “I worked mostly with another adjudicator from Oregon.” said Zirger. “We worked with the team designing DCPS and explained how we would like the work pages to look and function. We spent a lot of time explaining what information is critically needed to the web designers and coders, along with creating flow charts that addressed all potential outcomes."


DDD Deputy Director Erik Williamson explained, “These collaborative efforts help to expand knowledge and build relationships that prove valuable. Sharing our collective expertise in processing disability claims will help to create a better system that allows us to better serve individuals in Ohio.”


When implemented, DCPS is expected to improve the speed and quality of the disability process, while reducing the overall growth rate of infrastructure costs. Ohio is scheduled to start piloting the new program in December.


For more information about OOD’s Division of Disability Determination, go to www.ood.ohio.gov/Core-Services/DDD.


Pictured are DDD Deputy Director Erik Williamson (left) and Disability Claims Adjudicator Eric Zirger.

Technology Skills Assist Consumer in Advancing Her Career

Businesses often commend employees with disabilities for their long-term work and stick-to-it attitude. Like anyone else, young people with disabilities tend to look to move up the education and job ladder.


This is the case for Amanda Rice, who was referred to BVR by her Findlay High School work-study coordinator in 2002. She attended the office and print technologies program at Millstream Career Center with her sights set on a clerical job. She needed computer technology, vehicle modifications and driver’s training. She participated in a community-based assessment, which turned into her first job as a receptionist. 


Rice decided to continue her education at Owens Community College, and later online at Kaplan University. After earning an associate’s degree in information systems technology, she found a computer-related job where she could use her skills. However, she found the office environment stressful. She decided to pursue home-based employment. OOD helped her obtain the necessary furnishings and equipment to assist her in this endeavor.


Among other services, she received rehabilitation technology to set up her home office. Last October, she began home-based work with a progression from seasonal work to her current full-time customer service position with the Home Shopping Network. “It's going great.” said Rice. “I got recognized twice for my customer service.”


Rice’s knowledge of computer systems helps her perform the job. She sees potential for advancement based on her education and work ethic. She is optimistic that the salary and benefits may allow her to get off Supplemental Security Income and Medicaid.


For more information about OOD’s vocational rehabilitation programs, go to www.ood.ohio.gov.

Consumer Advisory Committee Provides Feedback on Vocational Rehabilitation Initiatives

OOD’s Consumer Advisory Committee (CAC) met last weekend to discuss OOD’s new local consumer focus groups, the vocational rehabilitation portal (OODWorks.com) and phase 2 of the fee schedule. In addition, a special presentation on the STABLE Account was provided by Ohio Treasurer’s Office Deputy Chief of Staff Eric Ochmanek. The STABLE Account creates tax-advantage investment accounts for individuals with disabilities. For more information about STABLE Accounts, visit



STABLE Account Logo


The CAC advises OOD on its vocational rehabilitation programs. This volunteer body is comprised of people who have successfully found or kept a job with the help of OOD. For more information about the CAC, visit


10 Million Steps to Prevent Falls

10 Million Steps 2016


OOD staff participated in the National Falls Prevention Awareness Day by taking part in 10 Million Steps to Prevent Falls to raise awareness that falling is not a normal part of aging. As part of this statewide focus, Ohio Department of Aging Director Stephanie Loucka challenged all Ohioans who care for or serve individuals who are unable to walk on their own, to participate on their behalf.


OOD staff from across the state participated in the event by walking around OOD offices. OOD Director Kevin Miller said, “It was great to join with community organizations and other state agencies to raise awareness for this important issue.” 


For more information, visit the Ohio Department of Aging at www.aging.ohio.gov/steadyu/.

Did You Know? Disclosing a Disability is Something to Consider When Starting a New Job

Disclosing a disability is something to consider when starting a new job, transitioning from school or retaining a job after acquiring a disability. Making the decision to disclose can be overwhelming, especially in the case of invisible disabilities that can play a role in the workplace. People new to disabilities may face challenges such as understanding their impairments and determining what types of accommodations are available. For additional details, visit the Job Accommodation Network at



OOD By the Numbers

Vocational Rehabilitation

                                                               Current                     FFY2016


Individuals in Job Ready Status:            2,981                        6,246

(For county level information

& map visit our website)


Individuals Employed:                             2,383                        6,741

(Employed, not yet

successfully closed)


Successful Closures:                                                                6,376

(Employed for over 90 days,

case closed successfully)


Disability Determination

(FFY2016 as of 09/16/2016 – Week 51)


Applications Received:                                                           192,213


Determinations:                                                                       194,658


Productivity Per Work Year (PPWY)                                             368.4

(Total number of cases processed divided

by the number of work years funded)

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