Weekly Focus, November 4, 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

November 4, 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:

Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities Columbus Job Fair

OOD Columbus Job Fair Crowd


OOD held its 3rd annual Columbus Job Fair on Wednesday, where OOD job ready candidates met with local employers who are hiring. The Job Fair featured 162 OOD job seekers with disabilities and 50 area employers. “Watching this interaction first-hand is a powerful reminder that matching qualified candidates with employers is at the heart of OOD," said OOD Director Kevin Miller. “The job seekers interacting with employers looking for job opportunities had a very positive impact.” 


Employers participating in the Job Fair included CVS, iQor, Office Depot, OfficeMax, Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Tailored Management, Turner, Scioto Services, UPS, Cintas, Ohio Health, Anthem and many others.


Cat Columbus job seeker with OOD Counselor
Pictured above are job seeker Cat Banks (left) and OOD Counselor Mary Massie.


Eager job seekers connected with great employers to discuss potential job opportunities. Cat Banks, with her OOD Counselor Mary Massie, attended the Job Fair and was hired on the spot by iQor for a customer service job. “I’m so excited,” said Banks. “I can’t believe it! This is HUGE with a capital H! I never thought in a million years that I’d come here and go home with a job.”


Massie worked with Banks to update her office job skills. “She attended classes at Functional Training Services and updated her computer, clerical and customer service skills,” said Massie.


job seeker Ymani Russell at Cols Job Fair
Pictured above are job seeker Ymani Russell and Patrick Kennedy from Nationwide Children’s Hospital.


Employers were just as eager to meet people who are interested in jobs and to discuss opportunities and job openings. Human Resource Representative Patrick Kennedy of Nationwide Children’s Hospital said, "This is a great location and I am glad we are here to participate. We have over 500 openings and these candidates are job ready.”


Ymani Russell, an OOD job seeker said, “There are so many job opportunities.  Employers are very communicative and are willing to hire people."  


OOD continues to have a great partnership with the Department of Developmental Disabilities (DODD) and the Department of Job and Family Services (DJFS).  We were pleased to have DODD Director John Martin and DJFS Director Cynthia Dungey attend the Job Fair to help link employers with job seekers.


Director Martin and Miller @ Columbus Job Fair


DODD Director John Martin (pictured above, left) joined OOD Director Kevin Miller to tour the Job Fair.


JFS Directors Dungey, Miller and Asst Dir Bishilany


ODJFS Director Cynthia Dungey (pictured above) saw the success of the OOD Columbus Job Fair. OOD Director Kevin Miller (left) and OOD Assistant Director Bill Bishilany welcomed her to the hiring event.


Both job seekers and employers continue to provide positive feedback about the Job Fairs.

CVS Health Receives Champion of Opportunity Award

CVS Champion of Opportunity Award
OOD Director Kevin Miller (left) presented CVS Health Regional Learning Center Manager, Workforce Initiatives John White (center) and Workforce Initiatives Manager Duane Rohr with the Champion of Opportunity Award.



Recognizing the outstanding work of companies who are leading the change in disability inclusion and hiring of individuals with disabilities is the hallmark of the OOD Opportunity Awards. This past week a Champion of Opportunity Award was presented to CVS Health in Twinsburg, Ohio.


The Champion of Opportunity Award honors companies that have gone above and beyond in their commitment and who serve as statewide examples of what it means to provide quality employment opportunities and increased independence for individuals with disabilities. This award represents the highest award that OOD presents to a business partner.


At the presentation, OOD Director Kevin Miller said, “CVS is leading the way for the industry and has put disability inclusion into their culture of success. There are many stores that offer similar products, but I always go to my local CVS because I know of the good work they are doing to create opportunities. These jobs help people become independent, give them a sense of pride, and help them move out of the shadows."  


In accepting the award, CVS Health’s Workforce Initiatives Manager Duane Rohr said, “Disability inclusion is a priority at CVS. We don’t do it to receive awards, we do it because it’s the right thing to do and it’s good for business. All of our employees help make CVS a great place to work.” He also thanked OOD for being a great partner in bringing talented individuals to CVS Health.  


OOD congratulates CVS Health on receiving this award and for their commitment to integrate individuals with disabilities into the workforce.


For more information about OOD's Opportunity Awards, visit ood.ohio.gov/Employers/Opportunity-Awards.


On the Road: Truck Driver Training Underway for Ohio Applicants Who Are Deaf

CDL Training
Pictured above are Valerie Wald (standing), from the Ohio Department of Public Safety, introducing commercial driver’s license panelists (seated, left to right) Michael Wise from the Ohio Department of Public Safety, Katie Scheetz from OOD, Jeff Wittington from Roadmaster, and Karen Wilson from Deaf Services.


About 30 teachers and administrators from trucking schools around Ohio recently gathered at the Department of Public Safety (DPS) for a continuing education workshop. Discussions included a two-hour panel presentation on the recent waiver applicable to applicants who are deaf. In order to test for a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL), applicants must pass a Department of Transportation (DOT) physical, which includes a hearing test. This requirement precluded many deaf and hard of hearing individuals from considering truck driving as a career. In 2013, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) began issuing hearing exemptions to some individuals who did not meet the hearing requirements on the DOT physical.


Truck driving is an in-demand occupation, with nearly 3,000 openings each year in Ohio. To meet the needs of both the deaf and hard of hearing communities, along with the business community, OOD and DPS began collaborating on a project to develop testing procedures for hearing exemption candidates, working with trucking schools, and preparing businesses to hire qualified drivers who are deaf.


This meeting was the first opportunity several of these training schools have had to ask specific questions about the new waiver program. The reaction from Friday’s attendees ranged from skepticism and concern to understanding and support. OOD’s Katie Scheetz shared statistics and articles about the clean record most truck drivers enjoy who have appropriate training. Roadmaster shared how they have opened their doors to OOD consumers. Trainers spoke about the positive experiences they have had with their hearing impaired trainees, and said that innovation and flexibility are important.


Since spring, OOD has assisted seven would-be truck drivers with appropriate accommodations for training and testing with two additional students currently in training. Every new CDL driver has successfully been employed, sometimes with multiple job offers.


For more information, visit www.bmv.ohio.gov/dl-cdl-hearing-exemption.aspx.

Did You Know? Social Security Administration Conference Call on Benefits for Veterans

SSA Logo

The Social Security Administration will host a conference call about services for veterans on November 9th at 2:00 p.m. The conference call will focus on collaborations with veteran’s service organizations to educate veterans on their Social Security benefits.


For more information, visit www.ssa.gov/thirdparty/whatsnew.html

OOD By the Numbers

Vocational Rehabilitation


                                                                 Current                     FFY2017

Individuals in Job Ready Status:            2,941                            629

(For county level information

& map, visit our website)


Individuals Employed:                             2,421                            579

(Employed, not yet

successfully closed)


Successful Closures:                                                                    611

(Employed for over 90 days,

case closed successfully)


Disability Determination

(FFY 2017 as of 10/28/2016 – Week 4)


Applications Received:                                                           14,126


Determinations:                                                                        14,795


Productivity Per Work Year (PPWY)                                            354.5

(Total number of cases processed divided

by the number of work years funded)