Weekly Focus November 10, 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 10, 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:

Sauder Wordworking Receives OOD's Champion of Opportunity Award

Pictured above are OOD Director Kevin Miller (left) and Sauder Wordworking Company CEO Kevin Sauder.


Sauder Woodworking Company in Archbold, Ohio, was recognized on Wednesday as a Champion of Opportunity. Sauder’s commitment to hiring individuals based on their ability is commendable as they continue to serve as a model for disability inclusion in the work force. 


“Sauder is a company that places importance on disability inclusion. They have made a tremendous effort to ensure that they not only talk about being inclusive, but they incorporate it into their hiring practices and workplace culture,” said OOD Executive Director Kevin Miller.


The Champion of Opportunity Award honors companies that go 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 recognition that OOD presents to a business partner.


Sauder is a statewide example of promoting diversity and inclusion in the workforce. They realize this largely untapped candidate pool can help their company produce world renowned products and contribute to their company’s success. In addition to implementing policies and procedures to achieve an inclusive and diverse culture, they share their successes with other industries to help them in their inclusion efforts. They are currently a member of the Ohio Business Leadership Network and an active partner in the Workforce Initiative of Ohio in the Northwest area.


aaron sauder employee
OOD worked with Sauder to assist Aaron in finding employment.


“Sauder Woodworking has a long history of providing opportunities for individuals with disabilities,” said Kevin Sauder, President and CEO of Sauder Woodworking. “My father and grandfather both knew that with a little extra effort and patience, we could provide employment for people with all kinds of disabilities and the company and community would benefit greatly.”


OOD congratulates Sauder Woodworking Company 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.



sauder tour
OOD staff tour the Sauder Woodworking Company warehouse.

OOD Provides Career Counseling to Workers in Subminimum Wage Employment


Section 511 of the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) requires OOD to provide career counseling and information and referral services to individuals with disabilities who are employed at subminimum wage by an entity that holds a special wage certificate under Section 14 (c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).


OOD is partnering with ARC Industries, Inc., a certificate holder in Franklin County, to pilot this program before the statewide roll-out next month. OOD staff met with approximately 20 workers in subminimum wage employment on Wednesday to provide career counseling services that are designed to promote opportunities for competitive integrated employment. Topics covered included Employment First, places on the path to community employment, supported employment and how to apply for OOD services. 

Forging the Bond Between Veterans and Vocational Rehabilitation


Supporting veterans with disabilities has been a long and arduous process. How veterans with disabilities reintegrate into the workplace has evolved over our country's history. In the Civil War, soldiers underwent 30,000 amputations in the Union Army alone. This resulted in wheelchair patents as veterans were encouraged to continue normal life. Integrating veterans with disabilities to find a vocation was controversial and new. Until then, disability was generally viewed as a thing to be cured, pitied or hidden, with either a medical fix-it approach or a charitable stance.


World War I produced more disabled veterans, resulting in The Smith-Sear Veterans Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Act of 1918. By 1920, the public was included when President Woodrow Wilson created the VR program (PL 236.) Six weeks later, Governor Harry Davis approved a proclamation resulting in Ohio's VR federal partnership.


A generation later as U.S. soldiers came home from World War II, Dr. Howard Rusk pioneered a rehabilitation program for disabled airmen at the Army Air Force Convalescent Center. First dubbed “Rusk’s Folly” by the medical establishment, rehabilitation medicine soon became a medical specialty. In 1951, Dr. Rusk opened the Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine at New York. Staff, including people with disabilities, pioneered work on such innovations as electric typewriters, mouth sticks and improved prosthetics.


Meanwhile in 1945, a new campaign, which today is National Disability Employment Awareness Month, used movie trailers, billboards and radio ads to convince the public that its "good business to hire the handicapped."


Today, we find military-based inventions from zippers to GPS not only in mainstream society, but in assistive technology with special disability uses. Such byproducts of war sometimes bring victory on the disability front.


For more information on disability history, visit ncld-youth.info/index.php?id=61.

OOD and OhioMeansJobs CoSponsor Veterans Job Fair


In cooperation with Lawrence County OhioMeansJobs, OOD is cosponsoring a Veteran’s Disability Focus on Ability Job Fair in Ironton, Ohio, on November 17th.

Resources for Veterans


The Ohio Department of Veterans Services offers many resources for veterans. For more information, visit dvs.ohio.gov.

Veteran's Day

veterans day


Veteran’s Day celebrates the men and women who have served in the U.S. military in times of war and peace. There are more than four million veterans who have disabilities. If you are a veteran with a disability and want to work, visit OOD's new vocational rehabilitation portal, OODWorks.com, by clicking here http://oodworks.com/


OOD offices will be closed on Friday, November 11th.

Did You Know? Veterans and The Arts


Earlier this year, Marvel Comics released Venom: Space Knight #3, the latest space tale of Flash Thompson, a veteran and double amputee, who finally gets prosthetic legs. To ensure the character's change had the ring of realism, Marvel reached out to the Wounded Warrior Project, a nonprofit that consists of and supports veterans with disabilities. For more information, visit www.dispatch.com/content/stories/life_and_entertainment/2016/01/30/1-wounded-vet-an-adviser-on-comic-book-superhero-getting-prosthetic-legs.html.

OOD By the Numbers


Vocational Rehabilitation


                                                                 Current                     FFY2017

Individuals in Job Ready Status:            2,919                            774

(For county level information

& map, visit our website)


Individuals Employed:                             2,377                            714

(Employed, not yet

successfully closed)


Successful Closures:                                                                    774

(Employed for over 90 days,

case closed successfully)


Disability Determination

(FFY 2017 as of 11/4/2016 – Week 5)


Applications Received:                                                           18,071


Determinations:                                                                        19,193


Productivity Per Work Year (PPWY)                                            368

(Total number of cases processed divided

by the number of work years funded)