Weekly Focus November 18, 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 18, 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:

OODWorks.com Vocational Rehabilitation Portal

“Do you have a disability that makes it hard to get or keep a job? Do you want to work but don’t know where to start? The answers to these questions can be found on OOD’s new job portal www.oodworks.com. The site has been up and running since October 14th and has had more than 60 individuals with disabilities create online profiles and apply for Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) services.


Over the past month, OOD has received positive feedback from applicants using the portal and from other organizations interested in sharing information about the site with their partners and consumers. The site provides information about OOD’s VR services and has an online application, allowing a more streamlined and efficient process. This initial step ensures that individuals do not have to spend their first visit expending time filling out an application. Instead, that time can be used to get the individual started on their path to employment.


“Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities is here to help people with all types of disabilities who are ready to work, find and keep a job,” said OOD Director Kevin Miller.


A short video is also available on the site to educate people with disabilities about VR services and guide them through the online application process. If you are an individual with a disability, want to work and are willing to commit to the process, the next step is yours! Visit www.oodworks.com to get started.

Veterans Job Fair



OOD and OhioMeansJobs Lawrence County collaborated to sponsor a job fair for veterans and OOD job seekers in Ironton on Thursday. Ninety-six job seekers and 30 area employers participated in this successful event hosted by Ohio University Southern.


Eager job seekers connected with great employers to discuss potential job opportunities. As a result of this job fair, 11 job seekers have job interviews scheduled.


Employer feedback was very positive. Many employers said it was one of the best job fairs they have been to in the region. They stated it was because of the good attendance, the preparedness of the job seekers and great support from partners.

Moving Forward With the Workplace Initiative of Ohio

The Workplace Initiative of Ohio (WIO) project was a three-year collaboration between OOD and the Ohio Business Leadership Network (OHBLN). The premise was to directly source OOD consumers in jobs with OHBLN members in the Columbus, Cleveland, Cincinnati and Toledo areas. WIO, funded by the Poses Family Foundation (PFF), resulted in more than 841 job seekers obtaining employment with OHBLN employers.


WIO was the beginning of a strategic initiative that positioned OOD to aggressively network with employers to fast track job seekers into existing opportunities. Program Officer from PFF Judith Smith remarked, “What an incredible three years it has been! This is a partnership that serves as a model for the rest of the country. We look forward to our next steps.”


Moving forward, OOD intends to expand the WIO model it has implemented statewide with a goal to place more than 2,100 individuals with disabilities in jobs. OOD Director Kevin Miller said, “We will continue to build on this model to increase job opportunities for our consumers and find skilled, qualified workers for our employer partners.” For more information about the OHBLN, visit http://ood.ohio.gov/Employers/Ohio-Business-Leadership-Network.

2016 Commissioners' Awards

Pictured above are (left to right) Commissioner Jacqui Romer-Sensky, Commissioner David Daugherty, Commission Chair Jack Licate, honoree Eric Hibinger and Ben Bonanno.


At Tuesday’s OOD Commissioners’ meeting, Eric Hibinger of Cleveland was recognized as the 2016 Ben Bonanno Award recipient. Eric received the award for his exemplary work as an employment specialist for OakLeaf Partners, a Center of Excellence for Adults at United Cerebral Palsy of Greater Cleveland. Eric identifies the needs of consumers and communicates those needs with colleagues, community resources and VR staff timely and efficiently so that consumer's needs are met. In 2015, Eric had 18 job placements and has 15 in 2016 with seven months to go in the Federal Fiscal Year. The Ben Bonanno Disability Advocate Award recognizes 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. Ben Bonnano is a former OOD Commissioner and continues to be a strong advocate for individuals with disabilities.


Pictured above are (left to right) Tammy Chatfield, Commissioner David Daugherty, Commission Chair Jack Licate, honoree Keith Chatfield, Commissioner Jacqui Romer-Sensky, David Hoover, Kelly Hunter and Paula Currence.


Keith Chatfield of Lucasville, received the Denise Joanne Weisenborn Service Award. Chatfield heads up the ! Mobile, Partnership, Action, Team (!MPACT) for STAR, Inc. The !MPACT Team was established to create opportunities for individuals to be more meaningfully involved in their community. Through Keith's efforts, the Scioto Developmental Disabilities community employment program experienced growth in just two years from 22 individuals in community employment to 65 individuals. This award honors non-employees of OOD who provide outstanding services to Ohioans with disabilities in order to make their participation in society more meaningful. Denise Weisenborn was a Commissioner and advocated for people with disabilities.


Congratulations to Eric and Keith for making a real difference in the lives of individuals with disabilities in Ohio.

Did You Know? Vibrating Shirt May Help People Who Are Deaf Feel Music

Cutecircuit, a London-based fashion tech company, tested a new type of shirt that lets people who are deaf feel music. The garment is called the Sound Shirt and has little motors that vibrate, reflecting the intensity of the music. The shirt connects to a computer that gathers audio data from microphones located around the orchestra on the stage. The Sound Shirt reacts to the music, taking the wearer on a tactile journey, bringing the notion of listening to another level. For more information, visit https://wtvox.com/wearables/sound-shirt-deaf-people-music/.

Happy Thanksgiving



Have a Happy Thanksgiving and a wonderful time with family and friends. 


There will be no Weekly Focus next week (Friday, November 25th). OOD

offices will be closed on Thursday, November 24th.


OOD By the Numbers


Vocational Rehabilitation


                                                                 Current                     FFY2017

Individuals in Job Ready Status:            2,924                            865

(For county level information

& map, visit our website)


Individuals Employed:                             2,360                            808

(Employed, not yet

successfully closed)


Successful Closures:                                                                    862

(Employed for over 90 days,

case closed successfully)


Disability Determination

(FFY 2017 as of 11/11/2016 – Week 6)


Applications Received:                                                             20,701


Determinations:                                                                          22,619


Productivity Per Work Year (PPWY)                                              361.8

(Total number of cases processed divided

by the number of work years funded)