Weekly Focus December 2, 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

December 2, 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:

Meijer Receives Champion of Opportunity Award

Pictured above: Meijer Regional Vice President of Southern Region Retail Tom Wilson (left), OOD Director Kevin Miller (center) and Meijer Senior Vice President of Supply Chain and Manufacturing Mike Graham.


OOD recognized Meijer as a Champion of Opportunity Award recipient at an event in Cincinnati on Wednesday. Meijer’s commitment to hiring individuals based on their ability serves as a model for disability inclusion in the workforce not only in Ohio, but across the country. 


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 award that OOD presents to a business partner.


Inclusivity is an important part of Meijer’s culture and the outreach efforts of their HR personnel is noteworthy. Meijer’s human resources staff makes personal contact with a face-to-face meeting and facility tour with every OOD candidate who is interested in working at Meijer. Over the past year, Meijer has hired 25 people into retail stores and one person into their distribution facility. Meijer’s example and leadership in hiring well-qualified and capable individuals, who happen to have a disability, serves as a model for other employers.


“We are pleased to partner with Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities to hire individuals who may otherwise face barriers to securing employment,” said Meijer Senior Vice President of Supply Chain and Manufacturing Mike Graham.


OOD Director Kevin Miller said, “Meijer is a company that places an emphasis on disability inclusion and is recognized for their unwavering effort to ensure that disability inclusion is incorporated into their hiring practices and workplace culture. Their desire to be a national leader in disability inclusion is having a positive impact on employees, local communities and in the success of Meijer stores.”


OOD congratulates Meijer 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.

OOD and Kroger Help Individual Meet Employment Goal


Tiffanie Harper began working in the janitorial field at a sheltered workshop in 2007 and had never held a job in the community. She had goals, including competitive employment, community integration and to earn more money. Through the Employment First Partnership, she was referred to OOD Employment First Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor (VRC) Beth Knack for services.


Tiffanie’s team consisted of her mom, VRC Beth Knack, Workforce Initiative of Ohio (WIO) Caseload Assistant Ashley Eby, Lucas County Board of Developmental Disabilities Service and Support Administrator Jessica Legalley, and her job developer from Partners in Employment Barb Burkhardt. When the team learned about a new relationship between OOD and Kroger, they worked together to help Tiffanie apply and interview for a cart attendant position.


Kroger hired Tiffanie and provided her with a flexible schedule, along with assistance on tasks and coaching on proper procedures. She works 20-25 hours weekly and has made many new friends.


Tiffanie is excited to have a permanent job and to have met her goals. Prior to leaving the sheltered workshop, Tiffanie yelled, “Guess what? I got a job!”  


If you have a disability and want to work, visit oodworks.com to get started.

Tips for Staying Upright this Winter

Steady U

Snow, sleet, icy roads and walkways can make getting around not only challenging, but dangerous. Falls are the leading cause of injury-related hospital visits. As the winter months approach, the risk of falling is even greater. Below are some simple tips that could help you avoid a life-changing fall.


While at home, space heaters, cords and blankets should be kept out of walkways in order to avoid tripping over them and to help increase mobility. Keep rooms well-lit with extra lamps or use light bulbs with a higher wattage.


If you use throw rugs on cold floors, secure them to the floor with tape. OOD Deputy Director for the Bureau of Services for the Visually Impaired Mindy Duncan said, “When selecting a floor rug, it’s important for individuals with visual impairments to consider selecting one with contrasting texture or color to help make it easier to detect.”


Additional tips include:

  • Make sure to keep rock salt or sand and a shovel near the entrances to your home.
  • Plan extra time for traveling, especially if you require assistance for transportation.
  • Prior to going outside in the cold, bundle up and make sure you can freely move and see in all directions.
  • Be sure to check the rubber tips on canes and walkers.
  • Wear winter boots that fit well and provide traction.
  • If conditions are icy, walk with a buddy or carry a cell phone.
  • To avoid tripping, do not walk in more than an inch of snow.

Hopefully, these tips will assist you in having a safe, enjoyable holiday season, and help you avoid an unwanted fall during the winter. For more information, visit http://aging.ohio.gov/steadyu/.

Did You Know? Braille Christmas Letters from Santa


Santa will mail braille letters to boys and girls who are blind. Parents have until December 16th to complete the Santa Braille Letter Request form at https://nfb.org/santa-letters. The letter will include a print copy for parents to read.

OOD By the Numbers


Vocational Rehabilitation


                                                                 Current                   FFY2017

Individuals in Job Ready Status:            2,916                        1,102

(For county level information

& map, visit our website)


Individuals Employed:                             2,381                         1,045

(Employed, not yet

successfully closed)


Successful Closures:                                                                 1,059

(Employed for over 90 days,

case closed successfully)


Disability Determination

(FFY 2017 as of 11/25/2016 – Week 8)


Applications Received:                                                             27,833


Determinations:                                                                         29,526


Productivity Per Work Year (PPWY)                                             355.5

(Total number of cases processed divided

by the number of work years funded)