Weekly Focus December 9, 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 9, 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:

Ohio Transition Support Partnership Helps Students with Disabilities



OOD and the Ohio Department of Education’s Office for Exceptional Children collaborate on the Ohio Transition Support Partnership (OTSP). This statewide partnership between the two agencies expands transition services for students with disabilities between the ages of 14-21, who are receiving assistance under an Individualized Education Program (IEP) and meet OOD eligibility criteria. Through the OTSP model, OOD vocational rehabilitation (VR) staff provide vocational guidance in 91 career technical planning districts and other local districts statewide. OOD has seen a 36 percent increase in student age youth who applied for VR services prior to the partnership in 2015 compared to applicants in Federal Fiscal Year 2016. 


Ohio Transition Support Partnership:        

  • Expands access for students with disabilities to engage in career exploration and skill development at a younger age, launching them on a path to career success and independence.
  • Increases participation of VR counselors in IEP team meetings ensuring cross-agency planning and earlier career preparation.
  • Improves strategies to ensure students with disabilities secure employment prior to graduation and connect with long-term support services when needed to ensure long-term success.

For more information, visit http://ood.ohio.gov/Partnerships/OTSP.

Hiring Ability Hotline for Employers

OOD’s Hiring Ability Hotline is a collaboration between OOD’s Business Engagement Unit and employers. When employers call the hotline, Business Engagement staff are there to help answer questions about hiring and retaining individuals with disabilities.


A priority for the hotline is providing valuable direction to employers about utilizing vocational rehabilitation services to recruit, hire and retain an employee with a disability. They suggest how to best publicize job openings for qualified OOD consumers and how to access helpful hiring resources. One hiring resource is the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC). This is a federal tax credit available to employers for hiring individuals who have consistently faced significant barriers to employment. Employers generally can earn a tax credit equal to 25 or 40 percent of a new employee's first-year wages. For more information on WOTC, visit https://doleta.gov/business/incentives/opptax/benefits.cfm.


Employers are also linked with an OOD Business Sourcing Analyst (BSA) in their geographical area. BSAs work with employers to promote hiring individuals with disabilities by raising awareness that OOD consumers are advantageous hires for businesses.  


The number for OOD’s Hiring Ability Hotline is 866-895-0058 and is staffed from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. For additional information, visit http://ood.ohio.gov/Employers/Hiring-Ability-Hotline-Information.

Combined Charitable Campaign at OOD Surpasses Goal

OOD's Toledo staff held a bake sale and raised more than $190 for the Combined Charitable Campaign.


OOD’s 2016 Combined Charitable Campaign (CCC) is complete and we are proud to report that we have surpassed our goal. OOD employees gave generously this year and raised $93,878. In addition to direct donations, staff held fundraising activities that collected donations through baked goods and auction item events, and of course, the popular jeans days.

Scholarships Available for Individuals with Disabilities


This website leads to scholarships available to students with disabilities and children of those with disabilities. http://www.lookingglass.org/scholarships/51-additional-scholarship-resources%20.

Did You Know? A Former Gallaudet Professor to Appear on a U.S. Postal Stamp

The late Robert Panara, long time professor at Gallaudet and the first deaf faculty member at Rochester Institute of Technology, is about to appear on a U.S. postal stamp. He is noted for his many contributions to deaf culture.


For more information, visit http://www.democratandchronicle.com/story/news/2016/11/25/robert-panera-s-pioneer-n-deaf-eduction-will-be-on-stamp/94418266/.

OOD By the Numbers


                                              Vocational Rehabilitation


                                                                 Current                     FFY2017

Individuals in Job Ready Status:           2,894                        1,247

(For county level information

& map, visit our website)


Individuals Employed:                            2,373                        1,192

(Employed, not yet

successfully closed)


Successful Closures:                                                               1,208    

(Employed for over 90 days,

case closed successfully)


                                         Disability Determination

                                (FFY 2017 as of 12/02/2016 – Week 9)


Applications Received:                                                          31,237  


Determinations:                                                                      33,461


Productivity Per Work Year (PPWY)                                          359.4

Total number of cases processed divided

by the number of work years funded)