Weekly Focus January 20, 2017

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

January 20, 2017

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:

Cleveland Department of Public Utilities Joins OOD's Job Fair

Cleveland Public Utilities
Pictured above are staff from the City of Cleveland's Department of Public Utilities talking with an OOD job seeker.


The National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) and Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities’ (OOD) 3rd annual Job Fairs concluded in October. Since that time, OOD has continued tracking the outcomes of the attendees. As of today, 16% of OOD’s job seekers are either employed or have a closed rehabilitation status. OOD’s goal of 16% inclusion 90 days past the last job fair has been met two weeks ahead of schedule. The average hourly wage for those job seekers is $10.39 and they are working an average of 26 hours per week.


In addition to these job seekers’ successes, OOD formed a new collaboration with the City of Cleveland’s Department of Public Utilities. When the Department of Public Utilities Chief Information Officer Mark Lasic saw OOD’s job fair signs being displayed prior to the event, he and his colleagues decided they had to attend. When they approached the job fair, OOD’s Business Relations Specialist (BRS) Heather Mauk immediately showed them to the last available table where they advertised eight IT job openings. Two OOD job seekers were interviewed.


As a result of this new partnership, OOD is able to submit candidates to several departments within the City of Cleveland including the Department of Public Utilities, Cleveland Public Power and Water Pollution Control. If you are an employer looking to diversify and strengthen your workforce through the inclusion of people with disabilities, contact the OOD BRS in your area at http://ood.ohio.gov/Employers/BSA-Contact-Info.

What Does It Take To Be OOD's Graphic Artist?

Pictured above are Lindsay Blusiewicz (left) and Cassandra Blusiewicz participating in the Chalk the Block event at Easton Town Center.


Ever since she can remember, former consumer and OOD Graphic Artist Lindsay Blusiewicz has enjoyed delving into various forms of art. Lindsay and her identical twin sister Cassandra were born with Treacher Collins Syndrome, a rare genetic condition that affects the development of the bones and tissues of the face.


The Blusiewicz sisters enter street painting competitions as a team. Street painting in laymen’s term is chalk art. Chalk art is one area the Blusiewicz sisters excel.


Lindsay pursued artwork in high school and continued at Otterbein University. She began an internship at OOD, which lead to a full-time position in OOD’s Office of Communications. “OOD has helped me grow in my field and has given me an outlet to link my imaginative side with the business needs of state government,” said Blusiewicz.

Independent Living Older Blind Services



As the population of Ohio ages, a growing challenge many individuals experience is the loss of vision. OOD can help Ohioans overcome challenges related to this disability and maintain their independence through our Independent Living Services for Older Blind (ILOB) program. The ILOB program promotes independence and self-sufficiency by providing low vision services, activities of daily living (e.g., cooking and housework) and orientation and mobility services (e.g. white cane training and traveling) to eligible individuals. For more information about ILOB services, visit http://ood.ohio.gov/Programs/Independent-Living/Independent-Living-Services-for-ILOB.

Vision Loss and Hearing Loss Resources

OOD's Bureau of Services for the Visually Impaired (BSVI) has updated and posted its annual compilation of Vision and Hearing Loss Resources. The document contains internet links and other information on general resources. Advocacy groups, media and communications access, hearing aid assistance, and learning assistance is also available. For more information, visit http://ood.ohio.gov/Core-Services/BSVI/Vision-and-Hearing-Resources.

Division of Disability Determination Staff Honored

Pictured above are the Division of Disability Determination’s Disability Claims Supervisor Julie Keel (left), Deputy Director Erik Williamson and Disability Claims Specialist Christian Mateos.


Carolyn W. Colvin, Acting Commissioner of the Social Security Administration (SSA) announced the 2016 Commissioner’s Honor Awards. One individual is recognized nationwide from the states that have a state operated Disability Determination Agency. 


This year, Deputy Director Erik Williamson was the recipient of the Commissioner’s SSA Disability Program Leadership Award. This particular category recognizes significant contributions to the success of the SSA’s Disability Program.


Christian Mateos, one of our disability claims specialists in the hearings department, received the SSA Commissioner’s Citation. Specifically in recognition of contributions to excellent customer service as a bilingual disability claims specialist. 


Separately, DDD Disability Claims Supervisor Julie Keel was named a recipient of the 2016 Associate Commissioner’s Citation from the SSA Office of Disability Determinations. Keel participated in a Limited English Proficiency workgroup and is being recognized for her hard work, attitude, actions, and pride in serving the citizens of Ohio.

Do You Have A Disability and Want to Work?



If you have a disability and want to work, visit http://oodworks.com/ to get started on your path to employment.

Did You Know? Microsoft Has A Free Program for People with Disabilities



Microsoft has a free program for people with disabilities where technicians access computers in need of repair remotely. For more information, visit https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/accessibility/disability-answer-desk


Correction: In last week's Weekly Focus, we incorrectly identified Benjamin W. Arnett of Greene County as the first African-American/Native-American state legislator elected in Ohio. The first African-American to serve in the Ohio General Assembly was George W. Williams who served from 1880-1881.  

OOD By the Numbers


Vocational Rehabilitation


                                                                 Current                     FFY2017

Individuals in Job Ready Status:           2,994                        1,992

For county level information

& map, visit our website.


Individuals Employed:                            2,077                        1,668

Employed, not yet

successfully closed


Successful Closures:                                                               1,929    

Employed for over 90 days,

case closed successfully


                                         Disability Determination

                                (FFY 2017 as of 1/13/2017 – Week 15)


Applications Received:                                                          50,252  


Determinations:                                                                      55,155


Productivity Per Work Year (PPWY)                                         357.5

Total number of cases processed divided

by the number of work years funded