Weekly Focus January 27, 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 27, 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:

I-75 Northbound Wood County Rest Area Opened January 24th

Pictured above is the new Business Enterprise northbound rest area on Interstate 75 in Wood County.


After being closed since September 1, 2015, the northbound rest area on Interstate 75 (I-75) in Wood County reopened on January 24th. Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities’ (OOD) Business Enterprise Program (BEP) worked with the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) on this project to return the displaced vending machine operator to work. BEP enables Ohioans who are legally blind to have entrepreneurial careers in food service management. The renovation project was completed as a part of ODOT’s I -75 highway update.


The new facility will attract hundreds, if not thousands of travelers and give the operator an opportunity to return to profitable employment. The rest area is located two miles south of Bowling Green.


OOD's BEP has more than 100 self-employed licensed operators managing business in food service and vending throughout Ohio. Opportunities include cafeterias, convenience stores, snack bars and vending machines in state, federal and interstate highway rest areas. These licensed operators have exclusive rights under the Randolph Sheppard Act and Ohio Revised Code. BEP also has businesses at state universities, colleges, county buildings and other private locations. For more information about the program, visit http://ood.ohio.gov/Programs/Business-Enterprise.

LeanOhio and OOD

LeanOhio and OOD
Pictured above left to right are OOD’s Division of Disability Determination Disability Claims Supervisor Justin Helinski, Deputy Director Erik Williamson and Area Manager Fred Schindler.


OOD continues to be a leader among Ohio’s state agencies in weaving Lean into its culture. Through the partnership with LeanOhio, OOD has increased its knowledge and skills in Lean Six-Sigma methodology through the successful training of three black belts, 19 green belts, 11 camo belts and 121 yellow belts (which includes the senior leadership team and supervisors). In addition, hundreds of OOD staff have utilized Lean tools and concepts through participation in numerous Lean projects that have resulted in significant measurable process improvements and improved outcomes for OOD job seekers, partners and employers.


The mission of LeanOhio is to make government services in Ohio simpler, faster, better and less costly. Using the improvement methods of Lean and Six Sigma, OOD is cutting red tape, removing inefficiencies, improving customer service and achieving sustainable results. For more information about LeanOhio, visit http://lean.ohio.gov/.

Kaizen Event Focuses on Faster Service

Pictured above are OOD’s Vocational Rehabilitation staff, Division of Disability Determination staff and a representative from the Ohio Supreme Court.


OOD’s Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) program will soon have a new Fast Track process that was developed at a LeanOhio Kaizen event. The current VR process can be time consuming for individuals with disabilities who are job-ready and for those who have jobs but are experiencing work-related difficulties because of their disability.


The Kaizen team mapped out the current process from referral to employment and proposed a new process. The new process shows:

  • Reductions in the steps involved went from 114 to 56 – a 51% reduction
  • Reductions in internal decision points went from 29 to 8 – a 72% decrease
  • Reductions in handoffs went from 31 to 7 – a 77% reduction

The Fast Track process will be piloted in several areas throughout the state later this spring. The goal will be to decrease the time an individual with a disability is referred for services to employment from 15.5 months to three months. This improvement will result in individuals with disabilities who are employed or who are job-ready to retain or gain employment 80% faster. Kudos to our Kaizen team! For more information about OOD, visit http://ood.ohio.gov/.

Ohio Youth Leadership Forum Accepting Applications

ylf 2


Applications are now being accepted for OOD’s Youth Leadership Forum (YLF). Ohio YLF is a five-day leadership training program for 11th and 12th grade students with disabilities who are interested in developing their leadership ability. It will be held in Columbus from July 30th through August 3rd.


At YLF, student delegates from all over the state learn about choosing a career, the history of disability as a culture, available technology and resources, and self and systems advocacy. Students are introduced to professionals with disabilities and have an opportunity to develop their own Personal Leadership Plan to reach goals in their education, employment and community development.


Students who are not already working with OOD will need to apply for VR services. Interested students must mail a completed application packet to OOD no later than March 31st. To complete the application and for additional information, visit http://www.ood.ohio.gov/Programs/Youth-Leadership-Forum.

Google Maps is Now Wheelchair Friendly



Google has recently added information about wheelchair accessibility to Google Maps. This popular app will now tell you whether locations are suitable for people with access needs. This feature helps people in wheelchairs, mothers with pushchairs and people reliant on canes. The information will be available under the amenities heading for locations around the United States. For more information, visit http://www.theverge.com/2016/12/15/13968054/google-maps-twenty-percent-wheelchair-accessible.

Free Blindness Technology Course


A new free online course called An Introduction to Technology Accessibility in the Workplace has been added to the National Technical Assistance Center (NTAC) website. Featured are different types of technology that are traditionally inaccessible, including additions and modifications that can be made to improve access for someone with a visual impairment. Screen readers and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phones are evaluated and continuing education credits are available. See this and additional courses from NTAC-Mississippi State University at http://www.ntac.blind.msstate.edu/courses/.

Did You Know? A New Law Expands Access to Special Needs Trusts


Under a new federal law individuals with disabilities can create a special needs trust for themselves rather than relying on others to do so. For more information, visit https://www.disabilityscoop.com/2016/12/16/new-access-special-needs-trusts/23140/.

OOD By the Numbers


Vocational Rehabilitation


                                                                 Current                     FFY 2017

Individuals in Job Ready Status:           3,033                        2,126

For county level information

& map, visit our website.


Individuals Employed:                            1,996                        1,749

Employed, not yet

successfully closed


Successful Closures:                                                               2,076    

Employed for over 90 days,

case closed successfully


                                         Disability Determination

                                (FFY 2017 as of 1/20/2017 – Week 16)


Applications Received:                                                          53,249  


Determinations:                                                                       57,651


Productivity Per Work Year (PPWY)                                         350.8

Total number of cases processed divided

by the number of work years funded