Weekly Focus February 10, 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

February 10, 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:

OOD Consumer Finds Creative New Uses for Teaching Experience


Late onset disabilities continue to be a growing issue for Ohioans as our workforce ages. OOD’s commitment to assisting individuals with disabilities attain and retain employment was again put to the test. Recently, Ken Hughes of Erie County reached out to OOD expressing his desire to keep working despite experiencing back pain and damage to his vocal cords.  


Hughes devoted his career to early childhood education. Armed with a master’s degree in education and years of experience, he began to experience difficulties brought on by late onset disability issues.


OOD Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor Katie Perry began working with Hughes last year. A prior Adult Basic and Literacy Education (ABLE) teacher herself, Perry brought up the idea of Hughes trying his hand at teaching English as a second language. The vocal demands would be less, class size would be smaller and he could select the classes he wanted to teach. After doing some research, Hughes decided it would be a good job for him and began teaching last July. He is now the English as a second or other language teacher at the Willard ABLE program location.


Hughes continues this new phase of his teaching career and plans to expand his work to serve in additional centers as openings become available. He expressed gratitude to Perry for her personal touch and creativity in suggesting a successful employment solution that uses his education, experience and skills. Congratulations to Ken and thanks to Katie!


To get started on your path to employment, visit OODWORKS.com.

Employer Engagement in Vocational Rehabilitation



The Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) held a series of roundtable discussions with business and industry leaders in 2015 and 2016. These conversations focused on employment in four high-demand business areas. Specifically in federal contracting, banking/finance, health care and information technology. The purpose was to engage the business community in dialogue concerning their human capital needs and challenges, skill needs and job requirements, recruitment strategies, and methods to employ more job seekers with disabilities.

The report presents findings in relation to RSA’s current activities and the work of the state vocational rehabilitation agencies. Recommendations are presented in two broad areas: improved employer engagement and meeting the needs of businesses. For more information, visit http://neweditions.net/sites/default/files/RSA%20Business%20Roundtable%20Report%202016.pdf.

Start Recording & Start Talking Video Contest



Start Talking! is a program that was recently launched by Governor Kasich and First Lady Karen Kasich. The goal is to provide parents, guardians, educators and community leaders the tools to start the conversation with Ohio’s youth about the importance of living healthy, drug-free lives. Use of illegal substances and misuse of prescription medications are both to blame for disability and or early death among our youth. Children of parents who talk to their teens about drugs are up to 50 percent less likely to use illegal drugs.


Students in grades six through twelve are invited to support the Start Talking! drug prevention initiative, by participating in the Start Recording & Start Talking video contest. Students are encouraged to test their creativity and produce a 60-second video offering tips on how adults and other youth can have frequent and honest conversations about substance abuse.


March 3rd is the last day to submit videos. The top three videos will receive College Advantage saving awards. For contest details, visit http://starttalking.ohio.gov/Portals/0/Video%20contest%20information%20for%20web%20site.pdf.

Do You Have a Disability and Want to Work?



If you have a disability and want to work, OOD wants to help you start your path to employment. To see if vocational rehabilitation (VR) is right for you, visit OODWORKS.com and follow three easy steps:


  1. Watch a video about our services
  2. Take a brief self-assessment
  3. Apply for services online 

VR is a program that assists individuals with physical, intellectual, mental health and sensory disabilities to obtain and retain employment. VR helps individuals with disabilities find a job, keep a job and be more independent.

Did You Know? The Administration for Community Living is Requesting Comments


The National Institute on Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) is requesting comments on its draft long-range plan for 2018–2023. NIDILRR is a component of the Administration for Community Living in the Department of Health and Human Services. Its aim is to enhance the ability of people with disabilities to achieve their maximum desired participation in the community. This can be accomplished through research and development in areas of health and function, employment and community living and participation. E-mail comments to NIDILRRfuture@acl.hhs.gov by March 20th.

OOD By the Numbers


Vocational Rehabilitation


                                                                 Current                     FFY 2017

Individuals in Job Ready Status:           3,143                        2,508

For county level information

& map, visit our website.


Individuals Employed:                            1,982                        2,016

Employed, not yet

successfully closed


Successful Closures:                                                               2,330    

Employed for over 90 days,

case closed successfully


                                         Disability Determination

                                (FFY 2017 as of 2/3/2017 – Week 18)


Applications Received:                                                          60,549  


Determinations:                                                                       65,413


Productivity Per Work Year (PPWY)                                        354.6

Total number of cases processed divided

by the number of work years funded 


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