May 2017 Focus

An update and information report for doctors who provide consultative exams for OOD’s Division of Disability Determination

What's Inside:

OOD Partnership with OSU Recruits and Retains Individuals with Disabilities

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OOD Talent Sourcing Coordinator Lucy Muchmore on the OSU main campus.


Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities (OOD) and The Ohio State University (OSU) have partnered to place an OOD career specialist exclusively at OSU. This is the first time OOD has embedded an employee within a single organization. The focus is to enhance the recruitment and retention of individuals with disabilities and best practices for creating an inclusive workplace environment.


Lucy Muchmore, an OSU alumna, serves in the joint position and will work closely with university leaders and human resource professionals. They will identify opportunities to enhance the hiring and retention rates of individuals with disabilities. “I’ve received positive feedback and a lot of enthusiasm from all sides on this project,” said Lucy. “It’s really encouraging regarding the future of OOD placements at the university.”


This joint, full-time position is supported by a three-year grant from the Poses Family Foundation (PFF). It formalizes a strong partnership between OSU and OOD, and establishes a dedicated resource for Ohioans with disabilities who seek an OSU career. Representatives from OSU and OOD collaboratively developed this innovative model as part of the PFF grant proposal.


OOD Director Kevin Miller says this unique partnership is breaking new ground. “This is an example of how OSU, PFF and OOD are leading the way in providing opportunities for individuals with disabilities. Incorporating one of our vocational rehabilitation (VR) staff into the university will benefit everyone involved by providing new and exciting employment opportunities.”  

New 3-Year Workplace Initiative Partnership

OOD has entered into a new three-year partnership with the Poses Family Foundation’s Workplace Initiative with a goal of increasing the number of OOD job seekers connecting to meaningful employment. The Workplace Initiative is a national effort to help companies recruit, hire and retain the largest untapped talent pool in the country for individuals with disabilities. The Workplace Initiative of Ohio (WIO) will allow OOD to double the number of talent sourcing coordinators serving OOD job seekers and employer partners, thereby expanding this innovative service delivery model to all of Ohio’s 88 counties.

Taking the Fear Out of Vision Loss



Margaret Vogel worked night shifts as a nurse while raising four children. In the mid-1990s she had corneal transplant surgery. After her recovery, she submitted an oil painting to the Ohio State Fair and won best in the state for folk art. After her second corneal transplant surgery, complications developed leaving Margaret legally blind. Her artwork faded and ordinary household tasks like cooking and washing became a challenge.


Fortunately, her professional medical eye team at Arena Eye Surgeons recommended the OOD Bureau of Services for the Visually Impaired’s (BSVI) Independent Living Older Blind (ILOB) program. Margaret received services in creative lighting, and color and tactile labeling on appliances. “OOD helped me take the fear out of vision loss,” said Margaret.


Margaret continues with her artwork, which she submits each year for exhibits in Bellville’s public library. An adjustable lamp allows her to create with confidence. “I am lucky that I still have some vision. I no longer need to be afraid.”



Age Related Falls and Eye Injuries

We depend on our vision in more ways than we imagine. Age related eye diseases can increase the chances of experiencing an immobilizing fall. According to the Ohio Department of Health, Ohioans age 65 and older who had age related eye disease, are 50 percent more likely to fall. Of those who fall, 20 to 30 percent suffer moderate to severe injuries that make it hard to get around or live independently.


Helpful tips to avoid falls related to vision impairments include:

  • Single focus lenses to use when moving around
  • Investing in good lighting
  • Using the highest wattage bulbs recommended for light fixtures
  • Adding contrast to household items
  • Wearing sun glasses or a hat with a brim to reduce sun glare

OOD’s Bureau of Services for the Visually Impaired (BSVI) offers services through its Independent Living Older Blind (ILOB) program to promote the independence and self-sufficiency for qualifying Ohio citizens. This program assists individuals by providing adaptive equipment and training in the use of specific adaptive technology. ILOB also provides orientation and mobility services to ensure safety and fall prevention.


For more information on preventing falls, visit the Ohio Department of Aging's Steady U program.

DDD’s Case Processing System Rollout Continues

OOD’s Division of Disability Determination (DDD) continues to roll out the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) new case processing software. Ohio was the first state to process a case in the new system, and leads the nation with 186 of the 503 determinations completed nationally. The latest version went into production on April 1st in Ohio, Delaware and Maine. Since that time, Rhode Island, Virginia and Iowa also have gone live with the system. DDD served as mentors to Iowa and has begun working with Washington State to assist with their rollout.


Currently, the focus is on Quick Disability Determinations and Compassionate Allowances that are processed in DDD’s Fast Track unit. Development of the consultative exam ordering function and processing claims resulting in denials is under way and will be in the July 2017 release. Fiscal reporting and business intelligence components will allow for improved data analytics and efficiency. DDD is a national leader in this important project and contributes significant user input to ensure its success. Brings Increase in Applications for Services


Since October 2016, the portal has been available for individuals with disabilities to learn about vocational rehabilitation (VR) services and complete an online application to assist them in finding or keeping a job. From October 2016 through April 2017, more than 580 individuals have applied for services by way of the portal. Of those, more than 165 individuals have been determined eligible and are receiving VR services.


While on the website, individuals can watch a video about services, take a brief self-assessment and apply for services. Here's a video message from OOD Director Kevin Miller about 

JCARR Approves New Provider Fee Schedule

OOD’S new fee schedule (Ohio Administrative Code 3304.2.52) proposal was approved on April 17th by the Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review (JCARR). The proposed rule will align the fees for services with the rates allowed for Medicaid, and implement cost informed rates for vocational rehabilitation (VR) services. The new payment model included in the proposal is designed to improve outcomes for individuals with disabilities.


OOD has been working with VR providers, gathering feedback and recommendations to best meet the needs of individuals served by OOD. “The successful development of this fee schedule is representative of a great partnership between a state agency and providers. We came together to show our commitment to serving individuals with disabilities in Ohio,” said Director Kevin Miller.


Currently, OOD is developing trainings and informational sessions for agency staff and providers that will take place over the summer. An implementation date for the fee schedule is planned for October 1, 2017.

OOD Manager Receives LeanOhio Green Belt

LeanOhio Deputy Director Tim Krall (l) presents a Green Belt to OOD’s Steve Tribbie.


OOD's Division of Employer and Innovation Services Manager Steve Tribbie delivered his report-out presentation to LeanOhio and earned a Green Belt on a project focused on the Business Enterprise Program’s (BEP) inventory process. Through the efforts of the project team, a new inventory process was developed that takes advantage of bar code scanning technology to help BEP staff move away from a manual, paper-based procedure and integrate with OOD’s overall inventory process. BEP staff are implementing these changes and re-tagging equipment at sites across the state, while IT staff develop software to facilitate data transfer and storage among systems.


“I’m proud of the work we accomplished, and although I’ve been recognized individually, this really was a team effort,” said Steve. “The team’s engagement and enthusiasm in tackling the challenges involved in the project were impressive and demonstrates the professionalism of staff here at OOD.” 

Connect to OOD


Connect to OOD on TwitterFacebook and YouTube to see items like this post about Director Miller congratulating Robert on his employment at Sawmill Creek Resort.  #ConnectToOOD   #OODWorks



How Deaf Infants with Cochlear Implants Absorb Information

deaf infants


Researchers are tracking eye movements to see how children pick up language. OSU’s Wexner Medical Center has launched a study seeking to understand how deaf infants with cochlear implants absorb information and learn novel words during interactions with their parents, in an effort to help improve parental guidance with language development.

OOD Recognizes - Public Service Recognition Week & Mental Health Month


Public Service Recognition Week – May 7-13: Honors the men and women who serve our nation as federal, state, county and local government employees.


Mental Health Month – May:  The Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (OhioMHAS) provides care to approximately 500,000 people each year. 

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