July Focus

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

What's Inside:

OOD Announces Criteria for Challenge Awards for Providers to Improve VR Services Across the State

Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities (OOD) is making one-time funds available to vocational rehabilitation (VR) partners and providers and potential providers to expand and improve the provision of VR services to individuals with disabilities.


The following opportunities with a deadline date of July 31st includes support for:

  • Ohio’s Community Centers for the Deaf and Speech and Hearing Centers to obtain CARF accreditation;  
  • Provider staff obtainment of Orientation & Mobility and Certified VR Teaching Certifications; 
  • Innovative strategies to increase access to VR services for underserved populations and improve outcomes for individuals served; and 
  • Development of new Summer Youth Work Experience sites in higher wage and in-demand occupations.

The following opportunity with a deadline date of August 2nd includes support for: 

  • Ohio Centers for Independent Living to obtain CARF accreditation.

For more information about these opportunities and the deadline dates, visit OOD’s website.


Also, OOD will offer funding for provider staff to obtain the Certified Employment Support Professional (CESP) certification and Work Incentives Practitioner (WIP) training and credentialing through Cornell University. Providers who are interested are asked to complete a brief survey by July 31, 2017.

Braille Literacy Classes Provide Opportunity for Visually Impaired to Read



If you lost your ability to read print, you might fear going back to school, long to read on your own again or simply feel frustrated when elevator buttons become meaningless.


On June 29th, six Ohio adults committed themselves to read again as they graduated from the Cleveland Sight Center beginning Braille Literacy course. This 10-week class was funded through the Ohio Department of Higher Education’s ASPIRE (formerly ABLE) program and was promoted with the help of OOD’s Bureau of Services for the Visually Impaired (BSVI).


In Ohio, there are approximately 132,000 working-age adults with serious visual impairments, which contributes to a high unemployment rate within this group. OOD and the Ohio Department of Higher Education agree that illiteracy is a barrier to employment and social integration in the blind community.

ABLE is Now Aspire

The Adult Basic and Literacy Education (ABLE) program was recently renamed to better accommodate the needs of the program. The new name, Aspire, better reflects what the program offers and the goals of the enrolled students.


The ABLE program, funded through the Ohio Department of Higher Education, has been in Ohio for more than 50 years. All adult education programs in Ohio will now carry the name Aspire.


Aspire serves Ohioans who have less than a 12th grade education or the equivalent and who are beyond age 18. For more information, visit http://education.ohio.gov/Topics/Finance-and-Funding/Grants/Competitive-Grants/Aspire.

Living an Independent and Less Isolated Life is Possible

Jo Ann Kulle was accustomed to being a caregiver, not a person needing help. For years, she assisted her uncle in his 90s with things he needed. After a car accident, falling down stairs and cutting her fingers while cooking, she had to admit she was losing her sight. This led her to limiting her outings and becoming, as she put it, a hermit in the dark.


From her uncle, she learned about OOD’s Independent Living services. While working with OOD, it was determined that a certified vision rehabilitation therapist was needed to modify her condo and expand her independence. After receiving training on activities of daily living and low-vision lighting, cooking aids and appliance modifications, Jo Ann is able to live a more independent and less isolated life. Great job Jo Ann!

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony with Renovated Wood County Rest Area



In June, OOD joined the Ohio Department of Transportation and the Ohio State Highway Patrol at the newly renovated rest areas off I-75 in Wood County for a ribbon cutting ceremony.




The main buildings were refurbished along with upgraded OOD Business Enterprise (BE) program branding, signage and equipment with the goal to better serve the traveling public and to increase foot traffic to the vending machines. An OOD BE operator runs the vending machines at the rest areas.   


OOD’s BE program provides entrepreneurship opportunities to individuals who are blind or visually impaired. As you travel this summer, be sure to stop by rest areas and buy a snack!

DDD Increases Outreach Efforts

OOD’s Division of Disability Determination (DDD) staff is increasing outreach efforts this year to provide better service to Ohioans with disabilities. Professional relations officers serve as DDD liaisons to local Social Security Administration (SSA) field offices throughout the state of Ohio. In March, the liaison team began visiting local SSA offices to share information, answer questions and increase communication with field staff. An invitation was extended to all 55 SSA field offices across the state, and thus far, the team has visited 13 offices and have 16 more visits scheduled.


Recently, OOD’s Whitehall office requested a presentation by the DDD team for information on the division’s business processes. Overall, the response has been positive and it is expected that these events will improve awareness and service for Ohioans. 

OOD Enters 2nd Decade Supporting Access to News & Job Postings for Nonvisual Readers

The National Federation of the Blind (NFB) NEWSLINE is a free jobs and information service available to any Ohioan who is visually impaired, print-disabled or unable to turn pages. Since July 2007, OOD has been a proud sponsor of NEWSLINE. The new contract insures an additional two years of service for all Ohioans who want and need this service. NEWSLINE offers more than 400 English and Spanish publications, including 22 newspapers from around Ohio and access to 10 national newspapers. To subscribe, call 866-504-7300 or visit nfbnewslineonline.org.

GCPD Accepting Applications for Annual Awards

The Governor's Council on People with Disabilities (GCPD) annually recognizes businesses, groups and individuals who have significantly contributed to employment opportunities and community involvement for people with disabilities. This year, the awards ceremony will be presented on September 29th at the Ohio Statehouse. If you are interested in submitting a nomination or for more information, visit gcpd.ohio.govNominations must be received by July 15th.

Wireless Emergency Alerts Accessibility Toolkit

Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) are free, pop-up notifications on your mobile device that notifies you of a dangerous situation in your area. The Georgia Institute of Technology created a factsheet that provides a description of smartphone apps that can be used to enhance WEA access. It also explains the different apps, their features and how to use them. For more information, visit wirelessrerc.org.

Connect to OOD

Connect to OOD on TwitterFacebook and YouTube to see items like this post about an accessible water park.  #ConnectToOOD #OODWorks



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