National Disability Employment Awareness Month, Job Fairs Connect OOD Job Seekers with Employers, OOD Premieres Business Relations Videos

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

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National Disability Employment Awareness Month



National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) is an annual awareness campaign that takes place each October with the purpose of educating the public about the value of hiring individuals with disabilities and celebrating their many and varied contributions. This year’s theme is Inclusion Drives Innovation and Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities (OOD) is leading efforts across the state to promote the benefits of hiring individuals with disabilities.


“Awareness about the business benefits of hiring individuals with disabilities has evolved,” said Executive Director Kevin L. Miller. “For decades we had a business culture where individuals with disabilities were treated differently and only hired for certain types of jobs. We are changing that in Ohio. Last year, we assisted nearly 6,000 individuals with disabilities to successfully find employment.”


During NDEAM, the agency is hosting their 5th annual series of job fairs designed to connect OOD job seekers with employers; launching a video series to educate employers on the value of hiring individuals with disabilities; and recognizing employers who are committed to an inclusive and diverse workforce. Here’s more information on OOD’s NDEAM activities.

Job Fairs Connect OOD Job Seekers with Employers

job seekers


OOD kicked off National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) with the first job fair in Cincinnati last week. This event featured 215 OOD job seekers with disabilities interacting with 56 area employers looking to fill vacant positions.


These events raise awareness with employers about the benefits of hiring individuals with disabilities by providing Windmills educational workshops to help Ohio businesses recruit a diverse workforce.


raising c


Raising Canes representatives (pictured above) "were very pleased with the experience and preparedness of the job seekers." They are opening a new store in Cincinnati and have 75 positions to fill. Diego is looking for a restaurant job and is excited about turning in his application.





For job ready candidates, making personal connections with employers at the job fairs has a big impact. Yeshurun (pictured above) expressed his excitement about getting to meet with potential employers. “I brought so many resumes and met so many people. I am going to go straight home and apply online,” he said.


OOD’s next job fair will be held in Columbus on October 16th. If you have a disability and want to work, visit to get started on your path to employment.


Ohio Valley Goodwill Industries Gives Valuable Assistance to Job Seekers

A special thank you to Ohio Valley Goodwill Industries (OVGI) for hosting a pre-job fair skills training and for providing free shuttle service to the Cincinnati job fair for OOD job seekers.

OOD Premieres Videos to Educate Businesses on the Benefits of Hiring Individuals with Disabilities

OOD has produced a series of five short videos that will be utilized by the agency’s business relations team as a resource to recruit and educate Ohio employers in the hiring and inclusion of individuals with disabilities. The videos highlight the many benefits of partnering with OOD, including workforce and financial resources, disability awareness training, recruitment and retention of individuals with disabilities, and valuable employer peer-to-peer networking opportunities through the Ohio Business Leadership Network.


Many businesses participated and provided testimonials including Huntington National Bank, Sauder Woodworking, CVS, Fifth Third Bank and OhioHealth. These videos provide a window into the many advantages for employers connected to the agency and hopefully, will inspire other businesses to consider a partnership with OOD. The new business relations videos are available on our website at and YouTube channel.

Opportunity Awards Recognize Businesses for Inclusive Workforce

OOD will be travelling across the state to recognize The Ohio State University, Natural Essentials INC, Miami University and HCR ManorCare as this year’s Champion of Opportunity Award recipients. Each of these businesses embody the mission of OOD, through hiring individuals with disabilities. They are proven leaders who have gone above and beyond in creating an inclusive and diverse workforce culture.


Other Opportunity Awards categories are Committed to Opportunity, which recognizes companies with a proven commitment to integrating individuals with disabilities into their workforce, and Creating Opportunity, which recognizes companies who have recently begun hiring individuals with disabilities. Celebrates One Year



In October 2016, OOD launched; a website designed to open doors for individuals with disabilities who want to work and provide a unique option to apply for vocational rehabilitation services online. Over the past year, 1,159 people have applied for services through the portal.


When visiting, potential OOD participants can watch a video on agency services, take a brief self-assessment and begin the application process to find or keep a job. This portal allows applicants to begin the eligibility process from the convenience of their home. Here’s a video message from Director Miller about

Services Provided to Individuals with Disabilities Employed at Subminimum Wage

OOD is pleased to report that more than 10,655 individuals in subminimum wage employment received the required career counseling set forth by

the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), Section 511.  WIOA requires the agency to provide career counseling, information and referral services to individuals with disabilities employed in subminimum wage positions. Such workers are employed by entities that hold a special wage certificate under Section 14 (c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).


In December 2016, seven OOD career resources staff began delivering services to workers with disabilities in subminimum wage employment statewide. Staff was able to provide these services to all who needed them prior to the initial deadline of July 22, 2017. This is an ongoing requirement and staff will continue to make these services available to all workers with disabilities who need them. A report that summarizes these activities can be found here: Subminimum Wage Employment.

Miami University Junior Finds Meaningful Internship



OOD consumer Megan Zahneis found a great internship this summer in her chosen field, an important experience as she prepares to enter the workforce after college. The connection began last year, when OOD Business Relations Specialist Cynthia Crews was Chairperson of the College Student/Employer Job Shadow Committee. This involved matching 15 plus employers and 22 students (including Megan) from the University of Cincinnati, Miami University and Cincinnati State.


“I could never have guessed what would eventually result,” Megan writes recalling this introduction. “Since I am a journalism major, organizers matched me with Wordsworth Communications, a public relations agency in downtown Cincinnati working with clients from local to global levels. In just a few hours, I sat in on a pitch meeting, networked with many staff and got to know one of the firm’s partners.”


Thanks to Megan’s follow through, the initial meeting led to a paid internship, allowing her to learn more about the public relations industry as she joined the team. “I remain grateful for the opportunity to represent the disability community, Miami University and my hometown of Cincinnati while learning from the professionals at the city’s most awarded public relations agency,” Megan concludes.

Recruitment of Ophthalmologists to Perform SSA’s Consultative Examinations



Representatives from the OOD’s Division of Disability Determination (DDD), the Bureau of Services for the Visually Impaired (BSVI) and the Bureau of Vocational Rehabilitation (BVR) attended the 2017 Technology Fair at the Cleveland Sight Center. Pictured above are OOD BSVI Program Administrator Elizabeth Sammons (left) and Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor Mia Murphy. The event provided a venue for the recruitment of ophthalmologists to perform the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) consultative examinations, which is a priority for Ohio’s DDD.

New Federal Mandate Makes Roads Safer for Individuals Who are Visually Impaired

A federal mandate that reduces the risk of pedestrian crashes, especially for individuals who are blind and visually impaired, went into effect September 5th. Read about the Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act of 2010 here.

GCPD Announces Annual Award Winners



The Governor’s Council on People with Disabilities (GCPD) recognized several businesses and individuals who have contributed to employment opportunities and community involvement for people with disabilities at their annual awards ceremony on September 29th. Pictured above are Ava McCleese winner of the $1,000 Karla M. Lortz Scholarship Award with

GCPD member Bryan Grubb. For a list of all award recipients, visit

GCPD Awards. Congratulations to honorees and thank you for your outstanding dedication and service to Ohioans with disabilities.

A Link in the Chain Video – Kathy Boss

OOD’s A Link in the Chain series gives employees the opportunity to talk about who they are and how they contribute to serving individuals with disabilities. This video features Human Resources Training Manager Kathy Boss, who shares how she supports employees who directly work with individuals with disabilities in Ohio. To view the video, visit YouTube.




Connect to OOD

Connect to OOD on TwitterFacebook and YouTube to see items like this post about OOD employees appearing in our new Business Relations videos. #ConnectToOOD #OODWorks



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