OOD and Partners Plan for Implementation of Communication Disability Law, Ohio Becomes Technology First State

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

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OOD and Partners Plan for Implementation of Communication Disability Law

Communication Disability Law

Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities (OOD) hosted the first planning meeting for the new Communication Disability Law on May 24. Joined by partners from the Ohio Departments of Public Safety and Developmental Disabilities, law enforcement and the advocacy community, the group began mapping outreach strategies and creating a training plan.

Governor John Kasich signed House Bill 115 into law on May 2. This new law will help improve the interactions between law enforcement officers and individuals with a communication disability. Anyone with a diagnosed communication disability can voluntarily enroll in a database that connects to the LEADS (Law Enforcement Agencies Data System). An officer can then be made aware that the driver, or a person in the vehicle, may have difficulty with communication.


As the lead agency in this initiative, OOD will continue to coordinate with the group over the coming months. Once the program is implemented, OOD will provide a form on the agency’s website that individuals can take to their licensed medical practitioner, who can validate that the individual does have a communication disability.

Thank you to Ohio State Highway Patrol, State Medical Board of Ohio, Ohio Center for Autism and Low Incidence (OCALI), Buckeye State Sheriff's Association, Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles, Ohio Association of Chiefs of Police, Inc., The Arc of Ohio, Ohio Association of County Boards of DD, Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities, Ohio Coalition for the Education of Children with Disabilities, National MS Society - Ohio Buckeye Chapter, Ohio Association of the Deaf, Inc. and Representative Scott Wiggam's Office for joining us in productive conversations! 

Ohio Becomes Technology First State



On May 24, Governor John Kasich signed an executive order to expand access to technology for Ohioans with developmental disabilities by designating Ohio as a Technology First state.

The executive order ensures technology will be considered as part of all service and support plans for people with developmental disabilities. Watch this news story about what Technology First means for a person's independence. 

Workplace Initiative of Ohio Places Over 800 OOD Job Seekers

In March, OOD wrapped up a successful first year of the Workplace Initiative of Ohio (WIO) with the placement of 818 OOD job seekers with employer partners across the state, exceeding the first-year goal by 37 percent. WIO is a three year partnership between OOD and the Poses Family Foundation (PFF) with a goal of placing 2,100 OOD job seekers through a job and candidate sourcing model.


Through WIO, OOD’s business relations specialists (BRSs) and talent sourcing coordinators (TSCs) work directly with employer partners to match qualified OOD job seekers with identified job opportunities. This process can include assistance with job applications and interviews as well. Through WIO, a TSC is also embedded at The Ohio State University (OSU) to connect OOD job seekers with opportunities at the main campus in Columbus and OSU Wexner Medical Center. As a result of this resource, there was a 25 percent increase in placements of OOD job seekers at OSU from the previous year. A focus of the second year of WIO is to expand placement efforts to the OSU regional campuses in Lima, Mansfield, Marion, Newark and Wooster.


OOD is excited to expand on this success over the next two years of WIO and is actively engaging new employer partners to participate. Visit OOD's Business Relations Team, if you are interested in partnering with OOD. 

Unique Ohio Adult Braille Literacy Program in Full Swing

Many myths surround blindness, including that it is impossible to learn Braille as an adult. However, through a unique Braille literacy program, OOD's Bureau of Services for the Visually Impaired (BSVI), in partnership with the National Federation of the Blind of Ohio (NFB of Ohio), is supporting adults with low vision to harness the power of reading and writing to gain greater independence and expanded success to career opportunities. Two experienced NFB of Ohio teachers are instructing 16 adult learners from across the state to study basic Braille both in-person and from home.


This unique program combines face-to-face and long-distance instruction, and involves students of various ages, educational backgrounds and ethnicities. Learners were selected from both urban and rural backgrounds, including many areas that lacked Braille study opportunities. Students receive input from their professional teachers, as well as through weekly contact with mentors who are comfortable using Braille in their own lives.


In addition to improving independent living, one grandmother intends to use Braille playing cards to rejoin her family in card games. In addition, an OOD participant is considering computer programming as a job goal and understands how the ability to read Braille will allow him to verify his own coding. For more information, visit OOD's Bureau of Services for the Visually Impaired.

A Link in the Chain Video: Taleisa Jones

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Taleisa Jones is a vocational rehabilitation counselor in OOD’s Dayton office. Watch as she talks about what she enjoys most about her job.To see Taleisa’s video, visit A Link in the Chain: Taleisa Jones

DDD Employee Receives SSA’s Deputy Commissioner’s Citation for Exemplary Service


Scott Maietta recently received the Social Security Administration (SSA) Deputy Commissioner’s Citation for Exemplary Service. Scott is a disability claims supervisor at OOD’s Division of Disability Determination (DDD). His unit is piloting the new national SSA computer system for case processing.

Scott has served in multiple roles for the agency during the past year. Prior to his recent transition to case operations, Scott was a professional relations officer in the medical administration department. This position required him to perform on-site visits across the state, participate in statewide conferences to recruit possible vendors, and present information to various groups regarding the SSA disability program. This past year, he served as OOD's Division of Information Technology's interim application development manager and earned a Camo Belt through Lean Six Sigma training. Congratulations Scott and thank you for your service! 

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