National Disability Employment Awareness Month, OOD Hosts Statewide Job Fairs

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OOD Recognizes National Disability Employment Awareness Month



National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) is celebrated in October to raise awareness about disability employment issues and recognize the many and varied contributions of America’s workers with disabilities. This year’s theme is America’s Workforce: Empowering All. For more information, visit Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities (OOD) NDEAM Media Release.


To celebrate NDEAM, OOD is hosting its sixth annual series of job fairs for OOD job seekers and employers that are specifically looking to hire individuals with disabilities. OOD is also recognizing employers for meeting specific criteria that demonstrates their level of diversity and inclusion practices for individuals with disabilities in the workplace.


The job fairs, held in Cincinnati, Columbus, Toledo, Canton and Cleveland, provide individuals with disabilities a unique opportunity to connect one-on-one with employers.

OOD Hosts Job Fairs for OOD Job Seekers and Recognizes Employers



OOD held its first three regional job fairs in Cincinnati, Toledo, and Columbus so far this October, with more than 700 job seekers and students, and more than 150 employers participating.


Cincinnati Job Fair


OOD hosted its first job fair in Cincinnati on October 3. The day began with an information session for employers, Getting on Board with Inclusive Hiring, led by the OOD Business Relations Specialists. Players advanced along a life-sized board game, simulating the experience of a job seeker, while their team members used their problem solving skills to overcome barriers.





OOD's Business Relations Specialist Cynthia Crews engage employers in a life-size board game about onboarding.


Employer Recognition




OOD recognized the above employers as Employer Partners of Inclusion Award winners. Crown Equipment Corporation (top left) received OOD's highest award - the Champion of Inclusion. Crown is one of the top five largest lift truck manufacturers in the world and employs over 4,000 Ohioans. Crown has collaborated with OOD on may diversity and inclusion initiatives since 2015, including piloting an on-the-job training program this year.


In addition, Fifth Third Bank (top right) received the Platinum Level Award. Meijer and Kroger (bottom row, left and middle) received the Gold Level Award. The U.S. Social Security Administration received the Silver Level Award. Congratulations to all the award winners and thank you for including individuals with disabilities in your workplace.



Excited OOD Job Seekers Talk with Employers 




With their resumes in hand, OOD job seekers begin meeting with employers who are ready to hire qualified candidates with disabilities.





OOD job seeker Richard is looking for a cleaning position at the Cincinnati Job Fair. "The job fair is awesome. There are so many employers I plan to talk to," said Richard. Good luck to Richard on his journey to employment.



Mock Interviews Held for Students




Mock interviews for students with disabilities were held at OOD's Cincinnati job fair. Milford High School teachers (above left to right) Angie Songer, Becky Wolf, Taryn Barker and Matt Williams helped students prepare for meeting with employers by simulating a job interview. Students learned what to expect and practiced their elevator speech and hand shake. "One of my students is looking for part-time work and is having a hard time selling himself. After the mock interviews, his comfort level has risen. He called his mom and told her that he is ready to talk with employers. She was very excited and proud of her son," said Taryn. 


VIPs Attend OOD Job Fair




OOD was honored to have OOD Council member Dr. Matthew Sauer (left), State Representative Jonathan Dever, and OOD Council Chair Dr. Carolyn Peters attend the job fair to welcome job seekers and employers.



Toledo Job Fair



OOD hosted its second job fair of the month in Toledo on October 10. The job fair began with employers participating in an interactive training, Getting on Board with Inclusive Hiring, which was led by OOD's Business Relations Specialist Stephanie Branco. Employers learned about best business practices for interviewing and onboarding individuals with disabilities.



Employer Recognition


Toledo Job Fair


OOD recognized the above employers as Employer Partners of Inclusion Award winners. Top row Walgreens Perrysburg Distribution Center ( top row, left) and Heartland at ProMedica HCR ManorCare received the Platinum Level Award. MaritzCX Research (bottom row, left), Renhill HR on Demand, and Speedway received the Silver Level Award. Congratulations to all the award winners and thank you for including individuals with disabilities in your workplace.


Job Seekers Anxiously Talking with Employers




OOD job seekers begin their journey to employment by talking with employers who are hiring candidates with disabilities.





Gloria is an OOD job seeker looking for employment in food preparation. "There are a lot of good companies at today's job fair. I am going to apply for a job at several companies today," said Gloria. 

Employers Meet OOD Job Ready Candidates




Woodforest National Bank Branch Manager Lori Sheets (left) meets with an OOD job seeker. "This job fair is very engaging. I have met many qualified and capable individuals. I look forward to interviewing and the onboarding phase," said Lori.


Job Application Station




OOD set up an application station for OOD job seekers to complete job applications.



Columbus Job Fair



OOD hosted its third job fair in Columbus on October 17. Business Relations Specialist Kelly Jordan conducted the Getting On Board with Inclusive Hiring interactive training for employers.


Employer Recognition


se EMPLOYER awards


As part of OOD's Employer Partners of Inclusion Awards, OOD recognized  The Ohio State University (top left), OhioHealth (middle row, left), FedEx Ground (middle row, right) and Giant Eagle (bottom row, left) with the Platinum Level Award. In addition, Teleperformance (bottom row, right) was recognized with the Gold Level Award. These companies partner with OOD and have hired at least five individuals with disabilities. Congratulations to these employers and thank you for hiring individuals with disabilities.



Employers Meet with OOD Job Seekers




Lowe's was one of several employers that held open interviews at the Columbus job fair. Pictured above, left to right are Lowe's human resources staff Gwen, Shawn, and Rebecca. "Lowe's Lancaster store hired several people from last year's job fair. Today's event is well attended and we are looking forward to hiring people from this event," said Shawn.


Employers Hold Open Interviews - Four OOD Job Seekers Offered Jobs




OOD Job Seeker Gideon Demissie was made a conditional offer for a part-time janitorial position with Aetna Building Maintenance. Pictured above, from left to right are Angie with Aetna Integrated Services, OOD job seeker Gideon Demissie, and OOD vocational rehabilitation counselor Holly Chapman. Congratulations Gideon!


In addition, three OOD job seekers were offered jobs with Bob Evans Restaurant.  Congratulations to those job seekers. 



VIPs Attend Job Fair




OOD was honored to have Franklin County Board of Developmental Disabilities Superintendent Jed Morison (pictured left with OOD Director Kevin Miller), Statewide Independent Living Council Executive Director Jeremy Morris (pictured in middle photo, right with BSVI Deputy Director Greg Dormer and Employer and Innovation Services Deputy Director Kristen Ballinger), and Governor's Office of Workforce Transformation Director Ryan Burgess (pictured far right with Director Kevin Miller) to meet and greet OOD job seekers and employers.


 A Special Thanks To...

  • OOD staff for their hard work in planning and assisting with the job fairs;
  • OOD's job seekers for attending;
  • Ohio’s employers for participating in each of the local area job fair events;
  • OOD providers;
  • JobsOhio for providing lunches for employers;

  • Site facilities personnel for their assistance; and
  • Interpreters and sighted guides

OOD To Host Two Additional Job Fairs


OOD’s East Central and Northeast job fairs will be held this week and next week. These two job fairs will be highlighted in the November Focus and on TwitterFacebook, YouTube, Instagram and LinkedIn. Be sure to follow us.


If you are an individual with a disability and want to work or know an individual with a disability who wants to work, visit to get started on the journey to employment.

VR Provider Meeting



OOD and the provider community work together to achieve the best outcomes for participants. OOD values feedback from providers regarding services and the Vocational Rehabilitation Fee Schedule. OOD Director Miller (pictured above) thanked providers for serving OOD's job seekers and for providing  input on the future of OOD's services.  

Connect to OOD on Social Media

Connect to OOD on TwitterFacebook, YouTube, Instagram and LinkedIn to see more items like OOD’s job fairs and how OOD’s job seekers are a good hire for your business.




Please share this publication and encourage others to subscribe to the OOD Focus e-newsletter on our website. Also, be sure to join us on TwitterFacebook, YouTube, Instagram and LinkedIn.

The services described are funded, in part, with federal funds awarded by the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) under the Vocational Rehabilitation (VR), Supported Employment Services, and the Independent Living Services for Older Individuals Who are Blind (OIB) programs. For purposes of the VR program, the federal VR grant paid 78.7% of the total costs of the program. In federal fiscal year (FFY) 2018, the VR agency received $100,336,097 in federal VR funds. Funds appropriated by the state paid 21.3% of the total costs $27,155,767 under the VR program.

The Pre-Employment Transition Services provided under the VR program, described, are funded 100% through a grant from the U.S. DOE. For FFY 2018, the total amount of grant funds used for these services is $15,050,415.


For purposes of the Supported Employment program (youth with a disability program), federal funds paid 100% of the total costs. In FFY 2018, the VR agency received $303,725 in federal supported employment funds (youth with a disability program).


For purposes of the Supported Employment program, federal funds paid 95% of the total costs. In FFY 2018, the VR agency received $303,725 in federal Supported Employment funds. State appropriated funds paid 5% $33,747 of the total costs under the Supported Employment program.


For purposes of the OIB program, federal funds paid 90% of the total costs incurred under the program. In FFY 2018, the agency received $1,174,400 in federal grant funds for this program. Funds appropriated by the State paid 10% $130,489 of the total costs incurred under the OIB program.


The services described are funded, in part, with federal funds awarded by Health and Human Services (HHS) under the independent living (IL) program. For purposes of the federal IL program the federal grant paid 90% of the total costs of the program. In FFY 2018, OOD received $632,411 in federal IL funds. Funds appropriated by the state paid 10% of the total costs $70,268 under the IL program.

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