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Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities 

About Us

Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities (OOD) is the State of Ohio agency that partners with Ohioans with disabilities to achieve quality employment, independence and Social Security disability determination outcomes.

It is accomplished through its Bureau of Vocational Rehabilitation (BVR), Bureau of Services for the Visually Impaired (BSVI) and Division of Disability Determination (DDD). A fourth area is the Division of Employer and Innovation Services (EIS), which is responsible for establishing and maintaining partnerships with employers.  

 

Improving Interactions Between Law Enforcement Officers & People with Communication Disabilities



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 communicating with the officer. The initiative will help avoid a situation that could become harmful to an individual with a communication disability or an officer.

Individuals can complete a Verification Form and take the completed form to their licensed medical practitioner, who can validate that the individual does have a communication disability. The information will be protected by the state firewall and is not public. Individuals will also have the option to opt out of the database at any point. For more information, visit Communication Disability Law.

OODWorks.com

OOD's job portal, called OODworks.com, allows potential consumers to learn about OOD’s Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) services and complete an online application, allowing a more streamlined process. We encourage Individuals interested in VR resources to visit www.OODWorks.com to watch a video about our services, take a brief self-assessment and apply for services online. Once the online application process is completed, the individual will be contacted by an OOD staff member in their area to schedule an appointment.

OOD Helps Students with Disabilities Transition from School to Work

Students with disabilities who have a job at the time of exit from school are 5.1 times more likely to be engaged in post-secondary employment and education. For more information, visit Transition Students.

Employers: Check Out OOD’s 5 Videos on How to Recruit & Hire Individuals with Disabilities

OOD has produced a series of five short videos as a resource to recruit and educate Ohio employers in the hiring and inclusion of individuals with disabilities. The videos highlight the benefits of partnering with OOD including workforce and financial resources, disability awareness training opportunities, recruitment and retention of individuals with disabilities and valuable employer peer-to-peer networking opportunities through the Ohio Business Leadership Network. Please see our other four videos on YouTube.

Governor Mike DeWine Signs Executive Order Establishing Ohio as a Disability Inclusion State and Model Employer of Individuals with Disabilities

Executive Order 2019-03D (For the text version of the Executive Order, visit EO text.)

WHEREAS, Ohio is home to approximately 1.6 million Ohioans with disabilities, of whom nearly 870,000 are of working age; and

WHEREAS, employment provides opportunities for Ohioans with disabilities to be financially independent, demonstrate their skills and abilities, and access the full benefits of our community; and

WHEREAS, the employment rate of individuals with disabilities continues to remain unacceptably lower than individuals without disabilities; and

WHEREAS, this Administration is strongly committed to promoting diversity, ensuring fairness and non-discrimination in state government employment practices and to maintain a working environment free from discrimination; and

WHEREAS, it is the policy of this administration to encourage and support individuals with disabilities to fully participate in the social and economic life of Ohio and engage in competitive integrated employment; and

WHEREAS, the State of Ohio has an opportunity and responsibility to lead by example, ensuring individuals with disabilities have access to employment opportunities in public service;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Mike DeWine, Governor of the State of Ohio, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of this State do hereby order and direct that:

1. The Department of Administrative Services, in consultation with Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities, shall identify and appoint a State ADA Coordinator, who shall be responsible for advising all state agencies, departments, boards, and commissions within the executive branch on disability policy and compliance with state and federal disability rights laws.

2. Each state agency shall annually review its hiring practices to identify any barriers to employment of individuals with disabilities, and, in consultation with the State ADA Coordinator, take appropriate action to eliminate any non-job-related barriers to the integration of individuals with disabilities into the workforce.

3. All state agencies, departments, boards and commissions shall utilize best efforts with respect to recruitment, hiring, and advancement, and issue clear, written directives to their managers and supervisors prohibiting discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities.

4. All state agencies, departments, boards and commissions shall collect and evaluate self-disclosed data through the state personnel system to be used to measure progress in hiring people with disabilities. This data will be used to develop a strategic plan in consultation with the State ADA Coordinator and Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities with a goal for hiring individuals with disabilities who self-disclose.

5. The Ohio Department of Administrative Services and the State ADA Coordinator, in coordination with Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities, shall ensure all state employees participate in regular disability etiquette and awareness training to build and sustain a culture of inclusion in the workplace. All State employees shall also participate in periodic training on the ways that technology can be used to make work sites more accessible and available to people with disabilities.

6. The Office of Information Technology, in consultation with the State ADA Coordinator, will conduct an annual review of the State’s web-based hiring portal to ensure it is accessible for applicants with disabilities.

7. The Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services, in consultation with the Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation and Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities, shall seek opportunities to partner with the technology community to develop applications supported by the data on OhioMeansJobs.com that seek to match individuals with disabilities to private sector jobs.

I signed this Executive Order on January 14, 2019 in Cedarville, Ohio and it will not expire unless it is rescinded.

____________________ Mike DeWine, Governor

 

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