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Empowering Ohioans with disabilities through employment, disability determinations, and independence.


Section II. Background Information and Methodology


The secondary data summarized in this section of the CSNA provides a variety of important findings. Findings indicate that Ohio is a large state with a number of urban areas. Though Ohio is divided into 88 counties, approximately half of the population resides in only nine counties. Ohio ranks sixth among states/territories in the number of residents with disabilities and 18th in the percentage of individuals with disabilities. (Cornell University,

National data suggest that there is a significant gap between employment rates for individuals with disabilities and individuals without disabilities, while the labor force participation rate for working age (16 to 64) individuals with disabilities has increased slightly from 2014 to 2016. Furthermore, the poverty rate for individuals with disabilities is significantly higher than the poverty rate for individuals without disabilities.

Other more specific findings are indicated as follows:

  1. Ohio is a large state with a population of 11,586,941. Half (50.6 percent) of the population resides in the following nine Ohio counties: Cuyahoga, Franklin, Hamilton, Summit, Montgomery, Lucas, Stark, Butler, and Lorain. Cuyahoga is Ohio’s largest county with 1,258,710 residents.

  2. Ohio is ranked sixth among the states in the number of individuals with disabilities, with 1.57 million individuals (13.8 percent of the total population). Of these, 836,051 (7.3 percent) were between the ages of 18 and 64.

  3. Individuals with cognitive and ambulatory disabilities have the highest prevalence rates of disability among Ohioans. Individuals with independent living and self-care disabilities have the lowest employment rates.

  4. It is estimated that 30.1 percent of Ohioans with disabilities ages 21 to 64 were living in poverty as compared to 11.1 percent of individuals without disabilities. In 2016, the median annual earnings for Ohioans with disabilities who worked full time and year round was $38,300 compared to $45,300 for individuals without disabilities who worked full time and year round.

  5. The number of workers with disabilities receiving SSDI benefits has increased steadily the majority of the last 10 years, though there has been a slight decline over the last two years. The labor force participation rate of working age individuals has remained relatively stable, with a slight decline of 0.4 percentage points between 2012 and 2016.

  6. More than 236,000 Ohio students ages 6 to 21 are served through the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

  7. Despite a 4.3 percent decrease in OOD’s budget from 2014 to 2017, the number of service plans written has increased by 12.2 percent and the number of successful outcomes has increased by 30.6 percent.


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