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2021 VR Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment

Image of someone at a computer with the title VR Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment

Acknowledgements


Special thanks to the following advisory groups and agencies:

Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities Council for advising the development of the Survey of Individuals with Disabilities and assistance with its distribution. 

2021 CSNA Research and Analysis Resources

Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities Staff

Steven Tribbie, Budget Manager, Division of Fiscal Management (CSNA Lead)

Kristen Ballinger, Deputy Director, Division of Employer and Innovation Services (Contributor)

Andrew Meador, Planner 3, Division of Employer and Innovation Services (Contributor)

Thomas Melfo, Assistant Deputy Director, Division of Disability Determination

Susan Pugh, Deputy Director, Bureau of Vocational Rehabilitation (VR Policy)

Maria Seaman, Chief Fiscal Officer, Division of Fiscal Management (Budget Trends)

Special thanks to the following staff for their assistance in developing the Survey for Individuals with Disabilities in American Sign Language (ASL):

Marlena Smith, ASL Interpreter, Division of Human Resources 

Jonathan Rollings, Technology-Based Training Coordinator, Division of Human Resources

Katie Scheetz, Rehabilitation Program Specialist, Bureau of Services for the Visually Impaired
 

 

Executive Summary

Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities (OOD), Division of Employer and Innovation Services (EIS), produced this 2021 Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment (CSNA) to assess the vocational rehabilitation (VR) service needs of Ohioans related to five primary disability categories. These categories include Blindness and Low Vision, Deaf and Hard of Hearing and Communicative, Physical Disabilities, Psychosocial Disabilities, and Cognitive Disabilities. Data was collected from various sources and used to illustrate OOD’s ability to meet the demand for VR services. This methodology focuses on the extent to which OOD was serving prospective job seekers with disabilities, and how balanced OOD was in serving the cross-section of individuals with disabilities who are seeking employment. 

Building on the information presented in the 2018 CSNA, OOD approached its 2021 CSNA with an increased focus on evaluating the diversity of individuals served by the VR program compared to the Ohio population and employment outcomes attained by those individuals.  OOD also conducted a survey of Ohioans with disabilities. The CSNA culminates in a series of recommendations designed to address gaps, enhance services, increase employer engagement, and guide program development and expansion over the next few years. A summary evaluation of the progress made on the 10 recommendations from the 2018 CSNA is also included. 

The 2021 CSNA again features web-based interactive maps that the public can use to understand OOD’s ability to serve prospective job seekers with disabilities and how balanced OOD was in serving individuals across all disability categories.
 

Data Collection Strategies

Projections of the number of individuals with disabilities in need of VR services by disability category and county of residence in Ohio were developed by the CSNA team. Similarly, service data from OOD’s VR case management system and employment statistics were utilized to develop estimates of the number of individuals likely to need VR services by disability category and by county. This provided a basis for developing estimates of the number of individuals actively participating in the labor force that need services to assist them in finding a job and who could benefit from OOD VR services. 

OOD developed an electronic survey to gather input from recent or current VR participants and potential VR participants to identify areas where OOD can better meet their needs. 

 

Need for Services


Review of Existing Data. According to the American Community Survey (ACS), in 2018 approximately 1.6 million (14.1 percent) Ohioans experienced disabilities. This ranks Ohio sixth among U.S. states and territories in the number of residents with disabilities and 16th in the percentage of individuals with disabilities out of the total population. For Ohioans ages 18 to 64, cognitive and ambulatory disabilities were the largest categories (approximately 26 percent of individuals with disabilities in each category), and self-care disabilities were the smallest (9.3 percent of individuals with disabilities). Approximately 31 percent of individuals with disabilities ages 18 to 64 were employed, and 29.5 percent of individuals with disabilities ages 21 to 64 were living in poverty.

According to the ACS, in 2018, it was estimated that 29.5 percent of Ohioans with disabilities ages 21 to 64 were living in poverty as compared to 10.6 percent of individuals without disabilities (a gap of nearly 19 percentage points). In 2018 the median annual earnings for Ohioans with disabilities who worked full-time and year-round was $39,000 compared to $48,600 for individuals without disabilities who worked full-time and year-round (a difference of $9,600).

Comparing 2020 to 2017:

•    OOD received $17,725,261 in General Revenue Funding, which was an 11.9 percent increase;
•    4,959 OOD participants achieved a successful employment outcome, which was a 17.1 percent decrease; and
•    12,873 VR service plans were written, which was a 4.5 percent decrease.
 

Race and Ethnicity.  ACS 2018 data indicate that the estimated prevalence of disability for working-age Ohioans (ages 16 to 64) was:

•    11.3 percent among Whites, estimated 670,700 individuals
•    15.0 percent among Black or African Americans, estimated 136,900 individuals
•    4.9 percent among Asians, estimated 9,700 individuals
•    36.4 percent among Native Americans or Alaskan Natives, estimated 7,400 individuals
•    14.3 percent among Other Races, estimated 35,500 individuals

In 2020, OOD served [1]  29,396 individuals, 6,597 (22.4 percent) of whom were Black or African American. The total number of working-age Black or African American individuals with disabilities in Ohio is estimated to be 189,489. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in 2019 that 69.1 percent of working-age individuals with disabilities were not working, and that 7.9 percent of these individuals were actively seeking employment at any given time.  This means that approximately 10,344 working-age Black or African American individuals with disabilities in Ohio were seeking employment.  OOD provided services to 6,597 of these individuals, resulting in a service rate: need ratio of 63.8 percent.  (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2019). More than eight out of 10 working-age Black or African American individuals with disabilities (83.5 percent) reside in the following eight Ohio counties: Cuyahoga, Franklin, Hamilton, Montgomery, Lucas, Summit, Mahoning, and Butler. (U.S. Census – ACS, 2019) (OOD – AWARE)

In 2020, Ohio’s working-age population of Hispanic or Latino/a ethnicity was estimated to be 289,079.  The prevalence of disability for the working-age Hispanic or Latino/a population is 11.6 percent. (Cornell University, http://disabilitystatistics.org) The total number of working-age Hispanic or Latino/a individuals with disabilities in Ohio is estimated to be 33,533, of whom 1,171 are seeking employment.  In 2020, OOD served 580 Hispanic or Latino/a individuals with disabilities, resulting in a service rate: need ratio of 49.6 percent.  More than six out of 10 (63.9 percent) of working-age Hispanic or Latino/a individuals with disabilities reside in the following eight counties: Franklin, Cuyahoga, Lucas, Lorain, Hamilton, Butler, Montgomery, and Mahoning. (U.S. Census – ACS, 2019) (OOD – AWARE)

[1]  - A served individual is one who has been determined eligible for VR services and has signed an Individualized Plan for Employment.

Disability Categories


OOD VR Service Rate: Need Ratios in Ohio Counties.  Maps and tables in Section V of this report indicate “VR service rate: need ratios” in 2020 for the five major OOD disability categories for all 88 counties in Ohio. A VR service rate: need ratio represents the number of working-age Ohioans with disabilities who receive OOD VR services out of the total number of Ohioans with disabilities who want to work that could be served.  OOD’s service rate: need ratio for the Blind and Low Vision category is the lowest among all disability categories with 87 out of 88 Ohio counties having ratios less than or equal to 20 percent; the remaining county, Union, has a ratio of 24.1 percent.  Low service rate: need ratios are also prevalent in the Physical category (77 counties less than or equal to 20 percent) and the Deaf and Hard of Hearing and Communicative category (74 counties less than or equal to 20 percent).

Service rate: need ratios were also calculated for each race group.  It is notable that 45 counties have a service rate: need ratio higher than 50 percent for Black or African American individuals, and only 15 counties have a ratio less than or equal to 20 percent.  In contrast, 45 counties have a service rate: need ratio less than or equal to 20 percent for White individuals and no county has a ratio greater than 50 percent.

Among age groups, OOD has attained a high service rate: need ratios for individuals ages 15 to 24.  74 counties have a ratio higher than 50 percent and no counties are below 20.1 percent.  This is attributed to a relatively low percentage of the population in this age group who are seeking employment in contrast to the high percentage of OOD’s caseload included in this age group.  These ratios decrease as the age group increases, culminating in 86 counties with ratios between 0 and 10 percent for individuals ages 65 or older.

Additional details related to service rate: need ratios are included in Section V of this report.
 

Balance Ratios. Section VI includes maps and tables addressing balance ratios of service delivery statewide according to the five disability categories.  The distribution of balance ratios by disability category suggests that OOD has continued to serve individuals with cognitive disabilities at a high rate.  Balance ratios for individuals with psychosocial disabilities are normally distributed, with lower counts of counties at the ends of the range groups and higher counts in the three middle range groups.  A significant number of counties have negative balance ratios in the other three disability categories, most notably physical disabilities. These positive balance ratios could be attributed to OOD’s participant referral relationship with local service delivery systems across Ohio, such as county board of developmental disabilities and county behavioral health authorities.  

 

Survey of Individuals with Disabilities


Section VII of this CSNA includes an analysis of the results from OOD’s survey of individuals with disabilities.  OOD created an electronic survey to gather information from individuals with disabilities about the effectiveness of VR services. The survey was also available in American Sign Language for respondents who use that as their preferred language. To reach recent VR participants, the survey was distributed via e-mail to more than 20,000 participants whose cases were closed from October 1, 2018, through September 30, 2020. OOD was also interested in gathering information from potential VR participants – individuals with disabilities who had not received VR services. The survey was distributed to them through various social media channels and through the support of OOD’s providers, community partners, and OOD Council members. It was also hosted on the main landing page of OOD’s website.

OOD received 1,205 responses to the survey.  Most respondents who had received VR services indicated that the services helped them find, keep, or get a better job.   There were similarities in the services received by current or recent VR participants and the services needed by potential VR participants, with both groups identifying job placement services and on-the-job supports.  Both groups cited employer attitudes toward people with disabilities as the greatest challenge to finding employment.   Both groups indicated the need for OOD to develop more service providers to overcome challenges to helping individuals with disabilities obtain employment.

 

Service Patterns and Case Outcomes by Race

An analysis was conducted to identify disparities in patterns of service among Black or African American and White participant groups. This included services delivered in closed cases, and the outcomes of those cases, broken out by race.

There were 33,924 cases closed in FFY 2019 and FFY 2020, combined.  Of these, 23,071 were White participant cases and 8,761 were Black/African American participant cases. A review of case closures revealed a ten percentage point difference in closures between the groups, indicating that White participant cases close with an employment outcome more frequently than Black or African American participant cases (33.6 percent v. 23.5 percent). 

To identify possible causes of this disparity, a variety of factors were analyzed, including disability type, employment status at plan, level of education achieved, case progression benchmarks, quality of employment outcomes, and reasons for case closure.  
    
The most significant findings from this analysis are as follows:

  •  A six percentage point margin in education level at application, indicating White participants are more likely to have completed high school than Black/African American participants. 
  •  A 45-day difference in the median number of days from Application to Closure for cases that close with an          employment outcome, indicating it takes longer for Black/African American participants to obtain employment than White participants.
  • Difference in reasons for case closure without an employment outcome, such as: the top reason for White participant cases was “No longer interested in services,” which involves an indication by the participant that they no longer wish to continue with services. The top reason for Black or African American participant cases was “Disengaged,” which involves a lack of response from the participant.  
     

Trends and Other Considerations

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). The Social Security Administration (SSA) groups SSDI beneficiaries into three classifications: Workers, Adult Children, and Spouses. When comparing the number of beneficiaries in 2017 to the number in 2019, Spouses experienced the largest percentage change of the three classifications, reducing in count by 11.6 percent over those three years. At the same time, payments to Workers increased by 1.1 percent while payments to Spouses and Adult Children decreased by 5.9 percent and 5.8 percent, respectively. In total, the number of beneficiaries in Ohio has decreased by 17.4 percent to 343,052 beneficiaries, while the value of payments received decreased by 3.7 percent to approximately $411.2 million in 2019. This is a continuation of the trend observed over the last nine years. (Social Security Administration, 2021)

Labor Force Participation. In 2020, the U.S. unemployment rate for working-age (16 - 64) individuals with disabilities was 11.5 percent, an increase of 2.8 percentage points from 2018. Over the same period, the labor force participation rate for these individuals decreased from 33.3 percent to 33.2 percent, reflecting a slight decrease in the number of individuals with disabilities who were working and/or actively seeking work. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2021) The discrepancy between the employment rate for individuals with and without disabilities in the U.S. is mirrored at the state level in Ohio. According to the ACS, in 2018, 38.3 percent of individuals with disabilities ages 16 to 64 in Ohio were employed compared to 77.3 percent of individuals without disabilities.  This data reveals an employment gap of 39.0 percentage points between the two groups. Furthermore, only 24.0 percent of the total population of individuals with disabilities ages 21 to 64 were employed full-time and year-round, whereas 62.7 percent of the population without disabilities ages 21 to 64 were employed full-time and year-round in Ohio. This represents a gap of 38.7 percentage points.

 

Recommendations

The data summarized above and in more detail in the following report suggested several formal recommendations. Recommendations were developed as a prelude to and support for formal planning activities. The recommendations are provided below:

  1. Explore opportunities to expand engagement with individuals who are blind or have low vision, including the development of service providers with expertise in meeting their needs. OOD has attained the lowest service rate: need ratio for individuals who are blind or have low vision. 87 out of 88 counties in Ohio have a ratio of less than or equal to 20 percent and statewide, the Balance Ratio for this disability category is negative 5.1, indicating that OOD serves fewer individuals who are blind or have low vision than the estimated percentage of the population who could benefit. In addition, 41.9 percent of survey respondents who are blind or have low vision indicated OOD should develop more service providers to help overcome challenges to obtaining employment. 
    Sources:
    Section V. Prevalence and Service Rate: Need Ratio Projections of Unmet Need
    Section VI. Balance Ratios: Comparison of Needs to Service Provision
    Section VII. Survey of Individuals with Disabilities
     
  2. Provide a dedicated resource to support VR staff, partners, and providers to increase outreach and improve services for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing. 74 out of 88 counties in Ohio have a service rate: need ratio for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing or have a communicative disability of less than or equal to 20 percent and statewide, the Balance Ratio for this disability category is negative 2.7, indicating that OOD serves fewer individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing or have a communicative disability than the estimated percentage of the population who could benefit.
    Sources:
    Section V. Prevalence and Service Rate: Need Ratio Projections of Unmet Need
    Section VI. Balance Ratios: Comparison of Needs to Service Provision
     
  3. Conduct an examination of the service needs of individuals with physical disabilities to determine if OOD’s current service options address those needs. 71 Ohio counties experience a service balance ratio less than negative 5.0 points for individuals with physical disabilities.  This indicates that the distribution of OOD services to this disability group does not align with the relative proportion of individuals with physical disabilities in the Ohio population.  If significant service need trends emerge, OOD should consider adjusting the service delivery model and/or service options available to individuals with physical disabilities in order to more efficiently deploy services or assistive devices to those individuals.
    Source:
    Section VI. Balance Ratios: Comparison of Needs to Service Provision
     
  4. Explore opportunities to engage with employers and participants to dispel common myths about disability and employer perceptions. 41.6 percent of survey respondents indicated they had experienced some form of employment discrimination. Disability discrimination was the most frequent type of employment discrimination cited by recent or current VR participants. In addition, 42.7 percent of respondents indicated employer attitudes toward people with disabilities as the greatest challenge to finding employment. 
    Source:
    Section VII. Survey of Individuals with Disabilities
     
  5. Explore opportunities to improve outcomes for individuals with disabilities from minority groups through engagement with partners to increase employment outcomes and educational attainment. Black or African American participant cases close with an outcome of employment 10 percentage points less frequently than White participants cases and these closures take a median of 45 days longer to reach. When considering level of education attained by participants, Black or African American participants have completed high school education less frequently than White participants.   
    Source:
    Section VIII: Service Patterns and Outcomes by Race
     
  6. Conduct targeted VR case reviews to explore discrepancies in case closure reasons for cases closed without an employment outcome. The top reason for case closure for Black or African American participant cases was disengaged, indicating a lack of response from a participant. The top reason for White participant cases is no longer interested in services, which involves some type of indication from the participant that they no longer wish to continue with the VR process.
    Source:
    Section VIII: Service Patterns and Outcomes by Race

Section I. Introduction

This report provides Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities (OOD) with findings and recommendations related to the vocational rehabilitation (VR) needs of Ohioans with disabilities.

Recent Trends in Funding and Past and Current Needs Assessments

The current needs assessment builds upon the findings and recommendations from the 2018 CSNA by evaluating OOD’s ability to meet the demand for Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) services and OOD’s balance in serving the cross-section of Ohioans with disabilities who are projected to be seeking employment. This data was considered critical to develop policy and resource allocation recommendations responsive to future needs. Procedures and specific data were collected in response to recent changes in funding trends. Responses to recommendations from the 2018 CSNA are highlighted, as well as financial and service trend data in sections of the CSNA.

Purpose of the Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment

The primary purpose of OOD’s VR CSNA is to provide a basis for allocating resources to support individuals with a variety of disabilities in Ohio. The CSNA provides information to OOD about disability prevalence in each of Ohio’s 88 counties, which can be useful to inform policy decisions about the optimal distribution of resources.  Prevalence is defined as the total number of estimated cases present in a specific population and location at a particular point in time (Green & Kreuter, 1991). Prevalence rate is calculated by dividing the number of individuals reporting a disability by the total number of individuals in the population (Erickson, Lee, & von Schrader, 2016). Individuals served by OOD’s VR program are divided into one of the following categories: Blindness and Low Vision disabilities, Deaf and Hard of Hearing and Communicative disabilities, Physical disabilities, Psychosocial disabilities, or Cognitive disabilities.

Estimates of the prevalence of disabilities are provided using the classification system for disabilities used by OOD and defined by the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA). Although not identical, this classification is similar to the categories used by the U.S. Census Bureau.  Although definitions of a specific category of disability may not precisely match definitions used by OOD or definitions that facilitate clinical practice, the prevalence estimates used in the CSNA and corresponding definitions were the most appropriate for estimating the prevalence of disabilities consistent with the classification system used by OOD and RSA.

All prevalence figures and other projections cited in the CSNA are estimates and are intended to represent the magnitude of prevalence of specific disabilities in specific counties in Ohio. It is appropriate to 
use such figures and comparisons across counties and categories of disabilities in conjunction with other information to support planning and policy development. However, prevalence and other projections are not representative of the precise number of individuals with specific disabilities.
 

Needs Assessment Questions

The 2021 CSNA reflects OOD’s focus on those priorities established by WIOA.  Special focus is given to a comparison of service delivery and outcome patterns between the majority White population of Ohioans with disabilities and minority groups, including Ohioans who are African American or Black and those who identify as Hispanic or Latino/a. This CSNA also included a survey of individuals with disabilities to gain insight into how well VR services did or did not meet their needs and expectations; or for individuals who has not previously received VR services, what services they needed. 

The CSNA addresses the following questions:

1.    What is the projected number of individuals that will experience each category of disability in Ohio?
2.    How many individuals with disabilities are projected to be seeking employment, who currently are not working?
3.    How do prevalence estimates differ for individuals by race/ethnicity and age groups?
4.    How many individuals with disabilities received services from OOD?
5.    What are the gaps in serving disability populations and how should gaps be prioritized?

 

Questions specific to minority groups with disabilities:

6.    Are there any differences in patterns of service when comparing White VR participants with minority VR participants?

7.    Are there any differences in the outcomes attained when comparing White VR participants with minority VR participants?  If so, are there any correlating variables that may contribute to the disparity in outcomes?

 

Questions specific to the survey of individuals with disabilities:

8.    For individuals served by VR, how well did the services provided or coordinated by OOD meet their needs and expectations?
9.    For individuals not served by VR, what services are most needed to assist in the pursuit of employment and independence?

 

Focus Areas and Data Collection Strategies

The 2021 CSNA focuses on seven critical tasks:

 

  1. Evaluation of the recommendations made in the 2018 OOD CSNA; 
  2. Utilization of federal, state, and local data resources;
  3. Analyzing service delivery needs for individuals with disabilities based on disability categories and geographic locations;
  4. Identifying proportionately underserved and un-served populations;
  5. Analysis of service patterns and outcomes comparing White VR participants with participants from racial or ethnic minority groups;
  6. Analysis of participant experiences with VR or the service needs of individuals with disabilities who have not been served by VR;    
  7.  Development of data-informed recommendations for improvement to help individuals with disabilities achieve competitive employment outcomes.



Addressing these questions required the CSNA team to utilize several data collection strategies. Projections of the number of individuals with disabilities by category and county of residence in Ohio were developed for 2022. Similarly, service data from OOD’s VR case management system and employment statistics were utilized to develop estimates of the number of individuals likely to need VR services by disability category and by county. This provided a basis for developing estimates of the number of individuals actively participating in the labor force that need services to assist them in finding a job and who could benefit from VR services. 

Projections were made in the number of Ohioans with disabilities in need of VR services by category of disability and by county of residence in Ohio using American Community Survey (ACS) population projections and Bureau of Labor Statistics labor force participation and employment statistics. Similarly, service data from Ohio’s VR case management system and employment statistics were utilized to develop estimates of the number of individuals likely to need VR services. 

 

Content of the Needs Assessment Report

The remainder of this report is divided into several sections corresponding to data collection strategies and other phases of the needs assessment project. Section II summarizes background information (secondary data) and other contextual factors. Information summarizing VR services provided by OOD and annual funding for OOD are summarized in this section. This information is viewed as a critical foundation for the needs assessment data summarized in this report. Section III provides a progress report on OOD’s efforts to address recommendations made in the 2018 CSNA. Section IV reviews race, ethnicity, age, and disabilities in Ohio. Sections V and VI provide information related to the amount of service provided in Ohio counties. Section VII provides information about service and outcome patterns comparing White VR participants with participants from racial or ethnic minority groups. Section VIII provides results from the survey of Ohioans with disabilities. Section IX presents formal recommendations. Section X includes a Bibliography and Section XI provides a list of the tables, charts, and maps contained in the CSNA.

 

Section II. Background Information and Methodology


Current System for Delivering Vocational Rehabilitation Services in Ohio


Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities (OOD) is the state agency that empowers Ohioans with disabilities through employment, disability determinations, and independence.  This 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.

Approximately 300 OOD counselors deliver VR services via 13 field offices located across Ohio, as well as from embedded locations, such as schools, colleges, and universities, and OhioMeansJobs (OMJ) Centers. OOD also provides VR services through established case management and service delivery contracts with local and state agencies. In addition to employment and independent living support programs, OOD is responsible for making disability determinations for the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) programs in Ohio.

OOD receives funding from the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) for the following programs: Vocational Rehabilitation (through BVR and BSVI), independent living initiatives for older individuals who are blind (ILOB), and statewide independent living programs. VR services include activities designed to assist individuals with disabilities to engage in competitive employment capitalizing on their strengths, resources, and abilities.

Business as a Customer. OOD places a priority on engaging businesses in Ohio to form employer partnerships, creating employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities served by VR. The Business Relations Unit within the Division of Employer and Innovation Services is led by two Employer Services Managers and includes a Vocational Apprentice Program Manager, two Career Development Specialists, a Worksite Accessibility Specialist, two Employer Services Liaisons, and five regional Business Relations Specialists (BRSs). From 2018 to 2020, the number of Employer Partners engaged by the Business Relations Unit increased by 81 percent from 260 businesses to 470 businesses.

Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. In 2014, the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) became law. WIOA was the first legislative reform of the public workforce development system in more than 15 years and replaced the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA). WIOA, which authorizes funding for the state VR program, establishes VR as a core workforce development program and imposes regulations that require combined strategic planning and common performance measures among all state workforce development agencies, including workforce programs run by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, the Ohio Department of Higher Education, and ASPIRE (Ohio’s adult basic literacy and education program, formerly ABLE). Other areas of priority include heightened emphasis that employment outcomes achieved by the VR program meet the definition of competitive integrated employment and funding requirements on the provision of services, including pre-employment transition services, to students with disabilities.

 

Needs Assessment Methods

Needs assessment is defined as a systematic and ongoing process of providing usable and useful information about the needs of a target population in order to make judgments about policy and programs (Shell, 2009) (Steinmetz, 2006). OOD is committed to using the data from the current needs assessment to inform future state plans and policy. As with any service delivered to a population in need, OOD acknowledges that there are gaps between the current reality of the VR system in Ohio and ideal conditions. The goal of current needs assessment activities is to assess the progress made since 2018 and continue to strategically identify gaps through the use of data and, ultimately, expand services to unserved and underserved populations in Ohio. Many of the projection statistics referenced in this report are estimates of existing and/or future conditions.

The Needs Assessment Process. This needs assessment utilizes each of the strategies identified in the most current available VR Needs Assessment Guide (Shell, 2009) and the innovative methods designed in the 2015 CSNA that further meets the unique needs of Ohioans that could benefit from OOD VR services. The six basic steps described by Shell (2009) guided project activities:

Step 1: Defining and Establishing CSNA Goals

Step 2: Developing CSNA Plan for Information and Dissemination

Step 3: Gathering the information

Step 4: Analyzing the Results and Developing Findings

Step 5: Develop the Conclusions: Potential Action Strategies

Step 6: Informing Ohio’s Combined State Workforce Plan, Goals, Priorities, and Strategies

The strategies for gathering and analyzing information and data in steps 3 and 4 included: 1) using existing disability population statistics; 2) creating disability population estimates from available data; 3) creating population projections; 4) Utilizing federal and state labor force statistics; 5) utilizing existing VR data; 6) incorporating state and county level statistics; and 7) soliciting feedback from individuals with disabilities, both recent VR participants and potential VR participants. 
 

 

Environmental Scan

Environmental scanning refers to the use of information related to demographic characteristics and other conditions in the external environment to assist management in planning and policy development (Choo, 2001).  The information in this section provides the foundation for the needs assessment activities described in this report. American Community Survey (ACS) data were used from the U.S. Census Bureau, as well as the Institute on Disability’s 2021 Disability Statistics Compendium and Cornell University’s Disability Statistics website (disabilitystatistics.org). Data sources also include the Bureau of Labor Statistics and other administrative records of government programs (such as Social Security Disability Insurance, Supplemental Security Income and federal/state vocational rehabilitation programs).

Population of Ohio Counties. The 2019 five-year population projection estimates suggest Ohio’s total population is 11,655,397 (U.S. Census – American Community Survey). Sixty-one of Ohio’s 88 counties have total populations of less than 100,000 residents. Vinton County in the southeast part of Ohio, with 13,083 residents, has the smallest total population. Eighteen counties have populations between 100,000 and 230,000 residents and the remaining nine counties all have populations that exceed 300,000.

As shown in Table 1 below, the nine counties with populations exceeding 300,000 residents are: Franklin, Cuyahoga, Hamilton, Summit, Montgomery, Lucas, Butler, Stark, and Lorain. Franklin is Ohio’s most populous county with 1,290,360 residents. Together, these counties account for nearly 51 percent of the state’s total population.
 

Table 1 - Counties with Largest Populations in Ohio: 2019 5-Year Projection
County Age 0 - 14 Age 15 - 64 Age 65+ Total Population Percent of Total Population  
Franklin 255,793 883,156 151,411 1,290,360 11.1%  
Cuyahoga 215,001 811,083 221,367 1,247,451 10.7%  
Hamilton 157,319 533,819 122,451 813,589 7.0%  
Summit 93,609 353,123 94,602 541,334 4.6%  
Montgomery 97,672 340,274 93,724 531,670 4.6%  
Lucas 82,984 279,883 68,235 431,102 3.7%  
Butler 73,967 251,445 54,607 380,019 3.3%  
Stark 65,760 235,905 70,739 372,404 3.2%  
Lorain 55,774 197,227 54,669 307,670 2.6%  
9-County Subtotal 1,097,879 3,885,915 931,805 5,915,599 50.8%  
Ohio 2,147,099 7,567,004 1,941,294 11,655,397 100.0%  

 

Prevalence of Disabilities. The following data represent disability prevalence statistics reported in the American Community Survey (ACS) (Institute on Disability). The ACS is conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau and provides annual community profiles. The information is collected through a questionnaire mailed to a random sample of addresses. The data specific to disability are based on six questions. If individuals answer “yes” to any one of these six questions they are classified as having a disability. The disability categories identified in the ACS are ambulatory, cognitive, hearing, independent living, self-care, and vision.

Definitions and descriptions of methodology are available at http://www.factfinder.census.gov.

According to the ACS, in 2018 Ohio had the sixth largest population of individuals with disabilities in the United States. Approximately 14.1 percent of the total population in the state was identified as having a disability (1,605,634). Table 2 illustrates the prevalence of disability by age group.
 

Table 2 - Age of Ohioans with Disabilities: 2019 5-Year Projection
Age Range Number with Disabilities Percent of Total Population        
Under 5 4,135 0.04%        
5 - 17 125,984 1.1%        
18 - 64 834,506 7.3%        
65+ 641,009 5.6%        
All Ages 1,605,634 14.0%        

Table 3 provides the percent of Ohioans experiencing specific categories of disability as a percent of the total population.

Table 3 - Disability Categories and Employment Status of Ohioans: 2018 (Ages 18 - 64)
Disability Category Prevalence with Population by Category Total Employed Percent Employed
Ambulatory 5.5% 386,300 98,700 25.6%
Cognitive 5.5% 386,400 124,000 32.1%
Independent Living 4.2% 291,300 67,400 23.1%
Hearing 2.2% 155,800 83,300 53.5%
Self-Care 2.0% 139,100 27,800 20.0%
Vision 2.1% 144,700 66,400 45.9%

 

U.S. Employment Statistics and Labor Force Participation. Tables 4 and 5 illustrate the U.S. labor force participation and unemployment rates for working-age (16 - 64) individuals with disabilities compared to individuals without disabilities, as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In 2020, the U.S. unemployment rate for working-age (16 - 64) individuals with disabilities was 11.5 percent, an increase of 2.8 percentage points from 2018. Over the same period, the labor force participation rate for these individuals decreased from 33.3 percent to 33.2 percent, reflecting a slight decrease in the number of individuals with disabilities who were working and/or actively seeking work.
Table 4 - Employment status of the civilian noninstitutional population by disability status ages 16 to 64, 2018 to 2020
Calculations based on Bureau of Labor Statistics (Table A-6) [Numbers in thousands]
Characteristic PERSONS WITH A DISABILITY PERSONS WITH NO DISABILITY
2018 2019 2020 2018 2019 2020
Civilian noninstitutional population 15,446 15,173 14,927 191,399 191,283 182,288
Civilian labor force 5,145 5,046 4,951 147,133 147,892 144,462
Participation rate 33.3 33.3 33.2 76.9 77.3 79.2
Employed 4,699 4,646 4,383 141,832 143,074 135,253
Employment-population ratio 30.4 30.6 29.4 74.1 74.8 74.2
Unemployed 446 399 568 5,301 4,818 9,210
Unemployment rate 8.7 7.9 11.5 3.6 3.3 6.4
Not in labor force 10,294 10,113 9,971 44,209 43,373 46,393

(Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2021; https://www.bls.gov/bls/news-release/empsit.htm#2020)

Table 5 - Persons not in the labor force by disability status, age, and sex, 2020 annual averages [Numbers in thousands]
Category Total, 16 years and over 16 to 64 years Total, 65 years and over
Total Men Women
PERSONS WITH A DISABILITY          
Total not in the labor force 23,796 9,847 4,799 5,048 13,948
Persons who currently want a job 719 515 261 254 204
Marginally attached to the labor force (1) 182 140 77 63 42
Discouraged workers (2) 46 34 23 11 12
Other persons marginally attached to the labor force(3) 136 106 54 52 30
           
PERSONS WITH NO DISABILITY          
Total not in the labor force 75,791 45,744 17,234 28,510 30,047
Persons who currently want a job 6,404 5,750 2,776 2,974 654
Marginally attached to the labor force (1) 1,780 1,655 884 771 126
Discouraged workers (2) 528 488 287 201 40
Other persons marginally attached to the labor force(3) 1,252 1,167 596 570 86
Footnotes          
(1) Data refer to persons who want a job, have searched for work during the prior 12 months, and were available to take a job during the reference week, but had not looked for work in the past 4 weeks.
(2) Includes those who did not actively look for work in the prior 4 weeks for reasons such as thinks no work available, could not find work, lacks schooling or training, employer thinks too young or old, and other types of discrimination.
(3) Includes those who did not actively look for work in the prior 4 weeks for such reasons as school or family responsibilities, ill health, and transportation problems, as well as a number for whom reason for nonparticipation was not determined.

(Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2021; https://www.bls.gov/news.release/disabl.t05.htm)

Ohio's Labor Force Participation and Employment. The discrepancy between the employment rate for individuals with and without disabilities in the U.S. is mirrored at the state level in Ohio. According to the ACS, in 2018 38.3 percent of individuals with disabilities ages 16 to 64 in Ohio were employed compared to 77.3 percent of individuals without disabilities (percentages differ slightly from those shown in Table 4 due to statistical margin of error). This data reveals an employment gap of 39.0 percentage points between the two groups. Furthermore, only 24.0 percent of the total population of individuals with disabilities ages 21 to 64 were employed full-time and year-round, whereas 62.7 percent of the population without disabilities ages 21 to 64 were employed full-time and year-round in Ohio. This represents a gap of 38.7 percent. (Cornell University; http://disabilitystatistics.org)

Poverty and Earnings. Data regarding poverty are also collected through the ACS. A set of 14 standards are used to calculate poverty. Thresholds are based on family size and composition. In 2018, it was estimated that 29.5 percent of Ohioans with disabilities ages 21 to 64 were living in poverty as compared to 10.6 percent of individuals without disabilities (a gap of nearly 19 percentage points). In 2018 the median annual earnings for Ohioans with disabilities who worked full-time and year round was $39,000 compared to $48,600 for individuals without disabilities who worked full-time and year round (a difference of $9,600). (Cornell University; http://disabilitystatistics.org)

Insurance and Health. According to the 2018 ACS, approximately 93.2 percent of Ohioans with disabilities ages 21 to 64 have health insurance (nationally, this rate is 90.0 percent). In comparison, 91.0 percent of Ohioans without disabilities ages 21 to 64 have health insurance. (Cornell University; http://disabilitystatistics.org)

Social Security Administration Programs. The following information describes Ohio statistics regarding the number of beneficiaries and the amount spent on disability benefits by the Social Security Administration. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) distributes funds to adults and children with disabilities who have limited income or are 65 years of age or older who meet financial limits. Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is paid to individuals and family members if they worked for a specific amount of time and paid taxes. Table 6 and Table 7 provide the number of Ohioans who received federally administered SSI and SSDI payments in 2017 and 2019. (Social Security Administration, 2021)

Table 6 - Ohio SSI - Number of recipients and amount of payments (in thousands of dollars),
2017 and 2019
Category 2017 2019 Change
(2017 v 2019)
Number Payments Number Payments Number Payments
Aged 16,318 $6,434 16,890 $7,097 3.5% 10.3%
Blind and Disabled 294,171 $174,677 290,893 $179,345 -1.1% 2.7%
Total 310,489 $181,111 307,783 $186,442 -0.9% 2.9%

 

Table 7 - Ohio SSDI - Number of beneficiaries and amount of payments (in thousands of dollars),
2017 and 2019
Disability Benefit Category 2017 2019 Change
(2017 v 2019)
Number Payments Number Payments Number Payments
Workers 351,027 $405,130 338,599 $409,644 -3.5% 1.1%
Spouses 5,037 $1,655 4,453 $1,557 -11.6% -5.9%
Adult Children 59,228 $20,155 52,855 $18,991 -10.8% -5.8%
Total 415,292 $426,940 343,052 $411,201 -17.4% -3.7%

Workers with disabilities accounted for the smallest percentage change for beneficiaries receiving SSDI from 2017 to 2019. There was a 3.5 percent decrease in the number of workers who are classified as beneficiaries, as compared to the total population receiving federally administered payments. The number of applications for benefits for workers with disabilities per month from 1996 to 2017 in the U.S. is displayed in Chart 1 below. There was a steady upward trend in the number of monthly applications for SSDI by workers with disabilities from 1998 through 2012. Since that time, the trend has reversed with applications in steady decline over the last five years.

Chart 1 - SSDI - U.S. Disabled Worker Beneficiary Trend showing a gradual increase from 1996 to 2012, followed by a gradual decline to present day.

Social Security Administration, 2021 (https://www.ssa.gov/oact/STATS/dibGraphs.html#2)

Chart 2 - SSDI - Number in Current Payment Status at End of Month showing a steady increase from 1996 to 2014, followed by a gradual decline to present day.

Social Security Administration, 2021 (https://www.ssa.gov/oact/STATS/dibGraphs.html)

Chart 1 above represents the 25-year U.S. trend of SSDI applications and awards made as a twelve-month moving average. Chart 2 shows the number of SSDI beneficiaries receiving payments over the same time period. Despite a steady upward trend over the majority of the past two decades, both charts show a declining trend in the last seven to nine years. (Social Security Administration, 2021). Table 8 below shows the trends of Ohio’s SSI recipients between 2016 and 2019. The trend of the percentage of SSI recipients working has remained flat at 6.3 percent in that time period.

Table 8 - Ohio: Number and Employment of SSI Recipients: 2016 - 2019  
  2016 2017 2018 2019
# of SSI Recipients with Disabilities 298,510 298,348 296,225 295,774
# of SSI Recipients with Disabilities Working 18,946 19,047 18,842 18,754
% of SSI Recipients with Disabilities Working 6.3% 6.4% 6.4% 6.3%
SSI Recipients with Disabilities as a % of Population 2.6% 2.6% 2.5% 2.5%
Population* 11,634,370 11,659,650 11,676,341 11,689,100
SSI Applications  (Ages 18 - 64) 62,076 56,204 51,320 53,303
*Population estimates for Ohio as of July 1 for each year as reported by the U.S. Census Bureau (https://www.census.gov/data/datasets/time-series/demo/popest/2010s-state-detail.html)

As part of the Disability Program, SSA completes Continuing Disability Reviews (CDRs) each year to ensure that only those beneficiaries and recipients who are still determined to have a disability continue to receive monthly benefits. These reviews can result in a cessation of benefits, mostly due to medical improvement and the ability to work.

Based on the Social Security Administration Annual Performance Report 2019 – 2021, the target number of CDRs nationally decreased from 850,000 in 2017 to 703,000 in 2019. Specifically, for the Ohio Disability Determination Service, Chart 3 below shows the annual CDR targets and actual determinations completed from federal fiscal year 2015 through federal fiscal year 2020. (OOD – Division of Disability Determination)
 

Chart 3 - Ohio Continuing Disability Reviews Goals and Actual Determinations from FFY 2015 to FFY 2020.  Clearances have declined from 31,588 in FFY 2015 to 14,997 in FFY 2020.

 

Special Education. According to the U.S Department of Education’s Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, more than 275,000 students in Ohio ages 6 to 21 were served under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Students between the ages of 12 and 21 account for nearly 50.4 percent of the total, numbering 138,624 served under IDEA. Table 9 and Table 10 below show breakdowns of students served by disability category and age group, respectively. (U.S. Department of Education – IDEA Data, 2019)

 

Table 9 - Ohio: Number of Students Age 6-21
Served under IDEA, Part B by Disability Category in 2019
Disability Category Number Served
Specific learning disability 98,109
Other health impairment 47,539
Speech or language impairment 25,456
Autism 25,181
Intellectual disability 18,914
Emotional disturbance 15,281
Multiple disabilities 11,914
Hearing impairment 1,792
Traumatic brain injury 1,458
Orthopedic impairment 1,194
Visual impairment 867
Deaf-blindness 75
Developmental delay 0

 

 

Table 10 - Ages of Students Served Under IDEA: 2019
Ages Number Percent of Total Special Education
3 to 5 27,487 10.0%
6 to 11 109,156 39.7%
12 to 17 123,235 44.8%
18 to 21 15,389 5.6%

 

OOD VR Program Metrics. The number of applications processed, eligibility decisions made, service plans written, and outcomes for individuals engaged in the VR program from 2017 to 2020 are illustrated below in Chart 4. While the number of applicants has remained relatively consistent from 2017 to 2019, there is a 15 percent decrease in applications from 2019 to 2020.  The number of individuals engaged in the program and achieving outcomes with competitive integrated employment has also decreased by 17 percent over this four-year period from 5,980 in 2017 to 4,959 in 2020. The annual number of eligibility decisions has decreased by 14 percent, and the number of plans written has decreased by 4.5 percent.  There continues to be no wait list for individuals seeking OOD services. (OOD – VR Budget and Performance Briefing, 2017 to 2020)

Chart 4 - Number of applications, eligibility decisions, case service plans, and successful employment outcomes from 2017 to 2020.

Table 11 - Vocational Rehabilitation Program Stats, FFY 2016 to FFY 2020        
Vocational Rehabilitation Program 
               
METRICS FFY
2016
FFY 2017 FFY
2018
FFY
2019
FFY 2020 Change
FFY 16 v
FFY 20
Financial COST PER SERVED
(Annual In Plan Only - Case Services)
$2,921 $2,697 $2,536 $2,475 $2,682 -8.2%
 Case Processing AVERAGE TIME TO ELIGIBILITY DECISION
(Days from Application)
28 26.0 24.1 23.4 23.8 -15.0%
ELIGIBILITY DECISIONS MADE 19,443 18,542 17,870 18,396 15,941 -18.0%
SERVICE PLANS WRITTEN 14,090 13,480 13,164 13,934 12,873 -8.6%
TIME TO CLOSURE W/ EMPLOYMENT OUTCOME - Total
(Months from Application)
19.3 17.6 17.2 17.0 17.1 -11.4%
TIME TO CLOSURE W/ EMPLOYMENT OUTCOME -
Under Age 25* (Months from Application)
No data No data 23.3 23.9 24.2 No Data
TIME TO CLOSURE W/ EMPLOYMENT OUTCOME -
Age 25 and Over* (Months from Application)
No data No data 14.0 13.3 13.2 No Data
ELIGIBLES and SERVED 38,876 37,574 35,964 36,900 35,308 -9.2%
Outcomes TOTAL CLOSURES W/ EMPLOYMENT OUTCOME 6,642 5,980 5,755 5,735 4,959 -25.3%
AVERAGE WAGE $11.14 $11.04 $11.46 $11.83 $12.46 11.8%
*Time to Closure w/ Employment Outcome measurements by age group started in FFY 2018

 

Recent Funding for OOD. For every dollar in state/local match provided, OOD generates an additional $3.69 in federal VR funds. Over the past four federal fiscal years (FFYs), match ranged from $28.4 million in 2017 to $28.0 million in 2020.

The decline in match over this period is due to a reduction in partnership match. While General Revenue Funds (GRF) increased by almost $1.9 million from 2017 to 2020, partnership match decreased by approximately $2.3 million. As a result of these changes, total VR federal funds matched decreased by approximately $1.4 million, or 1.4 percent. Funding information is illustrated below in Chart 5. (OOD – Division of Fiscal Management)
 

Chart 5 - OOD VR Funding Trends from 2017 to 2020.

 

Findings

    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 16th in the percentage of individuals with disabilities. (Cornell University, http://disabilitystatistics.org)

National data suggest that there is a significant gap between employment rates for individuals with disabilities and individuals without disabilities. From 2018 to 2020, individuals without disabilities were employed at more than twice the rate of individuals with disabilities.  Labor force participation rates for individuals with disabilities declined slightly over that time period while rates for individuals without disabilities increased.  Furthermore, the poverty rate for individuals with disabilities was 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 11,655,397. More than half (50.8 percent) of the population resides in the following nine Ohio counties: Franklin, Cuyahoga, Hamilton, Summit, Montgomery, Lucas, Butler, Stark, and Lorain. Franklin is Ohio’s largest county with 1,290,360 residents.
  2. Ohio is ranked sixth among the states in the number of individuals with disabilities, with 1.6 million individuals (14.0 percent of the total population). Of these, 834,506 (7.2 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 29.5 percent of Ohioans with disabilities ages 21 to 64 were living in poverty as compared to 10.6 percent of individuals without disabilities. In 2018, the median annual earnings for Ohioans with disabilities who worked full time and year-round was $39,300 compared to $48,600 for individuals without disabilities who worked full time and year-round.
  5. The number of workers with disabilities receiving SSDI benefits has declined steadily over the last five years. The labor force participation rate of working-age individuals has remained relatively stable, with a slight decline of 0.1 percentage point between 2018 and 2020.
  6. More than 236,000 Ohio students ages 6 to 21 are served through the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
  7. The VR budget decreased by approximately 1.4 percent from 2017 to 2020.  Over the same period, the number of service plans written decreased by 4.5 percent and the number of successful outcomes decreased by 17 percent.

 

Section III. Progress and Follow-up to 2018 CSNA Recommendations

Below is a summary of the recommendations presented in the 2018 CSNA and OOD’s progress towards addressing them. OOD has implemented programmatic changes and developed new program initiatives in response to all of these recommendations. 

Table 12 – Recommendations and Status Updates from the 2018 CSNA

Recommendation

Status

Increase outreach to individuals with hearing and visual impairments to increase services to these populations.

  • Implemented a specific outreach plan for OOD’s Rehabilitation Counselors for the Deaf and Bureau of Services for the Visually Impaired Counselors
  • Created distribution lists for partners and advocates to send out information.
  • Created the BSVI Bulletin, quarterly informational newsletter

 

Explore opportunities to expand access to assistive technology resources to support individuals with disabilities to be more independent.

 


  •  
  • Increased the purchase of technology for individuals with disabilities receiving services to allow full participation in services and to enable access to online applications and interviewing
  • Included rehabilitation technology on the VR Fee Schedule with increased rates for providers with certain qualifications
  • Additional Blind Square installations and use of AIRA
  • Revised Vehicle Modification Rules, Policies, and Procedures
  • Innovative Technology grants to providers
  • Remote service delivery enhancements
  • Partnership with AT Ohio

 

Explore the potential causes of service deficits in counties with low balance ratios to identify strategies that might provide greater service delivery rates in those areas.

  • Implemented additional targeted outreach efforts and referral development activities to underserved and/or minority populations across the state

 


Explore opportunities to increase the availability of work experiences for students with disabilities that more closely resemble the adult workplace through expanded business partnerships.

 

 

  •  
  • Held virtual hiring events for transition students
  • Modified the structure of summer youth programs to eliminate the education week in favor of actual work experience
  • Held virtual hiring events for transition students
  • Clarified in policy and procedure that OOD can support work experiences throughout the year, not just during the summer.

 


Expand outreach and information services to youth with disabilities receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and their parents or other support structures regarding the potential for cessation of benefits at age-18 redetermination of disability and access to VR services.

  •  
  • Implemented the SSA Demonstration Project 
  • Expanded Pre-Employment Transition Services by developing definitions and rates on the VR Fee Schedule, expanding available service providers, and allowing remote delivery of services
  • Continued the Ohio Transition Support Partnership (OTSP) with the Ohio Dept. of Education
  • Regionalized Youth Leadership Forums to expand access to services
  • Included in the “Transition Services” procedure a requirement for staff to provide work incentives information to all students receiving social security benefits
  • Created a “Youth with Disabilities” work incentives fact sheet, giving a summary of applicable social security work incentives for which working youth could be eligible


Increase outreach efforts to colleges and universities to encourage students with disabilities who could benefit from VR services to apply.

 

  •  
  • Implemented Ohio College2Careers at 15 Ohio Colleges and Universities
  • Assigned liaison counselors to additional schools

Expand the menu of services to business, such as consultation about accommodations, job task analyses and worksite accessibility.

  • Created Virtual Hiring Events, enabling job-ready VR participants to remotely interview with hiring employers
  • Hired Worksite Accessibility Specialist to provide no-cost consultations to employer partners.
  • Delivered monthly webinars at no cost for employer partners covering a variety of topics, including assistance in navigating Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
  • Launched the Inclusive Employer Toolkit.

 

Pursue business relationships within those industry sectors that are projected to experience the highest growth.

 

 

  • Developed new Employer Partnerships with 159 businesses in Health Care and Social Assistance; Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services; and Accommodation and Food Services.

Provide VR counselors with training and resources about industries with the largest potential for growth.

  • Revised the new counselor training curriculum to highlight how to use various labor market information tools and resources to guide plan development.
  • Incorporated the utilization of the Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation Skills Match Tool into plan development and job development services.


Consider strategies to assist VR Counselors in serving OOD participants with barriers such as long separations from the job market and employment perceptions.

  •  
  • Implemented OOD Jobs for Recovery program
  • Participation in regional transportation coalitions
  • Created Resource Guides and Candidate Preparation Videos for OOD job seekers to participate in Virtual Hiring Events.

Section IV. Disability Demographics and Employment Status

The information presented in the following section focuses on race, ethnicity, and age. A review of a variety of data suggests that, for both age and race, OOD proportionately serves Black or African American individuals and individuals ages 18 to 34 at a higher rate than the demographic makeup of the state. As Ohio’s largest minority race and ethnic populations are African Americans and Hispanic or Latino/a individuals, respectively, this analysis will first focus on statistics regarding those populations. Finally, data related to age and disabilities are summarized.

Need for Vocational Rehabilitation Services among Minorities

Race. ACS 2018 data indicate that the estimated prevalence of disability for working-age Ohioans (ages 16 to 64) was:

•    11.3 percent among Whites, estimated 670,700 individuals
•    15.0 percent among Black or African Americans, estimated 136,900 individuals
•    4.9 percent among Asians, estimated 9,700 individuals
•    36.4 percent among Native Americans or Alaskan Natives, estimated 7,400 individuals
•    14.3 percent among Other Races, estimated 35,500 individuals
 

Chart 6 - Race of Ohioans with Disabilities (total = 1,605,634): White = 81.7%, Black or African American = 13.6%, Two or More Races = 2.7%, Asian = 1.0%, Other Race = 0.8%, Native American and Alaskan Native = 0.4%

Chart 7 - OOD Served by Race - 2018 (total = 29,396): White = 72.8%, Black or African American = 22.4%, Two or More Races = 2.7%, Asian = 1.2%, Native American and Alaskan Native = 0.4%, Other Race = 0.4%

Black or African American Population. The total Black or African American population in Ohio is 1,446,193, or 12.4 percent of the state’s total population. Of these, 948,163 are of working-age (15 to 64). (U.S. Census – ACS, 2018) Eight of Ohio’s counties have Black or African American working-age populations of 20,000 or more, which combine to make up 83.5 percent of the state’s African American working-age population; see Table 13 below for additional detail.

The total number of working-age Black or African American individuals with disabilities in Ohio is estimated to be 189,489. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in 2019 that 69.1 percent of working-age individuals with disabilities were not working, and that 7.9 percent of these individuals were actively seeking employment at any given time.  This means that approximately 10,344 working-age Black or African American individuals with disabilities in Ohio were seeking employment.  OOD provided services to 6,597 of these individuals, resulting in a service rate: need ratio of 63.8 percent.  (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2019)
 

Table 13 - Eight (8) Counties with Black or African American Working Age Population of 20,000+
Counties with Black or African American Working Age Population of 20,000+ (8) Total Black or African American Population Age 15 to 64 Black or African American Population with Disabilities Age 15 to 64 Unemployed portion of the Black or African American Population with Disabilities
Age 16 to 64 (69.1%)
Estimated Seeking Employment (7.9%) OOD 2020 Served Service Rate:Need Ratio
Cuyahoga 239,901 50,875 35,155 2,777 1,793 64.6%
Franklin 199,289 34,925 24,133 1,907 1,034 54.2%
Hamilton 136,369 24,675 17,050 1,347 1,022 75.9%
Montgomery 69,375 15,443 10,671 843 424 50.3%
Lucas 53,315 12,284 8,488 671 373 55.6%
Summit 51,371 9,537 6,590 521 357 68.6%
Mahoning 21,937 4,863 3,360 265 203 76.5%
Butler 20,238 3,725 2,574 203 101 49.7%
Total 791,795 156,327 108,022 8,534 5,307 62.2%
Ohio Total 948,163 189,489 130,937 10,344 6,597 63.8%
Percent of Ohio Total 83.5% 82.5% 82.5% 82.5% 80.4%  

 

Table 14 - Six (6) Counties with Black or African American Working Age Population of 7,000 - 20,000
Counties with Black or African American Working Age Population of
7,000 - 20,000 (6)
Total Black or African American Population Age 15 to 64 Black or African American Population with Disabilities Age 15 to 64 Unemployed portion of the Black or African American Population with Disabilities
Age 16 to 64 (69.1%)
Estimated Seeking Employment (7.9%) OOD 2020 Served Service Rate:Need Ratio
Stark 17,661 3,335 2,304 182 200 109.9%
Lorain 16,830 3,601 2,488 197 102 51.9%
Trumbull 10,245 2,046 1,414 112 71 63.6%
Allen 7,794 1,826 1,261 100 99 99.3%
Greene 7,624 1,344 929 73 55 75.0%
Fairfield 7,401 1,477 1,021 81 52 64.5%
Total 67,556 13,629 9,417 744 579 77.8%
Ohio Total 948,163 189,489 130,937 10,344 6,597 63.8%
Percent of Ohio Total 7.1% 7.2% 7.2% 7.2% 8.8%  

Table 14 provides a summary of the six Ohio counties with Black or African American working-age populations between 7,000 and 20,000. These counties combine to make up 7.1 percent of the total Black or African American working-age population in Ohio. The remaining 74 counties contain 9.4 percent, or 88,813, working-age African Americans as shown below in Table 15.

Table 15 - Seventy-four (74) Counties with Black or African American Working Age Population of Less than 7,000
Counties with Black or African American Working Age Population of less than 7,000 (74) Total Black or African American Population Age 15 to 64 Black or African American Population with Disabilities Age 15 to 64 Unemployed portion of the Black or African American Population with Disabilities
Age 16 to 64 (69.1%)
Estimated Seeking Employment (7.9%) OOD 2020 Served Service Rate:Need Ratio
Total 88,813 19,534 13,498 1,066 711 66.7%
Ohio Total 948,163 189,489 130,937 10,344 6,597 63.8%
Percent of Ohio Total 9.4% 10.3% 10.3% 10.3% 10.8%  

Of the more than 29,000 individuals served by OOD in 2020, 22.4 percent or 6,597 were Black or African American. The Service Rate: Need Ratio refers to the number of individuals with a disability served as a percentage of the total number who could potentially be served. It is estimated that OOD’s service rate: need ratio for Black or African Americans with disabilities who may be seeking employment was 63.8 percent.  Additional discussion regarding services to Black or African American individuals with disabilities and the outcomes attained is provided in Section VII of this report.

Ethnicity. The total Hispanic or Latino/a population in Ohio is 443,415, or 3.8 percent of the state’s total population. Of these, 289,079 are working-age (15 to 64).  The prevalence of disability for the working-age Hispanic or Latino/a population is 11.6 percent. (Cornell University, http://disabilitystatistics.org) The total number of working-age Hispanic or Latino/a individuals with disabilities in Ohio is estimated to be 33,533.

Table 16 below provides a summary of the eight Ohio counties with Hispanic or Latino/a working-age populations of over 8,000 individuals.  In 2020, OOD served 580 out of the estimated 1,171 individuals with disabilities in those counties who were seeking employment, resulting in a service rate: need ratio of 49.6 percent for this group.

Table 16 - Eight (8) Counties with Hispanic or Latino/a Working Age Population of over 8,000  
Counties with Hispanic or Latino/a Working Age Population of over 8,000 (8) Total Hispanic or Latino/a Population Age 15 to 64 Hispanic or Latino/a Population with Disabilities Age 15 to 64 Unemployed portion of the Hispanic or Latino/a Population with Disabilities
Age 16 to 64 (69.1%)
Estimated Seeking Employment (7.9%) OOD 2020 Served Service Rate:Need Ratio
Franklin 48,794 5,660 3,911 309 131 42.4%
Cuyahoga 48,130 5,583 3,858 305 169 55.5%
Lucas 19,881 2,306 1,594 126 69 54.8%
Lorain 19,634 2,277 1,574 124 81 65.2%
Hamilton 17,628 2,045 1,413 112 41 36.7%
Butler 11,853 1,375 950 75 23 30.6%
Montgomery 10,214 1,185 819 65 24 37.1%
Mahoning 8,717 1,011 699 55 42 76.1%
Total 184,850 21,443 14,817 1,171 580 49.6%
Ohio Total 289,079 33,533 23,171 1,831 968 52.9%
Percent of Ohio Total 63.9% 63.9% 63.9% 63.9% 59.9%  
Table 17 - Twelve (12) Counties with Hispanic or Latino/a Working Age Population of 2,500 - 8,000
Counties with Hispanic or Latino/a Working Age Population of
2,500 - 8,000 (12)
Total Hispanic or Latino/a Population Age 15 to 64 Hispanic or Latino/a Population with Disabilities Age 15 to 64 Unemployed portion of the Hispanic or Latino/a Population with Disabilities
Age 16 to 64 (69.1%)
Estimated Seeking Employment (7.9%) OOD 2020 Served Service Rate:Need Ratio
Summit 7,566 878 606 48 20 41.7%
Lake 6,463 750 518 41 4 9.8%
Wood 4,941 573 396 31 12 38.4%
Stark 4,898 568 393 31 21 67.7%
Warren 4,161 483 333 26 5 19.0%
Sandusky 3,694 429 296 23 27 115.4%
Delaware 3,411 396 273 22 13 60.2%
Greene 3,135 364 251 20 5 25.2%
Clark 2,888 335 232 18 8 43.7%
Hancock 2,689 312 216 17 10 58.7%
Ashtabula 2,618 304 210 17 8 48.3%
Clermont 2,579 299 207 16 4 24.5%
Total 49,042 5,689 3,931 311 137 44.1%
Ohio Total 289,079 33,533 23,171 1,831 968 52.9%
Percent of Ohio Total 17.0% 17.0% 17.0% 17.0% 14.2%  
Table 18- Sixty-eight (68) Counties with Hispanic or Latino/a Working Age Population of less than 2,500
Counties with Hispanic or Latino/a Working Age Population of
less than 2,500 (68)
Total Hispanic or Latino/a Population Age 15 to 64 Hispanic or Latino/a Population with Disabilities Age 15 to 64 Unemployed portion of the Hispanic or Latino/a Population with Disabilities
Age 16 to 64 (69.1%)
Estimated Seeking Employment (7.9%) OOD 2020 Served Service Rate:Need Ratio
Total 55,188 6,402 4,424 349 251 71.8%
Ohio Total 289,079 33,533 23,171 1,831 968 52.9%
Percent of Ohio Total 19.1% 19.1% 19.1% 19.1% 25.9%  

Table 17 provides a summary of the twelve Ohio counties with Hispanic or Latino/a working-age populations of 2,500 to 8,000. In 2020, OOD provided vocational rehabilitation services to 137 Hispanic or Latino/a individuals with disabilities in those counties, resulting in a service rate: need ratio of 44.1 percent for this group. 

Table 18 summarizes the Hispanic or Latino/a populations in the remaining 68 Ohio counties.  In 2020, OOD served 251 out of an estimated 349 individuals with disabilities in those counties seeking employment, resulting in a service rate: need ratio of 71.8 percent.  The service rate: need ratio for the Hispanic or Latino/a population with disabilities statewide is 52.9 percent.
 

Age and Disabilities in Ohio

Based on the U.S. Census Five-Year population projections from 2019, Ohio’s population ages 18 to 34 is approximately 2,533,133. Estimates indicate that approximately 7.5 percent of these individuals experience a disability, which represents 189,626 individuals. The ACS indicates that approximately 7.4 percent of the disability population in Ohio (ages 21 to 64) is not working but actively looking for work at any given time. Of the individuals with disabilities ages 18 to 34, approximately 14,032 individuals were likely to have benefitted from OOD services. In 2020, OOD served 14,150 individuals ages 18 to 34, representing a service rate: need ratio greater than 100 percent for this age group. It should be noted that OOD serves youth beginning at age 14 to help them prepare for employment as they transition from secondary education to postsecondary education or the workforce. Although the service rate appears greater than the need, this is because many of these youth are not actively seeking employment while still in school and preparing for adult life. 

U.S. Census projections indicate that Ohio’s population ages 35 to 64 is approximately 4,555,527, with 14.2 percent (644,880) of these individuals experiencing a disability. Of these, approximately 47,721 individuals were likely to have benefitted from OOD services. In 2020, OOD served 8,393 individuals ages 35 to 64, representing a service rate: need ratio of approximately 17.6 percent for this age group.

U.S. Census projections indicate that Ohio’s population ages 65 and over is 1,872,384, with 34.2 percent (641,009) of these individuals experiencing a disability. Individuals in this age group, however, were much less likely to have been actively seeking work than the other groups. As noted in Table 5, approximately 1.5 percent of the individuals in this age group who were not in the labor force were actively seeking work. This equates to approximately 9,615 individuals that could potentially benefit from OOD services. OOD served 690 individuals in this age group in 2020, representing a service rate: need ratio of approximately 7.2 percent.
                                                         

Chart 8 - Ohio Disability Population by Age - 2019 5-Year Projection

Chart 9 - OOD Served by Age - 2020

 

Findings

  1. In 2020, OOD provided VR services to 29,396 individuals; 6,597 or 22.4 percent were Black or African American and 968 or 3.3 percent were Hispanic or Latino/a individuals.
  2. The American Community Survey (ACS) estimates that 15.0 percent of working-age Black or African American individuals experience disabilities.  This equates to approximately 189,489 Ohioans.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 69.1 percent of these individuals are not working at any given time, and 7.9 percent of these individuals are actively seeking employment.  Statewide, OOD served 6,597 Black or African American individuals with disabilities out of an estimated 10,344 who were seeking employment, resulting in a service rate: need ratio of 63.8 percent.
  3. More than eight out of 10 working-age African Americans (83.5 percent) reside in the following eight Ohio counties: Cuyahoga, Franklin, Hamilton, Montgomery, Lucas, Summit, Mahoning, and Butler.
  4. The ACS estimates that 11.6 percent of Hispanic or Latino/a working-age individuals experience disabilities.  This equates to approximately 33,533 Ohioans.  Statewide, OOD served 968 Hispanic or Latino/a individuals with disabilities out of an estimated 1,831 who were seeking employment, resulting in a service rate: need ratio of 52.9 percent.
  5. More than six out of 10 working-age Hispanic or Latino/a individuals (63.9 percent) reside in the following eight Ohio counties: Franklin, Cuyahoga, Lucas, Lorain, Hamilton, Butler, Montgomery, and Mahoning.
  6. The ACS 2019 five-year population projection indicates there are approximately 2.6 million individuals ages 18 to 34 in Ohio.  Estimates suggest that approximately 189,626 individuals in this population experience disabilities.  In 2020, OOD served 14,150 individuals between 18 and 34 years of age.
  7. The ACS 2019 five-year population projection indicates there are approximately 4.5 million individuals ages 35 to 64 in Ohio.  Estimates suggest that approximately 644,880 individuals in this population experience disabilities.  In 2020, OOD served 8,393 individuals between 35 and 64 years of age.
  8. The ACS 2019 five-year population projection indicates there are approximately 1.9 million individuals ages 65 and over in Ohio.  Estimates suggest that approximately 641,009 individuals in this population experience disabilities.  In 2020, OOD served 690 individuals ages 65 and over.  It is important to note that 92.4 percent of individuals with a disability in this age group are not considered to be part of the labor force and are not seeking employment. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2020)

 

Section V. Prevalence and Service Rate: Need Ratio Projections of Unmet Need

Projecting the number of Ohioans experiencing various categories of disability is a key tool for addressing the needs assessment questions. The purpose of developing such projections is to determine, with as much accuracy as possible, the estimated number of individuals in each county likely to experience a disability consistent with the categories of disability served by OOD. These projections assist planners in making resource allocation decisions based on reasonable estimates of the need for services.

Limitations of the Data

The findings summarized in this section of the CSNA are intended to be estimates of the magnitude of need in any individual county in Ohio. The precision of these estimates is not sufficient to address questions about the actual numbers of individuals likely to experience specific disabilities. Rather, the estimates are used to categorize counties into one of six groups representing a continuum of need from lowest to highest. It is important to point out that data reviewed in this section of the CSNA indicate that there are unmet needs in all counties in Ohio.

Methods for Developing Prevalence Estimates

Following the method utilized in previous CSNAs, OOD estimated county level prevalence rates based on population statistics published by the U.S. Census Bureau in the American Community Survey (ACS). Where an exact match did not exist between disability categories used in the ACS and those used by OOD, population and OOD service statistics were aligned using a “best fit” approach.  For example, the ACS uses a category labeled “Ambulatory Disability”.  This category was aligned with OOD’s Physical Disability category as the best fit.

Prevalence of Disabilities

Table 19 below provides the prevalence estimate for each category of disability and the source from which each estimate was obtained.

Table 19 - Estimated Prevalence for Specific Categories of Disabilities in Ohio
Disability Category Prevalence Estimate Source
Blindness and Low Vision Disabilities 2.0% U.S. Census Bureau - 2018 American Community Survey  - ages 16 to 64 (disabilitystatistics.org)
Deaf and Hard of Hearing and Communicative Disabilities 2.1% U.S. Census Bureau - 2018 American Community Survey  - ages 16 to 64 (disabilitystatistics.org)
Physical Disabilities 5.3% U.S. Census Bureau - 2018 American Community Survey  - ages 16 to 64 [Ambulatory Disability] (disabilitystatistics.org)
Psychosocial Disabilities 5.2% Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA, 2019)
Cognitive Disabilities 5.5% U.S. Census Bureau - 2018 American Community Survey  - ages 16 to 64 (disabilitystatistics.org)


Blindness and Low Vision Disabilities. The 2018 ACS indicates that of the population ages 16 to 64, 1.9 percent in the U.S. and 2.0 percent in Ohio experience blindness or a low vision disability. Individuals were classified in this category if they answered yes when asked if they had serious difficulty seeing even when wearing glasses.

Deaf and Hard of Hearing and Communicative Disabilities. The 2018 ACS indicates that of the population ages 16 to 64, 1.9 percent in the U.S and 2.1 percent in Ohio experience deafness, are hard of hearing, or have a communicative disability. Individuals were classified in this category if they answered yes when asked if they were deaf or had serious difficulty hearing.

Physical Disabilities. The 2018 ACS indicates that of the population ages 16 to 64, 4.6 percent in the U.S. and 5.3 percent in Ohio experience physical [ambulatory] disabilities. Individuals were classified in this category if they answered yes when asked if they had serious difficulty walking or climbing steps.

Psychosocial Disabilities. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health for 2019 reported that 5.2 percent of U.S. adults, ages 18 and over, reported serious mental illness in the past year.

Cognitive Disabilities. The 2018 ACS indicates that of the population ages 16 to 64, 4.4 percent in the U.S. and 5.5 percent in Ohio experience cognitive disabilities. Individuals were classified in this category if they answered yes when asked if they had serious difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions due to a physical, mental or emotional condition.

 

Service Rate: Need Ratio of Primary Disability Categories

“Service Rate: Need Ratio” refers to the number of individuals with a specific disability served as a percentage of the total number who could potentially be served; this is also known as a penetration rate. The total number who could potentially be served refers to estimates of working-age (15 to 64) individuals with disabilities looking for work. In order to accurately reflect the VR needs of individuals by disability that are actively seeking work, the working-age population was utilized in these estimates. This is particularly crucial when considering the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimate that 92.4 percent of individuals with a disability in this age group are not considered to be part of the labor force and are not seeking employment. The number of individuals that are looking for work is impacted by many factors. The formula for calculating the Service Rate: Need Ratio is:

A × B = C

A = Estimated population. Projected population age 15 and older was obtained from the U.S. Census American Community Survey 2019 – 5-year projection data.
B = Prevalence rate for a specific disability.
C = Estimated number of individuals who potentially experience a particular disability.
 


C × D = E

D = Estimated percentage of individuals in the working-age population with disabilities who are not working. The estimated percentage not working was obtained by subtracting the estimated employment rate from 100 percent.
E = Estimated number of working-age individuals with disabilities who are not working.
 


E × F = G

F = Estimated percentage seeking employment that could benefit from OOD VR services. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics suggest that 7.9 percent of the unemployed population with disabilities were actively seeking employment.
G = Estimated number of working-age individuals with disabilities seeking employment that could benefit from OOD VR services.
 


Number Served by OOD / G × 100 = Service Rate: Need Ratio

Map 1 provides 2020 estimated service rate: need ratios by county for all disability categories, races, and age groups combined. The darker shades of blue represent a better alignment of resources in meeting service needs, and lighter shades represent areas where greater opportunity exists for OOD. An interactive map is provided with the online version of the CSNA allowing the selection of a specific disability category, race, or age group.

Map 1 - Map of Ohio showing Service Rate:Need Ratios by county for all disability categories, all races, and all age groups


This link goes to an interactive version of the map above which illustrates categories of disability by county, as well as the service rate: need ratio when all impairment categories are combined.

Table 20 offers service rate: need ratios by county for each of the five major OOD disability categories.  Table 21 offers these ratios for each race category, and Table 22 offers these ratios by age group. For accessible versions of Tables 20-22, click here.

Table 20 - Service Rate:Need Ratios by Disability Category by County

Table 21 - Service Rate:Need Ratios by Race by County

Table 22 - Service Rate:Need Ratios by Age Group by County - Accessible link below

 

Findings

Findings related to Service Rate: Need Ratios are as follows:

1. As shown below in Table 23, OOD has attained the lowest service rate: need ratios in the Blind and Low Vision category.  87 Ohio counties have ratios less than or equal to 20 percent; the remaining county, Union, has a ratio of 24.1 percent.  Low service rate: need  ratios are also prevalent in the Physical category (77 counties less than or equal to 20 percent) and the Deaf and Hard of Hearing and Communicative category (74 counties less than or equal to 20 percent).

Table 23 - Number of Counties by Disability Category and OOD Service Rate:Need Ratio
Range Blind and Low Vision Cognitive Deaf and Hard of Hearing and
Communicative
Physical Psychosocial
0 to 10% 49 0 40 26 7
10.1% to 20% 38 5 34 51 24
20.1% to 30% 1 17 7 7 28
30.1% to 40% 0 25 4 2 18
40.1% to 50% 0 19 2 2 6
Higher than 50% 0 22 1 0 5

2. Table 24 summarizes service rate: need ratios among race groups.  It is notable that 45 counties have a service rate: need ratio higher than 50 percent for Black or African American individuals, and only 15 counties have a ratio less than or equal to 20 percent.  In contrast, 45 counties have a service rate: need ratio less than or equal to 20 percent for White individuals and no county has a ratio greater than 50 percent. 

Table 24 - Number of Counties by Race and OOD Service Rate:Need Ratio    
Range American Indian or Alaskan Native Asian Black or African American Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander Two or More Races White
0 to 10% 39 44 11 74 6 4
10.1% to 20% 1 14 4 0 9 41
20.1% to 30% 1 6 7 0 11 33
30.1% to 40% 2 2 12 0 17 8
40.1% to 50% 3 1 9 0 12 2
Higher than 50% 42 21 45 14 33 0

3. OOD has attained high service rate: need ratios among individuals ages 15 to 24.  As shown in Table 25 below, 74 counties have a ratio higher than 50 percent and no counties are below 20.1 percent.  This is attributed to a relatively low percentage of the population in this age group who are seeking employment in contrast to the high percentage of OOD’s caseload included in this age group.  These ratios decrease as the age group increases, culminating in 86 counties with ratios between 0 and 10 percent for individuals ages 65 or older.

Table 25 - Number of Counties by Age Group and OOD Service Rate:Need Ratio
Range 15-24 25-44 45-64 65+
0 to 10% 0 10 30 86
10.1% to 20% 0 40 47 2
20.1% to 30% 2 25 8 0
30.1% to 40% 4 9 3 0
40.1% to 50% 8 2 0 0
Higher than 50% 74 2 0 0

4. Table 26 below provides a list of counties with the highest and lowest service rate: need ratios for each disability category.

Table 26 - Counties with the Highest and Lowest Service Rate:Need Ratios by Disability Category
Disability Category Highest Service Rate:Need Ratios Lowest Service Rate:Need Ratios
Blind and Low Vision Union, Stark, Summit, Defiance, Allen Paulding, Columbiana, Madison, Carroll, Pike
Cognitive Auglaize, Huron, Fulton, Sandusky, Putnam Ashtabula, Harrison, Preble, Adams, Morgan
Deaf and Hard of Hearing and Communicative Richland, Knox, Wayne, Sandusky, Crawford Van Wert, Madison, Preble, Ross, Geauga
Physical Mercer, Auglaize, Putnam, Huron, Union Noble, Morgan, Monroe, Adams, Gallia
Psychosocial Huron, Erie, Sandusky, Seneca, Portage Holmes, Wayne, Carroll, Brown, Fayette

5. Table 27 below provides a list of counties with the highest and lowest service rate: need ratios for each age group.  

Table 27 - Counties with the Highest and Lowest Service Rate:Need Ratios by Age Group
Age Group Highest Service Rate:Need Ratios Lowest Service Rate:Need Ratios
15 to 24 (20 Counties with ratios ≥ 100%) Holmes, Athens, Ashtabula, Preble, Hardin
24 to 44 Ottawa, Erie, Sandusky, Seneca, Logan Belmont, Noble, Perry, Morgan, Highland
45 to 64 Erie, Allen, Huron, Sandusky, Athens Holmes, Perry, Carroll, Delaware, Geauga
65 and Older Knox, Allen, Wayne, Crawford, Holmes (14 Counties with ratios ≤ 1.0%)

Note: due to the low population of minorities in most Ohio counties, large groups of counties have service rate: need ratios greater than or equal to 100 percent or equal to 0.0 percent in the non-White race categories.  For this reason, a list of counties with the highest and lowest service rate: need ratios is not presented for the minority groups.  Among White individuals, however, the counties with the highest service rate: need ratios include Huron, Auglaize, Sandusky, Erie, and Union.  Counties with the lowest service rate: need ratios include Morgan, Preble, Noble, Holmes, and Ashtabula.

Section VI. Balance Ratios: Comparison of Needs to Service Provision


This section evaluates the balance ratio of needs to service provision. Also known as “relative proportionality,” the balance ratio is another means to assess the discrepancy between the need for services and the number of individuals served. This considers OOD’s investment in the provision of services to individuals with disabilities among the five primary disability categories in relation to the distribution of those in need within the working-age population of Ohioans with disabilities.

Table 28 - Balance Ratio for Ohio - Working Age Population      
Disability Category Estimated Seeking Employment Proportion of Total Est. Seeking Employment OOD VR Served 2020 Proportion of OOD VR Served 2020 Percentage Point Difference
Blind and Low Vision 15,758 9.9% 1,409 4.8% -5.1
Cognitive 42,019 26.3% 11,891 40.5% 14.2
Deaf and Hard of Hearing and Communicative 17,084 10.7% 2,337 8.0% -2.7
Physical 44,404 27.8% 4,295 14.6% -13.2
Psychosocial 40,362 25.3% 9,464 32.2% 6.9
Total 159,627 100.0% 29,396 100.0% N/A

Methods

Balance Ratios for Ohio for Five Disability Categories. The second column in Table 28 above represents the estimated number of working-age individuals, by disability category, who may be seeking employment. The third column is the number of individuals in the disability category seeking employment as a proportion of the total number of individuals with any disability who are seeking employment. These figures are illustrated in Chart 10 below. For example, the number of individuals with Blindness and Low Vision seeking employment as a proportion of the total number of individuals with any disability equals 9.9 percent. This is calculated by dividing 15,758 by 159,627. The fourth column represents those served by OOD’s VR program, with the fifth column representing the number of individuals served in each disability category as a proportion of the total number served in 2020 (29,396). The last column represents the percentage point difference between the third and fifth columns. A percentage point difference equal to zero (0.0) would represent a service distribution that is perfectly balanced with the population.  A negative difference indicates that OOD serves fewer individuals in that disability category as a percentage of total individuals served than the estimated percentage of the population with that disability who could benefit from OOD services.  A positive difference means that OOD serves more individuals in that disability category as a percentage of total individuals served than the estimated percentage of the population with that disability who could benefit from OOD services.

Chart 10 - Proportion of Ohioans with Disabilities Seeking Employment (n=159,627): Psychosocial = 25.3%, Deaf and Hard of Hearing and Communicative = 10.7%, Cognitive = 26.3%, Blind and Low Vision = 9.9%, and Physical = 27.8%

Chart 11 - Proportion of OOD Served - 2020 (n=29,396): Psychosocial = 32.2%, Deaf and Hard of Hearing and Communicative = 8.0%, Cognitive = 40.5%, Blind and Low Vision = 4.8%, and Physical = 14.6%

The calculations summarized in Charts 10 and 11 above were performed for each of Ohio’s 88 counties, yielding balance ratio data for each disability category at the county level. These procedures enabled the categorization of service delivery for each disability category in a particular county into one of five percentage point difference groupings: Less than -10.0, -10.0 to -5.01, -5.0 to 5.0, 5.01 to 10.0, and Higher than 10.0.

The Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) publishes a summary of the national percentages of individuals who exit the VR program in a given year by primary disability. Chart 12 below gives these percentages for individuals who exited VR in 2016. (Rehabilitation Services Administration, 2016) When comparing the breakdown of individuals served by OOD shown in Chart 11 above with the RSA percentages, there is a high degree of alignment in the Psychosocial (Psychosocial and Psychological) Deaf and Hard of Hearing and Communicative (Auditory and Communicative), and Blind and Low Vision (Visual) categories. The Physical and Cognitive (Intellectual and Learning Disability) categories show somewhat less alignment.  As a percentage of total individuals served, OOD serves a lower percentage in the Physical category and a higher percentage in the Cognitive category.

Chart 12 - Percentage of Individuals Served by Primary Disability (RSA 2016): Psychosocial and Psychological = 33.0%, Auditory and Communicative = 11.0%, Intellectual and Learning Disability = 31.0%, Visual = 5.0%, Physical = 20.0%

 


Maps 2 through 6, and supporting data in Table 31, illustrate county classification groupings for each of the five disability categories. If the difference in the proportion seeking employment to the proportion served at the county level was between -5.0 percent and 5.0 percent, service delivery in that county was considered to be “in balance”. If this difference was less than -5.0 percent, the volume of services delivered was considered to be “out of balance” in a negative direction. If this difference was greater than 5.0 percent, the volume of services delivered was considered to be “out of balance” in a positive direction.

There are two primary implications of balance ratio data. OOD might choose to enhance resources available to counties where differences are negative. OOD could also choose to maintain resources available to counties where differences are -5.0 percent and above. There are multiple options OOD could consider that might result in greater balance in the system statewide. (OOD – AWARE) (U.S. Census – ACS, 2019)

This link goes to interactive versions of these maps illustrating county classification groupings for each of the six disability categories.

Map 2 – OOD Balance Ratios by County for Blind and Low Vision DisabilitiesMap 2 - OOD Balance Ratios by County for Blind and Low Vision Disabilities

Map 3 – OOD Balance Ratios by County for Cognitive Disabilities

Map 3 – OOD Balance Ratios by County for Cognitive Disabilities

Map 4 – OOD Balance Ratios by County for Deaf and Hard of Hearing and Communicative DisabilitiesMap 4 – OOD Balance Ratios by County for Deaf and Hard of Hearing and Communicative Disabilities

Map 5 – OOD Balance Ratios by County for Physical Disabilities

Map 5 – OOD Balance Ratios by County for Physical Disabilities

Map 6 – OOD Balance Ratios by County for Psychosocial DisabilitiesMap 6 – OOD Balance Ratios by County for Psychosocial Disabilities

 

Findings

Analysis of county-level balance ratios results in three findings as follows:

1. Counties with the largest negative and positive differences, as indicated by balance ratios, are summarized in Table 29 below.
 

Table 29 - Counties with the Highest and Lowest Balance Ratios by Disability Category  
Disability Category Highest Balance Ratios Lowest Balance Ratios
Blind and Low Vision Morgan, Noble, Montgomery, Adams, Summit Washington, Columbiana, Fulton, Pike, Carroll
Cognitive Gallia, Monroe, Perry, Shelby, Carroll Portage, Harrison, Ashtabula, Montgomery, Adams
Deaf and Hard of Hearing and Communicative Wayne, Holmes, Williams, Mercer, Knox Washington, Madison, Van Wert, Logan, Ross, Jackson
Physical Mercer, Auglaize, Putnam, Harrison, Geauga Noble, Highland, Lawrence, Scioto, Morgan
Psychosocial Ashtabula, Portage, Adams, Clermont, Seneca Holmes, Wayne, Mercer, Putnam, Shelby

 

2. The distribution of balance ratios by disability category, as summarized in Table 30 below, suggests that OOD has continued to serve individuals with cognitive disabilities at a high rate.  Balance ratios for individuals with psychosocial disabilities are normally distributed, with lower counts of counties at the ends of the range groups and higher counts in the three middle range groups.  These positive balance ratios could be attributed to OOD’s participant referral relationship with local service delivery systems across Ohio, such as county board of developmental disabilities and county behavioral health authorities.  A significant number of counties have negative balance ratios in the other three disability categories, most notably physical disabilities.

Table 30 - Number of Counties by Disability Category and OOD Balance Ratio    
Range Blind and Low Vision Cognitive Deaf and Hard of Hearing and
Communicative
Physical Psychosocial
Less than -10.0 7 0 3 58 10
-10.0 to -5.1 45 1 29 23 13
-5.0 to 5.0 36 2 50 6 31
5.1 to 10.0 0 11 3 1 22
Higher than 10.0 0 74 3 0 12

3. Table 31 below presents the balance ratio for each category of disability in each Ohio county.

Table 31 - Balance Ratios by Disability Category by County  
County Blind and Low Vision Cognitive Deaf and Hard of Hearing and Communi-cative Physical Psycho-social   County Blind and Low Vision Cognitive Deaf and Hard of Hearing and Communi-cative Physical Psycho-social
Adams -1.70 6.28 -7.33 -19.84 22.59   Licking -8.02 27.72 -5.92 -14.27 0.49
Allen -5.24 12.03 -5.95 -6.79 5.96   Logan -4.25 17.82 -9.76 -7.49 3.69
Ashland -9.05 13.39 3.92 -6.10 -2.17   Lorain -6.74 32.98 -2.80 -11.63 -11.82
Ashtabula -6.91 1.17 -7.36 -16.41 29.51   Lucas -7.21 12.14 -1.02 -14.88 10.97
Athens -7.16 22.07 1.27 -13.85 -2.33   Madison -7.24 18.36 -11.50 -8.59 8.98
Auglaize -5.30 20.99 -7.96 -0.47 -7.26   Mahoning -7.87 13.96 -5.80 -9.89 9.59
Belmont -6.12 28.63 -6.34 -13.43 -2.74   Marion -4.24 24.41 -5.15 -15.27 0.25
Brown -4.78 22.79 2.55 -9.85 -10.70   Medina -4.25 32.71 -7.26 -11.29 -9.90
Butler -4.18 12.09 -2.37 -14.70 9.16   Meigs -10.08 22.67 3.29 -15.81 -0.07
Carroll -10.36 36.20 -4.37 -10.50 -10.96   Mercer -3.76 7.80 7.71 8.08 -19.84
Champaign -5.39 11.01 -4.81 -3.42 2.61   Miami -6.45 31.29 -3.36 -11.55 -9.94
Clark -7.04 17.98 -4.36 -10.02 3.43   Monroe -6.92 37.96 -8.66 -20.86 -1.52
Clermont -4.29 6.56 -6.06 -12.25 16.04   Montgomery -1.40 5.63 -2.22 -7.73 5.71
Clinton -4.18 20.74 -4.62 -9.06 -2.88   Morgan 1.06 15.47 -1.65 -21.34 6.46
Columbiana -10.88 16.57 -2.48 -10.82 7.62   Morrow -7.71