[Ohio-Talk] Minutes From Our Last Meeting

Richard Payne rchpay7 at gmail.com
Mon Aug 12 18:43:33 UTC 2019

JW. Thanks for this information when is the next meeting? 

Richard Payne,  President
National Federation of the Blind of Ohio
937-396-5573or 937/829/3368
Rchpay7 at gmail.com
The National Federation of the Blind knows that blindness is not the
characteristic that defines you or your future. Every day we raise the
expectations of blind people, because low expectations create obstacles
between blind people and our dreams. You can live the life you want;
blindness is not what holds you back

-----Original Message-----
From: Ohio-Talk On Behalf Of Smith, JW via Ohio-Talk
Sent: Monday, August 12, 2019 2:27 PM
To: NFB of Ohio Announcement and Discussion List (ohio-talk at nfbnet.org)
<ohio-talk at nfbnet.org>
Cc: Smith, JW <smithj at ohio.edu>
Subject: [Ohio-Talk] Minutes From Our Last Meeting

Dear NFB of Ohio family, friends, and colleagues,

Attached to this email and cut and pasted below are the minutes from our
last SRC meeting. We will be approving these this week, but I don't expect
any major changes here, so I just wanted you to see these minutes. Remember
that this is our committee, so please make sure to make both your voice and
presence known and heard.


Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities Council

April 10, 2019

Meeting Minutes

Council Members in Attendance: Kevin Miller, Carolyn Peters, Th.D., Chair,
jw Smith, Ph. D., Vice-Chair, Kim Monachino, Karis Spence, Shauna Dowdy,
Jane Gerhardt, John Moore, Jeremy Morris, Matthew Sauer, Ph. D., Michael
Kirkman, Carlo LoParo, Margie Hegg

OOD Staff: Bureau of Services for the Visually Impaired Program Manager
Christy Hauck, Employer and Innovation Services Deputy Director Kristen
Ballinger; Assistant Director Erik Williamson; OOD Council Liaison Shirley
Marchi, Assistant Chief Legal Counsel Emily Blair,

Guests: Jeff Davis, Dale Vitale, Ohio Attorney General's Office, Allison
Kay, Coordinator, Disability Rights Ohio, Emily Turner, Ohio Association
Food Industry; Jane Allinder, interpreter; Eric Muller, OOD Division of
Information Technology

Welcome and Introductions

OOD Council Chair Dr. Carolyn Peters welcomed everyone to the meeting and
congratulated OOD Director Kevin Miller on his reappointment. Attendees
introduced themselves.

Approval of Minutes

Council member John Moore motioned to approve the January 9, 2019 minutes,
seconded by Council member Michael Kirkman. Motion carried.

Due Process Hearing Decisions

Assistant Chief Legal Counsel Emily Blair stated appeal rights are provided
to consumers. Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors are provided training on
how and when to provide appeal rights during the vocational rehabilitation
process, which is consistent with federal regulations. Information regarding
appeal rights is provided at the time the individual applies for services;
at the time an individual is assigned a category in the order of selection
should Ohio be operating under one at the time; at the time the
individualized plan for employment is developed; or whenever vocational
rehabilitation services for an individual are reduced, suspended or

OOD provides an appeal process overview on its website. The process explains
an individual's' appeal rights and how they can appeal with OOD.  The appeal
form is provided to the individual to assist them in making their appeal.

OOD reports its data to the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) on
a federal fiscal year (FFY) cycle (October 1 through September 30).  For FFY
2018, OOD received 48 new requests for a formal hearing. OOD carried over 13
unresolved requests for formal hearings from FFY 2017, which totaled 61
requests for impartial hearings for FFY 2018. In addition, 46 of the 61
requests were resolved prior to proceeding to an impartial hearing. Of the
61 requests in 2018, 53 were resolved.  There are eight requests pending and
will be carried over to FFY 2019 at the time the report is filed with RSA.

In addition, 33 of the 61 requests received for FFY 2018 were for a formal
hearing over the termination of services or case closure.  Seventeen of
those requests were for the cost of services, and seven of the 61 requests
were for a formal hearing for the nature, scope, and content of the
Individualized Plan for Employment. Also, two requests were for the delivery
of quality of other VR services, one request for the quality of the
counseling services, and one request for eligibility of services. There was
one pending civil case regarding a VR appeal, which was resolved in 2018.

Council member Michael Kirkman asked about requests for mediation.  Ms.
Blair responded there was one request for mediation. When the agency
declines to mediate, it moves forward to a formal hearing.

Council member Matthew Sauer asked if a consumer who had difficulty filling
out the forms for an appeal, is it the obligation of OOD to provide the
accommodation or is the obligation on the consumer to find the
accommodation.  Ms. Blair responded, the consumer would be referred to the
Client Assistance Program to receive assistance.  Mr. Kirkman stated the
Client Assistance Program would be happy to assist. But the obligation is on
behalf of the agency to provide accommodations and to effectively
communicate with the recipient or applicant.  It is in law. The agency does
not need to fill out the form for the individual, but the agency needs to
make the form accessible. In addition, Mr. Kirkman stated his observation
over the years, is that the appeal process for OOD is far more complex and
burdensome than is done in other states.  The Attorney General represents
OOD.  It is a very cumbersome process for consumers. Other states do not
have such a formal process and it is not required by the Rehabilitation Act.
This is something the Council might want to take a look at and make

Council member Matthew Sauer asked if there are new elements to the appeals
process.  Ms. Blair responded the appeals process was updated to make sure
OOD makes it clear to our counselors they are obligated to provide appeal
rights to consumers. The OOD appeals process is available on OOD's website.

Council member Kim Monachino stated she would like to see this information
as a standing item to be reported out annually to continue to keep up on the
data. Ms. Blair stated it is on the Division of Legal's schedule.

Employer and Innovation Services Update

Deputy Director Kristen Ballinger reported OOD has a talent sourcing
coordinator at The Ohio State University. In addition, OOD has a talent
sourcing coordinator at Giant Eagle stores in Northeast Ohio. The National
Employment Team's director of business relations invited OOD to share Ohio's
innovative approaches so other states may be interested in replicating OOD's
model. We were very excited to share our partnerships with business. OOD was
approached by five states following the presentation to replicate OOD's
model.  In January, 2019, OOD launched an initiative with Giant Eagle's
corporate office to embed a vocational rehabilitation talent sourcing

who works with the human resources department for all Giant Eagle stores in
northeast Ohio. The talent sourcing coordinator networks with hiring
managers at the stores and human resources staff at corporate offices. Since
January, OOD has assisted 21 participants to obtain employment. Within three
months, OOD placed 21 individuals in the northeast Giant Eagle stores. In
addition, OOD has assisted 12 Giant Eagle team members who were experiencing
work-related issues because of their disability, but were not current OOD
participants, to apply for services. In addition, OOD also provided
retention support for 15 Giant Eagle team members who have open OOD cases.
The goal for this partnership is to place 24 people continuously employed
for at least six months. OOD is also supporting Giant Eagle with recruitment
with different community partners. We are working with the developmental
disability system and schools in northeast Ohio to place transition students
as they are exiting school. OOD is also working with human resources staff
to support team members who have disabilities by providing education and

Ms. Ballinger stated Disability:IN Ohio employer networking event took place
at Huntington Bank Gateway Center in Columbus. There were approximately 30
employers in attendance from all over central Ohio. Those members received
information about OOD's services to business, and table top discussions that
included worksite accessibility and reasonable accommodations, STABLE
Accounts and other inclusive hiring activities.

In addition, Ms. Ballinger reported In-Demand Jobs week is May 6-10, 2019.
It's a statewide celebration of in-demand jobs. It is state law that
In-Demand Jobs week is held the first full week of May. OOD is hosting
several different partnerships across the state.

Ms. Ballinger stated one of the directives from Governor Mike DeWine is that
all state of Ohio employees would participate in regular disability
etiquette and awareness training.  OOD is developing that training. We will
have an e-learning component through the My Ohio Administrative System and
all state employees will be required to participate. We wanted to have the
actual voice of people with disabilities talking about disability etiquette,
disability awareness, best practices and how to interact in a respectful
manner. There will also be several different people with different types of
disabilities sharing their own experiences. We invited Dr. Smith to
participate in the training and he accepted. Council member jw Smith stated
the script was good, and it was a very good experience. The second component
of training includes instructor-led in-person modules of Windmills, a
disability awareness training, to be conducted for supervisors.

Council member Matthew Sauer asked if there is a breakdown of the different
types of positions at Giant Eagle (e.g., management track or supervisory
track). Ms. Ballinger responded OOD is tracking those positions. For the
first three months, most of the positions are clerks and cashiers. There is
also a distribution center in northeast Ohio and we are making sure to place
individuals into logistics and warehousing positions.

Ms. Ballinger stated there is also a partnership with The Ohio State
University, which we are in the third year of that agreement. OOD has placed
people into instructor positions, lab assistant positions, advertising and
sales for WOSU.

Council member Michael Kirkman stated if there are problems with the union
for people at Kroger and Giant Eagle, feel free to refer those individuals
to Disability Rights Ohio.

Council member Carlo LoParo asked what is the average pay? Ms. Ballinger,
said about $12.83.

Council member Kim Monachino stated at a future meeting could the Council
hear more about the OOD talent sourcing coordinator. What their role is and
how they support the clients that are employed.

Director Kevin Miller stated there is quite a bit of an investment in
individuals with disabilities with the budget. With the investment that is
coming, we are looking at being able to do new patterns in service that we
have never been able to do before.

Deputy Director Ballinger provided a brief overview of some of the budget
initiatives that have been proposed. There's an eight percent increase
proposed each year for OOD. These dollars would be invested in several new
patterns of service to serve populations that maybe we have not been able to
service and expand services to those individuals who we know need our
services. RecoveryOhio is one initiative where OOD will be replicating a
model that we currently have with Butler County, the mental health and
addiction rehab services board and Judge Keith Spaeth's drug court in Butler
County. Through this model, OOD will be identifying certified drug courts
throughout Ohio where we can embed vocational rehabilitation counselors to
be part of the team to help individuals with substance use disorder who are
involved in the certified drug court to obtain employment as a path to their
recovery.  In addition, OOD will be expanding its Ohio Transition Support
Partnership with the Ohio Department of Education. This will allow us to
serve more students with disabilities in our high schools and career
technical planning districts throughout the state. OOD will also serve
college students with disabilities by embedding counselors within public 2-
and 4-year colleges and universities. Also, there is an initiative to create
an internship program in state government.

Vocational Rehabilitation Program Update

Vocational Rehabilitation Update

Ms. Ballinger stated regarding performance, OOD has been doing a lot of
outreach with our community partners and potential referral sources. Based
on the outreach, applications and eligibilities have both increased over
this time from last year.  A three percent increase for eligibility
decisions; a seven percent increase for plans written. A large outreach
campaign was held in the fall with the community colleges and public
universities to serve more students with disabilities. In addition several
outreach efforts have been held for individuals who are deaf and visually
impaired.  Wages have also ncreased to $11.83 compared to $11.18 at this
time last year. OOD has been working

closely with our provider community to hold listening sessions in
partnership with our provider community for the VR Fee Schedule and rates.
We are proposing a 6.5 percent increase across the board for vocational
rehabilitation services. In addition job development and supported
employment will have an eight percent increase. Group rates are being
adjusted for the summer youth work experience. There is also a proposal for
a shift differential so that individuals who need on the job supports
outside of the normal eight to five working hours will have a shift
differential. The draft went to stakeholders yesterday and feedback is due
in two weeks. We will submit the final VR Fee Schedule to the Common Sense

Ms. Ballinger stated all VR policies and procedures are available on our
public website at ood.ohio.gov. There is a public comment process for VR
policies and procedures that was implemented in July. This process is
continuing to be improved. Rather than just listening to general feedback
about policy, you will be able to see the changes. As council members, you
are all encouraged to participate in that public comment process.

OOD improved the process for conducting the VR satisfaction surveys. The
reports are being developed and the results will be provided at the next
Council meeting.

All council members are welcome to attend the VR Participant Focus groups.
There are two scheduled on April 17 - one in Norwalk and one in Zanesville.
Another Focus group is schedule on April 30 in Akron. Ms. Ballinger referred
council members to the Participant Focus Group handout.

Council member Margie Hegg asked what is the living wage? Council member
Mathew Sauer responded it varies by city and region.

Services for the Visually Impaired

Christy Hauck, Program Manager, stated she is proving the report today
because Deputy Director Greg Dormer is also at the CSAVR Conference. Ms.
Hauck reported that applications continue to trend upward. Through the end
of March, OOD is about 10 percent higher than this time last year. BSVI
leadership met recently with Assistive Technology (AT) Ohio for a tour of
their offices at The Ohio State University to discuss AT Ohio becoming a
provider of rehabilitation technology and how OOD can partner together
around technology for individuals served. We are asking and receiving
feedback from staff on how to improve services, etc.  The leadership team is
taking opportunities to attend regional meetings to promote the Business
Enterprise (BE) Program. There are six new Business Enterprise Operator
licensees since last October.

In addition, Ms. Hauck stated BlindSquare was recently installed at Franklin
University and scheduled to be installed at the Ohio State School for the
Blind at the end of April.  BlindSquare is a beacon service where using GPS
or Google, a person with a visual impairment can find a building.

Also, OOD is placing orientation and mobility rehabilitation technology ad
activities of daily living services back on the Vocational Rehabilitation
Providers schedule. BSVI requested cost information from the providers of
these services and developed cost-informed rates based on the state. Rates
from other Ohio agencies and other states were looked at to make sure OOD's
rates were competitive. The goal is to increase the pool of providers of
these services to maximize statewide coverage.

Vice-chair jw Smith asked about the morale in the BE Program. Ms. Hauck
responded we have an aging workforce.  We are expanding on Ohio State's
campus next year. We are putting people to work more quickly than we had
before in the past. Our priority locations are federal and state grantors in
buildings. We have to be honest - are the licensees willing to travel or
move for a job opportunity.  We are working with the Ohio Vendors
Representative Committee to update the rules.  Rules are updated every five
years. With the Randolph Sheppard Act, there is a big push to get more women
involved.  BE is working with counselors and the Communications team to
recruit more women by social media and looking at mentorships and
internships to have this as a career opportunity and be present to kids at
an earlier age.

National Coalition of State Rehabilitation Councils Conference

Vice-chair jw Smith reported this was one of the most productive educational
training opportunities and experiences he attended in a long time.  He
thanked Director Miller for making this possible. He stated the OOD Council
does not have to reinvent the wheel.  We can learn from others. The
relationship with OOD is important.  This is a collaborative effort. We have
a great relationship with the OOD Director. If we are going to be a serious
contribution to this, there is going to be some expenses involved.  OOD has
to give us the tools to be successful. Maybe we bring in a motivational
speaker. Let's not lose our appreciation for what OOD does. We need to be an
advocate, and a leader. He explained that if you spell the word REAL, the R
stands for roles and resources and relationships - the council needs to have
that discussion about what we want our role to be collectively and
individually. The E stands for educate and enrich. Council members need to
be committed. We need to discuss expenses - do we need a budget.  The letter
A stands for advising, administration and appreciation.  How do we get our
business accomplished?  Should we bring in a motivational speaker or a
speaker who has been a Director of an agency and also a council member to
share both sides of the aisle?  The L stands for leadership, learning and
link. The council should provide leadership. Not just one person but as a
council, we need to be out front.  We will need to decide how many meetings
and the length of those meetings we want to have going forward.

Chair Dr. Carolyn Peters stated the NCSRC was designed and developed for
making a framework for all state rehabilitation councils.  There was an
opportunity to interact with 21 different states. She encouraged council
members with one year terms to reapply. The council is an advisory body. We
need to know and understand the policies and procedures. We may need to rely
on committees to do this. We need to be involved in the state plan and state
survey processes. The NCSRC is preparing a state rehabilitation council
guide. It is a guidebook to give the council advice to keep on track and
keep things moving. We want to continue a positive atmosphere and work
environment with the OOD Staff, Director Miller and Governor DeWine.

Letter to Governor Mike DeWine

Dr. Peters thanked Council member Matthew Sauer, Dale Vitale and Shirley
Marchi for drafting the letter. Vice-chair jw Smith moved to approve the
letter to Governor DeWine, seconded by Council member Carlo LoParo. Motioned

By-Laws/Operating Procedures

Assistant Attorney General Dale Vitale stated voting on the bylaws today
does not cast it in stone forever. He reviewed minor changes to the bylaws
and stated the Governor is the only person who can remove a member.  He
recommended that after a couple more meetings, Shirley and Dale should look
at who has been attending and missing the meetings and the circumstances
around that.  At that time, the Council can discuss whether the removal
provision might become necessary in the bylaws.

Council member Matthew Sauer moved to accept the OOD Council By-laws as
presented today, seconded by Council member John Moore.  Motion carried.

New Business

Council members stated continuing with DirectorPoint was a good idea because
as the Council accumulates more documents and materials, there is value in
having a central place where all materials are stored.

Council member John Moore commented that deaf people oftentimes are very
underrepresented at national conferences, and local and statewide

Public Comment



Council Member John Moore moved to adjourn the meeting, seconded by Council
member Michael Kirkman.  Motion carried.

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