Did you know that DRO can be your back-to-work advocate?

June 5, 2018 by DRO Staff / CAP

A note from the Executive Director, Michael Kirkman:

I am excited to announce that today Disability Rights Ohio is launching our new blog! In a sea of information and content, we hope that this blog will be a place where you can have a more in-depth look at how DRO’s work impacts people’s lives and learn straightforward information on how the field of disability advocacy is evolving.

We’ve heard from you that you want more ways to digest relevant disability topics, more accessible information about the services we provide, and more updates about important legislation being considered in the statehouse and in Congress. You’ll also hear from guest bloggers in the community, learn more about our amazing staff and get informed about upcoming events. Be sure to stop by every Tuesday to see what we’re up to!


Many people with disabilities want to work, but they need some help determining what kind of job they want, gaining the right skills for that job and then finding and keeping that job. The technical term for these types of needs is “vocational rehabilitation services,” or VR services. In Ohio, we have an entire state agency called Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities (OOD) that oversees VR services.

If you have a disability and want to go to work, the first thing you should do is contact OOD. Their services may include:

  • Career exploration to decide on what type of job you might want
  • Evaluation and purchase of assistive technology to help you do job tasks
  • Services to help you write a resume and learn to look for a job
  • Training at a vocational or other school to earn the certifications or licenses you need to do the job you want
  • Vehicle modification if it is determined that you need a modified car or van in order to work
  • Home modification if you need a lift or ramp to get out of your house
  • Help with medical or mental health treatment if a short course of treatment will lessen limitations caused by your disability
  • Any other service that helps you get or keep a job

When you start working with OOD, you will be provided a counselor. You and your counselor must work together to decide on your job goal. Then, the two of you will decide what services you need to reach your job goal and write them in a document called an Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE).

But what if you have questions about how this works or you disagree about your job goal or what services OOD will provide? That’s when DRO’s Client Assistance Program can help you.

The Client Assistance Program (CAP) is a federally mandated program that advocates for and protects the rights of individuals with disabilities who are applying for or receiving vocational rehabilitation (VR) services. Every state and territory in the United States has a CAP, and Disability Rights Ohio is the CAP in our state.

CAP can help if you:

  • Need information about vocational rehabilitation services; 
  • Have been turned down for vocational rehabilitation services; 
  • Have a disagreement about your job goal or the services needed to reach your job goal.
  • Have concerns about services provided by and decisions made by an OOD counselor; 
  • Are not satisfied with any vocational rehabilitation service
  • Do not agree with a decision to close your case; 
  • Have other problems with OOD services. 

DRO’s CAP staff can tell you about your rights, contact your OOD counselor to try and resolve any misunderstandings or disagreements about your OOD case, advocate for you at meetings with your OOD counselor, explain OOD policies and procedures, and help you with filing an appeal about any OOD decision with which you disagree.

You can contact the CAP by calling DRO at 800-282-9181 and select option 2 for intake or by using our online intake form. Want to see an example of how we advocate in our CAP Program? Click here to read more about one of our successful CAP cases.

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