DRO Commends Creation of Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities Council
March 2, 2018 / OOD
COLUMBUS, OHIO - Disability Rights Ohio (DRO) applauds Gov. Kasich's signing of Ohio Senate Bill 144, establishing the Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities Council. For the past three years, DRO and a coalition of disability advocates and organizations have worked with Kevin Miller, Director of Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities (OOD), and Senator Dave Burke of Marysville to bring Ohio into compliance with federal law. The move gives people with disabilities an increased voice at OOD, the state agency that oversees vocational rehabilitation for people with disabilities in Ohio. The new OOD Council will provide input, planning, and oversight regarding the agency's organizational effectiveness, vocational services, and client outcomes.
The 15 members of the OOD Council will be appointed by the governor to serve three-year terms, with the Council electing its own chairperson. Council members will represent a wide range of disability, business, and educational interests, and a majority of the seats must be held by people with disabilities. As the Client Assistance Program (CAP) under the federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973, DRO will hold a permanent spot on the Council. CAP provides legal help and advocacy for Ohioans applying for or receiving vocational rehabilitation services..
"We are pleased that people with disabilities will have an increased role in, and impact on, planning and implementing VR services in Ohio," says Michael Kirkman, Executive Director of DRO. "We applaud the passage of Ohio Senate Bill 144 and look forward to increased transparency in vocational rehabilitation services."
OOD is now seeking applications for new members of the Council. A list of the expected qualifications for each seat is available on the OOD website, along with the application to apply. OOD asks that applicants list the seats for which they qualify when they submit their application.
Disability Rights Ohio is the federally and state designated Protection and Advocacy System and Client Assistance Program for the state of Ohio. The mission of Disability Rights Ohio is to advocate for the human, civil and legal rights of people with disabilities in Ohio. Disability Rights Ohio provides legal advocacy and rights protection to a wide range of people with disabilities.