By Frank Lewis
December 12, 2013
PDT Staff Writer
On Tuesday, U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio) led the Ohio Congressional Delegation in sending a letter to U.S. Secretary of Education Arnie Duncan urging the Department of Education (DOE) to continue to work with Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities (OOD) as they provide rehabilitative services to Ohioans with disabilities seeking employment throughout the state.
OOD is currently working with DOE to improve investment by implementing recommendations of the Department’s Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) issued earlier this year in the preliminary draft of the FY2013 monitoring report.
“Ohioans with disabilities seeking employment opportunities receive, among other services, job training through 182 full-time equivalent employees in local communities. This public-private partnership has been in place since 2008 and enables the OOD to focus on being able to serve the current backlog of 1,915 Ohioans who have been waiting for services. As OOD begins the process of moving this program into compliance, we ask that the Department allow services to continue for the thousands of Ohioans who depend on these for employment and independent living,” the letter read.
Bridget Gargan, executive director of the Ohio Association of County Boards of Developmental Disabilities, said county boards of developmental disabilities are the state’s largest local funding partner in providing employment services to people with disabilities.
“If this partnership were to end, more than 4,000 people served by county boards of Developmental Disabilities would lose the support they need to find and keep a job,” Gargan said. “We strongly support the efforts of Ohio’s congressional delegation to maintain critical job training and employment services to people with disabilities.”
Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 252, or at firstname.lastname@example.org. For breaking news, follow Frank on Twitter @FrankLewisPDT.