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Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities 

Executive Summary

Need for Services

Review of Existing Data. According to the American Community Survey (ACS), in 2016 approximately 1.6 million (13.8 percent) Ohioans experience disabilities. This ranks Ohio sixth among U.S. states and territories in the number of residents with disabilities and 19th in the percentage of individuals with disabilities out of the total population. For Ohioans ages 18 to 64, ambulatory disabilities are the largest category of impairment (27 percent of individuals with disabilities) and visual disabilities are the smallest (9.4 percent of individuals with disabilities). Just over one-third (35.8 percent) of individuals with disabilities ages 18 to 64 were employed and 30.1 percent of individuals with disabilities ages 21 to 64 were living in poverty.

According to the Disability Statistics Compendium published by the University of New Hampshire’s Institute on Disability in 2016, for individuals with disabilities ages 16 years and over who are living in the community and had earnings from work, median earnings were $22,047. By contrast, individuals without disabilities ages 16 years and over, median earnings were $32,479, representing an earnings gap of $10,432.

Comparing 2017 to 2014:

  • OOD received $15,833,449 in General Revenue Funding, which was a 2.2 percent increase;
  • 5,980 OOD participants achieved a successful employment outcome, which was a 30.6 percent increase; and
  • 13,480 VR service plans were written, which was a 12.2 percent increase.

Race and Ethnicity. ACS 2016 (Erickson, Lee, & von Schrader, 2017) data indicate that the estimated prevalence of disability for working age Ohioans (ages 18 to 64) was:

  • 11.6 percent among Whites, approximately 669,400 individuals;
  • 15.3 percent among Black/African Americans, approximately 131,700 individuals;
  • 3.7 percent among Asians, approximately 6,100 individuals;
  • 26.2 percent among Native Americans/Alaskan Natives, approximately 3,000 individuals;
  • 15.2 percent among all other races, approximately 32,100 individuals.

In 2016, OOD served 29,800 individuals, 6,892 (23.1 percent) of whom were Black/African American. Estimates indicate that 15.3 percent of working age Black/African Americans experience disabilities. When including individuals ages 16 to 64, this equates to approximately 140,672 individuals, of whom approximately 7.8 percent (or 10,972) were seeking employment in 2016. That year, OOD served 6,892 Black/African Americans, or approximately 62.8 percent of the individuals who were seeking employment and could benefit from VR services. More than eight out of 10 working-age Black/African Americans (80.3 percent) with disabilities reside in the following seven Ohio counties: Cuyahoga, Franklin, Hamilton, Montgomery, Lucas, Summit, and Mahoning. (U.S. Census – ACS, 2016) (Erickson, Lee, & von Schrader, 2017) (OOD – AWARE)

In 2016, Ohio’s working age (16 to 64) population of Hispanic/Latino ethnicity was estimated to be 245,713, of whom approximately 29,240 (11.9 percent) experienced disabilities. During that year, approximately 5.02 percent of those individuals were estimated to be seeking employment, which equates to 1,468 individuals. OOD served 695 individuals of Hispanic/Latino ethnicity in 2016, indicating that 47.3 percent of Hispanic/Latino individuals who were seeking employment and could benefit from VR services were being served. Over 60 percent (63.6 percent) of working age Hispanics/Latinos with disabilities reside in the following eight counties: Cuyahoga, Franklin, Lucas, Lorain, Hamilton, Butler, Montgomery, and Mahoning. (U.S. Census – ACS, 2016) (Erickson, Lee, & von Schrader, 2017) (OOD – AWARE)

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