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Section VI. Balance Ratios: Comparison of Needs to Service Provision

This section evaluates the balance ratio of needs to service provision. Also known as “relative proportionality”, the balance ratio is another means to assess the discrepancy between the needs for services and the number of individuals served. This considers OOD’s investment in the provision of serving individuals with disabilities among the six primary impairment categories in relation to the distribution of those in need within the general population of Ohioans with disabilities.

Table 24 - Balance Ratio for Ohio - Working Age Population

Impairment Category Est. Seeking Employment 2017 Proportion of Total Est. Seeking Employment 2017 Proportion of OOD VR Served 2017 Percentage Point Difference OOD VR Served 2017
Cognitive 26,784 23.8% 10,982 39.2% 15.3
Communicative 9,873 8.8% 430 1.5% -7.2
Hearing 10,865 9.7% 1,473 5.3% -4.4
Physical 29,266 26.0% 4,509 16.1% -10.0
Psychosocial 25,295 22.5% 9,264 33.0% 10.5
Visual 10,365 9.2% 1,392 5.0% -4.3
Total 112,448 100.0% 28,050 100.0% N/A



Balance Ratios for Ohio for Six Impairment Categories.The second column in Table 24 above represents the estimated number of working age individuals, by impairment category, who may be seeking employment. The third column is the number of individuals in the particular impairment category seeking employment as a proportion of the total number of individuals with any impairment who are seeking employment. These figures are illustrated in Chart 10 below. For example, the number of individuals with visual impairments seeking employment as a proportion of the total number of individuals with any impairment equals 9.2 percent. This is calculated by dividing 10,365 by 112,448. The fourth column represents those served by OOD’s VR program, with the fifth column representing the number of individual served in each impairment category as a proportion of the total number served in 2017 (28,050). The last column represents the percentage point difference between the third and fifth columns. The values that are closer to zero represent a greater balance ratio between the individuals served and the number of individuals that could benefit from OOD services.

Chart 10 - Proportion of Ohioans with Disabilities Seeking Employment (n=112,448)

Pie chart showing the percentage of Ohioans with disabilities seeking employment by impairment category (total = 112,448). Communicative = 8.8%; Visual = 9.2%; Hearing = 9.7%; Psychosocial = 22.5%; Cognitive = 23.8%; Physical = 26.0%.

Chart 11 - Proportion of OOD Served - 2017 (n=28,050)

Pie chart showing the percentage of individuals served by OOD in 2017 by impairment category (total = 28,050). Communicative = 1.5%; Visual = 5.0%; Hearing = 5.3%; Psychosocial = 33.0%; Cognitive = 39.2%; Physical = 16.1%.

The calculations summarized in Charts 10 and 11 above were performed for each of Ohio’s 88 counties, yielding balance ratio data for each category of impairment at the county level. These procedures enabled the categorization of service delivery for each impairment in a particular county into one of four groupings: Less than -5.0 percent, -5.0 percent to -0.1 percent, 0.0 percent to 5.0 percent, and Greater than 5.0 percent.

The Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) publishes a summary of the national percentages of individuals who exit the VR program in a given year by primary disability. Chart 12 below gives these percentages for individuals who exited VR in 2016. (Rehabilitation Services Administration, 2016) When comparing the breakdown of individuals served by OOD shown in Chart 11 above with the RSA percentages, there is a high degree of alignment in the Psychosocial, Cognitive (Intellectual & Learning Disability), and Visual categories. The Physical category shows somewhat less alignment, and the most notable difference is in the Hearing and Communicative categories. RSA has combined those categories into one, and when compared to the combined OOD Served percentages there is a 4.2 percentage point difference. In future reports, OOD will seek to align impairment categories with those used by RSA to allow a more direct comparison.

Chart 12 - Percentage of Individuals Served by Primary Disability (RSA 2016)

Pie chart showing the national percentage of individuals served by VR programs by primary disability, as reported by RSA in 2016. Visual = 5%; Auditory & Communicative = 11%; Physical = 20%; Intellectual & Learning Disability = 31%; Psychosocial & Psychological = 33%.


The link below will provide maps illustrating county classification groupings for each of the six impairment categories. The two middle groupings that range from -5.0 percent to 5.0 percent can be collapsed to form one grouping. If the difference in the proportion seeking employment to the proportion served at the county level was between -5.0 percent and 5.0 percent, service delivery in that county was considered to be “in balance”. If this difference was less than -5.0 percent, the volume of services delivered was considered to be “out of balance” in a negative direction. If this difference was greater than 5.0 percent, the volume of services delivered was considered to be “out of balance” in a positive direction.

Map of OOD Balance Ratios by County and Impairment Category

An HTML version of this data is provided in Table 27 at the link below.

Table 27 - OOD Balance Ratios HTML Table

There are two primary implications of balance ratio data. OOD might choose to enhance resources available to counties where differences are negative. OOD could also choose to maintain resources available to counties where differences are -5.0 percent and above. There are multiple options OOD could consider that might result in greater balance in the system statewide. (OOD – AWARE) (U.S. Census – ACS, 2016)

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