Establishing Ohio as a Disability Inclusion State and Model Employer of Individuals with Disabilities
WHEREAS, Ohio is home to approximately 1.6 million Ohioans with disabilities, of whom nearly 870,000 are of working age; and
WHEREAS, employment provides opportunities for Ohioans with disabilities to be financially independent, demonstrate their skills and abilities, and access the full benefits of our community; and
WHEREAS, the employment rate of individuals with disabilities continues to remain unacceptably lower than individuals without disabilities; and
WHEREAS, this Administration is strongly committed to promoting diversity, ensuring fairness and non-discrimination in state government employment practices and to maintain a working environment free from discrimination; and
WHEREAS, it is the policy of this administration to encourage and support individuals with disabilities to fully participate in the social and economic life of Ohio and engage in competitive integrated employment; and
WHEREAS, the State of Ohio has an opportunity and responsibility to lead by example, ensuring individuals with disabilities have access to employment opportunities in public service;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Mike DeWine, Governor of the State of Ohio, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of this State do hereby order and direct that:
1. The Department of Administrative Services, in consultation with Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities, shall identify and appoint a State ADA Coordinator, who shall be responsible for advising all state agencies, departments, boards, and commissions within the executive branch on disability policy and compliance with state and federal disability rights laws.
2. Each state agency shall annually review its hiring practices to identify any barriers to employment of individuals with disabilities, and, in consultation with the State ADA Coordinator, take appropriate action to eliminate any non-job-related barriers to the integration of individuals with disabilities into the workforce.
3. All state agencies, departments, boards and commissions shall utilize best efforts with respect to recruitment, hiring, and advancement, and issue clear, written directives to their managers and supervisors prohibiting discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities.
4. All state agencies, departments, boards and commissions shall collect and evaluate self-disclosed data through the state personnel system to be used to measure progress in hiring people with disabilities. This data will be used to develop a strategic plan in consultation with the State ADA Coordinator and Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities with a goal for hiring individuals with disabilities who self-disclose.
5. The Ohio Department of Administrative Services and the State ADA Coordinator, in coordination with Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities, shall ensure all state employees participate in regular disability etiquette and awareness training to build and sustain a culture of inclusion in the workplace. All State employees shall also participate in periodic training on the ways that technology can be used to make work sites more accessible and available to people with disabilities.
6. The Office of Information Technology, in consultation with the State ADA Coordinator, will conduct an annual review of the State’s web-based hiring portal to ensure it is accessible for applicants with disabilities.
7. The Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services, in consultation with the Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation and Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities, shall seek opportunities to partner with the technology community to develop applications supported by the data on OhioMeansJobs.com that seek to match individuals with disabilities to private sector jobs.
I signed this Executive Order on January 14, 2019 in Cedarville, Ohio and it will not expire unless it is rescinded.
Mike DeWine, Governor
Frank LaRose, Secretary of State