(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine today announced the appointment of James Clinkscale to serve in the newly created position of state ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) coordinator to help establish Ohio as a disability inclusion state and model employer of individuals with disabilities.
“In order to ensure that Ohio continues to be a state leader and a disability and inclusion state, I am appointing James Clinkscale as the state’s ADA coordinator," said Governor DeWine. "I believe that James has the right mix of knowledge, skills, and diverse relationships to advance our disability inclusion goals."
The appointment follows Governor DeWine's executive order, signed on his first day in office, designating Ohio has a disability inclusion state and model employer of individuals with disabilities. The order called for the Ohio Department of Administrative Services (DAS), in consultation with Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities (OOD), to appoint a state ADA coordinator. The order also called for state agencies to take numerous actions aimed at improving hiring, recruitment, and retention of individuals with disabilities, as well as creating and sustaining a culture of inclusion throughout the workplace.
"As an agency, we’re honored to lead this initiative and look forward to collaborating with our partner agencies, OOD, the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities, and the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services," said DAS Director Matt Damschroder. "We are prepared to support James in his new role as we work with other cabinet agencies, boards, and commissions to implement the provisions of the Governor’s order.”
Clinkscale has extensive experience working with individuals and organizations in the disability community. He is currently the manager of diversity and inclusion/ADA coordinator at OOD, where he has served since 1997.
In his new role, Clinkscale will advise state agencies, boards, and commissions within the executive branch on disability policies and compliance with state and federal disability rights law. He will consult with agencies about hiring practices, barriers to employment and ways to eliminate those obstacles while bringing needed resources to these efforts. Among other duties, Clinkscale will ensure employees participate in regular disability etiquette and awareness training to build and sustain a culture of inclusion.
Clinkscale, of Grove City, will begin his official duties as state ADA coordinator on Tuesday, May 28.