State Rep. Kathleen Clyde (D-Kent) has announced that the state has released $125,000 for the Institute on Outcome Analysis in Ravenna.
The funds will be used to evaluate the impact of the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities "Employment First" pilot program.
The Institute on Outcome Analysis is headed by Dr. Robert Cimera, Associate Professor of Lifespan Development and Educational Sciences at Kent State University. At Kent State, Cimera focuses on public policy relating to people with disabilities and has authored more than 60 publications, including seven books, in the field. Cimera also works to find strategies that make special education transition programs most efficient and effective.
The institute will develop a data collection system to help analyze the work of the "Employment First" pilot program, started in 2012.
The institute will train statewide providers on the system and analyze findings to determine information on how many people with developmental disabilities are employed, their occupations and their vocational outcomes and the pilot program's return to taxpayers. The institute will submit findings over the course of a two-year period.
"Connecting people with disabilities to careers that match their skills and interests offers greater independence and empowerment," Rep. Clyde said. "By analyzing the impact of our state's services, we can help provide professional growth for all Ohioans in the most efficient and effective way possible."
Ohio's "Employment First" pilot program works to improve collaboration among Ohio's Departments of Developmental Disabilities, Mental Health, Education, and Job and Family Services, as well as the Ohio Rehabilitation Services Commission to provide community employment opportunities to young people and adults with developmental disabilities.
Rep. Clyde represents the 75th Ohio House District, serving Kent, Ravenna, Streetsboro, and Central and Southern Portage County.