COLUMBUS — Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced last week he is investing an additional $2.1 million to assist Ohio college students with disabilities.
Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities (OOD) will provide all eligible college students with disabilities up to $1,000, while participating in OOD services, to be used for tuition or educational expenses during the 2022-2023 school year.
“Higher education and a successful future should be available for all students,” said Governor DeWine. “By supporting college students with disabilities through services from OOD and its partners, they are afforded a greater opportunity of success as they transition from academic life to in-demand careers.”
Beginning with support in the state’s budget in 2019, OOD launched Ohio College2Careers to ensure students with disabilities have the support they need to complete their degree and/or credential, earn higher wages, and meet the demands of tomorrow’s labor market.
To qualify for financial support from OOD, college students with disabilities must apply and be eligible for OOD services. The student and family must also complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form. OOD will support eligible students with disabilities, in two-year, four-year, and graduate school programs, with up to $1,000 while participating in OOD services, distributed evenly each academic term of this school year, toward tuition or educational expenses regardless of the student’s financial status.
“The financial award is just one of many ways we can support college students with disabilities,” explained Kevin L. Miller, OOD Director. “We look forward to offering career guidance and helping students with disabilities overcome any barriers through technology, tools, resources, and connection to a large network of employer partners.”
“I often say that when it comes to postsecondary education, Ohio’s colleges and universities offer a diversity of opportunity, and that means opportunity for all students,” said Ohio Department of Higher Education Chancellor Randy Gardner. “This additional support, along with the Ohio College2Careers program, helps to ensure that students with disabilities can continue forward to a successful future.”
OOD vocational rehabilitation counselors assist students with disabilities with career exploration and counseling, assistive technology, resume and interview preparation, and job placement. Staff with OOD’s business relations team connect college students with disabilities to internship and permanent employment opportunities.
To get started, students with disabilities can visit OODWorks.com to explore vocational rehabilitation, take a self-assessment, and apply for services.
OOD is the state agency responsible for empowering Ohioans with disabilities through employment, disability determinations, and independence.