SPRINGFIELD, Ohio (WDTN) — Republican Senator Rob Portman visited staff at The Abilities Connection (TAB) in Springfield Wednesday morning to talk about healthcare coverage for Ohio workers with disabilities.
Last month, the senator introduced a bill to expand medicaid access to direct support professionals. “The unemployment rate among Ohioans with disabilities is about 17 percent so it’s a great opportunity here to get more people to work that have disabilities,” Portman said.
Currently you can either have a direct care professional or receive services in the hospital. The new legislation makes both options available. A direct care provider would be able to assist those with disabilities even while the individual is receiving care in the hospital.
The bill is supported by leaders and staff at TAC who see firsthand how important caregivers are. TAC, a Clark County nonprofit, helps adults with disabilities integrate into the community and find jobs. It serves about 250 adult with developmental and physical disabilities daily.
“I’m just glad I have a job because I could not stay at home and just sit around and not do nothing,” said William Ingles, who’s been employed at TAC for 16 years.
Ingles has epilepsy and severe nerve damage in his eyes, making him legally blind.
“They’re really patient with you and they’ll stay with you and make sure you have everything down,” Ingles said.
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