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Ohio is rolling out a new online tool to help people evaluate and rate private providers of agency services. This tool, called ProviderGuidePlus, displays information about—and reviews of—all certified day, employment, residential and transportation service agencies operating in Ohio. Visitors can search data by county, service or funding source, or can search for specific providers using their name and the name of their county. They can also view provider lists by county based on a variety of criteria, including highest-rated agencies, most popular listings, newest entries, most recently updated entries, and alphabetical listings. Providers can enter a 1,000 character description of their agency and services on the site, and embed videos if they wish. Service delivery locations are visible on a Google map, and visitors can keep track of providers they are interested in by creating a “favorites” list if they create an account. Provider information is pulled directly from the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities (DODD) website, and includes every agency certified to offer services in a particular county. It is important to note, however, that many of the agencies included in county listings don’t necessarily offer services there.HOW RATINGS WORKIndividuals and family members of individuals who currently receive services can rate and review providers. Ratings are based on a 5-star scale, and these stars, along with reviews submitted, are visible to viewers. Participants who review agencies are not required to share their names. After a review is posted, providers have the opportunity to respond to it. Once a response is given, no further dialogue will be published on the site.The site also offers a help feature that allows visitors to send an email directly to the administrator of the site. It does not, however, allow people to evalute or rate independent providers.BACKGROUNDProviderGuidePlus.com was developed with input from providers, families and professionals in the DD field, as well as the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities, the Ohio Provider Resource Association, and the Ohio Association of County Boards. All providers are required to participate. A pilot version of the tool ran in Coshocton, Cuyahoga and Knox counties from 2016-2017.