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2.1 Public participation requirements. (Section 101(a)(16)(A) of the Rehabilitation Act; 34 CFR 361.10(d), .20(a), (b), (d); and 363.11(g)(9))
(a) Conduct of public meetings.
(b) Notice requirements.
(c) Special consultation requirements.
3.1 Submission and revisions of the State Plan and its supplement. (Sections 101(a)(1), (23) and 625(a)(1) of the Rehabilitation Act; Section 501 of the Workforce Investment Act; 34 CFR 76.140; 361.10(e), (f), and (g); and 363.10)
(a) The state submits to the commissioner of the Rehabilitation Services Administration the State Plan and its supplement on the same date that the state submits either a State Plan under Section 112 of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 or a state unified plan under Section 501 of that Rehabilitation Act.
(b) The state submits only those policies, procedures or descriptions required under this State Plan and its supplement that have not been previously submitted to and approved by the commissioner.
(c) The state submits to the commissioner, at such time and in such manner as the commissioner determines to be appropriate, reports containing annual updates of the information relating to the:
- comprehensive system of personnel development;
- assessments, estimates, goals and priorities, and reports of progress;
- innovation and expansion activities; and
- other updates of information required under Title I, Part B, or Title VI, Part B, of the Rehabilitation Act that are requested by the commissioner.
(d) The State Plan and its supplement are in effect subject to the submission of modifications the state determines to be necessary or the commissioner requires based on a change in state policy, a change in federal law, including regulations, an interpretation of the Rehabilitation Act by a federal court or the highest court of the state, or a finding by the commissioner of state noncompliance with the requirements of the Rehabilitation Act, 34 CFR 361 or 34 CFR 363.
3.2 Supported Employment State Plan supplement. (Sections 101(a)(22) and 625(a) of the Rehabilitation Act; 34 CFR 361.34 and 363.10)
(a) The state has an acceptable plan for carrying out Part B, of Title VI of the Rehabilitation Act that provides for the use of funds under that part to supplement funds made available under Part B, of Title I of the Rehabilitation Act for the cost of services leading to supported employment.
(b) The Supported Employment State Plan, including any needed annual revisions, is submitted as a supplement to the State Plan.
4.1 Designated state agency and designated state unit. (Section 101(a)(2) of the Rehabilitation Act; 34 CFR 361.13(a) and (b))
(a) Designated state agency.
- There is a state agency designated as the sole state agency to administer the State Plan or to supervise its administration in a political subdivision of the state by a sole local agency.
- The designated state agency is a state agency that is not primarily concerned with vocational rehabilitation or vocational and other rehabilitation of individuals with disabilities and includes a vocational rehabilitation unit as provided in paragraph (b) of this section. (Option A was not selected/Option B was selected)
- In American Samoa, the designated state agency is the governor.
(b) Designated state unit.
- If the designated state agency is not primarily concerned with vocational rehabilitation or vocational and other rehabilitation of individuals with disabilities, in accordance with subparagraph 4.1(a)(2)(B) of this section, the state agency includes a vocational rehabilitation bureau, division or unit that:
- is primarily concerned with vocational rehabilitation or vocational and other rehabilitation of individuals with disabilities and is responsible for the administration of the designated state agency's vocational rehabilitation program under the State Plan;
- has a full-time director;
- has a staff, at least 90 percent of whom are employed full-time on the rehabilitation work of the organizational unit; and
- is located at an organizational level and has an organizational status within the designated state agency comparable to that of other major organizational units of the designated state agency.
- The name of the designated state vocational rehabilitation unit is
4.2 State independent commission or State Rehabilitation Council. (Sections 101(a)(21) and 105 of the Rehabilitation Act; 34 CFR 361.16 and .17)
(a) The designated state agency is an independent state commission. (Option A was not selected/Option B was selected)
(b) The state has established a State Rehabilitation Council that meets the criteria set forth in Section 105 of the Rehabilitation Act, 34 CFR 361.17 and the designated state unit.
- jointly with the State Rehabilitation Council develops, agrees to and reviews annually state goals and priorities and jointly submits to the commissioner annual reports of progress in accordance with the provisions of Section 101(a)(15) of the Rehabilitation Act, 34 CFR 361.29 and subsection 4.11 of this State Plan;
- regularly consults with the State Rehabilitation Council regarding the development, implementation and revision of state policies and procedures of general applicability pertaining to the provision of vocational rehabilitation services;
- includes in the State Plan and in any revision to the State Plan a summary of input provided by the State Rehabilitation Council, including recommendations from the annual report of the council described in Section 105(c)(5) of the Rehabilitation Act and 34 CFR 361.17(h)(5), the review and analysis of consumer satisfaction described in Section 105(c)(4) of the Rehabilitation Act and 34 CFR 361.17(h)(4), and other reports prepared by the council and the response of the designated state unit to the input and recommendations, including explanations for rejecting any input or recommendation; and
- transmits to the council:
- all plans, reports and other information required under 34 CFR 361 to be submitted to the commissioner;
- all policies and information on all practices and procedures of general applicability provided to or used by rehabilitation personnel in carrying out this State Plan and its supplement; and
- copies of due process hearing decisions issued under 34 CFR 361.57, which are transmitted in such a manner as to ensure that the identity of the participants in the hearings is kept confidential.
(c) If the designated state unit has a State Rehabilitation Council, Attachment 4.2(c) provides a summary of the input provided by the council consistent with the provisions identified in subparagraph (b)(3) of this section; the response of the designated state unit to the input and recommendations; and, explanations for the rejection of any input or any recommendation.
4.3 Consultations regarding the administration of the State Plan. (Section 101(a)(16)(B) of the Rehabilitation Act; 34 CFR 361.21)
(a) individuals and groups of individuals who are recipients of vocational rehabilitation services or, as appropriate, the individuals' representatives;
(b) personnel working in programs that provide vocational rehabilitation services to individuals with disabilities;
(c) providers of vocational rehabilitation services to individuals with disabilities;
(d) the director of the Client Assistance Program; and
(e) the State Rehabilitation Council, if the state has a council.
4.4 Nonfederal share. (Sections 7(14) and 101(a)(3) of the Rehabilitation Act; 34 CFR 80.24 and 361.60)
4.5 Local administration. (Sections 7(24) and 101(a)(2)(A) of the Rehabilitation Act; 34 CFR 361.5(b)(47) and .15)
(a) ensures that each local agency is under the supervision of the designated state unit with the sole local agency, as that term is defined in Section 7(24) of the Rehabilitation Act and 34 CFR 361.5(b)(47), responsible for the administration of the vocational rehabilitation program within the political subdivision that it serves; and
(b) develops methods that each local agency will use to administer the vocational rehabilitation program in accordance with the State Plan.
4.6 Shared funding and administration of joint programs. (Section 101(a)(2)(A)(ii) of the Rehabilitation Act; 34 CFR 361.27)
(a) a description of the nature and scope of the joint program;
(b) the services to be provided under the joint program;
(c) the respective roles of each participating agency in the administration and provision of services; and
(d) the share of the costs to be assumed by each agency.
4.7 Statewideness and waivers of statewideness. (Section 101(a)(4) of the Rehabilitation Act; 34 CFR 361.25, .26, and .60(b)(3)(i) and (ii))
(a) Services provided under the State Plan are available in all political subdivisions of the state.
(b) The state unit may provide services in one or more political subdivisions of the state that increase services or expand the scope of services that are available statewide under this State Plan if the:
- nonfederal share of the cost of these services is met from funds provided by a local public agency, including funds contributed to a local public agency by a private agency, organization or individual;
- services are likely to promote the vocational rehabilitation of substantially larger numbers of individuals with disabilities or of individuals with disabilities with particular types of impairments; and
- state, for purposes other than the establishment of a community rehabilitation program or the construction of a particular facility for community rehabilitation program purposes, requests in Attachment 4.7(b)(3) a waiver of the statewideness requirement in accordance with the following requirements:
- identification of the types of services to be provided;
- written assurance from the local public agency that it will make available to the state unit the nonfederal share of funds;
- written assurance that state unit approval will be obtained for each proposed service before it is put into effect; and
- written assurance that all other State Plan requirements, including a state's order of selection, will apply to all services approved under the waiver.
(c) Contributions, consistent with the requirements of 34 CFR 361.60(b)(3)(ii), by private entities of earmarked funds for particular geographic areas within the state may be used as part of the nonfederal share without the state requesting a waiver of the statewideness requirement provided that the state notifies the commissioner that it cannot provide the full nonfederal share without using the earmarked funds.
4.8 Cooperation, collaboration and coordination. (Sections 101(a)(11), (24)(B), and 625(b)(4) and (5) of the Rehabilitation Act; 34 CFR 361.22, .23, .24, and .31, and 363.11(e))
(a) Cooperative agreements with other components of statewide work force investment system.
(b) Cooperation and coordination with other agencies and entities.
- cooperation with and use of the services and facilities of the federal, state, and local agencies and programs, including programs carried out by the undersecretary for Rural Development of the United States Department of Agriculture and state use contracting programs, to the extent that those agencies and programs are not carrying out activities through the statewide work force investment system;
- coordination, in accordance with the requirements of paragraph 4.8(c) of this section, with education officials to facilitate the transition of students with disabilities from school to the receipt of vocational rehabilitation services;
- establishment of cooperative agreements with private nonprofit vocational rehabilitation service providers, in accordance with the requirements of paragraph 5.10(b) of the State Plan; and,
- efforts to identify and make arrangements, including entering into cooperative agreements, with other state agencies and entities with respect to the provision of supported employment and extended services for individuals with the most significant disabilities, in accordance with the requirements of subsection 6.5 of the supplement to this State Plan.
(c) Coordination with education officials.
- Attachment 4.8(b)(2) describes the plans, policies and procedures for coordination between the designated state agency and education officials responsible for the public education of students with disabilities that are designed to facilitate the transition of the students who are individuals with disabilities from the receipt of educational services in school to the receipt of vocational rehabilitation services under the responsibility of the designated state agency.
- The State Plan description must:
- provide for the development and approval of an individualized plan for employment in accordance with 34 CFR 361.45 as early as possible during the transition planning process but, at the latest, before each student determined to be eligible for vocational rehabilitation services leaves the school setting or if the designated state unit is operating on an order of selection before each eligible student able to be served under the order leaves the school setting; and
- include information on a formal interagency agreement with the state educational agency that, at a minimum, provides for:
- consultation and technical assistance to assist educational agencies in planning for the transition of students with disabilities from school to postschool activities, including vocational rehabilitation services;
- transition planning by personnel of the designated state agency and the educational agency for students with disabilities that facilitates the development and completion of their individualized education programs under Section 614(d) of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act;
- roles and responsibilities, including financial responsibilities, of each agency, including provisions for determining state lead agencies and qualified personnel responsible for transition services; and
- procedures for outreach to students with disabilities as early as possible during the transition planning process and identification of students with disabilities who need transition services.
(d) Coordination with statewide independent living council and independent living centers.
(e) Cooperative agreement with recipients of grants for services to American Indians.
- There is in the state a recipient(s) of a grant under Part C of Title I of the Rehabilitation Act for the provision of vocational rehabilitation services for American Indians who are individuals with disabilities residing on or near federal and state reservations. Yes
- If "Yes", the designated state agency has entered into a formal cooperative agreement that meets the following requirements with each grant recipient in the state that receives funds under Part C of Title I of the Rehabilitation Act:
- strategies for interagency referral and information sharing that will assist in eligibility determinations and the development of individualized plans for employment;
- procedures for ensuring that American Indians who are individuals with disabilities and are living near a reservation or tribal service area are provided vocational rehabilitation services; and
- provisions for sharing resources in cooperative studies and assessments, joint training activities, and other collaborative activities designed to improve the provision of services to American Indians who are individuals with disabilities.
4.9 Methods of administration. (Section 101(a)(6) of the Rehabilitation Act; 34 CFR 361.12, .19 and .51(a) and (b))
(a) In general.
(b) Employment of individuals with disabilities.
4.10 Comprehensive system of personnel development. (Section 101(a)(7) of the Rehabilitation Act; 34 CFR 361.18)
(a) Data system on personnel and personnel development.
- Qualified personnel needs.
- The number of personnel who are employed by the state agency in the provision of vocational rehabilitation services in relation to the number of individuals served, broken down by personnel category;
- The number of personnel currently needed by the state agency to provide vocational rehabilitation services, broken down by personnel category; and
- Projections of the number of personnel, broken down by personnel category, who will be needed by the state agency to provide vocational rehabilitation services in the state in five years based on projections of the number of individuals to be served, including individuals with significant disabilities, the number of personnel expected to retire or leave the field, and other relevant factors.
- Personnel development.
- A list of the institutions of higher education in the state that are preparing vocational rehabilitation professionals, by type of program;
- The number of students enrolled at each of those institutions, broken down by type of program; and
- The number of students who graduated during the prior year from each of those institutions with certification or licensure, or with the credentials for certification or licensure, broken down by the personnel category for which they have received, or have the credentials to receive, certification or licensure.
(b) Plan for recruitment, preparation and retention of qualified personnel.
(c) Personnel standards.
- standards that are consistent with any national- or state-approved or recognized certification, licensing, registration, or, in the absence of these requirements, other comparable requirements (including state personnel requirements) that apply to the profession or discipline in which such personnel are providing vocational rehabilitation services.
- To the extent that existing standards are not based on the highest requirements in the state applicable to a particular profession or discipline, the steps the state is currently taking and the steps the state plans to take in accordance with the written plan to retrain or hire personnel within the designated state unit to meet standards that are based on the highest requirements in the state, including measures to notify designated state unit personnel, the institutions of higher education identified in subparagraph (a)(2), and other public agencies of these steps and the time lines for taking each step.
- The written plan required by subparagraph (c)(2) describes the following:
- specific strategies for retraining, recruiting and hiring personnel;
- the specific time period by which all state unit personnel will meet the standards required by subparagraph (c)(1);
- procedures for evaluating the designated state unit's progress in hiring or retraining personnel to meet applicable personnel standards within the established time period; and
- the identification of initial minimum qualifications that the designated state unit will require of newly hired personnel when the state unit is unable to hire new personnel who meet the established personnel standards and the identification of a plan for training such individuals to meet the applicable standards within the time period established for all state unit personnel to meet the established personnel standards.
(d) Staff development.
- A system of staff development for professionals and paraprofessionals within the designated state unit, particularly with respect to assessment, vocational counseling, job placement and rehabilitation technology.
- Procedures for the acquisition and dissemination to designated state unit professionals and paraprofessionals significant knowledge from research and other sources.
(e) Personnel to address individual communication needs.
(f) Coordination of personnel development under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
4.11. Statewide assessment; annual estimates; annual state goals and priorities; strategies; and progress reports.
(a) Comprehensive statewide assessment.
- Attachment 4.11(a) documents the results of a comprehensive, statewide assessment, jointly conducted every three years by the designated state unit and the State Rehabilitation Council (if the state has such a council). The assessment describes:
- the rehabilitation needs of individuals with disabilities residing within the state, particularly the vocational rehabilitation services needs of:
- individuals with the most significant disabilities, including their need for supported employment services;
- individuals with disabilities who are minorities and individuals with disabilities who have been unserved or underserved by the vocational rehabilitation program carried out under this State Plan; and
- individuals with disabilities served through other components of the statewide work force investment system.
- The need to establish, develop or improve community rehabilitation programs within the state.
- For any year in which the state updates the assessments, the designated state unit submits to the commissioner a report containing information regarding updates to the assessments.
(b) Annual estimates.
- number of individuals in the state who are eligible for services under the plan;
- number of eligible individuals who will receive services provided with funds provided under Part B of Title I of the Rehabilitation Act and under Part B of Title VI of the Rehabilitation Act, including, if the designated state agency uses an order of selection in accordance with subparagraph 5.3(b)(2) of this State Plan, estimates of the number of individuals to be served under each priority category within the order; and
- costs of the services described in subparagraph (b)(1), including, if the designated state agency uses an order of selection, the service costs for each priority category within the order.
(c) Goals and priorities.
- Attachment 4.11(c)(1) identifies the goals and priorities of the state that are jointly developed or revised, as applicable, with and agreed to by the State Rehabilitation Council, if the agency has a council, in carrying out the vocational rehabilitation and supported employment programs.
- The designated state agency submits to the commissioner a report containing information regarding any revisions in the goals and priorities for any year the state revises the goals and priorities.
- Order of selection.
If the state agency implements an order of selection, consistent with subparagraph 5.3(b)(2) of the State Plan, Attachment 4.11(c)(3):
- shows the order to be followed in selecting eligible individuals to be provided vocational rehabilitation services;
- provides a justification for the order; and
- identifies the service and outcome goals, and the time within which these goals may be achieved for individuals in each priority category within the order.
- Goals and plans for distribution of Title VI, Part B, funds.
Attachment 4.11(c)(4) specifies, consistent with subsection 6.4 of the State Plan supplement, the state's goals and priorities with respect to the distribution of funds received under Section 622 of the Rehabilitation Act for the provision of supported employment services.
- Attachment 4.11(d) describes the strategies, including:
- the methods to be used to expand and improve services to individuals with disabilities, including how a broad range of assistive technology services and assistive technology devices will be provided to those individuals at each stage of the rehabilitation process and how those services and devices will be provided to individuals with disabilities on a statewide basis;
- outreach procedures to identify and serve individuals with disabilities who are minorities, including those with the most significant disabilities in accordance with subsection 6.6 of the State Plan supplement, and individuals with disabilities who have been unserved or underserved by the vocational rehabilitation program;
- as applicable, the plan of the state for establishing, developing or improving community rehabilitation programs;
- strategies to improve the performance of the state with respect to the evaluation standards and performance indicators established pursuant to Section 106 of the Rehabilitation Act; and
- strategies for assisting other components of the statewide work force investment system in assisting individuals with disabilities.
- Attachment 4.11 (d) describes how the designated state agency uses these strategies to:
- address the needs identified in the assessment conducted under paragraph 4.11(a) and achieve the goals and priorities identified in the State Plan attachments under paragraph 4.11(c);
- support the innovation and expansion activities identified in subparagraph 4.12(a)(1) and (2) of the plan; and
- overcome identified barriers relating to equitable access to and participation of individuals with disabilities in the State Vocational Rehabilitation Services Program and State Supported Employment Services Program.
(e) Evaluation and reports of progress.
- The designated state unit and the State Rehabilitation Council, if the state unit has a council, jointly submits to the commissioner an annual report on the results of an evaluation of the effectiveness of the vocational rehabilitation program and the progress made in improving the effectiveness of the program from the previous year.
- Attachment 4.11(e)(2):
- provides an evaluation of the extent to which the goals identified in Attachment 4.11(c)(1) and, if applicable, Attachment 4.11(c)(3) were achieved;
- identifies the strategies that contributed to the achievement of the goals and priorities;
- describes the factors that impeded their achievement, to the extent they were not achieved;
- assesses the performance of the state on the standards and indicators established pursuant to Section 106 of the Rehabilitation Act; and
- provides a report consistent with paragraph 4.12(c) of the plan on how the funds reserved for innovation and expansion activities were utilized in the preceding year.
4.12 Innovation and expansion. (Section 101(a)(18) of the Rehabilitation Act; 34 CFR 361.35)
(a) The designated state agency reserves and uses a portion of the funds allotted to the state under Section 110 of the Rehabilitation Act for the:
- development and implementation of innovative approaches to expand and improve the provision of vocational rehabilitation services to individuals with disabilities under this State Plan, particularly individuals with the most significant disabilities, consistent with the findings of the statewide assessment identified in Attachment 4.11(a) and goals and priorities of the state identified in Attachments 4.11(c)(1) and, if applicable, Attachment 4.11(c)(3); and
- support of the funding for the State Rehabilitation Council, if the state has such a council, consistent with the resource plan prepared under Section 105(d)(1) of the Rehabilitation Act and 34 CFR 361.17(i), and the funding of the Statewide Independent Living Council, consistent with the resource plan prepared under Section 705(e)(1) of the Rehabilitation Act and 34 CFR 364.21(i).
(b) Attachment 4.11 (d) describes how the reserved funds identified in subparagraph 4.12(a)(1) and (2) will be utilized.
(c) Attachment 4.11(e)(2) describes how the reserved funds were utilized in the preceding year.
4.13 Reports. (Section 101(a)(10) of the Rehabilitation Act; 34 CFR 361.40)
(a) The designated state unit submits reports in the form and level of detail and at the time required by the commissioner regarding applicants for and eligible individuals receiving services under the State Plan.
(b) Information submitted in the reports provides a complete count, unless sampling techniques are used, of the applicants and eligible individuals in a manner that permits the greatest possible cross-classification of data and protects the confidentiality of the identity of each individual.
5.1 Information and referral services. (Sections 101(a)(5)(D) and (20) of the Rehabilitation Act; 34 CFR 361.37)
5.2 Residency. (Section 101(a)(12) of the Rehabilitation Act; 34 CFR 361.42(c)(1))
5.3 Ability to serve all eligible individuals; order of selection for services. (Sections 12(d) and 101(a)(5) of the Rehabilitation Act; 34 CFR 361.36)
(a) The designated state unit is able to provide the full range of services listed in Section 103(a) of the Rehabilitation Act and 34 CFR 361.48, as appropriate, to all eligible individuals with disabilities in the state who apply for services. No
(b) If No:
- Individuals with the most significant disabilities, in accordance with criteria established by the state, are selected first for vocational rehabilitation services before other individuals with disabilities.
- Attachment 4.11(c)(3):
- shows the order to be followed in selecting eligible individuals to be provided vocational rehabilitation services;
- provides a justification for the order of selection; and
- identifies the state's service and outcome goals and the time within which these goals may be achieved for individuals in each priority category within the order.
- Eligible individuals who do not meet the order of selection criteria have access to the services provided through the designated state unit's information and referral system established under Section 101(a)(20) of the Rehabilitation Act, 34 CFR 361.37, and subsection 5.1 of this State Plan.
5.4 Availability of comparable services and benefits. (Sections 101(a)(8) and 103(a) of the Rehabilitation Act; 34 CFR 361.53)
(a) Prior to providing any vocational rehabilitation services, except those services identified in paragraph (b), to an eligible individual or to members of the individual's family, the state unit determines whether comparable services and benefits exist under any other program and whether those services and benefits are available to the individual.
(b) The following services are exempt from a determination of the availability of comparable services and benefits:
- assessment for determining eligibility and vocational rehabilitation needs by qualified personnel, including, if appropriate, an assessment by personnel skilled in rehabilitation technology;
- counseling and guidance, including information and support services to assist an individual in exercising informed choice consistent with the provisions of Section 102(d) of the Rehabilitation Act;
- referral and other services to secure needed services from other agencies, including other components of the statewide work force investment system, through agreements developed under Section 101(a)(11) of the Rehabilitation Act, if such services are not available under this State Plan;
- job-related services, including job search and placement assistance, job retention services, follow-up services, and follow-along services;
- rehabilitation technology, including telecommunications, sensory and other technological aids and devices; and
- post-employment services consisting of the services listed under subparagraphs (1) through (5) of this paragraph.
(c) The requirements of paragraph (a) of this section do not apply if the determination of the availability of comparable services and benefits under any other program would interrupt or delay:
- progress of the individual toward achieving the employment outcome identified in the individualized plan for employment;
- an immediate job placement; or
- provision of vocational rehabilitation services to any individual who is determined to be at extreme medical risk, based on medical evidence provided by an appropriate qualified medical professional.
(d) The governor in consultation with the designated state vocational rehabilitation agency and other appropriate agencies ensures that an interagency agreement or other mechanism for interagency coordination that meets the requirements of Section 101(a)(8)(B)(i)-(iv) of the Rehabilitation Act takes effect between the designated state unit and any appropriate public entity, including the state Medicaid program, a public institution of higher education, and a component of the statewide work force investment system to ensure the provision of the vocational rehabilitation services identified in Section 103(a) of the Rehabilitation Act and 34 CFR 361.48, other than the services identified in paragraph (b) of this section, that are included in the individualized plan for employment of an eligible individual, including the provision of those vocational rehabilitation services during the pendency of any dispute that may arise in the implementation of the interagency agreement or other mechanism for interagency coordination.
5.5 Individualized plan for employment. (Section 101(a)(9) of the Rehabilitation Act; 34 CFR 361.45 and .46)
(a) An individualized plan for employment meeting the requirements of Section 102(b) of the Rehabilitation Act and 34 CFR 361.45 and .46 is developed and implemented in a timely manner for each individual determined to be eligible for vocational rehabilitation services, except if the state has implemented an order of selection, and is developed and implemented for each individual to whom the designated state unit is able to provide vocational rehabilitation services.
(b) Services to an eligible individual are provided in accordance with the provisions of the individualized plan for employment.
5.6 Opportunity to make informed choices regarding the selection of services and providers. (Sections 101(a)(19) and 102(d) of the Rehabilitation Act; 34 CFR 361.52)
5.7 Services to American Indians. (Section 101(a)(13) of the Rehabilitation Act; 34 CFR 361.30)
5.8 Annual review of individuals in extended employment or other employment under special certificate provisions of the fair labor standards act of 1938. (Section 101(a)(14) of the Rehabilitation Act; 34 CFR 361.55)
(a) The designated state unit conducts an annual review and reevaluation of the status of each individual with a disability served under this State Plan:
- who has achieved an employment outcome in which the individual is compensated in accordance with Section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act (29 U.S.C. 214(c)); or
- whose record of services is closed while the individual is in extended employment on the basis that the individual is unable to achieve an employment outcome in an integrated setting or that the individual made an informed choice to remain in extended employment.
(b) The designated state unit carries out the annual review and reevaluation for two years after the individual's record of services is closed (and thereafter if requested by the individual or, if appropriate, the individual's representative) to determine the interests, priorities and needs of the individual with respect to competitive employment or training for competitive employment.
(c) The designated state unit makes maximum efforts, including the identification and provision of vocational rehabilitation services, reasonable accommodations and other necessary support services, to assist the individuals described in paragraph (a) in engaging in competitive employment.
(d) The individual with a disability or, if appropriate, the individual's representative has input into the review and reevaluation and, through signed acknowledgement, attests that the review and reevaluation have been conducted.
5.9 Use of Title I funds for construction of facilities. (Sections 101(a)(17) and 103(b)(2)(A) of the Rehabilitation Act; 34 CFR 361.49(a)(1), .61 and .62(b))
(a) The federal share of the cost of construction for facilities for a fiscal year does not exceed an amount equal to 10 percent of the state's allotment under Section 110 of the Rehabilitation Act for that fiscal year.
(b) The provisions of Section 306 of the Rehabilitation Act that were in effect prior to the enactment of the Rehabilitation Act Amendments of 1998 apply to such construction.
(c) There is compliance with the requirements in 34 CFR 361.62(b) that ensure the use of the construction authority will not reduce the efforts of the designated state agency in providing other vocational rehabilitation services other than the establishment of facilities for community rehabilitation programs.
5.10 Contracts and cooperative agreements. (Section 101(a)(24) of the Rehabilitation Act; 34 CFR 361.31 and .32)
(a) Contracts with for-profit organizations.
(b) Cooperative agreements with private nonprofit organizations.
Section 6: Program Administration
6.1 Designated state agency. (Section 625(b)(1) of the Rehabilitation Act; 34 CFR 363.11(a))
6.2 Statewide assessment of supported employment services needs. (Section 625(b)(2) of the Rehabilitation Act; 34 CFR 363.11(b))
6.3 Quality, scope and extent of supported employment services. (Section 625(b)(3) of the Rehabilitation Act; 34 CFR 363.11(c) and .50(b)(2))
6.4 Goals and plans for distribution of Title VI, Part B, funds. (Section 625(b)(3) of the Rehabilitation Act; 34 CFR 363.11(d) and .20)
6.5 Evidence of collaboration with respect to supported employment services and extended services. (Sections 625(b)(4) and (5) of the Rehabilitation Act; 34 CFR 363.11(e))
6.6 Minority outreach. (34 CFR 363.11(f))
6.7 Reports. (Sections 625(b)(8) and 626 of the Rehabilitation Act; 34 CFR 363.11(h) and .52)
7.1 Five percent limitation on administrative costs. (Section 625(b)(7) of the Rehabilitation Act; 34 CFR 363.11(g)(8))
7.2 Use of funds in providing services. (Sections 623 and 625(b)(6)(A) and (D) of the Rehabilitation Act; 34 CFR 363.6(c)(2)(iv), .11(g)(1) and (4))
(a) Funds made available under Title VI, Part B, of the Rehabilitation Act are used by the designated state agency only to provide supported employment services to individuals with the most significant disabilities who are eligible to receive such services.
(b) Funds provided under Title VI, Part B, are used only to supplement and not supplant the funds provided under Title I, Part B, of the Rehabilitation Act, in providing supported employment services specified in the individualized plan for employment.
(c) Funds provided under Part B of Title VI or Title I of the Rehabilitation Act are not used to provide extended services to individuals who are eligible under Part B of Title VI or Title I of the Rehabilitation Act.
8.1 Scope of supported employment services. (Sections 7(36) and 625(b)(6)(F) and (G) of the Rehabilitation Act; 34 CFR 361.5(b)(54), 363.11(g)(6) and (7))
(a) Supported employment services are those services as defined in Section 7(36) of the Rehabilitation Act and 34 CFR 361.5(b)(54).
(b) To the extent job skills training is provided, the training is provided on-site.
(c) Supported employment services include placement in an integrated setting for the maximum number of hours possible based on the unique strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, interests and informed choice of individuals with the most significant disabilities.
8.2 Comprehensive assessments of individuals with significant disabilities. (Sections 7(2)(B) and 625(b)(6)(B); 34 CFR 361.5(b)(6)(ii) and 363.11(g)(2))
8.3 Individualized plan for employment. (Sections 102(b)(3)(F) and 625(b)(6)(C) and (E) of the Rehabilitation Act; 34 CFR 361.46(b) and 363.11(g)(3) and (5))
(a) An individualized plan for employment that meets the requirements of Section 102(b) of the Rehabilitation Act and 34 CFR 361.45 and .46 is developed and updated using funds under Title I.
(b) The individualized plan for employment:
- specifies the supported employment services to be provided;
- describes the expected extended services needed; and
- identifies the source of extended services, including natural supports, or, to the extent that it is not possible to identify the source of extended services at the time the individualized plan for employment plan is developed, a statement describing the basis for concluding that there is a reasonable expectation that sources will become available.
(c) Services provided under an individualized plan for employment are coordinated with services provided under other individualized plans established under other federal or state programs.
Summary of Input and Recommendations of the State Rehabilitation Council; Response of the Designated State Unit; and Explanations for Rejection of Input or Recommendations
The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) has had a State Rehabilitation Council (SRC) for more than twenty-four years. The SRC mission statement is:
“The State Rehabilitation Council (SRC) provides individuals with disabilities a strong, substantive role in shaping the programs and services established to support their employment goals and aspirations and to provide consumers of vocational rehabilitation services a mechanism to influence at the systemic and policy level the direction of vocational rehabilitation programming.”
During the past year, the SRC has worked diligently to partner with DVR in meaningful ways, beginning with the work of an ad hoc Partnership committee that was formed to foster continual improvement in the relationship between DVR and SRC. A two-day facilitated planning retreat was held in October of 2010 resulting in the comprehensive development and refinement of the Council’s committee structure. The SRC used this time to establish their 2011 goals, working to assist DVR to achieve its mission in assisting people with disabilities to achieve their employment goals. The SRC committees include:
1. The CONSUMER SATISFACTION COMMITTEE addresses issues related to the access of DVR consumers to effective vocational rehabilitation services. The committee presents reports and recommendations to the entire State Rehabilitation Council for review and confirmation. The committee is responsible for the Consumer Satisfaction Survey.
2. The EMPLOYMENT COMMITTEE forges partnerships between businesses and vocational rehabilitation services to facilitate consumer transition into employment. The committee advocates for Partners With Industry projects within Colorado’s business and industrial communities.
3. The LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE works to ensure that the SRC is updated in a timely fashion about all vocational rehabilitation and/or disability related legislation and budgetary issues. This committee monitors the Colorado State legislative and budgetary processes and educates the full SRC about relevant legislation or activities of interest.
4. The MEMBERSHIP/RECRUITMENT COMMITTEE works to ensure that membership of the SRC is in compliance with the mandates of the 1998 Rehabilitation Act. The committee also assures that members and associate members participate and contribute to the SRC and its mission. The committee recommends potential SRC members for Governor appointment and is responsible for the initial orientation and on-going training of SRC members.
Minutes are maintained of all SRC meetings and retreats, which summarize the advice and recommendations provided to DVR. Each standing and ad hoc committee of the SRC is staffed by appropriate Division of Vocational Rehabilitation personnel to assure that the SRC is apprised of DVR’s developing issues and to assure that the SRC has ample opportunity to provide input into DVR’s administrative and program activities.
During its October retreat, the SRC established the following goals for each committee:
Consumer Satisfaction Committee: The Consumer Satisfaction Committee will establish a consistent written process for referrals of students to DVR from every available school district to all DVR staff by March 1, 2011.
Employment Committee: A minimum of five of the key members of the Colorado Legislature will be educated about the importance of fully funding DVR programs from an employment and employer perspective as measured by achievement of the goal of having five employers meeting with the key Legislators before the Long Bill is approved in 2011.
Legislative Committee: The Legislative Committee will create a focused plan to educate key Legislators about the financial benefit to the state and to government that results from DVR’s work. The plan will be implemented by the SRC by January, 2011.
Membership Committee: By March 2011, the Membership Committee will develop a continuous and sustainable plan for recruiting, recommending, and developing a pool of possible members for the SRC in accordance with federal and state executive order guidelines (RSA).
These committees will continue to work throughout 2011 to achieve their established goals.
In addition to these activities, the SRC conducted a brainstorming exercise in March, 2011 during which they generated ideas around what constitutes DVR strengths, areas for improvement, future opportunities and potential threats to DVR’s success. All SRC members were engaged in this activity and a sampling of the items identified include:
Overall DVR Strengths
•DVR Mission is well known, relevant & current
•DVR has good credibility in the community
•Staff are strong, motivated and passionate about their mission
•Strong partnerships and inter-agency relationships; synergistic and not competitive
•Approachable (from employer perspective)
Areas for Improvement
•Agency is dependent on only 2 limited sources of funding
•At times can be too much focus on what’s wrong instead of focusing on how to make things right
•Agency has limited ability to be proactive in retaining staff
•Continue to encourage positive/enthusiastic employees in the field
•Continue to develop leadership opportunities & growth
•Continue to develop and increase vendor availability
•Use our vendors more effectively & educate counselors about their availability/expertise
•Look @ rates paid to placement providers and consider increasing
•Consider needs of homeless population; increase collaboration and services in this area
•Potential perception to public and families that DVR is not innovative in its practices
•Better develop staff’s ability to know the difference between and to effectively serve individuals with developmental disabilities and those with physical disabilities
•Too few individuals pursue post-secondary education resulting in more independence and higher income potential
•Capitalize on opportunity presented by new leadership at federal level for increased flexibility and innovation
•Continue to cultivate creative partnerships with workforce programs, post-secondary resources and mental health programming; explore blended funding to increase and improve services
•Explore opportunities for increased partnerships with federal employers; capitalize on Schedule A possibilities
•Explore opportunities for more youth to take advantage of post-secondary programs to better prepare them to enter the workforce
•Explore effective use of social media
•Help “remind” staff of the value of what they do on a day-to-day basis; help them keep the bigger picture and mission in mind
•Find ways to keep DVR on the “cutting edge” of assisting our consumers in achieving higher quality and successful employment outcomes
“Threats” to Success
•Current legislative environment and associated financial constraints
•Increased competition and changes in the job market
•Funding to educational system may affect partnerships; available funding for vocationally focused activities is decreasing – transitioning students may be less prepared
•In a tight economy, differences are less valued; it can be harder to break through attitudinal barriers; we need to find ways to better educate & increase compassion & consideration for all people in general
These activities and the SRC’s continued work throughout the year resulted in the following formal recommendations made to DVR:
•Explore strategies for retaining DVR’S recently hired and younger staff
•Explore use of exit surveys to better identify reasons for staff departures
Increasing Consumer Engagement
•Conduct a longitudinal study of why consumers “exit” programming
•Look at customer satisfaction surveys from SRC perspective to focus in on this issue
•Explore strategies to more effectively assess consumers’ readiness for programming
•Explore use of Cognitive Motivational Training strategies
•Increase awareness of DVR staff about consumers’ involvement in multiple systems and helping them to effectively navigate
•Review documentation for individuals who are placed in interrupted status
•Look at internal processes and improve approaches to handling barriers
•Use CSAVR to gather information about how other states address this issue
Quality of Employment Outcomes
•Review and capitalize on areas of successful employment
•Explore employment trends across Colorado
•Effectively identify the types of employment that will exist in Future
•Focus counselors on future trends in employment
•Connect with workforce system and explore focus on sector strategies
•Partner with other entities (Chambers of Commerce, higher education & other partners) to fully use projective information to educate our consumers
•Explore incentives for staff who achieve production goals focused on quality
•Capitalize on DVR Business Outreach Specialists to make these efforts effective
•Also look at areas of job retention for consumers; 90 days is the minimum requirement – make better use of post employment services to assist consumers in retaining employment
•Job retention specialist
•Conducts employment follow-up.
•Other strategies – placement incentives for follow-up
•Explore strategies for better serving individuals who are homeless or who have multiple barriers to employment
DVR is in agreement with the areas of recommendation identified by the SRC and will strive to focus on making quality improvements in these four main areas. DVR looks forward to continuing to use the SRC members’ expertise, skills and creativity as a valuable resource for achieving its goals and objectives, resulting in increase quality and quantity of successful employment outcomes for DVR consumers.
This screen was last updated on Jun 28 2011 9:59AM by sacodannk
Cooperation and Coordination with Other Agencies and Entities
ATTACHMENT 4.8 (b)(1)
Cooperation with Agencies That Are Not in the Statewide Workforce Investment System and With Other Entities
Cooperation with Agencies That Are Not in the Statewide Workforce Investment System and with Other Entities
The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) cooperates with an extensive number of public and private agencies and programs, including local school districts, Boards of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES), community mental health centers and other mental health programs, community colleges, universities, county human services agencies, community centered boards serving persons with developmental disabilities, the corrections system, and other agencies. The Division’s employees are integral members of many interagency teams and regularly collaborate with agencies and programs to facilitate the provision of services to its primary customers.
In all of the coordination activities throughout the State, the goal is to reduce the duplication of services and to maximize the DVR customer’s opportunity to obtain an employment outcome of their choice. There are no special programs carried out by the Under Secretary for Rural Development of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or State use contracting programs operating outside of the statewide workforce investment system in any part of Colorado.
Mental Health Programs
DVR offices work cooperatively with a number of mental health programs. The Mental Health Supported Employment Project operates under a formalized agreement between DVR and The Division of Mental Health and involves local level supported employment agreements with Fifteen (15) Mental Health Centers throughout the State. As more funding becomes available, DVR would approach currently nonparticipating Centers for inclusion into this program. Services consist of job coaching, placement, and on-going support. The purpose of this project is to enhance employment opportunities for individuals with chronic mental illness (CMI). This program has resulted in increased integrated employment opportunities for these individuals.
Throughout the Region the DVR offices work with the community mental health centers serving the area. Counselors and supervisors provide orientation and training sessions for mental health center staff and their clients. Where the community mental health centers have established vocational and supported employment programs, DVR often partners with these centers to meet the needs of our mutual clients. The cooperative planning and service delivery result in improved service delivery, increased client satisfaction, and greater numbers of successful employment outcomes.
At least once annually, DVR staff meets with staff from various departments at the Colorado Mental Health Institute at Pueblo (CMHIP) to provide orientation and training regarding rehabilitation eligibility and service delivery. These sessions include discussions of referral processes as well as ways to better coordinate transition of individuals from the institutionalized setting into successful community based employment outcomes.
County Human Services Agencies
DVR also cooperates with County Departments of Human/Social Services to enable disabled TANF recipients to reduce their dependency on public assistance through employment through the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program. This innovative program was part of a DVR initiated initiative approved by the Colorado Legislature. The coordinated effort enables DVR counselors to become specialists in services to persons with disabilities receiving TANF benefits. The knowledge of the TANF program and benefits reduces duplication of services and provides faster and more successful delivery of needed rehabilitation services thus enabling the individual to successfully move into appropriate employment outcomes. Through cooperative agreements with matching funds, DVR, along with El Paso County Department of Social Services and Adams County Department of Human Services, has dedicated counseling positions to be co-located at the county facilities to make the full range of vocational rehabilitation services available to eligible individuals. Goals have been established for referrals and placements. Counselors and supervisors have increased efforts and activities with county social service agencies in working with recipients of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), who have disability related employment issues. In Adams County, a counselor is specifically assigned to serve residents of the county who receive TANF services. Agency staff have also been involved with Colorado Dept. of Human Services’ Self-Sufficiency Services, working together to improve TANF recipients access to needed services and quality employment.
School Districts, BOCES, Colleges and Universities
The School to Work Alliance Program (SWAP) is established through a series of 44 contracts with local school districts and Boards of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) to provide vocational rehabilitation services to eligible individuals between the ages of 16-25 with mild to moderate needs in employment. Services are provided through a case management model, and are community based. Services typically consist of: referral development, acquiring diagnostic information, vocational goal development, counseling and guidance, placement, work adjustment training, job seeking skills training, job coaching and one-year of post-status 26 closure follow-up support. Each supervisory district has multiple SWAP contracts. 143 of Colorado’s 176 school districts are currently involved in operating a SWAP partnership within the local communities that are established within those districts. On average, over 3,000 youth are served each year through SWAP. It is anticipated that SWAP will expand into three additional sites within the next year, which will involve over 148 of Colorado’s school districts. The SWAP effort has increased awareness of the existence of DVR among educators and has resulted in increased numbers of students being referred to DVR for services. The increased service delivery has also increased the number of individuals obtaining successful employment outcomes. Interest in expanding the number of educational units participating in the SWAP continues to grow.
Colorado Youth WINS (Work Incentive Network of Supports) is a five-year Youth Transition Process Demonstration (YTPD) funded by Social Security Administration. The Demonstration is led by the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center’s (UCHSC) WIN Partners. The overarching goal of the demonstration project is to remove major barriers and disincentives to work for youth, aged 14-25, who receive, or who are likely to receive SSI, SSDI or CDB in order to maximize their economic self-sufficiency and career advancement. DVR is a primary partner in the implementation of Colorado Youth WINS at both the state and the community level, and began providing data for this project in State FY 2007.
As part of DVR’s service delivery to clients, many individuals attend community colleges and universities. DVR Offices work closely with the many offices dedicated to support of students with disabilities at each institution. In addition, at the state level DVR has a representative who is a member of the Consortium of Support Programs for Students with Disabilities. This membership allows for ongoing communication between the community colleges, universities and DVR in areas related to accommodation issues and other related topics. This assists DVR customers in the completion of their areas of study and enables them to move more successfully into their chosen employment outcome. This also supports the ongoing renewal of the memorandums of understanding between DVR and the six college boards within this state which detail the collaborative provision of services to students with disabilities who are in an institution of higher education and who are also recipients of services through DVR.
DVR staff has also worked with Access Colorado, an employer program associated with the Community College and Occupational Education System. This program has set up specialized employment training, which meets specific employer needs, for clients in this region. This resulted in a number of trainees obtaining career-path employment.
Community Centered Boards
Community Centered Boards (CCB) serving persons with developmental disabilities are important partners in DVR’s effort to assure the availability of quality vocational rehabilitation services throughout the state.
DVR entered into a memorandum of understanding with the Division of Developmental Disabilities and in State FY 2007 hired Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors for six out of seven local CCBs that are offering office space for DVR counselors. These counselors focus on promoting successful community employment outcomes for individuals with developmental disabilities who have been determined eligible and are recipient of services through the CCB system. In the other areas of the state, DVR counselors and supervisors meet frequently with Community Centered Board staff to coordinate services delivery
The collaboration between DVR and the CCBs is especially evident in DVR’s delivery of supported employment services. For DVR customers who meet Community Centered Board eligibility for service delivery, the CCB is almost always the provider of extended ongoing support services to assure the success of the supported employment outcome. DVR staff, working together with CCB staff, assist and facilitate customer’s expression of choice in service delivery options, employment outcomes, and providers of services through networks of “approved service agencies”. Community Centered Boards: DVR staff attends board and committee meetings to facilitate an effective working relationship between our agencies. As identified in another section of this State Plan, DVR, the CCBs and the Division of Developmental Disabilities have entered into a pilot project to collaboratively increase and improve successful employment outcomes for consumers who are on CCB waiting lists for services.
The Corrections System
DVR acknowledges that many individuals who have been convicted of criminal acts are also individuals with disabilities. DVR staff coordinates services with probation offices, parole offices, as well as working directly with many of the youth and adult correctional institutions in the state. For individuals who meet DVR eligibility DVR works to coordinate services that compliment the release plans that are mutually developed by the individual with the disability and the correctional program they are attached to.
One of the region’s Supervisors is a member of the Denver Juvenile Justice Network, along with other groups such as the Mayor’s Office of Employment and Training (MOET), Department of Youth Corrections, and Summer Youth Employment. Counselors also work with referrals from the Department of Corrections/Adult Parole and Probation Officers. In addition, construction of a state prison in Sterling will cause both referrals and employment opportunities to increase, not only in the Sterling area, but also in surrounding communities.
Outreach to Employers
Outreach to employers is an important focus of service delivery in Colorado. The Division is a member of the Colorado Business Leadership Network. Counselors regularly participate with employers in training sessions and meetings, which enhances employer’s awareness and understanding of the abilities of clients we serve and the employee potential they offer. Additionally, DVR collaborates with the Colorado Coalition for Persons with Disabilities to operate Colorado’s annual Job Fair for Persons with Disabilities. Also, DVR has three regional federal employment specialists throughout Colorado who are actively involved in linking federal job openings with DVR-involved job seekers. These specialists also work to develop new federal employment opportunities for persons with disabilities. Region II counselors have formed an in-house network of Job Developers. Counselors have also developed a training package on Disability Awareness for employers. Staff also participates on the Arapahoe County Job Developers Network. Coordination and collaboration in developing new employer linkages is resulting in more employment opportunities for individuals.
DVR now has a statewide Job Development Coordinator housed in the Denver metropolitan area, who will coordinate the activities of nine Outreach Specialists located around the state. Their duties will be to market DVR’s capabilities to businesses and in return to gain an understanding of their business needs. This knowledge will allow DVR to better prepare consumers for employment, and match their qualifications with business needs. DVR will also use Disability Program Navigators within the Workforce Centers to provide additional job placement services to consumers..
• DVR has entered into a partnership with the Denver Zoological Foundation to provide work adjustment and vocational skills training, in a zoological setting, to DVR young consumers. It is anticipated that braiding of funds will continue in the future to support ongoing activities and possibly expansion of this effort.
• DVR was a primary partner in the development of an application to participate in the National Governor’s Association’s (NGA) Policy Academy to Improve Outcomes for Youth and Young Adults with Disabilities. Goals of this Academy include: improving interagency collaboration; strengthening accountability through shared data collection; establishing stronger connections with underserved populations; and increasing awareness of disability issues. In addition to DVR, core partners in this endeavor include: the NGA, The Governor’s Office of Policy and Initiative, the Office of Workforce Development, UCHSC WIN Partners, the Department of Labor and Employment, Cerebral Palsy of Colorado, the Department of Education, the Community College System, the Department of Health and Environment, and Easter Seals of Colorado.
• In Ft. Collins, DVR staff meets regularly with the Veterans Administration to create employment opportunities for disabled veterans.
• Under a grant from the US Department of Agriculture to the Colorado State University and the Easter Seals of Colorado, services are made available to individuals with disabilities and families to help them remain in or enter the field of agriculture. Although available statewide, services are generally provided in rural settings throughout Colorado. DVR works closely with these agencies to identify individuals who would be eligible for DVR services and coordinate the provision of rehabilitation services necessary to maintain or obtain employment in the agricultural field.
• Under a contractual agreement with DVR the Western Slope Technical Assistance Center is a collaborative, inter-agency initiative designed to build capacity in Colorado through the provision of technical assistance, training, assessments, installation and follow up assistive technology devices and a fully operational loan bank of assistive technology devices with a value in excess of $1,000,000. Through DVR collaborative efforts with Assistive Technology Partners, there has been an increase in the employability of people with disabilities served by DVR.
• A number of agencies and workgroups and regional staff have developed grant proposals, and implemented new grants that have expanded services to persons with disabilities. These include the United Cerebral Palsy Association, which has two Projects with Industry Grants, the Colorado DeafBlind Network, the Deafness-developmental Disability Workgroup, Shalom, Platte River Industries, and the Brain Injury association of Colorado.
• DVR contracts with ten Independent Living centers through the Colorado Independent Living Core Services (CILCS) program to provide services such as independent living skills training, peer counseling (including cross-disability peer counseling), individual and systems advocacy, transportation, and housing. Each center also provides information and referral services to all individuals with disabilities who request this type of assistance or service.
• DVR has a Migrant Grant program, which is managed out of our Pueblo Office by Sam Medina a DVR Counselor. (this should probably be addressed by the field services group)
• DVR receives and administers the Older Individuals who are Blind program throughout the State DVR administers the Older Individuals who are Blind (OIB) program mandated by Title VII, Chapter 2 of the Act. The program serves people 55 and older who are blind or visually impaired. Typically, these are people who are experiencing low vision from age-related factors, and they are concerned about losing their independence. The OIB program helps them to learn new skills and identify community resources that will allow them to live full, independent lives in their own homes. The federal grant is awarded to eligible vendors across the state through a competitive RFP process on a three year funding cycle.
• DVR also partners with the following agencies: National Federation for the Blind, Cerebral Palsy of Colorado, Craig Hospital, the Brain Injury Foundation, Denver Diaconal, Catholic Charities, Mi Casa, the Women’s Bean Project, Bayaud Industries, Goodwill Industries, Aspen Diversified and other NISH contractors, hospital indigent programs, and substance abuse treatment centers.
• Chamber of Commerce memberships are being used by some DVR Field Offices to generate relationships with more local employers. DVR anticipates more Field Offices to become members of their local Chambers of Commerce in Federal FY 2008.
All counselors and local supervisors have increased interactions with all vendors of services due to the Division’s Provider Agreement requirement. Working with vendors to identify their credentials and types of services available, will give clients more information to make better-informed choices about the services and vendors they choose to work with.
This screen was last updated on Jul 9 2009 11:48AM by sacoklingmang
Coordination with Education Officials
Since 1985, the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) has participated with the Colorado Department of Education (CDE), as well as with local school districts and Boards of Cooperative Education, in supporting a comprehensive transition planning and service delivery process for youth with disabilities. DVR has organized a Youth Unit within Administration falling under the leadership of the Manager for Programs and Programs Development. This Unit is responsible for assuring the quality provision of vocational rehabilitation to Colorado’s youth with disabilities.
DVR continues to monitor and assure implementation of the state-level agreement between the DVR and CDE. This agreement promotes flexible and collaborative planning and service delivery among DVR, local education agencies and local school districts, and other state and community agencies for youth transitioning from school to work and/or post-school activities which will lead to employment. It promotes accessible, timely and uniform vocational rehabilitation services for all Colorado students who have a disability and require VR services. Additionally, it encourages education agencies to develop, implement and promote pre-vocational services and career exploration for students with disabilities prior to referral to DVR. Finally, it assures that VR services complement services provided by education agencies, and that the Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) for students who are eligible for VR services will be developed and approved before these students leave the school setting (or if Colorado DVR is operating under an order of selection, before each eligible student able to be served under the order leaves the school setting). The key tenets of this agreement have been developed into a desktop guide which is updated regularly entitled, the “CDE/DVR Cooperative Services Handbook for Youth in Transition.” Thousands of these handbooks are distributed annually to youth, parents, educators, VR counselors and community-based agency providers.
Each year, we strive to include DVR and Education staff in ongoing activities which promote a seamless transition for youth exiting out of education into the adult world of employment. As we move forward into the upcoming federal fiscal year, training will be made available through a variety of modalities depending upon the identified needs of local partners. Within the new state fiscal year, both DVR and CDE will have intranet training available to address the need for easily accessible foundational information pertaining to roles and responsibilities for new staff. Endeavors to cross train staff will continue to aid in greater awareness and understanding of service delivery and how each partner’s efforts can compliment one another for better student outcomes. DVR works in conjunction with CDE to align training allowing us to model in the field our expectations for collaboration. This approach to cross training advances local procedures for outreach to and identification of students with disabilities. For example, DVR will continue to participate in annual regional cadre meetings facilitated by CDE to reinforce the continuum and linkages to adult services. Employment Outcomes Professional (EOP) training will also be made available into next year to DVR, education and School to Work Alliance (SWAP) providers. This training promotes long term viable employer relationships through analyzing employers’ needs and expectations, connecting those needs to candidate solutions, and being innovative in working with employers.
DVR plays an integral role in annual institutes facilitated by CDE for local education teams to elevate awareness and expand on our presence within education. The purpose of the institutes is to improve the quality of services in the area of secondary special education and transition services at the local level through knowledge, capacity building, dissemination and outreach with over site from the National Secondary Transition Technical Assistance Center (NSTTAC). Efforts focus on improving indicator outcomes resulting in effective transition practices for youth with disabilities both at the state and local levels. DVR commits content experts, technical assistance to local teams and counselors to aid in linkages.
Together with CDE, DVR takes an active role in state youth groups/committees promoting ongoing collaboration between community agencies in the provision of comprehensive transition services. Our ongoing participation in such groups promotes better coordination of services and shared resources at both the state and local levels. It enables us to participate in the development of processes, procedures, guidelines and practices for more effective transitioning planning and services. As described below, we will continue to partner with those groups which are of value.
During the past two years, DVR has furthered their involvement with the Advisory Committee on Homeless Youth (ACHY). DVR actively elevates awareness to the issue of homelessness which impacts young adults with disabilities adversely affecting their ability to access services and ultimately become contributors to the success of Colorado’s workforce. At the state level DVR has a presence on the Advisory Committee on Homeless Youth (ACHY) and supports working, local relationships between DVR counselors, SWAP providers, and the educational liaison for this population. Annually, we endorse the Homeless and Runaway Youth Awareness Month in November by supporting local events state wide, promoting the Green Light Project, collecting essential hygiene products so youth can be job ready. DVR will continue to maintain an active role in promoting access to vocational rehabilitation services for youth with disabilities who are homeless by participating at the state level in ACHY and disseminating information to local DVR offices and partners.
Individuals ages 15-19 are one of the highest at risk for a traumatic brain injury (TBI), and when acquired these youth and their families struggle with unexpected challenges including how to navigate adult service systems. Collaborating with the TBI Trust Fund has provided a means to help families and medical service providers to understand both education and adult employment systems ultimately better preparing youth to identify and receive the support they need to secure employment. This newly formed relationship will continue to expand through future training made available to families and medical professionals designed to lessen the gap between education and employment for youth with TBI made available through coordination with education officials.
In 2008, the Colorado General Assembly created the Colorado Autism Commission in order to obtain additional information on people with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) in the State, which DVR was invited to participate. The Commission was tasked with identifying existing services and the gaps in these services as experienced by by the ASD community and to determine appropriate actions to remedy these shortcomings through the preparation of a Ten Year Strategic plan. Efforts of the Autism Commission are being further explored through an Ad-Hoc group in which DVR continues to participate by representing adult services.
The Mental Health Advisory Council recognizes the growing need of youth with mental health disabilities exiting the school system and preparing to enter employment as a population needing expanded efforts. DVR and our CDE counterparts contribute time and support to the subcommittee Under 26 Transition Work Group that along with representatives from other stakeholders is combining their efforts to provide a statewide symposium in the upcoming fiscal year.
DVR has a designated position that is responsible to establish and build working relationships with federal agencies in order to learn about their hiring needs and promote filling those vacancies with qualified people with disabilities. This position, the Federal Employment Specialist, works closely with the field to make available information pertaining to openings which are youth specific.
Colorado was awarded a Medicaid Infrastructure Grant (MIG) in 2010. This grant is in place through 2011 and 2012 (assuming approval of carry over dollars). One purpose of the MIG is to support the implementation of Colorado’s Medicaid Buy-In Program (MBI) for working adults (ages 16-64) with disabilities. The MBI is anticipated to roll out in 2012 and will impact the transition of youth from post secondary as well as those exiting out of high school and entering the work force. The MBI will allow individuals who make too much money or have too many resources to qualify for regular Medicaid to receive Medicaid by paying a monthly premium based on their income. As this Program becomes implemented, it will be important for DVR to promote information about MBI to youth and their families to ensure they are informed of their choices as it pertains to work and benefits. Other efforts linked to the Medicaid Infrastructure Grant include expanding DVR’s website next year to include a page for transitioning youth on those resources which commonly impact employment decisions, and reaching out to employers to build and enhance the employment infrastructure for job seekers with disabilities, including youth. Through the MIG’s several subcommittees and work groups, transitioning youth are well-represented. Through the Employment First Initiative workgroup, DVR will support the message of Employment First. Through the workgroup addressing transition across the life span, youth health care needs are kept at the forefront. Through the communications and training work groups, transition experts, including DVR staff, are used to vet materials that will be used with youth and families.
The Benefit Offset National Demonstration (BOND) is a project created to help Social Security Disability Insurance beneficiaries return to work. Through the use of a benefit offset being tested, beneficiaries could earn more and keep more of their benefits than currently possible. As this program moves into implementation over the next five years, if a youth is referred to participate in the project DVR will collaborate with BOND representatives to promote the possibilities of employment.
DVR has maintained an average of forty-three School to Work Alliance Program (SWAP) sites. These forty-three sites involve approximately 150 of Colorado’s 178 school districts. SWAP serves over 3000 youth annually, and is a collaborative initiative between DVR and local school districts, which is supported by CDE. The purpose of SWAP is to provide successful employment outcomes, increased community linkages, and new patterns of services for youth with disabilities who are eligible VR consumers. Colorado anticipates moving into next year with forty sites and over 140 school districts.
DVR continues to maintain membership on the Colorado State Youth Council (SYC), which is a subcommittee of the Colorado Workforce Development Board. One goal of the State Youth Council is to identify and support existing strategies, practices and projects that demonstrate success, and to augment and place successful practices throughout Colorado. Each year, local communities are invited to submit local promising practices to the SYC that effectively address the needs of youth who are transitioning to adulthood. Submissions are scored against the National Center on Workforce and Disability’s (NCWD) evidence-based Design Guideposts for Success. These are: school preparation; youth development and leadership; career preparation; connecting activities; and family involvement and supports. The SYC recognizes selected promising practices each year at the Think Big Youth Forum. The Think Big Youth Forum is sponsored by the SYC, the Colorado Department of Labor, the Office of Workforce Development, the Colorado Department of Education and DVR. The Youth Forum brings together statewide youth practitioners from vocational rehabilitation, education and workforce development for two days of professional development. The promising practices recognized at the Forum are highlighted and receive a monetary award to further the efforts of the practice or program.
DVR has partnered, and will continue to partner, with local school districts and the Denver Zoological Foundation to provide horticultural and zoological training and work experiences to students with disabilities. DVR anticipates continuation of this collaboration, which was presented at the recent international zoological horticultural conference as a national model.
DVR participates as an active member of the Colorado/Wyoming Consortium of Disability Service Providers. This Consortium boasts membership from all Colorado and most Wyoming institutions of higher education as well as from CDE. This group has worked to develop disability documentation and accommodation guidelines that support an informed transition by youth with disabilities and their families, from the secondary into the post-secondary setting. Additionally, this group holds professional development workshops on a regular basis.
In addition to collaborating with CDE to host training activities, DVR and CDE present jointly throughout the state at conferences, training events and workshops. For example, CDE and DVR Transition Specialists present information and training on transition and related changes and updates at DVR’s regularly scheduled Field Services Managers Seminars and New Counselor trainings which will continue.
DVR and CDE plan to continue activities which support coordination between the two disciplines and which are designed to facilitate the transition of students with disabilities from the receipt of educational services in the school to the receipt of vocational rehabilitation services through DVR.
In addition to state-level hosted events, DVR counselors frequently outreach to educators and to students through various means. For example, counselors attend job and resource fairs, back-to-school nights, and parent-teacher conference nights. They present information about DVR at residential treatment centers, residential child-care facilities and at teacher in-service events. DVR plans to continue these types of outreach, education and consultation activities with our school partners for the purpose of providing consultation and technical assistance to assist them as they plan the transition of students with disabilities from school to post-school services, including vocational rehabilitation . DVR will develop an outreach and presentation toolkit for DVR counselors who are working with school districts, youth and parents. DVR has identified, as a pilot, a dedicated transition specialist counselor on the eastern plains of the State. In addition to typical transition services for youth, this position has a focus on earlier outreach, consultation, technical assistance and identification.
DVR continues to be actively involved in Colorado’s Disability Mentoring Day. Disability Mentoring Day promotes career development for students and job seekers with disabilities through job shadowing and hands-on career exploration.
The DVR Youth Unit will continue to be available as a resource to the State Independent Living Council (SILC) and any work they may do in the upcoming year to provide and increase transition services to youth. Ongoing involvement in this initiative, and the role that DVR could play, will continue to be explored.
A survey tool was developed by members of the State Rehabilitation Council’s (SRC) Consumer Satisfaction sub-committee. Surveys were distributed to special education providers at the Transition Leadership Institute in June 2010. A similar questionnaire was designed by DVR’s Youth Unit for DVR counselors to identify any correlation between areas of need. When the data was analyzed three common areas of need were identified: staff not knowing their respective contact, lack of a coordinated process with timelines for referral to DVR and limited understanding of DVR eligibility, 504 and ADA. Following the SRC’s lead, the Youth Unit will focus next fiscal year to help local teams build better working relationships that are long standing and do not disappear with staff turn over. Contact information will be shared on both CDE and DVR’s websites for easy access, consistent referral processes will be put into place and training will continue with counselors and educators. For example, our Talking Transition Toolkit designed to aid counselors in presenting to their education counterparts will be updated and made more user friendly.
This screen was last updated on Jun 28 2011 1:53PM by sacodannk
ATTACHMENT 4.8 (b)(3)
Cooperative Agreements with Private Non-profit Vocational Rehabilitation Service Providers
Cooperative Agreements with Private Non-profit Vocational Rehabilitation Service Providers
Private non-profit vocational rehabilitation service providers have been and continue to be a long-standing resource used by the Colorado Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) to obtain necessary services for its consumers. Cooperative relationships between DVR and providers of vocational rehabilitation services are formalized through a written Provider Agreement. The Provider Agreement process is designed to assure adherence to three procurement requirements: that all qualified vendors have the opportunity to compete for business with DVR if they choose, that all vendors will be treated equitably and will be paid for their services in accordance with a standard method of rate setting procedures, and that there will always be a written contract in place when annual expenditures to any vendor reach $25,000, as required by State Law, while assuring continuity of service provision to consumers. This effort has resulted in a consistent structure for establishing working relationships with service providers throughout the state and at the same time helps assure equitable payment across providers for the same types of services at the least possible cost.
Our provider agreement system is market-based, meaning that services are purchased based on competitive market rates instead of provider costs. The procedures require a vendor to complete the DVR Provider Agreement form that serves to register them as potential provider of specific services. Subsequent services purchased by DVR are limited to those identified on the agreement for which the vendor is registered. Execution of the Provider Agreement obligates vendors to meet certain qualifications related to standards that have been developed by DVR for the provision of specific services. Vendors also agree to abide by the established payment procedures and rates for each service DVR might purchase. Registration as a DVR vendor does not obligate vendors to provide services to DVR consumers nor does it obligate DVR to purchase services from any given vendor.
Initial approval of the Provider Agreement, once signed by the vendor, is done at the local DVR field office prior to approval by the Department of Human Services and the State Controller. This method encourages the DVR field office and the service provider to establish a strong understanding of each other’s roles and responsibilities in the provision of services to consumers. It also puts the responsibility on the DVR field office supervisor to review the agreement for consistency between services offered and appropriate compliance with standards and credentials prior to their approval. Specific services identified on the Individual Plan for Employment are authorized by DVR counselors.
DVR believes that these procedures help ensure that adequate contracting procedures are used; purchases of services and goods maximize the efficient and effective use of public funds; services and goods will only be purchased from qualified providers; all vendors who wish to provide services to DVR consumers have the opportunity to do so and are subject to a consistent set of terms and conditions; and most importantly, DVR’s consumers will have a wide range of options to choose from when selecting service providers.
This screen was last updated on Jul 9 2009 11:48AM by sacoklingmang
Evidence of Collaboration Regarding
Supported Employment Services and Extended Services
Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR), Office of Workforce Development, the Developmental Disabilities Council (DDC), Mental Health Service Organizations, Division for Developmental Disabilities (DDD), Division of Behavioral Health (DBH) and employers have an extensive history of collaborative and cooperative efforts to provide supported employment opportunities in Colorado for individuals with the most significant disabilities. The 1998 amendments to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 further emphasizes the need for state agencies and other entities to develop innovative cooperative agreements as a strategy to leverage State/Federal dollars and encourage inter-agency cooperation. Colorado Division of Vocational Rehabilitation believes that expansion of supported employment to all individuals needing supports to maintain competitive, integrated employment cannot be accomplished without such collaborative efforts.
Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) maintains a formal statewide cooperative agreement with Division of Behavioral Health (DBH). This agreement identifies plans for the provision of supported employment services for individuals with the most significant disabilities, including mental illness. The agreement provides for collaboration in the provision of intensive supported employment services, and stipulates, at a minimum, referral processes, specific services to be provided, provisions for training and technical assistance, responsibilities of each agency, standards of performance, and methods to evaluate performance. The agreement is reviewed annually and amended when appropriate.
Division for Developmental Disabilities (DDD), Department of Human Services
DVR and DDD continue to work in collaboration to effectively plan and coordinate provision of supported employment services to individuals with the most significant developmental disabilities by the DDD community services agencies and DVR to avoid duplication of services and, thereby, maximize available resources. As a result of this collaboration, much has been achieved in making community-based, integrated employment available for persons with developmental disabilities.
Within this collaborative relationship, DVR is responsible for the provision of intensive supported employment services, including, but not limited to, job coaching. However, due to the expertise and proven history of DDD in training individuals with the most significant developmental disabilities, the local DDD community service provider is typically used by the rehabilitation counselor to provide such training and other intensive supported employment services. The DDD community service provider must be registered with DVR to be able to provide supported employment services to DVR consumers. Services are purchased in accordance with DVR’s fee schedule and service providers must meet the standards and credentials as required for the provision of specified supported employment services. Systems have been designed to encourage local level development of supported employment strategies between all DVR field offices and DDD supported employment service providers.
Division of Behavioral Health, Department of Human Services
Division of Behavioral Health (DBH) and the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) have maintained a formal cooperative agreement to provide vocational services to individuals with the most significant mental health disabilities. This agreement represents a collaborative effort to increase access to quality vocational services and to ensure the availability of supported employment opportunities for individuals with the most significant disabilities due to mental illness. The agreement stipulates collaborative planning and coordination of services by the local mental health centers and rehabilitation offices to eliminate duplication of services and maximize available resources. It also contains provisions for purchase of intensive supported employment services, including transitional employment services, from DBH. Such services are only purchased from vendors approved by both DBH and DVR, such as mental health centers, clinics, and other agencies or community-based programs. However, the rehabilitation counselor and consumer are responsible for determining the appropriate services and developing the supported employment Individualized Plan for Employment. As with the DDD cooperative agreement, service providers must be registered with DVR to provide supported employment services under the DVR/DBH cooperative agreement.
In addition to improved service delivery for each eligible individual, there has been a substantial increase in cooperation between local mental health centers and local rehabilitation offices. Improvements have been realized in interagency planning, training, information sharing, and resolving mutual programmatic and procedural concerns. There has also been a substantial increase in cooperation at the State level between DVR and DBH.
The greatest challenge facing the supported employment program is to solidify adequate funding for the ongoing extended support services necessary to assist individuals with the most significant disabilities in maintaining community-based employment. In Colorado, collaboration among relevant State agencies, private nonprofit organizations and other community resources for the provision of extended ongoing support services takes many forms, ranging from informally established local cooperative working relationships between direct providers and consumers of supported employment services to formally negotiated statewide agreements among State agencies. Informal working agreements are developed to coordinate activities, such as transition from intensive supported employment services to extended services, the types of extended services to be provided, training of qualified individuals to provide extended support, job development for extended transitional employment, and referral to the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) for post-employment services. The primary entities involved in these types of collaborative efforts are local rehabilitation offices, local school districts, Work Force Centers, independent living centers, local community rehabilitation programs, mental health centers, developmental disabilities service providers and other available service providers, including advocates and family members. In some locations, local consortiums have been formed, and some of these groups have received financial support from the local, State and/or Federal level. However, funding for extended support services is still insufficient in most local communities. Therefore, although supported employment depends on these informal collaborative efforts, more efforts are needed to enhance the availability of extended support services following termination of intensive supported employment services authorized under Titles I and VI, Part B of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended.
This screen was last updated on Jun 28 2011 10:13AM by sacodannk
Data System on Personnel and Personnel Development
The Colorado Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) has a strong commitment to employing and retaining an adequate workforce of qualified vocational rehabilitation personnel, both professional and paraprofessional.
Collection and Analysis of Data. DVR currently has access to three existing data systems that identify the number of persons employed by DVR by personnel category. The primary one is maintained by the Department of Human Services’ (DHS) Personnel Office. This is the database that maintains payroll information on employees, including their dates of hire, official job classifications, and home addresses. An additional spreadsheet is maintained internally within DVR by the Human Resource Specialist. It contains information on offices and regions to which staff are assigned, functional job titles, and other information about the position. Finally, DVR’s new electronic case management system, CO-AWARE, also contains staff information about positions to which employees are assigned. DVR uses a combination of these three data systems as well as supervisory records to continuously gather and analyze information about the qualifications of the 248 full time positions assigned to DVR staff.
Currently, 121 of the 248 positions are vocational rehabilitation counseling positions. The remaining 127 full time positions consist of 43 administrative assistants; 7 program assistants; 3 office managers; and 19 district and regional supervisors; 14 Business Outreach Specialists; 12 rehabilitation teachers and orientation and mobility instructors; 6 Business Enterprise staff and 23 central office administrative staff.
DVR has determined that it needs all of the 248 appropriated Full Time Equivalent (FTE) positions to effectively achieve its mission. At the current point in time, DVR has the following vacancies: 8 rehabilitation counseling positions; 1 administrator of field services; 5 rehabilitation supervisor positions (district & regional); 2 orientation and mobility specialists; and 1 adaptive technology specialist.
The ratio of the number of vocational rehabilitation counselors to the number of consumers currently being served in applicant and active statuses (02 through 24, excluding 08) is approximately 1 vocational rehabilitation counselor for every 95 consumers. The ratio of vocational rehabilitation counselors to field support staff is approximately 3 to 1.
Projections of the number of individuals to be served, including those with significant disabilities, are based on projected increases for the general population and incidence rates for disabilities, using Colorado census data and State demographics. These projections, in combination with DVR attrition and retirement rates, are used to predict personnel needs for the next five years.
The attrition rate of DVR staff averages about 10%, or approximately 25 staff per year. However, during the current fiscal year, four of DVR’s top management personnel (the administrator of field services and all three regional supervisors) have elected to retire. In addition, DVR leadership has determined that a fourth regional supervisor should be added to the management team in order to better serve Colorado’s consumers and the district structure that exists across a geographically diverse state. It is anticipated that these five management positions will be filled with existing DVR staff, mostly from the district supervisory ranks as well as various other management personnel. This, in turn, will most likely create a situation where DVR’s highest quality rehabilitation counselors compete for and are promoted to fill the available supervisory positions. Given this unique situation as well as the more traditional personnel changes, it is projected that DVR will need to recruit approximately 50 new rehabilitation counselors during the next three years. In addition, DVR anticipates the need to continue to recruit high quality support staff; approximately 15 during the next three years given the average attrition rate for the agency.
|Row||Job Title||Total positions||Current vacancies||Projected vacancies over the next 5 years|
|5||Business Outreach Specialists||14||0||4|
|6||Vision Rehab. Therapist/Orient. & Mobility Special||12||2||3|
|8||Central Office & Management Staff||23||2||5|
Coordination with Institutions of Higher Education. Colorado currently has only one educational program that specifically prepares vocational rehabilitation professionals. The University of Northern Colorado (UNC), which is located in Greeley, operates a Master’s level program that prepares vocational rehabilitation counselors. Graduates of the rehabilitation counseling program possess the credentials necessary for clearly meet the minimum qualifications for a Rehabilitation Counselor I position. Faculty at UNC indicates that there are approximately 26 individuals currently enrolled in their graduate level Rehabilitation Counseling programs and 5 who graduated with Master’s degrees in Rehabilitation Counseling in May, 2010.
In addition, DVR maintains an ongoing relationship with several other CORE accredited Rehabilitation Counseling programs including Utah State University, University of Arkansas at Little Rock, University of Kentucky and San Diego State University. All of these programs offer distance education programs and are especially convenient for staff who work in areas of the State that are beyond commuting distance from the UNC program in Greeley, as well as for those whose disabilities limit their mobility.
The Division also works to coordinate with several other institutions of higher education across Colorado that offer Master’s level degrees in counseling and counseling-related areas. Individuals obtaining this level of degree, when combined with the appropriate acceptable work experience, meet the minimum qualifications as well. One example of this includes Adams State College in Alamosa, Colorado. Adams State caters to many of Colorado’s rural areas and offers a master’s program in community counseling from which several current staff have graduated. Adams State location in the San Luis Valley, an area of the state with a high representation of individuals of Hispanic background, helps to increase the availability of individuals with minority backgrounds.
|Row||Institutions||Students enrolled||Employees sponsored by agency and/or RSA||Graduates sponsored by agency and/or RSA||Graduates from the previous year|
|1||University of Northern Colorado - VR||26||0||0||5|
DVR’s plan for recruiting qualified personnel, including qualified individuals from minority backgrounds and individuals with disabilities, includes collaboration with all of the relevant educational programs mentioned above as well as several additional graduate programs with programs in vocational rehabilitation. DVR also recruits using the Utah State University Clearinghouse website to post counselor openings. The state of Colorado continues to approve a waiver to DVR to enable the hiring of qualified counselors from outside of the state. This is extremely beneficial in recruiting efforts. Additionally, during the past six months, DVR’s Employee Council members have been instrumental in establishing a list of appropriate training institutions and their associated contact details and reaching out to these institutions in a structured manner to specifically recruit for Rehabilitation Counselor positions.
DVR believes that the private sector is another good resource for recruiting experienced, competent staff. Through its relationships with various professional associations for counseling and other disciplines, DVR maintains a network for recruiting vocational rehabilitation counselors who have experience in the private sector.
Recruiting and retaining a diverse workforce is an expectation for supervisors and is reflected in their performance plans. This has proven to be an effective tool in balancing the diversity of staff to represent all consumers. DVR is also in a position to offer all accommodations necessary to recruit and retain qualified staff with disabilities who may need accommodations to successfully compete for and do their job when hired.
Personnel Standards. Colorado does not have State-approved or -recognized certification, licensing or registration requirements for many of the personnel classifications used by DVR, specifically rehabilitation counselors. In collaboration with Colorado’s Department of Personnel and Administration, DVR has worked this year to clarify and refine the established minimum qualifications, ensuring that they are consistent with the highest entry-level academic degree (Master’s) needed for national level certification.
One of the levels at which rehabilitation counselors can be recruited is the Rehabilitation Intern level. The minimum qualifications for this classification requires a Master’s degree but allows for a substitution of a Bachelor’s degree combined with a specific duration of work experience in the field of serving individuals with disabilities. Once an individual is hired into this position, he or she is given a total of six years after employment to complete the necessary coursework or accrue the necessary employment experience to meet the minimum qualifications of a rehabilitation counselor I position. When necessary, recruiting at this level can bring in individuals from diverse backgrounds, allowing them to upgrade their qualifications while working under closer supervision. This option is especially useful in outlying areas of the state such as Alamosa and Sterling.
The minimum qualifications are as follows:
REHABILITATION COUNSELOR I:
Graduation from an accredited college or university with a Master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from a program fully accredited by the Council on Rehabilitation Education (CORE)
Possession of a current Commission on Rehabilitation Counseling Certification credential (CRCC)
Graduation from an accredited college or university with a Master’s degree in Counseling, Psychology, Special Education, Social Work, Behavioral Science, Disability Studies or closely related human services field AND two (2) years of experience working directly with individuals
who have disabilities providing services appropriate to the work assignment.
REHABILITATION COUNSELOR INTERN:
Graduation from an accredited college or university with a Master’s Degree in one of the following: Counseling, Rehabilitation Teaching, Education, Orientation and Mobility, Psychology, Social Work, Sociology, Behavioral Science, Human Services, or closely related human services field.
Substitution: Bachelor’s Degree in a Human Services related field plus 2 (two) years of
experience working directly with individuals who have disabilities. Condition of Employment:
Agreement to complete additional educational and work requirements within 5 years of becoming a certified state employee.
DVR established expectations that all staff fully meet CSPD requirements through implementation of a CSPD tuition assistance policy in March of 2000 for those individuals who needed additional training in order to meet the established qualifications. The policy required staff who did not meet the standard to develop and implement individual education plans. These plans were phased in over several years, in order to spread out the costs and minimize the loss of productivity. The policy remains in effect currently and DVR provides full tuition assistance as well as purchasing of required books for those needing to take additional coursework. When necessary, the Human Resource Development Specialist works with individuals and their supervisors to ensure that training plans are in place and implemented appropriately in order to meet CSPD requirements. In-Service Training funds are the primary source for any financial assistance that is provided to employees needing to upgrade their qualifications.
Every effort possible is made to recruit fully qualified staff, in the event someone is hired at the above-mentioned intern level, a specific plan for education and oversight is developed and implemented. It is anticipated that the Intern level will be used only when, due to special skills requirements (e.g., American Sign Language or Spanish) or geographic area, recruitment of individuals who fully meet the minimum qualifications of Rehabilitation Counselor I is not feasible or successful.
For vocational rehabilitation counselors who will be serving large numbers of consumers who are deaf, the hiring process includes an additional screening to evaluate their skills in American Sign Language communications. Orientation and mobility instructors and rehabilitation teachers also must meet the minimum qualifications established and outlined above as their technical classification within the Department’s personnel system is Rehabilitation Counselor.
Current Status of Qualified Personnel. DVR first established policy to require all DVR rehabilitation counselors to meet minimum qualifications in 2000. At that time, DVR established a target 5 year period by which all existing rehabilitation counselors would meet the requirement. Since attaining that target, DVR has maintained the established minimum qualifications for newly hired staff in collaboration with the Department’s Division of Human Resources. In the rare instances when DVR has had to hire an individual at the Rehabilitation Counselor Intern level, those individuals have been given five years after their training/probationary year to fully meet the qualifications for a Rehabilitation Counselor I position. Of the 113 individuals currently in filled rehabilitation counselor positions within DVR (there are currently 8 vacant rehabilitation counseling positions), all but 3 individuals meet the minimum qualifications. These three Rehabilitation Counselor Interns are all exploring educational programs that will meet the minimum qualifications and are in the process of establishing formal plans with DVR to achieve that goal.
Staff Development. Each year, DVR receives a grant from the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) which is dedicated to providing in-service training for DVR staff. As part of the application process, an assessment of training needs is conducted, utilizing information from a variety of sources, including needs identified by staff as well as feedback from the State Rehabilitation Council, State plan hearings, any consumer satisfaction data, results of State-wide studies and analyses, Federal and State audits, and Federally-mandated priorities. This needs assessment is used to design the training plan which will best fit the most common needs of different categories of staff, including, as appropriate, training on the requirements of the Workforce Investment Act, Americans with Disabilities Act, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Social Security work incentive programs, informed choice and other provisions of the 1998 amendments to the Rehabilitation Act, and culturally diverse populations. In addition to the RSA grant, DVR allocates additional necessary funds to ensure that all training needs are met. When supervisors identify skill deficits of individual staff members, appropriate training in the community may be arranged and sponsored through in-service training. In-service training funds are also used to send staff to workshops, seminars, conferences, and formal training programs, including relevant graduate work, as well as for participation in training provided via distance education models.
Staff members who aspire to supervisory or administrative roles are encouraged and supported to take advantage of the Department of Personnel Supervisory Certificate Program and the Department of Human Services Supervisory Training and Review (STAR I & II) program. The Department’s Staff Development unit also continues to conduct an internal leadership program to prepare individuals for leadership and administrative positions. DVR’s succession planning further indicates that there will be an ongoing need for vocational rehabilitation counseling staff and DVR will continue recruitment efforts accordingly.
DVR does seek to take advantage of all relevant training opportunities for its staff. Through the Department of Human Services DVR staff will continue to be able to obtain quality training on diversity, equity and cultural competency. Leadership training is one of the top priorities for the Region VIII Rehabilitation Continuing Education Program, and DVR will take full advantage of the training that they produce.
DVR has been and will continue to incorporate the principles of informed choice into all aspects of new training curricula including policy and procedural training as well as assistive technology training provided to DVR counselors. Such training efforts will include a focus on helping consumers develop skills necessary to analyze their own strengths, resources, capacities, concerns, priorities, abilities, interests, etc. so that they can come to their own informed conclusions related to the development of their rehabilitation program. DVR believes that these efforts will help counselors become better facilitators and help consumers develop better skills to become more independent and self directed, as they go through the rehabilitation process.
DVR is committed to maintaining a staff with state-of-the-art skills and knowledge of vocational rehabilitation theory and practice. A library of materials, in a variety of formats, including print, audio tape, video tape, and CD-ROM, is maintained as part of the In-Service Training program. Staff are encouraged to check out materials which will assist them in better serving individuals with disabilities. DVR regularly reviews the offerings available through a variety of sources, including the National Clearing House of Rehabilitation Training Materials, and orders those which will add value to its collection. The Region VIII Rehabilitation Continuing Education program also maintains a library of materials, which are available for loan. DVR’s future plans involve making optimal use of computerization, including the Internet and Intranet, to stay current on research findings and state-of-the-art advances and to disseminate materials to staff.
Communication with Diverse Populations.
According to U.S. Census Information, Colorado’s population is comprised of:
White persons, percent, 2010 (a) 81.3%
Black persons, percent, 2010 (a) 4.0%
American Indian and Alaska Native persons, percent, 2010 (a) 1.1%
Asian persons, percent, 2010 (a) 2.8%
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander, percent, 2010 (a) 0.1%
Persons reporting two or more races, percent, 2010 3.4%
Persons of Hispanic or Latino origin, percent, 2010 (b) 20.7%
White persons not Hispanic, persons, 2010 70.0%
(a) Includes persons reporting only one race.
(b) Hispanics may be of any race, so also are included in applicable race categories.
Of the reported minority populations, it is estimated that more than 75% are able to speak and comprehend English. At the present time, at least 30% of DVR’s field offices have one or more staff members who speak fluent Spanish and all offices in the areas most heavily populated with Hispanics have at least one staff member who is also Hispanic. Other staff members have completed intensive Spanish-language training programs, with the goal of achieving a functional level of fluency. In addition, all offices have access to translation resources. DVR is located in an office within the Department’s organizational structure that also includes the Division of Refugee Services and is working in close collaboration with that Division to capitalize on the knowledge, expertise and resources available to provide the best possible rehabilitation services to common consumers.
All communities with a significantly large population of individuals who are deaf are assigned at least one staff member who is proficient in American Sign Language. In the past when none of the applicants for the position possessed sign language skills, the individual who was hired was sent to the intensive sign language training program for vocational rehabilitation counselors for the deaf out of state. This training was supplemented with classroom instruction in sign language. There are approximately seven community-based organizations throughout Colorado that provide interpreting services as well as numerous private vendors, and offices without staff members who can interpret have local agreements with these organizations and individuals to provide interpreting services. Approximately 10 students are currently enrolled in the Interpreter Preparation Program at Front Range Community College, and this is expected to sufficiently address future interpreter needs. Every DVR office in the State has access to a telephone relay service available through Colorado’s local telephone provider and those offices that serve a high number of individuals who are deaf are equipped with video relay equipment.
The capacity to provide materials in Braille is available through equipment located in the Administrative Office and at the Denver Metro Office. Additional needs are addressed through the Boulder Public Library and private transcribers. This has been adequately meeting the current level of need. Many consumers, at this time, prefer materials electronically, and this is accommodated routinely. Materials are also routinely made available in large print.
Coordination of the Comprehensive System of Personnel Development and In-service Training. As part of its implementation of transitions services and DVR’s School-to-Work Alliance Program (SWAP), DVR has a contract with the Colorado Department of Education to provide training and technical assistance to DVR counselors and local education staff to enable them to work more effectively with students as they are transitioning from school to work. (See FY 2012 Attachment 4.8(c) for more information concerning training efforts in conjunction with that provided under IDEA and the SWAP program.) DVR counselors serving SWAP youth and the school district employees with whom they partner have also been provided copies of the new counselor training modules developed by the Region VIII RCEP. In-Service Training funds are used to provide continuing education for staff, with a special priority for rehabilitation technology needs and communications skills.
This screen was last updated on Jun 28 2011 10:34AM by sacodannk
Identify the need to establish, develop, or improve community rehabilitation programs within the state.
Results of the Comprehensive Statewide Assessment of the
Rehabilitation Needs of Individuals with Disabilities
FY 2012 Update & Plan
The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation/Department of Human Services (DVR) last conducted a complete Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment (CSNA) in December of 2007 (FY2008). This assessment was jointly conducted by the Colorado Division of Vocational Rehabilitation and the State Rehabilitation Council and included individuals served by the vocational rehabilitation program or other components of the statewide workforce investment system.
After the FY2008 assessment, DVR established plans to convert to a “rolling” assessment that would be conducted over the next three year period, administering different components of the assessment in each of the three ensuing years.
During the most recent completed fiscal year, DVR worked with an independent contractor, Colorado WINS, to conduct a series of consumer focus groups across three geographic regions of Colorado. The focus groups included a variety of DVR consumers who were either in eligible status working toward plan development or who were working with their rehabilitation counselors to implement already developed plans. The meetings focused on gathering information about the individual’s experiences with DVR, including what was working well for them and where they experienced barriers to effective relationships and service delivery.
The information from the focus groups was analyzed and presented to DVR’s State Rehabilitation Council and the Rehabilitation Leadership Team, who in turn provided, discussed and strategized the application of the feedback with all Regional and District supervisors within DVR. The results were ultimately shared with all DVR counseling staff. The most important areas of emphasis centered on ensuring that counselors employed effective communication and listening skills and interacted with each consumer in a very individualized manner, regardless of the nature of the individual’s disability, as they moved through the planning process.
DVR also conducted a comprehensive staff survey focused on DVR’s vendor registration and maintenance process during the last fiscal year. The survey addressed process areas related to the identification and registration of various vendors and service delivery partners across Colorado. Staff responded with information regarding feedback received from vendors about the registration, service delivery, invoice and payment processes. The survey results were combined with ongoing activities conducted by DVR’s Fee Schedule Committee to gather information about the appropriate setting of fees for the various medical and vocational goods and services purchased by DVR for consumers, and resulted in a redevelopment of the vendor registration process. DVR also developed training materials that were delivered to DVR staff about the new process and that were focused on educating potential vendors and service providers about the benefits of providing services to DVR consumers. These training materials have been made available across the state and are posted on DVR’s website.
Other activities completed in the last fiscal year included a statewide assessment of DVR staff’s perceived training needs that focused, in part, on what skills may be necessary to specifically address effective efforts to keep consumers engaged in a collaborative process with DVR counselors throughout the rehabilitation process to successfully achieve desired employment goals. The survey also focused on staff training needs related to specific disability areas, partially in response to information gathered from the statewide consumer focus groups.
Finally, additional assessment activities have included a focus by the State Rehabilitation Council on effective transition services provided to youth in Colorado and the collaborative education and referral process that exists between DVR staff and offices and the Department of Education and various school districts across Colorado. This effort has already resulted in the strengthening of relationships at the DVR field office and local school district levels.
DVR’s efforts to sustain a consistent and comprehensive approach to its planned three year “rolling” assessment have been impacted by a variety of factors, most notably the intensive undertaking by the agency to utilize ARRA funding to purchase, adapt, customize, train and implement a comprehensive electronic case management system. This project has required the time and energy of a multitude of DVR staff, including management personnel, and has in part, required DVR to use all of the information it has gathered through a variety of assessment activities to ensure the finished system addresses the needs of a diverse population of individuals across the state with disabilities as well as the staff using the system to effectively deliver rehabilitation services. The CO-AWARE system was implemented statewide on May 2, 2011, after three weeks of intensive training conducted with all DVR staff across Colorado. The CO-AWARE system replaces all of DVR’s previous data systems, including an archaic mainframe system from which DVR previously produced all required federal reports. Now that the system has been successfully implemented, DVR will focus on thoroughly learning and taking advantage of the robust data analysis capabilities available in CO-AWARE and will explore the role it can play in the effective conduct of future CSNA activities.
Another recent factor that has impacted DVR’s CSNA activities relates to staff resources and turnover within the agency. The responsibility for the CSNA and state planning activities has been organizationally relocated to a different unit within the agency due to staff retirements. In conjunction with this reorganization, DVR planned to establish a specific position with dedicated responsibility for CSNA, state planning activities and supplemental program evaluation activities; a position that would coordinate closely with DVR’s current quality assurance and training staff and efforts. Departmental hiring freezes and layoffs in other divisions within the Department have delayed DVR’s efforts to fill this position until now. It is currently expected that DVR will be able to hire an individual for these functions by August, 2011.
Given all of these circumstances, DVR plans to use FY2012 to revert to conducting a full Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment, incorporating a wide variety of assessment tools and a full range of information gathering activities that will effectively inform the agency regarding its ongoing efforts to provide the highest quality vocational rehabilitation services to all eligible Coloradoans with disabilities who strive to achieve successful employment.
This screen was last updated on Jun 28 2011 10:36AM by sacodannk
Annual Estimates of Individuals to Be Served and Costs of Services
DVR currently has all priority categories open and has no waiting lists for services. It is anticipated that the number of individuals applying for services in the upcoming year will continue to rise as the economic situation in Colorado continues to be unpredictable. DVR estimates the increase will be approximately 5% over current year applications.
The following charts show the projected numbers of individuals DVR anticipates serving in FFY 2012 and the numbers of individuals anticipated to receive eligibility determinations in FFY 2012.
INDIVIDUALS TO BE SERVED AND THE COST OF SERVICES BY PRIORITY CATEGORY*
Projected October 1, 2011 – September 30, 2012
Number of individuals with most significant disabilities to be served – 7773
Cost of services for individuals with most significant disabilities to be served - $11,721,684
Number of individuals with significant disabilities to be served – 3512
Cost of services for individuals with significant disabilities to be served - $5,296,096
Number of individuals with least significant disabilities to be served – 415
Cost of services for individuals with least significant disabilities to be served - $625,820
Total number of individuals to be served – 11,700
Total cost of services for individuals to be served - $17,643,00*0
*This does not include the funds paid for DVR’s SWAP program.
NUMBER OF INDIVIDUALS WHO WILL BE ELIGIBLE FOR SERVICES BY PRIORITY CATEGORY
Projected October 1, 2011 – September 30, 2012
Number of eligible individuals with most significant disabilities – 6471
Cost of services for eligible individuals with most significant disabilities - $ 9,758,268
Number of eligible individuals with significant disabilities – 3435
Cost of services for eligible individuals with significant disabilities - $5,179,980
Number of eligible individuals with least significant disabilities – 379
Cost of services for eligible individuals with least significant disabilities - $571,532
Total number of eligible individuals - 10,285
Total cost of services for eligible individuals - $15,509,780
TITLE I AND TITLE VI-B FUNDS
Typically, DVR uses 100% of its Title VI-B funds for the direct authorization of supported employment services. Title I funds are also used for supported employment services provided under cooperative agreements as well as for individual supported employment programs. As identified above, DVR’s policy is to assure the provision of supported employment services to all who need it and DVR uses both Title VI-B funds and Title I funds for this purpose. When Title VI-B funds are not available, DVR uses Title I funds to assure that supported employment services are not interrupted. Thus, it is impossible for DVR to separate its programmatic supported employment plans and goals into separate components for each funding source. Rather, DVR develops programming strategies for its entire supported employment program, which includes the use of Title VI-B and Title I funds.
Total number of individuals to be served using Title VI-B funds for supported employment – 459
Total cost of services for individuals to be served using Title VI-B funds for supported employment - $692,108
|Category||Title I or Title VI||Estimated Funds||Estimated Number to be Served||Average Cost of Services|
This screen was last updated on Aug 9 2011 4:31PM by sacodannk
State’s Goals and Priorities
Based on continued results of the comprehensive statewide assessment of the rehabilitation needs of individuals with disabilities that were described in section 4.11(a) of this state plan, as well as the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation’s (DVR) internal needs, DVR collaborated with the State Rehabilitation Council (SRC) throughout FFY 2011 to validate and continue the following long term priorities and goals for the vocational rehabilitation program.
Goal 1 - Increase the number and quality of employment outcomes:
By September 30, 2012, increase the number of employment outcomes by 2% over previous year.
By September 30, 2012, increase the average hourly rate of competitive employment outcomes by 2% over previous year.
(a)Identify, explore, and replicate effective practices that are employed by exemplary counselors.
(b)Continue to monitor caseload activity data and implement effective strategies to improve service delivery for consumers.
(c)Continue to conduct employer outreach and education.
?Total number of successful post-IPE closures.
?Percentage of all post-IPE closures that were closed successfully.
?Aggregate average hourly wage of consumers placed in competitive employment: - Based on three factors:
1) Competitively employed - Supported Employment
2) Competitively employed - age 25 and under
3) Competitively employed - Other (Non Supported Employment - age > 25)
Goal 2 - Increase the visibility and public awareness of the Division of Vocational
Rehabilitation, by increasing the number of public outreach activities
By September 30, 2012, employment outreach activities will increase by 3% over previous year.
By September 30, 2012, presentations to Employer/Partners will increase by 3% over previous year.
(a)Educate Colorado State Agencies, Legislators and other community members about DVR’s employment focused services and benefits to Colorado.
(b)Continue to enhance the functionality of the DVR website and ensure it provides current and appropriate information.
(c)Enhance the quality of DVR’s outreach strategy and materials for employers.
?Number of community educational initiatives conducted by DVR or in which DVR staff participates to increase visibility and public awareness of programs and services.
Goal 3 - Improve the quality of providers from whom DVR purchases services.
(a)DVR will develop and conduct an on-going consumer survey to measure the quality of services provided by DVR vendors.
(b)DVR will review and update provider standards and qualifications.
(c)DVR will review and refine procedures for recruitment and registering of providers.
?Increased customer satisfaction in services provided by vendors.
Goal 4 - Create an environment within DVR that is conducive to maintaining a full and competent staff.
(a)DVR will reinitiate the request to expand the job classification series for rehabilitation counselors.
(b)DVR will research and implement an effective approach to conducting exit interviews with staff who are leaving the agency.
(c)DVR will conduct a needs assessment survey and continue to identify and provide skill development opportunities for staff.
?Ratio of filled to vacant full-time FTE’s.
?Number all staff departures due to reasons other than retirement that are deemed to have been preventable.
?Analysis of needs assessment survey results.
This screen was last updated on Aug 9 2011 4:31PM by sacodannk
- Identify the order to be followed in selecting eligible individuals to be provided vocational rehabilitation services.
- Identify the justification for the order.
- Identify the service and outcome goals.
- Identify the time within which these goals may be achieved for individuals in each priority category within the order.
- Describe how individuals with the most significant disabilities are selected for services before all other individuals with disabilities.
Justification for order of selection
Order of Selection
The Colorado Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) implemented an Order of Selection on March 1, 1993 in anticipation of projected economic and funding difficulties, to ensure DVR’s ability to manage limited funds, and to guarantee continuity and fairness in the provision of vocational rehabilitation services to persons eligible for VR services. This action resulted from increased costs for vocational rehabilitation services, increased demand for services, an increased numbers of applicants with significant disabilities, and Colorado DVR to match all available Federal funds. However, since Order of Selection was implemented, DVR has had to restrict services only 3 times.
Description of Priority categories
The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation has developed the following criteria to identify an individual with:
A Most Significant Disability:
• The individual must have an impairment or impairments which, alone or in combination, are severe,
• The individual must be seriously limited from achieving an employment outcome due to serious functional loss in three or more of the functional capacities identified in Section 7(15)(A) of Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Public Law 93-112) as amended through 1998 (Public Law 102-569),
• The individual must need at least two core vocational rehabilitation services* to address the functional losses imposed by the significant impairment(s) in order to attain an employment outcome, and
• It will take a minimum of five (5) months to complete the services.
A Significant Disability:
• The individual must have an impairment or impairments which, alone or in combination, are severe,
• The individual must be seriously limited from achieving an employment outcome due to serious functional loss in one or two of the functional capacities identified in Section 7(15)(A) of Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Public Law 93-112) as amended through 1998 (Public Law 102-569),
• The individual must need at least two core vocational rehabilitation services* to address the functional losses imposed by the significant impairment(s) in order to attain an employment outcome, and
• It will take a minimum of five (5) months to complete the services.
* Core vocational rehabilitation services includes all vocational rehabilitation services other than supportive services (maintenance, transportation, services to family members, and personal assistance services); services secondary to core vocational rehabilitation services, such as training materials and supplies when training is being provided as a core vocational rehabilitation service; or, generalized counseling, guidance, and placement which are provided during the vocational rehabilitation process in connection with the provision of vocational rehabilitation services but are not identified as a needed vocational rehabilitation service on the IPE.
Priority of categories to receive VR services under the order
In accordance with Section 101(a)(5)(A)(ii) of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, DVR has designated that individuals with disabilities will receive vocational rehabilitation services in the following order of priority:
FIRST : Eligible individuals with the most significant disabilities
SECOND: Eligible individuals with significant disabilities
THIRD: Eligible individuals with a disability that does not meet the criteria of A Most Significant Disability or A Significant Disability.
Service and outcome goals and the time within which the goals will be achieved
The most recent service restriction occurred in the fall of 2008 when, due to severe overall resource constraints, DVR activated waiting lists under Order of Selection, with a restriction on all three priority category levels. Subsequent to this, DVR committed to using $2.8 million of ARRA funding to remove consumers from the Wait List. In April, 2009, DVR began removing consumers with most significant disabilities from the Wait List, based on the earliest application dates. In May 2010 DVR was able to remove all remaining consumers off the Wait List and opened all priority categories.
DVR has worked diligently to identify and utilize effective mechanisms for tracking and projecting encumbrances and expenditures in a way that will allow the Division to effectively manage Order of Selection implementation decisions. At the current time, DVR anticipates having sufficient human and fiscal resources to continue to serve eligible individuals without enacting waiting lists into the foreseeable future.
|Priority Category||Number of individuals to be served||Estimated number of individuals who will exit with employment after receiving services||Estimated number of individuals who will exit without employment after receiving services||Time within which goals are to be achieved||Cost of services|
This screen was last updated on Aug 9 2011 4:31PM by sacodannk
Goals and Plans for Distribution of Title VI, Part B Funds
The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) will continue to earmark available grant funds obtained under Title VI, Part B (Supported Employment Services), towards the administration of the supported employment program and the purchase of services in accordance with the 1998 amendments to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. No more than 5% of supported employment grant funds will be used for administrative activities, including, but not limited to, data collection and analyses, training, and consultation costs. At least 95% of grant funds under Title VI, Part B will be used to purchase supported employment services under Individualized Plans for Employment (IPE) for individuals with the most significant disabilities who have been determined eligible for supported employment. (The types of services to be purchased remain the same as those identified in Attachment 7.3 of the State plan.)
DVR’s administrative priority is to assure the provision of supported employment services to all who need it. DVR’s new electronic case management system provides the utility to ensure that Title VI-B funding is the primary source of payment for supported employment service until that funding is exhausted, at which point funding continues to be provided through Title I.
To successfully meet the supported employment needs of individuals with the most significant disabilities, DVR has continued the collaborative efforts and working relationships between local DVR offices and mental health centers, and between local DVR offices and agencies serving consumers with developmental disabilities. DVR counselors and vocational staff from the above agencies work together to identify individuals who would be appropriate referrals to DVR for supported employment services.
DVR continues to work actively within the realm of Education, including Colorado’s School to Career and Transition activities, and within the realm of WIA, to assure that youth with the most significant disabilities are accessing career, transition and employment services, including supported employment services, along with all Colorado youth. DVR has worked to infuse best practices within these areas, so that the needs of youth with the most significant disabilities are considered and met. Colorado DVR and Department of Education state-level staff work and travel as a team throughout the state, to respond to requests and to provide training, technical assistance and facilitation to local community agencies, such as schools and adult organizations, as these entities struggle to provide collaborative transition services to youth with the most significant disabilities.
Typically, DVR uses 100% of its Title VI-B funds for the direct authorization of supported employment services. Title I funds are also used for supported employment services provided under cooperative agreements as well as for individual supported employment programs. As identified above, DVR’s policy is to assure the provision of supported employment services to all who need it. DVR develops programming strategies for its entire supported employment program, which includes the use of Title VI-B and Title I funds.
The Division’s programmatic activities for supported employment services and programs funded under both Titles I and VI-B are intended to increase the number of persons receiving supported employment services and to improve employment outcomes for these individuals. The Division believes that the most effective and efficient strategy to accomplish this is by expanding and strengthening its collaborative linkages with relevant State agencies and/or private not-for-profit agencies for the provision of supported employment and extended support services. The activities to be conducted during 2012 reflect a continuation and refinement of activities performed over the last several years.
This screen was last updated on Jun 28 2011 10:52AM by sacodannk
This attachment should include required strategies and how the agency will use these strategies to achieve its goals and priorities, support innovation and expansion activities, and overcome any barriers to accessing the vocational rehabilitation and the supported employment programs. (See sections 101(a)(15)(D) and (18)(B) of the Act and Section 427 of the General Education Provisions Act (GEPA)).
Describe the methods to be used to expand and improve services to individuals with disabilities.
Identify how a broad range of assistive technology services and assistive technology devices will be provided to individuals with disabilities at each stage of the rehabilitation process; and describe how assistive technology services and devices will be provided to individuals with disabilities on a statewide basis.
Identify what outreach procedures will be used to identify and serve individuals with disabilities who are minorities, including those with the most significant disabilities; and what outreach procedures will be used to identify and serve individuals with disabilities who have been unserved or underserved by the VR program.
If applicable, identify plans for establishing, developing, or improving community rehabilitation programs within the state.
Describe strategies to improve the performance of the state with respect to the evaluation standards and performance indicators.
Describe strategies for assisting other components of the statewide workforce investment system in assisting individuals with disabilities.
Describe how the agency's strategies will be used to:
- achieve goals and priorities identified in Attachment 4.11(c)(1);
- support innovation and expansion activities; and
- overcome identified barriers relating to equitable access to and participation of individuals with disabilities in the state Vocational Rehabilitation Services Program and the state Supported Employment Services Program.
Strategies to Address Needs in the Comprehensive Assessment
and to Achieve Identified Goals and Priorities
FY 2012 Update
DVR has continued to implement the strategies identified over the last two years as a result of the feedback received through the comprehensive assessment, public hearings, advisory councils, and other less formal venues regarding the needs of Colorado residents with disabilities. Since DVR does plan to conduct a full and complete Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment (CSNA) in FY2012, DVR has made minor modifications to the current strategies based upon feedback from the State Rehabilitation Council as well as the available resources as DVR transitions with its new leadership team.
The following is an updated list of DVR’s goals and strategies and the various tasks DVR will undertake as part of the strategies in order to achieve the goals identified.
Goal 1 - Increase the number and quality of employment outcomes.
(a) Identify, explore, and replicate effective practices that are employed by exemplary counselors.
(b) Continue to monitor caseload activity data and implement effective strategies to improve service delivery for consumers.
(c) Continue to conduct employer outreach and education.
Associated tasks: during FY2012, DVR intends to conduct a facilitated focus group with identified DVR counselors who continually produce high quality employment outcomes with their consumers and whose case work is recognized through quality assurance case reviews to be outstanding. The individuals chosen to participate will be identified by their consumers, supervisors and agency management as individuals who provide excellent customer service in a timely manner and whose case management practices are efficient and effective. The information gleaned from this focus group will be analyzed and shared among all staff for potential replication of best practices.
As DVR continues to implement and conduct day-to-day case activities using its new electronic case management system, CO-AWARE, management and supervisory staff are learning how to effectively access accurate and relevant caseload activity data to continually assess and modify, when needed, caseload and staffing patterns across the state.
Finally, DVR continues to develop its network of Business Outreach Specialists and supports their efforts to partner with other office staff in reaching out to and developing solid relationships with area employers through education and formal and informal presentations.
Goal 2 - Increase the visibility and public awareness of the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation.
(a) Educate Colorado State Agencies, Legislators and other community members about DVR’s employment focused services and benefits to Colorado.
(b) Continue to enhance the functionality of the DVR website and ensure it provides current and appropriate information.
(c) Enhance the quality of DVR’s outreach strategy and materials for employers.
Associated tasks: The State Rehabilitation Council and DVR leadership will continue to identify and implement activities and events to educate partner state agencies, legislative staff and members, and other community partners and stakeholders. DVR has a unique opportunity this upcoming year as the Department of Human Services has a new Executive Director as well as a new Deputy Executive Director with responsibility for providing leadership to the Division. DVR will work to effectively inform and educate the new leadership regarding the needs of DVR consumers and the support and advocacy needed at the legislative levels.
DVR has also established a process for ensuring the newly established website and marketing materials are kept current and relevant, updating them as needed on a regular basis. This process includes the ongoing participation of many DVR managers and field staff across the state.
Goal 3 - Improve the quality of providers from whom DVR purchases services.
(a) DVR will develop and conduct an on-going consumer survey to measure the quality of services provided by DVR vendors.
(b) DVR will review and update provider standards and qualifications.
(c) DVR will review and refine procedures for recruitment and registering of providers.
Associated tasks: Much work has been done to establish “user-friendly” processes and associated educational materials for new service providers and vendors across Colorado to become registered to provide services to DVR consumers. DVR staff have also received training from the Operations Support Unit about the registration process and have received updated materials to share with potential service providers. The materials generated to educate new service providers include enhanced language regarding DVR’s expectations about the quality of the specific service being provided as well as the customer service offered by the provider to DVR consumers. The Operations Support Unit is also exploring information from other states regarding how the quality of service provided by vendors is measured and evaluated. Within the next six months, DVR plans to survey staff regarding the availability and quality of effective service providers that meet the needs of the consumers with whom they work across the state. DVR also plans to survey current consumers regarding their satisfaction with the services purchased for them through a variety of vendors. Finally, DVR has a standing Fee Schedule Committee that, in addition to reviewing the maximum rates of payment used by DVR, also annually reviews the required provider standards to ensure that DVR consumers are receiving services from the most qualified providers available.
Goal 4 - Create an environment within DVR that is conducive to maintaining a full and competent staff.
(a) DVR will reinitiate the request to expand the job classification series for rehabilitation counselors.
(b) DVR will research and implement an effective approach to conducting exit interviews with staff who are leaving the agency.
(c) DVR will conduct a needs assessment survey and continue to identify and provide skill development opportunities for staff.
Associated tasks: with new leadership positions beginning within the Department effective July 1, 2011, DVR intends to again submit the request to work through CDHS with the Colorado Department of Personnel Administration to expand the rehabilitation counselor series to allow for more upward mobility opportunities for staff who wish to advance to a more responsible position as a rehabilitation counselor without moving into supervisory positions.
The State Rehabilitation Council has also recommended that DVR explore the implementation of an exit survey process to gather information that will assist DVR in learning how to better retain staff and prevent premature resignations and departures. DVR will work to accomplish this goal over the next year.
Finally, DVR also plans to conduct a statewide staff survey this year to identify not only training needs, but to solicit information from staff about factors that contribute to their continued satisfactory employment here at DVR so the agency can further explore how to replicate those types of conditions and environments.
As already stated, DVR plans to pursue the above strategies into the next fiscal year and will be looking to the results of the planned CSNA to be conducted in FY2012 to further inform efforts and fully develop appropriate strategies to effectively accomplish DVR’s mission and goals.
This screen was last updated on Aug 9 2011 4:33PM by sacodannk
Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) and Supported Employment (SE) Goals
Evaluation and Report of Progress in Achieving Identified Goals and Priorities
Evaluation and Report of Progress in Achieving Identified Goals and Priorities
The Colorado Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) has made progress during FFY 2011 toward its identified goals and priorities, by utilizing various strategies identified in the FFY 2011 State Plan. The following narrative provides examples of many of the successes we have achieved. However, FFY 2011 has also been a year full of various challenges. Although DVR has determined that it now has sufficient human and fiscal resources to serve all eligible individuals and has eliminated all waiting lists, agency staff efforts have been focused on re-building stable referral sources and assisting consumers to address a difficult job market. In addition, significant management and direct service staff has been invested in the development, adaptation and customization of DVR’s new electronic case management system, CO-AWARE, which was finally implemented on May 2, 2011.
Goal 1 - Increase the number and quality of employment outcomes
Strategy (a) - Identify, explore, and replicate effective practices that are employed by exemplary counselors.
FFY 2011 Progress -
Although DVR was not able to actually convene a face-to-face focus group of high producing (in both quality and quantity) rehabilitation counselors, the quality assurance case review process was used to identify cases that represented best practices across the rehabilitation process. In some cases, the counselor and supervisor responsible for the best practice cases were interviewed by DVR’s Quality Assurance specialist and the information gleaned from both the interviews and the case reviews was shared with all supervisory staff and DVR’s lead and mentoring counselors. Various strategies and examples of good documentation and best practices were also infused into DVR’s New Counselor Training.
Strategy (b) - DVR will continue to monitor caseload activity data and implement effective strategies to improve service delivery for consumers.
- DVR continues to improve the functionality of the monthly caseload activity report that is distributed to all supervisors for review with counselors. As counselors and supervisors transition into using the CO-AWARE system, it is anticipated that there will be a learning curve relative to reports and data that can be culled from the system. DVR will ensure that management and supervisors receive training and the opportunity to fully explore and identify effective strategies for interpreting and applying the available information to enhance service delivery and the achievement of outcomes.
Strategy (c) - Enhance the quality of DVR’s outreach strategy and materials for employers.
FFY 2011 Progress - During FFY 2011 Colorado has continued to maintain and apply its previously developed marketing plan that was originally inclusive of the following:
? Simple and recognizable DVR logo and color scheme
? graphical design concept used to make the DVR marketing tools more professional looking; brochures, event banners, business cards, the DVR annual report, etc.
? a “branding document”, which identifies DVR’s position statement, tagline, elevator pitches and key messages. Some examples are:
Our passion is helping individuals with proven experience, incredible talent, and immense value, succeed in the workforce and further establish their careers.
Bridging business and ability.
Sales Pitch 1 (for Employers)
Across Colorado, too many workers with proven skills are currently left out of the workplace. DVR is Colorado’s leading placement organization for people with disabilities. We provide the bridge between companies and these talented individuals, helping both connect and succeed.
Key Message to Employers
DVR is the best resource for the best employers.
DVR is the best resource for enhancing and building the diversity of the Colorado labor force and should be an integral part of any employer’s search for qualified, skilled career employees. Employers are supported by a seasoned, professional team that specializes in matching the best talent with the right jobs.
Key Message to Clients
DVR has years of proven placement.
Backed by more than 50 years of experience providing the best training, support and career placement services, DVR is a trusted partner in helping our job seekers find meaningful employment. Business partners experience the same professional treatment and service that our job seekers do—ensuring an ideal match of the best talent with the right jobs.
Key Message to All Audiences
We are DVR. The best candidates. The best support.
We strive to make the best match, so our employer partners get the right candidate for the job, with skilled, loyal workers joining their team and committed to their success. Employers and employees get ongoing support from the professional staff at DVR. We provide a wide range of support services including job training, guidance on the ADA regulations, and information on disability and employment guidelines. Additionally, we are able to help with financial incentives and facilitation of tax credits.
After the roll-out of these materials and strategies to all DVR staff in April 2009, DVR is finding the approach to now be ingrained in outreach efforts and is beginning to enjoy higher levels of recognition in its community endeavors.
Goal 2 - Increase the visibility and public awareness of the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation
Strategy (a) - Educate Colorado State Agencies, Legislators, DVR Consumers and other community members about DVR’s employment focused services and benefits to Colorado.
FFY 2011 Progress - The DVR RLT and SRC have worked to find creative new methods to reach out to other Colorado State agencies, Legislators, DVR Consumers and other community members about DVR’s employment focused services and benefits.
? Creation of a new informational video that can be used to help to educate consumers and other interested parties about DVR and DVR’s services. This video will be used as a prototype to create other videos around the state.
? From January through May, DVR emailed monthly newsletters to all members of the Colorado legislature in an effort to help educate legislators about DVR programs and issues. Each email also included a story about a DVR consumer who has successfully entered (or reentered) the workforce. During the next legislative session, DVR will again send out the newsletters.
? DVR counselors have participated in numerous job fairs. DVR participated in the E3 (Education, Employment and Economic growth) job fair, a large job fair sponsored by the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, Colorado Workforce Development Council and Workforce Development Center. DVR staff participated in event planning and development, manned a booth, and provided volunteer supports for attendees and employers.
? The RLT also asked all DVR counselors to take on more job placement activities; one result was the initiation of additional job clubs in offices across the state. These job clubs have helped to strengthen the connection between the consumers and their counselor and have resulted in a number of successful job placements. These job clubs are on-going.
? Development of a Youth Transitions Tool Kit
? When DVR made the decision to activate OOS restrictions, DVR prepared and sent out correspondence to all stakeholders and DVR partners to inform them about the activation of OOS.
? Similar to the correspondence detailed above, when DVR received ARRA funds, DVR distributed an “American Recovery Reinvestment Act (ARRA) Stimulus Funds Use Suggestion Form” to all stakeholders and partners. DVR received a total of 88 suggestion, 59 of which were from stakeholder and partners, the remainder were from DVR staff.
? DVR is working in collaboration with United Cerebral Palsy to pilot a Ticket To Work program.
? The SRC has included educational topics at SRC meetings in the following:
- Evaluation Standards and Performance Indicators (July 2008)
- Goals Defined (January 2009)
- Disability Awareness Training Tool Box (March 2009)
- Disability Awareness Training for Employers – Benefits and Advantages of Hiring someone with a Disability (May 2009)
Strategy (b) - Continue to enhance the functionality of the DVR website and ensure it provides current and appropriate information.
FFY 2011 Progress - DVR continues to maintain and improve, where necessary, the information available through DVR’s newly created website. Regular reminders are sent to DVR staff responsible for reviewing web content for accuracy, timeliness and clarity and updates are made on an ongoing basis to ensure that information available to the public, consumers and employers is up to date.
Strategy (c) - Enhance the quality of DVR’s outreach strategy and materials for employers.
FFY 2011 Progress - As reported above, DVR has successfully implemented the Marketing Plan. The first steps to achieving the goal of enhancing the quality of DVR’s outreach strategy and materials for employers has been to work with DVR staff to develop a marketing awareness and an understanding of marketing tools.
- Introduce DVR staff to the concept of marketing and its benefit to organizations including DVR and staff.
- To present branding document to DVR staff and begin to explain to staff the benefit of branding.
- To introduce and educate DVR staff about DVR’s specific brand and marketing tools, such as a new logo, business cards, letterheads, brochures and event kits.
Goal 3 - Improve the quality and availability of providers from whom DVR purchases services.
Strategy (a) - DVR will develop and conduct an on-going consumer survey to measure the quality of services provided by DVR vendors.
FFY 2011 Progress - DVR continues to strive to develop an effective mechanism for gathering accurate feedback about the quality of services received by our consumers from our many vendors. Local offices have developed and are using a variety of feedback mechanisms and are adept at developing close relationships with community providers and partners. Feedback from consumers about the quality and effectiveness of the services they are receiving is gathered locally on an ongoing basis and is communicated to the Operations Support Unit at state office for official action when appropriate. The Operations Support Unit processes all requests for additions or removal of statewide vendors and has worked during FFY 2011 to refine the processes and materials provided to vendors to clearly communicate DVR’s expectations regarding the quality and manner of service provision for DVR consumers.
Strategy (b) - DVR will review and update provider standards and qualifications.
FFY 2011 Progress - DVR’s Fee Schedule Committee meets on a regular basis to review and revise, as necessary, established standards for vocational and medical procedures and providers and makes recommendations for appropriate changes to the Rehabilitation Leadership Team. There were no recommended changes to provider standards in FFY 2011.
Strategy (c) - DVR will review and refine procedures for recruitment and registering of providers.
- The DVR Provider Relations Unit has become the Operations Support Unit and continues to facilitate and work with the Vendor Process Committee to identify and improve the current vendor processes. During the past year, the Committee has developed and distributed comprehensive educational materials for both DVR staff and providers that explains the process for becoming a vendor and doing business with DVR.
Strategy (d) - DVR will provide training for vendors and /or employers who interact with DVR consumers.
FFY 2011 Progress - DVR has disseminated materials to registered providers regarding DVR process for providing services to consumers, billing, reporting and receiving payment for those services. A Power Point presentation has been developed and is being used across the state that informs current and potential vendors of the benefits and process for doing business with DVR. Counselors across the state continue to locally develop relationships with service providers, communicating about expected outcomes and service delivery methods.
Goal 4 - Improve DVR’s ability to maintain a full and competent staff.
Strategy (a) - DVR will explore the opportunity to expand the job classification series for rehabilitation counselors.
FFY 2011 Progress - During the past year, the proposal that was previously developed by a DVR Counselor Series Task Force and submitted to the Colorado Department of Human Service’s (CDHS) Human Resources Unit to expand the classifications within the Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor series was stalled due to turnover within Human Resources as well as the Executive Director position for the Department. Over the coming year, DVR’s new leadership will work with the Human Resources Unit to “resurrect” the proposal and get it moving through the process required for final approval through the Colorado Department of Personnel and Administration. This will provide additional upward mobility for rehabilitation counselors who wish to remain with the agency but who are not necessarily interested in becoming supervisors at the current time.
Strategy (b) - DVR will explore and implement an automated case management system.
FFY 2011 Progress - DVR utilized ARRA funding to engage in the innovation and expansion project of purchasing, customizing, adapting and implementing an off-the-shelf electronic case management system here in Colorado. CO-AWARE went live on May 2nd after three weeks of intensive statewide training and all DVR staff are now using CO-AWARE to document their activities with consumers and to track and manage all related data and federal reporting requirements. DVR will continue to monitor staff’s transition to this system and will develop effective mechanisms for performing quality assurance activities to ensure that the system is meeting the needs of DVR consumers and staff.
Strategy (c) - DVR will provide skill development opportunities for staff.
FFY 2011 Progress - DVR continues to regularly offer relevant training opportunities to all staff and support staff efforts to develop and sharpen their counseling skills in all areas of the Vocational Rehabilitation program. During the past year, DVR has worked with a consultant to offer and reinforce the skills of Cognitive Motivational Training (CMT) in an effort to equip staff with necessary tools to keep consumers engaged and motivated in the VR process with an ultimate outcome of obtaining and maintaining appropriate employment. DVR has also trained a select group of 9 counselors to provide Motivational Enhancement Training in support of the delivery of CMT strategies to consumers across the state who may be pre-contemplative or ambivalent about their ability and desire to engage in work activities. DVR also continues to offer and encourage staff to take advantage of numerous training opportunities and conferences that relate to specific disabilities and associated functional limitations. The Region VIII TACE center has also been instrumental in offering relevant continuing education opportunities of which many DVR staff take advantage.
Typically, DVR used 100% of its Title VI-B funds for the direct authorization of supported employment services. Title I funds are also used for supported employment services provided under cooperative agreements as well as for individual supported employment programs. As identified above, DVR’s policy is to assure the provision of supported employment services to all who need it and DVR uses both Title VI-B funds and Title I funds for this purpose. When Title VI-B funds are not available, DVR uses Title I funds to assure that supported employment services are not interrupted. Thus, it is impossible for DVR to separate its programmatic supported employment plans and goals into separate components for each funding source. Rather, DVR develops programming strategies for its entire supported employment program, which includes the use of Title VI-B and Title I funds.
Below, please see chart showing DVR’s progress on required Standards and Indicators for FFY 2010, the last complete fiscal year.
STANDARD 1 REQUIRED RESULT
Indicator 1.1 - Change in Employment Outcomes >= 0 -980
Indicator 1.2 - Percentage of Post-IPE Closures
that are Successful Employment Outcomes 55.8% 57.89%
Indicator 1.3 - Percentage of Successful Employment
Outcomes that are in Competitive
Employment 72.6% 88.43%
(Based on Minimum
Wage of $7.25 per hour.)
Indicator 1.4 - Percentage of Successful Competitive
Employment Outcomes that are for Persons
with Significant Disabilities 62.4% 97.89%
Indicator 1.5 - Average Hourly Wage for All
Successful Competitive Employment Outcomes
vs. the Average Hourly Wage for all Colorado
Workers 52.0% 54.39%
(Based on Average CO Wage of $22.53 and Min. Wage of $7.25 per hour.)
Indicator 1.6 - For Successful Competitive Outcomes,
the Percentage whose Primary Support is Own
Income at Application vs. at Closure 53.0% 53.90%
Indicator 2.1 - Percentage of All Closures – Persons
from Minority Backgrounds vs. Persons from
Non-minority Backgrounds 80.0% 87.19%
Total expenditures of Title I funds for innovation and expansion activities for Federal FY 2011 were as follows:
Support of the State Rehabilitation Council $ 24,288
Support of the State Independent Living Council $ 55,315
Support of the State Rehabilitation and State Independent Living Councils
The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation values and appreciates the collaborative efforts of both the State Rehabilitation Council (SRC) and the State Independent Living Council (SILC). This positive collaborative working relationship has resulted in valued input and contributions to help DVR staff develop goals and priorities as well as strategies to meet the needs of individuals with disabilities as identified in the comprehensive needs assessment. In addition, the SRC is actively involved on an ongoing basis any time that DVR revisits and updates its service delivery policies and procedures. In FFY 2012 DVR will continue to use Title I funds for innovation and expansion to provide staff support and to pay for the operating, travel, and per diem costs of members of the SRC and the SILC.
This screen was last updated on Aug 10 2011 5:11PM by sacodannk
Quality, Scope and Extent of Supported Employment Services
The 1998 amendments to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, reinforce and expand the roles of both vocational rehabilitation counselors and consumers with regard to supported employment services. Effective delivery of supported employment services for individuals with the most significant disabilities requires professionals to become even more creative in looking beyond the traditional array of practices and services. Therefore, the skill and experience of vocational rehabilitation counselors are key to the development of successful supported employment programs. Ongoing training efforts continue to focus on helping counselors and other involved professionals understand the importance of and develop skills necessary to assure thorough consumer evaluation; realistic goal setting; development of precise plans of services, including objective progress reporting for the continuous process; and, meaningful recordkeeping.
Direct utilization of Titles I (Vocational Rehabilitation Services) and VI B (Supported Employment Services) case services funds facilitates the counselor’s ability to provide supported employment services for individuals with the most significant disabilities. The resources available through the Title VI-B program are used only to provide supplemental evaluations and supported employment services, as identified in the Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE), to assist eligible individuals with the most significant disabilities to obtain and secure community-integrated employment. Title VI-B funds are not used for services necessary to conduct the preliminary and comprehensive assessments to determine eligibility and vocational rehabilitation needs or to provide job skill training unless it is provided at the worksite.
Supported employment services are provided to enable individuals with the most significant disabilities to obtain employment, to learn job skills, and to maximize their hour and wage employment opportunities in the competitive labor force. The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation will continue to provide a wide range of supported employment services to individuals with the most significant disabilities for whom competitive employment has not traditionally occurred or has been interrupted or intermittent and who need supported employment services and extended ongoing support services to attain and maintain integrated competitive employment.
SUPPORTED EMPLOYMENT SERVICES
° Supplemental evaluations are provided subsequent to the development of the IPE when necessary to reassess the particular ongoing support services needed and/or the suitability of the particular placement. Supplemental evaluations focus on the individual’s environment, such as the need for and type of job station modification, rather than on the individual’s functional limitations. Such evaluations are subject to neither the individual’s financial participation nor a search for comparable services and benefits.
° Job Placement is provided to assist the individual procure adequate and suitable employment in a competitive work setting. This service may be provided by the counselor directly or may be provided by other community programs. It is subject to neither the individual’s financial participation nor a search for comparable services and benefits.
° Transitional employment services are a series of competitive job placements in integrated work settings which are provided to individuals with the most significant disabilities due to mental illnesses when necessary to assist them achieve job permanency.
° Job seeking skills training is provided to teach individuals how to conduct a job search, how to prepare resumes and complete applications, and how to interview effectively. Job seeking skills may take place in a classroom setting, in a group setting, or on a one-to-one basis. When such services are included in plans of supported employment, they are normally provided in conjunction with transitional employment for individuals with the most significant disabilities due to mental illnesses. Job seeking skills are not subject to a search for comparable services and benefits.
° Intensive job training is provided by skilled job trainers after the individual has been placed in an integrated work setting to assist the individual in attaining his or her weekly work goal at a competitive wage and to achieve job stabilization. Job coaching services are specialized training services provided by an individual other than the employer, and on-the-job supported employment training services are provided by the employer through the use of co-workers as natural supports. Job coaching and on-the-job training are subject to neither the individual’s financial participation nor a search for comparable services and benefits.
° Personal adjustment training is provided to individuals with the most significant disabilities when necessary to develop compensatory skills and/or to adjust behavior in the areas of social skills, peer work relationships, and supervisory work relationships. Personal adjustment training is subject to neither the individual’s financial participation nor a search for comparable services and benefits.
° Rehabilitation technology services are assistive technology devices, assistive technology services and rehabilitation engineering which are provided to meet the needs of and address the barriers encountered by an individual with the most significant disability in the areas of training, employment, transportation, and independent living. Such services include, but are not limited to, non-medical adaptive equipment and devices as well as environmental adaptations or alterations to home, training sites, and employment settings to increase access and successful performance for individuals with the most significant disabilities in supported employment. (Rehabilitation technology services provided to individuals during the preliminary and comprehensive assessments when necessary to determine eligibility and vocational rehabilitation needs are not considered supported employment services.) Rehabilitation technology services are not subject to a search for comparable services and benefits.
° Follow up services, including regular contact with the employer, trainee, job coach, and the parent or guardian, and regular observation or supervision of the individual with a most significant disability at the training site, are provided to assess the individual’s progress and performance and to assist the individual prepare for and maintain supported employment in a competitive work setting. Such services are subject to neither the individual’s financial participation nor a search for comparable services and benefits.
° Post-employment services are provided to individuals with the most significant disabilities to enable them to maintain or regain suitable supported employment in integrated work settings. Such services are limited interventions which are unavailable from the extended services provider. Post-employment services address or relate to vocational rehabilitation needs identified prior to the original case closure, and include, but are not limited to, job station redesign, repair and maintenance of assistive technology devices, and replacement of prosthetic appliances. Extensive training services are not available under the provisions of post-employment services.
° Any other vocational rehabilitation service may be provided when necessary to prepare and support the individual in supported employment. Such services include, but are not limited to, physical and mental restoration services; vocational adjustment and other vocational and academic training; occupational licenses, tools and equipment; specialized services for the blind and/or deaf; and, support services, such as maintenance, transportation, services to family members, and personal assistance services.
DVR’s required documentation for supported employment for an eligible individual with the most significant disability will include the individual’s weekly work goal, job stabilization criteria, the supported employment services to be provided, the type and frequency of monitoring contacts which will be provided during the provision of supported employment services, and a description of extended services needed.
Supported employment services provided under Title VI-B and Title I are limited to eighteen months unless the IPE reflects that a longer period is necessary to achieve the weekly work goal and attain job stabilization before the individual with the most significant disabilities transitions to extended services. IPEs for supported employment are developed for a maximum of eighteen months. However, the IPE can be amended to provide a longer period of services when substantial progress has been made in attaining the weekly work goal and the individual and counselor agree that a longer period of services is needed to fully attain the weekly work goal and/or stabilize employment. Such circumstances typically mean that the individual’s performance has shown steady progress during the last three months and that the individual has attained a minimum of 75% of his or her weekly work goal by the eighteenth month.
A national emphasis in supported employment to normalize the work setting for individuals with most significant disabilities is stronger than ever. The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation agrees that it is important to minimize the intrusiveness of the job coach model and to replace it with a model of natural supports by utilizing supervisors, co-workers, and Employee Assistance Programs, when available and appropriate to the individual’s needs. The Division will continue to support and expand the use of natural supports in the work place, including supervisors, co-workers, independent living centers, friends or volunteers/mentors, and family members, as the preferred supported employment model.
During the provision of supported employment services, assessing job stabilization and transition to extended services is the final phase of the vocational rehabilitation counselor’s involvement in the provision of supported employment services. Job stabilization, which occurs when the individual can and is reasonably expected to continue to perform all job duties acceptably, should be attained prior to transition to extended services. The timing and flexibility of the transition process is critical to ensure that the individual’s placement is not jeopardized once the job coach fades from the job site. Training and technical assistance will continue to be provided to counselors and other service providers on how to identify the appropriate time to fade job coaching services and when extended support services, including natural supports, should begin. DVR and the Division of Behavioral Health have developed written guidelines for mental health centers, which provide supported employment services to eligible individuals with serious mental illnesses, to clarify their role in the provision and funding of extended services.
The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation believes that the need for supported employment cannot be met by vocational rehabilitation agencies alone but requires the collaborative efforts of all providers of services to individuals with the most significant disabilities. In accordance with this belief, DVR continues to analyze and address the systems barriers in Colorado which have historically hindered local delivery of supported employment services. DVR, the Division for Developmental Disabilities (DDD), and the Division of Behavioral Health (DBH) have created an environment, through collaborative policy development and innovative funding initiatives, which encourages local provider agencies to enhance existing supported employment services. These efforts continue through cooperative agreements between DVR, DDD and DBH to expand and develop methods to provide effective supported employment services to mutual consumers.
The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation’s strong commitment to facilitate coordination and development of community-based supported employment services for individuals with the most significant disabilities is also reflected in the prioritization of supported employment initiatives. As a result, increasing numbers of community rehabilitation programs throughout the State have developed supported employment services to supplement those provided by the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation.
This screen was last updated on Jun 28 2011 11:05AM by sacodannk
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