ED/OSERS/RSA
Rehabilitation Services Administration
U.S. Department of Education

Published September 4, 2014.   Print   Print preview   Export to MS Word   Export to Excel  

State Plan for the State Vocational Rehabilitation Services Program and
State Plan Supplement for the State Supported Employment Services Program
Colorado Division of Vocational Rehabilitation State Plan for Fiscal Year 2014 (submitted FY 2013)

Preprint - Section 1: State Certifications

1.1 The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation is authorized to submit this State Plan under Title I of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended [1] and its supplement under Title VI, Part B, of the Rehabilitation Act [2].

1.2 As a condition for the receipt of federal funds under Title I, Part B, of the Rehabilitation Act for the provision of vocational rehabilitation services, the Department of Human Services [3] agrees to operate and administer the State Vocational Rehabilitation Services Program in accordance with the provisions of this State Plan [4], the Rehabilitation Act, and all applicable regulations [5], policies and procedures established by the secretary. Funds made available under Section 111 of the Rehabilitation Act are used solely for the provision of vocational rehabilitation services under Title I of the Rehabilitation Act and the administration of the State Plan for the vocational rehabilitation services program.

1.3 As a condition for the receipt of federal funds under Title VI, Part B, of the Rehabilitation Act for supported employment services, the designated state agency agrees to operate and administer the State Supported Employment Services Program in accordance with the provisions of the supplement to this State Plan [6], the Rehabilitation Act and all applicable regulations [7], policies and procedures established by the secretary. Funds made available under Title VI, Part B, are used solely for the provision of supported employment services and the administration of the supplement to the Title I State Plan. Yes

1.4 The designated state agency and/or the designated state unit has the authority under state law to perform the functions of the state regarding this State Plan and its supplement. Yes

1.5 The state legally may carry out each provision of the State Plan and its supplement. Yes

1.6 All provisions of the State Plan and its supplement are consistent with state law. Yes

1.7 The (enter title of state officer below) Yes

Director Division of Vocational Rehabilitation

... has the authority under state law to receive, hold and disburse federal funds made available under this State Plan and its supplement.

1.8 The (enter title of state officer below)... Yes

Director Division of Vocational Rehabilitation

... has the authority to submit this State Plan for vocational rehabilitation services and the State Plan supplement for supported employment services.

1.9 The agency that submits this State Plan and its supplement has adopted or otherwise formally approved the plan and its supplement. Yes

State Plan Certified By

As the authorized signatory identified above, I hereby certify that I will sign, date and retain in the files of the designated state agency/designated state unit Section 1 of the Preprint, and separate Certification of Lobbying forms (Form ED-80-0013; available at http://www.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/appforms/ed80-013.pdf) for both the vocational rehabilitation and supported employment programs.

Signed?Yes

Name of SignatoryTodd Jorgensen

Title of SignatoryActing Director

Date Signed (mm/dd/yyyy)06/25/2013

Assurances Certified By

At the request of RSA, the designated state agency and/or the designated state unit provide the following assurance(s), in addition to those contained within Section 2 through 8 below, in connection with the approval of the State Plan for FY 2014No

Section 1 Footnotes

[1] Public Law 93 112, as amended by Public Laws 93 516, 95 602, 98 221, 99 506, 100-630, 102-569, 103-073, and 105-220.

[2] Unless otherwise stated, "Rehabilitation Act" means the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended.

[3] All references in this plan to "designated state agency" or to "the state agency" relate to the agency identified in this paragraph.

[4] No funds under Title I of the Rehabilitation Act may be awarded without an approved State Plan in accordance with Section 101(a) of the Rehabilitation Act and 34 CFR part 361.

[5] Applicable regulations include the Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) in 34 CFR Parts 74, 76, 77, 79, 80, 81, 82, 85 and 86 and the State Vocational Rehabilitation Services Program regulations in 34 CFR Part 361.

[6] No funds under Title VI, Part B, of the Rehabilitation Act may be awarded without an approved supplement to the Title I State Plan in accordance with Section 625(a) of the Rehabilitation Act.

[7] Applicable regulations include the EDGAR citations in footnote 5, 34 CFR Part 361, and 34 CFR Part 363.

Preprint - Section 2: Public Comment on State Plan Policies and Proceduress

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.

The designated state agency, prior to the adoption of any substantive policies or procedures governing the provision of vocational rehabilitation services under the State Plan and supported employment services under the supplement to the State Plan, including making any substantive amendments to the policies and procedures, conducts public meetings throughout the state to provide the public, including individuals with disabilities, an opportunity to comment on the policies or procedures.

(b) Notice requirements.

The designated state agency, prior to conducting the public meetings, provides appropriate and sufficient notice throughout the state of the meetings in accordance with state law governing public meetings or, in the absence of state law governing public meetings, procedures developed by the state agency in consultation with the State Rehabilitation Council, if the agency has a council.

(c) Special consultation requirements.

The state agency actively consults with the director of the Client Assistance Program, the State Rehabilitation Council, if the agency has a council and, as appropriate, Indian tribes, tribal organizations and native Hawaiian organizations on its policies and procedures governing the provision of vocational rehabilitation services under the State Plan and supported employment services under the supplement to the State Plan.

Preprint - Section 3: Submission of the State Plan and its Supplement

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:

  1. comprehensive system of personnel development;
  2. assessments, estimates, goals and priorities, and reports of progress;
  3. innovation and expansion activities; and
  4. 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.

Preprint - Section 4: Administration of 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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 B was selected/Option A was not selected)

  1. In American Samoa, the designated state agency is the governor.

(b) Designated state unit.

  1. 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:

  1. 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;
  2. has a full-time director;
  3. has a staff, at least 90 percent of whom are employed full-time on the rehabilitation work of the organizational unit; and
  4. 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.

  1. The name of the designated state vocational rehabilitation unit is
Colorado Division of Vocational Rehabilitation

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)

The State Plan must contain one of the following assurances.

(a) The designated state agency is an independent state commission that

  1. is responsible under state law for operating or overseeing the operation of the vocational rehabilitation program in the state and is primarily concerned with the vocational rehabilitation or vocational and other rehabilitation of individuals with disabilities in accordance with subparagraph 4.1(a)(2)(A) of this section.
  1. is consumer controlled by persons who:
    1. are individuals with physical or mental impairments that substantially limit major life activities; and
    2. represent individuals with a broad range of disabilities, unless the designated state unit under the direction of the commission is the state agency for individuals who are blind;
  1. includes family members, advocates or other representatives of individuals with mental impairments; and
  1. undertakes the functions set forth in Section 105(c)(4) of the Rehabilitation Act and 34 CFR 361.17(h)(4).

(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

(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.

(Option B was selected)

4.3 Consultations regarding the administration of the State Plan. (Section 101(a)(16)(B) of the Rehabilitation Act; 34 CFR 361.21)

The designated state agency takes into account, in connection with matters of general policy arising in the administration of the plan and its supplement, the views of:

(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)

The nonfederal share of the cost of carrying out this State Plan is 21.3 percent and is provided through the financial participation by the state or, if the state elects, by the state and local agencies.

4.5 Local administration. (Sections 7(24) and 101(a)(2)(A) of the Rehabilitation Act; 34 CFR 361.5(b)(47) and .15)

The State Plan provides for the administration of the plan by a local agency. No

If "Yes", the designated state agency:

(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)

The State Plan provides for the state agency to share funding and administrative responsibility with another state agency or local public agency to carry out a joint program to provide services to individuals with disabilities. No

If "Yes", the designated state agency submits to the commissioner for approval a plan that describes its shared funding and administrative arrangement. The plan must include:

(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))

This agency is not requesting a waiver of statewideness.

(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:

  1. 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;

  1. 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

  1. 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:

  1. identification of the types of services to be provided;

  1. written assurance from the local public agency that it will make available to the state unit the nonfederal share of funds;

  1. written assurance that state unit approval will be obtained for each proposed service before it is put into effect; and

  1. 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.

The designated state agency or the designated state unit has cooperative agreements with other entities that are components of the statewide work force investment system and replicates those agreements at the local level between individual offices of the designated state unit and local entities carrying out the One-Stop service delivery system or other activities through the statewide work force investment system.

(b) Cooperation and coordination with other agencies and entities.

Attachment 4.8(b) (1)-(4) describes the designated state agency's:

  1. 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;

  1. 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;

  1. 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,

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. The State Plan description must:

  1. 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

  1. include information on a formal interagency agreement with the state educational agency that, at a minimum, provides for:

  1. 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;

  1. 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;

  1. roles and responsibilities, including financial responsibilities, of each agency, including provisions for determining state lead agencies and qualified personnel responsible for transition services; and

  1. 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.

The designated state unit, the Statewide Independent Living Council established under Section 705 of the Rehabilitation Act and 34 CFR 364, and the independent living centers described in Part C of Title VII of the Rehabilitation Act and 34 CFR 366 have developed working relationships and coordinate their activities.

(e) Cooperative agreement with recipients of grants for services to American Indians.

  1. 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

  1. 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:

  1. strategies for interagency referral and information sharing that will assist in eligibility determinations and the development of individualized plans for employment;

  1. 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

  1. 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.

The state agency employs methods of administration, including procedures to ensure accurate data collection and financial accountability, found by the commissioner to be necessary for the proper and efficient administration of the plan and for carrying out all the functions for which the state is responsible under the plan and 34 CFR 361.

(b) Employment of individuals with disabilities.

The designated state agency and entities carrying out community rehabilitation programs in the state, who are in receipt of assistance under Part B, of Title I of the Rehabilitation Act and this State Plan, take affirmative action to employ and advance in employment qualified individuals with disabilities covered under and on the same terms and conditions as set forth in Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act.

(c) Facilities.

Any facility used in connection with the delivery of services assisted under this State Plan meets program accessibility requirements consistent with the provisions, as applicable, of the Architectural Barriers Rehabilitation Act of 1968, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and the regulations implementing these laws.

4.10 Comprehensive system of personnel development. (Section 101(a)(7) of the Rehabilitation Act; 34 CFR 361.18)

Attachment 4.10 describes the designated state agency's procedures and activities to establish and maintain a comprehensive system of personnel development designed to ensure an adequate supply of qualified state rehabilitation professional and paraprofessional personnel for the designated state unit. The description includes the following:

(a) Data system on personnel and personnel development.

Development and maintenance of a system for collecting and analyzing on an annual basis data on qualified personnel needs and personnel development with respect to:

  1. Qualified personnel needs.

  1. 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;

  1. The number of personnel currently needed by the state agency to provide vocational rehabilitation services, broken down by personnel category; and

  1. 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.

  1. Personnel development.

  1. A list of the institutions of higher education in the state that are preparing vocational rehabilitation professionals, by type of program;

  1. The number of students enrolled at each of those institutions, broken down by type of program; and

  1. 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.

Development, updating on an annual basis, and implementation of a plan to address the current and projected needs for qualified personnel based on the data collection and analysis system described in paragraph (a) of this subsection and that provides for the coordination and facilitation of efforts between the designated state unit and institutions of higher education and professional associations to recruit, prepare and retain personnel who are qualified in accordance with paragraph (c) of this subsection, including personnel from minority backgrounds and personnel who are individuals with disabilities.

(c) Personnel standards.

Policies and procedures for the establishment and maintenance of personnel standards to ensure that designated state unit professional and paraprofessional personnel are appropriately and adequately prepared and trained, including:

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. The written plan required by subparagraph (c)(2) describes the following:

  1. specific strategies for retraining, recruiting and hiring personnel;

  1. the specific time period by which all state unit personnel will meet the standards required by subparagraph (c)(1);

  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

  1. 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.

Policies, procedures and activities to ensure that all personnel employed by the designated state unit receive appropriate and adequate training. The narrative describes the following:

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

Availability of personnel within the designated state unit or obtaining the services of other individuals who are able to communicate in the native language of applicants or eligible individuals who have limited English speaking ability or in appropriate modes of communication with applicants or eligible individuals.

(f) Coordination of personnel development under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

Procedures and activities to coordinate the designated state unit's comprehensive system of personnel development with personnel development under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

4.11. Statewide assessment; annual estimates; annual state goals and priorities; strategies; and progress reports.

(Sections 101(a)(15), 105(c)(2) and 625(b)(2) of the Rehabilitation Act; 34 CFR 361.17(h)(2), .29, and 363.11(b))

(a) Comprehensive statewide assessment.

  1. 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:

  1. the rehabilitation needs of individuals with disabilities residing within the state, particularly the vocational rehabilitation services needs of:

  1. individuals with the most significant disabilities, including their need for supported employment services;

  1. 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

  1. individuals with disabilities served through other components of the statewide work force investment system.

  1. The need to establish, develop or improve community rehabilitation programs within the state.

  1. 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.

Attachment 4.11(b) identifies on an annual basis state estimates of the:

  1. number of individuals in the state who are eligible for services under the plan;

  1. 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

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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):

  1. shows the order to be followed in selecting eligible individuals to be provided vocational rehabilitation services;

  1. provides a justification for the order; and

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

(d) Strategies.

  1. Attachment 4.11(d) describes the strategies, including:

  1. 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;

  1. 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;

  1. as applicable, the plan of the state for establishing, developing or improving community rehabilitation programs;

  1. 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

  1. strategies for assisting other components of the statewide work force investment system in assisting individuals with disabilities.

  1. Attachment 4.11 (d) describes how the designated state agency uses these strategies to:

  1. 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);

  1. support the innovation and expansion activities identified in subparagraph 4.12(a)(1) and (2) of the plan; and

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. Attachment 4.11(e)(2):

  1. 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;

  1. identifies the strategies that contributed to the achievement of the goals and priorities;

  1. describes the factors that impeded their achievement, to the extent they were not achieved;

  1. assesses the performance of the state on the standards and indicators established pursuant to Section 106 of the Rehabilitation Act; and

  1. 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:

  1. 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

  1. 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.

Preprint - Section 5: Administration of the Provision of Vocational Rehabilitation Services

5.1 Information and referral services. (Sections 101(a)(5)(D) and (20) of the Rehabilitation Act; 34 CFR 361.37)

The designated state agency has implemented an information and referral system that is adequate to ensure that individuals with disabilities, including individuals who do not meet the agency's order of selection criteria for receiving vocational rehabilitation services if the agency is operating on an order of selection, are provided accurate vocational rehabilitation information and guidance, including counseling and referral for job placement, using appropriate modes of communication, to assist such individuals in preparing for, securing, retaining or regaining employment, and are referred to other appropriate federal and state programs, including other components of the statewide work force investment system in the state.

5.2 Residency. (Section 101(a)(12) of the Rehabilitation Act; 34 CFR 361.42(c)(1))

The designated state unit imposes no duration of residence requirement as part of determining an individual's eligibility for vocational rehabilitation services or that excludes from services under the plan any individual who is present in the state.

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:

  1. 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.

  1. Attachment 4.11(c)(3):

  1. shows the order to be followed in selecting eligible individuals to be provided vocational rehabilitation services;

  1. provides a justification for the order of selection; and

  1. 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.

  1. 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:

  1. assessment for determining eligibility and vocational rehabilitation needs by qualified personnel, including, if appropriate, an assessment by personnel skilled in rehabilitation technology;

  1. 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;

  1. 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;

  1. job-related services, including job search and placement assistance, job retention services, follow-up services, and follow-along services;

  1. rehabilitation technology, including telecommunications, sensory and other technological aids and devices; and

  1. 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:

  1. progress of the individual toward achieving the employment outcome identified in the individualized plan for employment;

  1. an immediate job placement; or

  1. 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)

Applicants and eligible individuals or, as appropriate, their representatives are provided information and support services to assist in exercising informed choice throughout the rehabilitation process, consistent with the provisions of Section 102(d) of the Rehabilitation Act and 34 CFR 361.52.

5.7 Services to American Indians. (Section 101(a)(13) of the Rehabilitation Act; 34 CFR 361.30)

The designated state unit provides vocational rehabilitation services to American Indians who are individuals with disabilities residing in the state to the same extent as the designated state agency provides such services to other significant populations of individuals with disabilities residing in the state.

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:

  1. 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

  1. 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))

If the state elects to construct, under special circumstances, facilities for community rehabilitation programs, the following requirements are met:

(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.

The designated state agency has the authority to enter into contracts with for-profit organizations for the purpose of providing, as vocational rehabilitation services, on-the-job training and related programs for individuals with disabilities under Part A of Title VI of the Rehabilitation Act, upon the determination by the designated state agency that for-profit organizations are better qualified to provide vocational rehabilitation services than nonprofit agencies and organizations.

(b) Cooperative agreements with private nonprofit organizations.

Attachment 4.8(b)(3) describes the manner in which the designated state agency establishes cooperative agreements with private nonprofit vocational rehabilitation service providers.

Preprint - Section 6: Program Administration

Section 6: Program Administration

6.1 Designated state agency. (Section 625(b)(1) of the Rehabilitation Act; 34 CFR 363.11(a))

The designated state agency for vocational rehabilitation services identified in paragraph 1.2 of the Title I State Plan is the state agency designated to administer the State Supported Employment Services Program authorized under Title VI, Part B, of the Rehabilitation Act.

6.2 Statewide assessment of supported employment services needs. (Section 625(b)(2) of the Rehabilitation Act; 34 CFR 363.11(b))

Attachment 4.11(a) describes the results of the comprehensive, statewide needs assessment conducted under Section 101(a)(15)(a)(1) of the Rehabilitation Act and subparagraph 4.11(a)(1) of the Title I State Plan with respect to the rehabilitation needs of individuals with most significant disabilities and their need for supported employment services, including needs related to coordination.

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))

Attachment 6.3 describes the quality, scope and extent of supported employment services to be provided to individuals with the most significant disabilities who are eligible to receive supported employment services. The description also addresses the timing of the transition to extended services to be provided by relevant state agencies, private nonprofit organizations or other sources following the cessation of supported employment service provided by the designated state agency.

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)

Attachment 4.11(c)(4) identifies the state's goals and plans with respect to the distribution of funds received under Section 622 of the Rehabilitation Act.

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))

Attachment 4.8(b)(4) describes the efforts of the designated state agency to identify and make arrangements, including entering into cooperative agreements, with other state agencies and other appropriate entities to assist in the provision of supported employment services and other public or nonprofit agencies or organizations within the state, employers, natural supports, and other entities with respect to the provision of extended services.

6.6 Minority outreach. (34 CFR 363.11(f))

Attachment 4.11(d) includes a description of the designated state agency's outreach procedures for identifying and serving individuals with the most significant disabilities who are minorities.

6.7 Reports. (Sections 625(b)(8) and 626 of the Rehabilitation Act; 34 CFR 363.11(h) and .52)

The designated state agency submits reports in such form and in accordance with such procedures as the commissioner may require and collects the information required by Section 101(a)(10) of the Rehabilitation Act separately for individuals receiving supported employment services under Part B, of Title VI and individuals receiving supported employment services under Title I of the Rehabilitation Act.

Preprint - Section 7: Financial Administration

7.1 Five percent limitation on administrative costs. (Section 625(b)(7) of the Rehabilitation Act; 34 CFR 363.11(g)(8))

The designated state agency expends no more than five percent of the state's allotment under Section 622 of the Rehabilitation Act for administrative costs in carrying out the State Supported Employment Services Program.

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.

Preprint - Section 8: Provision of Supported Employment Services

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))

The comprehensive assessment of individuals with significant disabilities conducted under Section 102(b)(1) of the Rehabilitation Act and funded under Title I of the Rehabilitation Act includes consideration of supported employment as an appropriate employment outcome.

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:

  1. specifies the supported employment services to be provided;

  1. describes the expected extended services needed; and

  1. 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.

Attachment 4.2(c) Input of State Rehabilitation Council

Required annually by all agencies except those agencies that are independent consumer-controlled commissions.

Identify the Input provided by the state rehabilitation council, including recommendations from the council's annual report, the review and analysis of consumer satisfaction, and other council reports. Be sure to also include:

  • the Designated state unit's response to the input and recommendations; and
  • explanations for the designated state unit's rejection of any input or recommendation of the council.

ATTACHMENT 4.2 (c)

Summary of Input and Recommendations of the State Rehabilitation Council; Response of the Designated State Unit; and Explanations for Rejection of Input or Recommendations

FY 2014

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-five 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 clients of vocational rehabilitation services a mechanism to influence at the systemic and policy level the direction of vocational rehabilitation programming.”

The SRC meets every other month and minutes are maintained of all SRC meetings and retreats, which summarize the advice and recommendations provided to DVR.

SRC experienced the loss of five of its executive members this year, including the chair and co-chairs. The council is currently working to elect members, fill vacancies and review and rewrite their by-laws. The current focus for the council is to rebuild and refocus their energies in order to move forward.

SRC has four sub-committees that work on goals outside the regularly scheduled full council meetings. The SRC committees include:

1. The Client Satisfaction Committee addresses issues related to the access of DVR clients 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 Client Satisfaction Survey.

2. The Employment Committee forges partnerships between businesses and vocational rehabilitation services to facilitate client transition into employment.

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 1973 Rehabilitation Act as amended by the 1998 Workforce Investment 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.

SRC held its annual retreat in November 2012 and the following goals were established for each committee:

CLIENT SATISFACTION COMMITTEE: The Client Satisfaction Committee will analyze data and advise DVR on how to reduce preventable client attrition from intake to IPE development by 10% by October 13, 2013.

Obstacles/Solutions

POTENTIAL OBSTACLE POSSIBLE SOLUTION

“Inappropriate” referrals *Training with referral sources

*Dissemination of materials

*More upfront conversation

Insufficient data *Obtain available data

*Strategize ways to collect data

Diminished community resources *Resource/referral materials and processes

Who Do We Need To Help Us?

DVR staff

Attrition workgroup

30 Quality Assurance – Closed files

Action Steps

WHAT WHO DATE

Obtain current data Committee (Steve, Debbie, Barb, Elaine) 12-31-12

ID attrition workgroup Committee 12-31-12

Analyze available data Committee 2-28-13

Strategize recommendations Committee 2-28-13

Make recommendations to DVR Committee 3-31-13

Review current data Committee 9-30-13

EMPLOYMENT COMMITTEE: The Employment Committee will capitalize on recent efforts to modernize the State personnel system by establishing a working relationship with the State of Colorado Department of Personnel Administration (DPA) for the purpose of increasing employment opportunities for people with disabilities in State of Colorado jobs.

Obstacles/Solutions

POTENTIAL OBSTACLE POSSIBLE SOLUTION

DPA Resistance *Identifying allies within DPA

*Persevere in outreach/requests for meetings

*Take advantage of public hearings

Governor’s Council is not interested *Be strategic about utilizing members of Governor’s Council

Involved parties’ concern around “affirmative action” *Be prepared/armed with great information, facts and strategies to educate about skills, competencies and business reasons for hiring persons with disabilities (PWDs).

Who Do We Need To Help Us?

Utilize expertise of DVR resources and other community partners on the employment committee

Collaborate with the Colorado Advisory Council for PWDs

Engaged staff from DPA and Governor’s Council

Self-advocates and individuals with success stories and experiences

Use employers who have experienced success and benefits of hiring PWDs

Use stories to illustrate opportunities

Bring information re: accommodations in work place (examples, stories)

Action Steps

WHAT WHO DATE

Contact Governor’s Council Judi 12/31/12

Determine who to contact at DPA and set first meeting Josh

12/31/12

Update talking points card with new data (in conjunction with Legislative Committee) Beth with Kelley Hartman and Legislative Committee 12/31/12

Develop strategies, resources and data for presentations Nate, Chantal, Patty Beth 1/31/13

Hold first meeting with DPA TBD {Nate, Judi, Governor’s Council?} 1/31/13

Hold second and third meeting with DPA To be planned after 1 and 2 February thru June 2013

LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE: The Legislative Committee will work to ensure that no less than $4 million (the 2011-2012 funding level) is allocated to DVR for its programs in the 2012-2013 State Budget.

Obstacles/Solutions

POTENTIAL OBSTACLE POSSIBLE SOLUTION

Competing for funds with other State agencies *Develop a clear, concise, targeted message delivered to key legislators and stakeholders

Economic status of an already strained and stretched Colorado State Budget *To be determined

Political landscape at the Federal and State level *Elections have consequences – hopefully positive

Who Do We Need To Help Us?

Sarah Sills – DHS Legislative Liaison

Targeted legislators

DVR Staff and the SRC

Action Steps

WHAT WHO DATE

Create one-page fact sheet Committee members and DVR 11-15-12

Meet with Sarah Sills Committee members and DVR As soon as possible

Seek pre-legislative meetings with:

*JBC

*Leadership

*Champions Committee members Before legislative session

Repeat meetings (cell above) post session Committee members 8-31-13

Seek coalition partners: VA; CDE Committee members Post legislative session

MEMBERSHIP COMMITTEE GOAL 1: Over the next three years, the SRC Membership Committee will recruit at least one business, labor and/or industry member to fill all federally mandated slots.

Goal 1: Obstacles/Solutions

POTENTIAL OBSTACLE POSSIBLE SOLUTION

Employer engagement *Education/information

Time commitment *Restructure meetings

Understanding mutual benefit for employer partnership *Potential screening process for getting employers and educating them

Goal 1: Who Do We Need To Help Us?

SRC

Business Outreach Specialists

VR Counselors

SWAP Coordinators

Goal 1: Action Steps

WHAT WHO DATE

Develop process/info packet for recruitment of members Membership committee 1st Qtr. 2013

Look at other categories of members to see if they could re-apply in the business, labor and industry (BLI*) category Membership, Rebecca 1st Qtr. 2013

All SRC members are involved in recruiting engaged individuals with knowledge, skills and abilities (KSA’s) who can see the “forest for the trees” All SRC On-going, but starting after 1st Qtr. 2013

MEMBERSHIP COMMITTEE GOAL 2: By the end of the first quarter of 2013, the Membership Committee will develop a mentorship program to educate/inform all members of current and historical SRC goals, strategies and projects on a continual basis.

Goal 2: Obstacles/Solutions

POTENTIAL OBSTACLE POSSIBLE SOLUTION

Commitment from existing members to be mentors *Encourage/inform to create buy-in

Time commitment *Restructure meetings

Understanding mutual benefit for employer partnership *Potential screening process for getting employers and educating them

Goal 2: Who Do We Need To Help Us?

You (SRC Members!)

Goal 2: Action Steps

WHAT WHO DATE

Present new member orientation plan Membership committee 1/2013 Meeting

Enhance training for new members to include on-going training for existing members Membership committee 2nd Qtr. 2013

Monitor implementation to ensure on-going, cyclical SRC education Jackie and Executive Committee On-going, but starting after 1st Qtr. 2013

DVR has continued to work closely with SRC this year, providing them with on-going reports in regards to finances, personnel, client services, etc. As a result of the information received, SRC has made the following recommendations as goals they would like to see Colorado DVR focus on in the upcoming year.

SRC Recommendations for DVR FFY 2014

Goal 1

Increase Rehabilitation Counselor retention

Strategies:

a) Explore strategies for retaining DVR’s recently hired staff

DVR continues to explore options for incentives or pay adjustment for hard to fill locales/positions and/or areas with higher costs of living. The proposal for hard to fill stipend has moved up to CDHS upper management for further review.

DVR’s Employee Council (EC) work group completed two surveys directed at obtaining information about Supervisor I’s strengths, possible areas of needed improvement and areas in which additional training would be helpful. The Employee Council along with the Field Management Team (FMT) will begin reviewing the report to further explore possible recommendations, training topics, etc. in order to proactively strengthen supervisory skills statewide.

b) Analyze survey data from exit surveys to better identify reasons for staff departures

DVR began collecting data from staff departing the agency via exit surveys in October 2012. Since then, only a handful of staff has left the agency, thus far there have not been enough data points to look at statistical trends. In addition, the staff person devoted to this task has left the agency and this duty will need to be reassigned. This strategy will continue as more information is gathered, with the hope that there will eventually be quarterly data to review.

c) Build better relationships between vendors and counselors

DVR has a fee committee that meets to discuss areas of concerns identified by staff, clients, vendors, etc. Currently, this committee is working on the following:

• finalizing a job placement pilot that explored the concepts of 1) milestone payment structure for job placement services and b) increased quality of job placement services

• researching the feasibility of electronic funds transfer to allow vendors to be paid in a timelier manner

• examining the possibility of a “vendor portal” in which all tasks related to vendors would be available at one site, such as vendor registration, code of ethics, email blast, etc.

d) Decrease caseload sizes

A new position (rehabilitation technician - RT) was created within DVR this year and seven and one half of these positions have been filled across the state. These staff will assist DVR counselors in completing intakes, assisting with gathering of medical documentation, assisting with completion of various paper work, and other duties. The hope is that this will allow counselors to spend more direct one-on-one time with clients in activities related to helping them achieve their employment goals.

e) Assist counselors in reducing stress levels; ways to deal with stress

CDHS (Colorado Department of Human Services) is looking at creating an employee recognition toolkit for use by local offices with tips on simple ways to acknowledge staff for their hard work, jobs well done, as well as tips on stress reduction.

f) Utilize current list of universities with rehabilitation counseling programs to recruit and hire staff; add list of other accepted degrees that meet the minimum qualifications to the list and reach out to these schools as well

A letter of introduction was sent out to all CORE accredited universities that offer rehabilitation counseling degrees to open the lines of communication between CO DVR and these schools. Responses were received from a couple educational institutions as well as individual students asking questions about Colorado DVR, employment opportunities within the state, etc. DVR staff will continue to engage in outreach efforts to effectively recruit and hire graduates of these universities.

g) Look at/offer professional development opportunities

DVR’s Organization and Planning Development unit continues to search for and offer staff professional development opportunities through organizations such as the TACE centers nationwide, CTAT/Rocky Mountain Mental Health Services, The Human Services Network of Colorado, JAN (Job Accommodation Network), Colorado’s Department of Personnel Administrations training unit, Skillpath and others.

h) Continue use of state residency waiver

DVR intends to continue to use/renew the state residency waiver on an on-going basis.

Goal 2

Increase client engagement

Strategies:

a) Explore options to conduct a longitudinal study of why clients “exit” programming

DVR and SRC staff have discussed reviewing the customer satisfaction surveys completed as part of last years CSNA to look for any trends and/or themes as to why clients may depart DVR services prior to successful employment. In addition, SRC has discussed looking into creating a survey specifically designed to seek clarification from clients as to why they exit programming when they do and what might be able to be done to keep them engaged, as well as determining ways to have more direct contact with clients to discuss this issue.

b) Review customer satisfaction surveys from SRC perspective as well as examine results from CSNA customer satisfaction survey to explore why clients exit services

SRC members have been provided with a copy of all CSNA surveys for further review and recommendation.

c) Implement use of motivational interviewing strategies; tracking how often these strategies are used and results of using these strategies

Three DVR staff have completed the Motivational Interviewing “train the trainer” and will begin having meetings with supervisors to discuss how to implement and roll out this training to field staff.

d) Administer statewide skill development around the foundations of conducting strong intakes and keeping clients engaged in the DVR process

CO DVR spent the last year reviewing and updating its policy manual and DVR staff statewide just completed a comprehensive policy training, in which client engagement was a main focus.

In addition, staff across the state have been exploring ways to keep clients engaged and this is an on-going process. (See Attachment 4.11 (d) State’s Strategies and Use of Title I Funds for Innovation and Expansion Activities.)

e) Improve education to clients and referral sources about the DVR process and what it involves

DVR has created an on-line orientation video that interested parties can watch to learn more about what the DVR process involves. Many DVR offices are also taking a look at how they currently do business in regards to orientation and intake and are examining and piloting ways to do this in a manner that will improve communication and understanding.

f) DVR will explore ways to use its quality assurance process to find effective ways to keep clients engaged in the DVR process

Supervisory staff conducted an intense quality assurance review on 150 files indicated as being clients who were determined eligible but whose DVR case was closed prior to the IPE being written. The findings from this review are being discussed at field services meetings to determine various avenues for keeping clients moving through the DVR process.

g) Continue to educate schools and students about DVR services and process

DVR and the Department of Education continue to work collaboratively. Colorado’s transition team continues to outreach to schools across the state to inform teachers, counselors and other school staff about DVR’s mission. The transition team has updated the technical assistance modules and continues to work on having a designated DVR staff member and designated school staff member assigned to each school.

h) Inform prospective clients of documentation required prior to intake

DVR will continue to look at ways to educate and inform potential clients and others interested in DVR about the vocational rehabilitation process, required documentation, referral and intake processes, etc. to try and improve the overall understanding and experience of DVR from a client perspective.

i) DVR will conduct focus groups and key informant interviews in addition to traditional surveys to find out what does and does not keep clients engaged

DVR will explore and discuss options to determine the best ways to collect data from DVR clients in regards to what does and does not keep them engaged in DVR services. Discussions will be held with the rehabilitation leadership team, the field management team and SRC to determine how best to conduct and coordinate this information gathering.

j) DVR will review the new 2013 Quality Assurance (QA)“reflective” tool statistics targeted at measuring client engagement.

DVR will review these statistics to look for patterns in files where clients are strongly engaged in the rehabilitation process. Efforts will be made to try and replicate these strategies with other clients by developing tips and tools for counselors.

k) DVR will utilize the SRC engagement survey to verify or support DVR’s internal QA process/information gathering

DVR will contact a percentage of clients whose files have been part of the QA process to survey their satisfaction with the rehabilitation experience.

Goal 3

Increase successful employment outcomes

Strategies:

a. Review and capitalize on information received from

• CSNA survey to clients actively seeking employment and

• CSNA survey to counselors with high production/high quality outcomes, sharing ideas and providing training on common themes found within these surveys

As a result of reviewing survey answers and talking to high performing staff, DVR has created a “counselor toolbox” which is housed on the DVR Intranet for staff to access as needed. The toolbox consists of five categories, each with various tools included:

1) Assessment Tools:

• Assessment of Client Need for Job Placement Services (Excel)

• Assessment of Client Need for Job Placement Services (Word)

• CHOICES PLANNER

• ONET desk aid

• What is a Situational Assessment

• Work Experience and Situational Assessment

2) Counselor Tools

• Action Plan

• Agenda Setting Tool

• Appointment Summary Sheet

• Comprehensive Assessment Flow

• Decisional Balance

• Disability Handbook

• DVR Experience/Road Map

• Employment Timeline

• Resources

• Supervisory Consultation Form

• What is an Informational Interview

• What is Job Shadowing

• What is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator

3) Intake Forms

• Additional Intake Questions

• DVR Demographic Information and Application

• Intake packet

4) Participant Readiness

• Readiness Ruler

• Participant Readiness Tips

5) Self-Assessments

• Vocational Skills Self-Assessment

• When Thinking About Work Have You Considered

• Assessing Social Thinking Skills

In addition, SRC members have been provided all CSNA survey results for their review to provide further recommendations of tools, tips, and strategies they feel will help increase the number and quality of employment outcomes for DVR clients.

b. Continue to be forward thinking to effectively identify current and future employment trends across Colorado to educate counselor and clients about these trends

DVR’s program assistant in the Work Supports and Employer Engagement Unit has begun studying various websites to review and analyze current labor market trends in the area. Findings are shared with field staff to use while discussing potential employment goals during the comprehensive assessment.

Staff will continue to use these resources as well as utilizing related websites, attending business association meetings, and accessing any other means to become more educated about Colorado’s employment trends.

c. DVR will strengthen their Business Outreach Specialist program and utilize DVR’s newly established Work Supports and Employer Engagement Unit to effectively increase employment outcomes statewide

Colorado DVR created a job placement steering committee who worked diligently this past year to examine various tools and systems that could capture employer contacts and be readily accessible to all staff. The Business Outreach Specialists had previously been using “Sugar” for this, but found that it was not accessible to all staff. Consequently, the committee wanted to look at other options to find what would be most functional. Through their work, it was determined that DVR could increase the usefulness of the employer module within its case management system. The Employer module within AWARE is DVR’s new data tool for capturing business contacts, job openings, job openings with DVR applicants and job openings filled by DVR clients. Because protocol for using AWARE has been set and performance expectations are in effect, job openings are now available in a growing number each month. Besides resulting in employment matches of DVR clients and posted job openings, when searched by DVR counselors, the employer module provides real-time occupational trends based on job orders provided to our business outreach staff. A counselor is able to look at open or open and closed jobs to get an idea of current hiring trends.

d. Continue use of core competency as a part of each DVR staff member’s performance plan targeted to increase employment outcomes for DVR participants.

This continues to be an on-going performance measure for DVR staff at all levels as Colorado DVR continues to emphasize successful employment outcomes for DVR clients and looking at ways each staff can impact this goal.

e. Explore the option of utilizing SRC’s employment committee to work with the Work Supports and Employer Engagement unit.

SRC experienced changes to its employment advisory council in the last few months and is working to rebuild. DVR will continue to outreach to this group to work together once SRC staffing issues have been resolved.

f. Explore option of utilizing the Governor’s State Workforce Council

DVR’s director used to be an appointed member of The Governor’s State Workforce Council, but DVR’s director position is currently vacant. DVR will work with SRC members to identify other Governor’s state workforce council members to begin collaborating and networking with.

g. Continue to build relationships with employers and community resources

DVR is currently focused on increasing the visibility and public awareness of the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation and is continuing to explore options for staff to provide outreach and educational activities to employers, community partners, clients, vendors and Colorado citizens.

SRC has recommended three goals for DVR to focus on and DVR is in agreement with these recommendations. Some work toward these goals has already begun as they align closely with goals and priorities DVR has established for themselves. DVR is in agreement that it is important to focus on making quality improvements in these 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 increased quality and quantity of successful employment outcomes for DVR clients.

PUBLIC COMMENT:

In addition to the above formal recommendations, several SRC members provided the following suggestions or comments as informal recommendations for DVR to consider in the upcoming years:

? Recommendation to have a survey in next CSNA specifically for counselors only to look at how/where they spend their time

? Possible future recommendation for DVR to develop and implement a professional development plan for training counselors in the principles of social role valorization for people with disabilities and how these principles apply in the context of DVR. (see: http://www.socialrolevalorization.com/articles/overview-of-srv-theory.html ).

? Increase number and frequency of new counselor trainings to allow staff to attend in a timelier manner and consider the option of having smaller groups to allow for more one-on-one attention.

? Focus on keeping good counselors, not all counselors.

? Create incentives for counselors with high client success rates.

? Consider experience in lieu of a specific degree.

? Speed enrollment, take out bureaucracy, and reduce steps.

? Determine why people dropout, if they find jobs on their own it is a success still.

? Track clients for several years, perhaps an annual phone call to check on their working status.

? Take time to make sure clients don’t need help from DVR to remain employed.

? Assure that the beliefs and attitudes of counselors focus on individual’s strengths and possibilities

This screen was last updated on Jun 19 2013 10:02AM by Elaine De Smedt

Attachment 4.7(b)(3) Request for Waiver of Statewideness

This agency has not requested a waiver of statewideness.

This screen was last updated on Jul 9 2009 11:48AM by sacoklingmang

Attachment 4.8(b)(1) Cooperative Agreements with Agencies Not Carrying Out Activities Under the Statewide Workforce Investment System

Describe interagency cooperation with and utilization of the services and facilities of agencies and programs that are not carrying out activities through the statewide workforce investment system with respect to

  • Federal, state, and local agencies and programs;
  • if applicable, Programs carried out by the Under Secretary for Rural Development of the United States Department of Agriculture; and
  • if applicable, state use contracting programs.

ATTACHMENT 4.8(b)(1)

Cooperative Agreements with Agencies Not Carrying Out Activities Under the Statewide Workforce Investment System

FY 2014

Cooperation with Agencies That Are Not in the Statewide Workforce Investment System and with Other Entities

The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) has cooperative relationships 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 his/her choice.

Mental Health (MH) Programs

DVR is currently implementing its statewide provision of services. DVR offices work cooperatively with a number of mental health programs. The Mental Health Supported Employment Program operates under a formalized agreement between DVR and The Office of Behavioral Health and involves local level supported employment agreements with twelve (12) Mental Health Centers, one (1) non-profit organization, and three (3) private vendors throughout the State. DVR will approach currently nonparticipating Centers for inclusion into this program. Services consist of job development, job seeking skills, job coaching, and on-going support.

The purpose of this project is to enhance employment opportunities for individuals with severe and persistent mental illness or Persons In Recovery. This program has resulted in increased integrated employment opportunities for these individuals.

A comprehensive program evaluation was completed on all mental health sites participating in the MH contract this year, including site visits to the mental health centers as well as discussions with DVR counselors about how the program was working, what was working well and what improvements might help the program. Final reports indicated program strengths, common themes found across all programs, regional differences in service delivery and training needs.

Throughout the regions 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.

DVR staff meets with staff from various vocational 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 Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) recipients with disabilities to reduce their dependency on public assistance through employment. Counselors and supervisors have increased efforts and activities with county social service agencies in working with recipients of TANF, who have disability related employment issues.

DVR works closely with TANF offices across the state to coordinate services. In addition, some staff serve on various TANF committees. A DVR counselor serves as a member of the TANF 60 Month Review Committee, which includes members from various agencies & disciplines who vote on individuals’ requests for extension of TANF benefits (beyond the 60 month lifetime allowed). This committee also works together to make recommendations for participants, such as referrals to DVR, to mental health services, and to other appropriate agencies.

The TANF 60 Month Review Committee can also mandate specific tasks (must attend 8 therapy sessions within “x” amount of time, must have the Med 9 form completed and signed, must participate in life skills activities, etc.) that recipients must complete in order to have continuation of TANF benefits). Agency staff have also been involved with Colorado Department of Human Services’ Self-Sufficiency Services working together to improve TANF recipients’ access to needed services and quality employment.

Educational Partners

The School to Work Alliance Program (SWAP) is established through a series of 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. Over the years, DVR has maintained an average of 39 School to Work Alliance Program (SWAP) sites. 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. On average, 140 of Colorado’s 178 school districts are currently involved in operating a SWAP partnership within the local communities that are established within those districts. On average, over 2,500 youth are served each year through SWAP. 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.

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.

Community Centered Boards

Community Centered Boards (CCB) serving persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities are important partners in DVR’s effort to assure the availability of quality vocational rehabilitation services throughout the state.

Currently, DVR has two counselors whose offices are co-located on site at the local CCB site. In the other areas of the state, DVR counselors and supervisors meet frequently with Community Centered Board staff to coordinate service delivery. 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 addition, the Coordinator of Supported Employment for DVR meets regularly with the vocational specialists at the Division For Developmental Disabilities (DDD) to discuss issues impacting services.

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 works cooperatively with DVR counselors to ensure the provision of extended ongoing support services and the success of the individual’s 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”. DVR staff attend board and committee meetings to facilitate an effective working relationship between our agencies.

DVR has a full-time Coordinator of Supported Employment Services. This person serves on the Developmental Disabilities Planning Council representing DVR. In addition, this year DVR added four lead DD counselors to help more effectively coordinate and provide quality services for individuals with developmental disabilities,. These counselors serve as regional liaisons, providing training, guidance and support to all counselors in their region to establish standards of practice with the local CCB’s. In addition, their duties include functioning as the expert and serving as a liaison between the CCB and the local DVR offices as well as various community partners, vendors and independent contractors. These individuals will also work as a team in conjunction with the Supported Employment Program Coordinator to identify emerging trends and issues, develop new and or unique services in the community as necessary and evaluate existing programs for persons with developmental disabilities.

In the fall of 2012, DVR along with the Division for Developmental Disabilities (DDD) provided regional training in four areas of the state bringing together direct service provider staff from CCBs, DVR and local service providers. The trainings featured information on work incentives, providing smooth and seamless referrals to DVR, individualized employment and a variety of other subjects.

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, staff work 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.

Outreach to Employers

Outreach to employers is an important focus of service delivery in Colorado. Various DVR staff members are part of their local business association meetings, such as Connect North, Alameda Gateway and Jewell/Wadsworth Area Business Association. 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 we offer. Also, DVR has a federal employment specialist who is actively involved in linking federal job openings with DVR-involved job seekers. This specialist also works to develop new federal employment opportunities for persons with disabilities.

DVR now has a newly formed unit, The Work Supports and Employer Engagement unit which will coordinate the activities of fifteen Business 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 clients for employment and match their qualifications with business needs. DVR continues to coordinate closely with the Workforce Centers to provide additional job placement services to clients.

Colorado AgrAbility

The Colorado AgrAbility Project promotes success in agriculture for people with disabilities or other physical challenges and their families. Colorado AgrAbility is part of a nationwide network of United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) programs begun through the 1990 Farm Bill. Colorado AgrAbility works in collaboration with Colorado State University and Goodwill Industries of Denver. The goal of the National AgrAbility Project is to inform, educate, and assist farmers, ranchers, farm workers, and their families with disabilities, so they can continue to have successful careers in agriculture.

Colorado AgrAbility can help by a) assessing agricultural work sites and tasks, b) recommending farm equipment adaptation, home modifications, and adaptive equipment, c) referring families to local service providers, and d) providing informational and educational winter workshops from the Colorado State University Cooperative Extension for farmers, ranchers and family members with disabilities and the professionals who work with them.

Business Outreach

DVR has 15.5 Business Outreach Specialists (BOS) positions stationed throughout Colorado. The BOS positions serve as the linkage with Colorado’s small, medium, large, Federal and Federal contracting employers. The primary functions of the position were modified this year through the work of a committee representing many roles and perspectives of staff. The “Job Placement Steering Committee (JPSC)” – made up of BOS staff, rehabilitation counselors, supervisors, administrative assistants and state office staff – evaluated the current day-to-day function of the BOS position and recommended changes to strengthen the employer outreach and job development components of the job. Client-focused preparation for job search was recommended as counselor and/or administrative assistant role, and business relationship development was emphasized as a BOS role.

As a result of the work of the JPSC, the BOS position descriptions were re-written, training sessions were held throughout the state to clarify roles, and a database for employer information – part of the Alliance AWARE system – was rolled out for statewide, mandatory use. A tool for counselors to assess a job seeker’s job placement needs was developed to assist with substantiation of the purchase of externally-provided job placement services vs. the Division’s preferred job placement service delivery method – utilization of internal staff to include the BOS, the rehabilitation counselor, administrative assistants and the newly developed positions of rehabilitation technicians.

BOS staff now use the AWARE employer module and, since April 2, 21013, data demonstrating the addition of new employer contacts, monthly added job openings, interviews with DVR clients, and placements are now available for analysis, performance monitoring, and planning purposes.

BOS positions complement their job development efforts with employers by providing disability awareness training, retention support services, arrangement of job site analysis when needed, job fair opportunities, etc.

Federal Business Outreach Specialist (BOS)

In April 2010, Colorado DVR hired its first Federal Business Outreach Specialist (BOS) to focus exclusively on developing federal employment opportunities for DVR participants. His work has entailed training for external and internal staff, recruitment assistance for federal agencies, and retention services for current federal employees with disabilities.

The overall strategy for job development with federal agencies is to bypass the competitive hiring process by utilizing the federal government’s non-competitive Schedule A hiring authority for individuals with disabilities. Instead of posting open positions publicly, many agencies in Colorado are first turning to Colorado DVR and other organizations that work with people with disabilities for recruitment assistance. This strategy contributed to an 86% increase in successful employment outcomes for DVR participants with federal employers in Colorado from state fiscal year 2010 to state fiscal year 2011.

DVR has been conducting strategic outreach to federal contracting employers to raise awareness of DVR business services in anticipation of changes to hiring practices and compliance requirements from the Office of Federal Contractors Compliance Programs (OFCCP). Business outreach has occurred with federal contractors including Dr. Pepper/Snapple, Wells Fargo, Also Denver Linens, OfficeMax, Hyatt Hotels, Agrium Advanced Technologies, etc.

Since the beginning of state fiscal year 2011, DVR’s Federal Business Outreach initiative has resulted in over 63 Disability Awareness Training sessions with federal and federal contracting agencies throughout the state. In the past performance year, the Federal BOS developed 61 unadvertised job leads through the Schedule A process and referred 50 individuals for these positions.

A major programmatic partnership with the Department of Interior was the Project Search collaboration addressed later on in this section.

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Program Initiatives

Screening and Identification Protocol for TBI:

The TBI Program is partnering with the general DVR program to implement a screening and identification protocol for traumatic brain injury. The Director of the TBI Program is facilitating a work group comprised of representatives from each of the DVR regions. The pilot is currently taking place in two offices. The pilot was slated to operate for one year, however, it is currently being decided if it should be expanded both in length of time and also in number of sites.

The protocol that has been developed includes the following components:

1. Foundational education on traumatic brain injury for all DVR counselors

2. Implementing a screening/structured interview via use of a validated screening tool

3. Decision matrix for determining appropriate routes for assessment

4. Assessing accommodations that will be helpful for the individual to achieve success in working through the DVR process and ultimately in achieving employment

The work group will be evaluating the effectiveness of this pilot to determine if DVR would like to expand this to more sites and eventually across the state. Data will be collected and analyzed.

The DVR TBI Work Group will also be focusing attention on addressing barriers for individuals with brain injury in terms of achieving employment success. Issues may include supported employment and infrastructure support to individuals with brain injury to maintain success. The group is also considering developing a statewide brain injury team that would be comprised of DVR representatives across each region of the state. This team would be available to provide consultation and technical assistance support to their colleagues in terms of supporting individuals with brain injury.

Once the work group has the training and protocol in place it will be piloted in the Boulder/Longmont and the Colorado Springs offices for one year. We are hoping to kick off the pilot in August 2012. During that period we will be evaluating if this protocol is effective and determining if this is something we would like to roll out statewide.

Partnership with the Colorado Department of Education:

Via funding from the Colorado TBI Trust Fund, the Brain Injury Program has a partnership with the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) to provide training to increase skills and knowledge of the systems and people that service children with brain injury.

Brain Injury Education and Health Consultants:

In partnership with the Brain Injury Program, the CDE employs Brain Injury Education and Brain Injury Health Consultants. The goals of these Consultants are to:

• Develop a network of school based brain injury teams

• Develop a method for identification, assessment and intervention for children with brain injury

• Implement a hospital to school transition protocol (including emergency departments)

• Provide coordination, training and technical assistance for the Regional Brain Injury Liaisons

Statewide Brain Injury Liaison:

In partnership the Brain Injury Program, CDE employs a Statewide Brain Injury Liaison. The Liaison will provide support to families with brain injury to identify educational support needs. The Liaison will then provide technical assistance and consultation support to school personnel to better support students with brain injury.

Potential Future Initiatives within DVR:

1) The TBI Program would like to work with DVR General Program to provide cross training for the TBI Trust Fund Care Coordinators and DVR staff so that each can be a more effective partner and support to the other as they serve adults with brain injury.

2) The TBI Program is beginning conversations with the Manager of the Program and Program Development Unit to possibly develop a statewide brain injury resource team. This team would be comprised of DVR field staff from each region of the state. They would either currently possess or be provided with specific training in brain injury. This team would act as a resource to all DVR counselors in terms of how to most effectively provide assessment, planning and support for DVR participants with brain injury.

3) The TBI Program, along with DVR counselors, are beginning discussions with the Coordinator of Supported Employment, the IL Program Coordinator and the manager of the Work Supports and Employer Engagement regarding needed long term supports (supported employment) for participants with brain injury.

Project SEARCH

Project SEARCH has grown from one original program site at Cincinnati Children’s to over 200 across 40 states and four countries. In August 2012, a new Project SEARCH site opened with the Department of the Interior (DOI) at the Denver Federal Center in Lakewood, CO. DVR initiated the first Project SEARCH program in partnership with the Jefferson County School District and the Federal Department of the Interior (DOI). Eleven transitioning youth were placed into a variety of work experience settings at several DOI bureaus, including Bureau of Reclamation, Bureau of Land Management, US Fish and Wildlife Service, National Business Center, Office of Natural Resources Revenue, US Geological Survey and National Park Service. . At the conclusion of the year-long program, roughly 50% will be hired at various bureaus. The remainder are seeking employment with placement assistance from the local Community Centered Board. All sites currently running Project Search will continue next year, including sites in Boulder, Fort Collins, Aurora, and Denver.

Project SEARCH at the Denver Federal Center was a collaboration with the following community partners:

• Department of the Interior

• Colorado Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR)

• Jefferson County Schools

• Developmental Disabilities Resource Center (DDRC)

• The Arc of Jefferson, Clear Creek and Gilpin Counties

Hands On Hyatt

DVR developed a partnership between Hyatt Hotels and Hands-On training to initiate a culinary/hotel occupations training program. The two-week skills training program ends with a formal graduation and a training certificate. So far, 24 clients have participated in the Hyatt/Hands-On program and 13 have become employed for a 54% placement rate. Hyatt has offered employment to 7 of the 24 graduates.

Medicaid Infrastructure Grant (MIG)

DVR completed the primary work of the Medicaid Infrastructure Grant (MIG) at the end of 2012. The following MIG accomplishments in the area of employment and employment supports were prioritized and envisioned by the MIG Employment Work Group during the grant period. Many of the following initiatives were completed within this last year by DVR staff and contractors.

A. WORK INCENTIVES

Work incentives can be key in the employment of individuals with disabilities. Utilizing them, however, requires a solid understanding of their application, potential risks, and necessary reporting requirements – with the help of specialists (Work Incentive Coordinators) when appropriate. The Medicaid Infrastructure Grant (MIG) has sought to increase capacity in the area of work incentives knowledge and has delivered work incentive training to numbers of audiences reaching:

• Potential clients, including individuals who are, or are considering becoming, self-employed

• Service providers who specialize in the area of youth, developmental disabilities, mental health disabilities, traumatic brain injuries, Temporary Aid for Needy Families (TANF), etc.

• Advocates

• Division of Vocational Rehabilitation staff

In addition, the MIG initiated a network of community providers trained on work incentives in partnership with Health & Disability Advocates – a national, disability employment technical assistance provider.

The MIG produced calendars focused on work incentives, featuring art by individuals with disabilities in 2011 and 2012. These have been widely disseminated throughout Colorado via community-based agencies and service providers. A 2013 calendar was created featuring images of youth with disabilities navigating in their communities utilizing public transportation.

B. WORK EXPERIENCE

Individuals with disabilities preparing to enter or re-enter the workforce sometimes receive benefit through a work experience in order to gain hard or soft skills, build confidence, secure needed work references, etc. The MIG partnered with the Governor’s Commission on Community Service to create and disseminate training for service providers on the advantages of AmeriCorps. The trainings were archived for future use.

C. TRANSPORTATION

Whenever feasible, fixed route systems of bus transportation often offer greater flexibility and spontaneity over para-transit or door-to-door systems. The MIG assessed existing travel training options for individuals with disabilities. In addition, the MIG prioritized an awareness campaign, targeted at youth with disabilities, and is finalizing a set of vignettes featuring individuals with disabilities successfully navigating communities. These will be available for use among youth service providers, teachers, parent resource centers, etc. to create awareness that, with travel training when needed, many individuals with disabilities can effectively utilize fixed route systems of transportation. The images from the initiative were featured at the VSA Colorado/Access Gallery.

D. EMPLOYER OUTREACH

Educational Initiative – Employers who recognize skill and talent and resist focus on disability considerations can create inclusive workforce environments. The MIG has focused heavily on educating small, medium, and large employers throughout Colorado with a campaign focused on the business case for hiring individuals with disabilities. The Think Beyond the Label (TBTL) national campaign has served as the framework for a dozen employer trainings in metropolitan or rural communities through Colorado. In addition, the MIG has shared resource and information at then human resource (HR) association events (statewide and local) and DVR open houses.

The MIG partnered with the Office of Federal Contractors Compliance Programs (OFCCP) to deliver training to Federal contracting employers on recruiting qualified workers (including Veterans and website accessibility. DVR business outreach specialists were involved in each MIG event in order to offer up individualized, follow-up job development contact to businesses.

The MIG partnered with SpellBynder to produce a set of vignettes highlighting successfully employed individuals with disabilities. The vignettes have been used with employer audiences and will remain as a resource for disability awareness and education in the future. The vignettes can be used with a variety of audiences – businesses, service providers, youth and adults with disabilities. An accompanying facilitator’s guide was created to help assure that target audiences for and key messages of the vignettes are consistently applies.

The Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition, as part of the MIG authored two Power Point presentations: one for employers, or potential employers, of individuals with disabilities and one for individuals with disabilities who are employed or interested in employment. These presentations introduce the concept of reasonable accommodation in the workplace as a requirement of the Americans with Disabilities Act and include examples of both reasonable accommodations and best practices for effectively discussing accommodations as a manger, an employee and with team members.

With significant help from the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, the employer presentation was first presented with great success to a group of twenty human resource professionals as part of the HR professional development speaker series offered through 530 Inc. The employee presentation was also presented with equal success to a group of over twenty students at the Colorado Center for the Blind.

E. SELF-EMPLOYMENT

Self-employment is often an excellent employment avenue for individuals with disabilities with entrepreneurial interests. The MIG sponsored five events around Colorado to create opportunities for entrepreneurs to come together, network, learn networking strategies from a small business development expert, receive information about the Medicaid Buy-In for Working Adults with Disabilities and work incentives in general. Many of the participants were current DVR clients.

F. EMPLOYMENT NETWORKS

Colorado has Ticket to Work Employment Networks (ENs) though many of the sites were inactive or struggling. The MIG initiated a collaborative for ENs and assessed their primary needs. As a result, the MIG funded and facilitated a pilot for a small group of ENs to implement an electronic case management tool to ease administrative burdens and focus on customer services. The MIG partnered with the National Employment Network Association (NENA) to create the Ticket Institute for Colorado ENs. This six-session webinar series was delivered by top EN representatives from around the country and all are archived for viewing and use by interested agencies throughout 2013.

Colorado DVR also changed policies this year requiring rehabilitation counselors to refer SSI and SSDI clients, at successful closure, to ENs. This year, Partnership Plus agreements will be provided to interested ENs clarifying roles, responsibilities and expectations.

G. YOUTH AND EMPLOYMENT

MIG staff consolidated extensive resources and supports for youth with disabilities. Various resources in the area of education, employment, transportation, leadership, health insurance, etc., are currently being places into a web resource targeted for youth with disabilities.

H. DISABILITY ETIQUETTE

MIG staff researched and prepared a set of resources highlighting available educational tools (primarily on-line options) on disability etiquette for county social service workers and other service providers.

Additionally, the DVR staff worked closely with MIG staff at the state’s Medicaid agency on the design, outreach and training of the Medicaid Buy-In Program for Working Adults with Disabilities (Adult Buy-In).

BOND (Benefit Offset National Demonstration) Project

DVR is in the third year of a seven-year partnership with Abt Associates and Cerebral Palsy of Colorado implementing the Benefit Offset National Demonstration (BOND) project throughout Colorado and Wyoming. Funded by the Social Security Administration (SSA), BOND is operating in ten different locations across the United States. Using a rigorous study design the intent of the BOND Project is to explore and evaluate the effectiveness of a variety of service levels and work incentives that, when offered to Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) beneficiaries, result in the beneficiaries obtaining and maintaining successful employment outcomes.

Within the BOND Project, DVR provides work incentive counseling, service coordination, and information and referral services to SSDI beneficiaries who have been randomly selected and enrolled in the Project. When these beneficiaries return to work, DVR assures that the beneficiary receives financial incentives not available to other SSDI beneficiaries. DVR’s participation in this Project will enable DVR to be on the cutting edge of new approaches and strategies for service delivery that are intended to improve the effectiveness of services provided to SSDI beneficiaries supporting a return to work and a better quality of life for the beneficiaries.

ADA NETWORK

DVR is a strong partner with the recently renewed Rocky Mountain ADA Center based out of Colorado Springs. This organization provides technical assistance and information to a six state region. Ten DVR staff members are a part of the center’s ADA Network. These staff members, primarily DVR Business Outreach Specialists, receive advanced training on the ADA and the Amendments Act and are available for training upon request. The Rocky Mountain ADA Center is committed to on-going training and collaboration holding bi-monthly network calls, annual national training sponsorships, and regular educational opportunities.

Other Collaboration

• 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’s young clients. It is anticipated that braiding of funds will continue in the future to support ongoing activities and possibly expansion of this effort. Similar opportunities have been created such as the collaborative relationship with Sunny Acres, a senior community, which provides adjustment and training opportunities in housekeeping, grounds maintenance, kitchen and dining work, clerical and personal care.

• In Fort Collins, DVR staff meets regularly with the Veterans Administration to create employment opportunities for disabled veterans. In addition, each staff member is assigned as a liaison to work closely with a major agency such as the local workforce center boards, local mental health agencies, local school districts, etc.

• 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. In the past these have included:

o the United Cerebral Palsy Association, which has two Projects with Industry Grants

o the Colorado Deaf/Blind Network

o Shalom

o Platte River Industries, and

o the Brain Injury Association of Colorado.

DVR continues to keep an eye on innovative grant opportunities to help participants reach successful employment outcomes. DVR is currently exploring possibilities such as The PROMIS Grant and The ADD Grant.

• DVR also has relationships with:

o the Division for Developmental Disabilities

o local Community Centered Boards

o the School to Work Alliance Program (SWAP)

o the Disability and Business Technical Assistance Center (DBTAC)

o The Denver Regional Mobility and Access Council, etc.

• DVR also works closely with the following agencies:

o National Federation for the Blind

o Cerebral Palsy of Colorado

o Craig Hospital

o Mi Casa

o The Women’s Bean Project

o Bayaud Industries

o Goodwill Industries

o Aspen Diversified, and

o 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.

• DVR counselors working with the deaf and hard of hearing work closely with:

o The Colorado Commission of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing

o the deaf program at the Independent Living Center in Colorado Springs

o Domestic Violence Ended (DOVE)

o the Mental Health Center of Denver’s deaf program

o Marion Downs

o the Assistive Technology Program

o Light House

o Helen Keller Institute

o Mid America Regional Interpreter Education Center

o Local high schools’ deaf programs, transition teams and special education staff, and others

• In addition, counselors for the deaf and hard of hearing also work closely with the Colorado School for the Deaf and Blind’s Bridges to Life program. This is a transition program that teaches teens to live independently, how to make friends and “date” appropriately, how to budget, and much more. This program also partners with the Department of Education, DVR and Pikes Peak Community College to assist the teens in taking introductory courses that meet their needs.

• 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 Jun 17 2013 9:24AM by Elaine De Smedt

Attachment 4.8(b)(2) Coordination with Education Officials

  • Describe the designated state unit's plans, policies, and procedures for coordination with education officials to facilitate the transition of students with disabilities from school to the receipt of vocational rehabilitation services, including provisions for the development and approval of an individualized plan for employment 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.
  • Provide information on the formal interagency agreement with the state educational agency with respect to
    • consultation and technical assistance to assist educational agencies in planning for the transition of students with disabilities from school to post-school activities, including VR services;
    • transition planning by personnel of the designated state agency and educational agency that facilitates the development and completion of their individualized education programs;
    • roles and responsibilities, including financial responsibilities, of each agency, including provisions for determining state lead agencies and qualified personnel responsible for transition services;
    • procedures for outreach to and identification of students with disabilities who need transition services.

ATTACHMENT 4.8 (b)(2)

Coordination with Education Officials

FY 2014

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 (BOCES), in supporting a comprehensive transition planning and service delivery process for youth with disabilities. DVR has organized a Youth Services and Transition Unit within Administration falling under the leadership of the Deputy Director of Field Services. 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 refer to DVR. Finally, it assures that vocational rehabilitation services complement services provided by education agencies and that the Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) for students who are eligible for vocational rehabilitation 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, educations, 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, we are re-examining our practices and methods for delivery of relevant training based on feedback from all partners. Armed with this information, we will streamline some practices for improved accountability and increased effectiveness. This approach will allow for more individualized and intentional training where needed with different partners. Simultaneously, training will be made available through a variety of modalities depending upon the identified needs of local partners.

Within the current fiscal year, both DVR and CDE had the opportunity to participate in teleconferences, intranet and in person training to address the need for foundational information pertaining to the roles and responsibilities of our partnership. Additionally, time was set aside to learn more about how each local partnership operates and to acknowledge promising practices from which other parts of the state can learn about and potentially replicate to benefit youth. A five part series of transition modules was presented to all DVR Counselors to ensure a working knowledge of the law, transition 101, working with youth, how to read school records and the School to Work Alliance Program. These transition modules are intended to become part of the new staff orientation and will be available on DVR’s intranet. As a follow up to the transition modules, counselors receive an electronic newsletter every other month to keep them updated on impactful topics. CDE aligns similar activities with local school district staff to reinforce how we collaborate. Endeavors to cross train staff will continue to aid in greater awareness and understanding of service delivery and how each partner’s efforts can complement 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 continues to participate in annual regional cadre meetings facilitated by CDE to reinforce the continuum and linkages to adult services while CDE makes themselves available for presentations to DVR staff.

DVR plays an integral role in annual institutes facilitated by CDE for local education teams to elevate awareness and expand 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 oversight 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 four years, DVR has expanded 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 support 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 and collecting essential winter clothing so youth are able to job search. Resource fairs are being coordinated around the state in the upcoming fall with the homeless in mind and will include an employment component. 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 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. DVR and education maintain an ongoing relationship with the TBI Trust Fund as a resource to families, service providers and medical professionals to lessen the gap between education and employment for youth with TBI. Additionally, the TBI Trust Fund has partnered with CDE to create a consultation position to educators which results in more accurate recording locally for DVR eligibility and comprehensive assessment purposes.

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 the ASD community and to determine appropriate actions to remedy these shortcomings through the preparation of a Ten Year Strategic plan. Efforts on the Autism Commission are being further explored through Ad-Hoc groups to bring information to family members. DVR is available to assist in these efforts as they pertain to employment when requested. For example, DVR’s Youth Services and Transition Unit will submit articles to the Expert Beacon’s family and parenting section geared at helping parents of special needs youth to understand the expectations of an adult employment service provider.

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 CDE counterparts contribute time and support to the subcommittee Under 26 Transition Work Group that along with representatives from other stakeholders combined their efforts to provide ongoing interactive webinar series to address what works for youth in transition ages 14 - 25. This group is also pursuing a resource handbook geared at young adults with chronic mental illness due out this fall.

Colorado was awarded a Medicaid Infrastructure Grant (MIG) in 2010, which expired in 2012. 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 impacts the transition of youth from post-secondary as well as those exiting out of high school and entering the work force. DVR actively promoted information about MIG to youth and their families to ensure they were informed of their choices pertaining to work and benefits. Other efforts linked to the MIG which will be concluded in state FY ’14 include expanding DVR’s website to include a page for transitioning youth on those resources which commonly impact employment decisions, and to serve as a resource bank for related education staff unable to leave their classrooms to identify community linkages which they must make for existing youth.

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. This year through the Federal Employment Specialist’s contacts, preparations were explored and will be implemented in the new fiscal year for DVR’s first Project SEARCH site with the Department of Reclamation. Project SEARCH High School Transition Program is a unique, business led, one year school-to-work program that takes place entirely at the workplace. Total workplace immersion facilitates a seamless combination of classroom instruction, career exploration and hands-on training through worksite rotations. This program will open new opportunities for youth who require more supported employment for those youth diagnosed with chronic mental illness, autism spectrum disorder and developmental disabilities. At the conclusion of the first year, this Project SEARCH site will move forward next year due to the success demonstrated. Additionally, DVR’s Youth Services and Transition Unit had taken on an advocacy role for other sites around the state.

Over the past year, DVR has been talking to several stakeholders about how we effectively collaborate to serve youth, ages 14-16, who are receiving SSI and their families. These conversations have led to an interagency collaboration with other VR programs within our region to apply as a consortium for the competitive grant program, Promoting Readiness of Minors in Supplemental Security Income (PROMISE). PROMISE is designed to develop and implement a model demonstration project that provides coordinated services and supports designed to improve the education and career outcome of children with disabilities receiving SSI, including services and supports to their families. If awarded, Colorado’s DVR will dedicate the time and resources necessary to fully implement a successful program designed to better outcomes for these families.

DVR has maintained an average of 39 School to Work Alliance Program (SWAP) sites. These sites involve approximately 138 of Colorado’s 178 school districts. SWAP services over 2,500 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 clients.

DVR continues to maintain memberships on the Colorado State Youth Council (SYC), which is a subcommittee of the Colorado Workforce Development Board. One goal of the SYC 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 into adulthood. Submissions are scored against the National Center on Workforce and Disability’s (NCSD) 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 every other 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. This year, the SYC will expand their efforts to work more closely with Local Youth Councils using Colorado’s Blue Print, a bottom-up economic development planning initiative to the benefit of the youth we serve towards employment outcomes in the various industry sectors.

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. The benefits of providing work based learning for youth is evident as youth identify career interest, skills and abilities, learn about work place expectations and job requirements which improve post school outcomes. As a result, additional work experience opportunities for youth are being explored around the state by partnering with local employers, workforce centers, education and DVR. Currently, we have several ongoing hand-on paid work experiences in employment settings such as hospitals, nursing homes and gardening centers. DVR anticipates continuation of this type of collaboration.

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, 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 childcare 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 developed and annually updates an outreach and presentation toolkit for DVR counselors who are working with school districts, youth and parents. Education and DVR strive for an effective and consistent referral process in place for all youth between our agencies at the local level. In collaboration with the State Rehabilitation Council (SRC), the Youth Services and Transition Unit is working to design a working agreement template for DVR Supervisors to use when partnering with their area districts/BOCES. This working agreement will define responsibilities of DVR and education in providing transition services to minimize duplication, to ensure access to services for youth and to support ongoing and effective working relationships.

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 Services and Transition Unit will continue to be available as a resource the State Independent Living Council (SILC) and the Supported Employment Services Coordinator to assist both Independent Living Centers (ILC) and Mental Health Contracts in meeting their transition components. Ongoing involvement in this initiative, and the role that DVR could play, will continue to be explored.

To see agreement and handbook, go to

http://www.cde.state.co.us/cdesped/download/pdf/CoopSvcsHndbk_YouthTrans.pdf

This screen was last updated on Jun 17 2013 9:26AM by Elaine De Smedt

Attachment 4.8(b)(3) Cooperative Agreements with Private Nonprofit Organizations

Describe the manner in which the designated state agency establishes cooperative agreements with private non-profit vocational rehabilitation service providers.

ATTACHMENT 4.8(b)(3)

Cooperative Agreements with Private Non-Profit Organizations

FY 2014

Cooperative Agreements with Private Non-Profit Vocational Rehabilitation Service Providers

DVR currently has few formal cooperative agreements with private non-profit vocational rehabilitation service providers.

DVR does administer two programs mandated by Title VII of the Act:

• the Colorado State Independent Living Services (SILS) program and

• the Older Individuals who are Blind (OIB) program.

Both programs are currently run out of Colorado’s statewide network of nine Centers for Independent Living (Centers), which provide services to individuals with significant disabilities who face barriers to living self-directed lives in their communities.

Under the SILS program, Centers provide independent living skills training, individual and systems advocacy, peer counseling, assistance with social security applications, transportation, housing and many other services that support clients to set and achieve their goals of living independently in their community. This diverse and extensive list of service types allows Centers to provide the holistic support that many clients with significant disabilities may need.

The OIB program serves people who are 55 and older who are blind or have impairments to their vision. Clients tend to be people who are experiencing vision loss from age-related factors and who are concerned about losing independence, either in their home or in their community. The OIB program helps clients learn new skills and identify community resources that will support their participation in full, independent lives. The OIB program is funded through a Request For Proposal (RFP) process to eligible vendors across the State in a three year grant cycle

In addition, DVR has a Brain Injury program that provides support to other state agencies to better identify, assess and support individuals with brain injury within their systems. Additionally, the Brain Injury Program manages the Colorado Traumatic Brain Injury Trust Fund. The three programmatic areas required by state statute are; education, research and services. To fulfill education and research the program awards grants to organizations to conduct education and research. To meet the services need, the program contracts with partners such as; the Brain Injury Alliance of Colorado to complete intake and eligibility, Rocky Mountain Human Services who provide case management for adults with brain injury, local health agencies, Health Care Program for Children with Special Needs who provide care coordination for children and the Colorado Department of Education who provide educational support for children with brain injury. The program serves approximately 800 individuals annually statewide."

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 clients. DVR also works cooperatively with CP of Colorado with the Community Work Incentive Coordinators.

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, and

• 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 clients.

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 a 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 clients 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. Approval then goes to DVR’s staff authorized to sign provider agreements under contract waiver H1115. 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 clients. 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 and certify that:

• Purchases of services and goods maximize the efficient and effective use of public funds, and

• Services and goods will only be purchased from qualified providers, and

• All vendors who wish to provide services to DVR clients have the opportunity to do so and are subject to a consistent set of terms and conditions, and

• Most importantly, DVR’s clients will have a wide range of options to choose from when selecting service providers.

This screen was last updated on Jun 17 2013 9:27AM by Elaine De Smedt

Attachment 4.8(b)(4) Arrangements and Cooperative Agreements for the Provision of Supported Employment Services

Describe the efforts of the designated state agency to identify and make arrangements, including entering into cooperative agreements, with other state agencies and other appropriate entities in order to provide the following services to individuals with the most significant disabilities:

  • supported employment services; and
  • extended services.

ATTACHMENT 4.8 (b)(4)

Evidence of Collaboration Regarding

Supported Employment Services and Extended Services

FY 2014

Evidence of Collaboration Regarding

Supported Employment Services and Extended Services

The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR), Office of Workforce Development, the Developmental Disabilities Council (DDC), Mental Health Service Organizations, Division for Developmental Disabilities (DDD), Office of Behavioral Health (OBH) 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 Rehabilitation Act of 1973 as amended by the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 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. The 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.

DVR maintains a formal statewide intra-agency agreement with Office of Behavioral Health (OBH). This agreement identifies plans for the provision of supported employment services for individuals with mental illness who are considered to have a most significant disability. The agreement provides for collaboration in the provision of supported employment services, identifies 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.

Office of Behavioral Health, Department of Human Services

The Office of Behavioral Health (OBH) and the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) have maintained a formal intra-agency 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, private agencies, and rehabilitation offices to eliminate duplication of services and maximize available resources. It also contains provisions for purchase of supported employment services, including transitional employment services. Such services are only purchased from vendors approved by both OBH and DVR, such as mental health centers, and community-based programs. However, the rehabilitation counselor and client are responsible for determining the appropriate services and developing the supported employment Individualized Plan for Employment. Service providers must be registered with DVR to provide supported employment services under the DVR/OBH cooperative agreement.

Improvements have been realized in interagency planning, training, information sharing, and resolving mutual programmatic and procedural concerns. There has been ongoing cooperation at the State level between DVR and OBH. The greatest challenge facing the supported employment program has been to solidify adequate funding for the ongoing extended support services necessary to assist individuals with the most significant disabilities in maintaining community-based employment. As one way to address this, OBH has included funding for on-going supports as part of this year’s mental health contracts.

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 clients 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, identifying qualified individuals to provide extended support, 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, family members and private vendors. Although supported employment depends on these informal collaborative efforts, more efforts are needed to enhance the availability of extended support services following completion of intensive supported employment services authorized under Titles I and VI, Part B of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended.

Due to recommendations made by RSA during their site visit, DVR changed the way the mental health contracts are set up. This last year, DVR had 15 Mental Health Supported Employment Programs around the state to provide services to participants eligible for supported employment and there will be 16 sites in the upcoming year. The new process involves billing for services for individual eligible participants according to their needs. There are incentives for achieving successful outcomes. For participants living in areas where there is not an available program, DVR will utilize vendors for the time limited services and the Mental Health Centers have agreed to provide extended services.

A comprehensive program evaluation was completed on all mental health sites participating in the MH contract this year including site visits to the mental health centers as well as discussions with DVR counselors about how the program was working, what was working well and what improvements might help the program. Final reports indicated program strengths, common themes found across all programs, regional differences in service delivery and training needs.

Division for Developmental Disabilities (DDD), Department of Human Services

DVR and DDD continue to work in collaboration to effectively plan and coordinate the 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 thereby, maximizing 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 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 supported employment services.

The DDD community service provider must be registered with DVR to be able to provide supported employment services to DVR clients. 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.

Colorado has joined the State Employment Leadership Network (SELN). SELN brings together state Developmental Disability agencies for sharing, educating and providing guidance on practices and policies around employment to its members. DVR collaborates with the Division for Developmental Disabilities on activities with SELN and as part of this, DDD has a staff person dedicated to spending at least fifty percent of their time focused on employment for persons with developmental disabilities.

Colorado DVR partnered with the Division for Developmental Disabilities and held regional roundtables this last year to create discussions about issues faced by persons with developmental disabilities looking for competitive employment. Attendee’s included DVR staff, vendors, family members and Community Center Board* provider staff. These roundtables included a “Benefits and Working 101” training provided by the local Social Security Work Incentives Coordinators as well as breakout sessions in which groups reviewed and discussed relevant topics such as on-going support, individual supported employment and line of sight.

*There are twenty Community Center Boards in the State of Colorado. Community Center Boards are organizations designated in statute as the single entry point into the long-term service and support system for persons with developmental disabilities. Each Community Center Board is responsible for intake, eligibility determination, service plan development, arrangement of services, delivery of services, case management, monitoring, and other functions.

This year DVR added four lead counselors to work specifically with individuals with developmental disabilities to help more effectively coordinate and provide quality services for these clients. These counselors serve as regional liaisons, providing training, guidance and support to all counselors in their region to establish standards of practice with the local CCB’s. In addition, their duties include functioning as the expert and serving as a liaison between the CCB and the local DVR office as well as various community partners, vendors and independent contractors. These individuals will also work as a team in conjunction with the Supported Employment Program Coordinator to identify emerging trends and issues, develop new and or unique services in the community as necessary and evaluate existing programs for persons with developmental disabilities.

This screen was last updated on Jun 17 2013 9:28AM by Elaine De Smedt

Attachment 4.10 Comprehensive System of Personnel Development

Data System on Personnel and Personnel Development

ATTACHMENT 4.10

Comprehensive System of Personnel Development

FY 2014

Comprehensive System of 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 263 full time equivalencies (FTEs) assigned to DVR staff.

Currently, 126.5 of the 263 positions are vocational rehabilitation counseling positions, which include 14.5 staff who are orientation and mobility specialists or vision rehabilitation therapists. The remaining 136.5 positions consist of 37 administrative assistants, 12 program assistants, 3 office managers, 19.5 district and regional supervisors, 15.5 Business Outreach Specialists, 6 Business Enterprise staff, 24 central office administrative staff, 1 Assistive Technology Coordinator, 1 Assistive Technology Specialist, and 7.5 Rehabilitation Technicians.

DVR continues to work to develop a business plan that outlines necessary staffing levels. At the current point in time, DVR has the following vacancies: 4 rehabilitation counseling positions; 4 administrative assistant positions, 1 Business Outreach Specialist position, 1 central office administrative staff position, 1 program assistant, and two district supervisor positions.

The ratio of the number of vocational rehabilitation counselors to the number of clients currently being served in applicant and active statuses (02 through 24, excluding 08) is approximately 1 vocational rehabilitation counselor for every 104 clients. 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 rate of attrition of DVR staff averages about 10-12%, or approximately 25-30 staff per year. However during the last fiscal year, four of DVR’s top management personnel (the administrator of field services and all three regional supervisors) retired. In addition, DVR leadership determined that a fourth regional supervisor should be added to the management team in order to better serve Colorado’s clients and the district structure that exists across a geographically diverse state. These five management positions have since been filled, all with existing DVR staff, mostly from the district supervisory ranks as well as from one other management position. This, in turn, created a situation where DVR’s highest quality rehabilitation counselors competed for and have been promoted to fill those supervisory positions, consequently leaving those rehabilitation counselor positions open.

Given this unique situation as well as the more traditional personnel changes, it is projected that DVR will need to recruit approximately 30 new rehabilitation counselors during the next three years. In addition, DVR anticipates the need to continue to recruit high quality support staff; approximately 10 during the next three years given the average attrition rate for the agency.

Personnel Standards

Colorado does not have state-approved or state-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 works to ensure all counselors are fully qualified and possess an appropriate Master’s level degree. DVR highly values hiring individuals who are eligible for national level certification or have prior experience working with people with disabilities.

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 five 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.

Minimum Counselor Qualifications

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)

OR: Possession of a current Commission on Rehabilitation Counseling Certification credential (CRCC)

OR: 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.

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.

DVR currently has a Comprehensive System of Personnel Development (CSPD) policy allowing for tuition assistance for individuals requiring additional training in order to meet the established qualifications. The policy requires staff who do not meet the standard to develop and implement individual education plans. 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 the CSPD requirement. The CSPD policy is currently under departmental review to ensure consistency among agencies.

For vocational rehabilitation counselors who will be serving large numbers of clients 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 a CSPD 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 126.5 individuals currently in filled rehabilitation counselor positions within DVR (there are currently 4 vacant rehabilitation counseling positions), 1 individual is currently categorized as a rehabilitation intern and is working on completing her master’s degree in a CORE accredited program. In addition, DVR currently has one rehabilitation counselor/vision rehabilitation therapist with a CSPD plan to specialize in orientation and mobility and is on track to be fully qualified by the end of 2013.

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 to clearly meet the minimum qualifications for a Rehabilitation Counselor I position. Faculty at UNC indicate that there are approximately 22 individuals currently enrolled in their graduate level Rehabilitation Counseling programs and 8 who graduated with Master’s degrees in Rehabilitation Counseling in May, 2012. UNC reports they currently have about twelve new students starting their program in the Fall of 2013.

In addition, DVR utilizes 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, University of Wisconsin Stout and Hunter College when staff require additional training to meet CSPD standards.

DVR seeks opportunities to partner with other institutions of higher education across the state 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 University 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.

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 has sent out letters of introduction to all of the universities with CORE accredited rehabilitation counseling degree programs and utilizes these contacts for recruitment on an as needed basis as positions come open. DVR also recruits using various resources such as The Summit on Program Evaluation, Emerging Leaders, TACE, and other university websites to post staff 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, DVR has established a list of appropriate training institutions and their associated contact details and has reached 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. DVR is also in a position to offer all accommodations necessary to recruit and retain qualified staff with disabilities to successfully compete for and do their job when hired.

DVR believes strongly in being able to provide quality services to everyone who applies for vocational rehabilitation services. Consequently, DVR strives to meet the communication needs of all participants. Following is a graph comparing the current ethnic population distribution as reported by the United States (U.S.), State of Colorado, and DVR participants.

Communication with Diverse Populations

Race U.S. Statistics Colorado Statistics DVR Statistics

FFY 2012

One race 97.7% 97.3% 79.5%

White 78.1% 88.3% 72.6%

Black 13.1% 4.3% 6.9%

American Indian or Alaskan 1.2% 1.6% 2.6%

Asian 5.0% 2.9% 1.2%

Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander 0.2% 0.2% 0.4%

Two or more 2.3% 2.7% 20.5%

Hispanic or Latino 16.7% 20.9% 16.4%

Data obtained from http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/08000.html (May 20, 2013) and from DVR 911 reports (May 20, 2013).

At the present time, approximately 30% of DVR’s field offices have one or more staff members who speak Spanish. Offices in the areas with a high Hispanic population 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. DVR also have staff members who speak a variety of other languages such as German, French, Swahili, Flemish, Dutch, Greek and Luganda.

In addition, all offices have access to translation resources. DVR also partners with the State of Colorado 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 clients.

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 (ASL). In the past when none of the applicants for the position of Rehabilitation Counselor for the Deaf 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.

There are approximately seven community-based organizations throughout Colorado that provide interpreting services as well as numerous private vendors. The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation provides personnel or obtains services to accommodate clients in need of appropriate modes of communication. Agency staff members who have an interest are encouraged to take sign language classes. Over the last few years, DVR has assisted about 10-15 staff in taking ASL classes. Offices without staff members who can interpret have local agreements with these organizations and individuals to provide interpreting services.

DVR also has the advantage of having several local colleges that provide interpreter preparation programs, such as Front Range Community College in Westminster, CO (which is in the northern part of Colorado), Pikes Peak Community College (which is in the southern part of Colorado), The MARIE Center, and Regis University. The combination of these programs 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 some of the offices throughout the state. Additional needs are addressed through private transcribers. This has been meeting the current level of need. Many clients, at this time, prefer materials electronically, and this is accommodated routinely. Materials are also routinely made available in large print. In addition, all of the Orientation and Mobility Specialists and Vision Rehabilitation Therapists are being trained on the various uses of the iPhone and the applications that enhance accessibility. Due to the geographical nature of Colorado, there are a number of individuals who live in communities that don’t have public transportation. This impacts their ability to access and to participate in VR services. To address this issue, DVR is working on a remote training program. This is where a participant will be trained remotely by staff based out of the Denver office, primarily in the use of assistive technology. Ongoing efforts continue in the employer relations area, where DVR is working with employers to make worksites and computer systems accessible for potential and current employees who are blind/visually impaired.

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 client 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 1973 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. In 2013, DVR’s succession planning efforts will be augmented through funding with the Rehabilitation Technical Assistance Center’s (RTAC) VR Management project. Succession planning efforts continue to highlight the ongoing need for vocational rehabilitation counseling staff to fill vacancies created through retirement and promotional opportunities.

DVR has been able to fill nearly all management vacancies with qualified staff over the past year. Recruitment for qualified candidates, meeting the CSPD standard, continues for a small number of management vacancies. DVR’s new middle and executive management has had access to high quality training to ensure a smooth transition from a counseling role to that of a Supervisor, as well as from a Supervisor to that of an executive level manager. DVR continues to partner with Region VIII Technical Assistance and Continuing Education (TACE) for assistance in meeting these training needs, as well as taking advantage of both internal and external training resources.

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 TACE 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. In February and March of 2013, all field staff received intensive policy training, which included topics such as informed choice and social security work incentive programs, in addition to how services are provided. Such training efforts focus on helping clients 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 clients 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 also takes advantage of relevant resources maintained at the National Clearinghouse of Rehabilitation Training Materials and Region VIII TACE.

In response to needs identified in the field, DVR seeks out or develops training to ensure staff are qualified to provide high quality, effective vocational rehabilitation services to clients. Training opportunities are regularly made available on topics including specific disabilities, ethics, case management, assistive technology, assessment, job development and service delivery policies. DVR regularly reviews offerings and expands training to ensure staff needs are met. Upon hire, all counselors participate in comprehensive New Counselor Training, which includes clinical supervision, coaching from a mentor counselor, and classroom training with other new counselors. Further training is made available, as necessary and appropriate to each individual’s needs, to ensure staff are equipped with the skills and knowledge necessary to provide vocational rehabilitation services. Professional development is provided using a variety of modalities, taking advantage of distance education whenever possible in effort to provide training opportunities efficiently as possible.

Coordination of the Comprehensive System of Personnel Development and In-Service Training

Comprehensive system of personnel development and in-service training activities are both organized by the Human Resource Development Specialist and Organizational Planning and Development Manager. This allows for clear coordination of professional development activities for all staff and an integration of CSPD requirements into all in-service training initiatives. All staff require opportunities for ongoing professional development which builds their skill and knowledge of a wide variety of topics including relevant legislation, research findings, rehabilitation technology, fiscal responsibilities, and leadership development. In-service training activities and objectives are often targeted toward meeting CSPD goals and ensuring a highly qualified, professional workforce.

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 2013 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 TACE. In-Service Training funds are used to provide continuing education for staff, with a special priority for rehabilitation technology needs and communications skills.

State Rehabilitation Council

DVR maintains a close working relationship with the State Rehabilitation Council (SRC) and feedback from that group regarding training issues is solicited and incorporated where appropriate.

 

Row Job Title Total positions Current vacancies Projected vacancies over the next 5 years
1 Rehabilitation Counselors 127 4 63
2 Administrative Assistants 37 4 18
3 Program Assistants 12 1 6
4 Office Managers 3 0 1
5 District/Regional Supervisors 20 2 9
6 Business Outreach Specialists 16 1 7
7 Rehab Teacher/Orientation & Mobility Instructor 17 0 7
8 Business Enterprise Staff 6 0 3
9 Central Office Administration Staff 24 1 12
10 Rehabilitation Technologists 7 0 3

 

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 263 full time equivalencies (FTEs) assigned to DVR staff.

Currently, 126.5 of the 263 positions are vocational rehabilitation counseling positions, which include 14.5 staff who are orientation and mobility specialists or vision rehabilitation therapists. The remaining 136.5 positions consist of 37 administrative assistants, 12 program assistants, 3 office managers, 19.5 district and regional supervisors, 15.5 Business Outreach Specialists, 6 Business Enterprise staff, 24 central office administrative staff, 1 Assistive Technology Coordinator, 1 Assistive Technology Specialist, and 7.5 Rehabilitation Technicians.

DVR continues to work to develop a business plan that outlines necessary staffing levels. At the current point in time, DVR has the following vacancies: 4 rehabilitation counseling positions; 4 administrative assistant positions, 1 Business Outreach Specialist position, 1 central office administrative staff position, 1 program assistant, and two district supervisor positions.

The ratio of the number of vocational rehabilitation counselors to the number of clients currently being served in applicant and active statuses (02 through 24, excluding 08) is approximately 1 vocational rehabilitation counselor for every 104 clients. 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 rate of attrition of DVR staff averages about 10-12%, or approximately 25-30 staff per year. However during the last fiscal year, four of DVR’s top management personnel (the administrator of field services and all three regional supervisors) retired. In addition, DVR leadership determined that a fourth regional supervisor should be added to the management team in order to better serve Colorado’s clients and the district structure that exists across a geographically diverse state. These five management positions have since been filled, all with existing DVR staff, mostly from the district supervisory ranks as well as from one other management position. This, in turn, created a situation where DVR’s highest quality rehabilitation counselors competed for and have been promoted to fill those supervisory positions, consequently leaving those rehabilitation counselor positions open.

Given this unique situation as well as the more traditional personnel changes, it is projected that DVR will need to recruit approximately 30 new rehabilitation counselors during the next three years. In addition, DVR anticipates the need to continue to recruit high quality support staff; approximately 10 during the next three years given the average attrition rate for the agency.

 

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 - Rehab Counseling 22 1 0 8
2 University of Kentucky - Rehab Counseling 0 1 0 0
3 Hunter College - RT/OM 0 2 0 0
4 Front Range CC/Sign Language Interpreter Program 65 0 0 13
5 Pikes Peak CC/Sign Language Interpretrer Program 0 0 0 8

 

Current Status of Qualified Personnel

DVR first established a CSPD 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 126.5 individuals currently in filled rehabilitation counselor positions within DVR (there are currently 4 vacant rehabilitation counseling positions), 1 individual is currently categorized as a rehabilitation intern and is working on completing her master’s degree in a CORE accredited program. In addition, DVR currently has one rehabilitation counselor/vision rehabilitation therapist with a CSPD plan to specialize in orientation and mobility and is on track to be fully qualified by the end of 2013.

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 to clearly meet the minimum qualifications for a Rehabilitation Counselor I position. Faculty at UNC indicate that there are approximately 22 individuals currently enrolled in their graduate level Rehabilitation Counseling programs and 8 who graduated with Master’s degrees in Rehabilitation Counseling in May, 2012. UNC reports they currently have about twelve new students starting their program in the Fall of 2013.

In addition, DVR utilizes 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, University of Wisconsin Stout and Hunter College when staff require additional training to meet CSPD standards.

DVR seeks opportunities to partner with other institutions of higher education across the state 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 University 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.

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 has sent out letters of introduction to all of the universities with CORE accredited rehabilitation counseling degree programs and utilizes these contacts for recruitment on an as needed basis as positions come open. DVR also recruits using various resources such as The Summit on Program Evaluation, Emerging Leaders, TACE, and other university websites to post staff 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, DVR has established a list of appropriate training institutions and their associated contact details and has reached 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. DVR is also in a position to offer all accommodations necessary to recruit and retain qualified staff with disabilities to successfully compete for and do their job when hired.

 

Personnel Standards

Colorado does not have state-approved or state-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 works to ensure all counselors are fully qualified and possess an appropriate Master’s level degree. DVR highly values hiring individuals who are eligible for national level certification or have prior experience working with people with disabilities.

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 five 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.

Minimum Counselor Qualifications

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)

OR: Possession of a current Commission on Rehabilitation Counseling Certification credential (CRCC)

OR: 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.

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.

DVR currently has a Comprehensive System of Personnel Development (CSPD) policy allowing for tuition assistance for individuals requiring additional training in order to meet the established qualifications. The policy requires staff who do not meet the standard to develop and implement individual education plans. 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 the CSPD requirement. The CSPD policy is currently under departmental review to ensure consistency among agencies.

For vocational rehabilitation counselors who will be serving large numbers of clients 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 a CSPD 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 126.5 individuals currently in filled rehabilitation counselor positions within DVR (there are currently 4 vacant rehabilitation counseling positions), 1 individual is currently categorized as a rehabilitation intern and is working on completing her master’s degree in a CORE accredited program. In addition, DVR currently has one rehabilitation counselor/vision rehabilitation therapist with a CSPD plan to specialize in orientation and mobility and is on track to be fully qualified by the end of 2013.

 

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 client 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 1973 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. In 2013, DVR’s succession planning efforts will be augmented through funding with the Rehabilitation Technical Assistance Center’s (RTAC) VR Management project. Succession planning efforts continue to highlight the ongoing need for vocational rehabilitation counseling staff to fill vacancies created through retirement and promotional opportunities.

DVR has been able to fill nearly all management vacancies with qualified staff over the past year. Recruitment for qualified candidates, meeting the CSPD standard, continues for a small number of management vacancies. DVR’s new middle and executive management has had access to high quality training to ensure a smooth transition from a counseling role to that of a Supervisor, as well as from a Supervisor to that of an executive level manager. DVR continues to partner with Region VIII Technical Assistance and Continuing Education (TACE) for assistance in meeting these training needs, as well as taking advantage of both internal and external training resources.

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 TACE 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. In February and March of 2013, all field staff received intensive policy training, which included topics such as informed choice and social security work incentive programs, in addition to how services are provided. Such training efforts focus on helping clients 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 clients 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 also takes advantage of relevant resources maintained at the National Clearinghouse of Rehabilitation Training Materials and Region VIII TACE.

In response to needs identified in the field, DVR seeks out or develops training to ensure staff are qualified to provide high quality, effective vocational rehabilitation services to clients. Training opportunities are regularly made available on topics including specific disabilities, ethics, case management, assistive technology, assessment, job development and service delivery policies. DVR regularly reviews offerings and expands training to ensure staff needs are met. Upon hire, all counselors participate in comprehensive New Counselor Training, which includes clinical supervision, coaching from a mentor counselor, and classroom training with other new counselors. Further training is made available, as necessary and appropriate to each individual’s needs, to ensure staff are equipped with the skills and knowledge necessary to provide vocational rehabilitation services. Professional development is provided using a variety of modalities, taking advantage of distance education whenever possible in effort to provide training opportunities efficiently as possible.

Coordination of the Comprehensive System of Personnel Development and In-Service Training

Comprehensive system of personnel development and in-service training activities are both organized by the Human Resource Development Specialist and Organizational Planning and Development Manager. This allows for clear coordination of professional development activities for all staff and an integration of CSPD requirements into all in-service training initiatives. All staff require opportunities for ongoing professional development which builds their skill and knowledge of a wide variety of topics including relevant legislation, research findings, rehabilitation technology, fiscal responsibilities, and leadership development. In-service training activities and objectives are often targeted toward meeting CSPD goals and ensuring a highly qualified, professional workforce.

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 2013 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 TACE. In-Service Training funds are used to provide continuing education for staff, with a special priority for rehabilitation technology needs and communications skills.

State Rehabilitation Council

DVR maintains a close working relationship with the State Rehabilitation Council (SRC) and feedback from that group regarding training issues is solicited and incorporated where appropriate.

 

DVR believes strongly in being able to provide quality services to everyone who applies for vocational rehabilitation services. Consequently, DVR strives to meet the communication needs of all participants. Following is a graph comparing the current ethnic population distribution as reported by the United States (U.S.), State of Colorado, and DVR participants.

Communication with Diverse Populations

Race U.S. Statistics Colorado Statistics DVR Statistics

FFY 2012

One race 97.7% 97.3% 79.5%

White 78.1% 88.3% 72.6%

Black 13.1% 4.3% 6.9%

American Indian or Alaskan 1.2% 1.6% 2.6%

Asian 5.0% 2.9% 1.2%

Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander 0.2% 0.2% 0.4%

Two or more 2.3% 2.7% 20.5%

Hispanic or Latino 16.7% 20.9% 16.4%

Data obtained from http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/08000.html (May 20, 2013) and from DVR 911 reports (May 20, 2013).

At the present time, approximately 30% of DVR’s field offices have one or more staff members who speak Spanish. Offices in the areas with a high Hispanic population 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. DVR also have staff members who speak a variety of other languages such as German, French, Swahili, Flemish, Dutch, Greek and Luganda.

In addition, all offices have access to translation resources. DVR also partners with the State of Colorado 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 clients.

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 (ASL). In the past when none of the applicants for the position of Rehabilitation Counselor for the Deaf 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.

There are approximately seven community-based organizations throughout Colorado that provide interpreting services as well as numerous private vendors. The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation provides personnel or obtains services to accommodate clients in need of appropriate modes of communication. Agency staff members who have an interest are encouraged to take sign language classes. Over the last few years, DVR has assisted about 10-15 staff in taking ASL classes. Offices without staff members who can interpret have local agreements with these organizations and individuals to provide interpreting services.

DVR also has the advantage of having several local colleges that provide interpreter preparation programs, such as Front Range Community College in Westminster, CO (which is in the northern part of Colorado), Pikes Peak Community College (which is in the southern part of Colorado), The MARIE Center, and Regis University. The combination of these programs 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 some of the offices throughout the state. Additional needs are addressed through private transcribers. This has been meeting the current level of need. Many clients, at this time, prefer materials electronically, and this is accommodated routinely. Materials are also routinely made available in large print. In addition, all of the Orientation and Mobility Specialists and Vision Rehabilitation Therapists are being trained on the various uses of the iPhone and the applications that enhance accessibility. Due to the geographical nature of Colorado, there are a number of individuals who live in communities that don’t have public transportation. This impacts their ability to access and to participate in VR services. To address this issue, DVR is working on a remote training program. This is where a participant will be trained remotely by staff based out of the Denver office, primarily in the use of assistive technology. Ongoing efforts continue in the employer relations area, where DVR is working with employers to make worksites and computer systems accessible for potential and current employees who are blind/visually impaired.

 

Colorado Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) continues to work closely 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. DVR has organized a Youth Services and Transition Unit within Administration, falling under the leadership of the Deputy Director of Field Services. This Unit is responsible for assuring the quality provision of vocational rehabilitation services to Colorado’s youth with disabilities to better assist students with disabilities in achieving employment outcomes.

Comprehensive system of personnel development and in-service training activities are both organized by the Human Resource Development Specialist and Organizational Planning and Development Manager. This allows for clear coordination of professional development activities for all staff and an integration of CSPD requirements into all in-service training initiatives. All staff require opportunities for ongoing professional development which builds their skill and knowledge of a wide variety of topics including relevant legislation, research findings, rehabilitation technology, fiscal responsibilities, and leadership development. In-service training activities and objectives are often targeted toward meeting CSPD goals and ensuring a highly qualified, professional workforce.

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 2013 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 TACE. 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 17 2013 11:20AM by Elaine De Smedt

Attachment 4.11(a) Statewide Assessment

Provide an assessment of the rehabilitation needs of individuals with disabilities residing within the state, particularly the vocational rehabilitation services needs of:

  • individuals with most significant disabilities, including their need for supported employment services;
  • individuals with disabilities who are minorities;
  • individuals with disabilities who have been unserved or underserved by the vocational rehabilitation program; and
  • individuals with disabilities served through other components of the statewide workforce investment system.

Identify the need to establish, develop, or improve community rehabilitation programs within the state.

This screen was last updated on Jul 19 2012 4:16PM by Elaine De Smedt

Attachment 4.11(b) Annual Estimates

Annual Estimates of Individuals to Be Served and Costs of Services

On April 22, 2013, the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) implemented a full wait list under Order of Selection, whereby eligible individuals receive vocational rehabilitation services based on their priority classification. A wait list for all priority classifications was implemented and DVR counselors will only be serving those clients already in an approved Individualized Plan for Employment. It is DVR’s intention that when resources once again become available, individuals will be taken off the wait list and provided vocational rehabilitation services based on their original date of application. Individuals with more significant disability classifications will be served before individuals with less significant disability classifications. DVR’s leadership team continues to monitor the budget to determine how best to provide ongoing services to DVR clients and to devise a plan for how best to open categories on the wait list.

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 3% over current year applications, however we are unsure to what extent this will be impacted by the wait list.

The following charts show the projected numbers of individuals DVR anticipates serving in FFY 2014 and the numbers of individuals anticipated to receive eligibility determinations in FFY 2014.

INDIVIDUALS SERVED AND THE COST OF SERVICES BY PRIORITY CATEGORY*

Projected October 1, 2013 – September 30, 2014

Individuals Served Cost of Services

Individuals with most significant disabilities 11,368 $12,727,516

Individuals with significant disabilities 5,657 $6,867,268

Individuals with least significant disabilities 1,041 $1,343,097

TOTALS 18,066 $ 20,937,881

*The above numbers do 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, 2013 – September 30, 2014

Eligible Individuals Cost of Services for Eligible Individuals

Individuals with most significant disabilities 4,609 $4,522,839

Individuals with significant disabilities 2,166 $2,904,765

Individuals with least significant disabilities 548 $1,037,232

TOTALS 7,323 $8,464,836

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 or have been exhausted, 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.

DVR provided supported employment services to 1,121 clients over the last fiscal year and expended $1,873,620 for these services. This figures represents $399,636 Title VI-B funds and an additional $1,473,984 Title I funds expended to serve consumers with supported employment needs.

• Total number of individuals to be served using Title VI-B funds for supported employment – 1,121

• Total cost of services for individuals to be served using Title VI-B funds for supported employment - $1,873,620

Individuals To Be Served and the Cost of Services By Priority Category*

Projected October 1, 2013 – September 30, 2014

• Number of individuals with most significant disabilities to be served – 11,368

• Cost of services for individuals with most significant disabilities to be served – $12,727,516

• Number of individuals with significant disabilities to be served – 5,657

• Cost of services for individuals with significant disabilities to be served – $6,867,268

• Number of individuals with least significant disabilities to be served – 1,041

• Cost of services for individuals with least significant disabilities to be served – $1,343,097

• Total number of individuals to be served – 18,066

• Total cost of services for individuals to be served – $20,937,881*

*These figures do 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, 2013 – September 30, 2014

• Number of eligible individuals with most significant disabilities – 4,609

• Cost of services for eligible individuals with most significant disabilities –

$ 4,522,839

• Number of eligible individuals with significant disabilities – 2,166

• Cost of services for eligible individuals with significant disabilities – $2,904,765

• Number of eligible individuals with least significant disabilities – 548

• Cost of services for eligible individuals with least significant disabilities – $1,037,232

• Total number of eligible individuals – 7,323

• Total cost of services for eligible individuals – $8,464,836

Category Title I or Title VI Estimated Funds Estimated Number to be Served Average Cost of Services
Individuals w most significant disabilities served Title I $12,727,516 11,368 $1,119
Individuals w significant disabilities served Title I $6,867,268 5657 $1,213
Individuals w least significant disabilities serve Title I $1,343,097 1041 $1,290
Individuals w most significant disabilities elg Title I $4,522,839 4609 $981
Individuals w significant disabilities elg Title I $2,904,765 2166 $1,341
Individuals w least significant disabilities elg Title I $1,037,232 548 $1,892
Title VI B Title VI $1,873,620 1121 $1,671
Totals   $31,276,337 26,510 $1,179

This screen was last updated on Jun 17 2013 10:39AM by Elaine De Smedt

Attachment 4.11(c)(1) State Goals and Priorities

The goals and priorities are based on the comprehensive statewide assessment, on requirements related to the performance standards and indicators, and on other information about the state agency. (See section 101(a)(15)(C) of the Act.) This attachment should be updated when there are material changes in the information that require the description to be amended.

  • Identify if the goals and priorities were jointly developed and agreed to by the state VR agency and the State Rehabilitation Council, if the state has a council.
  • Identify if the state VR agency and the State Rehabilitation Council, if the state has such a council, jointly reviewed the goals and priorities and jointly agreed to any revisions.
  • Identify the goals and priorities in carrying out the vocational rehabilitation and supported employment programs.
  • Ensure that the goals and priorities are based on an analysis of the following areas:
    • the most recent comprehensive statewide assessment, including any updates;
    • the performance of the state on standards and indicators; and
    • other available information on the operation and effectiveness of the VR program, including any reports received from the State Rehabilitation Council and findings and recommendations from monitoring activities conducted under section 107.

ATTACHMENT 4.11 (c)(1)

State’s Goals and Priorities

FY 2014

The following goals were developed and approved through on-going discussions with SRC at their meetings and via email communication with SRC members. These goals are based on results of the 2013-2015 triennial CSNA results, public comment, discussions with DVR’s field management and rehabilitation leadership team.

Goal 1 - Increase the number of successful employment outcomes for DVR clients

Measure:

1) By September 2014, DVR will increase the number of successful employment outcomes as indicated by federal requirements

2) Decrease clients’ dependence on public assistance

Ongoing Strategies:

a) Continue to analyze labor market and industry trends and educate staff and clients regarding findings

b) Examine options for analyzing trends of vocational goal selection

c) All DVR staff will continue to have employment outcomes as a measureable core competency in performance plans

d) Analyze data related to Standard & Indicator 1.6 - Self Support

e) Explore options to analyze data related to hourly wage and number of hours worked at time of successful closure

f) Educate staff on use of CO-AWARE resources, particularly the employer module, to utilize business information to increase successful employment outcomes

Goal 2 – Increase the visibility and public awareness of the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation

Measure:

Establish a baseline by tracking the number of outreach and educational activities conducted by DVR staff to employers, community partners, clients, vendors and Colorado citizens.

Ongoing Strategies:

a) Explore options for utilizing the PMAP portfolio for tracking education and awareness activities completed by staff

b) Examine possibilities of using Survey Monkey to capture staff activities related to education and outreach

c) Research opportunity for utilizing Field Services meetings as a way to report ongoing outreach and educational activities conducted by staff

d) Continue to explore the functionality of the DVR website and ensure it provides current and appropriate information and educate staff, clients and partners about the availability of the DVR website

e) Explore the use of social media resources to increase visibility and awareness of the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation

Goal 3 – Improve the rehabilitation experience of DVR clients

Measure:

Client satisfaction as measured by client surveys, focus groups and other forms of client feedback

On-going Strategies:

a) Conduct targeted interviews with clients and analyze data to determine common themes and trends to improve customer satisfaction with DVR services

b) Create and implement use of in-office customer satisfaction surveys

c) Explore possibility of on-going client customer satisfaction survey available via the internet/DVR website

d) Explore strategies to involve client participation in developing future customer satisfaction tools

Goal 4 – Create a workforce succession plan within DVR that is conducive to maintaining a competent staff.

Measure:

1) By October 2014, DVR will identify business needs for the agency

2) DVR will identify short term (1-2 year) and long term (3-5 year) goals for the organization

On-going Strategies:

a) Develop a workforce succession plan based on DVR business need to include the following:

1) Develop a career track for each job classification

2) Develop a centralized and cohesive training model which is available and accessible to all staff

3) Develop a mentoring program for all job classifications

4) Identify leadership qualities and characteristics

5) Develop a workforce plan

b) DVR regions will explore progressive solutions to implementing cross-training and team approaches to service provision and processes

c) DVR will continue to analyze opportunities and implement solutions for expanding various job classifications within DVR (Rehabilitation Counselor series, VRT/OM series, Business Outreach Specialists series and other promotional opportunities for effective DVR staff)

d) DVR will continue to analyze information obtained from exit interviews with staff who are leaving the agency

e) DVR will continue to identify and provide staff development opportunities to all DVR service delivery staff, especially newer rehabilitation counselors

f) New supervisors within DVR will receive training on creating a retention culture

g) Continue to provide foundational education and training for DVR staff, including coding accuracy in CO-AWARE

This screen was last updated on Jul 24 2013 8:48AM by Elaine De Smedt

Attachment 4.11(c)(3) Order of Selection

  • 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, and increased numbers of applicants with significant disabilities. Since Order of Selection was implemented, DVR has had to restrict services four 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 proc

 

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

On April 22, 2013, DVR implemented a full wait list under Order of Selection, whereby eligible individuals receive vocational rehabilitation services based on their priority classification. A wait list for all priority classifications was implemented and Colorado DVR counselors will only be serving those clients already in an approved Individualized Plan for Employment. It is DVR’s intention that when resources once again become available, individuals will be taken off the wait list and provided vocational rehabilitation services based on their original date of application. Individuals with more significant disability classifications will be served before individuals with less significant disability classifications. DVR will continue to work 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 to provide ongoing services to DVR clients and to devise a plan for how best to open categories on the wait list.

Additional Detail:

In October and November of 2012, expenditures for goods and services authorized for DVR clients began trending above prior year monthly actuals. Projections based upon this change in expenditure pattern for the remainder of the SFY indicated the possibility of a deficit situation.

Colorado DVR categorizes goods and services into eighteen service categories. Costs and numbers of services provided across fifteen of these categories increased this year when compared to last year.

In addition, several service categories that consistently incur the highest expenditures increased in dollars authorized this year compared to last year - these categories account for roughly half of the $3,000,000 increase in authorizations. These categories include Medical-Psychological Restoration, Post-Secondary Schools Training, Assessment, Assistive Technology, and Other Training Programs.

DVR also noted a 21% increase in the number of services provided to clients in the most significant disability category when compared to the prior year. The most significant disability category is responsible for 78% of the increase in expenditures for services noted when comparing this year to the prior year. When combined with the significant disability category, they account for 94% of the expenditure increase.

Service and Outcome Goals

As of July 9, 2013, there were a total of 4,009 consumers on the wait list. Of that, 2,809 were in the most significant category, 1,007 were in the significant category, and 193 were in the disability category. At this time, we are estimating that approximately 9,000 consumers would be on the list by the end of FFY 2013.

DVR is working to refine and implement a reliable projection model that will result in the gradual reduction of the wait list over the coming year. The projection model includes monthly monitoring of expenditures and authorizations, broken down by disability priority category; numbers of clients closing out of VR services; application trends for incoming clients; and average costs per client on an ongoing basis. For FFY 2013, we are not anticipating completely opening a category but intend to partially open the most significant disability category. It is estimated that 8,050 individuals who are currently in plan will continue to receive services, approximately 225 individuals will exit the program each month with successful employment outcomes and approximately 275 individuals will exit the program each month for other reasons. DVR’s projection model will incorporate these estimates to determine the exact number of individuals who will be removed from the wait list over the coming months.

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
1 11,368 1,376 2,586 3-5 years $12,727,516
2 5,657 928 1,213 2-4 years $6,867,268
3 1,014 267 140 1-3 years $1,343,097

This screen was last updated on Jul 24 2013 2:01PM by Elaine De Smedt

Attachment 4.11(c)(4) Goals and Plans for Distribution of Title VI, Part B Funds

Specify the state's goals and priorities with respect to the distribution of funds received under section 622 of the Act for the provision of supported employment services.

ATTACHMENT 4.11 (c)(4)

Goals and Plans for Distribution of Title VI, Part B Funds

FY 2014

Goals and Plans for Distribution of Title VI, Part B Funds

The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) will continue to expend 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 6.3 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 clients 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 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.

Wellness and Recovery for Thousands through Employment and Education (WRKE)

The Office of Behavioral Health (OBH) was awarded a five year grant in the fall of 2010 by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA) to provide evidence based supported employment and education to participants of the Mental Health Center of Denver, Jefferson Mental Health, and Mental Health Partners serving Boulder and Broomfield Counties. The programs serve transition age youth and adults jointly with local DVR counselors in these areas. Job seeking skills, job placement, and job coaching are provided through the grant at no additional charge to DVR. The Omni Institute is conducting on ongoing assessment of the program.

DVR uses its Title VI-B funds for 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 2014 reflect a continuation and refinement of activities performed over the last several years.

This screen was last updated on Jun 17 2013 10:50AM by Elaine De Smedt

Attachment 4.11(d) State's Strategies

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.

Expanding and improving services remains an agency priority as Colorado DVR strives to provide the best possible services to its individuals with disabilities. Colorado DVR engages in an on-going planning process using information obtained from the comprehensive statewide needs assessment, data analysis, SRC recommendations, feedback obtained from public comment, standards and indicators, etc. The quality assurance reviews and program evaluation activities further assess the effectiveness of vocational rehabilitation services.

DVR engages with a wide range of stakeholders in the community in order to expand and improve services, including clients, family members, both public and private agencies, community rehabilitation programs, education partners, independent living centers, employers, and service providers. Input from stakeholders increases DVR’s knowledge of client needs and emerging issues, helping DVR prioritize goals to move forward in ways most likely to increase the rehabilitation experience of and successful employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities.

The sections below will describe in detail methods and strategies to expand and improve services to individuals with disabilities in Colorado.

 

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.

• DVR has two dedicated staff positions (Assistive Technology Coordinator and Assistive Technology Specialist) to provide assistive technology services. The Assistive Technology Specialist works with individuals with blindness or low vision; however referrals are accepted from clients with other disabilities. The Assistive Technology Coordinator works primarily to provide services statewide to assist participants with their rehabilitation technology needs.

• In addition, DVR has numerous statewide vendors that we are able to purchase assistive technology related services from, including but not limited to assistive technology evaluations, ergonomic evaluations, assistive technology devices, etc.

 

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.

• DVR believes strongly in being able to provide quality services to everyone who applies for vocational rehabilitation services. In addition, DVR strives to meet the communication needs of all participants. Following is a graph comparing the current ethnic population distribution as reported by the United States (U.S.), State of Colorado, and DVR participants.

Communication with Diverse Populations

Race U.S. Statistics Colorado Statistics DVR Statistics

FFY 2012

One race 97.7% 97.3% 79.5%

White 78.1% 88.3% 72.6%

Black 13.1% 4.3% 6.9%

American Indian or Alaskan 1.2% 1.6% 2.6%

Asian 5.0% 2.9% 1.2%

Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander 0.2% 0.2% 0.4%

Two or more 2.3% 2.7% 20.5%

Hispanic or Latino 16.7% 20.9% 16.4%

Data obtained from http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/08000.html (May 20, 2013) and from DVR 911 reports (May 20, 2013).

DVR staff serve on various community boards, councils and committees. This involvement allows for ongoing outreach to diverse populations as well as provision of information to a wider range of populations. This increases awareness to a larger number of individuals with most significant disabilities who are minorities. DVR has served a higher population of minorities this year than last year, possibly as a result of greater outreach efforts.

One of DVR’s goals is to increase awareness and visibility of DVR. All staff are encouraged to complete outreach activities and educate the public about DVR services. Outreach activities occur with Colorado’s corrections systems, workforce centers, schools, mental health centers, the Veterans Administration, homeless programs, and more. In addition, DVR has invited staff from the 121 program to attend and be part of DVR’s new counselor trainings.

 

If applicable, identify plans for establishing, developing, or improving community rehabilitation programs within the state.

Colorado DVR has an established vendor committee that works to effectively determine rates and standards for goods and services that vendors provide to address vendor related concerns and to improve the overall quality of vendors. DVR staff across the state continually work to recruit new qualified vendors to increase client choice of service providers. DVR’s vendor committee, in collaboration with the Operations Support Unit is exploring the options of a vendor portal, a code of ethics for vendors and electronic fund transfer payment for vendors.

 

Describe strategies to improve the performance of the state with respect to the evaluation standards and performance indicators.

Colorado DVR typically passes most standards and indicators, but struggles with 1.5 due to the extremely high average hourly wage in Colorado. In addition, DVR can also struggle with measure 1.6. DVR has provided statewide training regarding accurate coding and its effects on these indicators and staff are encouraged to check for accuracy of documentation to ensure better performance on these measures. In addition, DVR has dedicated a state plan goal focused on improvement with respect to these two standards (See Attachment 4.11(c)(1) – Goal 1 for more detail).

To further stress the importance of improving the standard and performance indicators, all DVR staff have employment outcome goals as a measureable core competency as part of their performance plans. Further, DVR will continue to utilize its newly formed Work Supports and Employer Engagement (WSEE) unit to better analyze labor market and industry trends and to educate staff and consumers regarding findings. DVR staff will use the employer module in AWARE to match open jobs with clients vocational goals to increase meaningful employment opportunities for DVR clients.

 

Describe strategies for assisting other components of the statewide workforce investment system in assisting individuals with disabilities.

DVR staff work closely with workforce staff around the state. DVR staff serve as members on various workforce boards and they participate on various committees and councils through the workforce center such as youth councils, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) committees, as well as working collaboratively with workforce centers to host job fairs for youth, job fairs for seniors, etc. DVR is also co-located with several workforce centers throughout the state, such as the offices in Golden, Frisco, Edwards and Salida. This arrangement lends itself to collaborative partnering for people with disabilities seeking employment. DVR staff are available to consult with workforce center staff about accommodation needs, accessibility and rehabilitation technology.

 

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.

FY 2014

Strategies to Address Needs in the Comprehensive Assessment and to Achieve Identified Goals and Priorities

FY 2014 Update

DVR believes strongly in the content of the state plan and obtained input from all levels of DVR staff including administration, field services supervisors, rehabilitation counselors, and support staff. In addition, with a new dedicated position to the state plan, DVR plans to provide education and outreach to all DVR staff about the goals, priorities and strategies. The goals and strategies are based on the results of the 2013-2015 Triennial Assessment, recommendations from the State Rehabilitation Council, public input, federal standards and indicators, and ongoing work with DVR’s management team.

Goal 1 - Increase the number of successful employment outcomes for DVR clients

Measure:

1) By September 2014, DVR will increase the number of successful employment outcomes as indicated by federal requirements

2) Decrease clients’ dependence on public assistance

Ongoing Strategies:

a) Continue to analyze labor market and industry trends and educate staff and clients regarding findings

b) Examine options for analyzing trends of vocational goal selection

c) All DVR staff will continue to have employment outcomes as a measureable core competency in performance plans

d) Analyze data related to Standard & Indicator 1.6 - Self Support

e) Explore options to analyze data related to hourly wage and number of hours worked at time of successful closure

f) Educate staff on use of CO-AWARE resources, particularly the employer module, to utilize business information to increase successful employment outcomes

Associated tasks:

• DVR will continue to utilize the Work Supports and Employee Engagement (WSEE) unit to increase its knowledge and use of labor market and high-demand occupation information. DVR will continue to be forward thinking to effectively identify current and future employment trends across Colorado to educate counselor and clients about these trends.

• DVR will examine how use of vocational goals affects successful employment outcomes for clients. Job development energies will be focused on a) vocational goals in growing industries and b) vocational goals commonly indicated by DVR clients in order to build relationships with businesses in these sectors.

• DVR will continue the use of a statewide core competency as a part of each staff member’s performance plan targeted to increase employment outcomes for DVR participants.

• Business Outreach Specialists and other staff will continue outreach and education efforts to develop solid relationships with area employers to increase employment opportunities for DVR clients.

• DVR will continue to monitor the difference between the numbers of clients whose primary source of support at application is public assistance versus the number of clients whose primary source of support is public assistance at closure.

• Increased communication to staff encouraging quality placements for clients including comparable wages and hours to move clients towards meaningful and appropriate careers and increased independence.

• DVR will continue to educate and support staff in the use of the employer module within AWARE to enter job openings, add employer contacts, match job openings to clients Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) goals, review labor market information, etc.

• DVR will increase use of the reporting structure within the employer module to increase successful employment outcomes.

• DVR will provide statewide training on use of the employer module in AWARE, including associated functions, how to enter data in the module, how to search in the module, etc.

• DVR has provided State Rehabilitation Council (SRC) members with results from all CSNA surveys. In addition, SRC members are provided with reports related to progress on standards and indicators as well as summaries of quality assurance reviews. DVR will continue to partner with SRC to discuss their recommendations on how to increase the effectiveness of the rehabilitation program.

Goal 2 – Increase the visibility and public awareness of the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation

Measure:

Establish a baseline by tracking the number of outreach and educational activities conducted by DVR staff to employers, community partners, clients, vendors and Colorado citizens.

Ongoing Strategies:

a) Explore options for utilizing the PMAP portfolio for tracking education and awareness activities completed by staff

b) Examine possibilities of using Survey Monkey to capture staff activities related to education and outreach

c) Research opportunity for utilizing Field Services meetings as a way to report ongoing outreach and educational activities conducted by staff

d) Continue to explore the functionality of the DVR website and ensure it provides current and appropriate information and educate staff, clients and partners about the availability of the DVR website

e) Explore the use of social media resources to increase visibility and awareness of the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation

Associated tasks:

• DVR will develop tools to capture information on staff’s education and outreach efforts and will explore including this as part of the performance evaluation process.

• DVR staff will be encouraged to begin tracking all activities related to outreach and education and documenting these on provided tools.

• DVR will research options within Survey Monkey to determine if this system can be used to capture and record activities staff complete in an ongoing manner in regards to education and outreach and will utilize this as a tool if possible.

• DVR’s State Planner will attend quarterly field services meetings to solicit feedback from supervisors regarding activities going on in local offices in relation to education and outreach. This information will be shared, including trends/themes with all staff.

• DVR’s LAN liaison will update the DVR website with current information including updated DVR reports, success stories, announcements and news about clients and partners.

• DVR will explore what other state agencies are doing in regards to social media and will begin conversations about the pros/cons, HIPAA requirements, feasibility, related staffing concerns, etc. to determine if this is an appropriate venue for the agency.

• DVR Business Outreach Specialists and other staff will continue to serve as members on various human resource associations, as part of local workforce center boards, as liaisons with various agencies, such as the Community Centered Boards, Veteran’s Administration, local mental health agencies, local school districts, etc.

Goal 3 – Improve the rehabilitation experience of DVR clients

Measure:

Client satisfaction as measured by client surveys, focus groups and other forms of client feedback

On-going Strategies:

a) Conduct targeted interviews with clients and analyze data to determine common themes and trends to improve customer satisfaction with DVR services

b) Create and implement use of in-office customer satisfaction surveys

c) Explore possibility of on-going client customer satisfaction survey available via the internet/DVR website

d) Explore strategies to involve client participation in developing future customer satisfaction tools

Associated tasks:

• DVR will research how targeted interviews are best held to ensure clients are comfortable and at ease in speaking, who may be the best staff to conduct the surveys, and what means may affect the largest and most meaningful response.

• DVR will have targeted interviews with clients as a means to solicit feedback about their satisfaction with DVR services.

• Information obtained from targeted interviews will be shared with DVR’s management team to determine ways to improve customer service to DVR clients.

• DVR will explore the possibility of conducting focus groups and key informant interviews with not only DVR clients, but also with DVR partners to gain feedback and discover what keeps people engaged and moving towards successful employment outcomes.

• DVR will use internal resources to assure that a balanced representation of clients in various stages of the rehabilitation experience are interviewed.

• DVR will create a standard customer satisfaction survey to be used in all offices but that can be adapted to include additional questions/information reflective of needs in local offices and regions.

• DVR will work with the LAN liaison to determine the best manner to house an on-line survey to capture on-going client feedback.

• DVR will create a customer satisfaction committee responsible for providing input into customer satisfaction tools and to be comprised of DVR staff members, SRC members, clients and stakeholders.

Goal 4 – Create a workforce succession plan within DVR that is conducive to maintaining a competent staff.

Measure:

1) By October 2014, DVR will identify business needs for the agency

2) DVR will identify short term (1-2 year) and long term (3-5 year) goals for the organization

On-going Strategies:

a) Develop a workforce succession plan based on DVR business need to include the following:

1) Develop a career track for each job classification

2) Develop a centralized and cohesive training model which is available and accessible to all staff

3) Develop a mentoring program for all job classifications

4) Identify leadership qualities and characteristics

5) Develop a workforce plan

b) DVR regions will explore progressive solutions to implementing cross-training and team approaches to service provision and processes

c) DVR will continue to analyze opportunities and implement solutions for expanding various job classifications within DVR (Rehabilitation Counselor series, VRT/OM series, Business Outreach Specialists series and other promotional opportunities for effective DVR staff)

d) DVR will continue to analyze information obtained from exit interviews with staff who are leaving the agency

Associated tasks:

• DVR will continue to utilize information obtained from work being completed as part of the RTAC grant to create a workforce plan for DVR.

• DVR will continue to look at agency vacancies as they become open and prioritize hiring’s based on business need.

• DVR will continue to identify training needs for all staff including job shadowing and cross training opportunities.

• DVR will work with human resources to determine options for staff to have increased opportunities for advancement in the agency.

• DVR’s management team will review exit survey data to determine reasons for staff departures and to explore strategies to keep employees engaged and motivated to stay with the agency.

 

This screen was last updated on Jun 17 2013 1:32PM by Elaine De Smedt

Attachment 4.11(e)(2) Evaluation and Reports of Progress

Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) and Supported Employment (SE) Goals

Evaluation and Report of Progress in Achieving Identified Goals and Priorities

Throughout FFY 2013, the Colorado Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) achieved or made substantial progress towards achieving the identified goals and priorities and innovation and expansion activities established for FFY 2012. Additionally, the agency has also responded to various challenges, not specifically identified in previously stated goals and priorities, such as needing to enact a wait list for all categories and only serving those individuals already under an approved Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE). In addition, DVR’s director position is currently vacant and the agency has been operating with an acting director for the last few months. DVR is now actively searching to recruit a new director to fill the position.

Progress on the FFY 2012 goals is described in bulleted items below:

Goal 1 - Increase the number of successful employment outcomes for DVR clients

Measure:

1) By September 2013, DVR will increase the number of successful employment outcomes by 2% over previous year.

• The Colorado Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) closed 2,349 clients as successfully rehabilitated during FFY 2011 as compared to closing 2,496 clients successfully rehabilitated during FFY 2012, resulting in a 6.26% increase in successful employment outcomes.

2) Decrease clients’ dependence on public assistance

• In order to measure whether clients’ dependence on public assistance (PA) is decreasing as a result of receiving vocational rehabilitation services, DVR has been monitoring the difference between the numbers of successfully rehabilitated clients with public assistance as their primary support at application versus the number of successfully rehabilitated clients with public assistance as their primary support at closure. (See results as indicated in strategy “g” below.)

Ongoing Strategies:

a) Further analyze CSNA surveys to look at high producing, high quality counselor’s processes and approaches

• Results of the CSNA survey in which counselors with high production/high quality work were surveyed revealed that many of these counselors utilize various tools and shortcuts to increase their effectiveness and efficiency. In response to this, a counselor toolbox was developed containing reference materials, documentation tools, and forms that can be used to guide counselors through their vocational guidance and counseling commitment to clients. This tool box is housed on DVR’s intranet and is readily available for use.

• State Rehabilitation Council Members have been provided with the results and summary of the CSNA surveys to review and provide additional recommendations to DVR.

b) Better analyze labor market and industry trends and educate staff and clients regarding findings

• The Division’s Work Supports and Employer Engagement Unit (WSEE) initiated a quarterly Labor Market Information (LMI) communication tool that highlights national and state level information on emerging industries, declining occupations, wage and training information, etc. Tapping into data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) and other sources, a multi-page newsletter-oriented document is distributed to staff to be used during the comprehensive assessment phase. The tool is developed centrally in the administrative office and sent to Business Outreach staff and supervisors. The content is then reviewed verbally and discussed with DVR counselors in local offices. Feedback on the first tool, disseminated April 1, 2013, has been positive.

The LMI tool also features information from Business Outreach staff – “labor market information from the streets”. Information on new industries or special training programs can be easily shared. The first edition highlighted machinist opportunities in the North Metro area as well as opportunities for skills acquisition.

• Staff from the Colorado Workforce Development Council trained DVR’s Business Outreach Specialists (BOSs) on the Sector Partnership initiative in Colorado. Many local employers with similar human resource (HR) needs have come together with local government, educational and other entities to coordinate planning and share resources. The DVR BOS representatives are beginning to get involved with the local efforts.

• The Employer module within AWARE is DVR’s new data tool for capturing business contacts, job openings, job openings with DVR applicants and job openings filled by DVR clients. Because protocol for using AWARE has been set and performance expectations are in effect, job openings are now available in a growing number each month. Besides resulting in employment matches of DVR clients, posted job openings, when searched by DVR counselors, provides real-time occupational trends based on job orders provided to our business outreach staff. A counselor might look at open or open/closed jobs to get an idea of current hiring trends.

• Dee Funkhouser, Training and Outreach Specialist from Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, presented at DVR’s statewide conference and shared information about “Using Labor Market Information to Facilitate Client Choice”. The session was open to all DVR staff and provided information about Colorado’s labor market, which jobs and industries were showing growth and which were declining as well as information about education and training requirements, skills needed, and average pay for chosen occupations. In addition, this session provided information on how to expand the list of employers during a job search.

• Staff in DVR’s new Rehabilitation Technician (RT) positions have begun to assist counselors by working with clients to research LMI during the comprehensive assessment analysis. The use of vocational goal development is a hands-on process that empowers clients to research their employment goal. The intent is to help clients make a more informed choice towards selecting an employment goal that not only fits their interests, strengths, abilities, capabilities, resources, priorities, and concerns, but is one that research supports has a strong labor market for the individual to pursue work in and one in which there are jobs available in their communities. Some tools used during this process include Choices and O-Net.

c) Educate counselors on use of CO-AWARE resources to more effectively manage caseloads for successful outcomes

• DVR’s Human Resource Development Specialist has offered GoTo meetings on managed layouts, the Employer Module, use of “Service”, “Job Ready” and “Application E” statuses, etc. to support case management efforts in the field. In addition, Quick Start guides were developed and are available on the Intranet. These walk through basic navigation and functions in AWARE.

• The Operations Support Unit has also offered training on how to better use the Vendor Module to search for vendors, which helps to provide quality services leading to successful outcomes.

• DVR supervisors continue to receive training on the use of reports in the AWARE system and bring this back to staff. Examples of these reports include activity dues, VR performance statistics, federal follow-up, year-to-date and portrait layout. Supervisors are also using the “objective” module in AWARE to set measurable objectives that can be tracked each month on a variety of areas such as applications, eligibilities, individual plans for employment and successful closures.

• In the 3rd quarter, a statewide training initiative took place in offices throughout the state focused on Internal Job Placement Service Delivery. As part of this training, the AWARE Employer Module was reviewed and demonstrations were accomplished showing staff:

? How to enter a new employer/job opening

? How to refer a job ready candidate to a Business Outreach Specialist

? How to search for a job opening, etc.

A user’s guide was developed for all of the functions and distributed at the training events. Business Outreach staff members have also received advanced training on AWARE resources and hard-copy tools for capturing information in the field have been developed and distributed.

d) Continue to provide foundational education and training for DVR staff including coding accuracy in CO-AWARE

• Coding accuracy is stressed at all trainings including “why” it is so important and how accuracy impacts the agency, including Standards & Indicators and federal reporting. Coding issues continue to be addressed as they come up – with reminders about ensuring accuracy of employment, wages, public benefits, etc. In addition, this information is included on the new counselor checklist and trainer/mentor counselors review this at length with new staff.

• Job placement training was completed around the state regarding the new roles and responsibilities of staff positions, the now mandatory utilization of the employer module in AWARE, use of “status J” when clients are ready to search for employment and the use of MDR (motivated, dependable and reliable).

• DVR updated its policies this year and Policy Training was presented statewide for all staff. This training also focused on correct coding and its importance as related to federal regulations and documentation.

e) All DVR staff have employment outcomes as a measureable core competency in performance plans

• All DVR staff currently have performance objectives as part of their performance plans and this will continue in the upcoming year. This outcome accounts for 20% of staff’s overall performance measures and reflects an increased focus on teamwork.

• Business Outreach staff performance plans were modified this year to include hard numbers of job openings, job placements per month, and employment outcomes.

f) Establish guiding principles for the job placement process

• DVR’s Rehabilitation Leadership Team (RLT) developed a set of job placement guiding principles last year:

? All DVR staff members engage in the job placement process with a sense of urgency and a focus on quality employment outcomes. Specific roles and responsibilities of business outreach, rehabilitation counselor, supervisor as well as administrative assistant staff are clear.

? DVR prioritizes the delivery of staff-provided services whenever job seeker needs can be met.

? DVR consistently utilizes an employer database tool.

? DVR operates with a systematized, uniform job seeker list that can be accessed locally, regionally, and statewide with an expectation of utilization by all rehabilitation counselors.

? DVR operates with a common understanding of work motivation and job readiness acknowledging there may be unanticipated events that compromise a job match.

? DVR evaluates job placement strategies and methods to determine how they lead to quality employment outcomes.

• These principles were used by a newly formed “job placement steering committee” made up of counselor, supervisor, administrative and state office staff to establish a work plan for the 2012-13 year. The work of the committee resulted in the following:

? Defined roles and responsibilities within the job placement process (and a diagram to capture the information visually).

? Movement to a 100% business services model within the Business Outreach program along with subsequent changes to the BOS Position Description and the BOS Performance Management and Pay document.

? The adoption, adaptation, and roll out of an employer database within AWARE.

? An assessment tool to help counselors establish job placement services – this tool is now mandatory whenever job placement will be a planned service on the IPE.

g) Analyze data related to Standard & Indicator 1.6 - Self Support

• In order to measure whether clients’ dependence on public assistance (PA) is decreasing as a result of receiving vocational rehabilitation services, DVR has been monitoring the difference between the numbers of successfully rehabilitated clients with public assistance as their primary support at application versus the number of successfully rehabilitated clients with public assistance as their primary support at closure.

• On average over the twelve months of FFY 2012 for clients successfully rehabilitated, there were 32.13% fewer clients with PA as their primary source of support at closure than there were with PA as their primary source of support at application during that time.

• During the first eight months of FFY 2013 for clients successfully rehabilitated, there are 55.3% fewer clients with PA as their primary source of support at closure than there were with PA as their primary source of support at application during that time.

• In addition to a lowered percentage of individuals with public assistance as the primary support of closure in the last several months, DVR has also contributed to the Colorado Medicaid Infrastructure Grant (MIG) and the initiation of the Medicaid Buy-In Program for Working Adults with Disabilities (Adult Buy-IN). This program allows individuals to stay Medicaid-insured and work at gainful levels.

OTHER:

• DVR initiated the first Project SEARCH program in partnership with the Jefferson County School District and the Federal Department of the Interior (DOI). Eleven transitioning youth were placed into a variety of work experience settings at several DOI bureaus. At the conclusion of the year-long program, roughly 50% will be hired at various bureaus. The remainder are seeking employment with placement assistance from the local Community Centered Board.

• DVR developed a partnership between Hyatt Hotels and Hands-On training to initiate a culinary/hotel occupations training program. The two-week skills training program ends with a formal graduation and a training certificate. So far, 24 clients have participated in the Hyatt/Hands-On program and 13 have become employed for a 54% placement rate. Hyatt has offered employment to 7 of the 24 graduates.

• A pilot program in the Aurora/Greenwood Village office is testing a job ready candidate pool e-mail group comprised of persons seeking non-specialized positions. Individuals receive job openings created by the Business Outreach Specialist regularly and can respond to possible openings, lowering the requirement for DVR counselor referral for openings.

• In Boulder, one of DVR’s Business Outreach Specialists partnered with the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) to plan and deliver the 2012 Job Fair for Veterans and People with Disabilities. Over 100 job seekers attended the event.

• The Colorado Springs Business Outreach Specialist has partnered with local workforce, veteran support, and other community based programs to provide job fairs throughout the year. Candidates are provided with job seeking skills workshops as part of their participation in the fairs.

• Employers in the Denver area received training on how to effectively incorporate and include individuals with disabilities in the workplace. DVR, with funds from the Medicaid Infrastructure Grant, partnered with the executive director of the Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition to deliver the training.

• Several Business Outreach staff persons interfaced with human resource professionals at the 2013 Colorado Human Resource Association (CHRA) conference in Denver.

• DVR partnered with the Office of Federal Contractor Compliance Programs (OFCCP) to provide training to Federal contractors on resources for employing individuals with disabilities.

• Five events featuring networking tips for self-employed individuals with disabilities were held in various locations in Colorado. Participants learned strategies for in-person as well as on-line networking, and also learned of various work incentives important to individuals with disabilities to include the Medicaid Buy-In Program for Working Adults with Disabilities, the Property Essential for Self-Support, and other SSA Employment Supports.

GOAL 2: Goal 2 – Increase the visibility and public awareness of the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation

Measure:

Establish a baseline and track the number of formal outreach and educational activities conducted by DVR staff to employers, partners, and other community members

Ongoing Strategies:

a) Utilize the new Work Supports and Employer Engagement Unit to coordinate the work of Business Outreach Specialists regarding coordination of education and awareness activities completed by other staff

• All DVR staff are continually providing outreach and education to employers, partners, potential DVR clients and other community members. This happens so often, and sometimes so informally, that it has been difficult to capture the extent to which this occurs. It was decided that rather than have one work unit try to coordinate and record these activities that each staff member will be responsible for recording any outreach and education they perform. Colorado DVR is currently trying to determine the most efficient ways of capturing this information. Some ideas that DVR will explore in the upcoming year are to utilize the performance portfolio for tracking education and awareness activities completed by staff, examining the possibilities of using Survey Monkey to capture staff activities related to education and outreach, and researching the opportunity for utilizing Field Services meetings as a way to report ongoing outreach and educational activities.

b) Conduct series of legislative and educational open houses across the state

• Open Houses were held in the Northglenn, Greenwood Village, Boulder, and Greeley DVR offices. Attendee’s included United States Senators and Representatives, City Mayors, City Council members, County Commissioners and other elected officials as well as employers and business representatives, service providers, workforce staff, DVR clients, DVR staff and other Colorado citizens.

• Many important and impressive interactions and connections took place during the four DVR 2012 Legislative/Employer Open Houses.

? Diverse entrepreneurs with disabilities demonstrated to guests how DVR is helping create small business ownership. From the hair stylist, the coffee shop owner, the photographer, and a durable medical equipment supplier to the caterer who featured his delicious Mediterranean fare, the success of DVR’s self-employment program really stood out.

? Critical education and awareness among many city, county, State and Federal level officials took place heightening the importance of DVR’s role in shaping the labor pool in Colorado.

? Human Resource generalists, small business owners as well as company executives received helpful information about the ADA, assistive technology, employer incentives and DVR’s business services.

c) Continue to enhance the functionality of the DVR website and ensure it provides current and appropriate information and educate staff, clients and partners about the availability of the DVR website

• DVR maintains an Intranet website as an internal resource for staff. This site includes an up-to-date DVR office & staff roster, information regarding comparable benefits, a counselor toolbox, a DVR Training Calendar, and Google tips. In addition there are links to a reference directory, reports and publications, resources and links, staff tools and training, councils and boards, AWARE, Windows 7 and Office 2010 Training and Tips, an archive section, as well as a search feature.

• In addition to the DVR Intranet, DVR maintains a website for use by internal staff and external parties interested in learning more about DVR’s programs and policies. This site includes an Introduction to DVR Services Video, success stories, information about/for clients, information about/for partners, information about/for employers, news and resources, information about councils and boards, announcements, SRC meeting dates and information and DVR reports.

d) Explore the use of social media resources to increase visibility and awareness of the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation

• DVR’s Rehabilitation Leadership Team (RLT) has begun discussions about the possibilities of using social media as a way to increase visibility and awareness of DVR. A report regarding the use of social media for the agency had previously been completed by the DVR Employee Council. RLT is in the process of reviewing this report to see how social media may be effective in promoting DVR, as well as looking into possible issues that may need to be considered or addressed if implemented, such as the pros and cons associated with the use of social media, possible staffing concerns and ongoing maintenance.

OTHER:

• In October 2012, the Lamar DVR office held the “Lamar Blitz”. Many of DVR’s business outreach specialists attended as did many Chamber of Commerce members and almost thirty managers from the Southern Colorado Wal-Mart stores. The morning started off with a local radio station doing a public announcement about DVR services. This was followed up by Disability Awareness training for all Wal-Mart managers in attendance. The team then did a community blitz where the business outreach specialists divided up and filled the streets of Lamar educating businesses about the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation and the business services we provide, resulting in over fifty new business contacts for DVR. In addition to this, the Lamar office has regular segments about DVR on the local radio station.

• Various offices around the state are involved in improving services to veterans, including:

? Participate in VetNet – a group that meets quarterly and includes DVR staff, local university staff, and various veterans’ administration staff focused on getting the word out about programs and opportunities for veterans.

? Collaborate with the Wounded Warriors Program.

? Serve as a member of the Colorado Military, Veteran and Spouse Employment Coalition to help veterans find employment in El Paso & Teller counties.

? Attend the annual Colorado Springs Military, Veteran and Spouse Hiring Expo - volunteer with employers and job applicants, over 100 employers with jobs participate.

? Participate in the local Prep Connect 360 Workshop to assist veterans’ preparing to meet with local employers by assisting them with the interview process.

• The State Rehabilitation Council (SRC) advertises on the DVR website about their public meetings.

• The Information Management and Reporting (IMR) unit creates DVR’s annual report which is disseminated to legislators, stakeholders, partners, clients, family members, SRC members and anyone requesting information about the DVR program. In addition, they create a legislative e-newsletter featuring DVR success stories, Facts at a Glance cards, a legislative packet, and they are responsible for maintenance and upkeep of the DVR website, ensuring information contained on it is up-to-date and accurate.

• DVR staff share information and educate others about DVR as well as network and build collaborative relationships in the following ways:

? Serve as board members on various boards

? Participate in their local Chamber of Commerce

? Serve as members of human resource associations

? Participate in job fairs across the state

? Give presentations to businesses, schools and other organizations

? Participate in business association meetings

• DVR counselors assigned to work with transitioning youth participate in district activities such as resource nights, parent/teacher conferences, etc. to promote awareness about the availability of DVR and its ability to provide consultation, as well as serve on local transition teams.

• DVR counselors have representation with Service Corp of Retired Executives (SCORE) and Small Business Administration (SBA) to ensure strong working relationships with those entities that promote self-employment for clients interested in these types of career paths.

• Other activities include:

? Staff serving as board members on various boards, such as Workforce Investment Boards

? Disability Awareness trainings to various employers, schools and other organizations which has broadened the visibility of DVR resulting in increased employment opportunities for clients.

• Member of the Pikes Peak Inter Transition Team - a non-profit group that meets monthly to discuss individuals with disabilities needs/concerns/issues for El Paso & Teller counties.

• Participate with DVR/COS staff in the Yes We C.A.N. Expo - (Cultural Awareness Network) on an annual basis inviting over 40+ employers/non-profit and governmental agencies to attend expo for the Hard of Hearing & Blind.

• Member of the Community Re-Entry Coalition to assist individuals with disabilities reenter the workforce after prison.

• Participate annually with C.A.P.E - Colorado Springs Accessibility Presentation for Employers regarding a panel of experts employing people with disabilities.

• Volunteer member of the local Latino Community Luncheon program (a monthly networking event).

Goal 3 – Improve the experience of DVR clients as they move through the rehabilitation process toward successful employment outcomes

Measure:

Client satisfaction as measured by client surveys, focus groups and other forms of customer feedback to establish a baseline and show an increase in customer satisfaction

On-going Strategies:

a) Conduct focus groups and key informant interviews with DVR clients and partners to gain feedback and discover what keeps people engaged and moving to successful employment outcomes

• DVR staff have partnered with the Refugee Program to serve refugees with disabilities.

• Staff have held strategic planning and brainstorming sessions with various school districts and SWAP staff about effective programming and client engagement.

• DVR offices across the state continually talk about engagement during meetings with clients and providers always stressing “work”.

• DVR staff attend quarterly Community Transition Team meetings.

• One region developed and sent out a client engagement survey to solicit feedback from clients in regards to what worked well when they were involved with DVR and what else would have kept them engaged in the DVR process. Due to a low number of responses, the region continues to explore other options for obtaining feedback.

• The Youth Services and Transition Unit (YSTU) have on-going conversations with their education and DVR partners about what is working well and where they are experiencing challenges that impact services to youth in order to continually enhance their processes for improved client outcomes.

• The Information Management & Reporting Unit (IMR) participated in discussions with Alliance (DVR’s case management system vendor) and the Office of Information Technology (OIT) resulting in on-going collaboration internally to ensure staff have access to a working data entry system which enables them to work effectively and efficiently for better direct client engagement throughout the vocational rehabilitation process. The IMR unit also effectively assists field staff to navigate OIT with technology issues that arise so services to clients are not hindered longer than necessary.

• A focus group was held with the Independent Living Center (ILC) in Colorado Springs as they were looking to expand their services into the more rural areas. Discussions were held about bridging those areas where there might be identified service gaps and they are now working collaboratively to help these individuals meet their employment needs. In addition, Colorado Springs DVR continues to educate the ILC about community partners, benefitting mutual clients and ensuring services are provided in an effective manner.

• A focus group was held with the LaJunta Community Centered Board (CCB) to identify how relationships could be improved. This meeting resulted in the CCB providing DVR with office space, allowing DVR to serve clients in this more rural area.

• DVR has solicited public feedback in order to improve services for clients by holding four regional public hearings in regards to Order of Selection and wait list, as well as allowing the public to provide feedback about new proposed policy changes.

• DVR offices in various areas across the state hold meetings with vendors to address questions they may have in regards to service provision for DVR clients. Clarification provides a greater understanding of DVR and enables vendors to improve their processes when providing direct services to DVR clients.

• Staff in Region IV meet weekly with the Rio Grande Social Services staff related to mutual clients with employment needs. Staff discuss referrals and clarify language to make sure they each understand the others’ terminology, language, processes, etc.

• In response to work done by an Attrition Work Group, some DVR offices tried changing the way the referral process worked, doing away with group orientations and trying direct referrals. Although some of these offices have gone back to group orientations to be more efficient, they learned it is vital to send the right message during the orientation to get appropriate people in the door at the right time.

• Across the state, DVR staff participate on various committees, workgroups and boards, such as the Colorado AgrAbility Advisory Committee, Workforce Investment Boards, Developmental Disability Resource Center (DDRC) Board of Directors, and the Mental Health Consortium. Through these avenues, staff are able to keep the lines of communication open with many partners and stakeholders in order to build and maintain strong working relationships and to solicit feedback about how DVR is doing and how we might be able to improve.

b) Improve DVR processes from customer’s prospective

• Supervisors across the state make it a priority when meeting or talking to clients to ask them how they think DVR can do better, what might improve the DVR process, and what might be more effective. Some offices are beginning to explore options for collecting customer feedback in a more on-going manner in efforts to improve customer service and improve the rehabilitation experience for clients.

• One of the local offices created a “Fact or Fiction” dialogue within their unit to enhance communication about inaccurate information staff may have received. This dialogue assists in providing a clear and consistent message to staff.

• The offices in Region IV sent out a survey to clients whose cases were “closed other, failure to cooperate” to obtain feedback on what the clients’ experience was like and what they thought of DVR’s customer service. Questions were asked to determine what might help clients stay more engaged, what DVR could have done differently, and what suggestions clients had for areas of possible improvement.

• The Youth Services and Transition Unit (YSTU) constantly analyzes information from sites and local partnerships to identify training needs, where technical assistance is needed, and to learn how to provide ongoing support.

c) Analyze CSNA surveys to determine common themes and trends around service quality

• DVR provided all State Rehabilitation Council (SRC) members copies of results and summaries from all eight CSNA surveys for review and recommendation and is waiting for feedback.

• All CSNA surveys were reviewed and a report summarizing common themes and trends was written and provided to DVR management. The CSNA results were also shared with the local Region VIII TACE for review. After review, TACE provided additional feedback to DVR.

• Presentations were given to all DVR offices across the state to review and discuss DVR’s state plan and CSNA results, including discussions about the common themes and trends found in the surveys.

d) Continue work of vendor committee focused on identifying and addressing vendor issues identified by staff, clients and vendors to improve the overall quality of vendor services

• DVR staff have made it a priority over the last year to meet with vendors and service providers to review DVR processes, policies, procedures and fee schedule to ensure vendors understanding of requirements and expectations of what it means to provide services to DVR clients. Staff have discussed “best practice” in regards to reporting procedures with vendors, discussing what information should be contained in reports and bills and how to most effectively communicate with DVR counselors and clients. Sample reports have been created in some instances and given to providers as reference tools. These meetings have also allowed vendors to ask questions and obtain clarification on any issue they may have been confused about, leading to more efficient and effective services for DVR clients.

• Efforts are made by DVR staff to outreach to educational partners to increase understanding of each other’s systems to more efficiently collaborate to serve DVR clients.

• The IMR unit has been working on DVR’s tech refresh this year. The new computers and programs are faster, creating ease in using the system and allowing for information look up, authorization generation, etc. for vendors and this will help meet client need in a timelier manner.

• DVR staff continue to recruit new vendors in all regions of the state to provide increased choice for DVR clients and to meet client’s needs.

• One office developed a “drop box” of resources which is housed on the Google cloud drive. This resource is utilized throughout the region and placement vendors have been provided access to allow for ongoing education about services to DVR clients.

• Sign language interpreters in some of the more rural regions of the state are using Video Remote Interpreting (VRI) in the field and this has been made available to increase services that might not otherwise be available in these areas. One example is doctor’s offices using VRI during assessments.

• DVR staff continue to be cognizant of the importance of comparable benefits and providing necessary and appropriate services at “least possible cost”. Staff negotiate with vendors when possible to purchase services at lower rates and have researched ways to get the same high quality services, but at reduced fees. One example of this is an office that researched options for functional capacity evaluations within their catchment area. In being open to talking to several possible vendors, they found a vendor who was willing to provide services for the same rate they would charge for a patient receiving Colorado Indigent Care Program (CICP) fees. In addition to the cost savings, they have found these reports to contain more useful information about client’s impediments to employment, in turn, leading to more appropriate employment goals for clients.

• One region within DVR has begun a special project to establish a community and resource database for use by counselors and clients.

• DVR staff are taking more time to review vendor qualifications when signing up new vendors to ensure that clients have access to fully qualified and capable service providers.

• Offices across the state invite vendors to speak at staff meetings to share information about their programs to keep staff fully informed about options for clients.

• One office has counselors who are paired together and assigned to do community outreach, which they call “community days”. Bimonthly, these teams spend an entire day in the community recruiting vendors, educating community members about DVR, answering questions… In another region, counselors and administrative assistants are now working together to recruit vendors. In addition, they are working with their local workforce center to outreach to community members to meet client needs.

• DVR has a vendor committee that has been meeting every other month to discuss pertinent vendor related issues such as quality of vendors, rates for vendor services, and resources, desk aids and registration forms for vendors. In addition, the Operations and Support Unit (OSU) has been exploring the possibility of creating and using a “vendor portal”, a code of ethics for vendors, and the possibility of electronic funds transfer for more timely payment to vendors.

e) Examine strategies to increase client engagement

• Offices in DVR’s Region IV conducted a pilot project aimed at increasing consumer engagement. The pilot included the following steps:

? Educating referral sources about the DVR program to try to increase the number of appropriate referrals and appropriate timing of referrals to the DVR program.

? Conducting quality intakes in which staff focused on asking questions to ensure potential clients understood the DVR program and processes and goal of employment, as well as talking with potential clients about the timing of their application for services.

? Assisting potential clients in setting up an account and beginning the process of completing the CHOICES career planning inventories immediately after completion of the intake process to allow clients to begin thinking about work and employment goals early on in the vocational rehabilitation experience.

? Scheduling and holding meetings with clients once every week to two weeks after eligibility was determined and prior to completion of the Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE).

In addition, the pilot included creation of action plans that were completed with clients at the end of each appointment detailing what the next steps were, identifying the person (counselor, client, other) responsible for completion of the action step, and due dates for the action steps to be completed.

The initial results of this pilot indicated an increased number of clients who remained engaged in the DVR process through IPE development and implementation. Consequently, these practices have continued and in some respects have been replicated in other regions.

• Across the state, offices are using more of a “team” approach to working with clients. Further information about this is reported in relation to goal 4.

• Many DVR counselors are using tools such as scheduling next appointments at the end of current appointments, scheduling bi-weekly or regularly scheduled appointments, using motivational interviewing techniques with clients, utilizing the referral module in AWARE, gathering as much contact and alternative forms of contact for clients as possible, etc.

• One DVR supervisor created a “Client Engagement Tips and Guidance Sheet” for counselors in their office to reference in order to make sure conversations are held with clients about applying at the right time in their life in order to increase their odds for success with DVR.

• Due to the diverse nature of the state of Colorado and the differing levels of clients transportation resources, many staff are flexible and creative about where they meet clients and will utilize restaurants or coffee shops offering free Wi-Fi, local libraries, malls, and other public places that clients can easily access, as well as meeting them at their homes if needed.

• One DVR counselor who works primarily with clients pursuing self-employment goals holds monthly meetings for these clients and invites various speakers to discuss relevant topics, address issues, and answer questions. These meetings have become a kind of support group for clients considering or moving towards self-employment goals and not only helps keep them engaged, but helps ensure their long term success.

• Increased communication with schools in the beginning of the year to identify appropriate referrals and ongoing encouragement to teachers to be comfortable in contacting DVR counselors when they have questions.

• One DVR counselor has worked hard to collaborate with multiple vendors (job placement, psychological consultant, etc.) to better serve individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders, resulting in increased employment placements.

• DVR added eight rehabilitation technician positions this year and these individuals are working closely with counselors in the offices to increase consumer engagement and progression of DVR services.

• Staff at local School to Work Alliance Program (SWAP) sites report the following have increased consumer engagement:

? Increased presence of SWAP and DVR staff in the schools allows for smoother transitions for students from the educational system to the vocational rehabilitation system.

? Networking with local area business owners to educate them on the opportunities youth can bring to their companies as employees.

? Constant communication with clients allows for better response time to employment needs resulting in stronger outcomes and better relationships with employers.

? Engaging youth by offering workshops on areas of interest that allow for assessment (e.g. web design, blogging, career exploration, cooking, etc.).

? Sharing success stories of previous clients has a positive response from referrals as well as referring entities.

? Clear expectations up front with the client and a job search that empowers the youth to be in control.

• A mini Personal Adjustment Training (PAT) program was conducted for clients outside of the Denver Metro area that included sessions in cooking, assistive technology, orientation and mobility skills, etc. This mini-training session was completed in a group setting and allowed for services to be delivered in a timelier fashion than if these clients had been required to wait for direct 1:1 services. Due to client satisfaction with this process, it is hoped that this will be something that will continue.

• A quality assurance (QA) review was completed on files in which clients cases were closed prior to IPE implementation to determine what could have possibly been done differently to have kept clients moving forward with the rehabilitation process. As a result of this review, changes were made to existing forms to make them more welcoming and less “governmental” in nature and tips obtained were shared with field services staff.

• A counselor toolkit was developed and is now stored on the DVR Intranet containing various tools for counselors such as, a consumer roadmap, a comprehensive assessment flow chart, supervisory review form, quick tips for counselors and a consumer readiness guide. It is the hope that use of these tools will assist counselors in working more efficiently with clients to keep them engaged in the DVR process.

• An on-line orientation video was completed and is on the DVR website so that potential clients, vendors, family members, partners and others can be referred to this as a quick first step in learning about the DVR program while waiting to talk to a counselor or other DVR staff member.

Goal 4 – Create an environment within DVR that is conducive to maintaining a full and competent staff.

Measure:

1) Staff retention as indicated by ratio of filled to vacant FTE’s

• Staff ratio of filled to vacant FTE’s in April 2012 was 17.5 to 1, whereas in April of 2013, the ratio of filled to vacant FTE’s was 19 to 1 showing an increase in stability in staffing.

2) Analysis of staff satisfaction surveys and employee engagement survey results

• The All DVR Staff Survey and the employee engagement survey were reviewed with the most common concerns identified in the following areas:

? size of counselor caseloads/equitable workloads

? lack of support from supervisors

? lack of communication

? lack of understanding of responsibilities of units within DVR

? lack of opportunity for advancement

All DVR staff have worked hard to address these issues and concerns in a multitude of ways as seen by progress noted below.

On-going Strategies:

a) DVR regions will explore progressive solutions to implementing cross-training and team approaches to service provision and processes

• In one office, each month a counselor with a specialty caseload (Deaf, Hard of Hearing, Blind, Self-Employment, Supported Employment, Mental Health, etc.) will train the other staff on how to work most effectively with clients involved in these caseloads as well as how to collaborate and work effectively with associated partners, vendors and others associated with these specialty cases.

• Some offices have divided up into teams or are using the buddy system to provide back-up for each other in case of staff absences in order to reduce the time a client may have to wait and to have more staff available to work with clients during unexpected circumstances, making for more seamless services and continued client engagement.

• Many offices are working towards having all staff learn the duties of the various positions (rehabilitation counselors, administrative assistants, rehabilitation technicians, etc.) to improve their ability to work as teams. Offices have set aside certain days where work is focused on supporting a specific task, but that all staff are involved. This may be assisting a counselor in completing eligibilities, assisting an administrative assistant complete case filing or spending a day where all staff assist clients with mock interviews.

• Staff have begun to provide supports that may help a client address a need that is not directly employment related, but that may impair his/her ability to be successful in looking for work, such as assisting a client in finding a fix for their phone, troubleshooting computer issues, assisting in the creation of large print cookbooks, etc.

• Staff have partnered with workforce staff to try and make job fairs accessible to all clients, taking into consideration how to provide the same options for persons who are not comfortable in crowds being able to access these events.

• Several offices participate in some kind of job lead club where DVR staff, school staff, workforce staff, employers and others gather to discuss job leads, labor market, and hiring trends.

• The addition of the rehabilitation technician (RT) position has allowed for a more team approach to assisting clients. Training in the DVR process, medical aspects of disability and other topics have been offered to RT’s in order to increase their knowledge and depth of how they can assist a client.

• Rehabilitation Counselor II’s have begun to look at cross training in different offices and/or regions so that they would be well equipped to help out in another area if the need would arise.

• A DVR mentor/trainer counselor has begun work on creating a training tool on the appeal process, how to prepare for appeals, mediations and court cases, including what the Attorney General wants to see in a file and how to best prepare for these situations.

• The Monday prior to the monthly Field Service meetings has been set aside for training on different topics. While initially targeted to reach new supervisors, this is open for any supervisor who wants more information and training about specific topics. In addition, new supervisors have been assigned mentor supervisors to help them transition into their new roles.

• The BOS in one office has been meeting individually with each counselor in his/her office each month to ensure counselors know how to document job readiness, track employment, and facilitate placements. In return, the counselors are providing specialty training to the BOS to educate him about different disabilities and how to work most effectively with their consumers.

• One office holds monthly in-service trainings for two hours on topics chosen by counseling staff. Each counseling staff member picks a topic and arranges for this monthly training. In addition, once a week counselors in this office meet to consult with each other regarding difficult cases and scenarios to brainstorm and problem solve. The office manager and administrative staff also meet about twice a month to discuss ways to improve processes and to resolve administrative and clerical issues.

OTHER:

• In response to feedback regarding size of counselor caseloads/equitable workloads, individual office supervisors have begun to look at caseload distribution to address this issue

• DVR is committed to promoting consistency and quality in supervisors’ performance in supervision and is committed to doing this in a positive and empowering way. Two surveys were designed to evaluate the core competencies that pertain to supervisors. The first was a self-evaluation completed by field office supervisors and the other completed by field staff. The results of these surveys are being reviewed with the intention of identifying training needs that will build supervisors skill sets.

• To improve communication, one office is now holding an “Information Friday” where the supervisor provides updates on information shared during the field services meetings, information about what might be happening in the local community, and other tidbits to keep staff informed. Prior to leaving DVR, the Division Director would provide a monthly update via email to all staff which also included updates from the Deputy of Operations Management and the Deputy of Field Services. DVR has also been holding statewide conference calls to keep staff updated on budget, order of selection and the wait list and to be available to answer staff questions and address staff concerns.

• New employee orientation has been modified to allow for a representative from each unit within DVR to attend to explain to staff what each unit is, what tasks and duties they are responsible for and to explain how they may be able to assist staff with their daily duties.

b) DVR will continue to analyze opportunities and implement solutions for expanding various job classifications within DVR (Rehabilitation Counselor series, Rehabilitation Technician series, VRT/OM series, Business Outreach Specialists series and other promotional opportunities for effective DVR staff)

• DVR’s management team continues to explore different options and possibilities for career advancement opportunities for all staff. This year, DVR was successful in creating promotional opportunities for several staff by adding two new positions within DVR.

? The first was the addition of the Rehab Tech position, which allowed reallocation to higher positions for eight of DVR’s administrative assistants. These positions were designed to assist the DVR counselor with conducting intakes, gathering required paperwork and medical documentation, scheduling and coordinating appointments for clients, gathering vocational information and investigating current labor market information and trends, requesting progress reports from service providers, assisting participants with mock interviews and job seeking skills, etc. The addition of these positions has allowed DVR counselors more time to focus on their areas of expertise when meeting with clients, such as counseling and guidance and movement toward successful employment outcomes.

? The second promotional opportunity allowed DVR to add four lead counselors to work specifically with individuals with developmental disabilities to help more effectively coordinate and provide quality services for these clients. These counselors serve as regional liaisons, providing training, guidance and support to all counselors in their region to establish standards of practice with the local CCB’s. In addition, their duties include functioning as the expert and serving as a liaison between the CCB and the local DVR office as well as various community partners, vendors and independent contractors. These individuals will also work as a team in conjunction with the Supported Employment Program Coordinator to identify emerging trends and issues, develop new and or unique services in the community as necessary and evaluate existing programs for persons with developmental disabilities.

• DVR’s management team continues to have discussions about workforce planning and is carefully examining each vacancy as they come open, prioritizing hiring decisions based on agency need and how best to serve DVR’s clients.

c) DVR will implement an effective approach to conducting exit interviews with staff who are leaving the agency

• DVR began conducting exit surveys this last year with all staff leaving the agency. In the beginning, there were not many individuals departing so there was not enough data to analyze. Exit surveys continue to be conducted when staff leave. The results of these surveys are now reviewed quarterly by members of DVR’s management team who look for patterns and themes and hope to identify reasons staff are leaving (other than retirement) and to determine what would increase staff’s desire to stay with the agency.

d) DVR will continue to identify and provide staff development opportunities to all DVR service delivery staff, especially newer rehabilitation counselors

• As part of the performance evaluation process, some supervisors are asking employees to complete self-evaluation questionnaires aimed at recognizing staff strengths and identifying areas staff indicate they would like additional training in to make progress toward accomplishing their professional development goals.

• The trainer/mentor counselors have begun meeting regularly to further develop their mentoring skills and have received training in this area such as creating and fostering resilience within their teams. These counselors are also responsible for developing training materials for staff targeted to address identified needs such as concerns found in quality assurance reviews. In addition, they have begun looking at other ways they can support their supervisors such as modeling behavior that creates a positive professional office culture, handling conflict as it arises, and assisting employees in working toward improving work skills that will help them move toward future career goals.

• Colorado DVR received a Research and Technical Assistance Center (RTAC) grant funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR). This is a learning collaborative using a peer-peer knowledge exchange model and evaluation. Colorado is part of the second cohort with several vocational rehabilitation (VR) agencies across the nation participating. Colorado DVR’s focus is on identifying and implementing a workforce development model that focuses on effective leadership development among current staff for purposes of succession planning.

e) New supervisors within DVR will receive training on creating a retention culture

• DVR has begun assigning mentors to staff in new supervisor positions. The Monday prior to the field services meetings has been set aside for new supervisor training. Supervisors are trained on topics of emerging need as well as topics they ask for assistance on. Examples of training provided include but are not limited to group facilitation, client engagement, client appeals, progressive discipline, performance management and work values.

• As previously discussed, two surveys were created and disseminated this year to explore supervisors level of performance related to the core competencies outlined in their job descriptions. Findings from this are being reviewed to identify training needs that will build supervisor skills and effectiveness.

OTHER:

• DVR continues to help recruit and maintain skilled staff by allowing more flexibility with flex schedules, the approval of a flex place option, better communication from administration about promotional opportunities and a variety of valuable and relevant training opportunities.

• DVR continues to explore a cost of living stipend for hard to fill locales and positions. This has moved to upper management where it is being reviewed.

• CDHS and DVR continue to explore ways to recognize employees.

• Several administrative staff have attended LEAN training in order to determine ways DVR can work more efficiently.

• DVR has sent letters of introduction to all CORE accredited universities with rehabilitation counseling programs to open lines of communication and build relationships so these can be utilized to advertise and recruit to fill staff vacancies.

• Several RLT members participated in TACE Region X’s Emerging Leadership program.

• DVR’s new supervisors attend TACE Region VIII’s Launching Your VR Supervision Program.

 

Progress toward achieving goals and plans for Distribution of Title VI, Part B Funds (Supported Employment)

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.

 

Progress on Standards and Indicators

Below, please see chart showing DVR’s progress on required Standards and Indicators for FFY 2012, the last complete fiscal year. (Please note that these results are final but still preliminary as we continue to wait on the BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) to finalize their average state wage data.)

STANDARDS & INDICATORS for FEDERAL FISCAL YEAR 2012 .

(Beginning Date: 10/01/2011 - End Date: 09/30/2012 ? Run Date: 09/30/2012)

STANDARD 1 REQUIRED RESULT

Indicator 1.1 - Change in Employment Outcomes >= 0 +147

(FFY 2012: 2496)

(FFY 2011: 2349)

Indicator 1.2 - Percentage of Post-IPE Closures that are Successful Employment Outcomes 55.8% 66.6%

Indicator 1.3 - Percentage of Successful Employment Outcomes that are in Competitive Employment 72.6% 91.6%

Indicator 1.4 - Percentage of Successful Competitive Employment Outcomes that are for Persons with Significant Disabilities 62.4% 90.1%

Indicator 1.5 - Average Hourly Wage for All Successful Competitive Employment Outcomes vs. the Average Hourly Wage for all Colorado Workers 52.0% 51.0%

(Based on Average CO Wage of $23.76.)

Indicator 1.6 - For Successful Competitive Outcomes, the Percentage whose Primary Support is Own Income at Application vs. at Closure 53.0% 59.4%

STANDARD 2 REQUIRED RESULT

Indicator 2.1 - Percentage of All Closures – Persons from Minority Backgrounds vs. Persons from Non-minority Backgrounds 80.0% 88.1%

 

Innovation and Expansion Activities

Use of Title I Funds for FFY 2013 Innovation and Expansion Activities

Total expenditures of Title I funds for innovation and expansion activities for Federal FY 2013 were as follows:

Support of the State Rehabilitation Council $ 13,549.10

Support of the State Independent Living Council $ 28,335.87

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 2014 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 Jun 17 2013 11:02AM by Elaine De Smedt

Attachment 6.3 Quality, Scope, and Extent of Supported Employment Services

  • Describe quality, scope, and extent of supported employment services to be provided to individuals with the most significant disabilities
  • Describe the timing of the transition to extended services

ATTACHMENT 6.3

Quality, Scope and Extent of Supported Employment Services

FY 2014

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 clients 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 is 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 client evaluation, realistic goal setting, development of precise plans of services, including objective progress reporting for the continuous process and, meaningful recordkeeping. As well, staff will be working on additional supported employment training materials during 2014.

Direct utilization of Title I (Vocational Rehabilitation Services) and Title VI B (Supported Employment Services) case service 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 (see service definitions at end of document) 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.

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 provided up to 18 months from when actual employment begins unless the team has determined that more time is necessary for the client to achieve job stabilization before the individual with the most significant disabilities transitions to extended services. In these cases, the Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) can be amended to provide a longer period of services to fully attain the weekly work goal and/or stabilize employment.

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. For example, when DVR has an active wait list, there is a process in place to allow applicants with developmental disabilities to access waiver services more swiftly. DVR has developed an “Affidavit of Application” letter to be used for individuals with a developmental disability who are currently working with a Community Centered Board (CCB) and have Medicaid Waiver Supported Employment Services available to them. The intent of this letter is to notify the CCB Case Manager that an application for the client has been taken, and that the client will be placed on DVR’s Order of Selection wait list once his/her priority classification is determined. Completion of this form will allow the CCB to access Medicaid Waiver Supported Employment Services for the individual after the intake is complete. In addition, DVR has trained staff about SSA work incentives and other options for extended support provision such as self-pay and Impairment Related Work Expense (IRWE) plans, so that clients who have been denied DVR services due to lack of waiver funding, may move forward toward pursuing their employment goals.

DVR, the Division for Developmental Disabilities (DDD), and the Office of Behavioral Health (OBH) 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 and OBH to expand and develop methods to provide effective supported employment services to mutual clients. DVR is also working on obtaining a new cooperative agreement with the Division of Developmental Disabilities towards these goals.

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.

Supported Employment Services

Applicant

An individual who submits an application for vocational rehabilitation services in accordance with section 5.12 of the DVR Policy Manual.

Competitive Employment

Full or part time work in the competitive labor market, in an integrated setting, for which compensation is at or above the customary wage and benefits paid by the employer to persons who do not have disabilities for the same or similar jobs. Compensation must reflect at least minimum wage.

Extended Services

Ongoing support services and other appropriate services that are needed to support and maintain an individual with a most significant disability in supported employment and that are provided by a State agency, a private non-profit organization, employer or any other appropriate resource after transition from support provided by DVR.

Facility-Based Services

Services provided in structures or environments designed specifically to furnish goods and services to persons with disabilities and other special populations, such as community rehabilitation program facilities, clubhouses, independent living centers, special residential facilities, extended employment sites, segregated enclave program sites, etc.

Functional Capacity Area

Set of life activities or skills in which the ability to function is significant to successful independence and/or employment. Eight such areas have been identified for purposes of severity of disability: mobility, motor skills, interpersonal skills, communication, work tolerance, work skills, self-care and self-direction.

Individual with a Most Significant Disability

An individual with a most significant disability has a severe physical or mental impairment that seriously limits three or more functional capacity areas (mobility, motor skills, interpersonal skills, communication, work tolerance, work skills, self-care and self-direction) in terms of an employment outcome; and, whose successful vocational rehabilitation can be expected to require the provision of two or more core vocational rehabilitation services for at least five months.

Integrated Settings

• Integrated Service Setting

A setting typically found in the community in which the individual with a disability interacts with persons, other than service provider(s), who do not have disabilities.

• Integrated Work Setting

An employment setting typically found in the community in which the individual with a disability interacts with persons who do not have disabilities other than service provider(s), to the same extent as persons who do not have disabilities in comparable positions.

Job Coaching

Training provided by an individual, other than the employer (unless under a program of natural supports in a supported employment placement), to a client after he/she has been placed in a paid employment situation. Job coaching services include job skill training at the work site, work site orientation, monitoring of the individual at the job site to assess employment stability and coordination or provision of specific services at or away from the work site to maintain employment stability.

Job Seeking Skills Training

Training to teach clients how to conduct job searches, prepare resumes, complete applications, and to interview effectively. The provision of job seeking skills training is intended to enable the individual to conduct an independent job search.

Job Shadowing

A community-based situational assessment provided in a real work setting where the individual observes and possibly assists in the performance of a specific job so that the individual has a sufficient understanding of job requirements to assist with making an informed choice among potential employment outcomes.

Job Site Evaluation

A limited situational assessment (up to three hours) which consists of observing an individual with a disability on a specific job to determine if the job and/or work setting is appropriate for the individual and/or to determine accommodations that may be needed.

Job Placement

Job placement services are services to help an individual obtain suitable, stable, and satisfactory employment in an integrated setting which is consistent with the individual’s strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, interests, and informed choice. Job placement services include the provision of individualized job search assistance, assistance in completing work applications and arranging for interviews, preparing for interviews, on-site job analyses, on-site consultation with employers, recommendations for work-site job modifications, and/or up to four hours of orientation to the work place, as appropriate to the individual’s specific needs.

Job Stability

When an employed individual is reasonably expected to continue to perform all job duties acceptably, without the provision of further vocational rehabilitation services.

Mental Impairment

Any mental or psychological disorder such as mental retardation, organic brain syndrome, emotional or mental illness and specific learning disabilities.

On-going Support Services

Ongoing support services are time-limited services provided by DVR that are needed to support and maintain an individual with a most significant disability in supported employment. These services are identified based on a determination by DVR of the individual’s vocational need as specified in an Individualized Plan for Employment. DVR provides these ongoing services from the time of job placement until transition to extended supported employment services.

Personal Adjustment Training

Training provided to help individuals develop compensatory skills and/or to adjust behavior in the areas of independent living, personal functioning, homemaking, orientation and mobility, adaptive communication, assistive technology, daily living skills, and, if applicable, low vision.

Physical Impairment

Any physiological disorder or condition, cosmetic disfigurement, or anatomical loss affecting one or more of the following body systems: neurological, musculoskeletal, special sense organs, respiratory (including speech organs), cardiovascular, reproductive, digestive, genitourinary, hemic and lymphatic, skin, and endocrine

Post-Employment Services

One or more vocational rehabilitation services that are provided subsequent to the achievement of an employment outcome and that are necessary for an individual to maintain, regain or advance in employment, consistent with the individual’s strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, interests and informed choice. These services are available to meet rehabilitation needs that do not require a complex and comprehensive provision of services and, thus, should be limited in scope and duration.

Priorities and Concerns

For purposes of determining a suitable employment goal, this phrase includes work and personal factors of primary importance to the individual, types of aid and support needed for engaging in work, earnings requirements, matters creating stress for the individual, financial concerns and other factors that are critical to successful participation in an Individualized Employment Plan.

Provider

The individual and/or organization which will render a necessary good or service.

Situational Assessment

A type of vocational evaluation conducted to assess work behaviors, interpersonal skills and job-related skill levels for purposes of establishing eligibility or developing the Individualized Employment Plan. Situational assessments may take place in community-based settings, including real life work and transitional employment settings, or in facility-based settings, such as community rehabilitation program facilities.

Supported Employment

Competitive employment in an integrated setting, or employment in an integrated setting in which individuals are working toward competitive employment, consistent with the individuals’ strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, interests and informed choice with ongoing support services for individuals with the most significant disability.

Supported Employment Services

Ongoing support services and other appropriate services needed to support and maintain an individual with a most significant disability in supported employment that are provided by DVR for a period of time not to exceed 18 months from when actual employment begins, unless under special circumstances the client and the rehabilitation counselor jointly agree to extend the time to achieve the employment outcome identified in the Individualized Plan for Employment.

Transitional Employment

A series of temporary job placements in competitive work in integrated settings with ongoing support services for individuals with the most significant disabilities due to mental illness. In transitional employment, the provision of ongoing support services must include continuing sequential job placements until job permanency is achieved.

Vendor

A provider to whom DVR can pay for a particular good or service.

Weekly Work Goal

An estimate of the number of hours per week which the client with a most significant disability can work to achieve the identified employment outcome. The weekly work goal must be consistent with the client’s strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, interests and informed choice.

This screen was last updated on Jun 17 2013 10:53AM by Elaine De Smedt

System Information

System information

The following information is captured by the MIS.

Last updated on:07/24/2013 3:12 PM

Last updated by:sacodesmedte

Completed on: 07/24/2013 3:12 PM

Completed by: sacodesmedte

Approved on: 08/06/2013 1:20 PM

Approved by: rscostilesc