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

State Plan for the State Vocational Rehabilitation Services Program and
State Plan Supplement for the State Supported Employment Services Program
Indiana Bureau of Rehabilitation Services State Plan for Fiscal Year 2012 (submitted FY 2011)

1.1 The Division of Disabilities and Rehabilitative Services (DDRS) 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 Division of Disabilities and Rehabilitative Services (DDRS) [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 of DDRS

... 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 of DDRS

... 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 Signatory
Julia Holloway

Title of Signatory
Director of DDRS

Date Signed (mm/dd/yyyy)
06/21/2011

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 2012
No

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.

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.

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.

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
Bureau of Rehabilitation Services (BRS)

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. No

  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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

In Indiana, the State Rehabilitation Council (SRC) is named the Commission on Rehabilitation Services, and will be referenced as the Commission throughout this document.

The Commission’s annual report recommendations and the consumer satisfaction survey history and overall comments were considered, as applicable, in providing input into the state plan. The Commission recognized that state plan attachment 4.2(c) was developed utilizing information from the January meeting as well as all other recommendations made by the Commission throughout the year. As a result, the Commission approved the general content of the draft presented to them.

On January 20, 2011, members of the Commission conducted a Bureau of Rehabilitation Services (BRS) state plan development meeting to provide input and assistance to BRS in developing annual revisions to the State Plan for Title I (Vocational Rehabilitation Services Program) and Title VI-B (Supported Employment Services). The Commission reviewed the results of the federal performance standards and indicators and the federal fiscal year (FFY) 2011 state plan. In preparation for the meeting, all Commission members were provided with the FFY 2011 state plan via an electronic e-mail dated January 10, 2011.

FEDERAL PERFORMANCE STANDARDS AND INDICATORS

Federal Performance Indicator 1.1: Change in Employment Outcomes:

The difference between the number of individuals exiting the VR program who achieved an employment outcome during the current performance period and the number of individuals exiting the VR program who achieved an employment outcome during the previous performance period.

Federal Performance Level: Equal or Exceed Previous Year

BRS Goal 1.1 - Total persons with employment (rehabilitation) outcomes (target: increase over previous year)

Outcome: FY 2008 - 4,393, FY 2009 - 4,020, FY 2010 - 4,099

Commission Input: The Commission discussed the differences in the recent outcomes in 2010 compared to the large increase in 2005, and questioned what might have been happening in 2003 and 2004 that impacted the spike in numbers in 2005. They also asked what is being done right now that is resulting in an increase in the outcomes, and discussed how this could be maintained. The impact of the hearing aid policy was also discussed.

DSU Response: BRS would like to expand upon the input from the SRC and hilite the Project SEARCH initiative, which has resulted in a high percentage of placements of students after they leave school. The Community Rehabilitation Programs have served more people with disabilities in the current year than the prior, which has resulted in more placements as well.

Federal Performance Indicator 1.2: Percent of Employment Outcomes

The percentage of individuals exiting the program during the performance period who have achieved an employment outcome after receiving services.

Federal Performance Level: 55.8%

BRS Goal 1.2 - Percent of persons achieving an employment outcome (target: 55.8%).

Outcome: FY 2008 - 51.79%, FY 2009 - 48.18%, FY 2010 - 59.23%

Commission Input: The Commission commended BRS for the outcomes given the economic trends across the nation.

Federal Performance Indicator 1.3: (Primary Indicator) Competitive Employment Outcomes

The percentage who exit the VR program in employment in integrated settings with or without ongoing support services, self-employment, or BEP (Business Enterprise Program) employment with hourly rate of earnings equivalent to at least the federal or state minimum wage rate, whichever is higher, based on all the individuals exiting the program who have achieved an employment outcome after receiving services.

Federal Performance Level: 72.6%

BRS Goal 1.3 - Percent of persons achieving competitive employment (target: 72.69%)

Outcome: FY 2008 – 96.84%, FY 2009 – 94.68%, FY 2010 – 96.61%

No comments.

Federal Performance Indicator 1.4: (Primary Indicator) Significance of Disability

The percentage of those individuals identified in Indicator 1.3 who have significant disabilities.

Federal Performance Level: 62.4%

BRS Goal 1.4 - Percent of persons in competitive employment with significant disabilities (target: 62.4%).

Outcome: FY 2008 – 79.29%, FY 2009 – 74.49%, FY 2010 – 74.39%

Commission Input: The Commission commented on 2005 being the highest year for outcomes and the lowest year for competitive employment for individuals with severe disabilities, and discussed the correlation. They also asked about how the discontinuance of funding for school to work impacted the numbers.

DSU Response: BRS would like to expand upon this input, stating that the transition projects (since discontinued as the result of the RSA Program Audit) were successful in that relationships were established between the students/families, schools, VR, and service providers. Data now shows a decrease in the number of youth who are accessing the VR program. The State level transition policy/coordination group will be meeting again to address transition issues.

Federal Performance Indicator 1.5 (Primary Indicator) Earnings Ratio

The ratio of the average hourly earnings of all individuals in competitive employment to the average hourly earnings of all employed individuals in the state.

Federal Performance Level: .52

BRS Goal 1.5 - Average hourly earnings of persons in competitive employment, divided by the State, all workers, and average hourly earnings (target: 0.52).

Outcome: FY 2008 – 0.579, FY 2009 – 0.598, FY 2010 – 0.621

Commission Input: The Commission commended the VR Counselors for their good work given the economic situation and changes in the way business is done (virtual offices). Various county wages were also discussed in that some counties have historically lower wages. Reference to the hearing aid policy was also mentioned as impacting the numbers.

DSU Response: BRS agrees with this input.

Federal Performance Indicator 1.6: Self Support

For those identified in Performance Indicator 1.3, the difference in the percentage of individuals who at program entry reported their income as the largest single source of support, and the percentage that reported their personal income as the largest single source of support at program exit.

Federal Performance Level: > = 53.0

BRS Goal 1.6 - Application to closure change in percent of persons in competitive employment with own income as primary source of support (target: > = 53.0).

Outcome: FY 2008 – 39.68, FY 2009 – 37.94, FY 2010 – 43.84

Commission Input: Several areas were discussed to include assisting the VR consumer to understand the supports available to replace benefits, and how to use the Medicaid Buy-In program.

The Benefits Information Network’s role and involvement was also discussed as key in addressing the “fear factor” of losing benefits. Additionally, there is the need to educate family members. There needs to be a way to head off people going to benefits in the first place. There needs to be a way to provide guidance to those who have worked before, but cannot return to the same type of employment and also for those transitioning from school to work with no previous work experience at all.

The Commission asked if there was a Business Enterprise Program (BEP) correlation. For those who go through the BEP program, do they have an increase in income? Once trained, are there placements? Are the placements located in their community, or do they have to relocate?

DSU Response: BRS would like to expand upon the SRC input. As an active participate in the Medicaid Infrastructure Grant, BRS supports the initiatives and efforts of the Benefits Information Network throughout the state, and are working with the network to ensure the planning has the goal of people making as much money as possible, and not counseling to the outcome of working minimum hours to maintain benefits.

Federal Performance Indicator 2.1: Minority Background Service Rate

The ratio of the percent of individuals with a minority background to the percent of individuals without a minority background exiting the program who received VR services.

Federal Performance Level: .80

BRS Goal 2.1 - Service rate for minorities divided by service rate for non-minorities (target: 0.80).

Outcome: FY 2008 – 0.83, FY 2009 – 0.824, FY 2010 – 0.740

Commission Input: The Commission discussed urban and rural differences as well as ethnic differences.

They identified the need to develop processes/procedures that would reach those individuals who might not want ‘government’ involved (i.e. utilize more direct intervention through their communities and churches). The census was also mentioned as a useful tool. Lack of transportation, history of drug abuse or incarceration, and level of education were noted as factors to be addressed.

BRS Response to Commission Comments on Performance Indicators: The people with disabilities who access BRS services have been impacted by the economic downturn in the state, including an unemployment rate that has hovered around 10%. Businesses across the state have either downsized or closed down, so competition for remaining jobs has become more competitive. BRS is seeing an increase in requests for training and college/university programs reflecting a desire of people to hone their skills and become more competitive for the existing employment opportunities. The Corporate Development Unit has been one key to an increase in successful outcomes, working with corporations to identify job opportunities, and also with Direct Employers to address the needs of those employers. The loss of the transition outreach projects has impacted the statewide transition initiative, and BRS will be heightening transition from school to work efforts in the state. BRS is working collaboratively with the Medicaid Infrastructure Grant to address the benefits issue, which requires careful and focused deliberation, especially in the depressed economy. People are afraid to take any action that would decrease their benefits, yet this results in people learning how to live in poverty. BRS will work closely with the Benefits Information Network in the coming months to ensure that they are knowledgeable not only in identifying the salary amount that starts impacting benefits, but increasing their knowledge of the resources that are available to persons with disabilities to offset the loss of benefits. It is anticipated that those persons who go through the Business Enterprise Program do have an increase in income once the training program is completed. Placements are secured as evidenced by the most recent BEP training group, i.e. 7 of the 9 trainees have placements identified. For the most part placements are located within or close to the community where the person resides.

FFY 2012 STATE PLAN ATTACHMENTS/State Rehabilitation Commission Input

Attachment 4.2(c) - Input of State Rehabilitation Council (requires annual update)

Commission Input: The Commission took the opportunity to discuss their role in working with the Bureau of Rehabilitation Services (BRS). They recognized that the primary BRS goal is placements, and they discussed funding and the importance of full state match. Discussion with BRS included the possibility of BRS using alternative funding as match.

BRS Response: BRS is working with RSA and partnering with other states to explore how alternate match opportunities, i.e. third party agreements with other governmental agencies are established.

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

This screen was last updated on Aug 10 2011 1:08PM by Joshua Potter

This agency has not requested a waiver of statewideness.

This screen was last updated on Aug 31 2009 8:05AM by sainmadarasp

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.

The Division of Disability and Rehabilitative Services (DDRS)/Bureau of Rehabilitation Services (BRS)/ Vocational Rehabilitation Services (BRS) seeks interagency cooperation with a number of agencies and entities that are not partners required by the Workforce Investment Act of 1998. These include:

Business Partners: Through the Corporate Development Unit BRS has established several partnerships with Indiana businesses on a local and statewide level, including Lowes, Walgreens, Best Buy and Direct Employers. In addition to specific businesses, BRS is working with providers of employment services to collaborate in order to provide a streamlined approach to meet both consumer and business needs (Dual consumer approach). BRS is investigating further collaboration with the Indianapolis Private Industry Council on a federal grant that supports training for consumers in the field of information technology.

Project SEARCH: Indiana has implemented this national training and employment model for youth with significant disabilities that is resulting in quality employment outcomes. Key partners for Project SEARCH include BRS, schools, businesses and providers. BRS is implementing a similar model for adults with disabilities.

Centers for Independent Living (CIL) and Independent Living Programs: BRS makes a concerted effort to maintain an open working relationship with the CILs that are located in Indiana. Counselors and other staff make referrals to centers and programs. The center staff refer individuals for BRS. BRS supports the continuing goal of providing opportunities and assistance to the CILs that will enable them to become independent from State funding. We continue to work with the Independent Living Research Utilization (ILRU) Program to secure professional assistance in developing a mutually satisfactory method for independence.

Community Rehabilitation Programs (CRPs): BRS has a close working relationship with CRPs which include Community Mental Health Centers (CMHCs). There are currently Purchase of Service Agreements (POSAs) with 88 programs. Agency and program staff interact daily, and are involved in local planning activities for the benefit of individuals with disabilities. Training and technical assistance to support BRS and IL programs is available statewide. The CRPs provide individualized placement services through a results based funding system.

The Bureau of Developmental Disabilities Services (BDDS): BRS works very closely with BDDS in ensuring seamless transition to Supported Employment Follow Along (SEFA) services. At time of job placement, counselors submit transfer to SEFA documentation to ensure follow along services are in place prior to BRS case closure. VRS is partnering with BDDS on the implementation of the ‘Employment First’ demonstration project which has the goal of moving people with significant developmental disabilities from segregated to integrated employment settings.

Office of Medicaid Policy and Planning (OMPP): BRS anticipates continued involvement of OMPP with the Indiana Medicaid Infrastructure Grant (MIG) through involvement in carrying out Indiana’s strategic plan. OMPP continues to be an active member on the Leadership Council which provides guidance on carrying out strategic plan priorities and activities.

Division of Mental Health and Addiction (DMHA): BRS works closely with DMHA in assuring adequate counseling and support services are available to individuals with mental illness. BRS has a training contract which provides training and consultation to all employment services providers, including mental health centers and BRS staff regarding employment for people with disabilities, including a focus on mental illness. The agencies also work together to address the need for follow-along resources for individuals in supported employment. There are approximately 25 CMHCs across the state that have BRS POSAs for placement services. DMHA continues to promote employment for persons with mental illness by including employment and career planning as measures in consumer services reviews.

Department of Workforce Development (DWD): Counselors continue to have a presence in local DWD offices and encourage consumers to utilize DWDs new job match system as a useful job search tool. By July, 2011 the Regional Workforce Boards will be operating under a new protocol that calls for VRS as a mandatory partner. VRS anticipates increased collaboration for serving mutual consumers in the identification of placement opportunities, i.e. DWD business consultants located across the state, regional youth specialists, and the job board.

Department of Education (DOE): BRS participates on the State policy transition group and collaborates with DOE on providing seamless transition services. VR Counselors continue to have a presence in local schools, are invited to case conferences, work with students and families to determine transition needs and take applications from students while they are in high school. The goal for all transition aged students is to have an IPE in place prior to exit from high school.

Social Security Administration (SSA): BRS collaborates with SSA on the Employment First Demonstration project, the transition from school to work policy group and Ticket-To-Work. BRS continues to collaborate with Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) programs and Indiana’s Benefits Information Network (BIN) to ensure that beneficiaries receive appropriate benefits planning and education on utilizing work incentives to work toward self sufficiency.

Division of Family Resources (DFR): BRS works with DFR in assuring that consumers have access to necessary services. These include Medicaid eligibility as a comparable service, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, Food Stamps, the Energy Assistance Program, housing, weatherization assistance, the Step Ahead program for child care, and avoidance of duplication of services by local collaboration with the IMPACT staff.

Department of Correction (DOC): BRS works with DOC to ensure smooth transition of ex-offenders with disabilities into the workforce. DOC is represented on the transition school to work policy group.

Veterans Administration (VA): Employment can play a major role in the recovery of wounded and injured service members. To support these brave men and women in their return to civilian life, BRS works with various local, state and federal entities concerning statewide veterans services. For example, a strong relationship exists with the Crane Learning and Employment Center that provides education and on the job training for veterans with disabilities along with the federal Veterans Benefit Administration – Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment, under the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. BRS has a collaborative working agreement that will assist veterans in receiving seamless information and referral services from both the state and federal VRS service agencies. This agreement includes staff cross training.

BRS maintains a collaborative working relationship with several advocacy and consumer support groups and organizations. These include IN-APSE: The Network on Employment; The Indiana Council on Independent Living; Indiana’s Parent Training and Information Center (formerly IPIN), Indiana Resource Center for Families with Special Needs (IN*SOURCE); the Association of Rehabilitation Facilities in Indiana (INARF); and the Arc of Indiana. Input from these groups is sought prior to any major changes in BRS policies and procedures. In addition, BRS is also partnering with the Rehabilitation Hospital of Indiana (RHI) Foundation on the Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) State Demonstration Grant.

Client Assistance Program (CAP): BRS and the Protection and Advocacy Services/Client Assistance Program (CAP) work together by discussing pertinent issues, identifying training needs, and collaborating on training opportunities. CAP is represented on the BRS Commission.

Department of Agriculture: Consumers utilize the Breaking New Ground program located at Purdue University. This program assists farmers with disabilities as well as providing outreach to rural communities (e.g., accessibility of churches).

State Use Contracts: BRS and the Indiana State Use Law Program have a common mission to provide training and employment opportunities for citizens of Indiana with significant disabilities.

Small Business Administration (SBA): As consumers explore small business ventures, BRS utilizes the resources available through local SBA facilities. SBA has specialized staff that frequently work with BRS consumers on developing business plans. Consumers also participate in classes through SBA.

Assistive Technology Project: BRS works closely with Easter Seals Crossroads Assistive Technology Center to ensure that the Assistive Technology Act federal priorities are addressed. In addition, VR Counselors may participate in ongoing assistive technology training. BRS staff and BRS consumers can access the equipment loan program to test various types of equipment or borrow equipment to be used when repairs are necessary to previously purchased items.

This screen was last updated on Jun 28 2011 11:48AM by Joshua Potter

  • 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.

Transition services are for the purpose of providing a planned, efficient movement of students with disabilities from high school to work and/or further education or technical training. In the upcoming federal fiscal year BRS will be rejuvenating the Transition Policy Workgroup (formally known as the ‘290’) to identify and address the barriers that continue to exist impacting the transition from school to work success of youth with disabilities. This group will include representation from BRS, the Departments of Education, Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities, Indiana AHEAD, Workforce Development, Corrections, Social Security as well as family advocacy groups, vendors, and the Indiana Institute on Disability and Community. BRS will also have representation on the Transition Advisory Committee, which includes representation from the various school districts across the state. There is a transition forum planned for August, 2011 where the various stakeholders who ‘touch’ the youth with a disability, (including students and their families) during their transition process will be able to gather and discuss current issues and how to ensure success for that youth seeking employment once he or she leaves high school. The DOE revised state legislation (Title 511, Article 7) in regard to special education services.

Upon obtaining written consent, the school corporation and BRS confer at least one time per year to review transition age students. If a student may be eligible for and benefit from BRS services, the VR Counselor will be invited to the case conference meeting that will take place during the school year before the students projected final year of school, or earlier, if appropriate. During that meeting, the student/parent are advised of the array of BRS services that may be available and the process to access those services. The case conference committee (whether BRS is at the meeting or not) must develop a transition individualized education program (IEP) that will be in effect when the student enters into grade nine, or becomes 14 years of age, whichever occurs first.

The IEP must include, among other information, the following, which will assist the VR counselor in supporting the student once the transition is complete:

. Information from age appropriate transition assessments of strengths, preferences, and, interests.

. Appropriate measurable postsecondary goals, based upon age appropriate transition assessments that are related to training, education, employment, and, where appropriate, independent living skills.

. Documentation regarding whether the student will pursue a high school diploma or a certificate of completion.

. The transition services needed to assist the student in reaching the postsecondary goals, including the individuals and agencies identified for implementing the transition services.

A) 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

BRS has a contract with an entity that will provide training and technical assistance to local BRS and school staff regarding the provision of transition services. Included in the contract will be an expectation to maintain and revise, as necessary, various transition related products, including a training module on ‘transition from school to work’ that can be accessed via ‘e-learning’. Other products include, for example, ‘Transition From School to Adult Life: Vocational Rehabilitation Services Policy and Practice Guidebook’, and ‘How to Choose a Supported Employment Provider: An informative guide for people with mental illness’.

Evaluation and follow-up on students receiving transition services is the responsibility of DOE by means of the Indiana Transition Initiative Graduate Follow-up System which is a computer resource tool designed to facilitate the collection of information about former students and their post-school experiences. The summary reports generated by the system can be used to improve local interagency planning and transition services. BRS continues to track numbers of transition consumers served, and their outcomes. The VRS Policy and Procedure Manual and the Indiana Special Education Rules for local school programs have been coordinated to reflect consistent policies and practices related to transition.

Indiana has a state law (Senate Enrolled Act 606) related to transition services which identifies the various responsibilities of schools and adult service providers.

(B) 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. In addition to the special education legislation described above, Indiana has passed legislation (Senate Enrolled Act 606) that mandates that local schools and BRS staff coordinate certain activities related to transition:

1. With adequate notice, the VR counselor will attempt to attend the case conferences during the last two school years of students who may be eligible for services.

2. Adult services providers, to include BRS, DWD, the Department of Health, BDDS, and the Bureau of Aging and In-Home Services, provide information to local schools regarding how to access their services. Schools are to present this material to students and families during case conferences when transition is discussed.

3. BRS is to meet with local school staff at least once a year to assist in determining students who may be eligible for services.

4. The VR counselor will perform the duties of advocate and consultant to students and, where appropriate, to their families.

5. The VR counselor will promote communication with students and families by attending appropriate student activities including case conferences, career days, transition fairs, family and student forums, and other consultative services on behalf of students.

6. Applications for VRS should be taken during the second to last year of high school (junior year).

7. The Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) shall be developed prior to the students exit from school. This is also a requirement of the Rehabilitation Act. In the event that Indiana implements an Order of Selection, BRS will serve and develop an IPE for each eligible student, able to be served under the order, prior to exiting the school setting.

(C) The roles and responsibilities, including financial responsibilities of each agency, including provisions for determining State lead agencies and qualified personnel responsible for transition services:

Transition services are a cooperative effort. VR counselors are invited to assist with the planning related to transition services. The local school corporation takes the lead while the individual is a student, and when the student exits the school program, BRS becomes the lead agency. The VR counselor is then the responsible party for the provision of transition services to eligible students. There is a formal interagency cooperative agreement between the Family and Social Services Administration and the Department of Education. This agreement was updated and was fully executed by October, 2003. The cooperative agreement states that: The roles and responsibilities, including financial responsibilities, of each agency, including provision for determining State lead agencies and qualified personnel responsible for transition services:

a) The student’s IEP will define the services and responsible payer for each of the services. (34 CFR §300.301 (a)) If BRS is responsible for payment of a service, this will be defined on the Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE). Services will be provided in accordance with the student’s IEP, the requirements of 511 IAC Article 7, and the Vocational Rehabilitation Services Policy and Procedures Manual.

b) Each agency will maximize coordination in the use of public funds.

The VRS Policy and Procedure Manual states that for each student identified as an individual who may be eligible for BRS, the school will invite the VR counselor to attend the students annual case conferences for both of the two years prior to the projected exit from school. When the application for BRS program participation is desired and appropriate, the application must be taken as early as appropriate, but not later than the beginning of the last semester of the student’s projected exit year. Once the student has applied, placement and related services may be authorized, as appropriate, at any time following completion of the students next-to-last year of school (e.g., following completion of the junior year), or earlier, if identified in the students IPE as appropriate to meet the students individualized vocational needs. Vocational rehabilitation services provided prior to the students exit year from school cannot supplant or duplicate any services for which the school bears primary responsibility.

(D) Procedures for outreach to and identification of students with disabilities who need transition services.

In addition to those activities described in the above sections, BRS is responsible for providing written information to students and their families regarding adult services. This written information is available in both English and Spanish.

A brochure and cover letter is sent out annually to all guidance counselors in the local high schools informing them of BRS and requesting them to inform all students in regular education who might be eligible for the BRS program.

VR counselors and/or area supervisors are involved in local transition councils if they exist in the community. Councils are made up of local stakeholders who are involved in the transition from school to work and adult life. Councils could include students/family, school personnel, service providers, etc.

Upon obtaining written consent, the school corporation and BRS confer at least one time per year to review transition age students. If a student may be eligible for and benefit from BRS, the VR Counselor will be invited to the case conference meeting.

This screen was last updated on Jun 28 2011 11:49AM by Joshua Potter

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

The manner in which the designated State agency establishes cooperative agreements with private non-profit BRS providers is consistent with the requirements of the State plan. BRS currently purchases an array of services from a variety of vendors, including vocational evaluation, placement, and supported employment services. BRS promotes consumer choice in the provision of services. There are a total of 88 agencies with POSAs for providing employment services (Results Based Funding) in Indiana. These 88 vendors consist of Community Rehabilitation Programs.

This screen was last updated on Aug 10 2010 11:21AM by sainmadarasp

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.

Indiana receives approximately $500,000/year of Title VI B funds to provide supported employment (SE) services. The agency has made a commitment to serve people with the most significant disabilities and also utilizes Title I dollars to serve this population. BRS spent $9,083,598 on SE services, and served 3,208 consumers with most significant disabilities (MSD) in FFY10. In FFY 10, 889 individuals who received SE services were successfully placed in competitive employment.

BRS works collaboratively with the Bureau of Developmental Disabilities Services (BDDS) to provide SE service and seamless transition to extended services. BRS and BDDS also collaborate to ensure seamless transfer to supported employment follow along (SEFA) services. VR counselors are able to determine BDDS eligibility for consumers (with IQ < 70 and no autism diagnosis) and initiate transfer to follow along at the time of job placement. This ensures that BDDS eligible consumers move directly into follow along services after case closure without a gap in services.

This screen was last updated on Jun 28 2011 11:51AM by Joshua Potter

Data System on Personnel and Personnel Development

The state’s biennium budget process addresses the annual (for each year of the biennium) numbers and types of staff to be employed. At the time of this systematic process, BRS makes projections for the coming year on the types and numbers of employees needed. Monthly reports are prepared and shared with management that include ratios of VR counselors to consumers. Currently, the ratio is 1:140. In addition, management team analyzes staffing needs based on projections of the number of people to be served and the number of people expected to retire. We have consistently hired 20-24 new counselors per year due to retirements and turnover. Over the next five years we will need to fill additional vacancies due to an increased number of employees reaching retirement age. The projected number of consumers to be served is among the data reviewed in consideration of staffing levels. The following are projections of the anticipated number of applicants and eligible individuals coming into the system annually for each of the next five years.

Baseline Estimate

FFY10 (Applicants: 15,680; Eligible: 13,025)

FFY11 (Applicants: 15,812; Eligible: 13,063)

FFY12 (Applicants: 15,998; Eligible: 13,128)

FFY13 (Applicants: 16,205; Eligible: 13,312)

FFY14 (Applicants: 16,298; Eligible: 13,395)

FFY15 (Applicants: 16,330; Eligible: 13,424)

The projected number of personnel needed to provide current VR services over the next five years by personnel category may increase. BRS administration believes that a counselor-consumer ratio of 1:120 is best practice to maintain efficient caseload management. Indiana BRS is currently running above this ratio (1:140). We would currently need an additional 24 VR counselors to reach the desired ratio, which for descriptive purposes is used for calculations. As applications and people who are eligible is anticipated to rise, the number of staff needed to meet consumer needs may increase as well. These are estimates of applicants and people who are eligible for the next five Federal Fiscal Years (FFYs) based on recent trends (particularly trends in early FFY11 as compared to prior FFYs). FFY10 actuals are provided for comparison. The gradual increase in the next five years is due to the current economic situation companioned with BRS outreach activities to rehabilitation facilities, schools, the Bureau of Developmental Disabilities (Employment First initiative) and other stakeholder organizations. Increases indicate that we may need to add more staff to serve consumers in the future. For at least the next year, staffing levels will remain the same. Although the State of Indiana is experiencing budget constraints, we continue to be permitted to fill counselor vacancies.

 

Row Job Title Total positions Current vacancies Projected vacancies over the next 5 years
1 Vocational Rehab Counselors 161 14 100
2 Area Supervisors 24 2 10
3 Special Supervisors 3 0 2
4 Region Managers 5 2 2
5 Administrative Staff 8 1 3
6 Support Staff 95 17 50
7 Blind/VI/Deaf programs 11 1 3
8 0 0 0
9 0 0 0
10 0 0 0

 

Indiana has a Rehabilitation Services Administration funded masters program to prepare counselors to work in the state agency. Ball State University has a long-standing Master’s of Rehabilitation Counseling Program that has graduated seventy-one students since their masters program started in 1995, which includes five new graduates in 2010. The program currently has 14 students enrolled.

Though Indiana has other university institutions that offer degrees in related fields that might meet its hiring qualifications, these programs do not have the required certification or licensure to prepare graduates for VR counselor positions. Once personnel are hired via a related field, the Indiana Leadership Academy offers the necessary training to prepare them for the position as a VR counselor.

An internship program to assist in recruitment to the state agency has been established. We are working with Ball State and other universities to increase the number of internships in the state agency. The Commission on Rehabilitation Education (CORE) has commended Ball State University on the arrangement established with the VR offices to provide internship opportunities. The state agency will continue to assist Ball State University to apply for RSA funding to support students in the Master’s program. BRS does work closely with Indiana University through the Indiana Institute on Disability and Community in the provision of the Leadership Academy and other training initiatives. Bi-monthly meetings are held with the Institute and will continue.

 

Row Institutions Students enrolled Employees sponsored by agency and/or RSA Graduates sponsored by agency and/or RSA Graduates from the previous year
1 Ball State University 14 0 4 5
2 0 0 0 0
3 0 0 0 0
4 0 0 0 0
5 0 0 0 0

 

Equal Opportunity Employment

The Division of Disability and Rehabilitative Services (DDRS) has an Equal Employment Opportunity policy. It states that the DDRS will be fair and equitable in its relations with employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, sex, or disability. With this in mind, BRS has increased its efforts in coordination with state institutions of higher education and professional associations to recruit, prepare, and retain qualified personnel, to include minorities and people with disabilities. Regular participation in job fairs at postsecondary institutions and many other events is used as a means of recruiting professionals with disabilities and minorities. A significant number of BRS employees are people with disabilities. One outcome of this change will be to increase the number of qualified professional applicants.

Staff Development

The procedures and activities that are undertaken to ensure that all personnel employed are appropriately and adequately trained and prepared are outlined below. The training initiatives identified are directed toward all levels of staff. Secretaries will continue to have access to classes to improve computer skills, consumer service skills, and learn American Sign Language, if desired. Needs assessment information is used to develop a plan to meet both individualized and statewide training needs. In addition, staff is encouraged to participate in locally offered training as well as national level training. CRC credits are given for all agency sponsored training that meets CRC criteria. This coordination with a professional association is done to assist VR counselors in maintaining professional accreditation. Standards for all job classifications are approved by State Personnel. These standards are based on a job analysis questionnaire that is completed by staff in those classifications. Human resource staff job shadow counselors to determine if the current classification and salary level is appropriate. State Personnel has been apprised of the RSAs laws and regulations in reference to the CSPD. The minimum qualifications for counselors in Indiana reflect the need to hire professionals who have a master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling or closely related area, or be a CRC. Job postings for counselors reflect these minimum qualifications.

Recruitment and Succession

Recruitment, retention, and succession are tracked on a bi-weekly basis by BRS Management. A report is generated and maintained weekly by the Director of Field Operations office through collaboration with the Coordinator of Training and Professional Development and the agencies’ Region Managers and Supervisors. This report shows:

1) Overall Staffing Update by office including openings, leave requirements, and caseload sizes; 2) Staff Eligible to Retire; 3) Current Openings; and 4) Summary of Staff and Caseload Sizes by Office.

Historically, Indiana BRS has participated in many attempts for comprehensive succession planning. In 2007, a work group in the BRS agency consisting of supervisors, counselors and the human resource director worked with the Technical Assistance and Continuing Education Center (TACE) in the development of a succession plan. The succession plan was approved by previous management, but due to an approved extension of time for the CSPD requirement for Masters level staff, implementation has not yet occurred. The plan identified provisions for retention of qualified rehabilitation personnel by looking at the establishment of "case aide" positions within VRS. To date the case aide position has not been established although it is being critically discussed again. The changing role of support staff in light of automation has resulted in the loss of secretaries through attrition. The role of the secretary continues to be examined by management in the BRS agency. The BRS agency continues to offer counselors and support staff opportunities to participate in special agency projects outside of their regular work routines; this includes offering counselors interested in being promoted to supervisors the opportunity to gain leadership experience through workgroups designed to work on policy revision. In monthly management meetings, region managers meet with the Director of Field Operations and the BRS Director to project the number of staff planning to retire and also identify training needs. This system helps the agency identify where to target recruitment and training efforts. Local universities will be used more aggressively as recruitment sources for people with masters degrees in rehabilitation counseling or closely related areas. The use of internships will enhance our recruitment efforts.

 

Counselor Standards

The State of Indiana has chosen to pursue the national standards established for pursuit and implementation of the CSPD due to the absence of a state licensure for VR counselors. Indiana has chosen the national standard of a Master’s Degree in rehabilitation counseling or closely related area as its educational standard. Counselors who have previously met the CRC standard with less than the Master’s Degree and have maintained their certification through the necessary hours of continuing education will be considered to have met the required standard.

In situations where BRS cannot fill a Counselor position with a suitable candidate who has a MA/MS in Rehabilitation Counseling, CRC, or a MA/MS degree in a related field, BRS will hire a Bachelor level candidate. A training plan will be implemented wherein the candidate will be required to obtain a MA/MS degree in Rehabilitation Counseling within 5 years of the hire date without financial assistance coming from BRS. BRS will do everything in its power to assist the candidate in finding funding for school. During this time, and as long as the candidate maintains acceptable progress on the training plan, the candidate will be eligible to conduct the non-delegable functions.

Training Standards

Indiana’s human resource system is inclusive of a human resource development plan to provide training, education, and staff development to ensure that staff is knowledgeable and skilled in the ever-changing field of rehabilitation. Counselor training needs are assessed through survey, dialogue, supervisor recommendations, and agency directives. Trainings for the coming year are planned in response to the training director’s assessment of these needs and through the use of a training needs survey. Training needs are also identified by analyzing quality assurance review results, and training content is individualized based on these results. The results of past assessments were used to guide the development of the Leadership Academy, which is a contract between BRS and the Indiana Institute on Disability and Community at Indiana University (IIDC). The current product of this contract is an online, interactive training module for new and existing VR counselors. The initial Leadership Academy Orientation has been remodeled, with the new version being utilized since May 2009. As well, ten CORE Level Courses focusing on Certified Rehabilitation Counselor exam expectations have been developed and are currently being taken by staff. Advanced level courses are consistently being added to the Leadership Academy and are available to staff, including material taken from other stakeholders on autism, traumatic brain injury, and more. Finally, specialty courses are being developed to train counselors who have specialty caseloads: vision loss, hearing loss, and brain injury. These specialty course curricula will be completed by the end of SFY 2012.

Status of CSPD Requirements

Indiana BRS successfully petitioned for an extension to the current CSPD requirements, allowing until 12/31/2012 to meet all of the requirements. Currently, 137 of the 147 counselors meet the CSPD requirements in Indiana by having a master’s degree in rehabilitation or closely related area, or CRC accreditation. All new hires meet the current CSPD requirements. The 10 staff not meeting the CSPD requirement have been made aware of the 12/31/2012 deadline. Of these 10 staff, all 10 have expressed intent to retire prior to the 12/31/2012 date. The 10 individuals who do not meet CSPD, are not on a training plan and intend to retire by 12/2012 do not perform non-delegable functions which are performed by their colleagues or supervisors who meet the state established CSPD standard.

Indiana has a total of 50 staff, including counselors, area supervisors, region managers, and management who have CRC certification. Counselors who sat for the CRC or for re-certification in 2010 had access to reimbursement for examination fees. This reimbursement will continue. For all individuals who have master’s degrees but do not have all of the core courses necessary to sit for the CRC exam, the agency will pay for the necessary core courses, with budget approval on a course-by-course basis depending on availability of funds, to assist them in qualifying for the CRC exam.

Future Challenges

Indiana BRS continues to encounter challenges in recruiting and retaining qualified professionals. The current practice of requiring a Master’s Degree for the position of VR counselor, in lieu of CRC certification, is a potential barrier to finding qualified candidates. In many parts of the state, there are few if any candidates on eligible lists after posting vacancies. The situation is going to become more critical as an increasing number of current employees are reaching retirement age in the next one to three years. Current estimates indicate that approximately 30 of the 147 161 VR counselors, 3 area supervisors and 1 region manager positions will be eligible for retirement in 2012. Given this tenuous situation, Indiana will be discussing with RSA and TACE possible alterations to the requirement prior to the 12/31/2012 CSPD recertification date.

 

Training Initiatives

Several mechanisms are in place for training purposes, including the In-Service Training Grant from RSA and a training contract with IIDC.

In-Service Training Grant

To support the training of all Vocational Rehabilitation staff, the RSA funded In-Service Training Grant will be utilized in several ways. Training needs will be prioritized based on available funding.

BRS faces many challenges as it strives to meet the needs of people with disabilities so they may prepare for and engage in gainful employment. The comprehensive system of training Indiana VR has developed includes activities funded through the In-Service Training grant, State Personnel programs, free trainings, and other contracts. To understand how the In-Service Training grant will be utilized within this system, the system as a whole is presented.

Introductory training for new VRCs consisting of a one-month self-study has been developed and continues to be implemented. The program consists of ‘modules’ covering the foundations of Vocational Rehabilitation, including the history of disability and awareness of disability types to step-by-step instructions through the Indiana VR process. In addition, VRCs are directed to shadow other staff, have dialogue with supervisors, and interact online with training developers. This format reduces the cost of overnight travel and ensures consistent delivery of program information. Introductory training is evaluated through training evaluations and feedback from supervisors regarding individuals’ ability to assume caseload responsibilities after completion of the training.

In addition to this orientation, a 1-year CORE level coursework has been developed that models the standards set down in the CRC accreditation and provides evidence of further knowledge and understanding of the rehabilitation system. After the CORE level coursework is completed, Specialized and Advanced coursework (still under development) provides ongoing education to all existing counselors in determined areas.

Quarterly trainings, technical assistance meetings, and various annual conferences have continued to improve upon the professional development of our staff. In-Service Training Grant funds assist all VR employees in attending professional development conferences to increase skills. Funding allows employees to attend annual conferences such as the Indiana Association of Rehabilitation Facilities (INARF) and the Indiana Association of Persons in Supported Employment (INAPSE).

Assistive technology is an ever-changing area requiring ongoing updates to assist counselors in providing the most up-to-date information to consumers. With the assistance of IN-DATA (Indiana Assistive Technology Act) and other state-of-the art technology providers, ongoing training continues annually for VR counselors, supervisors, and other direct service providers.

Funding for outreach to minorities and people with disabilities has been allotted for in the In-Service training grant. The purpose is to increase the number of applicants in order to hire the most qualified professionals to fill vacancies in the agency. Outreach continues to historically black universities and colleges, university-based disabled student service offices, Independent Living Centers, and advocacy groups.

Partnerships

BRS utilizes a training partnership with the Indiana Institute on Disability and Community (IIDC). Topics of training at the Vocational Rehabilitation Leadership Academy include Orientation, CORE Level Courses, Specialty Courses, and Advanced Level Courses. The competencies being covered include the following:

Supported Employment Evidence-Based Practices

Social Security Work Incentives

Job Development

Person-Centered Planning

Creative Problem Solving

Employment Support Strategies for Persons with a Serious Mental Illness

Employment Support Specialist Basic Training

Job Retention

Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act

Career Development

Strengths-Based Case Management

Team Building

Supported Education " Orientation

BRS Systems

Case Management

BIN - SSWI

VR Guidance

Job Development

Foundations of Rehabilitation

Assistive Technology

Counseling

Ethics

Neurological Brain Disorders

Agency Training Protocols

The following details how Indiana BRS’ training team operates. Staff Agency workgroups inclusive of all stakeholders are used to address policy changes and training initiatives that result from these changes. The plan for management consists of the following approach: The coordinator of training and professional development oversees formal needs assessment administration, design of training programs, and ensures that the evaluation component is a part of each program that is offered. One other staff member is currently assigned to the coordinator of training. These individuals are responsible for ensuring that programs that address ongoing needs such as training of new staff are scheduled and maintained as needed. These individuals ensure that CRC credit is provided for all qualifying programs to assist counselors in maintaining accreditation. These individuals also provide logistical assistance for all agency-sponsored trainings. The agency has changing needs that cannot always be planned for and training staff are assigned to assist, as needed, in the development, delivery and evaluation of each activity by the coordinator.

Accessibility

Training is held regionally or electronically whenever appropriate to provide easy access for employees. ADA accessibility is verified by training staff to ensure that all employees have equal access to training sites. Training materials are made available in alternative formats such as large print, Braille, on computer disk, or audiotaped. Interpreters for the deaf are provided whenever needed. Other reasonable accommodations are provided whenever needed. All prospective trainees are surveyed prior to each training program to determine individualized accessibility needs. All training announcements are sent to all appropriate staff and discrimination based on age, race, ethnicity, or disability does not occur.

Diversity

The training unit and all central office staff reflect diversity and consists of men, women, Caucasians, African Americans, individuals with disabilities, and employees over age 55.

Methods

A variety of training techniques and formats are used. BRS training staff will continue to work with university-based programs to provide coursework in modes accessible to the greatest number of employees, such as satellite uplinking and use of the Internet. A combination of classroom teaching, experiential field practice and self-study is being used with new VR counselors. Two and three-day workshops will be held both centrally and regionally depending on the needs of the participants. One on one teaching will occur as appropriate to address highly individualized training needs.

Evaluation

All training programs will have an evaluation component to them. This will consist of written evaluations completed by the participants and a review of the intended impact of each program to see if the goals have been met. Other methods of evaluation will include the quality assurance compliance review, consumer satisfaction surveys/focus groups, and IRIS reports (case management data) indicating desired outcomes such as increases in competitive placements.

Resources

Indiana BRS uses the resources of TACE, colleges and universities and information gathered from other states to keep staff up to date on research in rehabilitation. This information is discussed and disseminated through various training programs conducted by the state agency.

Emergent Priorities

The following lists Indiana BRS’ training priorities needing action.

The need for medical aspects training on disabilities such as autism, traumatic brain injury and mental illness continues. Counselors receive consistent training on these topics through conference attendance specializing in these areas.

Recruitment of qualified minority applicants and applicants with disabilities continues and is used successfully as a means to obtain qualified applicants. People with disabilities will be recruited via sharing of openings with Disabled Students Service offices at state universities, historically Black universities and colleges (nationally), and independent living centers. A comprehensive system of succession planning is necessary to prevent personnel shortages and ensure the personnel necessary to develop new initiatives/program directions. BRS will continue support of CRC accreditation by providing training opportunities for maintenance of CRC accreditation and providing stipends for membership application and maintenance. All levels of management will be involved in analyzing and projecting personnel needs. Personnel data to plan for managerial and professional needs will be obtained. Region managers and supervisors are asked to engage in continual planning to identify staff who are ready for promotion and those who will be ready. The establishment of a Masters in Rehabilitation Counseling Program at Ball State University gives us a pool of graduates from which to hire. We will also use interns, as they become available, to encourage employment in BRS.

BRS staff will continue to do joint training with community rehabilitation program staff. The focus of this training has been person-centered planning in the strategic planning process, performance-based placement, or other topics depending on local need. The emphasis for all training programs will be employment outcomes for people with significant disabilities. Increasing the skill levels of counselors and employment training specialists will result from this continuing training relationship. The establishment of an academy approach to ensure that all personnel who work in the field of rehabilitation have access to training in core competencies has been jointly developed by BRS and the IIDC. This results in greater collaboration among these organizations to ensure this need is met through both existing training programs and the sponsorship/development of additional training programs.

 

Every attempt is made to hire staff that is trained to communicate in the native language or mode of communication of consumers who access BRS services. Specific VR counselors across the state are designated as rehabilitation counselors for the deaf and hard of hearing (RCD). There are also Counselors who work specifically with individuals who are blind or who are visually impaired. The BRS attempts to fill these positions with staff that have proficiency in American Sign Language or expertise in working with individuals who are blind or visually impaired. Area offices have access to resources to provide materials in alternative formats for individuals who are blind or visually impaired. In addition, we continue to provide funds for RCDs to enable them to pursue sign language training to increase their skills. This same funding can be used, where the need is identified, for foreign language proficiency. Brochures and forms are printed in Spanish. Foreign language interpreters are provided on an as needed basis for VR applicants and consumers. VRS also employs counseling and supervisory staff who are bi-lingual in Spanish and English. The BRS is committed to making reasonable accommodations for all staff that have disabilities.

 

Coordination with DWD staff, DOE staff, and high school transition programs will continue as efforts in transitioning students with disabilities into the workforce statewide. The IIDC serves as a transition resource to BRS. These activities are Indiana’s methods of coordinating with personnel development activities under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (20 U.S.C. 1400 et seq.). Training and technical assistance will be offered statewide and the targeted audience is parents, students, school officials, BRS professionals, CRP staff, and DWD professionals. See “Coordination With Educational Officials” attachment.

Joint training of DWD staff and BRS staff on the resources each entity has to offer and methods for increasing coordination of services has occurred in the past and will continue now. DWD and BRS training staff will share training resources in introductory training of our respective employees, as well as in the provision of training on labor market information.

This screen was last updated on Jun 28 2011 1:06PM by Joshua Potter

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.

The State plan shall—

(i) include the results of a comprehensive, statewide assessment…describing the needs of individuals with disabilities residing within the State, particularly, the vocational rehabilitation services needs of—

(I) Individuals with the most significant disabilities, including their need for supported employment services;

(II) 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 title; and

(III) Individuals with disabilities served through other components of the statewide workforce investment system (other than the vocational rehabilitation program), as identified by such individuals and personnel assisting such individuals through the components;

(ii) include an assessment of the need to establish, develop, or improve community rehabilitation programs within the State; and

(iii)provide that the State shall submit to the Commissioner a report containing information regarding updates to the assessments…..

(i) Results of a comprehensive, statewide assessment.

While Indiana’s formal comprehensive statewide needs assessment is conducted every three years, data is gathered on a continuous basis. It is a joint effort of the Bureau of Rehabilitation Services (BRS) and the State Rehabilitation Council (SRC). The Council provides ongoing input, especially in the acquisition of satisfaction data. It also provides input into the development and content of the final report. Council members have an opportunity to review and offer comments prior to the release of the triennial needs assessment.This report of progress reflects the results from the FY 2006-2009 Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment, to include FY 2010 activities.

Indiana’s 2010 comprehensive statewide needs assessment reflects a synthesis of quantitative and qualitative data addressing the state’s overall vocational rehabilitation needs. Although Indiana has a well-developed service delivery system that largely meets the needs of its consumers, there are selected areas where needs are not yet fully met.

This report reflects the input of a mixture of providers and consumers, as well as an analysis of demographic and economic data. The data collection techniques varied as well. They included focus groups, consumer and provider surveys, partner publications and published data. As an addendum to the State annual plan, this assessment focuses on item (1) above.

Provider Input.

Providers, including both state staff and partners, were consulted about perceived system needs. Their responses reflect their unique perspectives and experiences. Certainly, there is diversity, but their collective responses serve to inform the state on potential areas for improvement. Their individual input is summarized below.

Senior state field staff (region managers).

The region managers oversee the local service delivery system and the state’s vocational rehabilitation counselors. In a 2010 focus group meeting, they were asked if there are consumers who are currently underserved and/or needed services not being rendered. It was the general consensus of the region managers that no demographic groups are being underserved in Indiana. However, they felt that there is a need to better serve individuals with autism, and that their vocational rehabilitation counselors are not well-equipped to address the special needs of that population. Additional staff training and resource materials are needed to properly identify and serve consumers with this barrier.

State field staff (vocational rehabilitation counselors).

The state vocational rehabilitation counselors are the direct link to the Indiana consumer population. Through their daily involvement in rendering or accessing services on behalf of the consumer population, they constitute one of the most important input sources for the needs assessment. They were canvassed in early 2010 and asked the following questions:

To your knowledge, are there any groups of eligible individuals being underserved, and In your opinion, are there are any needed services that are not readily available to your consumers?

Thirty counselors responded to this survey. There was no strong agreement on underserved populations. Groups identified by multiple counselors included: Hispanics, rural disabled who lack adequate transportation, individuals with criminal records, and, homeless/transients. Additional possible underserved groups who were identified included individuals with traumatic brain injuries, veterans and minorities.

With respect to needed services, there were several categories identified by the counselors. They included: more/better transportation services (especially in rural areas), improved employment placement services (including individuals skilled with consumers with criminal records as well as consumers with higher educational credentials), stronger mental health treatment providers (who understand the vocational impediments of disabilities), and assorted additional training opportunities.

State field staff (combined).

In addition to the separate inquiries on groups and services which might warrant additional attention mentioned above, field staff were surveyed about their perceived training needs. Responses were obtained from a mix of 44 region managers, area supervisors and vocational rehabilitation counselors. They were asked:

Employment strategies for persons with disabilities: please choose up to five (5) of the employment support strategy topics listed below in relation to your team’s training needs.

The areas most often identified as most important (in order) were:

1. autism spectrum disorders,

2. personality disorders,

3. mental illness and addictions,

4. traumatic brain injuries, and

5. psychopharmacology (medications and side effects).

These responses tend to reinforce the findings from the focus group held with the region managers and the open-ended questions from the survey of the vocational rehabilitation counselors.

Partners.

Questions about perceived training needs were also asked of staff from both mental health centers and community rehabilitation programs. While responses were obtained from a variety of individuals associated with these two groups, the bulk of the responses came from employment services program managers.

From the 15 responses from the mental health center staff, the most frequently cited topics were:

1. thought disorders,

2. mental illness and addiction,

3. personality disorders, and

4. mood disorders.

Certainly, these responses are not surprising considering the special needs of the individuals served at the mental health centers.

Only six responses were gathered from the community rehabilitation program staff, and their chief training need centered on dealing with mental illness and mental retardation/developmental disabilities.

According to the Division of Mental Health and Addiction (“Prevalence of Mental Health and Addiction”), 5.4% of all adults aged 18 and over have a serious mental illness. This represents over 250,000 adult Hoosiers. Of those 23.2% also have addiction disorders. Consequently, the observation from a number of vocational rehabilitation counselors that there is a need for strong mental health treatment providers who understand the vocational impediments of disabilities is supported.

Consumer Input.

The Indiana Bureau of Rehabilitative Services continuously surveys its consumers. Traditionally, it has measured customer satisfaction of those individuals who have experienced successful case closures. In 2009, Indiana introduced two enhancements to its data collection scheme. First, in addition to successful case closures, Indiana also began to measure the satisfaction of individuals who had unsuccessful case closures.

Second, in the past, an opportunity was offered to the consumers to share their views, and any narrative responses were distributed to the local offices. The invitation to comment was, “If you have things to say about your services or how services could be improved, write them on the next page.” This year, Indiana also conducted a content analysis of these narrative responses.

Satisfaction statistical analysis.

Over 1900 individuals with successful case closures and over 300 individuals with unsuccessful case closures in 2009 shared their views about their experiences. They were asked to rate their satisfaction on 15 items on a five point scale. The statements included:

It was easy for me to visit my counselor’s office.

I was able to choose the kind of help I got.

I liked the way my counselor treated me.

I got services fast enough from Vocational Rehabilitation.

I would send my friends to Vocational Rehabilitation when they need services.

Among the successful case closures, with the exception of two questions dealing with fringe benefits, the average scores on the remaining questions were all 4.3 or higher out of a possible five points (where a score of five is “very good”).

Disregarding the questions related to jobs (as they were inappropriate for this group), among the unsuccessful case closures, the scores ranged from 3.9 to 4.4. For both the successful and unsuccessful case closures, the highest scores were given in response to the statement, “I liked the way my counselor treated me.” This is a testament to the perceptions shared among Indiana consumers that their counselors are highly regarded regardless of the employment outcomes of the survey respondents.

Nevertheless, outcomes do play a role in the consumer perspective. On every one of the 15 measures, not only were the response patterns statistically significantly different, but the mean scores on every one of the 15 measures were also statistically significantly higher among the successful case closures.

Narrative content analysis.

All survey respondents were given an opportunity to comment on the services they received and provide suggestions on how services might be improved. Although the great majority of all comments from both the successful and unsuccessful respondents was positive, this analysis focuses on those expressing dissatisfaction or offering suggestions for improvement. Looking for perceived weaknesses or needs offers a window to possible program improvements.

Among the successful case closures, the most frequently identified categories were:

counselor/agency staff issues, outcome issues and program/process issues.

Within the counselor/agency category, a portion viewed their counselor and/or vocational rehabilitation staff negatively (unsupportive, disagreeable, unprepared) or were displeased with the lack of communication. A similar number were unhappy about the outcome achieved. Given that these were successful case closures, this appeared to be somewhat surprising. However, the complaints centered around issues such as part-time jobs, not the job desired, lack of benefits and low pay. The program/process issues were primarily associated with timeliness: too much paperwork, too much time to complete, too long to get help.

Perhaps surprisingly, a virtually identical pattern of comments was uncovered for the unsuccessful case closures, albeit at a correspondingly higher rate. Given that they did not obtain employment, it might be expected that outcomes would have been the primary concern, but counselor/agency staff issues continued to appear most often. In fact, when consumers complained about not getting or keeping a job, it was almost always attributed to the economy, the person’s disability/limitations, or their own personal situation.

It merits comment that the number of positive comments received from both the successful and unsuccessful case closures greatly exceeded the number of negative comments. In particular, consumers were frequently delighted with their vocational rehabilitation experience. The personal connection with their counselors was critically important to consumers’ satisfaction. It was by far the most frequently cited reason for satisfaction, which is supported by the statistical analysis mentioned previously.

The next most frequently cited reason for consumer satisfaction was satisfaction with the goods or services they received. Of these, the largest number of consumers specifically mentioned their satisfaction with having received hearing aids.

The third most frequently cited reason for their satisfaction was the outcome achieved. Their on-the-job work performance improved, they liked the job they obtained, or they were able to return to work or maintain their job.

What is particularly instructive about these findings is that it appears to be at least as, if not more, important to develop a positive relationship with the consumer. If the consumer feels that they are being treated well, they will be more likely to be satisfied even if the desired services or outcomes are not acquired. At a time when employment outcomes are more difficult to achieve, this is a valuable finding.

Demographic/Economic Data.

Based upon the 2008 Indiana State Department of Health study, “Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey”, 1/5th (19.9%) of the 4900 randomly selected Indiana residents aged 18 or older indicated that they were limited in some way in activities because of physical, mental or emotional problems. Of those indicating that they were retired or unable to work, over 40% acknowledged that they were limited in some way.

Only 7.2% concurred with the statement, “Do you now have any health problem that requires you to use special equipment, such as a cane, a wheelchair, a special bed or a special telephone?” Nearly a quarter (23.5%) of those indicating they were retired or unable to work were individuals identifying themselves as individuals requiring special equipment.

The economic environment.

The current population in Indiana, based on 2008 U.S. Census Bureau estimates, is more than 6.3 million. Fifty-six percent of the population is of working age (21 through 64). Of the working age population, an estimated 486,000 (13.7%) adults have self-reported as diagnosed with a disability. (Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Disability Demographics and Statistics: “2005 Disability Status Reports,” Cornell University.) According to the 2008

“Annual Statistical Report on the Social Security Disability Insurance Program,” 5.7% (225,768) of the resident Indiana population aged 18-64 are disabled beneficiaries of Social Security Disability Insurance, Supplemental Security Income or both. Furthermore, Indiana Medicaid eligibility data indicates that over 122,553 are eligible for Medicaid on the basis of disability, which is 10.3% of Indiana’s total Medicaid population. (June 2008 data on Medicaid and employment provided by the Family and Social Services Administration Office of Medicaid Policy and Planning, June 14, 2008.)

In December 2009, Indiana’s unemployment rate of the general population was reported at 9.9%, closely mirroring the national average of 10.0%. (“Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS)-Not Seasonally Adjusted, Hoosiers by the Numbers,” Indiana Department of Workforce Development, downloaded 03/03/10 from: http://www.hoosierdata.in.gov.) The unemployment rate for working age individuals with disabilities hovers around 62%.

In Indiana, an estimated 12.9% of the general population lived in poverty and the median household income was $48,010 in 2008. (“Indiana IN Depth Profile” downloaded 03/03/10 from: http://www.stats.indiana.edu/profiles/pr18000.html.)

Indiana has been severely affected by the national recession. The state has experienced losses exceeding 191,000 jobs between December 2007 and December 2009. (Hoosiers by the Numbers: Current Employment Statistics (CES) - Seasonally Adjusted downloaded 03/03/10 from: http://www.hoosierdata.in.gov.) Nevertheless, job openings continue to occur. It is anticipated that more than 1100 openings will exist annually in Indiana over the next decade for each of the following (from most to least): registered nurses, truck drivers (heavy and tractor-trailer), sales representatives (wholesale and manufacturing), and bookkeeping, accounting and auditing clerks. (“Hoosier Hot 50 Jobs” data downloaded 03/03/10 from: http://www.in.gov/dwd/2383.htm.)

Current service levels.

A large number of individuals with disabilities pursue entry into the workforce system through the assistance of Indiana’s Bureau of Rehabilitation Services (BRS). In Fiscal Year 2009, BRS processed 16,716 applications, developed 9,525 Individualized Plans for Employment (IPE), achieved 4,020 successful closures, and had 18,483 active cases. The placement rate for employment services was 17% for all active cases in program year 2009.

The current distribution of Indiana consumers by primary impairment group appears in the list below. (IRIS data extract: 03/03/10.) Mental illness, physical disabilities and developmental disabilities/autism are the three most frequent primary impairments faced by Indiana vocational rehabilitation consumers.

Populations Served in FY09 by Primary Impairment Group

Blindness: 829

Other Visual: 1,382

Deafness, Com Visual: 487

Deafness, Com Auditory: 194

Hearing, Com Visual: 194

Hearing, Com Auditory: 2,634

Other hearing: 211

Deaf-Blindness: 13

Communicative: 666

Mobility: 3,215

Dexterity: 1,314

Mobility & Dexterity: 1,777

Orthopedic: 2,456

Respiratory: 748

General Physical: 3,067

Other Physical; 3,492

Cognitive: 13,643

Psychosocial: 12,891

Other Mental: 4,802

According to the Indiana Institute on Disability and Community, of the 9,811 individuals with disabilities receiving day and employment services (representing 50 of Indiana’s 65 community rehabilitation programs), 64% had a primary disability label of mental retardation/develop-mental disability. In addition, 61% were also identified as having a secondary disability that impacts or impedes their daily life activities.

• Individuals with most significant disabilities and their need for supported employment (SE) services:

Indiana has devoted exceptional attention to providing supported employment to individuals with most significant disabilities. In addition to the over $510,000 Title VI funds invested in supported employment in FFY2009, the State authorized over $14 million for supported employment from its basic VR operating grant on behalf of 969 individuals with most significant disabilities. To address the continued need, BRS is devoting a portion of the ARRA funds towards this population as well.

• Individuals with disabilities who are minorities:

Data is not generally available for the number of individuals with disabilities disaggregated by demographic traits. However, using U.S. Census Bureau data available from the American Community Survey (2006-2008) along with survey response data contained in the 2008 Indiana Health Behavior Risk Factors Report, we can estimate the number of disabled individuals who would fall into each category. With those estimates, we can compare Indiana service levels to the estimated levels to ascertain if there are any apparent significant disparities.

Beginning with age, it is clear that Indiana is serving a disproportionate share of young adults age 18 – 24. This is neither surprising nor undesirable. With Indiana’s emphasis on transition programs, aggressively serving this consumer population is an excellent strategy. Successful employment outcomes for this demographic group can pay huge dividends over time.

Although the disabled population in Indiana closely mirrors the general population on race/ethnicity, vocational rehabilitation slightly overserves non-Hispanic Blacks and slightly underserves Hispanics and other racial groups. However, the disparities are sufficiently small that they do not appear to constitute a material issue. Indiana is paying close attention to its performance on federal performance indicator 2.1 (the ratio of minority service rate to non minority service rate. The federal goal is to achieve a minimum rate of .80, which Indiana accomplished the previous two years. The rate held steady in FY’08 and FY’09, when it was .83 and .824, respectively. Through July, 2010, the rate was .736.

On gender, a significant difference appears to exist in the rates of service to males and females. However, this is likely due to the heavier presence of males in the workforce. Again, this does not seem to be a significant programmatic issue.

• Individuals with disabilities who have been unserved or underserved by the VR program:

As demonstrated in the table below, Indiana consistently addresses the needs of individuals with disabilities in Indiana. Indiana’s BRS service levels tend to exceed the presence of individuals with disabilities in the disabled and general populations. These findings are consistent with the feedback of the state staff in response to the question, “To your knowledge, are there any groups of eligible individuals being underserved?” No single subgroup was identified by the knowledgeable individuals who are closest to the consumers.

Comparative Service Levels

Age - Indiana BRS Service Levels* (Total/Percent)

18 – 24: 6,864/33.2

25 -65: 13,358/64.5

Over 65: 483/2.3

Total 18 – 64: 20,705

Age – Estimated Indiana Disabled** (Total/Percent)

18 – 24: 67,980/7.8

25 -65: 565,360/64.8

Over 65: 239,060/27.4

Total 18 – 64: 872,400

Age – Indiana General Population (Total/Percent)

18 – 24: 606,975/12.8

25 -65: 3,349,025/70.5

Over 65: 796,850/16.8

Total 18 – 64: 4,752,850

Race/ethnicity- Indiana BRS Service Levels* (Total/Percent)

White, non-Hispanic: 17,199/83.1

Black, non-Hispanic: 2,811/13.6

Other/multiracial, non-Hispanic: 321/1.6

Hispanic: 374/1.8

Total: 20,705

Race/ethnicity- Estimated Indiana Disabled**

White, non-Hispanic: 1,035,050/82.1

Black, non-Hispanic: 119,830/9.5

Other/multiracial, non-Hispanic: 48,280/3.8

Hispanic: 57,100/4.5

Total; 1,260,260

Race/ethnicity- Estimated Indiana Disabled**

White, non-Hispanic: 5,279,016/83.3

Black, non-Hispanic: 541,687/8.5

Other/multiracial, non-Hispanic: 197,602/3.1

Hispanic: 317,290/5.0

Total: 6,335,595

Gender -Indiana BRS Service Levels* (Total/Percent)

Male: 11,307/54.6

Female: 9,398/45.4

Total: 20,705

Gender- Estimated Indiana Disabled**

Male: 536,270/42.6

Female: 723,990/57.4

Total: 1,260,260

Gender - Estimated Indiana Disabled**

Male: 3,117,843/49.2

Female: 3,217,752/50.8

Total: 6,335,595

*Indiana IRIS data

**2008 Indiana Health Behavior Risk Factors Report: "Are you limited in any way in any activities because of physical, mental or emotional problems?"

***American Community Survey

• Individuals with disabilities served through other components of the statewide workforce investment system:

Indiana has developed strong collaborative relationships with other components of the statewide workforce investment system. Select BRS local offices are co-located with WorkOne centers and other human service programs throughout the state, including BDDS. This has resulted in significant cost savings, from the costs of rent to the costs of copying equipment to the costs of communication devices.

The cost savings are important, but only a part of the benefit to the system. Being able to closely coordinate service delivery on behalf of common consumers results in more efficient service delivery which benefits both the consumers and the service providers.

• The need to establish, develop or improve community rehabilitation programs within the state:

Over the past three years, Indiana has invested significant resources in easing the transition of youth from school to work. This focus on transition services has involved school corporations, classroom teachers, special education teachers, school counselors, special education directors, community rehabilitation program (CRP) staff and vocational rehabilitation (VR) staff. The State has also invested in training contracts with the SECT Center to foster interaction with community mental health centers and with IIDC to increase communication between BRS and all CRP staff.

Conclusions.

The Indiana Bureau of Rehabilitation Services is a well-developed, mature service delivery system that largely meets the needs of its consumer community. There are no significant gaps in either the populations in need of services nor the variety of needed services. However, there are specific areas that can be enhanced.

Targeted populations. Among target populations, there is a perception that there is a need to better serve individuals with autism and that Indiana vocational rehabilitation counselors are not well-equipped to address the special needs of that population. The need does not appear to be associated with under serving that population, rather it appears to be related to staff training needed to properly serve those consumers.

Services. Transportation and timeliness issues were identified by counselors and consumers as particular barriers. Particularly in the state’s rural areas, counselors identified transportation as a hurdle for their consumers. Somewhat surprisingly, consumers did not. Conversely, consumers identified timeliness and paperwork as issues for them, while the counselors did not.

Outcomes and the economy. Employment outcomes are a key issue for all parties in the vocational rehabilitation system. It is a key measure by which the service delivery system is evaluated. The counselors recognize a need for better placement services, while the consumers desire improved outcomes. Certainly, the consumers who were unsuccessful case closures are more likely to express concerns about their lack of employment, but even the successful case closures often were dissatisfied with some aspect of their jobs (too few hours, too low pay, lack of fringe benefits). This area is particularly challenging. Current adverse economic conditions compound the challenges of overcoming the barriers that individuals with disabilities face. As suggested by Indiana vocational rehabilitation counselors, improved employment placement services are highly valued.

In conclusion, addressing these areas of need will enable the Indiana Bureau of Rehabilitation Services to achieve its goals of assisting individuals with physical or mental impairments that serve as substantial impediments to employment. It will help individuals as they prepare for, enter, engage in, or retain an employment outcome consistent with their abilities, capacities, career interests and informed choice.

(ii) An assessment of the need to establish, develop, or improve community rehabilitation programs within the State

Indiana currently has a Purchase of Service Agreement with 88 community rehabilitation programs across the state. There is not a need to establish any more providers, however, employment programs can be improved through training opportunities.

BRS staff will continue to do joint training with community rehabilitation program staff. The focus of this training has been person-centered planning in the strategic planning process, performance-based placement, or other topics depending on local need. The emphasis for all training programs will be employment outcomes for people with severe disabilities. Increasing the skill levels of counselors and employment training specialists will result from this continuing training relationship. The establishment of an academy approach to ensure that all personnel who work in the field of rehabilitation have access to training in core competencies is being jointly developed by BRS and the IIDC. This will result in greater collaboration among these organizations to ensure this need is met through both existing training programs and the sponsorship/development of additional training programs.

(iii) provide that the State shall submit to the Commissioner a report containing information regarding updates to the assessments…..

Indiana, each year, with the state plan submission, will submit a report containing information on assessments that have been updated. Indiana will conduct the next comprehensive, statewide assessment from 2010 -2012.

This screen was last updated on Aug 18 2010 2:40PM by sainzemaitisn

The estimated number of individuals in the state of who are eligible for services is 486,000. This is based on the percentage of working-age people in Indiana with a disability from the 2006 Indiana population estimate from the U.S. Census Bureau. The U.S. Census Bureau disability data is self-reported. Based on the definition of disability by the American Community Survey (ACS) it is possible that the number of individuals reporting disabilities may be higher than the actual number of individuals who would qualify for assistance from BRS.

The 2005 ACS definition of disability is based on three questions:

(1) Does this person have any of the following long-lasting conditions: blindness, deafness, or a severe vision or hearing impairment, and (b) a condition that substantially limits one or more basic physical activities such as walking, climbing stairs, reaching, lifting or carrying?

(2) Because of a physical, mental, or emotional condition lasting 6 months more, does this person have any difficulty in doing any of the following activities: (a) learning, remembering, or concentrating, and (b) dressing, bathing, or getting around inside the home?

(3) Because of a physical, mental, or emotional condition lasting 6 months or more, does this person have any difficulty in doing any of the following activities: (a) going outside the home alone to shop or visit a doctor?s office, (b) working at a job or business?

Projected FFY12 Expenditures:

Total projected costs for FFY12 equals $82,900,000 ($61,300,000 consumer services plus $21,600,000 Administrative).

Projected case service costs for FFY2012 equals $61,300,000.

Actual Available FFY12 Funds:

Actual available funds for FFY12equals $75,040,664 ($15,873,714 state plus $58,650,765 Title I plus Title VI funds total $516,185

Projected costs of $82,900,000 minus (-) available funds of $75,040,664 equals a deficit of $7,859,336 for FFY12. Under this reduced budget, $55,040,664 ($54,524,479 is Title I, $516,185 is Title VIB) is available for consumer services, and $20,000,000 is available for administration costs.

BRS anticipates serving 18,630 individuals with available funds.

Indiana anticipates serving 9407 consumers who are MSD at an average cost of $2,843 per consumer, for a total cost of $26,745,021

Indiana anticipates serving 8,333 consumers who are SD at an average cost of $2,933 per consumer, for a total cost of $24,436,597

Indiana anticipates serving 824 consumers who are NSD at an average cost of $1,660 per consumer, for a total cost of $1,367,840

Category Title I or Title VI Estimated Funds Estimated Number to be Served Average Cost of Services
Part B of Title I (federal & state match combined) Title I $54,524,479 18,448 $2,955
Part B of Title VI Title VI $516,185 182 $2,836
Totals   $55,040,664 18,630 $2,954

This screen was last updated on Jul 29 2011 1:24PM by Joshua Potter

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.

The goals and priorities as outlined below were developed in concert with the State Rehabilitation Council (SRC) (Indiana’s Commission on Rehabilitation Services). To enable the SRC to provide meaningful feedback and suggestions, each Commission meeting includes a BRS Director’s Update to ensure that they remain informed throughout the year.

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.

The SRC participates in a state plan development meeting at the beginning of each year to work with key BRS staff who are developing specific state plan documents. This meeting includes review of the Goals and Priorities state plan attachment. As the state plan undergoes various stages of revision, it continues to be shared with the SRC as well as BRS staff. Prior to public hearings, each Commission member receives the draft state plan and is asked to provide feedback. A representative from the Client Assistance Program (CAP) is represented on the SRC.

Ensure that the goals and priorities are based on an analysis of the following areas: the most recent comprehensive statewide assessment, including any update-s; 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.

Input from CRPs, and other key stakeholders is also considered in development of goals and priorities. Additionally, all information from assessments, appeals, and public input guides BRS in developing the Goals and Priorities.

Identify the goals and priorities in carrying out the vocational rehabilitation and supported employment programs.

AGENCY GOAL: TO INCREASE THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES IN INTEGRATED, COMPETITIVE EMPLOYMENT

OBJECTIVE A: Indiana BRS will increase the quantity and quality of job placements.

Priority 1. BRS will continue with Corporate Job Development initiatives. BRS will continue with CDU initiatives, ensuring that all stakeholders are updated and informed about job openings. BRS will also partner with the National Vocational Rehabilitation Business Network (CSAVR-NET).

Measure: Indiana will add 50 new business partnerships resulting in 100 employment outcomes occurring as a result of Corporate Development Efforts.

Priority 2. BRS will continue expansion of Project SEARCH. The Employment Advisory group will continue to provide a focal point for communications, effectiveness and economy of resources. This includes partnering with the National Vocational Rehabilitation Business Network (CSAVR-NET) .

Measure: In 2012, Indiana will maintain at least 9 fully implemented Project SEARCH sites statewide. At least 75 students will obtain work experience through Project SEARCH.

Priority 3. BRS will identify collaborative opportunities with high schools to enhance services to transition aged youth.

Measure: BRS will formalize partnerships with high shools through third party cooperative arrangements or other cooperative agreements, to increase collaboration around serving youth. Formalized partnerships with at least 2 schools will be established by September 2012. VR counselors participate in local transition councils if they exist in the community. BRS will participate in the Statewide Policy Group for transition as well at the Semi-annual transition forum.

Priority 4. BRS will continue to work closely with the Blind and Visually Impaired Services through the Business Enterprise Program (BEP) to expand employment opportunities.

Measure: 50% of consumers who successfully complete BEP training will secure employment as a licensed vendor by January 2012.

Priority 5. BRS will partner with Community Rehabilitation Programs with the Ticket to Work.

Measure: At least 75%, or 69 of 92 CRPs will be local Employment Networks (ENs) by the end of FFY 2012 [Note – 37 CRPs were ENs at the conclusion of FFY10]

Priority 6. BRS will continue implementation of the Performance Improvement Plan designed to improve performance indicators 1.1., 1.2, 1.6: number of rehabilitants, rehabilitation rate, and difference in primary source of income between application and closure.

Measure: BRS will meet or exceed standards 1.1 and 1.2 by the end of FFY 2012.

OBJECTIVE B: BRS will collaborate with state and local partner agencies that also serve individuals with disabilities in order to provide a seamless delivery system.

Priority 1. BRS, in cooperation with the Bureau of Developmental Disabilities Services (BDDS) through the ‘Employment First’ demonstration sites, will establish a seamless service delivery system for consumers transitioning into BRS services, then from BRS Services to Supported Employment Follow-Along (SEFA) services.

Measure: By the end of FFY 2012, BRS and BDDS will establish the process by which individuals will effectively transition from one program to another, including informing providers and case managers.

Priority 2: BRS in collaboration with the Manager of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services (DHHS) will provide necessary training and technical assistance to VR counselors who have a specialized caseload serving individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Measure: Conduct at least two statewide annual meetings in FFY 2012 to address training needs and provide ongoing technical assistance to staff as needed.

Priority 3: BRS will investigate approaches to job placement and identify areas of improvement, e.g. improved collaboration with post secondary entities in placing college graduates.

Measure: Indiana Federal Indicators will improve.

OBJECTIVE C: The BRS program administration will function effectively and efficiently, supporting all aspects of the program.

Priority 1. BRS will continue the refinement of the automated case management system by evolving to a fully paperless system.

Measure: By the end of FFY2012 the electronic case management system will be revised to streamline case management, i.e. Individualized plan development, improved response time, and adding new functionality that will add efficiencies.

Priority 2. Through the Leadership Academy, BRS will provide training to staff to enable them to provide superior services to their consumers. This will include specialized training to serve individuals who are deaf/hearing impaired, blind/visually impaired and individuals who have sustained a traumatic brain injury.

Measure: By the end of FFY2012, BRS will have training modules developed and/or updated for specialty and advanced courses including deaf/hearing impaired, blind/visually impaired, and individuals who have sustained a traumatic brain injury.

Priority 3. BRS will ensure all field staff are adequately trained and oriented to streamlined/standardized case management processes. BRS will ensure that staff have the tools to do their jobs. This includes resource allocation and maintenance of equitable caseload size among VR Counselors.

Measure: By the end of FFY 2012, enhanced management reports from the electronic case management system will be developed to measure the impact of the implementation of the streamlined practices.

Priority 4. BRS will establish and implement innovative, stratified, state-local coordinated systems of support for individuals with Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI). Activities supported through the TBI grant will seek to establish an infrastructure, involving relevant state agencies, through which Resource Facilitation services will be utilized to increase employment outcomes for individuals with TBI. This project is for individuals aged 15 through 19, living in rural areas, and with lower socioeconomic status.

Measure: In 2012 BRS will continue to work toward the grant goal of 60% of 300 people with TBI returning to work or school within one year after their discharge from acute inpatient rehabilitation.

Priority 5. BRS will work to increase fiscal resources by maximizing reimbursement through SSA/VR

Measure: BRS seeks to improve reimbursement levels by 25% ($1,147,303.30)from FFY 2010 ($917,842.61).

Priority 6. BRS will continue to improve program and fiscal accountability and federal reporting. BRS will require technical assistance from RSA and TACE.

Measure: BRS will continue to conduct bi-weekly budget meetings to address fiscal issues. Additionally, the BRS Director will review and approve all federal reports prior to submission.

Priority 7. BRS will exhaust all cost saving measures to avoid the implementation of OOS.

Measure: BRS will not close categories or implement a waitlist.

This screen was last updated on Jul 29 2011 1:26PM by Joshua Potter

  • 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

The Indiana Division of Disability and Rehabilitative, Bureau of Rehabilitation Services (BRS), estimates that BRS’ available and projected resources will not be adequate to ensure the provision of the full range of vocational rehabilitation services, appropriate, to all eligible individuals in the federal fiscal year 2012.

BRS had planned to implement Order of Selection (OOS) in FFY 2011, however BRS was able to delay the implementation due to cost savings measures and the use of ARRA funds for case services. BRS will exhaust all cost saving measures to avoid the implementation of OOS. As a last resort, and only after all other options have been pursued, the BRS Director will declare the implementation of an OOS for services statewide effective FFY2012. All priority categories will be served until an evaluation, during the course of the year, indicates that the available resources will not be adequate to provide assessment services to all applicants and the full range of services to eligible individuals in an equitable and expeditious manner. The Policy and Procedure Manual has been revised to reflect the information in this state plan attachment. Training has been conducted. Modifications to the electronic case management system have been completed.

The ‘General Fund Revenue Forecast for Fiscal Years 2011-2013’ report stated that ‘Sales Tax collections continue to lag’. In fact, there was a 5.6% decrease in revenues from the prior reporting period to the current reporting period.

BRS has been experiencing a regular increase in expenditures since fiscal year 2007, but has been able to meet expenses with its federal and state budgeted allotment. The state appropriation is not sufficient to match all available federal funds. BRS utilized ARRA funds in 2011, however these funds, approximately $8.9 million will be unavailable in FFY2012. Due to insufficient state funds and termination of ARRA funds, funds will not be sufficient in 2012 to cover the cost of all individuals receiving services, provide assessment services to all individuals who apply for services, and, provide services to all individuals determined to be eligible, while meeting all of its program requirements. BRS continues to implement cost savings efforts to address the inadequacy of funds. It is projected that this shortfall will continue into fiscal year 2012.

An analysis of spending for the reporting year (FFY2010) has shown an increase of 8.7% from the prior year (FFY09). Based on an additional analysis of current spending patterns, it is estimated that our total consumer services spending will be $58,373,707 for FFY2011, which is an additional increase of 5.5% in spending compared to FFY2010. The available funds to be spent will be reduced by at least 6.3 million (ARRA funds).

BRS continues to institute concrete measures to control spending, including:

• Review of individual case files to ensure that all services that have been authorized

(encumbered) continue to be necessary, if not, cancellation of those services;

• Scrutiny of each contract that is coming up for renewal to see if costs can be decreased;

• Exploring allowable sources of state match including third party cooperative arrangements;

• Developing case management processes to increase efficiencies; and,

• Continued investigation into alternative volume purchasing arrangements.

If BRS is unable to fully implement these cost saving measures, BRS anticipates, that an Order of Selection must be available for FFY2012.

BRS, during FFY2011, updated the electronic case management system and the policy and procedure manual and conducted training.

Indiana continues to review its field staffing plan. Currently the ratio of a vocational rehabilitation counselor to consumers is 1:140. BRS administration believes that a counselor-consumer ratio of no more than 1:120 is necessary to maintain efficient caseload management. Indiana is currently running above this ratio. We would currently need an additional 24 VR Counselors to reach the desired ratio. As the number of applications and eligible consumers continue to rise, the number of staff needed to meet consumer needs will increase as well.

10% of the VR Counselors retired in May 2009. Another 10% of VR Counselors have retired since. BRS has had 20 clerical staff retire or resign in the last year that have not been refilled. We have consistently hired 20-24 new counselors per year due to retirements and turnover. Over the next five years we will need to fill additional vacancies due to an increased number of employees reaching retirement age. Indiana continues to have only one university offering a graduate program in Rehabilitation. This program has 5 graduates this year. Approximately 60 VRS staff are eligible for retirement during FFY11; 20 have already retired and another 10 have indicated retirement dates.

Projected FFY12 Expenditures:

Total projected costs for FFY12 equals $82,900,000 ($61,300,000 consumer services plus $21,600,000 Administrative).

Projected case service costs for FFY2012 equals $61,300,000..

Actual Available FFY12 Funds:

Actual available funds for FFY12equals $75,040,664 ($15,873,714 state plus $58,650,765 Title I plus Title VI funds total $516,185

Projected costs of $82,900,000 minus (-) available funds of $75,040,664 equals a deficit of $7,859,336 for FFY12. Under this reduced budget, $55,040,664 ($54,524,479 is Title I, $516,185 is Title VIB) is available for consumer services, and $20,000,000 is available for administration costs.

BRS anticipates serving 18,630 individuals with available funds.

Indiana anticipates serving 9407 consumers who are MSD at an average cost of $2,843 per consumer, for a total cost of $26,745,021

Indiana anticipates serving 8,333 consumers who are SD at an average cost of $2,933 per consumer, for a total cost of $24,436,597

Indiana anticipates serving 824 consumers who are NSD at an average cost of $1,660 per consumer, for a total cost of $1,367,840

In addition to the categories above, Indiana anticipates eligibility costs to total an additional $2,491,193

 

Description of Priority categories

Individuals will be served in the following order of priority under the Order of Selection once there is a sufficient amount of resources:

A. Priority Categories.

Priority Category 0: Individuals determined to have a non-significant disability (NSD);

Priority Category 1: Individuals determined to have a significant disability (SD); and,

Priority Category 2: Individuals determined to have a most significant disability (MSD).

MSD - - individual with a most significant disability:

(1) who has a severe physical or mental disabilities that seriously limits three or more functional capacities (communication, interpersonal skills, mobility, self care, self direction, work skills, and work tolerance) in terms of an employment outcome,

(2) whose vocational rehabilitation can be expected to require multiple vocational rehabilitation services over an extended period of time, and

(3) who has one or more physical or mental disabilities resulting from amputation, arthritis, autism, blindness, burn injury, cancer, cerebral palsy, cystic fibrosis, deafness, head injury, heart disease, hemiplegia, hemophilia, respiratory or pulmonary dysfunction, mental retardation, mental illness, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, musculo-skeletal disorders, neurological disorders (including stroke and epilepsy), spinal cord conditions (including paraplegia and quadriplegia), sickle cell anemia, specific learning disability, end-stage renal disease, or another disability or combination of disabilities determined on the basis of an assessment for determining eligibility and priority for services or a comprehensive assessment of vocational rehabilitation needs to cause comparable substantial functional limitation.

(4) who is presumed to be able to benefit in terms of an employment outcome from the provision of vocational rehabilitation services.

SD - - individual with a significant disability:

(1) who has a severe physical or mental disability that seriously limits one or more functional capacities (communication, interpersonal skills, mobility, self care, self direction, work skills, and work tolerance) in terms of an employment outcome,

(2) whose vocational rehabilitation can be expected to require multiple vocational rehabilitation services over an extended period of time, and

(3) who has one or more physical or mental disabilities resulting from amputation, arthritis, autism, blindness, burn injury, cancer, cerebral palsy, cystic fibrosis, deafness, head injury, heart disease, hemiplegia, hemophilia, respiratory or pulmonary dysfunction, mental retardation, mental illness, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, musculo-skeletal disorders, neurological disorders (including stroke and epilepsy), spinal cord conditions (including paraplegia and quadriplegia), sickle cell anemia, specific learning disability, end-stage renal disease, or another disability or combination of disabilities determined on the basis of an assessment for determining eligibility and priority for services or a comprehensive assessment of vocational rehabilitation needs to cause comparable substantial functional limitation.

(4) who is presumed to be able to benefit in terms of an employment outcome from the provision of vocational rehabilitation services.

NSD - - individual with a non-significant disability:

(1) who has a physical or mental disability,

(2) whose disability constitutes or results for the individual in a substantial impediment to employment, and

(3) who is presumed to be able to benefit in terms of an employment outcome from the provision of vocational rehabilitation services.

B. Basis for Order of Selection - Prohibited Factors

The Order of Selection shall not be based on any other factors, including:

(1) Any duration of residency requirement, provided the individual is present in the State;

(2) Type of disability;

(3) Age, gender, race, color, or national origin;

(4) Source of referral;

(5) Type of expected employment outcome;

(6) The need for specific services or anticipated cost of services required by an individual; or

(7) The income level of an individual or an individual’s family.

 

Priority of categories to receive VR services under the order

In the implementation of the Order of Selection, BRS will continue to provide services to all individuals who are already receiving services under an approved Individualized Plan for Employment. BRS will continue to provide quality services by using our human resources. The Order shall in no way affect the provision of authorization of diagnostic or evaluative services needed to determine eligibility.

Individuals applying for services in FFY12 will be interviewed and their eligibility determined. Eligible individual’s names will be placed on a deferred list as necessary, and when financial resources are available, highest priority will be given to individuals determined most significantly disabled, second priority to those individuals determined significantly disabled and lowest priority to those determined non-significantly disabled. Rationale for placement into a particular priority will appear in the individual’s case file. The electronic case management system will be utilized to manage the deferred list. BRS will implement the OOS on an equal basis in all geographic areas of the State.

Each individual placed on a deferred list will be notified in writing of the priority categories, his or her assignment to a particular priority category classification and any reclassifications due to a change in the individual’s circumstances or due to any misclassifications. The individual will also be informed of his or her right to appeal the category assignment through informal or formal review and of the availability of assistance from the Client Assistance Program.

Assignment of referrals will be in chronological order by date of referral. Assignment of eligible individuals from a deferred service list will be in chronological order by priority category and date of application. Individuals on a deferred service list will be periodically informed of their status on the deferred service list.

Individuals who do not meet the Order of Selection criteria for receiving VR services will be provided:

1. VR information and guidance (which may include counseling and referral for job placement) using appropriate modes of communication to assist them in preparing for, securing, retaining, or regaining employment.

2. Referral to other appropriate Federal and/or State programs, including programs carried out by other components of the Statewide Workforce Investment System, best suited to address the specific employment needs of the individual.

All funding arrangements for providing services shall be consistent with the Order of Selection. If any funding arrangements are inconsistent with the Order of Selection, BRS shall renegotiate those funding arrangements so that they are consistent with the Order of Selection.

 

Service and outcome goals and the time within which the goals will be achieved

Projections for the period October 1, 2011 through September 30, 2012. Although our goal to meet Federal Indicator 1 is 4,102 (Based upon the 2010 successful closures plus 1 equals 4102), BRS anticipates a potential decrease in successful closures. This anticipated decrease is based upon previous year data that shows a substantially higher successful rehabilitation rate for persons identified as non-significantly disabled, and due to OOS, the number of people served in this category will decrease to the extent that total successful placements will be impacted. Projected number of successful closures for FFY12 is 3,333.

A. Order of Selection Category: Most significant disability

1. Projected number to be served: 9,407

2. Projected percentage of total rehabilitations: 44.6%

3. Projected number of rehabilitations: 1,486

Order of Selection Category: Significant disability

1. Projected number to be served: 8,333

2. Projected percentage of total rehabilitations: 41.0%

3. Projected number of rehabilitations: 1,366

Order of Selection Category: Non-Significant disability

1. Projected number to be served: 824

2. Projected percentage of total rehabilitations: 14.4%

3. Projected number of rehabilitations: 480

Although the timeline varies significantly with each individual, it is estimated that the average number of months to reach an employment outcome for:

. Most significant disability: 20 months

. Significant disability: 24 months

. Non-Significant disability: 11 months

In addition to the cost of services displayed in the table below, an additional projected $2,500,000 will be spent on diagnostics prior to severity determination.

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
1 824 480 35 11 $1,367,840
2 8,333 1,366 1,134 24 $24,436,597
3 9,407 1,486 1,508 20 $26,745,021

This screen was last updated on Jul 29 2011 1:29PM by Joshua Potter

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.

At the time of the submission of this state plan it anticipated that Title VI-B will be merged into the Title I funds, and require a match. Unless additional state match funds become available, BRS will not be able to draw down these funds. However, BRS will continue to provide supported employment services in the following manner:

BRS will purchase Supported Employment (SE) services for consumers with most significant disabilities (MSD), with the funds received under section 622 of the Rehabilitation Act Amendments of 1998 based upon the plan previously submitted. Consumers will be able to access SE services through Community Rehabilitation Programs (CRPs), which include Community Mental Health Centers (CMHCs) across the state. It should be noted that SE services, if appropriate for the individual’s plan for employment, are provided through Title I funds as well as Title VI B funds if available.

Supported employment services include:

1. Any specialized assessment to supplement a comprehensive assessment of rehabilitation needs.

2. The provision of skilled job trainers who accompany the individual for intensive job skill training at the work site;

3. Job development and placement;

4. Social skills training;

5. Regular observation or supervision of the consumer;

6. Follow-up services including regular contact with consumer, employer, the parents, family members, guardians, advocates or authorized representatives of the consumer, and other suitable professional and informed advisors, in order to reinforce and stabilize the job placement;

7. Facilitation of natural supports at the worksite;

8. Any other service identified in the scope of VR services for consumers; or,

9. Any service similar to the foregoing services. Indiana has established two goals for its SE program.

Those goals and their attendant performance criteria are:

Corresponding BRS Objective-OBJECTIVE A: Indiana BRS will increase the quantity and quality of job placements.

1. Increase the quality of employment outcomes for SE consumers.

Measure: The average wages for SE consumers who achieve competitive employment will be maintained at the FFY10 amount ($8.18/hour) which was a five percent increase from the prior year.

Priority 2. SE consumers with the most significant disabilities will participate in Project SEARCH.

Measure: At least 80% of consumers participating in Project SEARCH will be consumers who are MSD and who qualify for long-term employment supports.

This screen was last updated on Jun 28 2011 1:19PM by Joshua Potter

This attachment should include required strategies and how the agency will use these strategies to achieve its goals and priorities, support innovation and expansion activities, and overcome any barriers to accessing the vocational rehabilitation and the supported employment programs. (See sections 101(a)(15)(D) and (18)(B) of the Act and Section 427 of the General Education Provisions Act (GEPA)).

Describe the methods to be used to expand and improve services to individuals with disabilities.

Identify how a broad range of assistive technology services and assistive technology devices will be provided to individuals with disabilities at each stage of the rehabilitation process; and describe how assistive technology services and devices will be provided to individuals with disabilities on a statewide basis.

Identify what outreach procedures will be used to identify and serve individuals with disabilities who are minorities, including those with the most significant disabilities; and what outreach procedures will be used to identify and serve individuals with disabilities who have been unserved or underserved by the VR program.

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

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

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

Describe how the agency's strategies will be used to:

  • achieve goals and priorities identified in Attachment 4.11(c)(1);
  • support innovation and expansion activities; and
  • overcome identified barriers relating to equitable access to and participation of individuals with disabilities in the state Vocational Rehabilitation Services Program and the state Supported Employment Services Program.

STRATEGY A: Methods to Improve Services. Indiana has undertaken multiple initiatives aimed at enhancing services and increasing employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities. Some of the initiatives are: Corporate Job Development, Project SEARCH, School to Work Transition, development of the Leadership Academy web-based training resource, enhancement of benefits counseling and work incentives planning for SSA recipients, collaboration with BDDS on seamless transfer to SEFA, focus on unserved or underserved populations, i.e. consumers with mental illness, deaf, blind, and TBI consumers. The strategies outlined below describe these initiatives in more detail; as well as Indiana’s efforts with assistive technology services, outreach activities, collaboration with CRPs, the Indiana Department of Workforce Development (DWD) and other partners, and improvement of performance standards.

NOTE: As part of the RSA review of the Indiana BRS programs, specifically, in the area of ‘Employment Outcomes’, it was recommended that ‘1.3 - develop goals and strategies to identify and increase the quality and quantity of employment outcomes for individuals with most significant disabilities’. Though many of the strategies address the employment outcome, it is felt that the various methods to improve services address the focus of this particular RSA recommendation.

Applicable Objective(s)/Priority(ies):

Objective A: Priorities 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Objective B: Priorities 1, 2, 3

Objective C: Priorities 2, 3, 4

STRATEGY B: Assistive Technology During Rehab Process. Pursuant to the Indiana VRS Policy Manual, the counselor reviews each individual consumers’ need for Assistive Technology (AT) devices and services at each stage of the rehabilitation process (i.e. eligibility determination, plan development and implementation, and placement). This is done through personal interviews with the consumer, observations, and professional AT assessments. Appropriate training is also provided as necessary, to ensure that consumers are able to independently utilize their adaptive equipment.

Applicable Objective(s)/Priority(ies):

Objective A: Priority 4

Objective B: Priority 2

Objective C: Priorities 2, 4

STRATEGY C: Assistive Technology Statewide. AT is a high priority area for both BRS and DDRS. BRS is currently subcontracting the federally mandated Assistive Technology Act Program through a contract with a statewide 501(c)(3) assistive technology program, Easter Seals Crossroads Rehabilitation Center. Contract deliverables include: coordination and collaboration with BRS on AT services, public awareness, transition, training and technical assistance, device demonstrations, device loan program, device reutilization program and state financing.

Applicable Objective(s)/Priority(ies):

Objective A: Priority 4

Objective B: Priority 2

Objective C: Priorities 2, 4

STRATEGY D: Outreach to Minorities. Indiana continues to place a priority on serving transition aged youth, minority populations, and SSA recipients. VR Counselors are assigned to work with Indiana high schools on encouraging students with disabilities to apply for services prior to exit from school. Counselors attend case conferences and take applications during the junior year. The goal is for students to have an IPE in place prior to exit from school. As the result of the Indiana investment in transition to work projects with local providers to enhance relationships with schools, an increase has been seen in the number of students applying for services. Additionally, schools are better educated on BRS and other adult disability services. Indiana BRS is encouraged by the new Ticket to Work (TTW) regulations and is working toward strong collaboration with local Employment Networks (ENs) on the TTW Partnership Plus Model. Indiana is working with ENs to increase outreach efforts to encourage more ticket holders to participate in services. Additionally BRS continues strong collaboration with Indiana’s Medicaid Infrastructure Grant (MIG), Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) Programs, and the Benefits Information Network (BIN) to provide benefits counseling and work incentives planning to SSA recipients. Indiana’s BIN continues to serve as a national model. Indiana currently has over 200 certified BIN Liaisons statewide. These Liaisons include staff from CRPs, MHCs, and Independent Living Centers. BIN Liaisons conduct in-depth benefits counseling and work incentives planning for beneficiaries and work closely with Indiana’s Work Incentives Planning and Assistance Program (WIPA) to enhance benefits planning for consumers. The next stage of the BIN is to ensure sustainability after MIG funding ceases (2011). Dependent upon resource availability BRS will work with providers of employment services, through pilots, contracts, or other means to emphasize the use of the tickets.

NOTE: As part of the RSA review of the Indiana BRS programs, specifically, in the area of ‘Transition Services’, it was recommended that Indiana ‘2.1 analyze the decline in the number of referrals received from referral sources, transition-age youths served, transition-age youths who achieved employment outcomes, and the employment rate to determine the reasons underlying this decline in performance’, and ‘2.5 develop goals and strategies to decrease the percentage of transition-age youths whose cases are closed without achieving employment and prior to receiving services.’ Though many of the strategies address transition services, it is felt that the various methods to improve services address the focus of this particular RSA recommendation.

Applicable Objective(s)/Priority(ies):

Objective A: Priorities 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Objective B: Priorities 1, 3

Objective C: Priority 4

STRATEGY E: Outreach to Unserved/Underserved. BRS staff, whether located in the field or central office, make presentations to local community organizations that serve unserved or underserved populations such as school corporations. Staff also present and exhibit at conferences and workshops throughout the year. Also, Indiana has worked to strengthen the relationship with the Indiana Council on Independent Living (ICOIL), and will continue to work with them as well as the Independent Living Centers in the state to ID unserved/underserved people.

NOTE: To date, support for the ICOIL has been the responsibility of staff of the designated state unit. BRS has developed corrective actions as the result of various RSA findings during their visit 5/09. One area that was identified was ‘ICOIL Independence’. Under the Innovation and Expansion Authority, initially utilizing VR ARRA funds, DDRS contracted (through a competitive request for proposal process) with an entity to support the operations of the ICOIL.

Applicable Objective(s)/Priority(ies):

Objective A: Priorities 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Objective B: Priorities 1, 2, 3

Objective C: Priorities 2, 4

STRATEGY F: Community Rehabilitation Programs. BRS continues to maintain a strong partnership with the Indiana Institute on Disability and Community (IIDC) at Indiana University (IU) to enhance community based competitive employment opportunities for consumers. This contract supports the enhancement of CRPs in developing community based services focusing on results based outcomes, collaboration, statewide coordination of corporate job development, technical assistance, which includes transition from school to work, and the expansion of Project SEARCH. Specific services include technical assistance, training, data collection, collaboration efforts, policy development and evaluation. Additionally, BRS continues to partner with the Division of Mental Health and Addictions to enhance employment services for individuals with mental illness. This initiative supports CMHCs in the provision of employment services for individuals with severe and persistent mental illness. Training, through the Leadership Academy as well as other sources, focus on various aspects of serving individuals with mental illness, Employment Support Specialist Training, and other trainings. In addition to the above, BRS is working collaboratively with the Association of Rehabilitation Facilities of Indiana in the provision of community based, integrated, competitive employment. It is also possible, based on resource availability, which a review/revision of the current results based funding system may result in funding, (i.e. utilizing one of the allowable authorities), that encourages better quality outcomes to the community rehabilitation programs.

Through Corporate Job Development efforts, BRS is providing training to CRP staff on developing business relationships, establishing a single point of contact approach, and other high level job development techniques. To date, over 200 staff have attended these teleconference trainings.

NOTE: As part of the RSA review of the Indiana BRS programs, specifically, in the area of ‘Employment Outcomes’, it was recommended that ‘1.1: Indiana develop measurable goals and strategies to improve the agency’s employment rate’; 1.4 ‘develop strategies to increase wage levels for the disability populations served by the agency, explore relevant training and education to increase wages, and expand relationships with employers throughout the state’. Though many of the strategies address the employment outcome, it is felt that the Corporate Job Development initiative with the CRPs addresses the focus of this particular RSA recommendation.

Applicable Objective(s)/Priority(ies):

Objective A: Priorities 1, 2, 3, 5, 6

Objective B: Priority 1

STRATEGY G: Standards and Indicators. Historically, IN BRS performance has been low for Indicator 1.6, the percentage of successful rehabilitants whose earnings at closure are the primary source of support. One reason is strong BRS investment in Supported Employment although we can do better. Our goals and priorities are designed to enhance performance in the quantity and quality of job outcomes which are reflected in the performance indicators, i.e. 1.1 Agency must have more successful closures and 1.2 increase the rehabilitation rate. These include:

- Initiating corporate level job development to increase employment outcomes in terms of higher wages and hours.

- Expanding Project SEARCH to allow increased opportunity for transition aged youth to gain valuable work experience and training.

- Continuing to support the Indiana Business Enterprise/Randolph Sheppard Program under the Services to Groups Authority, in an effort to increase self-sufficiency for current vendors, and to train new vendors to become successful business operators.

- Continued collaboration with the MIG on educating consumers on the MedWorks (Buy In) program (Medicaid for individuals with disabilities who are working).

- Continuing to implement the TTW Partnership Plus Model and encouraging consumers to assign their tickets to ENs after closure.

- Continuing to partner with many other agencies to improve school to work transition activities for students exiting high school.

- Modifying performance expectations for VR Counselors and CRPs.

Investment in these initiatives as well as many others will continue through this year and will be ongoing.

Applicable Objective(s)/Priority(ies):

Objective A: Priorities 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Objective B: Priorities 1, 2, 3

Objective C: Priorities 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

STRATEGY H: Workforce Investment System. BRS continues to explore ways to strengthen our relationship with Indiana s Workforce Investment System. VR Counselors continue to have a presence in local WorkOne offices. Additionally, WorkOne staff serve on the BRS MIG Leadership Council, a group comprised of key stakeholders who guide activities of the MIG. WorkOne staff also collaborated with BRS and MIG staff on conducting a statewide Summit on Economic Development, Employment and Disability, which took place in November 2008 with approximately 200 participants.

Indiana BRS will continue enhancement of these efforts and others to increase the quality of employment outcomes and reduce systemic barriers to employment for Indiana citizens with disabilities.

Applicable Objective(s)/Priority(ies):

Objective A: Priorities 1, 3, 5, 6

Objective B: Priority 3

STRATEGY I: BRS will implement each of the corrective action plans that were completed as the result of RSA findings during the 5/09 monitoring visit. The implementation of these CAPs will be in the areas of: Unallowable arbitrary limits on services established in policies; Financial and statistical reporting; Incentive payments to community rehabilitation programs; Unallowable subgrants; and, Non-delegable responsibilities of administration.

Applicable Objective(s)/Priority(ies):

Objective C: Priorities 1, 5, 6, 7

All of the strategies delineated above collectively support the three broad objectives and corresponding priorities of Indiana Vocational Rehabilitation Services (see attachment 4.11(c)(1)). For example, Project SEARCH and corporate job development initiatives are strategies that support Objective A. Our collaboration with BDDS as discussed in section

4.8(b)(1) and 4.8(b)(4) is a strategy that supports Objective B. Objective C, which strengthens our business practices, is supported through strategies such as the ticket to work initiatives.

INNOVATION AND EXPANSION

Indiana’s innovation and expansion activities are included in a number of the above strategies, including corporate development and Project SEARCH, i.e. Strategy A. Strategies that Indiana is using to 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 include Strategy E, Outreach to Unserved/Underserved and Strategy F, Community Rehabilitation Programs, which includes working with people developmental disabilities and those who have a severe and persistent mental illness.

 

This screen was last updated on Jul 29 2011 1:36PM by Joshua Potter

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

EVALUATION OF FFY 2010 GOALS AND PRIORITIES

The goals and priorities as outlined below were developed in concert with the State Rehabilitation Council (SRC) (Indiana’s Commission on Rehabilitation Services). To enable the SRC to provide meaningful feedback and suggestions, each Commission meeting includes a BRS Director’s Update to ensure that they remain informed throughout the year. In addition, the SRC facilitates several committees that provide recommendations and comments for BRS operations and planning. Input from Community Rehabilitation Programs (CRPs), and other key stakeholders is also considered in development of goals and priorities. Additionally, all information from assessments, appeals, and public input guides BRS in developing the Goals and Priorities.

AGENCY GOAL: TO INCREASE THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES IN INTEGRATED, COMPETITIVE EMPLOYMENT

OBJECTIVE A: Indiana VRS will increase the quantity and quality of job placements.

PRIORITIES:

1. VRS will continue with Corporate Job Development initiatives and expansion of Project SEARCH. The Employment Advisory group will continue to provide a focal point for communications, effectiveness and economy of resources. This includes partnering with the National Vocational Rehabilitation Business Network.

Measure: In 2010, Project SEARCH will be expanded by three sites for a total of 10 sites with six being fully implemented. 60 students will obtain work experience through Project SEARCH. Indiana will add 15 new business partnerships resulting in 20 employment opportunities.

FFY 2010 Outcome: Nine Project SEARCH sites are fully operational at business sites as of September 2010, with one additional site in the planning stages. Seven are located in hospitals, one in a medical manufacturing plant, and one at the Indiana Government Center. One is in the process of identifying a business site, while offering services to students. There are currently 91 students participating at the sites. In the prior two years, 75 students completed the Project SEARCH program with 31 one of those individuals becoming employed. Project SEARCH continues to serve individuals with the most significant disabilities (MSD), with 96% of the participants being MSD.

Through the Corporate Development Unit, Indiana VRS is now working with over 45 businesses. 23 new businesses have been added this year. 213 VRS consumers have applied for positions at these businesses with 38 being hired, excluding Project SEARCH hires, and 25 successfully closed. The average wage has been $346 per week, working on average 33 hours weekly.

2. Indiana’s Medicaid Infrastructure Grant (MIG) is now being managed by VRS, in partnership with Indiana’s Medicaid Office. The MIG supports activities that enhance employment opportunities and remove barriers to employment for individuals with disabilities. Indiana was recently awarded a Comprehensive Employment Systems (CES) MIG Grant of $1,443,000 for CY10. Indiana’s MIG supports the Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) Programs and Indiana’s Benefits Information Network (BIN), asset development and financial literacy training, statewide Business Leadership Networks (BLNs), VRS’ Corporate Job Development Initiatives, and Project SEARCH. Grant efforts throughout CY10 have been focused on development of Indiana’s Strategic Plan, Guiding Employment First in Indiana: A Statewide Plan for Systems Change.’

Measure: In 2010 Indiana will have at least 200 certified BIN Liaisons with 25% of CRPs having an Advanced Tier 2 BIN Liaison. Additionally, Indiana will have six statewide BLNs fully operating.

FFY 2010 Outcome: Outcome achieved. 31% of CRPs, including Mental Health Centers ( MHCs), had a Tier 2 BIN Liaison by the end of FFY10; there are over 200 Certified BIN Liaisons statewide. Indiana has 6 BLNs operating in various Indiana communities, with 2 additional BLN sites in development.

3. VRS will continue with School to Work transition partnerships, which will include participation in the statewide 290 policy group.

Measure: Increase number of transition aged applicants by 5% over the next year.

FFY 2010 Outcome: VRS serves on a statewide transition advisory committee, as well as co-chairs the 290 policy group. These groups are working on revising the Summary of Performance to establish it as the accepted documentation for post secondary education. In addition, VRS serves on a committee to improve Individualized Education Program (IEP) planning around vocational issues. The number of transition applicants in FFY10 was 4779 (ages 14-24), which is a 15% decrease from the prior year (5632 applicants).

Factors that impeded the achievement of the goal: This is most likely a direct correlation to the discontinued outreach projects focusing on transition. VRS’ transition outreach program began in 2006 and ended 9/30/09.

4. VRS will continue to work closely with the Blind and Visually Impaired Services through the Business Enterprise Program (BEP) to expand employment opportunities.

Measure: VRS will increase the number of blind vendors in Indiana by at least 5%.

FFY 2010 Outcome: Outcome not yet achieved. A training class began in October 2010 with 10 vendor trainees. It is anticipated that at least 70% of the trainees will secure employment as a blind vendor in 2011, which will increase the number of Indiana vendors by over 5%.

5. VRS will work closely with advocacy groups representing blind and visually impaired consumers to improve the quantity and rehabilitation rate of employment outcomes.

Measure: VRS will increase the number of successful rehabilitants by 5%.

FFY 2010 Outcome: Outcome not achieved. There were 315 successful rehabilitants in FY10 who were blind or visually impaired, which is a 9% decrease from the previous year. While the number of rehabilitants decreased, the rehabilitation rate increased from 63% in 2009 to 70% in 2010.

Factors that impeded the achievement of the goal: BRS continues to experience challenges in securing employment outcomes in the current economic environment.

6. VRS will Partner with Community Rehabilitation Programs with the Ticket to Work (TTW).

Measure: At least 50% (44) of CRPs will become local Employment Networks (ENs) by the end of FFY 2010.

FFY 2010 Outcome: Currently, 37 CRPs are registered as Employment Networks. Although VRS does not have 50% of the CRPs as ENs, there was an increase of 4 from the previous year. In addition, 1 post secondary vendor, 5 Independent Living Centers and 5 Regional Work One Operators are ENs in Indiana. Presentations have occurred with the IN Association of Rehabilitation Facilities (INARF) and the IN Association for Higher Education and Disabilities (AHEAD) to encourage consideration of becoming an EN.

Factors that impeded the achievement of the goal: Despite continued and persistent encouragement for the CRPs to register as Employment Networks, perceived myths about the amount of paperwork, administrative burden, and length of time for payment continue. VRS has formed a TTW work group to address this issue and this workgroup includes 3 providers who are active ENs.

7. VRS will implement a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP) designed to improve performance indicators 1.1., 1.2, 1.6: number of rehabilitants, rehabilitation rate, and difference in primary source of income between application and closure.

Measure: Meet or exceed standards 1.1 and 1.2 by the end of FFY 2010.

FFY 2010 Outcome: A PIP was developed at the beginning of FFY2010 for each of the three indicators 1.1., 1.2 and 1.6. Quarterly reports were submitted to the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) which provided the status for the indicators based on the activities detailed in the PIP. As the result of those activities, and those reflected in the goals/priorities of the FFY 2010 State Plan, BRS exceeded the standards (one more person placed successfully than in the prior year) in 1.1, increasing the number of people with successful outcomes by 79 people over FFY 2009. The standard (>=55.8%) was also exceeded in 1.2. Indiana BRS had a 59.23% rehabilitation rate, which is an increase of 11.05% from FFY2009. Though Indiana BRS had an increase of 5.9 points for a total ratio of 43.84, Indiana did not meet the standard of >=.53.0 for indicator 1.6, which has to do with self support of the consumer at time closure.

Factors that impeded the achievement of the goal: Given the economy and the perceived safety net of government provided benefits, consumers relay a fear of ‘making too much money and losing their benefits’, and subsequently opt for employment that does not provide an income over the SGA. VRS has historically found it challenging to meet this indicator and is considering modifications to the Results Based Funding (RBF) payment model to encourage outcomes that result in earnings above SGA. VRS also continues to invest in corporate development initiatives which are leading to higher paying employment outcomes.

OBJECTIVE B: BRS will collaborate with state and local partner agencies that also serve individuals with disabilities in order to provide a seamless delivery system.

PRIORITIES:

1. VRS, in cooperation with the Bureau of Developmental Disabilities Services (BDDS), will establish a seamless service delivery system for consumers transitioning from VRS services to Supported Employment Follow-Along (SEFA) services.

Measure: By the end of Calendar Year 2010, VRS and BDDS will have electronic linkage for eligibility processing, and electronic data share for the SEFA process.

FFY 2010 Outcome: This initiative was deferred until the development of a new contract to support the IN Rehabilitation Information Systems (IRIS) case management system. American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds will be used to cover this enhancement. The new contract was initiated in October, 2010 and this activity is scheduled for completion within two years.

2. VRS will increase utilization of real time deaf interpreter services via Video Remote Interpreting (VRI).

Measure: VRS will increase the number of colleges/universities that utilize VRI for VRS consumers by 5.

FFY 2010 Outcome: Outcome not achieved.

Factors that impeded the achievement of the goal: BRS modified its business practices for purchasing interpreter services which has resulted in substantial cost savings. Due to the major change in business practices and termination of a contract with former VRI vendor, VRS has been unable to proceed with this goal. VRS will continue to aim for achievement of this goal in 2011.

OBJECTIVE C: The VRS program administration will function effectively and efficiently, supporting all aspects of the VRS program.

PRIORITIES:

1. VRS will continue the refinement of the automated case management system by evolving to a fully paperless system.

Measure: By the end of FFY 2010, VRS will have all archived closed case files scanned and imaged. Active case file scanning and imaging will be completed by December 2009. The use of electronic signatures will be implemented by December 2009.

FFY 2010 Outcome: All archived closed case files were scanned, imaged and verified (via quality control) by the end of FFY2010. Additionally, active case file scanning and imaging was initiated in September, 2010. All active and additional closed case files were scanned and imaged by November, 2010 and all verification (via quality control) was completed in December, 2010. Additionally, the use of electronic signatures was fully implemented in FFY2010.

2. Through the Leadership Academy, VRS will provide training to staff to enable them to provide superior services to their consumers. This will include specialized training to serve individuals who are deaf, blind and individuals with a traumatic brain injury.

Measures: By December 2010, VRS will establish a tracking system to document the receipt of training delivered through the Leadership Academy.

FFY 2010 Outcome: Outcome Achieved. VRS Leadership Academy trained 36 VR counselors and 3 VR supervisors in Orientation and 17 staff in CORE Courses (a total of 73 core courses were completed). Specialized Courses in Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Blind and Visually Impaired, and Traumatic Brain Injury are in development.

3. VRS will complete a risk assessment to ensure all field staff are adequately trained and oriented to BRS’s new business model (the virtual office environment). VRS will ensure that staff have the tools to do their jobs. This includes resource allocation and maintenance of equitable caseload size among VR counselors.

Measure: By the end of FFY 2010, 100% of all VR counselors working in a virtual office environment will receive necessary equipment including laptops, aircards, Blackberries, cell phones etc.

FFY 2010 Outcome: Outcome Achieved. All VRS field staff have received the proper and needed equipment to work in a virtual setting. In addition, all VRS field staff participated in virtual office training focusing on document imaging and the IRIS case management system. As well, a series of trainings are being developed to expand upon the basic virtual office competencies of time management, consumer interactions, case management, and more.

4. VRS is continuing to establish and implement innovative, stratified, state-to-local coordinated systems of support for individuals with Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI). Activities supported through the TBI grant are: seeking to establish an infrastructure, and involving all relevant FSSA Divisions and other state agencies, through which Resource Facilitation services will be utilized to increase employment and education outcomes for individuals with TBI. This project is for individuals with brain injuries and goals of return-to-work and/or return to school. The primary focus is for individuals aged 15 to 19, living in rural areas, and/or those with lower socioeconomic status.

Measure: 60% of 300 people with TBI will return to work or school within one year after their discharge from acute inpatient rehabilitation.

FFY 2010 Outcome: This goal is ongoing as the TBI grant continues to serve individuals with TBI. In grant years 1 and 2, people with brain injuries were assisted and/or reached goals as follows:

• Number of individuals receiving Resource Facilitation Services – 32 individuals

• Number of individuals receiving Resource Facilitation Services and either working or going to school – 8 individuals

• Number of individuals receiving Resource Facilitation Services and not yet working or going to school – 24

Factors that impeded the achievement of the goal: The project has not served enough people to date. The grant continues through 2013 and Indiana continues to strive toward achievement of this goal.

5. VRS will work to increase fiscal resources by maximizing Social Security Administration/Vocational Rehabilitation (SSA/VR) reimbursement.

Measure: VRS seeks to improve reimbursement levels by 15% from prior year.

FFY 2010 Outcome: Not achieved. VRS received $917,842 in SSA in reimbursement in 2010, which was a 24.8% decrease from the previous year. VRS is currently working on linkages with DWD and SSA and has purchased a tracking system that is expected to improve the reimbursement rate.

Factors that impeded the achievement of the goal: Indiana believes that the reduced availability of jobs in the current economy over the past two years has led to a decreased number of Social Security Disability Insurance/Supplemental Security Income (SSDI/SSI) beneficiaries and recipients securing and maintaining gainful employment. Indiana continues to explore ways to increase the number of successful closures at or above the SGA level.

6. VRS will continue to improve program and fiscal accountability and federal reporting. VRS will require technical assistance from the Rehabilitation RSA and the Technical Assistance and Continuing Education (TACE) program.

Measure: VRS will develop a plan to improve fiscal accountability and federal reporting through collaboration between financial management and DDRS controller by end of CY2010. VRS will also dedicate at least one employee to fiscal management and federal reporting issues by the end of CY2010.

FFY 2010 Outcome: Outcome achieved. BRS, in collaboration with FSSA Financial Management and the DDRS Controller, has developed a plan to ensure internal control and timely and accurate submission of federal reports. BRS’ Manager of Business Operations is the Bureau’s point of contact for all federal reporting and fiscal management activities. Additionally BRS holds bi-weekly budget meetings with the DDRS Controller and Financial Analyst, and the BRS Director reviews and approves all federal reports prior to submission.

 

1. Increase the quality of employment outcomes for SE consumers.

Measure: The average wages for SE consumers who achieve competitive employment will be at least 5% higher ($.39/hour or $8.19/hour) than the previous year FFY2009 ($7.80/hour).

FFY 2010 Outcome: Achieved. The average wage for SE consumers who achieved competitive employment was $8.18/hour.

Priority 2. SE consumers with the most significant disabilities will participate in Project SEARCH.

Measure: At least 80% of consumers participating in Project SEARCH will be consumers who are MSD and who qualify for long-term employment supports.

FFY 2010 Outcome: Achieved. In FFY2010 83% of the Project SEARCH consumers were MSD.

 

FEDERAL PERFORMANCE STANDARDS AND INDICATORS

Federal Performance Indicator 1.1: Change in Employment Outcomes:

The difference between the number of individuals exiting the VR program who achieved an employment outcome during the current performance period and the number of individuals exiting the VR program who achieved an employment outcome during the previous performance period.

Federal Performance Level: Equal or Exceed Previous Year

BRS Goal 1.1 - Total persons with employment (rehabilitation) outcomes (target: increase over previous year)

Outcome: FY 2008 - 4,393, FY 2009 - 4,020, FY 2010 - 4,099

Commission Input: The Commission discussed the differences in the recent outcomes in 2010 compared to the large increase in 2005, and questioned what might have been happening in 2003 and 2004 that impacted the spike in numbers in 2005. They also asked what is being done right now that is resulting in an increase in the outcomes, and discussed how this could be maintained. The impact of the hearing aid policy was also discussed.

Federal Performance Indicator 1.2: Percent of Employment Outcomes

The percentage of individuals exiting the program during the performance period who have achieved an employment outcome after receiving services.

Federal Performance Level: 55.8%

BRS Goal 1.2 - Percent of persons achieving an employment outcome (target: 55.8%).

Outcome: FY 2008 - 51.79%, FY 2009 - 48.18%, FY 2010 - 59.23%

Commission Input: The Commission commended BRS for the outcomes given the economic trends across the nation.

Federal Performance Indicator 1.3: (Primary Indicator) Competitive Employment Outcomes

The percentage who exit the VR program in employment in integrated settings with or without ongoing support services, self-employment, or BEP (Business Enterprise Program) employment with hourly rate of earnings equivalent to at least the federal or state minimum wage rate, whichever is higher, based on all the individuals exiting the program who have achieved an employment outcome after receiving services.

Federal Performance Level: 72.6%

BRS Goal 1.3 - Percent of persons achieving competitive employment (target: 72.69%)

Outcome: FY 2008 – 96.84%, FY 2009 – 94.68%, FY 2010 – 96.61%

No comments.

Federal Performance Indicator 1.4: (Primary Indicator) Significance of Disability

The percentage of those individuals identified in Indicator 1.3 who have significant disabilities.

Federal Performance Level: 62.4%

BRS Goal 1.4 - Percent of persons in competitive employment with significant disabilities (target: 62.4%).

Outcome: FY 2008 – 79.29%, FY 2009 – 74.49%, FY 2010 – 74.39%

Commission Input: The Commission commented on 2005 being the highest year for outcomes and the lowest year for competitive employment for individuals with severe disabilities, and discussed the correlation. They also asked about how the discontinuance of funding for school to work impacted the numbers.

Federal Performance Indicator 1.5 (Primary Indicator) Earnings Ratio

The ratio of the average hourly earnings of all individuals in competitive employment to the average hourly earnings of all employed individuals in the state.

Federal Performance Level: .52

BRS Goal 1.5 - Average hourly earnings of persons in competitive employment, divided by the State, all workers, and average hourly earnings (target: 0.52).

Outcome: FY 2008 – 0.579, FY 2009 – 0.598, FY 2010 – 0.621

Commission Input: The Commission commended the VR Counselors for their good work given the economic situation and changes in the way business is done (virtual offices). Various county wages were also discussed in that some counties have historically lower wages. Reference to the hearing aid policy was also mentioned as impacting the numbers.

Federal Performance Indicator 1.6: Self Support

For those identified in Performance Indicator 1.3, the difference in the percentage of individuals who at program entry reported their income as the largest single source of support, and the percentage that reported their personal income as the largest single source of support at program exit.

Federal Performance Level: > = 53.0

BRS Goal 1.6 - Application to closure change in percent of persons in competitive employment with own income as primary source of support (target: > = 53.0).

Outcome: FY 2008 – 39.68, FY 2009 – 37.94, FY 2010 – 43.84

Commission Input: Several areas were discussed to include assisting the VR consumer to understand the supports available to replace benefits, and how to use the Medicaid Buy-In program.

The Benefits Information Network’s role and involvement was also discussed as key in addressing the “fear factor” of losing benefits. Additionally, there is the need to educate family members. There needs to be a way to head off people going to benefits in the first place. There needs to be a way to provide guidance to those who have worked before, but cannot return to the same type of employment and also for those transitioning from school to work with no previous work experience at all.

The Commission asked if there was a Business Enterprise Program (BEP) correlation. For those who go through the BEP program, do they have an increase in income? Once trained, are there placements? Are the placements located in their community, or do they have to relocate?

Federal Performance Indicator 2.1: Minority Background Service Rate

The ratio of the percent of individuals with a minority background to the percent of individuals without a minority background exiting the program who received VR services.

Federal Performance Level: .80

BRS Goal 2.1 - Service rate for minorities divided by service rate for non-minorities (target: 0.80).

Outcome: FY 2008 – 0.83, FY 2009 – 0.824, FY 2010 – 0.740

Commission Input: The Commission discussed urban and rural differences as well as ethnic differences.

They identified the need to develop processes/procedures that would reach those individuals who might not want ‘government’ involved (i.e. utilize more direct intervention through their communities and churches). The census was also mentioned as a useful tool. Lack of transportation, history of drug abuse or incarceration, and level of education were noted as factors to be addressed.

BRS Response to Commission Comments on Performance Indicators: The people with disabilities who access BRS services have been impacted by the economic downturn in the state, including an unemployment rate that has hovered around 10%. Businesses across the state have either downsized or closed down, so competition for remaining jobs has become more competitive. BRS is seeing an increase in requests for training and college/university programs reflecting a desire of people to hone their skills and become more competitive for the existing employment opportunities. The Corporate Development Unit has been one key to an increase in successful outcomes, working with corporations to identify job opportunities, and also with Direct Employers to address the needs of those employers. The loss of the transition outreach projects has impacted the statewide transition initiative, and BRS will be heightening transition from school to work efforts in the state. BRS is working collaboratively with the Medicaid Infrastructure Grant to address the benefits issue, which requires careful and focused deliberation, especially in the depressed economy. People are afraid to take any action that would decrease their benefits, yet this results in people learning how to live in poverty. BRS will work closely with the Benefits Information Network in the coming months to ensure that they are knowledgeable not only in identifying the salary amount that starts impacting benefits, but increasing their knowledge of the resources that are available to persons with disabilities to offset the loss of benefits. It is anticipated that those persons who go through the Business Enterprise Program do have an increase in income once the training program is completed. Placements are secured as evidenced by the most recent BEP training group, i.e. 7 of the 9 trainees have placements identified. For the most part placements are located within or close to the community where the person resides.

 

FFY10 Report of Innovation and Expansion:

Indiana BRS utilized innovation and expansion funds for the support of the Indiana Council on Independent Living, support of the training partnerships with Indiana University, the leadership academy, Project SEARCH, and the Benefits Information Network.

This screen was last updated on Jun 29 2011 8:35AM by Joshua Potter

  • 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

Consumers obtain Supported Employment (SE) services through many Community Rehabilitation Programs across the state, based on the following:

A. Certification of Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) principles (though the provider may be certified by CARF or another accrediting body, including: the Council on Quality and Leadership in Supports for People with Disabilities, the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO), the National Commission on Quality Assurance, or another independent national accreditation organization approved by the Secretary of the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA)).

1. The organization promotes the basic human rights, dignity, health, and safety of the persons served;

2. The organization demonstrates that the persons served are involved in individual planning, decision making, and implementation of the services they will receive;

3. The organization provides services that are designed to enhance the independence, self-sufficiency, and productivity of the persons served; and,

4. Based on the informed choice of the persons served, the organization, using a team approach, provides coordinated, individualized, and goal oriented services leading to the desired outcome.

B. The scope of SE services will include:

1. Preparation for employment, job development and placement services.

2. Gathering information regarding the persons referred.

3. Analyzing the information to determine opportunities for employment in the labor market geographically accessible to them.

4. Providing counseling or training to obtain and maintain the desired employment.

5. Identifying and/or developing job opportunities.

6. Providing on-site job analysis, consultation, and re-commendations for worksite and job modifications when appropriate.

7. Maintaining an organized system of recording job openings and contacts.

8. Providing feedback to persons seeking employment.

C. Follow-along resources (extended services) will be identified as early as possible with the VR counselor and provider staff working together to secure necessary resources. VR counselors are facilitating a seamless transition to follow along services prior to VR case closure.

It was the intent, as rates were developed for the provision of SE services, to provide reimbursement for professional staff at CRPs in order to provide quality services. CRPs are reimbursed on a Results Based Funding (RBF) system based on a two tiered approach. Tier 1 is for consumers in need of ongoing support and tier 2 is for consumers who are not in need of ongoing support.

The reimbursement milestones for tier 1 are:

1. Assessment and Individual Plan for Employment Supports

2. 5th Day on job

3. 30 Day on job

4. Stabilization on job and Eligible for Closure

The reimbursement milestones for tier 2 are:

1. Assessment and Individual Plan for Employment Supports

2. 5th Day

3. 30th Day

4. Eligible for Closure

As previously noted, Indiana BRS utilizes both Title VI and Title I dollars to serve SE consumers, and as a result are able to provide SE services to a high number of consumers. In FFY 09, 964 SE consumers achieved successful employment.

This screen was last updated on Aug 10 2010 11:37AM by sainmadarasp

The following information is captured by the MIS.

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