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
Office of Vocational Rehabilitation State Plan for Fiscal Year 2012 (submitted FY 2011)

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

1.2 As a condition for the receipt of federal funds under Title I, Part B, of the Rehabilitation Act for the provision of vocational rehabilitation services, the Kentucky Department for Workforce Investment [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

State Treasurer

... 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

Executive Director Office of Vocational Rehabilitation

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

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

State Plan Certified By

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

Signed?
Yes

Name of Signatory
Beth Smith

Title of Signatory
Executive Director

Date Signed (mm/dd/yyyy)
06/24/2011

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
Yes

Comments:

Signed?
Yes

Name of Signatory
Beth Smith

Title of Signatory
Executive Director of Kentucky Office of Vocational Rehabilitation

Date Signed (mm/dd/yyyy)
06/24/2011

* The signatory of the assurance with the authority to execute and submit the State Plan will maintain a signed copy of the assurance(s) with the signed State Plan.

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
Kentucky Office of Vocational Rehabilitation

4.2 State independent commission or State Rehabilitation Council. (Sections 101(a)(21) and 105 of the Rehabilitation Act; 34 CFR 361.16 and .17)

The State Plan must contain one of the following assurances.

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

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

(b) The state has established a State Rehabilitation Council that meets the criteria set forth in Section 105 of the Rehabilitation Act, 34 CFR 361.17

(c) If the designated state unit has a State Rehabilitation Council, Attachment 4.2(c) provides a summary of the input provided by the council consistent with the provisions identified in subparagraph (b)(3) of this section; the response of the designated state unit to the input and recommendations; and, explanations for the rejection of any input or any recommendation.

(Option B was selected)

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

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

(a) individuals and groups of individuals who are recipients of vocational rehabilitation services or, as appropriate, the individuals' representatives;
(b) personnel working in programs that provide vocational rehabilitation services to individuals with disabilities;
(c) providers of vocational rehabilitation services to individuals with disabilities;
(d) the director of the Client Assistance Program; and
(e) the State Rehabilitation Council, if the state has a council.

4.4 Nonfederal share. (Sections 7(14) and 101(a)(3) of the Rehabilitation Act; 34 CFR 80.24 and 361.60)

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

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

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

If "Yes", the designated state agency:

(a) ensures that each local agency is under the supervision of the designated state unit with the sole local agency, as that term is defined in Section 7(24) of the Rehabilitation Act and 34 CFR 361.5(b)(47), responsible for the administration of the vocational rehabilitation program within the political subdivision that it serves; and
(b) develops methods that each local agency will use to administer the vocational rehabilitation program in accordance with the State Plan.

4.6 Shared funding and administration of joint programs. (Section 101(a)(2)(A)(ii) of the Rehabilitation Act; 34 CFR 361.27)

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

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

(a) a description of the nature and scope of the joint program;
(b) the services to be provided under the joint program;
(c) the respective roles of each participating agency in the administration and provision of services; and
(d) the share of the costs to be assumed by each agency.

4.7 Statewideness and waivers of statewideness. (Section 101(a)(4) of the Rehabilitation Act; 34 CFR 361.25, .26, and .60(b)(3)(i) and (ii))

This agency is not requesting a waiver of statewideness.

(a) Services provided under the State Plan are available in all political subdivisions of the state.
(b) The state unit may provide services in one or more political subdivisions of the state that increase services or expand the scope of services that are available statewide under this State Plan if the:

  1. nonfederal share of the cost of these services is met from funds provided by a local public agency, including funds contributed to a local public agency by a private agency, organization or individual;

  1. services are likely to promote the vocational rehabilitation of substantially larger numbers of individuals with disabilities or of individuals with disabilities with particular types of impairments; and

  1. state, for purposes other than the establishment of a community rehabilitation program or the construction of a particular facility for community rehabilitation program purposes, requests in Attachment 4.7(b)(3) a waiver of the statewideness requirement in accordance with the following requirements:

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

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

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

  1. written assurance that all other State Plan requirements, including a state's order of selection, will apply to all services approved under the waiver.

(c) Contributions, consistent with the requirements of 34 CFR 361.60(b)(3)(ii), by private entities of earmarked funds for particular geographic areas within the state may be used as part of the nonfederal share without the state requesting a waiver of the statewideness requirement provided that the state notifies the commissioner that it cannot provide the full nonfederal share without using the earmarked funds.

4.8 Cooperation, collaboration and coordination. (Sections 101(a)(11), (24)(B), and 625(b)(4) and (5) of the Rehabilitation Act; 34 CFR 361.22, .23, .24, and .31, and 363.11(e))

(a) Cooperative agreements with other components of statewide work force investment system.

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

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

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

  1. cooperation with and use of the services and facilities of the federal, state, and local agencies and programs, including programs carried out by the undersecretary for Rural Development of the United States Department of Agriculture and state use contracting programs, to the extent that those agencies and programs are not carrying out activities through the statewide work force investment system;

  1. coordination, in accordance with the requirements of paragraph 4.8(c) of this section, with education officials to facilitate the transition of students with disabilities from school to the receipt of vocational rehabilitation services;

  1. establishment of cooperative agreements with private nonprofit vocational rehabilitation service providers, in accordance with the requirements of paragraph 5.10(b) of the State Plan; and,

  1. efforts to identify and make arrangements, including entering into cooperative agreements, with other state agencies and entities with respect to the provision of supported employment and extended services for individuals with the most significant disabilities, in accordance with the requirements of subsection 6.5 of the supplement to this State Plan.

(c) Coordination with education officials.

  1. Attachment 4.8(b)(2) describes the plans, policies and procedures for coordination between the designated state agency and education officials responsible for the public education of students with disabilities that are designed to facilitate the transition of the students who are individuals with disabilities from the receipt of educational services in school to the receipt of vocational rehabilitation services under the responsibility of the designated state agency.

  1. The State Plan description must:

  1. provide for the development and approval of an individualized plan for employment in accordance with 34 CFR 361.45 as early as possible during the transition planning process but, at the latest, before each student determined to be eligible for vocational rehabilitation services leaves the school setting or if the designated state unit is operating on an order of selection before each eligible student able to be served under the order leaves the school setting; and

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

  1. consultation and technical assistance to assist educational agencies in planning for the transition of students with disabilities from school to postschool activities, including vocational rehabilitation services;

  1. transition planning by personnel of the designated state agency and the educational agency for students with disabilities that facilitates the development and completion of their individualized education programs under Section 614(d) of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act;

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

  1. procedures for outreach to students with disabilities as early as possible during the transition planning process and identification of students with disabilities who need transition services.

(d) Coordination with statewide independent living council and independent living centers.

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

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

  1. There is in the state a recipient(s) of a grant under Part C of Title I of the Rehabilitation Act for the provision of vocational rehabilitation services for American Indians who are individuals with disabilities residing on or near federal and state reservations. 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.

The Statewide Council for Vocational Rehabilitation (SCVR) was established in May 1993 with appointments to the council by Executive Order of the Governor of the Commonwealth of Kentucky to meet requirements of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended by Public Law 105-220. The SCVR provides input and assists in developing goals and priorities for the Kentucky Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (KYOVR). The SCVR met with the Office staff and guests on June 10, 2010, September 13, 2010, December 13, 2010, and March 14, 2011. The following recommendations were made:

Related to the Medicaid Buy-in Program

The SCVR requested a presentation form the Department of Medicaid Services on Medicaid Works, the Medicaid Buy-in Program in Kentucky. When the administrator of the program made the presentation, the SCVR expressed concern about the very low enrollment, the restrictive eligibility requirements, the lack of training for Medicaid eligibility workers, and the lack of marketing of program availability.

• The agency arranged the presentation for the SCVR.

Related to Changes in Medicaid waivers

The SCVR developed a letter of support to the Department for Behavioral Health, Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities for its proposed 1915 (i) State Plan Amendment that will provide more funding for community supports including supported employment.

• The agency sent the letter on behalf of the SCVR.

Related to Interagency and Intercouncil Coordination

The SCVR continued to hold meetings of its Interagency Coordinating Committee, bringing together representatives of various state boards and councils related to disability issues.

• KYOVR provided staff support to the SCVR in conducting meetings of the Interagency Coordinating Committee on August 31st, 2010, November 30th, 2010 and April 19th, 2011.

The SCVR agreed to plan for a joint meeting with the Statewide Independent Living Council (SILC) in September of 2011.

• Agency staff began assisting the SCVR and the SILC in planning the meeting.

Related to Agency Policies and Procedures

The SCVR reviewed the agency’s proposed plan to send a six-month follow up letter to individuals not in the Order of Selection and on the wait list that provides information on information and referral resources.

• The agency implemented the plan.

The SCVR reviewed the agency’s proposed service fee memorandum on purchasing hearing aids.

• After SCVR approval, the agency issued the service fee memorandum.

The SCVR reviewed the agency’s proposed policy on electronic communication with consumers.

• After making changes in the policy based on suggestions from the SCVR, the agency implemented the new policy.

The SCVR reviewed the agency’s proposed new policy and procedures on consumer income verification.

• After making a change in the procedures recommended by the SCVR that income verification be done when the Individual Plan for Employment is developed rather than at eligibility determination, the agency implemented the new policy and procedures.

The SCVR reviewed the agency’s proposed service fee memorandum on Foreign Language Interpreting.

• After SCVR approval, the agency issued the service fee memorandum.

The SCVR reviewed the agency’s proposed service fee memorandum on the computer skill development programs at the Redwood Computer Learning Center.

• After SCVR approval, the agency issued the service fee memorandum.

The SCVR reviewed the agency’s proposed service fee memorandum addressing the procedure to follow when authorizing the purchase of Child Care Services for eligible consumers.

• After SCVR approval, the agency issued the service fee memorandum.

The SCVR reviewed the agency’s proposed service fee memorandum updating the targeted wage for the CRP Outcome Bonus Program to $9.50.

•After SCVR approval, the agency issued the service fee memorandum.

The SCVR reviewed the agency’s proposed service fee memorandum for fees and requirements for vendors for analyzing the impact of employment on SSI and SSDI recipients and beneficiaries.

•After SCVR approval, the agency issued the service fee memorandum.

Related to the Order of Selection

The SCVR continuously reviewed the effects of the changes in the order of selection (OOS) made in January of 2010. The SCVR expressed concern that the change may be affecting individuals with disabilities disproportionately.

•The agency provided a statistical report on the order of selection for each meeting of the SCVR. The agency took under consideration the concern of the SCVR related to individuals with physical disabilities and, after further study, made some changes in the worksheet used by the counselors to assist them in determining eligibility and OOS priority category.

Related to the State Plan

The SCVR approved a plan for obtaining input on the state plan.

•The agency implemented the plan.

Related to Employer Relations

On September 20th, 2011, the SCVR recognized four regional employers who had engaged in exemplary practices of hiring individuals with disabilities. The four employers were: Residence Inn by Marriott in Paducah, Internal revenue Services in Cincinnati, Cracker Barrel in Richmond, and Peebles Department Store in Paintsville.

•The agency provided staff support in arranging an awards luncheon at which the four selected employers were honored.

The SCVR sought to establish a relationship with the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce and the Society for Human Resource Managers (SHRM).

•KYOVR arranged a meeting between SHRM regional coordinators and SCVR members after the September meeting.

Related to Consumer Satisfaction

As it has in previous years, the SCVR conducted a consumer satisfaction survey of individuals whose cases were closed in the previous fiscal year in conjunction with the Human Development Institute at the University of Kentucky.

•The agency financed the survey efforts and acted as liaison to the Human Development Institute on behalf of the SCVR.

Related to Six-month/12 month Follow Up Survey

The SCVR recommended the agency replace the mail survey of consumers who obtained positive employment outcomes six amd twelve months after case closure.

•The agency is investigating the feasibility of doing a telephone survey.

Related to SCVR Attendance at CSAVR and Other Events

The SCVR recommended the SCVR chairperson attend the Fall and Spring CSAVR meetings

•Health issues prevented the chairperson from attending the Fall CSAVR meeting, but the agency arranged and financed his attendance to the Spring meeting..

Related to the Annual Report

The SCVR collaborated with KYOVR to produce an annual report on services.

•Agency staff helped develop, write and produce the report.

This screen was last updated on May 31 2011 10:52AM by sakybeachd

This agency has not requested a waiver of statewideness.

This screen was last updated on Jun 23 2009 10:17AM by sakybeachd

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

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

Attachment 4.8(b)(1): Cooperation with Agencies That Are Not in the Statewide Workforce Investment System and with Other Entities

The Kentucky Office of Vocational Rehabilitation enters into appropriate agreements with various federal, state, and local agencies and programs. OVR coordinates with other agencies and programs to ensure individuals with disabilities receive appropriate and adequate services. These agencies and programs include:

?Veterans Administration for the purpose of providing rehabilitation services including vocational guidance and counseling and job development and placement to veterans with disabilities. Collaboration and coordination of services occur between OVR and the Veterans Administration Rehabilitation and Employment Programs and utilized as a comparable benefit as appropriate.

?Kentucky Department of Behavior Health, Developmental, and Intellectual Disabilities for the purpose of enhancing supported employment services to individuals with development disabilities and increasing supported employment service providers. Collaboration also occurs to increase state general funds for increased services to this underserved and unserved population.

?Kentucky Department of Behavior Health, Developmental, and Intellectual Disabilities - Substance Abuse Division for the purpose of increasing awareness, identification, and services to individuals with substance abuse and co-occurring disabilities. In 2007 a new MOA was developed between OVR and the Substance Abuse Division to increase collaboration on referrals and information sharing as well as coordination of services.

?Kentucky Drug Courts for the purpose of facilitating employment and independence goals of individuals with disabilities.

?Kentucky Department of Medicaid Services for the purpose of implementing a Medicaid Buy-In program to assist individuals with disabilities in maintaining healthcare coverage while gainfully employed.

?Social Security Administration for the purpose of partnerships on employment incentives through the Ticket to Work and other incentive programs.

?Kentucky Department of Education for the purpose of increasing transition services to students with disabilities and increasing awareness to parents of students with disabilities.

?Developmental Disabilities Council for the purpose of expanding employment projects, specifically self-employment opportunities.

?University Center for Excellence, Human Development Institute with the University of Kentucky for the purpose of collaboration and enhancement of services in supported employment, transition, rehabilitation technology and business leadership.

?Kentucky Association of Community Employment Services (KACES) for the purpose of increasing services for individuals with disabilities including most significant disabilities and enhancing partnerships with community rehabilitation programs.

?University of Kentucky AgrAbility program for the purpose of collaboration with the county extension offices and increased services in rehabilitation technology on the rural farm setting.

?Carl D. Perkins Job Corps Center for the purpose of enhancing education opportunities for students with disabilities.

?Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services, Community Based Services for the purpose of assessment and referral of individuals participating in the TANF program.

?Other federal, state, and local agencies related to the rehabilitation of individuals with disabilities such as the Department of Protection and Advocacy, Department of Probation and Parole, Department of Worker?s Compensation, Department of Disability Determination, and other programs as part of Universities and Colleges.

This screen has never been updated.

  • 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.

1.Plans, Policies, and Procedures

The Office has assigned counselors to each of Kentucky’s 175 Local Education Agencies for the purpose of ensuring that all students with disabilities are served. The counselors work with referrals from special education and general education staff as well as from the individual with the disability, their family, and other agencies who assist students with disabilities that are in need of transition.

These counselors also provide general coordination, information, and outreach activities about vocational rehabilitation services to the local education agency and student for use in transition planning. Service coordination activities may include resource information about vocational rehabilitation, presentations, handouts, and staff development. The counselor works in a collaborative team process along with the local education agency to develop the transition services section of the Individualized Education Program (IEP) and the Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) for transitioning students. Thus, the counselor is encouraged to attend IEP meetings or individual plan meetings for 504 students to the maximum extent possible. An eligible student’s IPE must be completed before the student leaves the school system. Both the IEP and IPE will include, if appropriate, a statement of interagency responsibilities or any needed linkages by which the responsibilities of other entities are satisfied.

2.Formal Interagency Agreement

The Office partners with the Kentucky Department of Education through an interagency cooperative agreement to facilitate the transition of students with disabilities from school to the receipt of vocational rehabilitation services. Provisions under the cooperative agreement include:

1.process for making student referrals to the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation;

2.determination of eligibility for Office of Vocational Rehabilitation services;

3.joint sharing and use of evaluations and assessments;

4.planning and development of individualized programs (IEP and IPE) as a collaborative team process;

5.role of educational personnel in transition planning;

6.role of the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation counselor in outreach to, identification of, and transition planning for eligible students with disabilities;

7.use of memoranda of agreement (MOA) at the local level to facilitate and coordinate transition services for secondary students with disabilities;

8.state coordination with agencies in the provision of transition services;

9.a comprehensive system of personnel development for qualified personnel responsible for transition services;

10.determination of lead agencies;

11.financial responsibilities;

12.status of services for an individual student/consumer during a dispute;

13.agency dispute resolution; and

14.due process for the individual student/consumer.

3.Memoranda of Agreements at the Local Level

Memoranda of agreements at the local level are used in order to further the collaborative efforts detailed in the interagency cooperative agreement between the Kentucky Department of Education and the Office. These memoranda of agreements define the basic tenets of the Community Based Work Transition Program (CBWTP). The rights and responsibilities of the Office and the local education agency for implementing and carrying out the CBWTP are also detailed in these memoranda of agreements.

The CBWTP is designed to assist eligible students with disabilities in transitioning from high school to employment. Student employment coordinators funded by the local education agency and the Office provide services to participating students during their final two years of school. During this time counselors work with the employment coordinators to ensure that community based vocational services provided to the student lead to the completion of a vocational evaluation. The evaluation is then used for planning and development of individualized programs (IEP and IPE). Upon completion of the IPE, further community based vocational services are provided to the student in the form of training for the planned vocational goal. The desired outcome for participants in the CBWTP is paid employment in the planned vocational goal prior to exiting school.

This screen was last updated on Jun 23 2009 10:17AM by sakybeachd

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

4.8(3) Cooperative Agreements with Private Non-profit Vocational Rehabilitation Service Providers

The Office maintains agreements with providers of private, non-profit vocational rehabilitation service providers to support achievement of successful competitive employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities. The Office works with Community Rehabilitation Providers (CRPs) through a vendor application process to ensure quality services to agency consumers. The Office currently works with over 40 CRPs providing services resulting in competitive employment outcomes and over 70 CRPs providing services resulting in supported employment outcomes. Other agreements with private, non-profit Vocational Rehabilitation Service Providers will be made as necessary.

This screen was last updated on Jun 23 2009 10:18AM by sakybeachd

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.

1.Kentucky’s fourteen Regional Mental Health/Mental Retardation Boards are a primary source for extended services in KY. In some regions funding is very limited. The fourteen Boards currently allocate approximately 6.3 million dollars to work/adult habilitation programs (generally segregated programs) and less than 2 million dollars to supported employment. The KY Commissioner for DBHDID initiated a push to make available additional monies for supported employment services, including incentives to Providers via proposed hourly fee increases. Cooperative budget planning is done between the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation and the Kentucky Department of Behavioral Health, Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities (DBHDID) so that state funds for all phases of supported employment can be sought by each agency. A cooperative agreement is also in place.

2.Using federal block-grant funds from the Kentucky Division of Behavioral Health, Mental Health Planning Council, and KY OVR assists a minimum of thirty persons with long-term mental illness in the provision of extended supported employment services on a contractual basis. Supported employment service providers who are approved by the Division of Behavioral Health (DBH) and have vendor agreements with the KY Office of Vocational Rehabilitation will deliver these services. In this way, both agencies will continue to expand the commitment to the ongoing nature of supported employment services. This venture is in addition to services provided under the outcome-based Supported Employment Reimbursement program. Additionally, DBH spends roughly $400,000 to serve individuals with mental illness in supported employment. Largely these dollars follow VR dollars for eligible consumers.

In 2010, Kentucky became the 12th state to participate in the Dartmouth College, Johnson and Johnson, Supported Employment Initiative to demonstrate the effectiveness of the IPS model for supported employment (Individualized Placement and Support, an Evidence-Based Practice). The first four local pilot projects were launched prior to the close of 2010. Through the Dartmouth Project, a new funding partner was added to our SE funding agencies when the Greater Cincinnati Health Foundation provided funding for 2 of the local pilots in Northern KY.

3.United Way monies have been utilized in minimal amounts for supported employment services by 16 Supported Employment programs in Kentucky. Ongoing follow-up services are provided through these United Way monies. These dollars are generally not “disability specific” and could assist in expansion of services to groups other than those served by the 14 community mental health centers.

4.Vendorship in the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation Supported Employment Outcome-based Reimbursement program requires written and verbal verification of the provider’s funding for ongoing support services. Monitoring and technical assistance is provided by the Supported Employment Branch to assure that services are provided and funded appropriately. Agreements/contracts are developed annually and reviewed prior to renewal.

5.The Supported Employment Branch works closely with Kentucky APSE (Association for Persons in Supported Employment) and its committees, and the 874- K Coalition (a statewide Disability Advocacy Group) in a unified effort to secure additional state dollars for supported employment extended services.

6.The Supported Employment Branch has been active in the development/improvement of Kentucky’s Medicaid Waivers to create workable systems for coordinating supported employment services for eligible participants. Expansion of the supports for Community Living Waiver (Kentucky’s Medicaid Waiver for individuals with Developmental Disabilities) has resulted in increased referrals to KY OVR for supported employment services for mutually eligible participants. The self-determination and consumer directed option programs within Medicaid hold much promise for supported employment funding for extended services. In 2011, a new Medicaid Waiver is expected to contain better service definitions and fee structures to support and fund supported employment services.

7.The Supported Employment Branch works cooperatively with the Arc of Kentucky to educate families about supported employment and enlist their assistance in impacting additional funds for supported employment.

8.OVR continues to advocate for expanded/improved Supported Living services, which are utilized by many supported employment participants to meet their needs for as independent a lifestyle as possible. The Hart Supported Living Program in KY offers very flexible state dollars available for all phases of independent living. However, statewide dollars are very limited.

9.The Office of Vocational continues to work collaboratively with the Department of Behavioral Health, Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities, the Kentucky Council on Developmental Disabilities, IHDI (University of Kentucky), and the Arc of Kentucky to provide quality training on fundamentals of supported employment through the Supported Employment Training Project (SETP). In the absence of a certification process for supported employment service providers, this training is valuable in assuring that personnel who provide supported employment services have the necessary skills, values, and tools to deliver effective services.

10.The Supported Employment Branch staff participates frequently in IEP and Transition Planning meeting for individuals, and in broader scope with Special Education planning units throughout the commonwealth to develop supported employment services for students exiting schools. Again, additional dollars will be needed for extended services in order to adequately serve the students. In 2010, a pilot project to demonstrate the effectiveness of Supported Employment agencies working together with Post-Secondary Education programs to include people with developmental disabilities in classes and other college campus activities was launched. 10 students will be involved in this pilot.

11.The Supported Employment Branch continues efforts to utilize Social Security Work Incentives, including PASS (Plan for Achieving Self-Support) and IRWE (Impairment Related Work Expenses), for ongoing support/extended services when appropriate. Training opportunities are offered through the University of Kentucky Human Development Institute to provide technical assistance for supported employment personnel to learn more about these work incentive programs.

12.Using ARRA funds (American Reinvestment and Recovery Act), KY provided funds to 14 Supported Employment and/or Community Rehabilitation Programs to expand services to people with the most significant disabilities. Priority areas included services for people with disabilities on the Autism Spectrum, disabilities classified as deaf at risk, and disabilities that meet the definition of severe and persistent mental illness. As well, one training program was funded to improve KY’s capacity to provide Benefits Analysis for individuals who desire to return to work or find employment for the first time. These projects conclude on September 30, 2011.

13. In summary, the following potential funding sources for supported employment have been identified:

•Local and county government

•Kentucky Council on Developmental Disabilities (grant opportunities only)

•United Way

•Social Security Work Incentives – Plan for Achieving Self-Support (PASS) and Impairment Related Work Expenses (IRWE)

•Natural Supports

•Division of Behavioral Health

•Division of Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities

•Hart Supported Living Funds

•Private pay agreements

•Support for Community Living Waiver, Michelle P, and Brain Injury Medicaid Waivers

Information regarding these potential funding sources is updated and shared by the Supported Employment Branch on a statewide basis to encourage increased funding for all phases of supported employment.

This screen was last updated on May 3 2011 2:15PM by sakybeachd

Data System on Personnel and Personnel Development

• Data System

The Kentucky Agency of Vocational Rehabilitation maintains a system to collect and analyze on an annual basis data on qualified personnel needs and personnel development. The agency maintains databases of personnel information including: types of position, ratio of personnel to applicants and eligible individuals served, current staffing requirements and projected requirements for staffing needs for the next five (5) years. The system also includes a record of employee career development plans that reflect completed training activities including college credits, Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) credits, Professional Rehabilitation Assistant credits and continuing education contact hours.

** The first chart highlights field services and the administrative staff that support them and the second highlights the Carl D. Perkins Vocational Training Center as their job roles differ from those within the field.

Personnel Category Currently

Employed Current Vacancies Projected 5

year need

(due to anticipated vacancies) Ratio of Staff to Consumers

Unclassified 4 0 2 1/5558

Staff Assistant 1 0 0 1/22231

Rehabilitation Program Managers 4 0 1 1/5558

Rehabilitation Field Branch Managers 15 0 4 1/1482

Rehabilitation Program Administrators 10.5 0 1 1/2117

Rehabilitation Counselor 136 15 17 1/163

Rehabilitation Assistant 81 10 19 1/274

Job Placement Professional/PACE 19 4 7 1/1170

Sign Language Interpreter 5 0 0 1/4446

Rehabilitation Technologist 2.5 2 2 1/8892

Supported Employment 3 0 0 1/7410

Financial Operations Staff 2 0 1 1/11115

Division of Program Services and Administrative Services

Carl D. Perkins Vocational Training Center

Personnel Category Currently

Employed Current Vacancies Projected 5

year need

(due to anticipated vacancies) Ratio of Staff to Consumers

Unclassified 0 1 0 0/193

Administrators 10 1 4 1/19

Assistants 12 0 2 1/16

Employment Services 0 0 0 0/193

Financial Operations Staff 2 0 1 1/96

Physical Plan Staff 10 1 3 1/18

Dorm Staff/PACE 8 1 1 1/24

Security 7 0 1 1/28

Rehabilitation Counselor 5 1 1 1/39

Recreation Staff 6 2 1 1/32

Nursing Staff 10 3 1 1/19

Therapeutic Staff 8 0 2 1/24

Vocational Training Staff/Teachers 16 0 2 1/12

Evaluators 3 0 0 1/64

Interpreter 1 0 1 1/193

Admissions Counselor 1 0 1 1/193

Current Employee Length of Service

Length of Service Percentage

30+ years 4%

20 – 29 years 16%

10 – 19 years 27%

5 – 9 years 24%

Less than 5 years 29%

Along with the employees listed in the above graph, the Agency of Vocational Rehabilitation contracts for additional specialized services for consumers. The job classification contracts include rehabilitation technologists, medical as well as support services and interpreters.

 

Row Job Title Total positions Current vacancies Projected vacancies over the next 5 years
1 Rehabilitation Counselor 136 15 17
2 Rehabilitation Assistant 81 10 19
3 Job Placement Professional 19 4 7
4 Rehabilitation Program Administrators 11 0 1
5 Rehabilitation Field Branch Managers 15 0 4
6 Rehabilitation Program Managers 4 0 1
7 Rehabilitation Technologist 3 2 2
8 Supported Employment 3 0 0
9 Sign Language Interpreter 5 0 0
10 Other 106 10 21

 

(a) A list of institutions of higher education in the state preparing vocational rehabilitation professionals is reviewed annually. The University of Kentucky is the only Kentucky institution offering a Master’s of Rehabilitation Counseling (MRC) program. The University of Kentucky reports to the agency annually on the number of students enrolled and the number graduating from the program with certification or licensure and/or with credentials to qualify for certification or licensure. Participants in the program are eligible to test for rehabilitation counselor certification after completing 75% of their course work. The University of Kentucky is also using technological advancements to increase the number of qualified personnel in the field by offering an online MRC program dedicated to the specific training needs of state rehabilitation employees. This is an accelerated program that allows participants to complete the degree in sixteen (16) months.

(b) and (c) The following graph denotes the graduation statistics for the University of Kentucky the agency’s major source for higher education. This graph indicates graduates from the on-campus MRC program as well as the distance learning program.

There are currently sixteen (16) employees participating or registered to begin the University of Kentucky MRC online program. The CSPD scholarship programs at several out-of-state universities have also provided assistance to agency counselors and includes; two OVR employees attending the distance-learning MRC program offered through Auburn University, two employees attending the MRC program offered through Virginia Commonwealth Several employees have met their CSPD requirements by participating in the distance learning program through San Diego State University. These employees are provided with the time to attend and all costs are covered through the respective university CSPD scholarships. In addition to these programs we have one employee attending Western Kentucky University for a degree in counseling.

All programs approved for tuition assistance must meet educational eligibility criteria to sit for the Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) examination.

 

Row Institutions Students enrolled Employees sponsored by agency and/or RSA Graduates sponsored by agency and/or RSA Graduates from the previous year
1 University of KY Online and On-Campus MRC Program 207 9 32 47
2 0 0 0 0
3 0 0 0 0
4 0 0 0 0
5 0 0 0 0

 

1. On a quarterly basis, or more if needed, the Program Administrator in charge of recruitment and retention meets with the Executive Leadership Team to discuss issues of recruitment, preparation and retention of qualified personnel. During these meetings the plan for current and projected needs of qualified personnel is evaluated for progress, reviewed to determine the success of current measures and updated as needed to address the ever changing trends in personnel with specific attention to attainment of CSPD goals.

Recruitment: The agency actively recruits individuals from the University of Kentucky MRC program and other related degree programs by offering fieldwork and internship opportunities within the agency. Employees from the agency present to students in undergraduate and graduate programs to increase their knowledge of state vocational rehabilitation employment. Employees participate in career fairs throughout the state. Several agency administrative personnel serve on the Advisory Board for the University of Kentucky MRC program and the HRD Program Administrator also serves on the advisory board for Auburn University. Recruitment efforts are also conducted via web based programs maintained by the state personnel agency.

Preparation and Retention: The agency aggressively recruits individuals who are Certified Rehabilitation Counselors (CRC) or those that meet educational eligibility to sit for the CRC, but recognizes that hiring individuals with these credentials is not always possible due to the shortage of available qualified staff in this field and salary constraints. Individuals hired without educational eligibility to sit for the CRC are expected to meet the requirements within five years of employment. Counselors pursuing a master’s degree that provides educational eligibility for the CRC receive tuition assistance excluding book purchases. In the new training grant for 2010 – 2015 the agency has included costs to allow for employees who are not current vocational rehabilitation counselors to participate in tuition assistance for the accelerated MRC program at the University of Kentucky in an effort promote career growth opportunities. Four (4) OVR employees will participate in the accelerated MRC program at UK beginning fall 2011 and when these four have completed the program there will be four additional employees selected each year throughout the life of the grant.

Individuals without their CRC are encouraged to obtain the certification. The agency pays for the application and examination fee for the CRC one time only pass or fail and provides for the cost of maintenance fees for the certification. The only exception to this rule is our provision for a retake of the CRC examination for employees who are deaf that were unable to pass under the old CRC examination design. The questions in the exam have been redesigned to meet accessibility needs of this population and the agency leadership determined that encouraging the retaking of the exam by these individuals was in order. To assist employees in preparing for the examination, the agency provides access to an online preparatory course for the CRC which was developed and is maintained through the University of Wisconsin Stout. The employees of OVR are provided with agency-sponsored opportunities to maintain the required professional development maintenance hours for the CRC.

As of August 2005, personnel measures were put in place that allow the agency to offer more competitive salaries to incoming qualified counselor and field branch manager applicants as well as providing opportunities to increase the salaries to current qualified staff. This initiative was implemented to increase agency competitiveness with salaries from other states and to provide additional incentives for recruitment and retention. Although the budget shortfalls within the state have impacted our ability to provide legislated merit increases, agency leadership has garnered support for reclassifications of employees who meet CSPD with the possibility of an additional reclassification for those that receive their CRC. Flexibility of schedules and retirement benefits has become a greater focus in recruiting and maintaining qualified employees.

The agency believes that well-trained professional staff contributes to greater retention and job satisfaction among personnel. This is essential in providing quality services to individuals with disabilities and achieving positive employment outcomes for agency consumers. Training initiatives for new employees as well as seasoned employees are outlined fully in the staff development section.

2. The agency actively coordinates and facilitates efforts with institutions of higher

education and paraprofessional associations to recruit prepare and retain qualified

personnel, including personnel from minority backgrounds and individuals with

disabilities.

The agency coordinates with historically black colleges and professional associations to recruit prepare and retain qualified personnel. The agency is committed to hiring individuals from protected classes in order to create a more diverse workforce. Minority recruiting enables the agency to employ highly competent people from all segments of society who can effectively support the agency mission of assisting individuals with disabilities into employment.

The agency incorporates the Education and Workforce Development Cabinet’s protected class recruitment plan into the personnel system. The Cabinet plan requires the dissemination of career opportunities to organizations and community agencies representing members of protected classes; recruitment of job applicants from all secondary and post secondary schools throughout the Commonwealth; and maintenance of a pool of qualified applicants from protected classes who seek employment or advancement in employment with the agency. In addition to the Cabinet requirements, the agency actively recruits individuals of minority status and individuals with disabilities through job fairs conducted at Kentucky State University (KSU), the University of Louisville (U of L), the University of Kentucky (UK) and other locations throughout the state. The agency has collaborated with the University of Kentucky and Kentucky State University to develop and implement an endorsement program to make rehabilitation courses available on an undergraduate level at a historically black university. Credit hours from KSU classes count toward the MRC at the University of Kentucky. In addition, the agency offers stipends to minority students who meet application criteria for internships within the agency

 

The following information described the agency’s policies and procedures for the establishment and maintenance of personnel standards to ensure that designated state unit professionals and paraprofessionals are adequately trained and prepared.

1. The agency defines qualified rehabilitation counselors and field branch managers as those individuals who hold educational eligibility to sit for certification from the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification or currently have their CRC. All professionals governed by specific state or federal guidelines for their personnel category are required to adhere to any certification standards or requirements outlined for each discipline such as, rehabilitation technologists, vocational rehabilitation evaluators, nurses, interpreters and therapists.

2. The standards in the agency are consistent with the highest requirements in the state for professions and disciplines represented among personnel. The agency is often unable to hire counselors that meet the required standards. New vocational rehabilitation counselors are required to meet the standard within five (5) years of employment. The agency remains committed to providing consumers with the most qualified professionals to meet their vocational rehabilitation needs and may seek a state standard to assist with this goal.

The HRD Program Administrator along with other administrators and OVR vocational rehabilitation counselors are members of the University of Kentucky MRC Program Advisory Council. In addition, the agency HRD Program Administrator is also a member of the Advisory Council for Auburn University’s distance learning MRC program. Information and updates regarding the progress of the agency toward CSPD goals and professional standards are shared during formal annual meetings as well as during general conversations and emails to assure that we are continually working toward 100% compliance in all areas.

3. (a) The agency makes every effort to hire and retain rehabilitation counselors who hold a CRC certification or individuals that are eligible to hold CRC certification. The agency participates in career fairs throughout the state. Agency personnel presents to participants of the MRC program at the University of Kentucky to share information about state employment and vocational rehabilitation. Agency personnel work as adjunct faculty in the University of Kentucky MRC online program and serve on the advisory board for the program. Tuition assistance is provided to employees for obtaining the required degree to meet CSPD. Continuing education efforts are encouraged and financially supported by the agency. The HRD Program Administrator works in conjunction with the Commission on Certified Rehabilitation Counselors (CRC) to provide CRC credits at agency sponsored training events that qualify for such credits. The agency encourages participation in professional organization that supports the profession of rehabilitation. Qualified rehabilitation counselors are utilized in new employee orientation to share their expertise with new counselors. The agency also supports a counselor mentoring program to provide new counselors with a designated mentor upon hiring. This program was developed to specifically address retention issues for new employees. New mentors are recruited and trained each year. Current mentors are provided with updated training each year to provide them with research and information in the most current VR practices. The mentor program has been expanded to include a standardized mentoring program for Job Placement Professionals and new field branch managers. Kentucky is continually seeking opportunities to offer employment incentives as recruitment measures. Such incentives include the educational assistance program, flexible work schedules and payment of required certification expenses and maintenance fees. The agency has also incorporated career growth opportunities for employees not in a counseling position by offering tuition assistance to up to four individuals per year, for the life of the training grant, to participate in the online MRC program at the University of Kentucky in the accelerated program.

(b) The agency has been committed to achieving 100% qualified rehabilitation counseling staff by 2010, but has been unable to achieve this goal. The goal will be extended another five years as efforts toward CSPD continue. Staff is required to complete career development plans that include specific goals and timeframes for meeting CSPD requirements for their particular discipline. The agency supports staff career development by funding training necessary to achieve the established goals. The agency is exploring the implementation of a state standard that will provide more cohesion between CSPD achievement and state personnel standards. Agency commitment to CSPD can be seen growth of percentage of employees that meet the qualification over the last ten (10) years.

(c) The HRD Program Administrator reviews, at least quarterly, the progress of agency hiring and retaining personnel as it relates to progress toward CSPD achievement and reports findings to the agency Executive Leadership Team.

(d) If the agency is unable to recruit individuals who meet these qualification, individuals are hired with a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in a related field with the expectation that they meet the educational qualification to sit for the CRC within five years of employment. The agency provides career development opportunities to assist in achieving and maintaining these goals. The agency expects all employees to achieve required certifications, licensure, or registration within their particular discipline. As noted earlier, additional professional development assistance is provided to assist individuals in achieving the qualified rehabilitation counselor standards set forth by the agency.

The agency currently employs 141 rehabilitation counselors and 15 field branch managers. The following data reflects the current credentials of these individuals as well as the progress of

their professional development.

Group Qualified Counselors and Managers

CRC CRC Eligible Master’s Degree

Not Eligible for CRC Bachelor’s Degree

No CRC

Counselors (141) 77 13 24 27

Field Branch Managers (15) 13 0 1 1

Of the counselors employed with the agency, 89 or 64% meet the state CSPD requirement of educational eligibility to sit for the CRC. The temporary decrease from the CSPD percentage reported last year is a result of retirements or promotions of qualified counselors to other positions. However, there are currently 16 people enrolled in programs to meet CSPD with 11 of them scheduled to complete their MRC program in fall 2010 and 5 scheduled to complete their programs in spring 2011. One person is currently working on their completion of the Category R certificate and one other is scheduled to take the required Medical and Psychosocial Aspects of Disability courses required for CRC eligibility. Many of the staff currently listed in the “Master’s Degree Not Eligible for CRC” would qualify to sit for the exam if they would either participate in the Category R certificate programs or some would only need to take the Medical and Psychosocial Aspects of Disability course.

The total number of field branch managers meeting state CSPD requirements is 13 or 87%.

Along with counselors and field branch administrators within the agency, twenty-two (22) other employees have obtained their CRC. This dispersal of certified employees provides the agency with a broad spectrum of expertise at all levels.

Group CRC

Administrators 9

Employment Specialists 4

Evaluators 2

Supported Employment Specialists 1

Vocational Rehabilitation Teachers 2

Rehabilitation Technologists 3

Other 1

Total 22

The agency reviews its recruitment and retraining efforts each year and filled thirty-four (34) positions as follows:

Group Number

Nurse 1

Counselors 8

Vocational Rehabilitation Teacher 4

Job Placement Specialist (FFTL) 3

Document Processor (FFTL) 9

Assistants (FFTL) 3

Other 6

Total 34

The medical staff had all obtained appropriate credentials, certification, and/or licensure prior to hire date. Of the eight counselors hired 2 have their MRC, 1 has a Master of Counseling degree, 3 have a related master’s degree that qualifies them to gain the Category R certificate for CRC eligibility and 2 have a bachelor’s degree. Those not meeting qualification have committed to meeting CSPD. The CSPD plan continues to be a primary focus of the agency in order to provide consumers with the highest quality of service. The RSA In-service training grant is the primary resource in providing opportunities for staff that do not meet the qualification requirements to achieve the necessary credentials within the required time frame.

In addition to the hiring of the employees listed above, the agency also used American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds to hire 14 (fourteen) full-time temporary employees (FFTL) to perform tasks such as document processing, job placement and assistant’s duties. The nine (9) document processors enabled the agency to be more efficient in archiving consumer files. Three (3) FFTL’s provided job placement services and two (2) were hired as assistants. These positions will end as of March 30, 2011.

All rehabilitation technologists employed by the agency achieved RESNA ATP certification. Paraprofessional positions within the agency are required to meet their specific licensing requirements prior to hiring.

(d) The agency’s targeted groups and timelines are prioritized as follows for educational eligibility to sit for the CRC:

•0-5 years of service with bachelor’s or unrelated master’s- must achieve educational eligibility to sit for the CRC within 5 years of employment

 

The agency believes that a well-trained professional staff is essential in providing quality services to individuals with disabilities and achieving positive employment outcomes for agency consumers. The agency’s professional development and tuition assistance policy emphasizes education and training. Within three months of employment staff are required to implement career development plans that will enhance qualifications and provide an opportunity to advance to higher level, higher paying positions.

The agency has conducted training needs assessments and has developed training plans to address identified needs. Training plans are based on; RSA monitoring findings, agency goals, directions and continuous improvement initiatives; training needs assessment; staff input; and consumer input.

In 2010 the agency applied for the Basic Vocational Rehabilitation In-Service Training Grant and Quality Vocational Rehabilitation In-Service Training Grant from the Rehabilitation Services Administration. The agency was awarded both grants and uses these funds to assist with tuition toward CSPD goals and for in-service training opportunities to maintain and increase staff skills and proficiencies in servicing individuals with disabilities. The grant was written based on the training needs identified in the 2010 assessment conducted within the agency. Along with the identified training from the assessment, the agency also included objectives from the strategic plan in the grant application to assure continuity in addressing future goals.

1. New employees are provided with an introduction to state government and the agency via online training. Included in the online training is an overview on the history of OVR, required training programs, and tuition assistance for professional development and Comprehensive System of Personnel Development standards. In addition to the orientation online the employees are also required to participate in an online ADA training, Disability Awareness Training, Anti-Harassment Training, Workplace Violence Prevention Training, Ethics, and Understanding Confidentiality as a new employee.

Face to face-training for new employees takes place in three phases. Through the orientation and SET process the new employees receive an overview of the agency mission, philosophy, values, federal and state laws, appropriations, budget and planning, eligibility, assessment, vocational goal development, plan development, confidentiality and ethics, services, supported employment, rehabilitation technology, diversity, disability awareness, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Social Security Administration (SSA), Ticket to Work, Workforce Investment Act (WIA), comparable benefits and standards and indicators and information on specific disabilities. Training programs for all staff emphasize informed consumer choice and maximizing consumer direction of individualized rehabilitation plans. Particular importance is placed upon the 1998 Amendments to support staff implementation of the Law as well as the understanding of the intent and spirit of the Act. Information regarding to current research is disseminated to all staff via formal training opportunities as well as through other technological resources such as the Internet, Intranet and email.

The agency has developed and launched a dedicated website for training information delivery to all employees which includes a portal to information on the agency, required trainings for employees, a training calendar and announcements regarding upcoming training initiatives.

The agency has also encouraged staff to utilize the webinars offered through Southeast Region TACE. These are topics that have been identified as interest to the field of rehabilitation based on current trends.

The rehabilitation counselor mentor program was implemented in June 2002 with pilot programs in six districts. There are currently thirty (28) counselors that have been through the training program that serve as mentors in twelve (12) out of sixteen (16) districts. Annual recruitment is conducted to increase the number of available mentors and annual training is implemented to assure that they are prepared for their role. Beyond the formal annual training there are other training opportunities provided to continually develop their skills in the program to assure that the needs of the new employees are being addressed. This is also an opportunity to keep them aware of current policies and laws that impact the agency and their work with the employees.

College and university level classes are an integral element in maximizing educational opportunities and enhancing staff career development. The agency strongly encourages continuing education and provides incentives for staff to pursue degrees at the master level. Though reclassifications within state government have been dramatically decreased due to budget shortfalls, the cabinet is supporting and approving reclassifications for individuals that successfully achieve their master’ degree that has been approved for CSPD or become certified as a rehabilitation counselor.

The agency continues to see the retirement of agency leaders and is cognizant of the need for leadership succession. The Curriculum Design Team led by the HRD Program Administrator will implement the second cohort for the agency leadership program in the third year of the new training grant cycle from 2013- 2015. The leadership succession training program is the Academy of Leadership Exploration and Preparedness (ALEaP).

The agency also seeks to be innovative and cost effective in providing training to employees and has begun to implement more online training initiatives. These training provide employees with information in a timely manner to assist in increasing quality services to consumers.

2. The agency also supports staff development by providing access to research results and other critical information by utilizing a variety of methods including dissemination of articles and publications, workshops, presentations and Internet access.

 

The State Coordinator of Deaf Services works closely with the HRD Program Administrator to insure that all employees have adequate American Sign Language skills to communicate with consumers who are deaf. Every effort is made to recruit individuals who are proficient in sign language. If a person with signing skills is not available, steps are taken to ensure that the appropriate training is provided.

The agency continues to explore the hiring of bilingual staff to address consumer needs. With an increasing number of individuals from the Hispanic culture in both urban and rural areas of the state it is essential that employees gain knowledge and skills in this area. The agency has been awarded a grant for Seasonal Migrant Farm Workers which is assisting in the development of counselors who can communicate with individuals in Spanish. Resources provided through the grant are also assisting these individuals with access to services for which they are eligible. Training resources for service to this population is being expanded through measures such as the online cultural training program specific to the employment needs and expectations of Kentucky’s Hispanic residents. This training consists of three levels with the first level being mandatory for all staff and the other levels mandatory based upon the job responsibilities of the individuals. This program is online and was developed in collaboration with the University of Kentucky professional development program so that the resource can be made available to other states. Interpreters are hired as needed to provide consumer with access to information regarding the services of the agency.

The agency utilizes alternate formats such as large print, Braille and the more frequently requested electronic copies of agency materials to insure that consumers have access to needed information.

 

The Governor has appointed a representative from the Agency of Exceptional Children to the Statewide Council for Vocational Rehabilitation (SCVR). Coordination also occurs through the Interagency Coordinating Council that meets on a quarterly basis to address continued fulfillment of the Kentucky Interagency Agreement on Transition Services for youth with disabilities. The Department of Education and the Agency of Vocational Rehabilitation are two of twelve state agencies that are parties to the agreement. One of the provisions of this agreement is cooperative training and staff development concerning transition issues. Each year counselors and managers as well as other OVR personnel are invited to participate in training that covers the topic of transition and the roles of the agencies involved.

The agency also has cooperative professional development programs for selected high school education teachers, local directors of special education, job coaches, rehabilitation counselors, and community based personnel. Training focuses on development and implementation of community-based work transition services for students with disabilities.

The HRD Program Administrator is charged with the management of CSPD activities as well as the management of the In-service Training Program. The Curriculum Design Team assists in the training process by working with the HRD Program Administrator to identify areas of need, program content and expert presenters.

This screen was last updated on Jun 21 2011 9:19AM by sakybeachd

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.

Comprehensive Needs Assessment for the Kentucky Office of Vocational Rehabilitation

This report provides a summary and findings of the activities of the Kentucky Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (KYOVR) in an effort to comprehensively assess the various vocational rehabilitation (VR) needs in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. This assessment was conducted for strategic planning purposes and to meet the comprehensive needs assessment requirement of the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) as defined in 34 CFR 361.29. This federal regulation requires the agency assess the following areas related to VR services:

1. Service needs for individuals with the most significant disabilities, including supported employment.

2. Services for individuals with disabilities who are minorities or in traditionally underserved populations.

3. Services to individuals with disabilities served through other components of the statewide workforce investment system.

4. An assessment of the need to establish or support community rehabilitation programs within the state.

KYOVR previously conducted a comprehensive needs assessment in 2006. With the myriad of changes in treatment, diagnosis, technology, federal/state policy and the economy, it is necessary to again address the service needs of individuals with disabilities. The current study is also intended to identify and provide recommendations for trends in the service needs, disability population and any environmental factors possibly impacting Kentuckians with disabilities. Information from the current survey is intended to allow a more informed strategic planning process, seeking to address the identified trends and prioritize them based on data identified in the needs assessment.

The current comprehensive needs assessment was conducted with guidance provided by the Kentucky Statewide Council for Vocational Rehabilitation (KYSCVR), as required by 34 CFR 361.17(h)(4)(2). KYSCVR offered input into the methodology and data analysis of the assessment, assuring the research would adequately reach the target population, would return valid and reliable data, and would produce recommendations that would guide the strategic planning and budget development process.

Method

To best assess the service needs of Kentuckians with disabilities, various data collection techniques were utilized. KYOVR sought the input from the public through various methods, soliciting comments and opinions from Kentuckians with disabilities, current or former KYOVR consumers, disability advocacy groups, and parents of individuals with disabilities. The agency targets these stakeholder groups as invaluable sources of information, providing insight into the strengths, challenges and needs of the public VR program. Kentucky is a diverse state, with large regional variations in population and socio-economic levels and this data collection process attempted to address these regional differences by ensuring statewide participation with each particular research methodology.

Because the research was focused on the VR service needs of individuals with disabilities, the agency chose to target VR service providers to provide input related to the needs of VR consumers. Their input both as professionals and advocates is critical, as working on a daily basis with individuals with disabilities, the VR professional is more likely to be well informed of the various needs and changes related to the current VR environment. In order to capture this important data, KYOVR surveyed the following professionals:

•State VR Rehabilitation Counselors

•State VR staff not engaged in direct counseling services

•Community Rehabilitation Providers (CRP)

•Workforce Partners/One-Stop Managers

These specific groups were chosen because of their intense involvement with current VR service provision and would likely be the most knowledgeable concerning emerging trends and changes in the supply and demand for various services.

Analysis of Survey Data for Strategic Planning

The purpose of the comprehensive needs assessment is to gather information to assist in strategic plan development and after collection of the survey information, data from both closed and open-ended survey items were analyzed internally by KYOVR to identify issues or themes of results related to needed services and/or significant changes in the VR service provision landscape. These themes were then categorized into the four areas of emphasis outlined in the RSA Comprehensive Needs Assessment guidelines. To ensure adequate stakeholder input into the strategic planning process, the issues related to each specific area of emphasis were formed into specific questions and presented to the following groups for consideration:

•SCVR

•KYOVR Branch Managers

•KYOVR Central Office Administrators

•Carl D. Perkins Vocational Training Center

•KYOVR Executive Leadership Team

•The public through open forums in Louisville, Lexington, Florence and Hazard.

These groups reviewed the questions and provided valuable input related to potential strategies to address these VR service needs for utilization in the imminent development of a strategic plan.

The Vocational Rehabilitation Needs of Individuals with the Most Significant Disabilities, Including Their Need for Supported Employment Services

Six major needs were identified by the comprehensive needs assessment related to the vocational rehabilitation needs of individuals with the most significant disabilities:

I.The need for more job placement services;

II.The need for benefits planning services;

III.The need for more supported employment services;

IV.The need for support services, including transportation;

V.The need for post-employment services;

VI.The need for smaller caseload sizes;

The need for more job placement services

The need for additional job placement services figured prominently among nearly all groups surveyed for the comprehensive needs assessment. In the public survey, one out of every three respondents identified job placement services as an unmet need and it was rated as the fourth most needed service. When the responses of only individuals with disabilities to the public survey were considered, the percentage identifying job placement services as an unmet need rose to 46.2% and it became the third most needed service. In the survey for vocational rehabilitation counselors, 62.2% of respondents reported an increase in demand for job placement services, making it the service in highest demand among that group. Two out of three counselors listed job placement service as one of the top three services in demand, the highest percentage of any vocational rehabilitation service. Among all other vocational rehabilitation staff, job placement services was rated the fourth most needed service. Only in the survey of community rehabilitation programs was job placement services not identified as one of the top five services needed, although 91.3% of respondents to that survey had seen an increase in demand for this service over the last three years.

Job placement services would also play a significant role in addressing at least two barriers to employment identified in many of the surveys. ‘Employer Attitudinal Barriers” was a barrier identified by all groups, but particularly in the public survey. Thirty four percent of respondents to the public survey identified employer attitudes as a very significant barrier and it was the second highest rated barrier in the survey. When only the respondents of individuals with disabilities were considered, 38.6% considered employer attitudes a very significant barrier and it remained the second largest barrier. OVR counselors rated employer attitudinal barriers as the fourth largest barrier while all other OVR staff rated it as the third largest. The CRP respondents identified it as the fourth largest barrier to employment. Certainly, one goal of effective job placement services is to reduce and eliminate this barrier by working closely with employers to change perceptions.

When the economy is slow, job placement services become even more important in locating jobs that are increasingly hard to find. The ‘Slow Job Market’ was rated as the biggest single barrier to employment among almost all groups surveyed with the exception of community rehabilitation programs. The percentage of respondents identifying the slow job market as a ‘very significant barrier’ and the ranking among all barriers is presented in Table 1.

Table 1 – Slow Job Market as a Barrier To Employment

Slow Job Market as a Barrier to Employment

Very Significant Barrier Ranking

Public Survey – All Respondents 42.5% (n=224) 1st

Public Survey – Individuals with Disabilities Only 45.3% (91) 1st

Survey of OVR Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors 59.7% (46) 1st

Survey off All Other OVR Staff 45.7% (37) 1st

Survey of Community Rehabilitation Programs (CRPs) 34.0% (16) 2nd

State poverty and employment data obtained from secondary sources provides further evidence of the continued need for job placement services. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (2009), the unemployment rate in Kentucky increased by 3.2% from January, 2008 to January 2009, the 14th highest increase in the nation. According to U.S. Census data reported on the statehealthfacts.org website of the Kaiser Family Foundation, in 2007, 20% of Kentucky’s residents had incomes below the federal poverty level, compared to the national percentage of 17%. An additional 21% of the state’s population had incomes below 200% of the federal poverty level, giving a total low income rate of 41% compared to the national rate of 36%. The median household income in Kentucky was $39,678 compared to the national median household income of $49,901.

On the Employee Satisfaction Survey conducted in October of 2008, employees were asked to indicate whether they agreed or disagreed with the statement: ‘More Job Placement Staff are needed in my district to provide necessary services to VR consumers.’ Table 2 presents the responses from all respondents (n=260) and from counselors only (n=99). The response category with the largest number is in bold.

Table 2 – Need for Increase in Job Placement Staff

Strongly Agree Agree Somewhat Agree Total % Agreed

All Staff 31.5% (82) 24.6% (64) 16.2% (42) 72.3%

Counselors Only 40.4% (40) 22.2% (22) 17.2% (17) 79.8%

The need for benefits planning services

Benefits planning services, or specifically, providing guidance to Social Security recipients about the effect of working and earning money on their Social Security benefits, was identified as a needed service by some of the groups surveyed. In the Public Survey, 33.6% of respondents considered the need for benefits panning to be unmet and it was identified as the third most needed service (behind post employment services and support services). Among individuals with disabilities, 44.0% of respondents considered the need unmet, although it ranked lower in the priority of needed services at sixth. Among counselors, 40.2 % reported an increased demand for the service although there were seven other services rated above it. Other OVR staff and respondents from community rehabilitation programs, however, including assistants and administrators, ranked benefits planning as the most needed vocational rehabilitation service.

Disability benefits were listed as one of the possible barriers to employment survey respondents were asked to rate. Certainly, benefits planning services would be a major method of addressing this barrier. In fact, disability benefits were rated very highly as a barrier to employment by all groups. Table 3 shows the percentage of respondents that rated disability benefits as a very significant barrier and its ranking in terms of all barriers that were listed:

Table 3 – Disability Benefits as a Barrier to Employment

Disability Benefits as a Barrier to Employment Very Significant Barrier Ranking

Public Survey – All Respondents 29.7%% (n=153) 4th

Public Survey – Individuals with Disabilities Only 39.0% (76) 4th

Survey of OVR Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors 29.9% (23) 5th

Survey off All Other OVR Staff 22.2% (18) 4th

Survey of Community Rehabilitation Programs (CRPs) 14.9% (7) 4th

Apart from this comprehensive needs assessment, KYOVR had been investigating and discussing disability planning services and how they might be provided in the most effective manner to consumers. In April, the agency conducted another survey of its staff specifically on disability planning services. The results of this survey reinforced the need for such services. One hundred eighteen of 119 respondents, or 99.2%, responded ‘yes’ to the question: ‘Do you feel the average consumer who is receiving SSI/SSDI benefits needs counseling about how employment will affect his or her Social Security income and benefits prior to receiving OVR services before the Individual Plan for Employment (IPE) is developed?’. Sixty percent of respondents felt that one-on-one counseling provided by non-OVR staff for a fee was the best approach to providing this service (the other possibilities were group informational sessions, sessions with an OVR vocational rehabilitation counselor, and counseling from a Work Incentives Panning and Assistance (WIPA) representative).

The need for benefits planning services is reinforced by data concerning the composition of Kentucky’s population. According to statehealthfacts.org (Kaiser Family Foundation, 2009), four (4) percent of the state’s residents receive blind and disabled Supplemental Security Income benefits. This gives Kentucky the highest percentage of residents who receive SSI benefits in the nation. According to the Institute for Community Inclusion (ICI), in 2007, Kentucky had 173,052 SSI recipients, 4,739 of whom were working. The percentage of SSI recipients who were working was 2.7% compared to the national percentage of 7.6% (ICI, 2007). In that year, Kentucky had 52 PASS users, compared to overall national average of 40.0, and 79 individuals were taking advantage of Impairment-Related Work Expenses (IWRE) compared to the national average of 111(ICI, 2007). In 2007, Kentucky also had 160,122 Old Age Survivor and Disability Insurance (OASDI) recipients/workers with disabilities (ICI, 2007). With such a large number of disabled Social Security recipients in the state and such a large number of them not working, the need to assist them in going to work with such services as benefits counseling is intensified

The need for supported employment services

The public survey indicated that individuals with disabilities who responded saw a significant need for more supported employment services. Over forty-four percent of individuals with disabilities who responded believed there was an unmet need for supported employment services and it was rated as the second most needed service behind post-employment services. For the public survey overall, one third (33.3%) of respondents reported an unmet need for supported employment services, the fifth most needed service. OVR staff other than vocational rehabilitation counselors rated supported employment as the second most needed service with 18.1% indicating that there was unmet need and 37.3% considering the need to be somewhat met. In the CRP survey, three out of four respondents (76.1%) predicted an increasing demand for supported employment services over the next three years.

Nearly a third (32.1%) of individuals with disabilities responding to the Public Survey felt that the ‘Lack of Long Term Support’ was a very significant barrier to employment. It was rated as third biggest barrier to employment by individuals with disabilities.

A review of secondary data sources also support the need for more supported employment services. According to the ICI, of individuals served by the Department of Mental Retardation in the state in day programs and employment in 2007, 17% were in integrated work settings compared to the national average of 23%. Of the $50,830,387 that agency spent on day programming and employment, $3,040,157, or 6%, was spent on integrated employment. According to the Kentucky Department for Medicaid Services, 2,259 individuals were enrolled in the Supports for Community Living (SCL) Waiver in 2004. There were 92 individuals in the Traumatic Brain Injury Waiver. The 3.71 individuals per 1,000 people in Kentucky’s four Medicaid Waiver programs compared to the national rate of 3.64 individuals per 1,000. All of these populations would include many individuals who could benefit from supported employment services (ICI, 2007).

The need for support services, including transportation

The need for support services, including transportation, rental assistance, among others, was rated highly among all surveyed groups. The percent considering it to be an unmet need, a somewhat met need, and its ranking among all vocational rehabilitation services is contained in Table 4.

Table 4 – Need Assessment for Support Services

The Need for Support Services Including Transportation, Rental Service, and Others Unmet Need Somewhat Met Rank Among Needed Services

Public Survey – All Respondents 36.4% (n=196) 28.6% (n=154) 2nd

Public Survey – Individuals with Disabilities Only 40.8% (80) 14.3% (28) 5th

Survey off All Other OVR Staff 20.2% (17) 41.7% (35) 2nd

Survey of Community Rehabilitation Programs (CRPs) 29.9% (11) 50.0% (23) 2nd

KYOVR counselors were asked the question in a slightly different way. They were asked to determine if there had been an increase or decrease in the need for specific services from consumers. Nearly two out of three (64.6%) of respondents on the KYOVR Counselor Survey reported that they had seen an increase in the need for support services. It was identified as the second most needed service behind job placement. On the CRP survey, 84.8% of respondents anticipated an increase in demand for transportation services from CRPs in the next three years.

Survey results also indicated a need for more support services, including transportation. Three of the five groups surveyed (KYOVR counselors, KYOVR other staff and representatives of CRPs) rated the lack of transportation as the biggest or second biggest barrier to employment. Curiously and perhaps surprisingly, the public and individuals with disabilities did not rate this very highly as a barrier to employment. A plausible explanation for this is the majority of respondents may have been living in urban areas where transportation is not as much a barrier to employment as it is in rural areas. Table 5 shows the percentage of respondents that rated lack of transportation as a very significant barrier and its ranking in terms of all barriers that were listed:

Table 5 – Transportation as a Barrier to Employment

Transportation as a Barrier to Employment Very Significant Barrier Ranking

Public Survey – All Respondents 37.8% (n=192) 7th

Public Survey – Individuals with Disabilities Only 28.9% (55) 12th

Survey of OVR Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors 55.1% (43) 2nd

Survey off All Other OVR Staff 44.4% (36) 2nd

Survey of Community Rehabilitation Programs (CRPs) 42.6% (20) 1st

The need for post-employment services

The need for post-employment services was rated highly on the Public Survey. Thirty-two percent of respondents to the public survey considered it to be an unmet need, while 26.3% considered the need to be ‘somewhat met’; and it was rated as the most needed service. Among individuals with disabilities who responded, 44.4% considered the need unmet and 11.1% considered it to be somewhat met. No other surveyed group rated the need for post-employment services very highly with only 12.2% of counselors seeing an increasing demand for the services and 4.8% of other KYOVR staff and 13.3% of CRP respondents seeing an unmet need. One reason for this discrepancy between the groups may be a misunderstanding of the term ‘post-employment services.’ The service was listed along with a number of services that vocational rehabilitation provides, but was not further explained. It is possible the public may not have understood the term and may have thought it was describing long-term support services after employment. The definition for post-employment services in the KYOVR Policies and Procedures Manual reads: ‘Post-employment services means the provision of one or more services subsequent to the achievement of an employment outcome that are necessary for an individual to maintain, regain, or advance in employment, consistent with the individual's strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, interests, and informed choice.’ Agency staff and even staff from community rehabilitation programs were more likely to have a better understanding of this definition that this entailed the re-opening of a case after employment to provide usually one service for a brief amount of time. The high rating of this service on the Public Survey may actually be more evidence of the need for supported employment services and long term support on the job.

The need for smaller caseload sizes

A review of internal OVR data that was used to develop a Personnel Plan in June of 2008 indicated that as the average caseload increases, the rehabilitation rate tends to decrease. This review also indicated that as the average caseload size increases, so too does the average cost of status 26 (positive employment outcomes) and status 30 closures (cases closed after being determined eligible for services but before an Individualized Plan for Employment is written). Therefore, a decrease in the average OVR caseload size would not only increase the rehabilitation rate of its consumers, but would also decrease the average cost of status 26 and status 30 closures. With regard to job placement, smaller caseload sizes would provide counselors with more time and resources to address specific job placement concerns with consumers.

At the end of the 2008 federal fiscal year, the average caseload size for counselors in the agency was 272.63 individuals served during the year. This average was somewhat distorted by the large average caseload sizes in two particular districts. The Middletown district had an average caseload size of 362.73 individuals while in the Florence District in the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky area, the average was 415.68. Still only four of the 14 districts had average caseload sizes of less than 250 with the Whitesburg district in rural Eastern Kentucky being the smallest at 205.50. There were a total of 40 caseloads that served between 300 and 399 consumers during the year, or 27.1% of all caseloads, nine caseleoads (6.7%) served between 400 and 499 consumers, one caseload (0.7%) served between 500 and 599 consumers, and two caseloads (1.4%) served 600 consumers or more. A total of 52 caseloads served more than 300 consumers each, better than one third (35.3%) of all caseloads.

According to the 33rd Institute on Rehabilitation Issues entitled Recruitment and Retention of Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors, the average caseload size, based on a survey of federal/state vocational rehabilitation agencies was 143 (Dew, Alan & Tomlinson, 2008). The caseload range in this particular survey was between 105 and 205 average cases per counselor.

On the Employee Satisfaction Survey conducted in 2008, employees were asked if they agreed or disagreed with the statement: ‘More VR counselors are needed in my district to serve the needs of our assigned geographic area.’ Table 6 contains the responses from all respondents and from counselors only (largest number in bold):

Table 6 – Need for More KYOVR Counselors

Strongly Agree Agree Somewhat Agree Total % Agreed

All Staff 20.1% (52) 21.2% (55) 22.0% (57) 63.3%

Counselors Only 23.2% (23) 29.3% (29) 23.2% (23) 84.7%

Nearly two thirds of all staff agreed that more counselors were needed and one out of five ‘strongly agreed.’ More than four out five counselors agreed with the statement with nearly one out of four ‘strongly’ agreeing.

In the Employee Satisfaction Survey, almost two thirds of employees (62.5%) identified ‘Bureaucratic Process’ as one of the least satisfying components of their job. This issue was identified more often than any other single factor including ‘Pay’ (53.4%). A slightly higher percentage of the 101 counselors responding to the survey (64.8%) identified ‘Bureaucratic Process’ as one of the least satisfying components of their job. With caseload sizes so high, the bureaucratic process can become more of a burden to overworked counselors.

The Vocational Rehabilitation Needs of Individuals with Disabilities who are Minorities and Individuals with Disabilities Who Have Been Un-served or Underserved by the VR program

The comprehensive needs assessment has identified an increasing demand for vocational rehabilitation services among the following populations:

I.Individuals with disabilities with criminal backgrounds;

II.Individuals with mental health disabilities;

III.Individuals with substance abuse issues;

IV.Individuals with multiple disabilities;

V.Individuals with autism.

VI.Individuals from ethnic minorities

Individuals with disabilities with criminal backgrounds

KYOVR Counselors were given a list of groups of individuals and asked to identify which groups they had seen in an increase of applicants from over the past three years. Nearly three out of four (72.8%) respondents reported that they were seeing more applicants with criminal backgrounds. This was the highest percentage of any of the groups listed. The representatives of community rehabilitation programs were asked a similar question. Sixty-three percent of the CRP respondents reported an increase in individuals with criminal backgrounds requesting services, making it the second most identified group on the Community Rehabilitation Program Survey.

Secondary data sources substantiate the need for more vocational rehabilitation services to this population. According to the United States Bureau of Justice Statistics, there were 20,000 individuals incarcerated in state and federal prisons in Kentucky on December 31, 2006, about 0.5% of the overall population. At the end of 2007, 42,510 residents of Kentucky were on probation and 12,741 individuals were on parole. The number of people on parole at the end of 2007 represented an increase of 16.8% from the first of the year, the second highest increase in the nation in 2007. According to a report produced by the House Bill 843 Criminal Justice / Behavioral Health Work Group in 2002, 16 % of the 15,500 individuals incarcerated in Kentucky prisons at that time suffered from a severe and persistent mental illness and 59% suffered from a substance abuse disorder. The number of individuals with severe mental illness housed in county jails was unknown. There were four times as many individuals with severe mental illness incarcerated in Kentucky prisons than were hospitalized in the state psychiatric facilities. Although this data is seven years old, it does speak to the prevalence of disabilities among individuals in prison.

Individuals with disabilities with mental health disabilities

More than seventy percent (70.2%) of KYOVR counselors who responded to the needs assessment survey reported an increase over the previous three years in the number of individuals with mental illnesses applying for services. This was the largest percentage of any group from the Counselor Survey. Among CRP respondents, 67.5% had seen an increase in that population looking for services, the second highest group on the CRP survey.

Data from KYOVR’s case management system provides tangible evidence of the increase in the number of individuals with mental illness seeking services from the agency. The number of newly eligible cases of individuals with mental illness increased by 11.15% from fiscal year 2006 to 2008 while the percentage increase for all newly eligible cases with the agency increased by 8.82%.

Data from secondary sources provides further evidence of the increasing need for vocational rehabilitation services for this population in the state. According to the ICI (2007), a total of 16,479 consumers of the mental health agency were employed while 34,818 were considered to be in the labor market (working or looking for work) for an employment rate of 47.3%. A total of 85,871 mental health consumers were served by the state agency, with 19% of them being employed, compared to the national percentage of 24% (ICI, 2007). According to data reported on the statehealthfacts.org website of the Kaiser Family Foundation (2009), the state mental health agency in Kentucky spent $50 per capita on mental health services, half the national average of $100. The National Association for the Mentally Ill (NAMI) published a Grading the States 2009 Report Card that gave Kentucky an ‘F’ on its services to individuals with mental illnesses. The grades by category were: a.Health Promotion and Measurement – F b.Financing and Core Treatment/Recovery Services – D c.Consumer and Family Empowerment – D d.Community Integration and Social Inclusion – F (2009).

The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, financed by America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), is a barometer of quality of life in America, drawing data from 1,000 surveys per day, seven days per week to measure how Americans are faring physically, emotionally, socially and economically at any given point in time. It is comprised of a number of specific indexes that result in raw scores for states. The Emotional Health is primarily a composite of respondents' daily experiences. It includes one item that probes for prior history of diagnosed depression. In the remaining items, respondents are asked to think about how they felt yesterday, from the morning until the end of the day - who they were with, what they did, and how they felt based on responses to the following nine items: smiling or laughter, being treated with respect, enjoyment, happiness, worry, sadness, anger, stress, learning or doing something interesting. On this index, Kentucky received a raw score of 76.1, giving it a national ranking of 49th out of the 50 states.

The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) for 2005/2006 conducted by the Office of Applied Studies of the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA) estimated that 13.43% of Kentucky’s population had serious psychological distress in the past year compared to the national percentage of 11.29%. Kentucky’s population was estimated by the U. S. Census Bureau was estimated to be 4,241,474, indicating that as many as 500,000 individuals might have serious psychological distress in a given year. Of individuals between the ages of 18 and 25, transition age individuals, the percentage in Kentucky was 18.26% compared to the national percentage of 18.14%.

Individuals with disabilities with substance abuse issues

More than two thirds of counselors (67.1%) reported an increase in individuals with drug and alcohol abuse issues over the past three years, placing it behind only individuals with criminal backgrounds and individuals with mental illness as a growing population. Over half of the CRP respondents (54.3%) reported an increased demand among individual with substance abuse issues, the fourth highest percentage of all groups.

Data from KYOVR’s case management system provides tangible evidence of the increase in the number of individuals with substance abuse issues seeking services from the agency. The number of newly eligible cases of individuals with substance abuse issues increased by 22.45% from fiscal year 2006 to 2008. This was nearly three times the percentage increase for all newly eligible cases with the agency, which, as mentioned previously, increased by 8.82%.

KYOVR participated in a pilot project with Wright State University, in which OVR counselors administered a substance abuse screening tool to all willing applicants. The screening tool was called the Substance Abuse in Vocational Rehabilitation – Screener (SAVR-S) and was administered statewide from August 2007 through September 2008. KYOVR administered this screening tool to 78% of applicants during that time frame and, of those who took the screener, over thirty-eight percent had a positive result. This is yet another indicator that the population of individuals with substance abuse issues in Kentucky is significant.

The Kentucky Division of Mental Health and Substance Abuse reported that the number of admissions to hospitals for alcohol and substance abuse increased from 19,729 individuals in 2000 to 21,881 in 2007, an increase of 10.9%. Six thousand fifty-eight (30.4%) of those admissions were for alcohol abuse. In 2002, 29.4% of individuals admitted for substance abuse were unemployed at the time of entry and 26.1% were considered not in the workforce. Seven years later, the percentage not in the workforce slightly decreased to 25.5% of admittances, but the unemployment percentage had increased to 39.2%, indicating not only that the number of individuals needing treatment had significantly increased, but also the percentage of those individuals needing and seeking employment. Reflecting a growing problem, the number of admissions specifically for methamphetamines increased from 168 in 2002 to 780 in 2007 (with a high of 942 in 2006), a four-fold increase. The number of individuals admitted for synthetic opiate abuse increased from 629 to 2,578, or 3.75 times, during the same time period.

The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) for 2005/2006 conducted by the SAMSHA contained the following estimates of percentages among Kentucky’s more than 4 million residents.

Table 7 – Estimated Drug Usage in Kentucky

NSDUH 2005-2006 Kentucky Estimated % 18-25 Kentucky Estimated % Over 25

Nonmedical Use of Pain Relievers 14.68% 3.70%

Alcohol or Drug Dependence in the Past Year 17.68% 5 .95%

Needing but Not Receiving Treatment for Illicit Drug Use in the Past Year 7.08% 1.43%

Individuals with multiple disabilities

Counselors essentially ranked individuals with multiple disabilities as having the fifth highest increase in demand for services in the survey with 56.1% noting an increase. Fifty-nine percent of the CRP respondents reported an increased demand among individuals with multiple disabilities issues, the third highest percentage.

Individuals with autism

Just more than half of KYOVR counselors (50.6%) identified an increase in demand for services from individuals with autism. CRP representatives did not report a significant increase in demand for services from individuals with autism. It is significant that 165 of the responses in the Public Survey, or 26.3%, came from individuals who identified autism as their disability or the disability of the individual they represent. Since only 3.5% of the individuals with disabilities who responded to that survey identified autism as their disability, this large number of responses almost certainly reflects the large number of parents of individuals with autism or their advocates who completed the survey.

The prevalence of autism has been increasing over the past two decades both nationally and in Kentucky. The Fightingautism.org website contains data from the annual child count of the United States Department of Education Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) that indicates a 37% average annual growth rate in the prevalence of autism from 1992 to 2003, resulting in a cumulative growth rate of 3,295% over the same time period. The Preliminary Report of the Kentucky Commission on Autism Spectrum Disorders, dated June of 2006, estimated there were more than 24,000 individuals with autism in the state.

Although certainly not growing at the same rate as in the general population, the number of individuals with autism served by KYOVR has been increasing in recent years. The number of newly eligible cases of individuals with autism increased by 97.44% from fiscal year 2006 to 2008, in essence doubling, while the percentage increase for all newly eligible cases with the agency increased by 8.82%. In fiscal year 2008, 389 individual with autism were served by KYOVR, 1.07% of the all individuals served by the agency.

Individuals from Ethnic Minorities

Fourteen percent of all individuals served last year by KYOVR were African-American. According to the 2005-2007 American Community Survey of the U. S. Census Bureau, the percentage of African-Americans in the general population was 7.5%. The minority service ratio, a measure instituted by the Rehabilitation Services Administration to gauge vocational rehabilitation services provided to minorities, was 91.4 for KYOVR in fiscal year 2008, well above the target of 80.0. It appears that KYOVR is reaching the disabled African-American population in the state. According to “The State of African-Americans in Kentucky” (Kentucky Human Rights Commission, 2009), however, African-Americans and other minorities do not fare as well generally as whites in a number of areas:

•In 2007, Kentucky’s per capita income (PCI) for whites was $22,323 while the African American PCI was 46% less ($15,287), American Indian PCI was 27% less (17,599), and the Hispanic PCI was 57% less ($14,238);

•The drop out rate in 2005 was 5.92% for African-Americans and 3.21% for whites;

•The percentage of African-Americans with income below the poverty level in 2007 in Kentucky was 30% compared to 15% for whites;

•Kentucky’s combined prison and jail incarceration rate for African Americans was 2,793 per 100,000 residents in 2008, nearly five times the incarceration rate for Whites (561 per 100,000 residents).

Although Kentucky’s percentage of the population that is Hispanic remains low, estimated at 2% in 2007 compared to 14% nationally, the number of people of Hispanic origin has quadrupled since 1990, from 21,998 in that year to an estimated 90,015 in 2007. In 2008, KYOVR served 279 individuals of Hispanic origin, 0.7% of all individuals served.

The Vocational Rehabilitation Needs of Individuals with Disabilities Served Through Other Components of the Statewide Workforce Investment System

KYOVR has long been an active partner with other members of the Workforce Investment system in developing a cohesive, user-friendly approach to workforce services in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. The purpose of this section is to assess the VR needs of individuals with disabilities served through the One-Stop approach to workforce development. To assess this need, the agency conducted an analysis of information from the KYOVR Counselor Needs Assessment Survey and the Kentucky Office of Employment and Training One-Stop Manager Survey.

Analysis of this data reflected the following needs related to One-Stops:

I.Improved communication between local One-Stops and KYOVR staff

II.Need for increased training related to Workforce services to individuals with disabilities

III.Physical and programmatic access to One-Stop services.

Improved Communication between Local One-Stops and KYOVR Staff

The One-Stop model of providing workforce services is intended to provide seamless access to all individuals in need of employment related services. A critical factor to this approach is efficient and effective communication between the workforce partners so that all partner agencies have an understanding of each respective agency related services. A lack of effective communication may result in inappropriate referrals and cause delay in service provision to individuals in need of assistance gaining employment.

Several survey items in the comprehensive needs assessment suggest a lack of communication and understanding between KYOVR and One-Stops. Of the 59 VR counselors responding that they did work with their local One-Stop, 25% (15) indicated they were not satisfied with their experiences with their local One-Stops. Counselors also identified specific issues they had experienced when working with One-Stop centers. Twenty percent (13) reported receiving inappropriate referrals and 35.4% (23) indicated a lack of referral source training regarding OVR services.

The survey of One-Stop managers provides dissimilar results from the counselor survey. A review of this data reveals a view by the One-Stop Managers that there are no significant issues related to One-Stop services to individuals with disabilities. Of the 18 One-Stop managers responding to the survey 83.3% (15) indicated no gaps in services for individuals in the One-Stop setting. The managers also felt confident in their knowledge of VR services, with 94.4% (17) indicating they had “good” or “excellent” knowledge of VR services. When asked to rate their working relationship with KYOVR staff, 94.4% (17) rated the relationship as “good” or “excellent.” No respondents rated the relationship as poor. When juxtaposed against the results of the counselor survey, these responses are somewhat baffling as counselors indicate significant issues related to the One-Stops, while the managers appear to believe there are few issues related to working with KYOVR and providing services to individuals with disabilities. This indicates an apparent disconnect between the views of One-Stop managers and VR counselors.

Though the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 has been around for more than a decade, indications of communication issues between mandatory workforce partners are somewhat alarming. Ample time has passed to allow partners to understand VR service and the development of appropriate referral procedures. Addressing this issue will be the responsibility of KYOVR and local One-Stop partners to open channels of communication and improve processes and practices ensuring quality workforce services.

Need for Increased Training Related to Workforce Services to Individuals with Disabilities

In contrast to the previous section, the data from both the counselor and One-Stop manager survey are consistent in their belief in the need for more training for One-Stop staff related to providing employment related services to individuals with disabilities and navigating the service provision process of KYOVR. As indicated earlier, 35.4% (23) of KYOVR counselor survey respondents who indicated working with their local One-Stop reported a lack of referral source training related to OVR services. Fourteen respondents (21.5%) noted a poor attitude towards individuals with disabilities, possibly signifying a lack of understanding of work expectation for various disabilities.

One-Stop managers also recognize potential knowledge gaps related to services to individuals with disabilities, indicated the need for training related to the following:

•Americans with Disabilities Act

•Social Security Work Incentives

•Assistive Technology

•Employer Resources/Tax Credits

•Deaf and Hard of Hearing

•Reasonable Accommodations.

KYOVR must collaborate with its workforce partners to address these critical areas of deficient knowledge identified by One-Stop staff and develop strategies to provide training in an effective and efficient manner.

Physical and Programmatic Access to One-Stop Services

A concern of advocates for individuals with disabilities related to the One-Stop approach to workforce development has always been programmatic and physical access to One-Stop programs for individuals with disabilities. Individuals cannot benefit from services if there are physical, programmatic or attitudinal barriers preventing them from accessing necessary employment related services.

This concern is somewhat validated by the results of the counselor’s survey. Four (6.2%) counselors identified physical access as an issue related to One-Stops. While this does not appear to be a large number, any accessibility issues are significant and require prompt attention from various administrative levels for resolution.

Another troubling indicator is that 21.5% (14) of the counselors identified a poor attitude towards individuals with disabilities as an issue regarding One-Stops. This poor attitude could reflect a barrier to One-Stop services as individuals with disabilities are not likely to seek employment services in an environment where they are not made to feel empowered to work. This barrier may also be reflected in results from the One-Stop manager survey in which only two (11.1%) managers indicated an increase in individuals served with disabilities and five (27.8%) had identified a decrease in individuals served with disabilities. As individuals with disabilities have historically higher unemployment rates, and as KYOVR caseloads and referrals continue to increase, it would be expected that services at One-Stops would also reflect this increase. This does not appear to have occurred and KYOVR must work with workforce partners to determine possible barriers, and subsequent removal, of One-Stop career services to individuals with disabilities.

An Assessment of the Need to Establish or Support CommunityRehabilitation Programs Within the State

The purpose of this section is to present the results of KYOVR’s efforts to assess the need to establish, develop or improve CRPs providing services to Kentuckians with disabilities. To assess this need, the agency conducted an analysis of information from the following sources:

•KYOVR CRP database

•KYOVR Case Management System

•CRP Needs Assessment Survey

•KYOVR Counselor Needs Assessment Survey

•KYOVR VR Staff Needs Assessment Survey

•Public Needs Assessment Survey

•Public Forums

•KYOVR Personnel Study

•2000 Census Data

Analysis of this data identified the following needs related to CRP services:

I.Lack of availability of CRPs on a statewide level

II.Need for more job placement services

III.Need to develop quality assessment tool for CRP services

IV.Need for increased/improved services to consumers with multiple disabilities,

Autism, criminal backgrounds, drug and alcohol addiction, mental illness and

development disabilities

V.Need for additional staff training for CRPs

VI.Expanded/Improved services for CDPVTC.

Lack of availability of CRPs on a statewide level.

Based on a review of the KYOVR CRP database, which includes the addresses of each of the facilities and analysis of CRP services purchased by OVR counselors by district, the uneven geographic availability of services throughout the state becomes apparent. There is a higher frequency of providers near metropolitan areas such as Lexington, Louisville, Bowling Green and Northern Kentucky. In rural areas of the state, the number of CRPs sharply declines, especially in the eastern portion of the state. While it would be expected that more services would be available close to population centers, according to 2000 Census data, there are high incidence rates of individuals with disabilities in the rural areas of Kentucky. This lack of CRP availability was also evident in the CRP survey, in which only 1 respondent indicated working with the West Liberty District and no respondents reported working with the Whitesburg District. The highest numbers of respondents to the CRPs were in the more metropolitan areas of the state.

The counselor survey also revealed trends indicating a lack of available CRP services with 36 counselors (47%) of the 76 who responded to the question stating the use of the services of two CRPs or less in a given year. When asked their level of agreement with the statement: “There are enough CRPs to serve consumers in need of services in my area”, 65.8% (50) of the responding counselors disagreed. Forty-eight percent (36) did not feel the available CRPs provided a range of services that met the needs of their consumers, indicating the need for expansion of CRPs and the number of services provided.

When asked to rate the significance of the lack of available CRPs as a barrier to successful employment for KYOVR consumers to gain and maintain employment on a scale of one to five (1= Very Significant Barrier, 5 = Not A Barrier), only 42.9% (33) of the counselors and 42.6% (39) of KYOVR staff responded with a rating of four or higher. This indicates the majority of both groups see the lack of CRPs as a barrier to positive employment outcomes for consumers. The general public survey also showed a concern with the lack of availability of rehabilitation services with only 21.9% (112) rating the significance as a barrier to employment as a four or higher. CRPs, however, did not appear to share the opinion regarding the lack of available services. Of those who responded, 63.8% (30) of the respondents rated the lack of CRPs at a four or higher. In fact, many of the responses by CRPs point toward a belief of adequate available service being underutilized. Any future strategic planning regarding establishment/enhancement of CRP programs should include a utilization review of current programs to determine capacities and utilization rates of CRP services. A study of this nature may provide more depth of information in determining whether this is an issue more related to quality than quantity.

Need for expanded/enhanced job placement services

The identified need for expanded or enhanced job placement services in the comprehensive needs assessment has been chronicled and justified in the section of the report related to the needs of individuals with the most significant disabilities. As the primary provider of job placement services to KYOVR consumers, CRPs would likely be relied upon to take the responsibility to increase or enhance their services. Future assessments may need to include a cost-benefit analysis of expanding the KYOVR internal job placement program juxtaposed against assisting CRPsto increase capacity to provide these services.

Need to assess quality of CRP services

Several items in the comprehensive needs assessment point to a need to assess and track quality of CRP services to individuals with disabilities. Less than 50% (49.3%) of the counselors felt CRP staff had adequate education and professional training to meet the VR needs of consumers. Also, only 57.9% felt CRPs provided quality services that met identified needs. Considering the number of counselors purchasing CRP services and the amount of funds dispensed to CRPs, these numbers could be considered somewhat low and may indicate counselors are concerned about the level of quality of CRP services. Providing further support to this view, counselors and OVR staff tended to view the quality of service providers as more of a barrier to consumer employment than CRPs. This may indicate a disconnect between the perception of the quality of services by CRPs and the view of quality as assessed by KYOVR staff. This disconnect may occur because of a dearth of quantitative or qualitative outcome data related to CRP services directly or indirectly assessing quality. CRPs may feel they are providing services of quality and counselors may disagree with this belief. Both may have logical reasons for holding these opinions; however they may not be based on objective long-term data. KYOVR and CRP service providers may need to develop strategies to assess the quality of their services in such a way both parties can compare current performance to previous performance, as well as to the outcomes of other CRPs similarly situated.

CRPs could utilize this information to improve program services, justify funding and provide information to funding sources. A quality assessment tool would also allow the KYOVR consumer the opportunity to make a more informed choice when considering VR services between multiple providers. KYOVR may need to work with CRPs to develop approaches to assess program quality incorporating both qualitative and quantitative data collection methodologies to better understand the nuances of the factors related to positive employment outcomes as a product of CRP services.

Need for increased/improved services to consumers with multiple disabilities, Autism, criminal backgrounds, drug and alcohol addiction, mental illness and developmental disabilities.

Since the establishment of the Public VR program, the population served has been in a constant state of evolution for various political, cultural, and socio-economic reasons. This evolution requires VR agencies and service providers to constantly monitor there populations and ensure current practices are appropriate for the individuals being served.

When asked about changes in the populations being served by their respective agencies, both counselors and CRPs reported drastic changes in the disabilities and circumstances of the individuals they currently serve. Counselors and CRP providers were given a list of populations and disability groups, and asked to indicate whether there was an increase, decrease or no change in the number of individuals they have served from these groups in the last three years. The groups receiving the highest percentage of counselors observing an increase included the following:

• Individuals with Criminal Backgrounds/Felonies (72.8%)

• Drug and Alcohol Addiction (67.1%)

• Mental Illness (67.1%)

• Individuals with Multiple Impairments/MSD (56.1%)

• Autism (50.6%).

CRPs reported the largest increase in the following populations/groups:

• Mental Illness (70.2%)

• Individuals with Criminal Backgrounds/Felonies (63.0%)

• Individuals with Multiple Impairment/MSD (59.6%)

• Drug and Alcohol Addiction (54.3%)

• Cognitive Disabilities (37.0%).

The similarity between the two groups should be noted, with only Autism not being present in the CRP list and cognitive disabilities not included in the counselors’ results. This high level of consistency between the CRPs and counselors validates the notion of a true change in consumer population. To meet the demand for these groups/populations, current service provision techniques and program may need to be reassessed; with the possibility of current CRP programs being modified to accommodate the unique needs of these groups. In other instances, new programs may be necessary to address specific issues for a disability population/group. KYOVR must collaborate with CRPs to communicate necessary VR services and ensure there are services available to address the VR needs of emerging groups.

Need for Additional/Enhanced Supported Employment Services

Data related to the need for additional and expanded Supported Employment services have been presented in previous sections. Data received in the comprehensive needs assessment clearly identifies a large, unmet demand for Supported Employment services in Kentucky. CRPs, with their expertise and experience working with individuals with significant disabilities, are key resources in any Support Employment expansion efforts. To address this need, KYOVR will need to partner with CRPs to explore strategies to increase capacity for Supported Employment services throughout the state. These strategies may include intensified advocacy for on-going long-term funding, re-evaluation of KYOVR Supported Employment outcome fees, and/or expanded partnerships with other human service organizations. This is a complex and critical need, requiring the co-operation of many stakeholders if a viable solution is to be developed.

Need for Additional Training for CRP Staff

The 1998 Amendments of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 require public VR agencies employ qualified VR counselors to provide specialized services to program consumers. A qualified VR counselor is considered an individual who has satisfied the requirements consistent with a national standard for the profession of rehabilitation counseling. In contrast, there are no regulations or laws outlining any experiential or training requirements for CRP staff and many CRP direct service staff have a bachelor’s degree or less. This could be a weak link in the VR service provision process as even the most competent planning can be foiled by unskilled implementation.

This concern is evident in the result of the counselor survey, with less than half (49.3%) indicating they felt CRP staff had adequate education and professional training to meet the VR needs of their consumers. They also identified a lack of qualified services providers as a barrier in assisting individuals with disabilities gain and maintain employment, with 47.4% rating it as a one or two in terms of significance of the barrier.

The issue of CRP staff training is critical in that many VR services are provided by CRPs and lack of staff expertise could potentially decrease the quality of services to consumers. KYOVR may need to collaborate with CRPs to address training issues related to serving VR consumers. KYOVR may also need to consider development of minimal training requirement for CRP staff, certification or facility accreditation to ensure service providers are competent and providing high quality services.

Expanded/Improved Services for CDPVTC

As one of eight states VR agencies operating a comprehensive rehabilitation center, KYOVR is uniquely situated in terms of the service provision opportunities available at CDPVTC. While technically not a CRP, CDPVTC provides a similar scope of services on a statewide level as those provided by CRPs, whose services are generally local or regional. Because of this conjunction with CRPs, many needs identified in the comprehensive needs assessment may also apply to CDPVTC, as its programs and services could be potentially modified to attempt to address the identified service needs.

Because of the expense of operating a comprehensive rehabilitation center, it is important whether funds are being used efficiently and effectively and the services provided by CPVTC are valuable to counselors and consumers. Of the KYOVR counselor respondents, 10.5% (8) indicated they did not refer anyone to CDPVTC in the previous year and 69.8% (53) reported referring between one and ten individuals for Center services. With more than 80% of the counselors responding to this survey referring less than ten individuals to CDPVTC per year, this may indicate a lack of full utilization of Center services and a possible disconnect between service availability and service needs.

Counselors did express there was a foreseeable need for CDPVTC services in the next three years, as 89.4% (67) believed the need for center services would either increase or stay the same. Counselors indicated vocational training (41%), work adjustment (34%) and Driver’s Education (33%) would have an increase in need. Only 27.6% (21) of the counselors who responded felt there would be an increase in need for CDPVTC job placement services, even though they responded there was an increased need for job placement services in general. This perceived lack of need for CDPVTC job placement services may be explained by the ability of CRPs to be more knowledgeable of the local labor market, while the Center job placement program focuses on more of a statewide level, inhibiting the ability to understand specific job markets.

It is possible that a facility as unique as a comprehensive rehabilitation center will allow greater flexibility with difficult to serve disability groups/populations or develop niche programs that are not cost effective or profitable for CRPs to operate. This may be reflected in the population counselors anticipate utilizing services. The counselors also indicated an anticipated increase in services to individuals with Autism (60.8%), transition age youth (62.2%) and individuals with cognitive disabilities (64.9%). The environment of the Center may provide necessary supports to address the multiple service needs of these particular groups/populations, increasing the likelihood of gaining and maintaining employment.

In addressing some of the issuesIn addressing some of the issues revealed in the comprehensive needs assessment, KYOVR and CDPVTC may need to assess the current utilization of Center services to ensure efficient and effective use of resources and a minimization of duplicity with services provided locally by CRPs. This assessment should also include strategies for CDPVTC to potentially address the apparent lack of available services in various geographic regions currently underserved.

As the availability of funding continues to shrink or remain stagnant, and demand for VR services increases, KYOVR will likely be required to make difficult decisions regarding disbursement of staff and other resources. The agency will likely lose the flexibility to create or expand internal direct service programs. As the primary providers of direct services, CRPs will likely be needed to fill the need to expand or improve needed services. With this in mind, KYOVR will have to develop better relationships with CRPs and other VR service providers, changing from an agency-vendor view, to more of a partnership between the groups, focusing on pooling resources and expertise to improve services. This new partner ship brings with it both rewards and consequences for both parties. Because of its increased stake in CRP performance, KYOVR may have to take a more active role in how CRPs are managed, how CRP staff are trained, and how quality is addressed by each facility. In turn, KYOVR may need to be more responsive to the needs of facilities, ensuring CRPs have access to the resources necessary to provide quality services. While these should just be considered examples or suggestions for change, data from the comprehensive needs assessments indicates a growing need and seismic change in the current VR operating environment, which compels human service agencies and service providers to cooperate in an effort to address the ever-changing needs of VR consumers.

KYOVR Strategic Plan

The comprehensive needs assessment is intended to assist in the development of a strategic plan by identifying the various current and future VR services needs of individuals with disabilities. KYOVR will present the data and identified needs from this report to the Statewide Council for Vocational Rehabilitation, district managers, Central Office administrators, and the general public to request specific strategies or solutions in addressing the identified needs. These strategies will then be compiled and prioritized to develop a basic strategy and timeline of actions intended to address the identified needs. These efforts will in turn act as the basis for the 2010-2013 KYOVR Strategic Plan, which defines the goals, objectives and actions of the agency related to providing improved and expanded VR services to Kentuckians with disabilities.

This screen was last updated on Jul 9 2009 9:18AM by sakybeachd

These goals reflect the Office’s continuing dedication toward serving those individuals with the most significant disabilities. The Agency decreased the provision of services to individuals with the most significant disabilities during fiscal year 2010 by 3.34% and the overall number of active cases decreased by .3.7%%. Cases served in Priority Category Level II increased by 20%, while Categories III & IV declined by 27% and 26% respectively. While it is unclear on the reason for the decrease in the number of active cases for persons with the most significant disabilities, possible correlations may be relevant to the abrupt changes in the economy, increase of persons seeking public benefits and the agency going up in Order of Selection. The following FY 2011-2012 are based on a trend analysis utilizing data from the previous five years and projecting increases or decreases in future categories projections, taking into account changes in various environmental factors such as budget, personnel, etc. The goals project a slight increase in categories I and due to stagnant funding and anticipated sharp cuts in the state budget and the loss of ARRA funding.

FY 2011 SERVICE GOALS:

Priority Category Title VI,

Part B Title I,

Part B Estimated

Cost

I Eligible individuals with the most significant disabilities 150 14,200 20,359,755.00

II Eligible individuals with a significant disability who

have serious limitations in three functional areas 10,673 13,895,730.00

III Eligible individuals with a significant disability who

have serious limitations in two functional areas 4,155 4,153,584.00

IV Eligible individuals with a significant disability

who have serious limitations in one functional area 975 823,077.00

V. All other eligible individuals whose disabilities are non-significant 4 8,339.00

TOTAL 150 30,007 39,240,485.00

FY 2012 SERVICE GOALS:

Priority Category Title VI,

Part B Title I,

Part B Estimated Cost

I Eligible individuals with the most significant disabilities 150 14,400 $21,782,171

II Eligible individuals with a significant disability who

have serious limitations in three functional areas 11,500 $14,495,730

III Eligible individuals with a significant disability who

have serious limitations in two functional areas 2,800 $2,683,584

IV Eligible individuals with a significant disability who

have serious limitations in one functional area 900 $392,302

V All other eligible individuals whose disabilities are non-

significant 3 $7,987

TOTALS 150 29,603 $38,259,774

Category Title I or Title VI Estimated Funds Estimated Number to be Served Average Cost of Services
Individuals with the most significant disabilities Title I $2,000,755 14,200 $140
Significant disabilities with 3 limitation areas Title I $13,895,730 10673 $1,301
Significant disabilities with 2 limitation areas Title I $4,153,584 4155 $999
Significant disabilities with 1 limitation areas Title I $823,077 975 $844
All other eligible individuals whose disabiliti Title I $8,339 4 $2,084
Individuals with Most Significant Disabiilities Title VI $350,000 150 $2,333
Totals   $21,231,485 30,157 $704

This screen was last updated on Jun 21 2011 9:22AM by sakybeachd

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

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

Attachment 4.11(c)(1): State’s Goals and Priorities

Continuing statewide studies of the Agency’s effectiveness, efficiency and performance; extensive reviews of pertinent studies and statistical analyses; and public input are utilized by the OVR to identify needs of persons with disabilities in Kentucky. The Agency conducted electronic surveys and visioning forums across the state during the fall of 2008 to solicit input for the State Comprehensive Needs Assessment from consumers, the Statewide Council for Vocational Rehabilitation, the Statewide Independent Living Council, the Client Assistance Program, employers, advocacy groups, community rehabilitation providers, One-stop Centers, and staff. Comments and suggestions were grouped and prioritized by participants. Data developed from these surveys, statistics, an analysis of the state agency's performance related to RSA standards and indicators, and public forums resulted in the development of the following goals that were formulated into a strategic plan to be implemented in FFY 2010.

The goals and priorities presented below have been reviewed and jointly agreed upon by KYOVR and the state SRC.

KYOVR VR and Supported Employment Goals and Priorities

GOAL I: To enhance and increase employment for individuals with most significant and significant disabilities consistent with individual capacities, abilities and informed choice.

GOAL II: To promote inclusion, integration and empowerment of individuals with most significant and significant disabilities.

GOAL III: To achieve productive and collaborative relationships with public and private entities.

GOAL IV: To effectively utilize all available human and fiscal resources in an efficient manner.

Supported Employment Goals

GOAL 1: Increase utilization of Supported Employment Services

GOAL 2 Recruit more Supported Employment providers

GOAL 3 Seek alternative methods for providing and funding long term support.

GOAL 4 Develop partnershipS to address Supported Employment and Job Placement of persons with mental illness

PRIORITIES

The Agency established the following priorities based on all input collected for the Strategic Plan as well as the comprehensive statewide assessment.

1.Meet or exceed performance standards and indicators as mandated by the federal government through expansion of external customer outreach such as increased employer partnerships, community involvement, and disability organizations collaboration.

2.Develop and implement an effective, comprehensive and responsive management information system through ongoing recommendations from all staff, adequate training to all staff, and continuous improvement measures for future changes.

3. Increase qualified professional staff in all disciplines through partnerships with the universities and colleges and exploration of state level certification programs.

4. Develop a comprehensive personnel plan based on an analysis of current and future demographics and trends to address the needs of individuals with disabilities.

This screen was last updated on Jul 16 2010 10:10AM by sakybeachd

  • 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

KYOVR initially entered order of selection in FY1983 with nine categories, eventually reduced that same year to 6. The agency closed and reopened various categories from 1983-1994, serving as few as three categories and as many as five categories. In 1996, the agency revised the categories for Order of Selection, emphasizing functional limitations and removing a category for public officers injured in the line of duty, while still maintaining six categories. At that time, the agency chose to serve four categories, based on program analysis, budget analysis and feedback received from the SRC and public forums. In 2009, the agency changed the Order of Selection to combine the last two categories to include all individuals with disabilities whose disabilities were considered to be non-significant in terms of functional limitations on the individual’s ability to work and live independently. Because of cuts in state funding, the agency reviewed the available data and determined the agency would only serve priority category I and II on January 4, 2010.

KYOVR utilizes a multimodal approach to assessing the resources available to allow the agency to provide vocational rehabilitation services to all eligible individuals who apply, such as:

• Census and population data related to disability incidence

• Short and Long-term budgetary outlook

• Short and Long-tem staffing projections

• Comprehensive Needs Assessment

• Waiting list for services

• SRC input

• Public Forum Input.

The agency carefully analyzes information from these sources to predict its ability to provide quality services to eligible individuals with disabilities as required by the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 as Amended.

Because of the availability of funds, the agency made the decision to serve all individuals with significant disabilities (OOS Priority Category III & IV) on the waiting list prior to May 2, 2011, which is approximately 1419 individuals. Because of future anticipated state funding reductions, the agency remains in its current Order of Selection and will continue to serve only Priority Categories I & II.

Census data indicates 557,971 (20.2%) of Kentuckians between 21 and 64 have a disability with only 46.9% of those individuals being employed. This ranks Kentucky as the state with the third highest percentage of individuals with disabilities. There are also 684,138 (16.9% of the population) individuals that fall below the poverty line. According to statehealthfacts.org (Kaiser Family Foundation, 2009), four (4) percent of the state’s residents receive blind and disabled Supplemental Security Income benefits. This gives Kentucky the highest percentage of residents who receive SSI benefits in the nation. According to the Institute for Community Inclusion (ICI), in 2007, Kentucky had 173,052 SSI recipients, 4,739 of whom were working. The percentage of SSI recipients who were working was 2.7% compared to the national percentage of 7.6% (ICI, 2007). In 2007, Kentucky also had 160,122 Old Age Survivor and Disability Insurance (OASDI) recipients/workers with disabilities.

These statistics provide a description of the potential high demand for KYOVR services based on the number of individuals in the state with disabilities.

A review of internal OVR data that was used to develop a Personnel Plan in June of 2008 indicated that as the average caseload increases, the rehabilitation rate tends to decrease. This review also indicated that as the average caseload size increases, so too does the average cost of status 26 (positive employment outcomes) and status 30 closures (cases closed after being determined eligible for services, but before an Individualized Plan for Employment is written). Therefore, a decrease in the average OVR caseload size would not only increase the rehabilitation rate of its consumers, but would also decrease the average cost of status 26 and status 30 closures. However, state personnel cap issues prevent the hiring of additional VR counselors to decrease caseload size.

At the end of the 2010 federal fiscal year, the average caseload size for counselors in the agency was 253 individuals served during the year. This average was somewhat distorted by the large average caseload sizes in two particular districts. The Middletown district in the Louisville area had an average caseload size of 335 individuals, while in the Ft. Wright District in the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky area, the average was 323. Still only seven of the 14 districts had average caseload sizes of less than 250 with the Lexington district being the smallest at 186. While these caseload numbers are down significantly from the previous two fiscal years, they still remain high compared to peer states.

According to the 33rd Institute on Rehabilitation Issues entitled Recruitment and Retention of Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors, the average caseload size, based on a survey of federal/state vocational rehabilitation agencies was 143 (Dew, Alan & Tomlinson, 2008). The caseload range in this particular survey was between 105 and 205 average cases per counselor.

These caseload numbers alone indicate agency counselors are operating at or near capacity in terms of individuals they are serving and adding additional individuals to these already high caseloads through an increase in the categories served in the Order of Selection could diminish the quality of services VR services.

While the agency is currently operating with a significant carry forward, the intention of the agency to use of these funds in future budget cycles to overcome budget shortfalls in future budget cycles. In 2011, budget reductions left the agency unable to match all available federal funds. Based on the current state funding, the agency anticipates having $11,471,900 in matching funds for FY 2011 reducing the available federal amount to $39,149,149 and will have a total of $62,800,082 in available funds. Based on these projections, the agency will not be able to match $7,639,841 in available funds, plus the potential MOE penalty of 1,457,664 The agency will utilize carry forward to offset this loss, while reducing expenditures to cover the remaining loss of funds.

In FFY2012, the agency is projecting the ability to match $37,992,517 in Basic Support funding and have a total of $62,800,082 in available funds. KYOVR anticipates not being able to match $11,701,533 of available Basic Support funding (including the MOE penalty). To reduce the impact of this shortfall, KYOVR will use carry forward funds, as well as reduce expenditures. These actions will reduce our carry forward amount into FFY 2013 to $2,192,782.

Based on current state funding projections for FY2013, the agency will be unable to match $13,192,356 because of projected state funding shortfalls and have an overall budget of $54,127,408.. To counterbalance this shortfall, the agency will utilize carry forward funds and reduce expenditures, exhausting carry forward funds going into FY2014 ..

Assuming the validity of these projections, by the beginning of FY2014, KYOVR will be operating at a funding level approximately $17,345,347 million less than the agency had available in FY2012. Because of this reduction in funds, KYOVR foresees impending difficulty providing VR services to Kentuckians with disabilities. Because the average time for a case to be open is consistently between two to two and a half years, increasing the number of categories served in FFY2012 would likely be unsustainable with the impending decrease in available funding in future budget cycles. In fact, the agency anticipates reducing the number of categories served in the OOS as KYOVR anticipates having significantly less funds available to serve eligible individuals.

Information is also presented annually to the SRC and the public during the public meetings seeking input regarding KYOVR services. Feedback from both the SRC and the public support maintaining the current number of categories served in the Order of Selection.

 

Description of Priority categories

Upon a determination that the designated State unit cannot provide services to all individuals who are eligible for Vocational Rehabilitation Services, the following Order of Selection will be implemented in compliance with 34 CFR 361.36(a)(A)(c).

This Order of Selection provides priority of service to individuals with the most significant disabilities (priority category I); gives next priority consideration to individuals with significant disabilities who have serious limitations in three functional capacities (priority category II); next priority is given to individuals with significant disabilities with serious limitations in two functional capacities (priority category III); next priority is given to all other individuals who have a significant disability (priority category IV). The criteria for the next priority category addresses the issue of providing priority service to individuals with a non-significant disability that results in permanent functional limitations (priority category V). The remaining priority category is largely self-explanatory in that individuals with less significant disabilities would receive the lowest priority for services (priority category VI).

The Order of Selection system shall have six (5) priority categories as follows:

Priority Category I

Eligible individuals who have the most significant disabilities.

Priority Category II

Eligible individuals with a significant disability who have serious limitations in three functional capacities.

Priority Category III

Eligible individuals with a significant disability who have serious limitations in two functional capacities.

Priority Category IV

Eligible individuals with a significant disability who have serious limitations in one functional capacities.

Priority Category V

All other eligible individuals whose disabilities are non-significant

 

Priority of categories to receive VR services under the order

DEFINITIONS:

A. "Individual with a most significant disability" for the purpose of this attachment, means an individual:

(i) Who has a significant disability; and

(ii) Who requires intensive long-term support to facilitate the performance of work activities or daily living activities on or off the job which would typically be performed independently if the individual did not have a disability;

[Intensive long-term support refers to intervention required throughout the individuals work life which may include but is not limited to: need for personal assistance services; need for complex rehabilitation technology services; need for job coaching and/or other long-term intervention during the individual’s work life.] or

(i) Who has a significant disability; and

(ii) Who has serious limitations in four or more functional capacities (mobility, communication, self-care, self-direction, interpersonal skills, work tolerance, or work skills) in terms of employment outcome.

B. "Individual with a significant disability" means an individual with a disability:

(i) Who has a severe physical or mental disability that seriously limits one or more functional capacities (such as mobility, communication, self care, self direction, interpersonal skills, work tolerance, or work skills) in terms of employment outcome;

(ii) Whose vocational rehabilitation can be expected to require multiple vocational rehabilitation services over an extended period of time; and

(iii) 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 disorder, neurological disorders (including stroke and epilepsy), spinal cord conditions (including paraplegia and quadriplegia), sickle cell anemia, specific learning disability, and end stage renal disease, or another disability or combination of disabilities determined on the basis of an assessment for determining eligibility and vocational rehabilitation needs as described in the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, to cause comparable substantial functional limitation.

C. "An individual with a disability" under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, means an individual:

(i) Who has a physical or mental impairment;

(ii) Whose impairment constitutes or results in a substantial impediment to employment; and;

(iii) Who can benefit in terms of employment outcome from vocational rehabilitation services.

D. "Eligible" or "eligibility" when used in relation to an individual’s qualification for vocational rehabilitation services, refers to:

(i) certification by qualified personnel that an individual is an individual with a disability; and

(ii) determination by a qualified vocational rehabilitation counselor employed by the designated State unit that the individual requires vocational rehabilitation services to prepare for, secure, retain, or regain employment consistent with the individuals unique strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, interests, and informed choice.

(iii) A presumption that the individual can benefit in terms of an employment outcome from the provision of vocational rehabilitation services unless, based on clear and convincing evidence, it is demonstrated that the individual is incapable of benefiting in terms of an employment outcome from vocational rehabilitation services due to the severity of the applicants disability.

"Presumption of Eligibility for Social Security Recipients and Beneficiaries means that an individual who has been determined eligible under Title II or Title XVI of the Social Security Act is:

(i) considered to be an individual with a significant disability; and

(ii) presumed to be eligible for vocational rehabilitation services under Title I (provided the individual intends to achieve an employment outcome consistent with the unique strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, interests, and informed choice of the individual) unless the office can demonstrate by clear and convincing evidence that such individual is incapable of benefiting from vocational rehabilitation services in terms of employment outcome due to the severity of the disability of the individual. Nothing in this definition shall be construed to create an entitlement to any vocational rehabilitation service.

E. "Order of Selection" means an organized, equitable method for serving individuals with disabilities when all eligible persons who apply cannot be served, with assurance that first priority for service is given to those individuals who have the most significant disabilities.

F. Individualized Plan for Employment" (IPE) or "Rehabilitation Plan" means that program jointly agreed upon by the appropriate office staff member and the eligible individual with a disability, or, as appropriate, his/her parent, guardian, or other representative, which defines the individuals vocational goal and outlines the vocational rehabilitation services which may be delivered to achieve that goal.

"Priority Category" means that classification of eligible individuals with disabilities listed according to priority for receipt of vocational rehabilitation services under an Order of Selection.

G. "Permanent Functional Limitation" means an impairment in functional capacity, mobility, communication, self-care, self-direction, interpersonal skills, work tolerance, or work skills, that is imposed by a disability and that is unlikely to be corrected through surgical intervention and/or medical treatment.

[Use of the term permanent functional limitation in the office’s Order of Selection differentiates between those mental or physical conditions that are usually remedied through the provision of a physical or mental restoration service(s) and those other conditions or disabilities that impose, or are likely to impose, a permanent loss or substantial reduction in functioning regardless of surgical and/or medical intervention.]

POLICIES:

The Office of Vocational Rehabilitation has been and will continue to operate under an Order of Selection due to limited resources and will continually evaluate need, funding, and priority categories.

Within the Order of Selection the office will continue to accept referrals of and applications from individuals with disabilities.

The Order of Selection will in no way regulate the provision or authorization of an assessment for determining eligibility.

Any individual who has begun to receive services under an Individualized Plan for Employment will in no way be affected by an Order of Selection.

The Order of Selection policy will permit immediate reclassification into a higher category, with Priority Category I being the highest category, whenever circumstances justify the reclassification.

PROCEDURES:

When it is determined that the office will be unable to provide services to all eligible applicants, the office will implement the Order of Selection. The Division Director of Program Services will issue a memorandum with appropriate instructions for office staff.

All applicants will be declared eligible or ineligible, as appropriate, on a timely basis.

Any person who does not meet the open categories of the Order of Selection will receive information and referral services in accordance to the 1973 Rehabilitation Act, as amended. These services include vocational rehabilitation information and guidance to assist the individual in achieving employment and referral to other Federal and State programs, including other statewide workforce investment programs, which are best suited to meet the individual’s specific employment needs.

If the eligible individual is assigned to a priority category that is not being served, the case will be placed on a pre-service listing that is essentially a waiting list. A Shortage of Funds letter should be sent to the individual and a copy placed in the case folder. If the individual fails to respond to the agency within thirty (30) days, the case may be closed. At the consumer’s request, an Individual Plan for Employment (IPE) may be developed to the extent possible and held so that services may be initiated as quickly as possible if the Order of Selection changes to serve that category. A consumer may remain on the pre-service listing indefinitely. However, counselors are directed to review these cases yearly months and follow-up letters may be mailed to individuals to determine if they wish to remain on the waiting list. The individual will be removed from the waiting list at their request.

Any person who has begun receiving services under an Individualized Plan for Employment prior to the effective date of an Order of Selection will in no way be affected should the office implement an Order of Selection.

The agency will continually monitor the need to change the categories served. Feedback from the SRC and other stakeholders will be sought and considered when making changes to the Order of Selection.

 

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

FY 2010 SERVICE GOALS AND OUTCOMES:

Priority Category Goals Active Cases Employment

I Eligible individuals with the most significant

Disabilities 16,100 1,622

ACTUAL 14,210 1,313

II Eligible individuals with a significant disability who

have serious limitations in three functional areas 9,334 1,295

ACTUAL 10,343 1,040

III Eligible individuals with a significant disability who

have serious limitations in two functional areas 5,455 1,301

ACTUAL 5,573 874

IV Eligible individuals with a significant disability

who have serious limitations in one functional area 1,300 345

ACTUAL 1,341 268

V Eligible individuals with non-significant disabilities

that result in permanent functional limitations 4 1

ACTUAL 3 0

GOAL TOTAL 32,183 4,565

ACTUAL TOTAL 31,470 3,495

ACTUAL SERVICE COSTS: FY 2010 $ 40,246,652*

*Includes Case Service, Guidance and Counseling, Public

Community Rehabilitation Programs and Placement Costs

FY 2011 SERVICE GOALS:

These goals reflect the Office’s continuing dedication toward serving those individuals with the most significant disabilities. The Agency decreased the provision of services to individuals with the most significant disabilities during fiscal year 2010 by 3.34% and the overall number of active cases decreased by .3.7%%. Cases served in Priority Category Level II increased by 20%, while Categories III & IV declined by 27% and 26% respectively. While it is unclear on the reason for the decrease in the number of active cases for persons with the most significant disabilities, possible correlations may be relevant to the abrupt changes in the economy, increase of persons seeking public benefits and the agency going up in Order of Selection. The following FY 2011-2012 are based on a trend analysis utilizing data from the previous five years and projecting increases or decreases in future categories projections, taking into account changes in various environmental factors such as budget, personnel, etc. The goals project a slight increase in categories I and due to stagnant funding and anticipated sharp cuts in the state budget and the loss of ARRA funding.

FY 2011 SERVICE GOALS:

Priority Category Goals Active Cases Employment

I Eligible individuals with the most significant

Disabilities 14,200 1,260

II Eligible individuals with a significant disability who

have serious limitations in three functional areas 10,673 1,129

III Eligible individuals with a significant disability who

have serious limitations in two functional areas 4,155 1,134

IV Eligible individuals with a significant disability

who have serious limitations in one functional area 975 225

V All other eligible individuals whose disabilities are

non-significant 4 1

TOTAL 30,007 3549

SERVICE COSTS: FY 2011 $ 39,240,485*

*Includes Case Service, Guidance and Counseling, Public

Community Rehabilitation Programs and Placement Costs

FY 2012 SERVICE GOALS:

Priority Category Goals Active Cases Employment

I Eligible individuals with the most significant

disabilities 14,400 1,350

II Eligible individuals with a significant disability who

have serious limitations in three functional areas 11,500 1,360

III Eligible individuals with a significant disability who

have serious limitations in two functional areas 2,800 753

IV Eligible individuals with a significant disability

who have serious limitations in one functional area 900 295

V All other eligible individuals whose disabilities are

non-significant 3 2

TOTAL 29,603 3760

SERVICE COSTS: FY 2012 $38,259,747*

*Includes Case Service, Guidance and Counseling, Public

Community Rehabilitation Programs and Placement Costs

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 0 0 0

This screen was last updated on Jun 8 2011 10:38AM by sakybeachd

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.

Goal 1: The Office will distribute funding from Title VI, Part B through its established network of Supported Employment Providers.

Yearly agreements are developed with each Supported Employment Provider. Fees-for-service and outcome fees, along with policies and procedures for each, have been developed and will be followed by each Provider. All services are monitored by the Supported Employment Branch Staff, consisting of one Branch Manager and three Supported Employment Consultants.

Goal 2: The Office, through the Supported Employment Branch, will assure choice and quality services for its consumers served in supported employment by:

a.thoroughly reviewing all applications for the vendorship program; b.monitoring the ongoing and extended supports provided by each agency; c.verifying the provider’s ability to fund ongoing supports using funds other than VR; d.conducting annual reviews of each vendor; e.providing technical assistance and training for provider staff (through a contract with University of KY-Human Development Institute’s Supported Employment Training Project); f.utilizing local teams (where appropriate) to evaluate services and plan for technical assistance; g.presenting Basics of Supported Employment regularly for agency staff orientation training (Skills Enhancement Training); and h.developing and keeping updated policy and procedural manuals on supported employment for staff via OVR Intranet, and for Providers via Internet and other means. i. being available to consult with individuals, their families, service providers, and others using person-centered planning approaches.

Goal 3: The Office will collaborate with the Department of Mental Health/Mental Retardation Services to expand supported employment options to unserved and underserved groups. Efforts in this regard include:

a.participation in Commissions established as a result of state legislation, including Commission on Services and Supports for People with Mental Retardation and other Developmental Disabilities (HB 144); Commission on Services and Supports to People with Mental Illness and Dual Diagnoses (HB 843); and the Commission on Autism Spectrum Disorders; b.development of partnerships with Kentucky Medicaid Waiver Programs (Supports for Community Living, Home and Community Based Waivers, and Acquired Brain Injury Waivers) so that these sources of extended support funding can be fully utilized; and c.utilization of interagency workgroups to develop better understanding and expand awareness of work incentives (such as in SCL Waiver, Social Security, etc.).

Goal 4: The Office will seek to expand services to unserved and underserved counties as well as unserved and underserved disability groups and will encourage continuous improvement in supported employment by:

a.partnering with KY APSE (Association for Persons in Supported Employment) to advocate for increased state funding for extended support services; b.maximizing the existing dollars for extended support services through collaborative agreements and contracts; c.increasing knowledge of Kentucky’s plan for self-determination strategies, especially within the Medicaid Waiver (Supports for Community Living) programs; d.continuing partnerships with local Community Mental Health Centers; e.recruiting new Providers f.providing training and technical assistance to new supported employment agencies, and providing consultation and technical assistance to VR staff and Providers as needed g.researching better ways to fund and/or deliver services. For example, an enhanced fee for Vocational Profile development is being studied/considered, and a pilot fee to look at postsecondary inclusion for individuals who need supported employment school is being developed by a workgroup established through the University of KY-Human Development Institute. h.piloting new programs, such as those currently being implemented using ARRA-Stimulus Funds i.training Providers in the use of strategies for individualized services such as customized employment and systematic instruction

This screen was last updated on Jun 8 2011 10:45AM by sakybeachd

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.

Attachment 4.11(d) State Strategies and Use of Title I Funds for Innovation and Expansion Activities

(1) Address Needs Identified in the Comprehensive Assessment and to Achieve Identified Goals and Priorities

Continuing statewide studies of the Agency’s effectiveness, efficiency and performance; extensive reviews of pertinent studies and statistical analyses; and public input are utilized by the OVR to identify needs of persons with disabilities in Kentucky. The Agency conducted electronic surveys and visioning forums across the state during the fall of 2008 to solicit input for the State Comprehensive Needs Assessment from consumers, the Statewide Council for Vocational Rehabilitation, the Statewide Independent Living Council, the Client Assistance Program, employers, advocacy groups, community rehabilitation providers, One-stop Centers, and staff. Comments and suggestions were grouped and prioritized by participants. Data developed from these surveys, statistics and forums resulted in the development of the following goals that were formulated into a strategic plan to be implemented in FFY 2010.

GOAL I To enhance and increase employment for individuals with most significant and significant disabilities consistent with individual capacities, abilities and informed choice

GOAL II To promote inclusion, integration and empowerment of individuals with most significant and significant disabilities

GOAL III To achieve productive and collaborative relationships with public and private entities

GOAL IV To effectively utilize all available human and fiscal resources in an efficient manner

In keeping with the established priorities in Attachment 4.11(c)(1), the Agency has selected the following expansion and innovation activities for funding under Title I.

GOAL I TO ENHANCE AND INCREASE EMPLOYMENT FOR INDIVIDUALS WITH MOST SIGNIFICANT AND SIGNIFICANT DISABILITIES CONSISTENT WITH INDIVIDUAL CAPACITIES, ABILITIES AND INFORMED CHOICE

Increase staff education and participation in OVR job placement activities

Increase capacity, utilization and quality of CDPVTC services

Increase utilization of Supported Employment services

Increase services to persons receiving Social Security benefits

Improve services to persons with mental health, substance abuse and criminal backgrounds

Expand, enhance and improve CRP services

Increase access to vocational rehabilitation services to individuals from ethnic minorities

Meet or exceed consumer satisfaction rating of the previous year

Meet or exceed performance on standards and indicators as mandated by the Rehabilitation Services Administration

Expand, enhance, and improve services to transition age consumers

Expand, enhance and improve Assistive Technology services that ensure statewide access to a broad range of services.

GOAL II TO PROMOTE INCLUSION, INTEGRATION AND EMPOWERMENT OF INDIVIDUALS WITH MOST SIGNIFICANT AND SIGNIFICANT DISABILITIES

Promote advocacy for improved services for individuals with most significant disabilities

Promote self advocacy for persons with disabilities

Improve and enhance understanding of and access to vocational rehabilitation services for persons with the most significant disabilities

Increase access to Independent living services for Kentuckians with disabilities

GOAL III TO ACHIEVE PRODUCTIVE AND COLLABORATIVE RELATIONSHIPS WITH PUBLIC AND PRIVATE ENTITIES

Develop and implement a dual-customer plan to develop relationships with businesses to create employment opportunities for KYOVR consumers

Partner with One-Stops to increase comprehensive services to persons with disabilities

GOAL IV TO EFFECTIVELY UTILIZE ALL AVAILABLE HUMAN AND FISCAL RESOURCES IN AN EFFICIENT MANNER

Increase efficiency and effectiveness of agency staff

Increase fiscal efficiencies and agency revenue

Maintain trained and qualified staff based on CSPD and other professional

Disciplines

Increase staff diversity

(2) To Carry Out Outreach Activities to Identify and Serve Individuals with the Most Significant Disabilities

The Agency will continue and expand efforts to identify and serve individuals with the most significant disabilities who are minorities through the following procedures:

• Recruit more Supported Employment providers, especially in rural areas

• Increase and expand services at the Carl D. Perkins Vocational Training Center

• Develop and implement fee for services for SSI/SSDI benefits planning

• Develop in-service training regarding services to persons with mental health and substance abuse diagnosis

• Develop trainings to ensure consistent services to ex-offenders

• Continue to conduct program evaluation activities to identify trends with identified populations, success rates and best practices for serving persons with mental health and substance abuse disabilities, as well as ex-offenders.

• Expand, enhance and improve CRP services

• Increase access to OVR services to individuals from ethnic minorities by identifying successful methods of outreach and service ethnic minority communities, facilitating adequate communication with non-English speaking applicants and consumers.

• The agency will continue to develop productive relationships with One-Stops, employers, disability advocacy groups, educational institutions, and other related groups on both a state-wide and local level to foster a better understanding of the scope of OVR services.

• Increase agency focus on job placement

• Develop a presentation for OVR staff targeted to informing persons with most significant disabilities and potential referral sources of the services provided by OVR

(3) To Overcome Identified Barriers Relating to Equitable Access

Through analysis conducted in the Comprehensive Needs Assessment, stakeholder input through Visioning Forums across the state, and ongoing quality assessment in 2008, the Agency identified the following barriers related to equitable access.

• Insufficient funds to serve all eligible individuals

• Lack of transportation particularly in rural areas

• Lack of adequate job placement services

• Lack of benefits planning services

• Need for support services, including transportation

• Insufficient number of supported employment providers in rural areas

• Large counselor caseload sizes impedes ability to provide quality, individualized services to persons with most significant disabilities

• Lack of physical and programmatic access to One-Stop services

• Lack of available CRP services

• Increased demand for innovative services for persons with mental health disabilities, substance abuse disabilities, criminal backgrounds, autism, multiple disabilities and from ethnic backgrounds.

• Employer attitudinal barriers towards persons with disabilities

Strategic Plan Goal I addresses specific innovative and expansion type activities the agency intends to initiate in an effort to improve services with most significant disabilities. The agency intends to increase training for OVR staff to foster an increased emphasis on job placement and communication of the responsibility of all VR professionals to be involved in the job placement process. The agency also intends to conduct a program evaluation of the Job Placement program to analyze the effectiveness of both the internal and contracted placement services. This evaluation is intended to provide guidance as to whether the agency should expand its internal job placement program or expand funding for external providers and utilize the internal job placement staff for other necessary VR related tasks.

Goal I also focuses on the perceived lack of available Supported Employment services. To address this need, the agency will continue to focus its energies on recruiting and developing Supported Employment Providers, as well as continue to seek alternative methods for providing and funding long term support for persons receiving Supported Employment services.

The Comprehensive Needs Assessment indicated a need for individuals receiving SSI/SSDI benefits to receive consultative services regarding the impact of gaining employment on their receipt of public benefits. Stakeholders appeared to indicate confusion and misconceptions on the part of persons receiving SSI/SSDI benefits related to the impact of work on their benefit check and medical coverage. In Goal I, OVR intends to develop and implement a fee for services for benefits planning focusing on providing clear information regarding SSI/SSDI work incentives, Medicaid Buy-In and the impact of work-related income on current benefits, which is intended to allow persons with disabilities make informed choices regarding the viability of work.

Another barrier identified in the Comprehensive Needs Assessment is related to the need for expanded and enhance CRP services. In Goal I, the agency utilizes a multi-tiered approach to this barrier by offering training to CRP staff through joint trainings, conducting a needs assessment of CRP services, and utilizing funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 to provide establishment grants. KYOVR will also continue to work with CRPs to improve quality by developing strategies to assist KYOVR counselors, consumers and CRPs measure the outcomes of CRP services.

The agency is also utilizing several approaches in Goal I to remove programmatic and physical barriers to persons with mental health diagnosis, autism, criminal backgrounds, substance abuse issues and from ethnic minorities. One strategy related to these activities is to identify and analyze successful methods of outreach and service, then replicate as possible in appropriate regions of the state. The agency also seeks to increase partnerships with related groups and organizations representing the previously mentioned populations to foster knowledge and trust in the efficacy of KYOVR services.

Lastly, the agency is reviewing all current practices regarding Assistive Technology to ensure persons served have adequate access to a wide range of services that will benefit them throughout various stages of the rehabilitation process.

Strategic Plan Goal II focuses on promoting inclusion, integration and empowerment of persons with disabilities and many of the objectives and tasks in this goal are advocacy related. Many barriers to employment and independence for persons with disabilities exist at a level not under direct programmatic control of KYOVR. Goal II focuses on developing advocacy strategies of OVR, KY State Council for Vocational Rehabilitation, and VR consumer to address the need for long-term support for Supported Services, insufficient VR funds for services and transportation.

Goal III focuses on the continued development of productive and collaborative relationships with public and private entities. Strategies in this goal focus on developing relationships with employers to become a resource for businesses by providing education and advocacy regarding the various incentives to hire a person with a disability.

Goal III strategies also include the focus on assuring physical and programmatic barriers to One-Stop services. OVR will attempt to address this by conducting a program evaluation of the current One-Stop partnership, focusing on the possible need for improved communication, accessibility, training and process improvement. To partially address the communication issues, the agency plans to train staff regarding the One-Stop system, as well as conduct disability awareness training for local One-Stop staff.

Strategic Plan Goal IV focuses on the Agency’s intention to effectively utilize all available human and fiscal resources in an efficient and effective manner. Strategies to be employed toward this goal emphasize appropriate dispersal of staff to ensure adequate availability of services, increase fiscal efficiencies through process reduction, clarification of the Order of Selection, and a pilot program to utilize Ticket-to-Work milestone payments for specific populations of consumers. The agency also intends to conduct a comprehensive review of contracts, memorandums of agreement, memorandums of understanding, etc., for improved efficiency and possible cost savings.

The agency also seeks to attempt to maintain a qualified staff and ensure availability to relevant training in an expeditious manner through an online Human Resource Development website.

Lastly, Goal IV includes an objective related to increasing staff diversity. Strategies to accomplish this objective include partnering with the UK Graduate Program in Rehabilitation Counseling to recruit and hire persons from minority groups.

 

This screen was last updated on Jun 16 2010 8:26AM by sakybeachd

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

The Office selected goals and strategies to fund under Title I for innovation and expansion activities based upon input from consumers, the Statewide Council for Vocational Rehabilitation (SCVR), and Agency staff (consult attachment 4.12 (c)(1)). This input determined priority of goals and strategies that would support the most effective utilization of funds for innovation and expansion activities. The following information reports progress toward these goals. The current strategic plan was extended to FY2009 to coordinate the strategic plan with the 2009 Comprehensive Needs Assessment. The Strategic Plan for 2010-2012 has been developed and was implemented Oct. 1, 2009.

GOAL I: To enhance and increase employment for individuals with most significant and significant disabilities consistent with individual capacities, abilities and informed choice.

Ten strategies have been selected for priority under Goal I. The strategies include:

• Increase staff education and participation in OVR job placement activities

• Increase capacity, utilization and quality of Carl D Perkins Vocational Training Center Services (CDPVTC)

• Increase utilization of Supported Employment Services

• Increase services to persons receiving Social Security benefits

• Improve services to persons with mental health, substance abuse and criminal backgrounds

• Expand, enhance and improve CRP services

• Increase access to vocational rehabilitation services to individuals from ethnic minorities

• Meet or exceed consumer satisfaction rating of the previous year

• Meet or exceed performance on standards and indicators as mandated by the federal government

• Expand, enhance and improve services to transition age consumers between the ages of 18 & 25

The agency has developed online training for job placement strategies for VR counselors and other OVR staff. On-site training related to job placement skills will be presented in 2011. Agency managers have also incorporated local training opportunities related the development of job placement skills. KYOVR feels it has made sufficient progress in this area.

CDPVTC has increased it capacity and utilization of its services through the expansion of current programs and addition of vocational and remedial programs. The Center continues its efforts to identify strategies to effectively market its services and the possible development of job placement and supported employment services provided on a regional basis. The agency feels it has made sufficient progress in this area.

In an effort to increase services to persons receiving Social Security benefits, the agency worked with other key stakeholders to develop informational flyers to present to individuals receiving benefits who are interested in gaining employment. KYOVR also participated in regional workshops organized by KY Protection and Advocacy, presenting information related to OVR services and employment opportunities to Social Security benefit recipients. The agency has partnered with Community Rehabilitation Programs to develop benefits planning programs provided on a fee for service basis. Efforts have also been focused on working with employers to become Employment Networks. In FY2010, KYOVR increased successful closures of SSI/SSDI recipients by 128 (25%) when compared to 2009.

To improve services to persons with mental health, substance abuse and criminal backgrounds, the agency developed updated training to better address consistency in cases involving ex-offenders and those with substance abuse impairments. As part of a grant from Johnson & Johnson, a partnership has been developed with Dartmouth to provide Supported Employment services to individuals with mental illness. The agency also had developed a partnership with the Kentucky Department of Corrections and DBHDID to address statewide issues related to ex-offender community re-entry. The agency intends to evaluate services related to these populations to determine success rates, best practices, and other specific issues possibly impacting services. KYOVR feels sufficient progress has been made in this objective.

The agency has implemented several strategies to expand and improve the various CRP services around the state, including regular meetings with CRPs, more intensive monitoring of CRP quality through data analysis and an update of the CRP manual, identifying quality indicators related to outcomes. The agency also utilized stimulus money to provide establishment grants to 17 CRP providers to expand services to persons with the most significant disabilities. The agency feels it has made sufficient progress in meeting this objective.

Efforts to increase access to VR services to persons from ethnic minorities have focused on regional approaches to identify local minority populations and developing referral resources. KYOVR has also developed revised policies to facilitate adequate communication with non-English speaking applicants and consumers through the use of third-party translation and interpretation services. KYOVR has received a grant from the Rehabilitation Services Administration to develop an outreach program designed to provide access and innovative VR services to migrant farm worker populations. This grant is a partnership between Kentucky OVR, Kentucky Area Health Education Center, Kentucky Agrability and Goodwill Industries seeking to develop multiple pathways for access to necessary services for migrant workers and their families. Progress continues to be made in this area.

The University of Kentucky conducts the consumer satisfaction survey in conjunction with the Statewide Council for Vocational Rehabilitation on an annual basis. The information collected is presented in report format to OVR annually and will be included in an internal review of the dissatisfied consumers. Preliminary findings indicate possible reasons for dissatisfaction as being related to the closure of their case. Many individuals indicated they wanted their case to remain open in case other disability related issues on the job occurred. The agency feels this issue is specifically related to a lack of understanding of the short term role of VR services and the need for more consumer education regarding Post-Employment Services. The Skills Enhancement Training for new staff now includes additional training on case closure and communication requirements with consumers prior to case closure. In terms of overall consumer satisfaction, the agency rated 1% lower than in FY 2009. Possible reasons identified for this include, high caseload sizes, higher need for immediate services, and changes in the labor market resulting in limited employment opportunities. The agency continues to review these issues and is developing specific recommendations to address possible consumer satisfaction issues.

Because the agency has recognized the continued need to enhance services to transition age individuals with disabilities. To address this issue, KYOVR has evaluated current transition program practices related to its Community Based Work Transition Program and has revised policies to improve program outcomes. The agency is currently working with key transition partners to provide transition training to school personnel, OVR staff, parents, and students. There has been a decrease of CBWTP in FY2010, which is likely related to some of the changes in the agency change in CBWTP policies related to financial accountability. Transition consumers also declined in FY2010, which is likely related to the agency moving up in order of selection.

Innovative planning is a large part of the strategic plan. With budgetary constraints it has become even more important to recognize potential partners and collaborate to stretch all resources. OVR will continue to identify innovative initiatives through staff surveys, consumer focus groups, and employer and community rehabilitation programs recommendations. Pilot programs will continue to be implemented across the state with a focus on those areas with little resources and employment opportunities. Again, the agency feels it is making progress regarding this strategy.

GOAL II: To promote inclusion, integration and empowerment of individuals with most significant and significant disabilities

• Promote advocacy for improved services for individuals with most significant disabilities

• Promote self-advocacy for persons with disabilities

• Improve and enhance understanding of and access to vocational rehabilitation services for persons with the most significant disabilities

• Increase access to IL services for Kentuckians with disabilities

Advocacy training has been incorporated into the Skills Enhancement Training for new employees. Advocacy has also been incorporated into the curriculum for the Preparing Adults for Competitive Employment (PACE) in-house job placement program. The Carl D. Perkins Vocational Training Center provides advocacy training to new graduates annually. Local districts continue to identify other entities that can assist in providing advocacy training to consumers locally. KYOVR continues to participate with other disability related agencies and organizations in advocacy efforts to increase funding for services related to persons with disabilities. The agency considers this strategy as being met.

In an effort to partner with other entities, OVR continues to provide training on the VR mission and services. This information sharing has provided other agencies such as Division of Mental Health/Mental Retardation, Division of Substance Abuse, Developmental Disabilities Council, DUI Administration and Community Mental Health Centers with information needed to determine if OVR is the right agency for their customers. KYOVR feels that progress has been made in this area.

The agency continues to assess physical and programmatic aces to OVR programs by evaluating the various barriers and making recommendations to address these various issues. Consumers closed in FY2010 report an increased ability to access OVR services when compared to satisfaction results from consumers in FY2009.

The agency continues to work with the Part B and C IL centers throughout the state to increase access to IL services. The agency has scheduled a joint SRC and SILC meeting for September 2011 to address future partnership opportunities. To increase communication between IL providers and local offices, branch managers have invited CIL representatives to district meetings to provide updates on local IL services. The agency has also provided training on fiscal practices to IL Center directors, as well as training on the role of the SILC to SILC members. The agency feels it is making progress in meeting this objective.

GOAL III: To achieve productive and collaborative relationships with public and private entities

Two strategies have been selected for priority under Goal III. The strategies include:

• Develop and implement a dual-customer plan to develop relationships with businesses to create employment opportunities for KYOVR consumers

• Partner with One-Stops to increase comprehensive services to persons with disabilities

A marketing plan for the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation has been developed and various marketing materials targeted at both employers and consumers have been revised and distributed. This will assist VR staff in developing a consistent presentation and “branding” of VR services. The agency believes it has met the requirements of this strategy.

The Office of Vocational Rehabilitation recognizes the importance of local information sharing and establishing local partnerships. To address this issue, the Strategic Plan includes the development of local marketing information specific to the regions and communities of each district. This will greatly assist the rural areas that have limited resources to assist consumers. Districts that have developed a PACE program will develop material regarding their services. Other specific local services include the Drug Courts, Mental Health Facilities, and assessment services.

Data bases have also been created listing employers by city, county and region and have been interfaced with the upcoming version of the Case Management System (CMS) case reporting program. This will allow OVR staff to research the services used by businesses, number of OVR consumers employed and years working with OVR, providing increased access to employers for OVR consumers. The agency has developed increased partnerships with in-state employers and the Society of Human Resource Managers in an effort to market the advantages of hiring persons with disabilities.

With the tightening of resources across the state it is more imperative to identify and develop partnerships that will assist in meeting our goals and mission. Assessment of the agencies current needs as well as the outside trends that were identified in the Strategic Plan initiatives will assist in developing new partnerships. Significant progress has been made in this area.

The agency participates in the Southeast Region Employment Partnership Team, a consortium of state VR agencies developing partnerships with businesses active in the southeast U.S., in an effort to create employment opportunities for persons with disabilities. Lastly, Kentucky OVR continues its participation in a nationwide employment network through the Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation. KYOVR continues to make progress towards meeting this strategy, however more activities are needed to increase the number of business partners.

To foster relationships with One-Stops, the agency has participated in the Statewide Workforce Investment Board to improve services across the Commonwealth. WIA staff have provided training to OVR staff related to the One-Stop system. The agency is also training Job Placement staff to provide disability awareness training to One-Stop providers. KYOVR feels continued progress regarding this issue has been achieved.

GOAL IV: To effectively utilize all available human and fiscal resources in an efficient manner

Four strategies have been selected for priority under Goal IV. The strategies include:

• Increase efficiency and effectiveness of agency staff

• Increase fiscal efficiencies and agency revenue

• Maintain trained and qualified staff based on CSPD and other professional disciplines

• Increase staff diversity

The Office of Vocational Rehabilitation continuously strives for improvement and has incorporated many internal improvement initiatives. Team Review for Advanced Counselor Knowledge and Skills (TRACKS) continues to be a very effective tool to identify areas for improvement within our case documents. TRACKS has also provided crucial training topics and changes or emphasis on specific policies. The TRACKS method continues to be updated and changed as needed to provide valuable feedback to all staff. Specific evaluations and surveys have focused on the use of the agency internet and intranet sites as resources, effect of case amnesty efforts and employee satisfaction. KYOVR feels significant progress has been made in developing strategies to adequately assess casework quality.

The agency is currently conducting a comprehensive evaluation of the internal Job Placement program to determine whether the program is efficient and effective. This review is estimated to be completed in October 2011.

The agency has reviewed and clarified the Order of Selection policy to streamline eligibility determination and prioritization for services. The agency has also conducted a comprehensive review of contracts, memorandums of agreement, memorandums of understanding, etc. for improved efficiency and possible cost savings.

The University of Kentucky currently offers the only graduate degree in Rehabilitation Counseling in the state of Kentucky. With the use of technology however, individuals have many choices to pursue degrees in rehabilitation. OVR continues to partner with UK as well as other out-of-state universities. UK implemented an accelerated on-line master’s program in 2004 and continues to work with our agency in developing a program for staff who provide job placement services. A certificate program for Job Development and Training has been developed by the University of Kentucky, with support by Kentucky OVR, and should be available in Fall 2009. The agency contends it has made great progress in this area.

The new strategic plan includes an increase in our minority staff from 3% to 10%. The strategic plan also includes a personnel plan which will evaluate and analyze the current demographics, caseload sizes, census data, staff ratios, and outcomes which will be used to develop a plan to increase quality services to individuals with disabilities. The agency has established relationships with the variousdisability resource offices of colleges and universities to increase recruitment of persons with disabilities. The agency believes that some progress has been made in this area, however more efforts are necessary to ensure the strategy objectives are complete.

In an effort to be good stewards of our funding, identification of training resources continues to be explored and offered to interested staff. University of Wisconsin, Virginia Commonweatlh University, University of Kentucky, and Auburn University are a few of the colleges that are utilized to assist staff in the training needed to provide the best quality services possible. These trainings are provided on-line and allow staff to participate at their convenience.

Kentucky continues to utilize a portion of Title I funds for innovation and expansion activities. These funds were used to provide travel and lodging expenses to both the Statewide Council for Vocational Rehabilitation and Statewide Independent Living Council for the quarterly meetings throughout the year. The Statewide Council for Vocational Rehabilitation annually recognizes employers through the Commonwealth in an effort to increase relationships among employers. The agency feels it is making adequate progress in this area.

 

1. Kentucky’s fourteen Regional Mental Health/Mental Retardation Boards are a primary source for extended services in KY. In some regions funding is very limited. The fourteen Boards currently allocate approximately 6.3 million dollars to work/adult habilitation programs (generally segregated programs) and less than 2 million dollars to supported employment. The KY Commissioner for DBHDID initiated a push to make available additional monies for supported employment services, including incentives to Providers via proposed hourly fee increases. Cooperative budget planning is done between the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation and the Kentucky Department of Behavioral Health, Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities (DBHDID) so that state funds for all phases of supported employment can be sought by each agency. A cooperative agreement is also in place. The agency feels it has made progress reaching this goal.

2. Using federal block-grant funds from the Kentucky Division of Behavioral Health, Mental Health Planning Council, and KY OVR assists a minimum of thirty persons with long-term mental illness in the provision of extended supported employment services on a contractual basis. Supported employment service providers who are approved by the Division of Behavioral Health (DBH) and have vendor agreements with the KY Office of Vocational Rehabilitation will deliver these services. In this way, both agencies will continue to expand the commitment to the ongoing nature of supported employment services. This venture is in addition to services provided under the outcome-based Supported Employment Reimbursement program. Additionally, DBH spends roughly $400,000 to serve individuals with mental illness in supported employment. Largely these dollars follow VR dollars for eligible consumers. In 2010, Kentucky became the 12th state to participate in the Dartmouth College, Johnson and Johnson, Supported Employment Initiative to demonstrate the effectiveness of the IPS model for supported employment (Individualized Placement and Support, an Evidence-Based Practice). The first four local pilot projects were launched prior to the close of 2010. Through the Dartmouth Project, a new funding partner was added to our SE funding agencies when the Greater Cincinnati Health Foundation provided funding for 2 of the local pilots in Northern KY. Based on the increased funding and expansion of services, KYOVR feels it has made significant achievement in this area.

3. United Way monies have been utilized in minimal amounts for supported employment services by 16 Supported Employment programs in Kentucky. Ongoing follow-up services are provided through these United Way monies. These dollars are generally not “disability specific” and could assist in expansion of services to groups other than those served by the 14 community mental health centers.

4. Vendorship in the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation Supported Employment Outcome-based Reimbursement program requires written and verbal verification of the provider’s funding for ongoing support services. Monitoring and technical assistance is provided by the Supported Employment Branch to assure that services are provided and funded appropriately. Agreements/contracts are developed annually and reviewed prior to renewal.

5. The Supported Employment Branch works closely with Kentucky APSE (Association for Persons in Supported Employment) and its committees, and the 874- K Coalition (a statewide Disability Advocacy Group) in a unified effort to secure additional state dollars for supported employment extended services.

6. The Supported Employment Branch has been active in the development/improvement of Kentucky’s Medicaid Waivers to create workable systems for coordinating supported employment services for eligible participants. Expansion of the supports for Community Living Waiver (Kentucky’s Medicaid Waiver for individuals with Developmental Disabilities) has resulted in increased referrals to KY OVR for supported employment services for mutually eligible participants. The self-determination and consumer directed option programs within Medicaid hold much promise for supported employment funding for extended services. In 2011, a new Medicaid Waiver is expected to contain better service definitions and fee structures to support and fund supported employment services.

7. The Supported Employment Branch works cooperatively with the Arc of Kentucky to educate families about supported employment and enlist their assistance in impacting additional funds for supported employment.

8. OVR continues to advocate for expanded/improved Supported Living services, which are utilized by many supported employment participants to meet their needs for as independent a lifestyle as possible. The Hart Supported Living Program in KY offers very flexible state dollars available for all phases of independent living. However, statewide dollars are very limited.

9. The Office of Vocational continues to work collaboratively with the Department of Behavioral Health, Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities, the Kentucky Council on Developmental Disabilities, IHDI (University of Kentucky), and the Arc of Kentucky to provide quality training on fundamentals of supported employment through the Supported Employment Training Project (SETP). In the absence of a certification process for supported employment service providers, this training is valuable in assuring that personnel who provide supported employment services have the necessary skills, values, and tools to deliver effective services.

10. The Supported Employment Branch staff participates frequently in IEP and Transition Planning meeting for individuals, and in broader scope with Special Education planning units throughout the commonwealth to develop supported employment services for students exiting schools. Again, additional dollars will be needed for extended services in order to adequately serve the students. In 2010, a pilot project to demonstrate the effectiveness of Supported Employment agencies working together with Post-Secondary Education programs to include people with developmental disabilities in classes and other college campus activities was launched. 10 students will be involved in this pilot.

11. The Supported Employment Branch continues efforts to utilize Social Security Work Incentives, including PASS (Plan for Achieving Self-Support) and IRWE (Impairment Related Work Expenses), for ongoing support/extended services when appropriate. Training opportunities are offered through the University of Kentucky Human Development Institute to provide technical assistance for supported employment personnel to learn more about these work incentive programs.

12. Using ARRA funds (American Reinvestment and Recovery Act), KY provided funds to 14 Supported Employment and/or Community Rehabilitation Programs to expand services to people with the most significant disabilities. Priority areas included services for people with disabilities on the Autism Spectrum, disabilities classified as deaf at risk, and disabilities that meet the definition of severe and persistent mental illness. As well, one training program was funded to improve KY’s capacity to provide Benefits Analysis for individuals who desire to return to work or find employment for the first time. These projects conclude on September 30, 2011.

13. In summary, the following potential funding sources for supported employment have been identified:

•Local and county government

•Kentucky Council on Developmental Disabilities (grant opportunities only)

•United Way

•Social Security Work Incentives – Plan for Achieving Self-Support (PASS) and Impairment Related Work Expenses (IRWE)

•Natural Supports

•Division of Behavioral Health

•Division of Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities

•Hart Supported Living Funds

•Private pay agreements

•Support for Community Living Waiver, Michelle P, and Brain Injury Medicaid Waivers

Information regarding these potential funding sources is updated and shared by the Supported Employment Branch on a statewide basis to encourage increased funding for all phases of supported employment.

 

he 2010-2012 Strategic Plan included specific strategies for maintaining or increasing all aspects of the performance standards and indicators. As anticipated, KYOVR met six of the seven RSA performance indicators, falling short in the number of required PEOs . Several factors may have affected this outcome, as there was significant turnover in staffing, budgetary restrictions and a significant downturn in the economy. The agency is still encouraging each district to develop innovative planning initiatives to assist in this endeavor and address the performance standards and indicators at a local level instead of a state level. Based on the available data, the agency feels it has made significant progress regarding this strategy.

 

Kentucky continues to utilize a portion of Title I funds for innovation and expansion activities. These funds were used to provide travel and lodging expenses to both the Statewide Council for Vocational Rehabilitation and Statewide Independent Living Council for the quarterly meetings throughout the year. The Statewide Council for Vocational Rehabilitation annually recognizes employers through the Commonwealth in an effort to increase relationships among employers. The agency feels it is making adequate progress in this area.

This screen was last updated on Jun 3 2011 2:14PM by sakybeachd

  • 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

SCOPE

The Office of Vocational Rehabilitation offers supported employment services to support people with the most significant disabilities in jobs which are:

o Integrated with co-workers who do not have disabilities;

o In typical community businesses; and

o Based on individual interests, abilities, and choices

Support services provided by supported employment providers will vary based on the amount, intensity, and kind of support needed by each individual. Supported employment offers more than just the assistance needed to find and learn a job. It provides the necessary ongoing support to help an individual maintain employment.

Kentucky has identified more than 75 supported employment providers throughout the state. Individualized strategies are also utilized to arrange for supported employment services outside of "organized programs" when necessary (i.e. coworkers at the job site may provide support paid for with various resources; independent supported employment specialists may be hired, etc.).

More than three-fourths of Kentucky’s 120 counties have access to supported employment programs. The lack of accessible, dependable transportation often limits access to supported job opportunities.

Extended support services are provided by each local supported employment program utilizing funds from a myriad of sources, including the Department for Behavioral Health, Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities (DBHDID) , the Kentucky Council on Developmental Disabilities, city and county government, United Way, fund-raising campaigns, PASS funding, Medicaid, Supports for Community Living Waiver funds, and other resources. Most programs utilize a combination of funding sources for the provision of extended support services. Natural supports are encouraged (such as co-worker, peer, etc.) and are carefully monitored by the supported employment provider.

Kentucky OVR is a partner with the Department of Behavioral Health, Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities (DBHDID) in the development of a new Medicaid Waiver that would more adequately fund supported employment services for people with developmental disabilities. It is anticipated that a new waiver will be in place with modifications for both fee structure and service definitions for supported employment in 2011. As well, a “1915- I” wavier for people with severe and persistent mental illness is being drafted for submission in 2011.

Kentucky’s supported employment programs have primarily served individuals with mental retardation and individuals with chronic mental illness. This is largely due to greater availability of funding for extended support for these two groups. Individuals with other disabilities are served if funding for extended support is available and if the supported employment provider has the expertise to meet that individual’s needs for employment training and support.

Kentucky has become the 12th state to participate in the Evidence -Based, Johnson and Johnson sponsored, Supported Employment Initiative via Dartmouth College. Through this, the goal is to demonstrate the effectiveness of the Individualized Placement and Support (IPS) model for supported employment for people with serious mental illness throughout Kentucky. Beginning in July 2011, four sites in Kentucky began pilot site implementation. A Statewide Coordinator, hired through the University of Kentucky, Human Development Institute, oversees the pilot sites, while the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation and the Kentucky Division of Behavioral Health collaborate as Team Leading agencies for the project.

The Kentucky Association for Persons in Supported Employment (KY APSE) has been successful in creating greater supported employment awareness among the legislators in Kentucky’s General Assembly. These awareness/advocacy efforts will continue with the goal of increased statewide funding allocations and possible supported employment legislation to create a more solid funding base for extended services.

QUALITY

Pursuant to federal regulations, supported employment services provided by approved vendors must contain these elements: 1) competitive work; 2) integrated work settings; and 3) provision of extended support services. In order to ensure that supported employment services are provided according to regulation, the following guidelines must be met:

1.Services will be provided for individuals with the most significant disabilities who have a documented need for supported employment services, including extended support services.

2.Work will be performed on a full-time or part-time basis. Each individual in supported employment and his/her Vocational Rehabilitation counselor shall jointly establish in the IEP an appropriate goal for the number of hours per week that will maximize the individual’s vocational potential.

3.Work must take place in integrated settings where most workers do not have disabilities.

4.Wages must be in compliance with Fair Labor Standards Act. Each supported employee will have a goal of earning at least minimum wage.

Kentucky’s supported employment providers adhere to the following principles:

•The supported employment concept assumes that all persons, regardless of degree of disability, have the capacity and should be afforded the opportunity to participate in real employment with appropriate support.

•Emphasis is placed on recognizing and maximizing opportunities in the workplace rather than just providing skills training.

•The purpose of the program is employment with all of the general expectations of a job such as wages, job security, and performing meaningful work. Job Development, rather than Job Placement is the focus.

•Ongoing, extended supports are tailored to meet each individual’s needs.

•Individuals are offered choices in the selection and maintenance of jobs. Decisions about appropriate services are made jointly with the individual and/or the family, the supported employment provider, and the VR counselor.

•Integration on the job site is recognized as necessary and important. Opportunities are available for non-work interactions with non-disabled workers. Interactions with non-disabled co-workers are a part of regular job responsibilities. "Natural supports" are developed and emphasized.

•Extended services are proactive, not merely reactive. For example, plans are developed with individuals in anticipation of career advancement rather than merely waiting for a job loss, lay off, company closing, etc., before seeking other opportunities.

The primary staff responsible for providing supported employment services are "job coaches," "job trainers," and/or "supported employment specialists." Positions are both full and part-time, depending on the size and service territory of the local provider. Training and Consultation for staff is provided by the Supported Employment Branch according to the needs of the provider.

Supported Employment Training Project core values training is required for all vendors in the SE Outcome-based Reimbursement System. This is funded collaboratively using Division of Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities/OVR dollars and is implemented by the Supported Employment Training Project at the University of Kentucky Human Development Institute. Technical assistance is also provided by the Supported Employment Branch staff.

A resource manual and other policies and guidelines memorandum were developed for vocational rehabilitation counselors. These are periodically revised and updated so that staff may better understand the rehabilitation process in regard to supported employment. This is a useful tool for supported employment providers, as well, in coordination of services.

Seminars, workshops, and training/awareness sessions are arranged and/or participated in throughout the state with various agencies and organizations that can assist with funding, conversion, employment, and other related supported employment issues. Meetings of this nature are regularly held with such groups as The Arc of Kentucky, the Kentucky Council on Developmental Disabilities, Community Mental Health Centers, Kentucky Consortium for Values Based Training, KY APSE, and others.

The quality of supported employment outcomes is assessed individually. Such issues as

Consumer satisfaction, earnings, benefits, employee and employer satisfaction, the degree of integration, availability of dependable transportation, co-worker support, socialization, work environment, and provision of support services are important. On a regular basis, the Supported Employment Branch staff conducts technical assistance visits with each provider for quality assurance purposes. As well, each supported employment provider has established on-going strategies to measure customer satisfaction.

EXTENT

As a part of the eligibility determination process for Vocational Rehabilitation services, supported employment will be considered as a possible vocational outcome for individuals with the most significant disabilities. The agency is now in an order of selection, serving individuals with the Most Significant Disabilities first. An increase in the number of individuals served in supported is therefore expected.

The Office of Vocational Rehabilitation will be able to provide supported employment services through approved vendors and/or individual providers. These services include:

A.Development of a Person Centered Employment Plan (PCEP) with recommendations for job-development;

B.Individually designed job development services, including assistance with job carving, reasonable accommodation, technology and/or other support strategies;

C. Intensive on-the-job skills training and other support services provided by supported employment specialists and/or co-workers and employers;

D. Time-limited follow-up services (including regular contact with employer, trainee, parent, guardian, or others deemed appropriate);

E. Other services needed to support the individual, such as travel, training, employment advocacy, non-employment advocacy, and counseling;

F. Development of a Long-Term Support Plan, which includes an outline of the extended support to be provided, and a plan for review and update.

The amount, frequency and type of services will be based on the needs of each individual once eligibility is established for supported employment. If off-job-site monitoring is determined to be appropriate, the monitoring, at a minimum, will consist of two meetings per month with the individual and one meeting each month with the employer.

Extended long-term follow-up support services will be the responsibility of other relevant state agencies, private organizations, and other sources of funding. These services will be considered and planned for prior to an individual receiving the services listed above. Vendorships are not approved unless assurance is made of the availability of extended support services. If extended services are not fully assured at the onset of the IPE, the Vocational Rehabilitation counselor and the VR Supported Employment Branch staff will participate with the Provider in making arrangements for these services before the Vocational Rehabilitation case is closed.

Transition from Title VI, Part B funds to various other individually-determined funding sources begins 30 days post-placement in the job. The transition to extended services funding is completed (generally) after 60 days on the job. Monitoring of services continues for a minimum of 30 additional days to assure that the job is stable. Extended services then continue by the Provider indefinitely using funds other than Title VI, Part B.

The VR case is closed when the supported employment provider, the VR counselor, and the consumer determine that stabilization has been achieved. Stabilization is measured for each individual by considering all circumstances including support needs, consumer choice and satisfaction regarding services, and employer feedback.

This screen was last updated on Jun 1 2011 10:35AM by sakybeachd

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