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
Louisiana Rehabilitation Services State Plan for Fiscal Year 2012 (submitted FY 2011)

1.1 The Louisiana Rehabilitation Services 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 Office of Workforce Development [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

Executive Director of Louisiana Workforce Commission

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

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

Director of Louisiana Rehabilitation Services

... 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
Mark S. Martin

Title of Signatory
Director, Louisiana Rehabilitation

Date Signed (mm/dd/yyyy)
08/18/2011

Assurances Certified By

At the request of RSA, the designated state agency and/or the designated state unit provide the following assurance(s), in addition to those contained within Section 2 through 8 below, in connection with the approval of the State Plan for FY 2012
No

Section 1 Footnotes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2.1 Public participation requirements. (Section 101(a)(16)(A) of the Rehabilitation Act; 34 CFR 361.10(d), .20(a), (b), (d); and 363.11(g)(9))

(a) Conduct of public meetings.

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

(b) Notice requirements.

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

(c) Special consultation requirements.

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

3.1 Submission and revisions of the State Plan and its supplement. (Sections 101(a)(1), (23) and 625(a)(1) of the Rehabilitation Act; Section 501 of the Workforce Investment Act; 34 CFR 76.140; 361.10(e), (f), and (g); and 363.10)

(a) The state submits to the commissioner of the Rehabilitation Services Administration the State Plan and its supplement on the same date that the state submits either a State Plan under Section 112 of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 or a state unified plan under Section 501 of that Rehabilitation Act.

(b) The state submits only those policies, procedures or descriptions required under this State Plan and its supplement that have not been previously submitted to and approved by the commissioner.

(c) The state submits to the commissioner, at such time and in such manner as the commissioner determines to be appropriate, reports containing annual updates of the information relating to the:

  1. comprehensive system of personnel development;
  2. assessments, estimates, goals and priorities, and reports of progress;
  3. innovation and expansion activities; and
  4. other updates of information required under Title I, Part B, or Title VI, Part B, of the Rehabilitation Act that are requested by the commissioner.

(d) The State Plan and its supplement are in effect subject to the submission of modifications the state determines to be necessary or the commissioner requires based on a change in state policy, a change in federal law, including regulations, an interpretation of the Rehabilitation Act by a federal court or the highest court of the state, or a finding by the commissioner of state noncompliance with the requirements of the Rehabilitation Act, 34 CFR 361 or 34 CFR 363.

3.2 Supported Employment State Plan supplement. (Sections 101(a)(22) and 625(a) of the Rehabilitation Act; 34 CFR 361.34 and 363.10)

(a) The state has an acceptable plan for carrying out Part B, of Title VI of the Rehabilitation Act that provides for the use of funds under that part to supplement funds made available under Part B, of Title I of the Rehabilitation Act for the cost of services leading to supported employment.

(b) The Supported Employment State Plan, including any needed annual revisions, is submitted as a supplement to the State Plan.

4.1 Designated state agency and designated state unit. (Section 101(a)(2) of the Rehabilitation Act; 34 CFR 361.13(a) and (b))

(a) Designated state agency.

  1. There is a state agency designated as the sole state agency to administer the State Plan or to supervise its administration in a political subdivision of the state by a sole local agency.

  1. The designated state agency is a state agency that is not primarily concerned with vocational rehabilitation or vocational and other rehabilitation of individuals with disabilities and includes a vocational rehabilitation unit as provided in paragraph (b) of this section (Option B was selected/Option A was not selected)

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

(b) Designated state unit.

  1. If the designated state agency is not primarily concerned with vocational rehabilitation or vocational and other rehabilitation of individuals with disabilities, in accordance with subparagraph 4.1(a)(2)(B) of this section, the state agency includes a vocational rehabilitation bureau, division or unit that:

  1. is primarily concerned with vocational rehabilitation or vocational and other rehabilitation of individuals with disabilities and is responsible for the administration of the designated state agency's vocational rehabilitation program under the State Plan;
  2. has a full-time director;
  3. has a staff, at least 90 percent of whom are employed full-time on the rehabilitation work of the organizational unit; and
  4. is located at an organizational level and has an organizational status within the designated state agency comparable to that of other major organizational units of the designated state agency.

  1. The name of the designated state vocational rehabilitation unit is
Louisiana Rehabilitation Services

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))

X This agency is requesting a waiver of statewideness.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(c) Coordination with education officials.

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

  1. The State Plan description must:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  1. If "Yes", the designated state agency has entered into a formal cooperative agreement that meets the following requirements with each grant recipient in the state that receives funds under Part C of Title I of the Rehabilitation Act:

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

  1. procedures for ensuring that American Indians who are individuals with disabilities and are living near a reservation or tribal service area are provided vocational rehabilitation services; and

  1. provisions for sharing resources in cooperative studies and assessments, joint training activities, and other collaborative activities designed to improve the provision of services to American Indians who are individuals with disabilities.

4.9 Methods of administration. (Section 101(a)(6) of the Rehabilitation Act; 34 CFR 361.12, .19 and .51(a) and (b))

(a) In general.

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

(b) Employment of individuals with disabilities.

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

(c) Facilities.

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

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

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

(a) Data system on personnel and personnel development.

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

  1. Qualified personnel needs.

  1. The number of personnel who are employed by the state agency in the provision of vocational rehabilitation services in relation to the number of individuals served, broken down by personnel category;

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

  1. Projections of the number of personnel, broken down by personnel category, who will be needed by the state agency to provide vocational rehabilitation services in the state in five years based on projections of the number of individuals to be served, including individuals with significant disabilities, the number of personnel expected to retire or leave the field, and other relevant factors.

  1. Personnel development.

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

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

  1. The number of students who graduated during the prior year from each of those institutions with certification or licensure, or with the credentials for certification or licensure, broken down by the personnel category for which they have received, or have the credentials to receive, certification or licensure.

(b) Plan for recruitment, preparation and retention of qualified personnel.

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

(c) Personnel standards.

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

  1. standards that are consistent with any national- or state-approved or recognized certification, licensing, registration, or, in the absence of these requirements, other comparable requirements (including state personnel requirements) that apply to the profession or discipline in which such personnel are providing vocational rehabilitation services.

  1. To the extent that existing standards are not based on the highest requirements in the state applicable to a particular profession or discipline, the steps the state is currently taking and the steps the state plans to take in accordance with the written plan to retrain or hire personnel within the designated state unit to meet standards that are based on the highest requirements in the state, including measures to notify designated state unit personnel, the institutions of higher education identified in subparagraph (a)(2), and other public agencies of these steps and the time lines for taking each step.

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

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

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

  1. procedures for evaluating the designated state unit's progress in hiring or retraining personnel to meet applicable personnel standards within the established time period; and

  1. the identification of initial minimum qualifications that the designated state unit will require of newly hired personnel when the state unit is unable to hire new personnel who meet the established personnel standards and the identification of a plan for training such individuals to meet the applicable standards within the time period established for all state unit personnel to meet the established personnel standards.

(d) Staff development.

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

  1. A system of staff development for professionals and paraprofessionals within the designated state unit, particularly with respect to assessment, vocational counseling, job placement and rehabilitation technology.

  1. Procedures for the acquisition and dissemination to designated state unit professionals and paraprofessionals significant knowledge from research and other sources.

(e) Personnel to address individual communication needs.

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

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

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

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

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

(a) Comprehensive statewide assessment.

  1. Attachment 4.11(a) documents the results of a comprehensive, statewide assessment, jointly conducted every three years by the designated state unit and the State Rehabilitation Council (if the state has such a council). The assessment describes:

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

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

  1. individuals with disabilities who are minorities and individuals with disabilities who have been unserved or underserved by the vocational rehabilitation program carried out under this State Plan; and

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

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

  1. For any year in which the state updates the assessments, the designated state unit submits to the commissioner a report containing information regarding updates to the assessments.

(b) Annual estimates.

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

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

  1. number of eligible individuals who will receive services provided with funds provided under Part B of Title I of the Rehabilitation Act and under Part B of Title VI of the Rehabilitation Act, including, if the designated state agency uses an order of selection in accordance with subparagraph 5.3(b)(2) of this State Plan, estimates of the number of individuals to be served under each priority category within the order; and

  1. costs of the services described in subparagraph (b)(1), including, if the designated state agency uses an order of selection, the service costs for each priority category within the order.

(c) Goals and priorities.

  1. Attachment 4.11(c)(1) identifies the goals and priorities of the state that are jointly developed or revised, as applicable, with and agreed to by the State Rehabilitation Council, if the agency has a council, in carrying out the vocational rehabilitation and supported employment programs.

  1. The designated state agency submits to the commissioner a report containing information regarding any revisions in the goals and priorities for any year the state revises the goals and priorities.

  1. Order of selection.
    If the state agency implements an order of selection, consistent with subparagraph 5.3(b)(2) of the State Plan, Attachment 4.11(c)(3):

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

  1. provides a justification for the order; and

  1. identifies the service and outcome goals, and the time within which these goals may be achieved for individuals in each priority category within the order.

  1. Goals and plans for distribution of Title VI, Part B, funds.
    Attachment 4.11(c)(4) specifies, consistent with subsection 6.4 of the State Plan supplement, the state's goals and priorities with respect to the distribution of funds received under Section 622 of the Rehabilitation Act for the provision of supported employment services.

(d) Strategies.

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

  1. the methods to be used to expand and improve services to individuals with disabilities, including how a broad range of assistive technology services and assistive technology devices will be provided to those individuals at each stage of the rehabilitation process and how those services and devices will be provided to individuals with disabilities on a statewide basis;

  1. outreach procedures to identify and serve individuals with disabilities who are minorities, including those with the most significant disabilities in accordance with subsection 6.6 of the State Plan supplement, and individuals with disabilities who have been unserved or underserved by the vocational rehabilitation program;

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

  1. strategies to improve the performance of the state with respect to the evaluation standards and performance indicators established pursuant to Section 106 of the Rehabilitation Act; and

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

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

  1. address the needs identified in the assessment conducted under paragraph 4.11(a) and achieve the goals and priorities identified in the State Plan attachments under paragraph 4.11(c);

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

  1. overcome identified barriers relating to equitable access to and participation of individuals with disabilities in the State Vocational Rehabilitation Services Program and State Supported Employment Services Program.

(e) Evaluation and reports of progress.

  1. The designated state unit and the State Rehabilitation Council, if the state unit has a council, jointly submits to the commissioner an annual report on the results of an evaluation of the effectiveness of the vocational rehabilitation program and the progress made in improving the effectiveness of the program from the previous year.

  1. Attachment 4.11(e)(2):

  1. provides an evaluation of the extent to which the goals identified in Attachment 4.11(c)(1) and, if applicable, Attachment 4.11(c)(3) were achieved;

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

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

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

  1. provides a report consistent with paragraph 4.12(c) of the plan on how the funds reserved for innovation and expansion activities were utilized in the preceding year.

4.12 Innovation and expansion. (Section 101(a)(18) of the Rehabilitation Act; 34 CFR 361.35)

(a) The designated state agency reserves and uses a portion of the funds allotted to the state under Section 110 of the Rehabilitation Act for the:

  1. development and implementation of innovative approaches to expand and improve the provision of vocational rehabilitation services to individuals with disabilities under this State Plan, particularly individuals with the most significant disabilities, consistent with the findings of the statewide assessment identified in Attachment 4.11(a) and goals and priorities of the state identified in Attachments 4.11(c)(1) and, if applicable, Attachment 4.11(c)(3); and

  1. support of the funding for the State Rehabilitation Council, if the state has such a council, consistent with the resource plan prepared under Section 105(d)(1) of the Rehabilitation Act and 34 CFR 361.17(i), and the funding of the Statewide Independent Living Council, consistent with the resource plan prepared under Section 705(e)(1) of the Rehabilitation Act and 34 CFR 364.21(i).

(b) Attachment 4.11 (d) describes how the reserved funds identified in subparagraph 4.12(a)(1) and (2) will be utilized.
(c) Attachment 4.11(e)(2) describes how the reserved funds were utilized in the preceding year.

4.13 Reports. (Section 101(a)(10) of the Rehabilitation Act; 34 CFR 361.40)

(a) The designated state unit submits reports in the form and level of detail and at the time required by the commissioner regarding applicants for and eligible individuals receiving services under the State Plan.
(b) Information submitted in the reports provides a complete count, unless sampling techniques are used, of the applicants and eligible individuals in a manner that permits the greatest possible cross-classification of data and protects the confidentiality of the identity of each individual.

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 Louisiana Rehabilitation Council (LRC) continued to work with Louisiana Rehabilitation Services (LRS) to ensure the services provided by LRS meet the needs of Louisiana’s citizens with disabilities. During the period from October 1, 2009 to September 30, 2010, the Council held five meetings incorporating public forums, consumer/counselor interviews, etc., including a joint meeting with the Statewide Independent Living Council (SILC). A special meeting was held with the Louisiana Workforce Commission (LWC) Executive Staff to discuss the transition of LRS to LWC.

The following are activities/contributions that were made by the LRC:

• The LRC consumer satisfaction survey was distributed in 2010 and yielded a twenty percent return rate and an eighty five percent satisfaction rate.

• Council members attended public stakeholder meetings around the state seeking input on the transition of programs within LRS from the Department of Social Services (DSS) to LWC and Department of Health and Hospitals. The Council provided a letter of support to the Secretary of the DSS.

• At regularly scheduled LRC meetings, the LRS Director presented information on state and federal funding, ARRA funds, budget reductions and impact on services. The Council provided feedback and decided to pursue the feasibility of obtaining a congressional waiver of state match in lieu of the BP-Oil Spill Disaster.

• The LRC continued to provide a forum for consumers and the public to openly discuss LRS services and to offer suggestions for improved service delivery. The Council provided feedback to LRS on these ideas and concerns.

• LRC provided feedback and input regarding proposed updates to the LRS Technical Assistance and Guidance Manual.

• The LRC webpage continues to be utilized.

• Regional LRS Offices invited VR consumers to speak to the LRC Council regarding their experiences and the effectiveness of services received from LRS.

• The Council was informed of all pending federal and state legislative action regarding services to consumers with disabilities, including the 2010 LA Legislature Commission on Streamlining Government Report which recommended the transfer of the Vocational Rehabilitation Services to the LWC.

• LRC is represented on numerous entities statewide which include, but are not limited to Statewide Independent Living Council, Governor’s Advisory Council on Disability Affairs, Families Helping Families, Developmental Disability Council, Medicaid Infrastructure Grant, Workforce Investment, etc.

• The LRC liaison provided an overview and the function of the Council to the new counselors at the Annual Counselor Training Academy.

• The Council completed and distributed the 2009-2010 LRC Annual Report.

• The Council provided assistance, as requested, to LRS with the 2010 Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment. The LRC liaison represented the Council in the preliminary stages by participating in a workgroup to develop the model and methods of research for data collection. The LRC further assisted by contributing to the final development, review, and survey distribution of the 2010 Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment.

As a result of the LRC’s collaboration and input, LRS has been able to improve our processes to include:

• making sound decisions in regards to utilization of stimulus funds;

• determining areas for improvement in service delivery;

• providing better training to staff;

• collaboration with providers/partners; and

• receiving and incorporating feedback to revisions to the Technical Assistance and Guidance Manual.

• The Council jointly developed and agreed to the Goals and Priorities in 4.11(c)(1). In addition, the Council reviewed and provided feedback on revised sections resulting from Act 939 of the 2010 Louisiana Legislative Session that transferred LRS from the Department of Social Service to Louisiana Workforce Commission.

The following recommendations were made by the Council:

• Educate the public about LRS services by asking consumer to tell their inspiring success stories.

• As a result of the Louisiana Rehabilitation Council meeting with the Louisiana Workforce Commission on August 17, 2010, the Council sent a formal letter of recommendation requesting that LWC be named as the Designated State Agency instead of the Office of Workforce Development.

LRS’ response to the Councils’ recommendations:

• LRS will re-assess the regular method of highlighting and distributing consumer success stories and develop more effective avenues of sharing those stories.

• It was decided by LWC that the Office of Workforce Development be named as the Designated State Agency. LRS, governed by Title 4 of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA), will join other WIA programs and several State-funded programs in the Office of Workforce Development, which is appropriate since the intent of WIA is “to consolidate, coordinate, and improve employment, training, literacy, and vocational rehabilitation programs.” The best results for LRS clients will come from a structural alignment that supports the shared goal: putting people to work.

This screen was last updated on Jun 23 2011 10:03AM by Teresa Milner

This agency has requested a waiver of statewideness.

Identify the types of services to be provided by the program for which the waiver of statewideness is requested.

The waiver request should also include:

  • a written assurance from the local public agency that it will make available to the designated state unit the non-federal share of funds;
  • a written assurance that designated state unit approval will be obtained for each proposed service before it is put into effect;
  • a written assurance that all state plan requirements will apply to all services approved under the waiver.

This screen has never been updated.

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.

Designated State Unit has written interagency cooperative agreements, which comply with requirements in 34 CFR 361.23, with the following:

• Department of Education, Division of Special Populations

• Department of Health and Hospitals, Office of Mental Health

• Department of Labor & Office of Employment Security

• Department of Veteran Affairs

• LA Department of Education Transition

• LA Works, Louisiana Workforce Commission, Office of Workforce Development

• Office for Citizens with Developmental Disabilities (OCDD)

• Office of Disability Affairs

• Office for Family Support & Disability Determination

• Office of Family Support, Family Independence Work Program, & LRS

• Social Security Administration

• Social Security – Bendex (2002)

• Central Louisiana Intertribal Vocational Rehabilitation Program (Title 121)

• United Houma Nation (Title 121)

• U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Workers’ Compensation Program

• Work Opportunity Tax Credit Program (WOTC)

At this time, Louisiana Rehabilitation Services (LRS) is not aware of any interagency cooperation on the utilization of services and facilities of the programs carried out by the Undersecretary for Rural Development of the U. S. Department of Agriculture and State Use contracting programs. Please be advised, however, that if such liaison efforts are initiated that LRS will amend this section of Attachment 4.8(b) (1) providing the description as required.

This screen was last updated on May 18 2011 11:09AM by Teresa Milner

  • 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.

Louisiana Rehabilitation Services (LRS) continues to provide transition services for those youth with disabilities leaving the secondary education system and who are pursuing employment opportunities in adult life. This is accomplished by reviewing, updating, and renewing the formal interagency agreement between LRS and the Department of Education (DOE) as needed based upon both agencies’ policy and/or procedure changes; ongoing collaboration; joint development and evaluation of goals, and specialized training for both LRS and DOE agency staff. LRS and DOE’s current agreement runs July 1, 2010 through June 30, 2012.

LRS policy requires the development and approval of the Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) for eligible students who have official transition plans in place with the state education system. The IPEs are to be developed as early as possible in the transition process, but at the latest, by the time each Vocational Rehabilitation eligible student leaves the high school setting.

The formal interagency agreement provides for initial contact to be made with the transition student as early as age sixteen. This is accomplished by the development of criteria and timelines for an effective and efficient referral process; provision of orientation and information sessions for students and their families; and LRS counselors determining transitions students’ eligibility for vocational rehabilitation services within the timelines established by agency policy. For each student determined eligible for services, every effort will be made to ensure those who are in an Order of Selection (OOS) category currently being served by LRS leave the school system with an approved IPE in place that incorporates appropriate segments of the Individualized Education Plan (IEP) and projected employment needs, as applicable.

The formal interagency agreement also outlines both agencies responsibility to coordinate the provision of services, conduct outreach, and identify financial responsibility as needed. The DOE will assure that all students with disabilities and their families have knowledge of LRS policies and services including brochures and promotional information supplied by LRS. Information dissemination begins with the writing of the transition service page and continues through referral to LRS. Local Education Agencies (LEAs) also:

- invite LRS representatives to IEP meetings at the students request, when a transition service page is being written for a student with a disability who may be eligible for and/or interested in vocational rehabilitation services;

- facilitate appropriate orientation meetings among LRS staff, student and family members;

- provide time for LRS staff to meet with teachers, guidance counselors, and other appropriate personnel for such purposes as information sharing/gathering at both the individual and agency levels;

- and assist in the development, provision, and evaluation of interagency vocational assessment processes and functional vocational transition programs;

LRS will use agency funds for the provision of vocational rehabilitation services on the approved IPE that relate directly to the achievement of the agreed upon vocational goal, which is not the responsibility of the education system. The DOE will use agency funds for the provision of educational services on the approved IEP that relate directly to the achievement of the agreed upon educational goal.

LRS continues to renew and revise existing local cooperative agreements, as applicable, with the 64 parishes, 4 special school systems, Charter schools and the Recovery School District in Louisiana.

Consultation and technical assistance is provided to educational agencies in a variety of ways. VR Counselors attend IEP meetings to provide recommendations/guidance on adult services available to transitioning students, provide information relative to the VR process, and relay information regarding various training options available within the community.

Outreach is conducted by VR Counselors to identify students with disabilities through the following methods:

- LRS Transition Counselors in each region meet with a school liaison, usually the guidance counselor, to provide information regarding LRS services. This liaison relays this information to students with disabilities and coordinates their initial meeting with the LRS Transition Counselor.

- LRS Transition Counselors conduct outreach by hosting transition meetings at area high schools to provide information about VR services and accept referrals. Information disseminated at these meetings includes agency brochures, client handbooks describing VR processes/services, and referrals to other community resources students may need to access. Counselors work with the consumers, parents and educators to plan services needed for successful transition from school to work from the point that the student with a disability is identified.

- Counselors attend “Career Days” at the high schools to share information with transition students on available services that may identify career goals and to share information regarding services available to assist them in reaching their goals.

The State Office Transition Program Coordinator provides consultation and technical support to Transition VR Counselors in a variety of methods to include information on webinars, updates of best practice techniques gathered from the Transition Summit, and Transition Core Team meetings. The Program Coordinator works collaboratively with Department of Education Transition Coordinator in planning for the transition of students with disabilities from school to post-school activities including VR services.

This screen was last updated on May 31 2011 12:14PM by Teresa Milner

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

LRS establishes cooperative agreements with private non-profit vocational rehabilitation service providers and/or Community Rehabilitation Providers (CRPs) through a vendorship approval process. This process is initiated at the Regional Office level when it is determined the services are needed in the region.

The potential service provider is given a copy of the CRP standards and vendorship approval guidelines and must agree to comply with them. The guidelines include adherence to 504 and 508 Accessibility, education and training certifications and other procedural standards related to quality services and payment for services. The application for vendorship is submitted to State Office by the Regional Manager, along with a recommendation of approval or disapproval of the program.

The needs for new, improved or expanded services are identified through a variety of methods. These include needs identified through the comprehensive statewide needs assessment, regional shortages of service providers, increases in specific service needs, and those identified as a result of changes in agency processes.

All rates are set by a rate-setting process in the fiscal section, are consistent statewide and are reimbursed through a fee-for-service.

This screen was last updated on May 18 2011 11:12AM by Teresa Milner

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.

Louisiana Rehabilitation Services (LRS) will maintain cooperative agreements on file with the Department of Health and Hospitals, Office of Mental Health (OMH) and Office of Citizens with Developmental Disabilities (OCDD), which ensure proper utilization of resources under the Title VI, Part C Program. These agreements are written to comply with the content requirements in 34 CFR 363.50(b) outlining each agency’s responsibility in reference to the supported employment program.

A description of each agreement follows:

OFFICE OF MENTAL HEALTH (OMH)

LRS and the OMH are jointly responsible for meeting the needs of consumers with mental illness for whom supported employment is the most appropriate service. LRS will fund the Job Coach Model, the Mobile Crew Model, the Enclave Model and Evidence-based Employment Service Models for the chronically mentally ill to provide supported work services. These services will be provided, either directly or through a service provider, as time-limited vocational services to these individuals and will include: (1) short-term evaluation (any evaluation must be supplementary to an evaluation of rehabilitation potential done under the regular program), (2) job development and job placement, (3) intensive training, (4) intensive follow-along, and (5) extended follow-along.

Potentially, three hundred fifty (350) consumers could be referred for supported employment services during each fiscal year. Once eligibility for supported employment services has been established, LRS continues to collaborate with OMH to ensure that services are provided in a timely manner and to assure the development of an Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE).The IPE shall specify the responsibilities of all parties involved in the supported employment program for the individual and shall include reporting requirements for both agencies.

During the operational phase, LRS is responsible for the provision of services as outlined in the agreement. The LRS vendor (service provider) is responsible for actual placement, training and supervision. Any problems which might impact the ultimate success of the job placement shall be immediately brought to the attention of LRS and the OMH. LRS shall maintain an open, active case on each consumer in accordance with definitions and guidelines which have been accepted for each of the program models.

LRS agrees to re-open a consumer’s case at any point where additional long-term intensive training is needed, (i.e. consumer loses job and must be retrained, consumer promoted or consumer assigned new responsibilities).

OFFICE OF CITIZENS WITH DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES (OCDD)

LRS and the OCDD are jointly responsible for meeting the needs of consumers with developmental disabilities for whom supported employment is the most appropriate service. LRS will fund the Job Coach Model, the Mobile Crew Model and the Enclave Model to provide supported work services. These services will be provided, either directly or through a service provider, as time-limited vocational services to these individuals and will include:

(1) short-term evaluation (any evaluation must be supplementary to an evaluation of rehabilitation potential done under the regular program),

(2) job development and job placement,

(3) intensive training,

(4) intensive follow-along, and

(5) limited follow-along.

The OCDD will provide extended services for consumers whose services are funded through contractual agreement with private providers. For consumers whose services are funded through a residential facility, extended services shall be provided by or through that facility.

Approximately three hundred (300) consumers could be referred for supported employment services during each year. Once eligibility for supported employment services has been established, LRS will collaborate with OCDD to ensure that services are provided in a timely manner and to assure the development of an IPE that includes extended services. If extended services are not confirmed, there must be a reasonable expectation that supports, including natural supports will become available. The IPE shall specify the responsibilities of all parties involved in the supported employment program for the individual and shall include reporting requirements for both agencies.

In the initial phase of a supported employment placement, the LRS counselor, the services provider, and the consumer are principal participants in initiating the services of the initial phase of activity. OCDD is available for consultation, referral, etc.

During this phase, LRS is responsible for the provision of services as outlined in the agreement. The LRS vendor, or service provider, is responsible for actual placement, training and supervision. The service provider shall immediately bring any problems, which might impact upon the ultimate success of the job placement, to the attention of LRS and OCDD. Funding for extended services for consumers residing in residential facilities is the responsibility of that facility.

LRS agrees to re-open a consumer’s case at any point where additional intensive training is needed and is justified in writing, subject to availability of funds.

LRS participated in a Community of Practice teleconference facilitated by the University of Massachusetts, in partnership with OCDD agencies throughout the state, on best practices in providing services to the developmentally disabled population.

MONITORING AND EXPANSION

1. LRS will monitor the services provided within the guidelines of the existing corporative agreements and evaluate if modifications will be needed when they are renegotiated.

2. Louisiana Rehabilitation Services (LRS) will endeavor to provide access to these individuals by establishing agreements with non-profit organizations and or community or state agencies including the following:

- Social Security Administration

- State Department of Education

- Office of Workforce Development

- Employment Network of Louisiana

- Associations for Citizens with Disabilities

- Title VII, Independent Living Centers

- Other volunteer organizations and/or resources

3. LRS will work towards establishing relationships with employers through the National VR Business Network, Community Rehabilitation Program - Rehabilitation Continuing Education Program, Business Advisory Committees, Business Leadership Networks, other Networks, and Councils to establish collaboration with businesses and corporations in order to facilitate natural supports at the job site.

This screen was last updated on Aug 12 2011 3:24PM by Teresa Milner

Data System on Personnel and Personnel Development

This attachment describes Louisiana Rehabilitation Services’ (LRS) procedures and activities to ensure an adequate supply of qualified professionals and paraprofessionals to provide vocational rehabilitation services statewide. The Louisiana Rehabilitation Council can review and comment on the agency’s plan upon request.

Data collection and analysis on an annual basis of qualified personnel needs and personnel development.

In order to assess the need for qualified personnel, LRS has developed and maintains a database which includes information on the number of rehabilitation personnel providing vocational rehabilitation services, and the ratio of the number of personnel needed by the agency to adequately provide VR services statewide.

LRS is geographically divided into eight (8) regions within the state; each region has one designated transition counselor, one counselor for the deaf and one counselor for the blind. In FY 2010, LRS had a staff of 299, of which 114 were VR Counselors with an average caseload size of 156 consumers. LRS provided vocational rehabilitation services to 29,414 consumers. Of these individuals receiving services, the Rehabilitation Employment Development Specialists (REDS) provided direct job placement services to 321 consumers, and 1,915 consumers received services from CRP staff and Evaluators. As a result, 2,362 consumers exited the VR program achieving an employment outcome in FY 2010.

At this time, in an effort to adequately serve and meet the needs of consumers in all OOS Group categories, LRS needs additional staff that would consist of 153 VR Counselors, 11 REDS, 109 paraprofessionals/support staff, 19 Field Managers, 27 District Supervisors, 43 CRP staff and Evaluators; and 33 Administrative and Executive level staff, as well as 11 paraprofessionals/support staff.

LRS will need to increase its staff statewide to be able to meet the growing needs of individuals with disabilities in the coming five years. Currently, LRS has 8 counselors who are eligible for retirement and has identified 22 more who will be eligible for retirement in the next 5 years. Also, VR Counselors may be promoting to higher positions within LRS and their vacancies will need to be filled with new counselors.

 

Row Job Title Total positions Current vacancies Projected vacancies over the next 5 years
1 Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor 114 13 43
2 Rehabilitation Employment Development Specialists 6 3 4
3 Support Staff/Paraprofessionals (client services) 85 7 35
4 Field Managers (client services) 19 2 0
5 District Supervisors (client services) 26 0 0
6 Evaluators and other CRP staff 21 4 20
7 Administrative Staff (Administrative & Executive) 21 1 7
8 Support Staff/Paraprofessionals (Admin. & Exec.) 7 1 3
9 0 0 0
10 0 0 0

 

Louisiana has only two universities which offer graduate programs in rehabilitation counseling; Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center (LSUHSC) in New Orleans and Southern University in Baton Rouge, a Historically Black University. The two state university programs also have undergraduate programs in rehabilitation counseling.

An annual survey of the two university CORE accredited graduate programs in rehabilitation counseling in the state determine the number of students enrolled, projected graduation dates, and the total number expected to complete the requirements for national certification in rehabilitation counseling.

Southern University currently has 58 students enrolled in the Master’s Program in Rehabilitation Counseling and 7 students completed their Master’s Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling during the calendar year 2010. Four (4) LRS staff received RSA scholarships during FY 2010 and one (1) graduated in December 2010. LSUHSC currently has 31 students enrolled in their Masters Program in Rehabilitation Counseling, and 10 students completed their Masters Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling in this program in 2010.

As noted in the following table, a total of 15 students graduated during the previous year from the two institutions listed above with credentials consistent with academic preparedness to meet national certification requirements.

Currently, 5 LRS employees are enrolled in the University of North Texas (UNT) distance learning program and all are receiving RSA scholarships. Five (5) employees graduated in 2010. To date, 60 LRS employees have graduated from the UNT distance learning program with a Masters in Rehabilitation Counseling. All UNT graduates are either eligible to meet the national certification requirement or have obtained their CRC.

In 2005, Southern University in Baton Rouge implemented a distance learning graduate program in Rehabilitation Counseling. Currently, 3 LRS employees are enrolled and are receiving RSA scholarships. All graduates of this program are eligible to meet the national certification requirement and sit for the CRC. It should be noted that LRS has a total of 56 employees that have obtained CRC.

 

Row Institutions Students enrolled Employees sponsored by agency and/or RSA Graduates sponsored by agency and/or RSA Graduates from the previous year
1 Southern UniversityBaton Rouge - Undergraduate 158 0 0 33
2 Southern UniversityBaton Rouge - Graduate 31 4 4 7
3 LSUHSC New Orleans - Undergraduate 0 0 0 0
4 LSUHSC New Orleans: Graduate 31 0 0 10
5 0 0 0 0

 

Recruitment

LRS continues to be committed to the development and continued growth of professional staff members. In an effort to meet the current and projected needs for qualified personnel, the following plan and activities are utilized. All strategies noted below for LRS’ CSPD program encourage the hiring of staff members from minority backgrounds and individuals with disabilities.

In an effort to work cooperatively with institutions of higher education in the area of recruitment, the agency participated in Career Day activities at the two universities having degree programs in rehabilitation. To ensure recruitment of individuals from minority backgrounds, LRS works closely with Southern University, a Historically Black University. Students are provided information on the application process for employment and information regarding advancement opportunities with the agency. LRS provides internship opportunities for graduate students in both assessment and counseling settings. In addition, brochures about the rehabilitation counseling profession are available in Spanish for staff members to distribute to consumers and at functions statewide. The Universities provide program updates throughout the year, which are shared with agency staff members.

As a method of recruiting individuals with disabilities, Counselors advise consumers about the career opportunities in the field of rehabilitation. LRS also utilizes cross-training of our Workforce Partners to assist in providing information to potential candidates regarding careers in the field of rehabilitation. LRS notifies the National VR Clearinghouse and State Civil Service of vacancies in the field of rehabilitation services.

Preparation

Annually, LRS maintains a re-training plan to monitor the number of counselors who do not meet CSPD qualifications. Since not all LRS rehabilitation counselors meet the CSPD requirements in the state, LRS continues the strategies noted below:

- The agency enters into an agreement when hiring new staff members who do not meet the guidelines for being “qualified” personnel; this will assure the individual’s commitment to attaining the higher educational requirement. Staff members not meeting the agency’s established requirements will be re-trained in accordance with the agency’s CSPD Re-Training Plan.

- LRS’ CSPD Re-Training Plan is maintained by the Training Section. The plan is utilized to track LRS’ progress toward meeting the CSPD mandate which is closely monitored and updated at least every six months. All staff members listed on the Re-Training Plan who do not have a master’s degree in rehabilitation or a related field are considered to be in a “re-training priority” category. LRS has established two categories – higher and lower priority groups for re-training. The lower priority group consists of the “non-masters degreed” employees that are either currently eligible for retirement or within five years of retirement eligibility. The higher priority group consists of the remaining “non-masters degreed” employees on the re-training list.

- The Program Coordinator responsible for coordination of the CSPD initiative contacts the “non-masters degreed” employees annually to discuss the mandate and the expectation that they begin training, discuss timelines for possible enrollment and works with them to address and resolve any barriers that may be preventing them from pursuing the Masters in Rehabilitation Counseling degree.

- LRS has procedures in place for the funding of academic course work, textbooks, and when necessary, travel and educational leave for counselors to be retrained in accordance with the agency’s CSPD Re-Training Plan. This policy prioritizes funding for staff members in the high priority re-training group.

- LRS staff members attend functions annually, such as are presented by the National Council on Rehabilitation Education (NCRE), Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation (CSAVR), and Region VI Technical Assistance and Continuing Education (TACE) Center, to obtain information and professional training to meet the standards for CSPD. Professional and paraprofessional staff members also regularly attend training workshops delivered by other agencies, state universities, (including the two state universities offering degrees in rehabilitation counseling), and organizations for service providers promoting the enhancement of employment for persons with disabilities. LRS encourages professional development of all staff members through community involvement and membership in state associations such as the Louisiana Chapter (LRA) of the National Rehabilitation Association (NRA) and the Clerical Association of Louisiana (CAL).

The LRS Program Coordinator, Program Manager and/or Bureau Administrator in the Training Section serve on other university advisory committees, including the Southern University Rehabilitation Advisory Council; the Louisiana State University Health Medical Center, Department of Rehabilitation Counseling; and the University of North Texas Rehabilitation Counseling Graduate Program. The universities are notified annually of LRS’ recommendations for improving their training so that graduates may better compete for agency employment. Universities are offered suggestions based on the agency’s needs to strengthen academic preparation and ensure that curriculums develop the necessary job-related competencies of their students.

LRS collaborates with the universities to support their research efforts in an attempt to obtain information to improve rehabilitation services and service delivery. This allows staff members to participate in studies that may bring more effective practices to the field.

Retention

The Louisiana Department of Civil Service approved LRS’ request to upgrade the level of the counselor, evaluator, and specialist positions, and establish master level positions in each series. In order to qualify for the master level positions, individuals must possess a master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling, evaluation, or related field. This level will allow for the advancement and retention of qualified professionals.

The agency offers the following starting salaries based upon level of education and field of study as a method to attract individuals already possessing a degree in rehabilitation.

Entry Rate of Pay:

- Bachelor’s degree in Rehabilitation - 12% above minimum

- Master’s degree in related field - 17% above minimum

- Master’s degree in Rehabilitation - midpoint of the pay range

- Ph.D. in Rehabilitation or related field - 3rd quartile of the pay range

(i.e., midpoint equals maximum/2)

Incentives available include a one-time reward (agency budget permitting) to recognize members for obtaining their CRC certification. A one-time reward is also offered to staff members completing training offered through Civil Service to develop their leadership skills in obtaining a Certified Public Manager Certificate. In FY 2010, five (5) Counselors obtained their CRC; however, incentives were not available due to budget cuts.

As staff development is key in maintaining qualified personnel, LRS revised the succession plan for training individuals interested in developing specific competencies needed to increase skill level in their current position and/or to be considered for promotion to management positions within the agency.

To retain qualified staff members, LRS coordinates training with local universities, business professionals and professional associations to assist in obtaining training and the necessary continuing education units (CEUs) required for maintenance of certification and t licensure. The LRS training section is certified by the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification to provide CRC CEUs for qualifying training events coordinated or conducted by LRS.

 

Personnel Standards:

To ensure Rehabilitation Counselor and Evaluator positions have an adequate background to successfully enter the profession, LRS requires the following minimum qualifications:

a. A baccalaureate degree plus one (1) year of professional level experience in social services, teaching, vocational counseling, employment counseling, psychiatric counseling, social services counseling, guidance and counseling, rehabilitation counseling, personnel, nursing, recreation therapy, music therapy, physical therapy, art therapy, rehabilitation instruction, rehabilitation evaluation, worker’s compensation dispute resolution, or worker’s compensation rehabilitation dispute resolution.

b. A baccalaureate degree in rehabilitation counseling or master’s degree in any field may substitute for the one (1) year of required experience.

LRS’ CSPD standard for qualified rehabilitation professional is a Master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling or a related field. This is in accordance with the academic criteria for the national licensure of Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) which is offered by the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification (CRCC).

There are no national, State-approved, or State-recognized requirements for Rehabilitation Evaluators; however, in order to ensure a qualified Evaluator staff, LRS has opted to impose the same level of academic degree requirement for Evaluators as is being done for Counselors, which is a Master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling or a related field.

LRS decided not to change the qualification requirements for the entry-level Counselor and Evaluator positions as there are only two universities in Louisiana that have accredited rehabilitation programs. Changing the entry-level Counselor and Evaluator qualification requirements would have dramatically affected the ability to fill these positions, particularly those located in more rural areas.

The agency offers the following starting salaries based upon level of education and field of study as a method to attract individuals already possessing a degree in rehabilitation.

Entry Rate of Pay:

- Bachelor’s degree in Rehabilitation - 12% above minimum

- Master’s degree in related field - 17% above minimum

- Master’s degree in Rehabilitation - midpoint of the range

- Ph.D in Rehabilitation or related field 3rd quartile of pay range

(i.e., midpoint equals maximum/2)

Counselors at the highest priority for retraining are expected to achieve the agency’s CSPD standard per 34 CFR 361.18(c)(1)(ii)(B). Counselors on board with permanent status, as of 2005, who remain in the highest priority for retraining, must meet the standard by 2015. The following depicts the educational breakdown of Counselors and Evaluators on board as of April 2011:

Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors - 114

- Has a Masters in Rehabilitation Counseling or a related field - 63

- Lower priority for retraining - 14

- Higher priority for retraining – 37

- Currently enrolled in a Masters Program – 8

- Staff members who need to begin training - 30

- Percent of Total Staff Members at Higher Priority for Retraining not currently enrolled- 26%

Evaluators - 13

- Has a Masters in Rehabilitation Counseling or a related field - 10

- Lower priority for retraining - 2

- Higher priority for retraining - 1

- Currently enrolled in a Masters Program - 0

- Staff members needing to begin training - 1

- Percent of Total Staff Members at Higher Priority for Retraining not currently enrolled - 7%

The agency recognizes that some employees in the higher priority retraining group will not be able to either pursue their master’s degree or complete all requirements of a master’s degree program by 2015. These individuals will not be eligible for advancement to the master counselor positions, and will not be given priority or consideration when filling supervisory and management level positions. In addition, should the agency consider instituting different sign-off requirements for levels of counselors and evaluators, those individuals not at the masters level will be required to have all work reviewed and approved.

Regional Managers have indicated seeing a higher number of qualified candidates applying for entry-level counselor positions within the agency. This may potentially increase the number of qualified personnel, as preference is given to qualified candidates when hiring.

Agency staff members serving on university advisory committees keep the universities abreast of the CSPD mandate and status of the agency’s compliance. In addition, counselor vacancy announcements are shared with local universities, posted on the State Civil Service website and sent to the National Clearinghouse for posting. Universities frequently refer students to LRS for internships that may lead to full-time employment and to apply for vacant counselor positions.

 

Staff Development:

LRS utilizes several methods of identifying training needs of its professional and paraprofessional staff members, to include a Training Needs Assessment form which is available on-line. In addition, Regional Managers and State Office Program staff members may identify and request training. The Quality Assurance staff members may also request training when trends are noted during the case review process. All agency training ends with the completion of an evaluation form which allows for comments and/or to request further training.

LRS staff members are taking advantage of training opportunities provided through webinars and teleconferences as well as on-site training. Numerous types of training and support continue to be provided and/or coordinated by State Office Program staff members to support the field staff members. Such training for FY 2010 included: business development employment strategies, the counselor academy, self-employment, OJT, advocacy training for the deaf and transitional training for the integration of LRS to LWC.

Additionally, the agency has specific monthly in-service training requirements (4 hours per month), which are conducted by the regional field offices to ensure continuous education for all professional and paraprofessional staff members. This training is provided by experienced staff members or by knowledgeable community providers who specialize in the area of training required. Rehabilitation Counselor Associates (RCA) are required to attend all in-service training with the counselors and also attend separate training as needed conducted by the LRS State Office Training section. Examples of training topics included: assessment, guidance and vocational counseling, eligibility, IPE, disability related issues, assistive technology, disability services at colleges and universities, ethics, community-based employment outcomes, mental health, and employment related issues.

Career Enrichment/Development

The Bureau of Program Planning/Resource Development researches, develops, implements, and maintains standards to meet this assurance. Chapter 9 of LRS’ Technical Assistance and Guidance Manual is maintained by the Bureau, provides formal procedures to promote the development of qualified rehabilitation staff members as the key to quality service delivery. The staff development is funded largely through the LRS In-Service Training Grant.

Classes are offered through the Comprehensive Public Training Program (CPTP) to all state employees at all levels to further enhance their professional skills and development. Through this program, specialized training is available in areas such as management development, supervisory techniques, skills training for non-supervisory personnel, and web-based computer skills and professional development training. LRS allows all agency staff members to participate in applicable CPTP training classes offered annually.

Acquisition and Dissemination of Significant Knowledge From Current Research and Other Sources

LRS maintains a central library that contains information on a wide variety of rehabilitation related topics, including research findings from a myriad of sources, such as the publications from the Institute on Rehabilitation Issues and NIDDR. This information is available to LRS staff members statewide on a loan basis. For the most up-to-date information, all staff members have computers on their desk with access to the Internet to be used for research purposes. It should be noted that for FY 2010, training was limited due to statewide budget reductions and a travel freeze of all personnel.

 

Personnel to Address Individual Communication Needs:

Each office is authorized to obtain the services of a foreign language interpreter/translator as the need arises (i.e. LRS has had consumers who spoke Spanish, French, and Vietnamese). When this need is identified, LRS staff members arrange for a foreign language interpreter/translator to be provided and utilizes any community resource available. LRS has several staff members who are bilingual.

In order to insure that individuals who are deaf, deaf-blind, hard-of-hearing or blind are able to access services and offices, LRS has the following procedures:

- Receptionists, Specialists for the Deaf statewide, and some Specialists for the Blind are equipped with TDD’s and video phones. Appropriate staff members have been trained in the use of this equipment.

- Specialists for the Deaf must be skilled in sign language.

- All Specialists must attend a graduate program, Northern Illinois University, Western Oregon University, University of Arkansas, San Diego State University or other applicable program approved by the agency. There they learn about hearing loss and the Deaf culture, and are taught basic sign language skills, if needed.

- Specialists must attend an annual 2 to 3 day training related to deafness sponsored by the agency.

- Specific needs are assessed on an individual basis and appropriate training is obtained for each Specialist in their respective region.

- Specialists for the Deaf sign language skills are evaluated through the applicable evaluation instrument as approved by the Program Coordinator for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Services.

- The agency has implemented a series of coursework for the Specialist for the Deaf position, which requires the completion of specific training for advancement.

- To move to the Specialist 2 level, an individual must have obtained sign language skills equivalent to a minimum of the intermediate level on the applicable evaluation instrument approved by the agency, OR interpreter certification equivalent to a minimum of the state’s Level 3 certification, AND attend one of the Orientation to Deafness training programs available at the University of Tennessee, Northern Illinois University, Western Oregon University, San Diego State University or other applicable program approved by the agency.

- To advance to the Master level Specialist for the Deaf, an individual must have a masters degree plus sign language skills equivalent to a minimum of the advanced level on the applicable evaluation instrument approved by the agency, OR interpreter certification equivalent to a minimum of the state’s Level 4 certification, and a minimum of nine hours of specialized college course work in deafness or deaf-blindness related areas approved by the agency.

In order to ensure that individuals who are blind or visually impaired are able to access services and offices, LRS has the following procedures:

1. Braille printers and Braille translation software is available at each regional office. Braille translation is produced both in-house and through private contractors as needed. All agency publications can be provided in alternative formats upon request.

2. Specialists for the Blind must complete specific training. Specialists for the Blind complete introductory course work in Braille and continue to receive training in this area. The agency has a series of training for the Blind Specialist position, which requires the completion of specific training for advancement. To move to the Specialist 2 level, an individual must complete Braille Literacy - Grade 1, Introduction to Orientation and Mobility.

 

Personnel Development under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act:

LRS continues to collaborate with the State Department of Education (SDE) to jointly provide staff training for effective provision of transitional services for those youth with disabilities leaving the secondary education system and pursuing successful employment opportunities in adult life. This is accomplished through LRS/SDE’s formal interagency agreement which includes specialized training for both LRS’ and SDE’s staff members.

LRS’ Program Coordinator for Transition and SDE’s Program Manager collaborate on joint agency training and meetings throughout the year to network and share information. They are also responsible for assisting in the coordination and provision of transition services within each agency to assure effective service provision and training through the support of local interagency core teams, cross-agency training, outreach, and other needed activities; capacity building of young adult and family outreach efforts; and continuous provision of information and technical assistance.

Some examples of collaborative training efforts conducted jointly include a Transition Summit which is held annually covering a wide array of subjects which have included use of new technologies, effective transition service practices, and techniques for effectively working with and involving parents. This summit is attended by LRS staff members, the Department of Education, the Office for Citizens with Developmental Disabilities, Families Helping Families, and other interested individuals attend these trainings.

LRS has a Program Coordinator specializing in Assistive Technology who conducts in-service training annually to keep field staff members abreast of the most recent technology available to assist individuals with disabilities.

Specialized training is also provided to our staff members working with low-incident disabilities to include such training as orientation to deafness, mobility training, sign language coursework, deaf-blindness training, and graduate level training specific to working with low-incident populations (i.e. visual impairment/hearing impairment/significant cognitive impairment).

Local Education Agencies (LEAs) also provide cross-training to LRS staff members to include:

- providing LRS staff members training on the IEP service page;

- facilitate appropriate orientation meetings among LRS staff members, student and family members;

- provide time for LRS staff members to meet with teachers, guidance counselors, and other appropriate personnel for such purposes as information sharing/gathering at both the individual and agency levels;

In line with the CSPD and IDEA requirements for personnel qualifications, LRS has defined its state recognized certification standard as a Master’s Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling for all professional staff members working with individuals with disabilities (this is inclusive of transitioning youth with disabilities).

This screen was last updated on Aug 19 2011 4:47PM by Teresa Milner

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

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

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

The Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, requires that state vocational rehabilitation agencies conduct a comprehensive assessment of consumer needs every three years, with an expectation that the assessment contribute to the agency’s goal setting and planning activities. Louisiana Rehabilitation Services plans to conduct the next Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment (CSNA) in FY 2013 and will report the findings in the FY 2014 State Plan.

In conjunction with the Louisiana Rehabilitation Council (LRC), Louisiana Rehabilitation Services (LRS) developed, conducted, and compiled the comprehensive need assessment in 2010. LRS will conduct a CSNA every 3 years in accordance with federal regulations. The results of this assessment will assist LRS in planning the agency’s future goals and objectives.

The CSNA is used to identify individuals in the state who have disabilities and meet criteria as outlined in 34CFR Part 361.29, as follows:

• LRS consumers and their family members (including potential consumers)

• Workforce partner agencies and consumers with disabilities that they serve

• Community Rehabilitation Programs (CRP)

• LRS employees

Consumers of Workforce Partners

The following LRS Workforce Partners distributed 350 surveys to a random sample of their consumers. Sixty-five of the 350 surveys that were distributed were completed and returned.

• Office of Family Security (OFS)/Public Assistance

• Office of Mental Health (OMH)

• Office of Citizens with Developmental Disabilities (OCDD)

• Department of Education/Transition Students (TS)

• Medicaid Purchase Plan (MPP)

• Louisiana Workforce Commission (LWC)

• Work Incentive Planning & Assistance (WIPA)

• Traumatic Head & Spinal Cord Injury Trust Fund (TH/SCI)

Workforce Partners

LRS also met with Workforce Partners who were given a questionnaire to assist in determining the needs of the populations with disabilities they serve. The following partners participated: Work Incentive Planning & Assistance, Medicaid Purchase, Louisiana Workforce Commission, Department of Education, Office of Family Support, Office of Mental Health, Social Security, The Advocacy Center, Governor’s Office of Disability Affairs, Families Helping Families, Goodwill, the Office for Citizens with Developmental Disabilities, and the Louisiana Developmental Disabilities Council.

Community Rehabilitation Programs

The Community Rehabilitation Programs (CRP) were monitored through site reviews and surveys were distributed to consumers receiving their services. Of the five hundred consumers surveyed, eighty-four responded for a 17% response rate.

LRS Employee Survey

The Employee Survey consisted of seven open-ended questions. Of the 348 LRS employees, 137 responded to the Employee Survey for a 39% response rate.

Results of the Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment

The following results are a compilation of information received as a result of the comprehensive assessment to assist LRS in determining the needs of individuals with disabilities within the state, particularly the vocational rehabilitation service needs of:

Individuals with the most significant disabilities, including their need for supported employment services:

LRS extracted information from the various surveys regarding the vocational rehabilitation needs of individuals with the most significant disabilities. This included their need for supported employment. For purposes of data collection, SSI/SSDI recipients, those receiving supported employment, and employee information regarding the needs of the most significantly disabled were considered. LRS only provides Supported Employment services to Order of Selection Groups I & II, the most significantly disabled.

Thirty-six percent of respondents to the LRS consumer survey indicated their primary source of income was from SSI/SSDI. Of these respondents, approximately 44% cited physical Impairments as their primary type of disability. Forty-seven percent received less than $10,000 annually in household income and 43% stated their highest level of education was a High School Diploma or GED.

Primary services received by these respondents through the VR program included vocational evaluation, tuition for training, transportation and job placement assistance.

Barriers to employment cited include health problems, needing assistance finding a job and a need for transportation. This indicates that the services VR is providing are on target with the needs expressed by respondents. It should be noted that transportation issues continue to be of significant concern to individuals with disabilities seeking employment.

Twenty-eight percent of the 315 respondents to the LRS consumer survey received Supported Employment services; this indicates a continued need for supported employment services. Forty-three percent responded on their own behalf and 57% had a family member or friend complete the survey for them.

Of the respondents receiving supported employment, there were slightly fewer females than males. Primary disabilities identified were mental, physical and cognitive/learning.

The primary income reported was a mixture of SSI/SSDI and wages from employment (40.7% SSI/SSDI and 40.7% employed).

Approximately 40% of respondents indicated receiving less than $10,000 annually in household income. The highest level of education reported was less than high school. Respondents indicated the main barriers to becoming employed were the need for assistance with finding a job, health problems, and the need for transportation.

LRS Employees were surveyed regarding the needs of individuals with most significant disabilities and their need for supported employment. The following needs were identified:

• Transportation

• More employment opportunities

• More funds, as LRS has had significant state budget cuts

Of the individuals with disabilities surveyed who are working with our Workforce Partners, sixty-six percent of the respondents listed SSI/SSDI as their primary source of income. The top three reasons they cited as not working included health problems, the need for transportation and a fear of losing government benefits. In addition, when asked what services they needed to work they indicated a need for vocational/college training, on-the-job training, job search/job placement assistance, on-the-job support and transportation. Two respondents indicated at need for assistive technology and job supports.

Individuals with disabilities who are minorities, have been unserved or underserved by the vocational rehabilitation program:

LRS extracted information from the various surveys regarding the vocational rehabilitation needs of minorities with disabilities, the unserved or underserved. For purposes of data collection, information was extracted from the following surveys: LRS Consumers, Title 121 Consumer, Workforce Partners and LRS Employees.

One hundred and twenty-eight respondents to the LRS Consumer survey indicated the following race/ethnicities: 19% were American Indian or Alaskan Native, 79% were Black/African American, and 2% were Hispanic/Latino. Primary disabilities identified were physical, mental, and neurological. Forty-six percent of the respondents indicated their primary source of income was from SSI/SSDI and 48% said their annual household income was less than $10,000.

When asked about barriers to employment, these respondents reported the following needs: assistance in finding a job, health problems and transportation. When asked what services would be helpful in getting a job, respondents indicated vocational/college training, on-the-job training, job search/job placement assistance, job support and transportation.

Title 121 respondents were asked to provide information regarding what they felt would be most helpful to them in getting a job. The top needs identified were vocational/college training, on-the-job training, job search/job placement assistance, job support and transportation. This was consistent with the needs identified by other minority groups.

LRS Employees were surveyed regarding the needs of minorities and the unserved or underserved. When asked who they perceived the unserved and underserved to be, they indicated that they were individuals living in rural areas, those not in the order of selection groups currently being served, and those not meeting the agency’s economic need criteria.

When asked what they considered the needs of minorities and the unserved or underserved, the following needs were identified:

• More outreach

• Transportation services

• Increased agency funding to serve those being unserved and underserved

Workforce Partners identified the unserved and underserved with respect to the individuals with disabilities they serve as being:

• Individuals with mental illness (includes ex-cons and homeless)

• Individuals living in rural areas

• Individuals not meeting LRS economic need criteria

Services they identified the unserved and underserved populations as needing are:

• Same services LRS currently provides to eligible consumers

• More employment opportunities and qualified providers - access to more specialized employment services and placement options

• Transportation services

The barriers to employment of the unserved and underserved identified by Workforce Partners included:

• lack of public and employer awareness of VR services

• not meeting LRS economic need criteria for services

• not enough agency funding to provide services required for this population.

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

The following Partners agreed to distribute surveys to a random sample of their consumers: Work Incentives Planning and Assistance, Medicaid Purchase, Louisiana Workforce Commission, Department of Education, Office of Family Support, Office of Mental Health, and Office for Citizens with Developmental Disabilities. Each partner was given a survey packet that included 50 surveys, cover letters explaining the purpose of the survey and self-addressed stamped envelopes. In addition, it was explained that the survey could be completed online.

Of the 350 surveys distributed by the Workforce Partners, LRS received 65 completed surveys resulting in a 19% response rate. Of the individuals responding, 78% identified themselves as an individual with a disability completing the survey and 22% stated they were a parent, family member or friend of the individual with a disability.

Seventy percent of the individuals responding to the survey indicated having physical impairments, mobility limitations and mental impairments, 57% were female and 43% were male. Sixty-one percent of respondents identified themselves as Caucasian and 36% as African Americans.

Of these respondents, 47.5% indicated having completed high school or having their GED; while 20% stated not having completed high school. Sixty-six percent of the respondents listed SSI/SSDI as their primary source of income, while 28% stated they are employed. Fifty-seven percent indicated earnings between ten and twenty-five thousand dollars annually.

Forty-three percent of respondents indicated they have received vocational evaluation services from LRS. Seventy-four percent of respondents reported health problems as a primary barrier to employment. Twenty-six percent stated they need help finding a job.

Eighty percent of the respondents needed child care, transition services, and transportation in order to go to work.

Workforce Partners completing the questionnaire indicates a desire and need for continued interagency communications and collaboration to address:

• provision of more job skills training, work readiness and more in-depth job placement assistance

• provision of supported employment

• the lack of transportation

An assessment of the need to establish, develop, or improve Community Rehabilitation Programs (CRPs) within the State:

The LRS employee survey revealed that 62.4% of respondents felt that new CRPs needed to be established to adequately serve LRS consumers and 66.2% felt that the current CRPs should be improved or expanded. Budget cuts and limited staffing were also indicated as barriers to the development and provision of additional CRP services.

The LRS regional offices conducted reviews of CRPs and their capacity to meet identified consumer needs. This assessment revealed a statewide need for short-term work-readiness services and individualized job placement. The assessment further revealed that some of the reasons consumers lost jobs were directly related to deficiencies in soft skill areas, (i.e. attitudes/values, work habits, work behaviors, attendance, punctuality, and hygiene).

In addition, CRP site reviews indicated the following consumer needs:

• Quality community based assessments where information is collected from a variety of sources;

• Proper documentation of consumer’s employment interests and preferred job tasks;

• Job placement that is consistent with expressed interests, strengths, and capacities;

• Adequate job supports for adjustment and job retention; and

• Services beyond supported employment responsive to the needs of transition students, persons with substance abuse issues, and the mental health population

LRS continues to works with the CRPs to improve these areas.

A survey that was distributed to consumers receiving services from CRPs revealed that 92% of consumers felt they were treated with respect, 82% said they were given information on services to be provided, and 80% were provided services in a timely manner.

Some areas identified by consumers as needing improvement were: better communications regarding the progress of their case (24%) and not being placed in the job of their choice (38%). Seventy-two percent of respondents indicated that they were satisfied with the services provided by the CRP.

Implications and Recommendations

There are many people in Louisiana with disabilities that could benefit from Vocational Rehabilitation services designed to help them achieve and retain employment in integrated community settings. To meet this need, LRS maintains eight regional offices located statewide; employs a skilled workforce to help individuals plan what services they need; funds community rehabilitation programs to deliver services; and collaborates with multiple agencies and community businesses to promote employment opportunities.

The surveys revealed an increase in the age of the population of individuals LRS is serving since our last triennial assessment. This may be due to the current economy and an ageing population who is remaining in or returning to the workforce. Overall, most respondents had higher educational levels, a GED or High School Diploma, which would indicate that LRS may be able to provide a higher level of job training to these individuals and that they would potentially earn a higher wage. The primary disability of respondents was noted to be physical impairments. This may also be a result of an older population in the workforce. LRS will endeavor to provide training to staff to ensure they are skilled in working with individuals with these disabilities and an older population of consumers.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Louisiana Quick Facts data, 3.6% of Louisiana’s population is Hispanic/Latino. There was only a 2% response to LRS’ consumer survey from the Hispanic/Latino population. LRS is currently serving 336 consumers who identify themselves as Hispanic/Latino. Although there was no data at the U.S. Census Bureau on the number of Hispanic/Latino who are disabled, there may be a need for outreach to this population.

This comprehensive assessment identified the following needs of individuals with disabilities (including their need for supported employment), minorities, and individuals who are unserved or underserved by vocational rehabilitation services:

• transportation

• job placement assistance/help finding a job

• vocational/occupational training – preparing to go to work

• on-the-job training

• job search assistance – help with resume and interviewing skills

• more public outreach to provide information out about the VR program

• more supported employment providers in rural areas/less populated regions

• short-term work readiness services

The information obtained from the Workforce Partners surveyed indicates a desire and need for continued interagency communications and collaboration to address such things as:

• provision of more job skills training, work readiness and more in-depth job placement assistance

• continued provision of supported employment

• collaboration with other agencies and organizations to address the lack of transportation

• partners felt that LRS plays a vital role within the community and perceived LRS role as being the primary agency to prepare individuals with disabilities for work and connecting individuals with disabilities with different resources to obtain education and employment.

A wealth of information has been compiled from this statewide comprehensive assessment. It is clear that LRS must review the information and findings from this assessment further and, as appropriate, initiate efforts and or activities to address the issues and concerns as they relate to the findings presented. In order to ensure that these findings and results are effectively utilized to improve services to consumers with disabilities, these results will be distributed statewide to all agency staff and other key workforce partners. This information will assist in driving the agency’s short and long-range planning.

This screen was last updated on Aug 19 2011 4:33PM by Teresa Milner

Louisiana Rehabilitation Services estimates that it will serve 27,299 individuals during fiscal year 2011 – 2012 of the estimated 423,679 individuals with disabilities ages 16-64 in Louisiana (per the 2007 American Community Survey data on the state of Louisiana). The estimated number LRS anticipates serving includes all cases from application through the service statuses (including cases already open the previous fiscal year; see breakout projections on the chart below).

To qualify for VR services, individuals with disabilities must be interested in obtaining or maintaining employment. In the 2008 Disability Status Report for Louisiana compiled by Cornell University, it indicates that 6.9% of working-age individuals with disabilities are actively seeking employment. Although, it would be difficult to determine how many of the 423,679 individuals with disabilities would be eligible, based on Cornell’s study at a minimum 6.9% of these individuals would be actively seeking employment and could potentially be eligible for VR services.

Of the estimated 27,299 individuals receiving services, approximately 2,905 will receive supported employment services through funds provided under Title I and through Title VI, Part B program funds.

Projected Cost for the Vocational Rehabilitation Program in the Next Fiscal Year:

LRS is projecting that the Vocational Rehabilitation Program will need $48,809,357 to provide services to eligible consumers. Projected revenue is State General Funds of $8,239,768 and Federal Section 110 Funds of $40,569,589.

Projected cost to serve individuals with existing IPEs:

State General Funds: $1,142,602

Federal Section 110: $14,346,732

Total: $15,489,336

Projected cost for determining eligibility of new applicants:

State General Funds: $747,771

Federal Section 110: $2,762,893

Total: $3,510,664

Projected revenue State General Funds is $8,239,768 and Federal Section 110 Funds of $40,569,589.

Amount of State General Funds recommended in the 2010/2011 budget to match Section 110 Federal Funds is $8,239,768.

Amount of Section 110 Federal Funds is $40,569,589.

Total Available Budget $48,809,357.

Less projections of $48,809,357.

For a difference of $0.

Report of how funds were used for Innovation and Expansion in the preceding year (Federal Fiscal Year 2010):

Support of Louisiana Rehabilitation Council (LRC) $107,426.71

Support of Statewide Independent Living Council (SILC) $68,805.99

Bridging the Gap/Pathways to Success (Refer to 4.11(e)(2)) $81,712.00

Total: $257,944.70

ORDER OF SELECTION

Estimates of costs of services for each Order of Selection category are in the chart that follows entitled Projections for Fiscal Year 2011-2012.

LRS began serving only Order of Selection Group I effective October 1, 2010. Prior to September 30, 2010 consumers who had been receiving services in Groups II – V continued to be served as per federal mandate.

LRS began serving Order of Selection Groups I & II only effective April 14, 2009. Order of Selection Groups III - V consumers reflected above and in chart below are those continuing to receive services as a result of “continuity of services.”

Category Title I or Title VI Estimated Funds Estimated Number to be Served Average Cost of Services
Projections for Fiscal Year 2011-2012 0
Group I - Most Significantly Disabled (MSD)* Title I $12,263,213 12123 $1,011
Group I - Most Significantly Disabled (MSD)* Title VI $269,250 337 $798
Group II - Most Significantly Disabled (MSD) Title I $5,273,253 9896 $532
Group II - Most Significantly Disabled (MSD) Title VI $89,750 113 $794
Group III - Significantly Disabled (SD) Title I $541,560 2831 $191
Group IV - Significantly Disabled (SD) Title I $307,510 1129 $272
Group V - Non Significantly Disabled (NSD) Title I $255,464 870 $293
Totals   $19,000,000 27,299 $696

This screen was last updated on Aug 4 2011 3:07PM by Teresa Milner

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.

Goal & Priority I: To maximize opportunities for individuals with disabilities in achieving employment and independence.

Goal & Priority II: To ensure that Louisiana Rehabilitation Services has necessary and qualified rehabilitation personnel, both professionals and paraprofessionals, to provide the myriad of vocational rehabilitation services necessary to meet the employment and independence needs of eligible individuals.

Goal & Priority III: To maximize resources by operating Louisiana Rehabilitation Services in an efficient and effective manner to ensure quality services that lead to successful employment outcomes and pursue innovative means to leverage the state’s full federal VR grant allotment.

Goal & Priority IV: To provide vocational rehabilitation services that result in individuals with disabilities achieving quality employment outcomes by:

a. Closing a minimum of 2,362 cases annually with an employment outcome (Baseline for FY 2010 is 2,362);

b. Increasing the employment outcome of closed service cases from 49.2% (in FY 2010) to the federal minimum standard of 55.8% annually;

c. Continuing to meet or exceed the 72.6% employment outcome rate of successfully closed cases that attain the minimum wage rate or greater (99.5% in FY 2010);

d. Continuing to meet or exceed the 62.4% employment outcome rate of successfully closed cases that attain the minimum wage rate or greater and have significant disabilities (93.3% in FY 2010);

e. Continuing to meet or exceed the average hourly wage of VR closed cases with employment outcomes that attain minimum wage or greater as a .52 ratio or higher to Louisiana’s average hourly wage (.73 in FY 2010); and

f. Continuing to meet or exceed the minimum standard number of 53 (62.5 in FY 2010) which is the difference between, (a) the percentage of those reporting their own income as the largest single means of economic support at application and, (b) the percentage of those making at least minimum wage or greater, reporting their own income as the largest single means of support at successful employment closure.

The goals and plans of the Supported Employment program will be:

1. To ensure the quality of supported employment services provided to eligible consumers by monitoring the vendors. The monitoring will utilize site reviews and include quality indicators to evaluate the assessment of employment outcomes and an evaluation of the provision of services. The monitoring will be carried out by the state and field office staff.

2. To investigate, purchase or provide technical assistance and training opportunities for state office and field office staff to improve the supported employment service delivery system. The field staff will receive supported employment training directed at case management and quality supported employment services.

3. To coordinate with Region VI Community Rehabilitation Program – Technical Assistance and Continuing Education (TACE), the Department of Health & Hospitals (Office of

Mental Health, Office for Citizens with Developmental Disabilities – Support Waivers Program, and Medicaid Purchase Plan), the University of North Texas Workplace

Inclusion and Sustainable Employment (UNTWISE), the Employment Network of Louisiana, Inc (professional association of supported employment vendors), the Louisiana Chapter of the Association for Persons in Supported Employment (APSE), and the Louisiana Work Pays Consortium in order to provide input to vendor agencies providing supported employment services and to solicit input from these agencies in the planning and implementation of quality supported employment services.

4. To coordinate with other agencies (public and private), employers and advocates to establish multiple options for extended services, including the use of natural supports, to ensure more successful supported employment outcomes.

The above goals and priorities were jointly developed, reviewed, revised and agreed upon by Louisiana Rehabilitation Services (LRS) and the Louisiana Rehabilitation Council (LRC) in order to carry out the vocational rehabilitation program and supported employment services.

LRS has identified in Attachment 4.11(d) those strategies that will be used to meet these identified Goals and Priorities.

In consideration of recommendations made in the FY 2008 Monitoring Report on the Vocational Rehabilitation and Independent Living Programs regarding LRS’s goals & priorities, the following actions were taken:

- LRS continues to work closely with the LRC, the SILC and field staff in the strategic planning process to fulfill the agency vision. Most recently, LRS revised the strategic plan to better align within the Louisiana Workforce Commission.

- LRS remains committed to researching and implementing ways to increase employment outcomes for transition-age youths.

- LRS will utilize the results from the study conducted on unsuccessful closures to determine actions to increase the success of consumers.

- LRS is exploring and utilizing creative strategies to obtain additional matching funds.

Refer to 4.11(e)(2) Evaluation and Reports of Progress for LRS performance on the standards and indicators.

LRS has identified in Attachment 4.11(d) those strategies that will be used to meet these identified Goals and Priorities.

Agency goals focus on improving opportunities for people with disabilities and improving satisfaction of LRS consumers through participation in an effective and efficient system of workforce investment. The goals will be pursued in a manner that enables individuals with disabilities to make informed choices.

These goals are compatible with the vision of LRS in regards to serving individuals with disabilities, which is, “To be the most effective and efficient agency providing employment services for persons with disabilities in Louisiana.”

This screen was last updated on May 18 2011 12:08PM by Teresa Milner

  • 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

Since March 20, 1988, LRS has provided vocational rehabilitation services statewide through an Order of Selection. The Order of Selection will preserve the Agency’s ability to accept applications on all individuals, to provide diagnostic studies, trial work experiences, and extended evaluations, and to determine the significance of the disability and placement in the Order of Selection.

After determination of eligibility for vocational rehabilitation services, each individual will then be classified by placement into one of the five following priority categories:

Selection Group I - Most Significantly Disabled Individual (Severe limitations in four or more functional capacities.)

Selection Group II - Most Significantly Disabled Individual (Severe limitations in three functional capacities.)

Selection Group III - Significantly Disabled Individual (Severe limitations in two functional capacities.)

Selection Group IV - Significantly Disabled Individual (Severe limitation in one functional capacity.)

Selection Group V - All others who do not meet the definitions above for the most significantly disabled or significantly disabled.

An individual’s placement in the Order of Selection shall not be based upon residency requirements; economic status; type of disability; age, sex, race, color, creed, or national origin; source of referral; or expected employment outcome.

Individuals shall be classified in the highest priority category for which they are determined qualified. Upon placement into a priority category, individuals shall be notified in writing of the priority categories, which category they have been placed in and their right to appeal their category assignment.

LRS shall provide for continuity of services once an otherwise eligible individual is selected for services and has begun to receive services under an IPE, irrespective of the severity of the individual’s disability. LRS will continue to provide needed vocational rehabilitation services to all individuals with an existing Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE).

All services, including post employment services, shall be available to individuals receiving services under an Order of Selection insofar as such services are necessary and appropriate to the individual’s Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) in order to ultimately place them in successful employment.

All Agency policies and procedures governing the expenditure of funds, consumer financial participation, and use of comparable services and benefits are applicable to individuals receiving services under an Order of Selection.

 

Description of Priority categories

The Order of Selection assures that individuals with the most significant disabilities receive priority for vocational rehabilitation services.

Most Significantly Disabled - OOS I (Severe limitations in four or more functional capacity areas): An individual with a most significant disability is one who has been determined eligible for vocational rehabilitation services and:

1. Who has a significant physical or mental impairment which seriously limits four or more functional capacities (mobility, communication, self-care, self-direction, motor skills, interpersonal skills, work tolerance, or work skills) in terms of an employment outcome; and,

2. Whose vocational rehabilitation can be expected to require *multiple vocational rehabilitation services over an *extended period of time; and,

3. Who has one or more physical or mental impairments 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 illness, mental retardation, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, musculo-skeletal disorders, neurological disorders (including stroke and epilepsy), paraplegia, quadriplegia, other spinal cord conditions, sickle cell anemia, specific learning disability, end-stage renal disease, or another impairment or combination of impairments determined on the basis of an assessment for determining eligibility and vocational rehabilitation needs to cause comparable substantial functional limitations.

An individual’s placement in the Order of Selection shall not be based upon residency requirements; economic status; type of disability; age, sex, race, color, creed, or national origin; source of referral; or expected employment outcome.

*Definitions of terms in 2 above:

Multiple Vocational Rehabilitation Services - are defined as vocational counseling and guidance and at least one other vocational rehabilitation service needed to obtain, maintain, or advance in employment.

Extended Period of Time - Means that the individual requires vocational rehabilitation services that are anticipated to extend three months or longer.

Most Significantly Disabled - OOS II (Severe limitations in three functional capacity areas): An individual with a most significant disability is one who has been determined eligible for vocational rehabilitation services and:

1. Who has a significant physical or mental impairment which seriously limits three functional capacities (mobility, communication, self-care, self direction, interpersonal skills, work tolerance, motor skills, or work skills) in terms of an employment outcome; and,

2. Whose vocational rehabilitation can be expected to require multiple vocational rehabilitation services over an extended period of time; and,

3. Who has one or more physical or mental impairments 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 illness, mental retardation, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, musculo-skeletal disorders, neurological disorders (including stroke and epilepsy), paraplegia, quadriplegia, other spinal cord conditions, sickle cell anemia, specific learning disability, end-stage renal disease, or another impairment or combination of impairments determined on the basis of an assessment for determining eligibility and vocational rehabilitation needs to cause comparable substantial functional limitations.

An individual’s placement in the Order of Selection shall not be based upon residency requirements; economic status; type of disability; age, sex, race, color, creed, or national origin; source of referral; or expected employment outcome.

Significantly Disabled - OOS III (Severe limitations in two functional capacity areas): An individual with a significant disability is one who has been determined eligible for vocational rehabilitation services, and:

1. Who has a significant physical or mental impairment which seriously limits two functional capacities (mobility, communication, self-care, self-direction, interpersonal skills, work tolerance, motor skills or work skills) in terms of an employment outcome; and,

2. Whose vocational rehabilitation can be expected to require multiple vocational rehabilitation services over an extended period of time; and,

3. Who has one or more physical or mental impairments 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 illness, mental retardation, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, musculo-skeletal disorders, neurological disorders (including stroke and epilepsy), paraplegia, quadriplegia, other spinal cord conditions, sickle cell anemia, specific learning disability, end-stage renal disease, or another impairment or combination of impairments determined on the basis of an assessment for determining eligibility and vocational rehabilitation needs to cause comparable substantial functional limitations.

Significantly Disabled – OOS IV (Severe limitations in one functional capacity area): An individual with a significant disability is one who has been determined eligible for vocational rehabilitation services and:

1. Who has a significant physical or mental impairment which seriously limits one functional capacity (mobility, communication, self-care, self-direction, interpersonal skills, work tolerance, motor skills or work skills) in terms of an employment outcome; and,

2. Whose vocational rehabilitation can be expected to require multiple vocational rehabilitation services over an extended period of time; and,

3. Who has one or more physical or mental impairments 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 illness, mental retardation, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, musculo-skeletal disorders, neurological disorders (including stroke and epilepsy), paraplegia, quadriplegia, other spinal cord conditions, sickle cell anemia, specific learning disability, end-stage renal disease, or another impairment or combination of impairments determined on the basis of an assessment for determining eligibility and vocational rehabilitation needs to cause comparable substantial functional limitations.

Non-Significantly Disabled - OOS V: An individual with a physical or mental disability:

1. Who has been determined eligible for vocational rehabilitation services; and

2. Who does not meet the criteria of an individual with either a “most significant” or “significant” disability.

 

Priority of categories to receive VR services under the order

LRS began serving only Order of Selection Group I effective October 1, 2010. Prior to September 30, 2010 consumers who had been receiving services in Groups II – V continue to be served as per federal mandate. LRS served OOS Groups I & II from April 14, 2009 through September 30, 2010, and had been able to serve all 5 Order of selection Groups from January 10, 2006 through April 13, 2009.

All individuals within a higher priority category for services shall be served before individuals in the next lowest priority category are served. When it is impossible to serve all individuals within a priority category, individuals shall be placed on a deferred services waiting list and served in chronological order based on the date of application (or is it eligibility). In the event that the order of selection is rescinded, individuals on deferred services waiting lists and in unserved categories will be contacted and served. Consumers determined eligible and placed in OOS Groups II – V after September 30, 2010 were placed on a waiting list and will be served as funding becomes available.

 

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

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

LRS anticipates serving all individuals with existing plans of service. Currently LRS is serving new consumers determined eligible and placed in Order of Selection Group I. LRS will continue to serve new consumers in OOS Group I, as long as funding remains available. The loss of ARRA funding and potential state fund reductions may impact continued service provision to categories currently being served.

Estimated Number of Individuals with Existing Plans of Service in the Next Fiscal Year:

Louisiana Rehabilitation Services estimates that it will serve 27,299 individuals during fiscal year 2011 – 2012. The above number includes all cases from application through the service statuses (including cases already open the previous fiscal year).

Projected Cost for the Vocational Rehabilitation Program in the Next Fiscal Year:

LRS is projecting that the Vocational Rehabilitation Program will need $48,809,357 to provide services to eligible consumers. Projected revenue is State General Funds of $8,239,768 and Federal Section 110 Funds of $40,569,589.

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 12,460 856 678 FY2012 $12,532,463
2 10,009 801 634 FY2012 $5,363,003
3 2,831 176 139 FY2012 $541,560
4 1,129 86 68 FY2012 $307,510
5 870 86 68 FY2012 $255,464

This screen was last updated on Aug 4 2011 3:05PM by Teresa Milner

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.

Louisiana Rehabilitation Services (LRS) will provide and improve the quality of supported employment services through the Title VI, Part B program to individuals with the most significant disabilities through a project designed to improve outcomes for all supported employment consumers.

Description

The Order of Selection assures that individuals with the most significant disabilities receive priority for vocational rehabilitation services.

The first two Selection Groups are defined most significantly disabled as follows:

Selection Group I - The most significantly disabled individuals. (Severe limitations in four or more functional capacity areas.)

Selection Group II - The most significantly disabled individuals. (Severe limitations in three functional capacity areas.)

The goals and plans of the program will be:

1. To ensure the quality of supported employment services provided to eligible consumers by monitoring the vendors. The monitoring will utilize site reviews and include quality indicators to evaluate the assessment of employment outcomes and an evaluation of the provision of services. The monitoring will be carried out by the state and field office staff.

2. To investigate, purchase or provide technical assistance and training opportunities for state office and field office staff to improve the supported employment service delivery system. The field staff will receive supported employment training directed at case management and quality supported employment services.

3. To coordinate with Region VI Community Rehabilitation Program – Technical Assistance and Continuing Education (TACE), the Department of Health & Hospitals (Office of Mental Health, Office for Citizens with Developmental Disabilities – Support Waivers Program, and Medicaid Purchase Plan), the University of North Texas Workplace Inclusion and Sustainable Employment (UNTWISE), the Employment Network of Louisiana, Inc (professional association of supported employment vendors), the Louisiana Chapter of the Association for Persons in Supported Employment (APSE), the Jefferson Parish Human Services Agency (JPHSA), and the Louisiana Work Pays Consortium in order to provide input to vendor agencies providing supported employment services and to solicit input from these agencies in the planning and implementation of quality supported employment services.

4. To coordinate with other agencies (public and private), employers and advocates to establish multiple options for extended services, including the use of natural supports, to ensure more successful supported employment outcomes.

Supported Employment Models Used by LRS

1. Individual one-on-one job coach

2. Mobile crew model

3. Enclave model

Individuals to be Served

It is estimated that approximately 450 individuals will be provided supported employment services with the funding available through the Title VI, Part B program in FY 2012. As LRS closed Order of Selection Group II on September 30, 2010, only individuals with the most significant disabilities, in Selection Group I will be served under this program.

This screen was last updated on May 18 2011 12:20PM by Teresa Milner

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.

State’s Strategies and Use of Title I Funds :

Louisiana Rehabilitation Services (LRS) and the Louisiana Rehabilitation Council (LRC) have jointly developed and identified strategies the agency will use to address the areas listed below.

1. Review and address the needs identified in the 2010 Needs Assessment conducted under Attachment 4.11(a) and achieve the Goals and Priorities identified in Attachment 4.11(c)(1).

2. Carry out outreach activities to identify and serve individuals with the most significant disabilities who are minorities, consistent with provisions of subsection 6.6 of this State Plan; and

3. Overcome barriers relating to equitable access to and participation of individuals with disabilities in the vocational rehabilitation and supported employment programs.

The Strategies identified in this attachment are also indicative of how LRS will allocate and use reserved funds identified in the Pre-Print Section 4.12, Innovation and Expansion, for the following:

1. For the development and implementation of innovative approaches to expand and improve the provision of vocational rehabilitation services to individuals with disabilities under this State Plan, particularly individuals with the most significant disabilities, consistent with the findings of the statewide assessment and goals and priorities of LRS identified in attachments 4.11(a), 4.11(c)(1), and 4.11(c)(3); and

2. To support the funding of the Louisiana Rehabilitation Council and the funding of the Statewide Independent Living Council.

LRS will continue to use the results of the Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment to determine innovative methods of service provision and to increase outreach to a greater number of minorities and individuals with most significant disabilities through better collaboration with our partners.

Strategies to Address Goals & Priorities:

OBJECTIVE A.1: To develop a comprehensive succession plan to identify and prepare staff to meet the agency’s management position needs through FY 2015.

Strategy A.1.1 Complete an internal review of agency personnel and identify where current and potential gaps exist (beginning first with management positions) through FY 2012.

Strategy A.1.2 Ensure job descriptions are inclusive of all essential job functions for those critical job positions identified that will be coming vacant within the next two to five years.

Strategy A.1.3 Develop a process for identifying staff members to participate in succession training that will include specific criteria and methodology for tracking progress and development by FY 2012.

Strategy A.1.4 Develop personal training plans for staff members interested in pursuing leadership positions by FY 2012.

OBJECTIVE A.2: To monitor and evaluate 100% of the Community Rehabilitation Programs (CRPs) annually for quality and cost effectiveness of service provision in order to assure compliance with agency standards through FY 2015.

Strategy A.2.1 Revise and promulgate CRP Standards that include guidelines for denial and revocation of vendorship status.

Strategy A.2.2 Monitor and evaluate CRPs through a Regional Annual Renewal Process.

Strategy A.2.3 Monitor and evaluate the cost effectiveness of service provision by reviews of a sample of CRPs through site visits on an annual basis.

Strategy A.2.4 Annually measure consumer satisfaction with CRP services through agency survey instrument.

OBJECTIVE A.3: To provide resources to 100% of agency staff in order to increase their efficiency in service provision through FY 2015.

Strategy A.3.1 Support field office staff by visits of State office management staff to regional locations on an annual basis.

Strategy A.3.2 Support field office staff by State office management staff providing in-service training to regional staff on an annual basis, respective to their area(s) of responsibility, as applicable.

Strategy A.3.3 Provide LRS staff with disabilities, written or electronic communication in accessible format(s) or provide other reasonable accommodations.

Strategy A.3.4 Collaborate with other agencies to ensure cross training will occur between LRS and other agencies.

Strategy A.3.5 Implement upgrades to the Accessible Web-based Activity and Reporting Environment System (AWARE), the Web-based computer system for case documentation, caseload management, budgets and expenditures, and outcome reporting.

Strategy A.3.6 Implement LRS multi-regional training, as feasible, in order to increase opportunities for agency staff to network statewide.

Strategy A.3.7 Explore other funding opportunities to serve more consumers.

OBJECTIVE B.1: To provide vocational rehabilitation services leading to increase in employment outcomes to 1000 eligible individuals with disabilities through FY 2015.

Strategy B.1.1 Increase Counselor contact with students with disabilities in secondary education in order to improve provision of vocational rehabilitation services to transition students.

Strategy B.1.2 Request funding to increase the number of Counselors dedicated to providing services to transition students.

Strategy B.1.3 Increase staff presence with private employers through partnering and/or collaboration to do job development.

Strategy B.1.4 Increase resources for assistive technology assessment and devices to improve employment outcomes.

Strategy B.1.5. Work collaboratively with the Career Solution Centers to ensure that funds and services to consumers are used and leveraged to the utmost extent.

Strategy B.1.6 Incorporate and utilize existing web-based networks (i.e. LaVOS) in order to improve consumer employment outcomes.

Strategy B.1.7 Assess the agency’s performance on a quarterly basis and develop strategies to improve agency performance.

OBJECTIVE B.2: Through a quality assurance programmatic case review system, evaluate and monitor case record documentation to maintain at least a 90% average level of compliance with agency policy and procedures through FY 2015.

Strategy B.2.1 Collaborate with state office programmatic staff relative to identified areas needing improvement to provide training, as applicable.

OBJECTIVE B.3: To improve service delivery to consumers by increasing competency of 100% of agency staff through professional development training opportunities by FY 2015.

Strategy B.3.1 Provide a minimum of two annual trainings to state office and regional staff based on training needs resulting from the agencies in-service training needs tools.

Strategy B.3.2 Provide agency funding and/or support for professional staff to obtain a Masters Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling in accordance with the Comprehensive System of Personnel Development.

Strategy B.3.3 Provide agency funding and/or support for new hires without a Masters Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling to attain this degree within 3 to 4 years of being hired.

Strategy B.3.4 Develop and implement a plan for paraprofessional staff to obtain training relative to the vocational rehabilitation program per the Comprehensive System of Personnel Development.

Strategy B.3.5 Continue to identify and provide opportunities for professional staff to attend leadership/management training programs.

Strategy B.3.6 Develop and implement methods to increase recruitment and retention of qualified staff.

Strategy B.3.7 Inform universities offering a Masters Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling about agency job openings and how to apply for vacancies through the agency process that has been developed.

Strategy B.3.8 Provide professional development training for Randolph Sheppard Management Analysts.

OBJECTIVE B.4: To increase by 12% the utilization and efficiency of services provided by LRS operated Rehabilitation Employment Assessment Programs (REAPs) by FY 2015.

Strategy B.4.1 Investigate and determine the most efficient assessment tools and incorporate these in the REAP facilities by end of FY 2015.

Strategy B.4.2 Identify and access private Community Rehabilitation Programs (CRPs) to provide work ethic training in regions without REAPs; and then later explore expansion in those regions with REAPs as demand warrants.

OBJECTIVE B.5: To increase the number of managers earning at least $25,000 annually by expanding opportunities and enhancing consumer service delivery in the Randolph-Sheppard Program.

Strategy B.5.1 Monitor all legislation, which might impact the program’s preference (first choice at selecting to occupy available locations).

Strategy B.5.2 Expand training for licensed blind managers to enhance skills, entrepreneurial abilities, and quality of service to consumers.

Strategy B.5.3 Merge existing low earning locations as appropriate to reach the targeted annual rate.

OBJECTIVE C.1: To increase by 215, the number of individuals receiving independent living services in their homes or communities by June 30, 2015. (Independent Living Program)

Strategy C.1.1 Revise the policy for IL Part B program by September 30, 2011.

Strategy C.1.2 Conduct annual site reviews, to include technical assistance and any corrective action plans.

Strategy C.1.3 Annually measure consumer satisfaction with independent living services through agency survey instrument.

OBJECTIVE C.2: To improve 700 consumers’ ability to live independently in their homes and community annually through Independent Living Services for Older Individuals Who are Blind through FY 2015.

Strategy C.2.1 Conduct annual site reviews, to include technical assistance and any corrective action plans.

LRS outreach procedures to identify and serve individuals with disabilities who have been unserved or underserved by the VR program:

LRS Counselors are required to conduct outreach to faculty and students statewide at high schools and colleges to educate consumers with disabilities, who are unserved or underserved, regarding available VR services. In addition, outreach is conducted at prisons for individuals in pre-release programs and at community functions regarding available services.

LRS maintains a strong collaboration with the Office of Mental Health (OMH), Office of Citizens with Developmental Disabilities (OCDD) and the Office of Aging and Adult Services (OAAS) to identify potential source of referrals.

LRS works collaboratively with Section 121 VR programs to ensure that any service needs to Native American’s with disabilities are met. A Program Coordinator is assigned to provide technical assistance to the field concerning outreach to this population. Outreach is performed through presentations at events sponsored by Section 121 groups and at functions attended by Native Americans. A representative from Section 121 VR programs is on the State Rehabilitation Council and acts as a liaison between the two programs.

In the 2010 Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment, LRS identified individuals with disabilities living in rural areas as an underserved population. To allow LRS to better meet the needs of these individuals, regional offices covering rural areas have designated staff members to perform outreach in targeted areas. LRS also has access to two mobile units recently acquired by Louisiana Workforce Commission to perform outreach.

LRS’ strategies to help 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.

LRS has several bilingual staff members statewide that will continue to be utilized to provide interpreting services to non-english speaking consumers. When bi-lingual staff members members are not available, interpreters are obtained to facilitate meetings with counselors or employers. Since LRS recently moved to the Louisiana Workforce Commission, all brochures are in the process of being updated and will be available in alternate languages.

LRS transferred to the Louisiana Workforce Commission from the Department of Social Services effective July 2010. As part of this transition, LRS State Office moved to the Louisiana Workforce Commission’s campus. LRS Program Coordinator provided consultation and LRS is in the process of modifying areas of the facility to remove any barriers identified. In addition, the Program Coordinator continues to work with the Louisiana Workforce Commission to determine ways to make the campus more accessible. LRS will continue to provide consultation and support to ensure that electronic media is available in accessible formats.

Transportation continues to be a barrier in Louisiana, particularly in the rural areas. In order to provide services to individuals living in rural areas, LRS Counselors travel to the areas to meet with consumers in their homes, at Career Solution Centers, and in offices made available by community partners. An LRS Program Coordinator has been selected to serve on the Human Services Coordinated Transit Workgroup established as a result of Louisiana House Resolution 131 of the 2011 Legislative Session to explore options and report recommendations for improving the transportation infrastructure serving the elderly and citizens with disabilities in Louisiana.

LRS has been unable to match all of the federal dollars available to Louisiana due to state budget reductions. Other allowable funding will be explored to match available federal dollars.

 

This screen was last updated on Aug 19 2011 4:33PM by Teresa Milner

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

The following summarizes the agency objectives/goals and the progress that has been made toward reaching them. Goals and Priorities of the agency are addressed in 4.11(c)(1). Strategies applying to each of the following objectives are addressed in 4.11(d).

OBJECTIVE A.1: To develop a comprehensive succession plan to identify and prepare staff to meet the agency’s management position needs through FY 2015.

Progress: The agency is in process of completing an internal review of agency personnel and identifying succession needs.

OBJECTIVE A.2: To monitor and evaluate 100% of the Community Rehabilitation Programs (CRPs) annually for quality and cost effectiveness of service provision in order to assure compliance with agency standards through FY 2015

Progress: During FY 2010, 150 of the 163 community rehabilitation programs were monitored; some were site visits and others consisted of case file reviews. Where remediation was noted, technical assistance was provided. The agency continues to monitor CRP fee-for-service rates on an as-need basis.

OBJECTIVE A.3: To provide resources to 100% of agency staff in order to increase their efficiency in service provision through FY 2015.

Progress: Training and technical support is provided and/or coordinated by State Office Program staff to assist field staff in the provision of services. LRS utilizes several methods of identifying training needs of its professional and paraprofessional staff, to include a Training Needs Assessment form which is available on-line. In addition, Regional Managers and State Office Program staff may identify and request training; the Quality Assurance staff may also request training when trends are noted during the case review process. All agency training ends with the completion of an evaluation form which allows for comments and/or to request further training. In FY 2010, a two week counselor academy was held for 10 new counselors, regional in-service training was provided to all staff statewide and the agency continued to support professional staff not meeting the CSPD standard in obtaining their Master’s Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling. Additionally, up-to-date resource books and DVD’s related to rehabilitation were purchased for staff state-wide.

OBJECTIVE B.1: To provide vocational rehabilitation services leading to an increase in employment outcomes to 1000 eligible individuals with disabilities through FY 2015.

Progress: In FY 2010, LRS provided services leading to the successful employment of 2,362 consumers.

The following is a report of progress for specific Agency activities:

WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT

LRS continues to collaborate with LWC in identifying effective ways to integrate services in the Career Solution Centers and to be involved with the Workforce Commission and its eighteen (18) Workforce Investment Areas. LRS is represented on each of the 18 boards and attends meetings as scheduled. The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) established with each of the 18 WIBs is updated annually. Within the 18 Workforce Investment Areas, 66 Career Solution Centers have been established. Eighteen cost allocation plans have been completed by the WIBs, and approved by all parties, including LRS. LRS has a good working relationship with the Career Solution Centers and continues to pay expenses to the local Career Solution Centers for our participation, as per the local cost allocation plans. To improve knowledge regarding assistive technology and address other accessibility issues, LRS’ Program Coordinator for Rehabilitation Technology continues to provide consultation to the Career Solution Centers. In addition, our agency’s Rehabilitation Employment Development Specialists (REDS) serve as the LRS liaison for all Career Solution Centers within their region and include providing “LRS Public Awareness” as well as services to consumers such as job seeking skills techniques and employment development. The agency is committed to the success of the Workforce Commission and works in collaboration with the Disability Navigators to serve individuals with disabilities at the assigned Career Solution Centers.

TRANSITION

LRS continues to renew and revise existing local cooperative agreements, as applicable, with the 64 parishes, 4 special school systems in Louisiana, the Charter schools and the Recovery School District in the New Orleans area. As part of the State Transition Plan, the State Department of Education (DOE) and LRS continue to work together to establish Regional Core teams throughout the state. The LRS’ Transition Program Coordinator continues to collaborate and partner with DOE, Office for Citizens with Developmental Disabilities (OCDD), Work Incentive Planning Program, Office of Community Services (OCS), Louisiana Workforce Commission (LWC), and the Office of Youth Development in an effort to network, share information and utilize comparable benefits to enhance VR services to transition students. The primary focus of LRS’ collaboration is to identify and address barriers (e.g. policies, eligibility process, resource allocation); assure effective service provision through the support of local interagency core teams, provide cross-agency training, outreach, engage in capacity building of young adults and family outreach efforts; provide continued support of innovative models and practices related to transition; and provide information and technical assistance. The Program Coordinator provides guidance and information to the counselors regarding specific transition issues. LRS has designated one transition counselor in seven of the eight regions; however, since most regions are large and include many rural parishes, general caseload rehabilitation counselors are also assigned to work with transition students. Due to budget constraints, formal transition training has been postponed; therefore the Program Coordinator is working collaboratively with CURRENTS’ Coordinator, Peggy Hale, using monthly conference calls, to discuss transition topics and provide information to field offices.

ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY

A new 3-year contract has been negotiated by the Assistive Technology (AT) Program Coordinator for AT service delivery with Louisiana Tech University. Last year, 400+ consumers received direct AT evaluation and assessment services. During the current year, over 200 assessments have been provided, exceeding performance measures and deliverables of the contract. Contract services included computer assessment, activities-of-daily-living evaluations, home and job-modification evaluations, adaptive driving and transportation evaluations, vehicle modification reports, and seating and positioning assessments for wheelchairs and wheeled mobility systems. LRS continues to coordinate with Louisiana Assistive Technology Network (LATAN) on an expanded program, funded by the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) to provide state-wide demonstration-learning, lending, and purchasing assistance of assistive technology. LATAN is a member the Volunteer Organizations Active in Disasters and has participated with LRS in planning for emergency response for persons with disabilities. LATAN is conducting training to assist individuals with their personal planning for evacuations. LATAN now has a vendor number and is providing a device-rental service so consumers may have a more realistic trial use of an AT device before requesting that LRS provide them with said device. With state-executed mid-year services budget cuts, LRS has referred consumers to the LATAN finance/loan program to assist them is acquiring AT that exceeds the LRS budget scope. With a significantly lower allocation from the State Legislature, LATAN has decided to close their facility in Shreveport, and co-locate with the La Tech University campus in Shreveport. This will result in a significant cost-savings to LATAN and allow them to continue the collaboration with La Tech in the area of demonstration and equipment lending for extended trial of AT equipment by consumers.

LRS participates with the Department of Health and Hospital (DHH) task force to increase consumer awareness and access to “affordable-accessible” housing. The AT Program Coordinator is a member of the Capitol Area Consumer Housing Advocacy Network (CACHAN). The purpose of CACHAN is to assists persons with disabilities to exercise their rights under the Fair Housing Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act. The AT Program Coordinator continues to provide review of ADA Accessibility Guidelines for new construction of business and organizations serving the public, in coordination with the State Fire Marshall’s office. The AT Coordinator was asked to assist with recommendations about ADA and accessibility requirements of the LWC State Office buildings, one of which houses LRS State Office. This entailed physical site visits, ADA overview of four buildings, photo-documentation, video-documentation, and a multi-page narrative report. The AT Program Coordinator continues to provide review and serve as a voting board member on the Louisiana Workforce Commission (LWC) Second Injury Fund Board, which meets monthly. He also has worked with the 2nd Injury Board and Advisory Council to draft LA-799 which re-authorized this Board under the “sunset laws” of the state of Louisiana (the Board was established most recently with the 1992 law). This is a program mandated by the State of Louisiana to control and reduce the costs of 2nd Injury Medical Insurance settlements. During the current legislative session, a proposed bill, HB 502, has wording, which if passed, will provide for up to 1% of the 2nd Injury funds to be spent by LRS counselors on Vocational Rehabilitation consumers. With matching funds from RSA, this could result in nearly $2 million in increased funding for VR services.

EMPLOYMENT INITIATIVES

LRS, in partnership with the Louisiana’s Medicaid Purchase Plan, the Louisiana Business Leadership Network, and the Louisiana Workforce Commission Disability Navigator Program, continues to participate in the planning and implementation of the Louisiana Job Fairs for persons with disabilities. The 2010 Job Fairs were held in nine cities statewide in October (the 8 LRS Regions plus the North Shore), 230 employers participated and 2,647 job seekers attended the job fairs.

LRS contracts with University of New Orleans’ Training Resource and Assistive-Technology Center (UNO-TRAC) to continue providing self-employment training services to eligible consumers interested in self-employment as a vocational option. In FY 2010, eighteen (18) individuals with disabilities received assistance from LRS in establishing a small business.

As LRS continues to focus on increasing/enhancing quality employment outcomes, most Regional Offices now have a REDS position allocated to serve the consumers in that region. Six (6) of the eight (8) regional offices throughout the state have REDS positions. The Program Coordinator responsible for over-site of the VR Business Network and distributes information to the REDS and Counselors. In FY 2010, the VR Business Network provided job leads from all over the country, to include: Manpower, Inc., McDonald’s, USDA Forest Service, Mellon Bank NY, Marriott Hotels, TunePromoters, Datamatic Inc, and others.

In November 2010, LRS entered into a Pilot Program with Jefferson Parish Human Services Authority (JPHSA), an Office of Mental Health (OMH) provider. This pilot is designed to assist LRS consumers with psychiatric disabilities in seeking employment. To access the established services, LRS consumers are referred to JPHSA and begin the job seeking/placement process. JPHSA will provide long-term support services to assist these consumers maintain successful employment. If LRS’ collaboration with JPHSA is successful, the Pilot Program will be considered for implementation statewide. Extended services to be provided include jobsite intervention, social skills training, and any other service available in the OMH system, which will ensure job retention.

In collaboration with the Office of Citizens with Developmental Disabilities, LRS is participating in the “Employment First” initiative. This initiative will provide employment as a first option for persons with developmental disabilities as an alternative to institutionalization and will provide integration/independence in the community.

TICKET-TO-WORK

LRS continues to network and collaborate with Work Incentive Planning and Assistance (WIPA), the Medicaid Purchase Plan Program, as well as many other agencies in the state, to ensure Ticket-to-Work is successful in Louisiana. LRS continues to maintain a statewide 1-800 Ticket Hotline number for individuals interested in learning more about their Ticket and how LRS would be able to assist them. In FY 2010, LRS received 1,200,287.42; this was a decrease from FY 2009 in which $1,738,158.07 was received from SSA’s reimbursement program. This total includes reimbursements from LRS’ status as an Employment Network (EN). The Program Coordinator continues to work closely with SSA to insure all documentation is submitted properly to ensure that claims can be processed.

COLLABORTATION WITH SECTION 121 NATIVE AMERICAN VR PROGRAM

During FY 2010, LRS and the Tribal programs continued to provide coordinated services under the collaborative agreement to make the rehabilitation process more responsive to the needs of American Indians with disabilities. The collaborative agreement allows for mutual acceptance of eligibility decisions, the provision of services through concurrent (joint) cases, and the sharing of resources, to include the Tribal programs having access to the Exceptional Entrepreneurs of Louisiana (ExcEL) Program at the University of New Orleans.

DUE PROCESS

During FY 2010, LRS had 8 scheduled Fair Hearings; no Mediations, no 4th Level Reviews or any requests for Civil Actions. Impartial Hearing Officers and Impartial Mediators are provided with training on LRS Policy and Technical Assistance and Guidance materials as needed, and are provided with revisions/updates to policy and guidance manuals.

OBJECTIVE B.2: Through a quality assurance case review system, evaluate and monitor case record documentation to maintain at least a 90% average level of compliance with agency policy and procedures through FY 2015.

Progress: Quality Assurance (QA): During the 2010 review cycle, (January 2010 through October 2010), LRS’ quality assurance staff randomly selected and reviewed 377 consumer service records. Samples were drawn statewide from records in the following statuses: Trial Work/Extended Eligibility, Eligibility, Service, Closed Rehabilitated, and Closed Other. The statewide rate of counselor compliance with agency documentation requirements delineated in the QA-1 monitoring form was measured at 96.5% (> 90% is considered “Satisfactory”) for the 2010 review cycle. This compliance rating represents a decline (-.4%) shift from the 2009 review year which was measured at 96.9%. The sample size for the 2009 review year was in compliance with RSA recommendations (2%) based on total consumer population.

All regions reviewed achieved a “Satisfactory” rating during the 2010 review cycle for casework documentation compliance measured by the monitoring form. Regional scores ranged from 95% to 98%. Corrective action recommendations resulting from QA monitoring activities for the 2010 review year have been implemented. The QA-1 monitoring form was revised to incorporate changes in LRS procedures implemented over the past 12 months.

Four Master Counselor reviews were conducted by the Quality Assurance Unit during the 2010 Review year. In all four cases, the compliance level exceeded the required 90%. The Quality Assurance Program also assumed an active role in identifying ARRA consumers and monitoring compliance with ARRA coding.

OBJECTIVE B.3: To improve service delivery to consumers by increasing competency of 100% of agency staff through professional development training opportunities by FY 2015.

Progress: LRS utilized the results of the Region VI TACE survey of LRS staff state-wide to determine staff training needs and developed a Guidance and Counseling training. In addition, Supported Employment and Partnership Plus training is being coordinated as a result of survey responses.

Training continues to be provided and/or coordinated by State Office Program staff to support the field staff for professional development but was limited due to budget cuts and a freeze on travel. Such training for FFY 10 included business development employment strategies, the counselor academy, self-employment, OJT, advocacy training for the deaf and transitional training.

Additionally, the agency has specific monthly in-service training requirements. (4 hours per month) which are conducted by the 8 regional field offices to ensure continuous education for all professional and paraprofessional staff. This training is provided by experienced staff or by knowledgeable community providers who specialize in the area of training required. Examples of training topics included assessment, guidance and vocational counseling, eligibility, IPE, disability related issues, assistive technology, disability services at colleges and universities, ethics, community-based employment outcomes, mental health and employment related issues. LRS staff in the “high priority” group for re-training continues to receive assistance in completing a Master’s Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling. In 2010, 5 counselors completed their degrees and it is anticipated that four more staff will graduate in the coming year. Currently 8 employees are enrolled in Master’s Programs and all are receiving RSA scholarships.

CULTURAL DIVERSITY

LRS and the Tribal programs continue to present cross-training opportunities to facilitate the development of staff persons. The annual LRS Counselor Training Academy is an effective venue for discussion of culture differences and information. The Training Academy includes a module that addresses multi-cultural counseling issues and outreach. LRS employees are provided opportunities to attend cultural diversity workshops/training provided by outside entities to include conferences and university degree programs.

OBJECTIVE B.4: To increase by 12%, the utilization and efficiency of services, LRS operated Rehabilitation Employment Assessment Programs (REAPs) provide by FY 2015.

Progress: In FY 2010, LRS operated four REAPs serving 1,862 consumers. The average cost per consumer was $808.38. LRS exceeded its goal of 12% utilization of REAPs’ FY 2009. Assessments tools are reviewed annually and updated as needed to insure that the consumers’ evaluations are accurate.

OBJECTIVE B.5: To increase the number of Managers earning at least $25,000 annually by expanding opportunities and enhancing consumer service delivery in the Randolph-Sheppard Program by FY 2015.

Progress: The Randolph Sheppard program currently operates 80 facilities through out the state. The program has an agreement with the United States Post Office to provide vending services for the various post offices throughout the state, which includes both manned and unmanned locations. A new cafeteria and vending facility agreement has been signed at the United States Marine Forces Reserve Facility in New Orleans.

The Randolph Sheppard Program is working to avoid arbitration through the Department of Education against NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans and hopes to eventually establish vending services at the facility. New forms and reporting practices have been developed which will capture necessary information for the completion of the RSA-15 and ensure that licensed managers are following the rules and regulations as stated in the Randolph Sheppard Program Manual and Standards of Operations.

The Randolph Sheppard Program has developed a Technical Assistance Manual to provide guidance to the daily activities and procedures of Randolph Sheppard facility managers.

The Executive Director of Blind Services and the Randolph Sheppard Program Manager continue to work toward improving the initial screening/selection process for potential manager trainees. In addition, the staff is working in conjunction with Affiliated Blind of Louisiana in the development of a two-tiered certification model. Certification would provide opportunities for future Randolph Sheppard manager trainees to focus on specific levels of licensure. One tier would entail only vending/pre-packaged facilities, while the second tier would allow the facility manager to be licensed to run a Snack Bar or Cafeteria. An exit exam is being developed to measure the basic knowledge and skills needed that should be learned in training.

Factors Impeding the Agency’s Ability to Complete Goals and Strategies

1. The continual decline in available funding to the agency resulted in LRS serving all five Order of Selection Groups in 2009 to currently only serving Order of Selection Group 1. Categories III, IV, and V have been closed since April 13, 2009. As of October 1, 2010, Order of Selection Category II was closed. Consumers in Categories II - V are placed on a waiting list. Category I consumers, with the most significant disabilities, are currently the only consumers eligible to receive new plans for services.

2. The continued economic recession and overall decline in the economy in 2009 - 2011 affecting both the country and the state resulted in state budget cuts which were passed on to the various agencies and departments in Louisiana. LRS incurred budget cuts which resulted in limited services and staff reductions.

3. In 2010, LRS was transferred from the Department of Social Services to Louisiana Workforce Commission. This initiative required significant involvement of the staff at both the state and regional office levels in order to accomplish the move successfully. LRS State Office physically moved to the LWC administrative campus in December 2011. LRS continues to work toward the transfer of remaining systems and adapting to new business processes. It is anticipated that all LRS systems will be completely transitioned to LWC this fiscal year.

 

Three thousand three hundred and eighty individuals with disabilities received supported employment services in FY 2010. The supported employment goals and plans are identified in Attachment 4.11(c)(4).

It is estimated that approximately 450 individuals will be provided supported employment services with the funding available through the Title VI, Part B program in FY 2011. Individuals with the most significant disabilities, Selection Group I and II, will be served under this program.

 

STANDARDS AND INDICATORS

Employment Outcomes:

The Federal Performance Indicators were affected by the significant decline in the economy both on the state and national level. These affects include, but are not limited to the following:

- State budget deficits leading to mid-year cuts in the LRS budget

- Cuts in LRS staff and TO and hiring freezes

- Closure of services for plans for new consumers in OOS categories III, IV, and V.

Performance Indicator 1.1: The number of individuals exiting the VR program who achieved an employment outcome during the current performance period compared to the number of individuals who exit the VR Program after achieving an employment outcome during the previous performance period.

In FY 2010, 2,362 consumers exited the VR program having achieved an employment outcome. LRS had 2,353 consumers exiting the VR program with a successful employment outcome in FY 2009. LRS demonstrated an increase of 9 additional successful closures in 2010 compared to 2009.

Performance Indicator 1.2: Of all individuals who exit the VR program after receiving services, the percentage that are determined to have achieved an employment outcome.

A total of 4,802 consumer cases were closed after receiving services in FY 2010. Consumer’s cases closed as achieving an employment outcome was 2,362. Consumer success rate for FY 2010 was 49.2%. This is a 1.5 % increase in the percentage with employment outcomes from the previous year.

Performance Indicator 1.3: Of all individuals determined to have achieved an employment outcome, the percentage that exit the VR program in competitive, self-, or BEP employment with earnings equivalent to at least the minimum wage.

In FY 2010, 2362 consumers exited the VR program in competitive, self-, or BEP employment having achieved an employment outcome; which resulted in 99.5% or 2,350 consumers earning at least Louisiana’s minimum hourly wage of $7.25.

Performance Indicator 1.4: All individuals who exit the VR program in competitive, self-employment or BEP employment with earning equivalent to at least the minimum wage, the percentage who are individuals with significant disabilities.

In FY 2010, 2,350 consumers exiting the VR program in competitive, self-employment or BEP employment earned a wage greater than or equal to the $7.25 minimum hourly wage. Of the 2,350 consumers 2,217 or 94.3% were significantly disabled.

Performance Indicator 1.5: The average hourly earnings of all individuals who exit the VR program in competitive, self-, or BEP employment with earning levels equivalent to at least the minimum wage as a ratio to the state’s average hourly earnings for all individuals in the state who are employed.

The average hourly earnings of individuals exiting the VR program in competitive, self-, or BEP employment for FY 2010 was $12.73, which is a ratio of .73 to the state average hourly wage earnings of $17.55 for all individuals in the state who are employed. This is an average annual state salary of $36,504.00.

Performance Indicator 1.6: Of all individuals who exit the VR program in competitive, self-employment or BEP employment with earnings equivalent to at least the minimum wage, the difference between the percentage who report their own income as the largest single source of economic support at the time they exit the VR program and the percentage who report their own income as the largest single source of support at the time they apply for VR services.

In FY 2010, 2,350 individuals exited the VR program in competitive, self-employment or BEP employment earning at least minimum wage. At application 761 or 32.4% reported their own income as the largest single source of support. At closure, this number increased to 2,230 or 94.9% for a positive difference of 62.5%. This is an increase of 13.7% over the previous year. As a result this indicator was met and LRS continues to work diligently to meet this indicator.

Equal Access to Services:

Performance Indicator 2.1: The service rate for all individuals with disabilities from minority backgrounds as a ratio to the service rate for all non-minority individuals with disabilities.

In FY 2010, Louisiana had 4,904 non-minorities exiting the VR program; 2,820 non-minorities received services, for a service rate was 57.5%. Minorities exiting the VR program equaled 3,813 with 1,982 minorities receiving services with a rate of 51.9%; this is a .904 ratio.

This is a .007% increase in the minority service rate since 2009. It is anticipated that the LRS Vocational Rehabilitation Program will achieve results in line with those indicated in this performance standard area.

 

INNOVATION AND EXPANSION ACTIVITIES

During FY 2010, LRS used the innovation and expansion funds per allowable expenditures identified in the federal regulations 34 CFR 361.35 to support the salaries, travels, and activities of the Louisiana Rehabilitation Council staff person and it members and the Statewide Independent Living Council. The Bridging the Gap program was funded by the Department of Education’s ARRA funding and a fee-for-service from LRS through June 30, 2010. The Pathways to Success program no longer exist.

How funds reserved for innovation and expansion were used in the preceding year – Federal Fiscal year 2010

Support of Louisiana Rehabilitation Council (LRC) - $107,426.71

Support of Statewide Independent Living Council (SILC) - $68,805.99

Bridging the Gap/Pathways to Success - $81,712.00

Total: - $257,944.70

This screen was last updated on May 18 2011 12:38PM by Teresa Milner

  • 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

Louisiana Rehabilitation Services (LRS) will provide and improve the quality of supported employment services through the Title VI, Part B Program, and the Title I, Vocational Rehabilitation Program to individuals with the most significant disabilities through the use of fee-for-service reimbursement, or LRS funded grants and/or contracts awarded to supported employment providers.

The goals of the program will be:

1. To fund the vendors necessary to provide supported employment services to eligible consumers. These vendors will provide services to a diverse population of individuals with significant disabilities.

2. To ensure the quality of supported employment services provided to eligible consumers by monitoring the vendors. The monitoring will include an evaluation of the provision of services according to the most recent technology in supported employment and to identify training and technical assistance needed.

3. Provide technical assistance and training opportunities to state office and field office staff to improve the supported employment service delivery system. The field staff will receive supported employment training directed at case management and quality supported employment services.

4. Establish a new focus group consisting of elected community rehabilitation program representatives from each region that will meet (regularly/ periodically) to discuss supported employment issues and concerns, determine if changes are needed in LRS policy and/or procedures.

5. To work cooperatively with other agencies (public and private), employers and advocates to assist in developing employment opportunities and multiple options for extended services to ensure more successful supported employment outcomes.

6. To coordinate with Region VI Community Rehabilitation Program – Technical Assistance and Continuing Education (TACE), the Department of Health & Hospitals (Office of Mental Health, Office for Citizens with Developmental Disabilities – Support Waivers Program, and Medicaid Purchase Plan) University of North Texas Workplace Inclusion and Sustainable Employment (UNTWISE), the Employment Network of Louisiana, Inc (professional association of supported employment vendors), the Louisiana Chapter of the Association for Persons in Supported Employment (APSE), and the Louisiana Work Pays Consortium in order to provide input to vendor agencies providing supported employment services and to solicit input from these agencies in the planning and implementation of quality supported employment services.

Supported Employment Models used by LRS:

1. Individual job/job coach model

2. Mobile crew model

3. Enclave model

It is estimated that at least 2,905 individuals can be provided supported employment services. Currently, only individuals with the most significant disabilities, Selection Groups I, can be served.

The time required for transition to extended services is as follows:

1. Supported employment models:

A. Individual Placement Model - Under the individual placement model, stabilization occurs when the consumer has made substantial progress toward meeting the hours per week goal indicated on an IPE and has reached a point where intervention is no more than 25% of the consumer’s normal work time and the individual has received at least 6 months of VR services.

B. Mobile Crew and Enclave Models - For the consumer placed in an enclave or mobile work crew position, stabilization occurs when performance shows reasonable likelihood of progressing to a level sufficient to warrant "permanent employee" status (i.e., adequately performing the minimum number and types of assignments needed to merit continued employment within the limits of available supervision).

Example: The task acquisition data indicates the individual has acquired 75% of the vocational or other employment-related objectives.

2. Extended Follow-along (transition) - Regardless of the model of supported employment in effect for any given consumer, the consumer must meet the following requirements before the Counselor can provide for the transition of the consumer from LRS to the provider of extended services:

A. Job placement is stable for the consumer;

B. The consumer has substantially met the goal for number of hours of employment as indicated on an IPE; and,

C. The Supported Employment Provider agency has committed to arrange for, or develop, on-going support needed to maintain the consumer’s employment. This includes the development of natural supports.

This screen was last updated on May 18 2011 12:40PM by Teresa Milner

The following information is captured by the MIS.

Last updated on 08/19/2011 at 4:51 PM

Last updated by salamilnert

Completed on 08/19/2011 at 4:51 PM

Completed by salamilnert

Approved on 09/20/2011 at 11:51 AM

Approved by rscosadlerc

Published on 09/27/2011 at 10:52 AM

Published by jack

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  • ED-80-0013 - Certification Regarding Lobbying — 34 CFR 82.110(b) requires each State VR agency to submit for approval a signed certification regarding lobbying for each program for which federal funds are requested. In other words, one certification must be submitted for the VR program and another for the Supported Employment program.
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