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
Michigan Commission for the Blind State Plan for Fiscal Year 2012 (submitted FY 2011)

1.1 The Michigan Commission for the Blind 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 Michigan Commission for the Blind [3] agrees to operate and administer the State Vocational Rehabilitation Services Program in accordance with the provisions of this State Plan [4], the Rehabilitation Act, and all applicable regulations [5], policies and procedures established by the secretary. Funds made available under Section 111 of the Rehabilitation Act are used solely for the provision of vocational rehabilitation services under Title I of the Rehabilitation Act and the administration of the State Plan for the vocational rehabilitation services program.

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

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

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

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

1.7 The (enter title of state officer below)
Yes

State Director

... 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

State Director

... 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
Patrick D. Cannon

Title of Signatory
State Director

Date Signed (mm/dd/yyyy)
07/01/2011

Assurances Certified By

At the request of RSA, the designated state agency and/or the designated state unit provide the following assurance(s), in addition to those contained within Section 2 through 8 below, in connection with the approval of the State Plan for FY 2012
Yes

Comments:

Title 1 and Title VI Part B

Signed?
Yes

Name of Signatory
Patrick D. Cannon

Title of Signatory
State Director

Date Signed (mm/dd/yyyy)
07/01/2011

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

Section 1 Footnotes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(a) Conduct of public meetings.

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

(b) Notice requirements.

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

(c) Special consultation requirements.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(a) Designated state agency.

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

  1. The designated state agency is a state agency that is primarily concerned with vocational rehabilitation or vocational and other rehabilitation of individuals with disabilities (Option A was selected/Option B 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
Michigan Commission for the Blind

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 A 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. Yes

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. Yes

(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.

This agency is an independent commission.

This screen was last updated on Jul 27 2009 9:31AM by Leamon Jones

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.

The Michigan Commission for the Blind (MCB) submitted a Waiver of Statewideness to RSA to carry out the agreements that MCB has obtained. These agreements provide an array of services to eligible consumers. Through the intermediate school districts (ISD’s), the Commission for the Blind continues to work collaboratively with the ISD’s to develop prevocational programs that focus on soft skills, preparation for employment and job shadowing, resume writing and etc. The participants are expected to acquire skills that will enable them to obtain employment during the summer months. A number of the other agreements focus on vocational training, job placement and follow-up services. Specifically, these agreements provide for specialized training and adaptive equipment, computer technology and screen reader access that allows blind and visually impaired individuals to compete competitively in the job market. The agreements with Community Mental Health provide supports for supported employment candidates in the form of vocational training, job coaching and follow-along services to maintain employment within the communities.

Each of the agreements developed with these public entities are funds provided in part to increase and enhance vocational opportunities in conjunction with the state agency. MCB requires assurance that each agreement signed must ensure that all services provided to the individuals must meet the goals which outlines the objectives of increased vocational opportunities and employment outcomes. These agreements assure that they will make available to MCB the non-federal share of funds, contain written assurance that agency approval will be obtained for each proposed service before it is initiated, and that each agreement will comply with the State plan requirements for services that are approved under the waiver. MCB continues to work collaboratively with its community partners in maintaining all of its agreements.

This screen was last updated on Jun 29 2011 4:09PM by Leamon Jones

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.

MCB, through its collaborative agreements with a variety of state and local agencies provides comprehensive rehabilitation services to individuals who are blind and visually impaired. MCB has agreements with the Developmental Disability Council and the Community Mental Health (CMH) agencies to provide comprehensive services to persons with developmental disabilities to assist in job placement and follow-along services. The Community Mental Health agencies and the Commission for the Blind works collaboratively through its cooperative agreements to expand services to individuals that are eligible for CMH services to obtain job placement and follow-along services. CMH agencies also work with the Commission in providing auxiliary services to many of MCB’s supported employment consumers.

The Michigan Commission for the Blind collaborative agreement with the Department of Human Services (DHS) provides services to family members in the area of child care, adult services and food assistance to MCB consumers that assist individuals to participate in vocational training and job placement. The agreement also provides for adults, when necessary, chore services and transportation. MCB and DHS has collaborated and developed an amendment to the agreement to provide services to individuals that are in need of state disability services prior to becoming eligible for SSI or SSDI. These individuals will work with MCB and DHS in the development of a plan for employment in order to be a recipient of State Disability Assistance (SDA).

The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) and the Michigan Commission for the Blind continues to work jointly to provide transportation services throughout the state for MCB consumers. The Michigan Commission for the Blind continues to participate on the statewide coalition spearheaded by MDOT. The purpose is to identify and mitigate gaps in transportation services. The Commission has continued to have a strong commitment to working with the department to improve transportation in rural areas. MCB’s staff frequently participates on the local advisory council for transportation improvements in the community. The overall goal is to enhance transportation options, so that MCB’s consumers can utilize transportation for employment services, as well as leisure activities.

The Michigan Commission for the Blind serves as an Employment Network for the Ticket to Work program. This is a program provided by the Social Security Administration. The program allows MCB to work collaboratively with the local social security offices to explain work incentives for individuals that are recipients for SSI and SSDI who have gained employable skills to become employed and those who are returning to work.

The Commission has worked with Institutions of Higher Education (IHE) to develop cooperative agreements that outline the responsibility of MCB and the IHE as it relates to the requirements found in Section 103 (a) of the Rehabilitation Act as amended regarding dispute resolutions, financial responsibilities, accommodations, and service provisions. The agency supports many of its consumers in their endeavors to obtain training in a variety of occupational areas through institutions of higher education. MCB has agreements with all public institutions of higher education.

The Commission on Disability Concerns, along with other state and private agencies, sponsors the Michigan Youth Leadership Forum that focus on training youths who are blind and visually impaired, as well as youths with other disabilities to become leaders of tomorrow within their communities.

MCB has an agreement with Michigan State University to provide a comprehensive needs assessment (CSNA) and a customer satisfaction survey for MCB consumers. The assessment provides MCB with information regarding service needs and customer input regarding gaps in services. MCB and MRS work collaboratively with Michigan State University in developing the Comprehensive Statewide Personel Development (CSPD) for interns as well as counselors who were in need of specific courses to meet the certification of rehabilitation requirements.

This screen was last updated on Jun 28 2011 3:34PM by Leamon Jones

  • 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.

The Michigan Commission for the Blind continues to develop cooperative agreements with intermediate school districts throughout the state for the provision of transition services of blind and visually impaired students. These agreements outline specific objectives to be included in transition plans for all blind and visually impaired school age children. They provide for development of individual skills for pre-employment, as well as secondary educational training. MCB participates in the Individualized Educational Planning conference (IEPC) of students that are fourteen years and older to establish eligibility criteria for vocational services. At these meetings, ground work is developed to initiate Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) for each individual at age fourteen. The IEPC, along with the IPE, are instruments that identify education, transition, and employment goals and objectives. These activities are cooperatively agreed upon by the schools or educational facilities, parent/student, as well as the rehabilitation agency; thereby, establishing the objectives of the transition plan leading to the transitioning of individuals from high school to employment or secondary education.

The Commission continues to collaborate with education officials to carry out transition activities for blind and visually impaired youths. The Michigan Commission for the Blind has an agreement with the Michigan Department of Education Low Incidence Outreach (MDE/LIO) that outlines the responsibility of both agencies. The agreement is reviewed annually to assure that all responsibilities are carried out by the designated parties. The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) will provide technical assistance and training to appropriate staff at the state and local levels to facilitate the coordination of academic, vocational, independent and community-based curricula and will provide technical assistance for the establishment of local partnerships designed to aid and empower students that are blind and visual impaired. MCB collaborates with MDE to provide transition activities for blind and visually impaired youth. MCB is mandated by the federal government to work collaboratively with intermediate school districts and community partners to provide transition services and activities for blind and visually impaired youth. MDE has the fiscal responsibility to oversee trust funds allocated for maintenance and operations of property used for blind and visually impaired youth that result in the provision of direct transition services and activities. The funds used from the trust, when available, may be used for allowable matching funds for MCB’s Federal Title I Vocational Rehabilitation Grant. Using these funds as match enables MCB and MDE to maximize services for eligible individuals in need of transition services.

MCB establishes agency priorities and goals, provides leadership and consultation to intermediate school districts. MCB maintains a statewide client information system that includes the collection of agency programs and data for students who are blind and visually impaired.

MCB works jointly with MDE Special Education programs and the intermediate school districts (ISD) to establish agreements to carry out transition planning and activities. The agreements outline the individualized transition plans. Specifically, the Michigan Commission for the Blind initiates programs with the ISD to encourage academic involvement for all visually impaired and blind students. MCB works with the ISD, students and parents to develop IPE’s that provides for the development of soft skills training and work experiences. Through the Low Incident and Outreach program within the Michigan Department of Education, the Commission works jointly with the agency to identify eligible consumers for the Vocational Rehabilitation program. The agency participates with the Michigan Department of Education’s Office of Educational Assessment and Accountability Advisory Board with the general education department to identify areas of collaboration to enhance program accessibility for mainstream youths who are blind and visually impaired. The objective is to maximize resources and minimize barriers that may impact on the educational progress of blind and visually impaired youths.

The MDE Special Education Division is responsible for providing financial support to all individuals as it relates to their academic achievements. The Michigan Commission for the Blind provides financial support relating to specialized vocational assessment training and other related services leading to employment outcomes. These services are above and beyond what the Department of Special Education provides.

This screen was last updated on Jun 3 2011 10:55AM by Leamon Jones

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

According to 4.8 (b) (3), MCB has cooperative agreements with community vocational rehabilitation agencies throughout the state to provide vocational assessments, vocational training, and job placement services. These individualized agreements outline the fee for service, as well as the expectation and outcomes of each program. The agency has developed a relationship with a vocational training facility that provides training to blind and visually impaired consumers that leads to direct job placement with the federal government. This relationship has been extremely beneficial in assisting the Commission to provide consumers with meaningful careers. MCB continues to explore opportunities to expand options for its consumers to obtain a variety of vocational training and employment outcomes.

This screen was last updated on Apr 5 2011 1:39PM by Leamon Jones

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.

The Michigan Commission for the Blind Supported Employment program continues to provide rehabilitation services to individuals with multiple impairments. These individuals receive specialized services based on the criteria for supported employment. Each case record has documentation to support the individual’s participation in the Supported Employment program. Individuals that are not determined eligible for the Supported Employment program have participated in extended assessments to determine the feasibility of rehabilitation services. Generally, the applicants for the Supported Employment program are able to acquire specific training and supported services that will enable them to be integrated within the community in a variety of occupations. Through MCB’s collaborative efforts with Community Mental Health (CMH), an agreement was developed and implemented to provide long term services upon the completion of vocational training. The agreement provides extended supports to assist supported employment consumers in maintaining their employment. Natural supports are frequently explored to provide the follow-along services. MCB and CMH has agreed upon long term follow-up services to enhance the employment activities of these consumers, as well as the need for auxiliary aids to enhance their daily living skills and employment outcomes.

This screen has never been updated.

Data System on Personnel and Personnel Development

The Michigan Commission for the Blind (MCB) is currently in the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affiars (LARA), formerly DELEG, continues to be dedicated to having the most qualified staff possible providing services to blind consumers throughout the State of Michigan. MCB continue to hire only qualified professionals as rehabilitation counselors.

During FY 10, we hired three new rehabilitation counselors. As it turned out, one of those individuals resigned shortly after being hired and we were unable to fill the position until late in 2010. During the same fiscal year, the agency lost two counselors and one rehabilitation teacher who also had a counseling degree. All three persons resigned. MCB use ARRA funds to hired three limited-term job placement specialists – one for each of MCB’s regions. The positions will continue for as long as the funding remains.

MCB continues to work towards increasing the number of FTEs, but due to on-going budget concerns, MCB has not had an increase in the number of employees for several years except for the annexation of the Library staff. About a decade ago, MCB had at least 10 more employees providing direct services to consumers than now, but due to early retirements and regular retirements MCB lost several persons and have not been given approval to fill the vacancies.

Based on the results of a study done in 2008 in the department, 44% of MCB employees would be eligible to retire within the following 5 years. When MCB analyzed its data regarding potential retirees, it was discovered that 41% of the field staff, 59% of central office staff, and 39% of training center staff would be eligible. It is difficult to say just how many will actually retire within the next five years but these figures are a concern if MCB is to continue providing the current level of service to consumers across the state. In addition to the field staff noted earlier, the agency had 2 rehabilitation managers, 2 counselors, and 14 teachers at the MCB Training Center in Kalamazoo along with several other professional, support, and maintenance staff.

MCB projects that the population of persons who are blind and visually impaired will increase; therefore, it projects a need of additional staff in the following categories: Rehabilitation Counselor -5, Rehabilitation Teachers - 4, Teacher/Counselor - 1, Support Staff -3 and Managers - 3.

 

Row Job Title Total positions Current vacancies Projected vacancies over the next 5 years
1 Rehabilitation Counselors 14 1 0
2 Rehabilitation Teachers 10 0 2
3 Teacher-Counselors 4 0 0
4 Support Staff 13 0 5
5 Managers 6 1 2
6 0 0 0
7 0 0 0
8 0 0 0
9 0 0 0
10 0 0 0

 

In the State of Michigan, there are three universities providing graduate degrees in rehabilitation counseling – Western Michigan University (WMU), Michigan State University (MSU), and Wayne State University (WSU). We continue to maintain relationships with these programs to make sure that students receive a quality education and that they are aware of the Michigan Commission for the Blind. As often as possible we take on interns and practicum students from these programs.

WMU had 17 students enrolled and 3 graduates. Of those students, 8 were persons with disabilities and 8 were classified as minority students. MSU had 32 students enrolled and 11 graduates. WSU had 85 students enrolled and 9 graduates. All of the graduates from these three programs are eligible to become CRCs.

MCB continues to be involved in a variety of ways with these graduate programs. Some MCB staff are on advisory boards, teach graduate courses, and/or present as guest speakers for various classes within these programs. While doing so, we continue to encourage students to consider MCB as a place to work after graduation. In addition, we notify both of the major blind consumer organizations nationally and at the state level whenever we have a vacancy in hopes of recruiting qualified blind persons. We also notify professional organizations, the universities, and the Region V TACE Center when we have a job vacancy posted.

 

Row Institutions Students enrolled Employees sponsored by agency and/or RSA Graduates sponsored by agency and/or RSA Graduates from the previous year
1 Western Michigan University 17 0 17 3
2 Michigan State University 32 0 11 14
3 Wayne State University 85 0 21 9
4 0 0 0 0
5 0 0 0 0

 

MCB continues to put a great deal of importance on the recruitment and hiring of persons with disabilities and those considered to be from a minority group. In FY 10 our FTE count was 107, which does not include those working on a contract. The increase in FTEs compared to last fiscal year was due to the addition of the Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped being transferred from the Department of Education to MCB.

Due to on-going budget issues within state government and the Michigan economy as a whole, there was an increased desire by many politicians to offer another retirement incentive to decrease the number of employees. That plan had not happened yet during FY 10. At the time, it was determined that approximately 30 MCB employees were eligible to retire so if an early-out program was instituted, the potential is very high for MCB to lose key personnel.

Succession planning, as typically defined, is not possible under our Civil Service system. We cannot identify or hire individuals ahead of time to replace those leaving state employment. We are meeting with representatives from Civil Service with the hope of making the hiring process a bit easier and flexible for when we do need to fill vacancies. We also are working to prepare MCB staff who have expressed an interest in becoming managers and hope that opportunities will occur at some point in the future. The agency continues to work hard in developing leaders throughout the organization. We hope to become a leaderful organization where we have qualified leadership everywhere and in every program. Many training opportunities are available for managers and other leaders. Most activities are focused on maintaining capacity instead of adding capacity pursuant to 34 CFR 361.18(d)(2)(iii)(A)-(C).

The Michigan Commission for the Blind continues to recruit minorities, especially those with disabilities. We continue to prepare and retain qualified staff by offering very good working conditions and numerous opportunities for professional development pursuant to Section 101(a)(7)(A)(iv)(II) of the Act and 34 CFR 361.18(b).

 

MCB has established a minimum standard for all persons performing the core duties of a rehabilitation counselor which is the determination of eligibility, development of the rehabilitation plan, and case closure following a successful employment outcome. MCB does not require that counselors be a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) but they must be CRC-eligible and each of the newly-hired individuals are CRC-eligible. This standard requires the proper degree or completion of graduate coursework to meet the eligibility criteria as determined by the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification (CRCC) to meet the needs of Section 101(a)(7)(v)(II)(B) of the Act and 34 CFR 361.18(c). If MCB are unable to hire someone with these qualifications, MCB will hire individuals with a related degree such as counseling, guidance and counseling or the like with the understanding they will need to complete a few graduate courses to make them CRC-eligible. MCB expects the individuals to complete the required course work within three years of being hired. There are several graduate programs in Michigan offering counseling degrees not classified as rehabilitation counseling or counseling and guidance.

The training of new staff (whether they meet the standard or not) is done primarily by the local manager and a designated senior counselor who is assigned to be a mentor. The mentor is a CRC counselor that will assist the new counselor in becoming CRC eligible.

During 1999, MCB began to look more closely at counselor qualifications. The agency made a concerted effort to only hire qualified rehabilitation professionals. If new hires are not CRC-eligible based on their graduate school program, MCB required that they take the necessary coursework to meet the standard.

Of the 18 counselors providing rehabilitation counseling services to consumers, 7 of them have current CRC certification. In addition, 4 of the 7 VR managers at MCB are also CRCs.

For the first five years of the CSPD process, MCB was part of a grant that covered costs of tuition, books, and other related expenses in order for staff to reach the CRC-eligible level. Once that grant expired it became the agency’s responsibility to cover these costs. However, our department, the Michigan Department of Energy, Labor & Economic Growth (DELEG), did not allow for bureaus to pay for college courses. After working with our Office of Human Resources we were able to get an exception to the policy in order for our staff to get reimbursed for expenses related to CSPD coursework.

During FY10 we had 18 qualified rehabilitation counselors providing direct services to blind consumers across the state of Michigan. MCB provided services for approximately 3200 individuals receiving services from the Vocational Rehabilitation Program. The consumers receiving services from the Youth Low Vision Program, the Older Blind Program, or the Independent Living Program are not included in the figure above. There were also 6 managers that could be classified as qualified rehabilitation counselors who do not usually provide direct services.

 

One of the resources used to fund training is the In-Service Training Grant from the Rehabilitation Services Administration. The funds received from this grant supplement the annual training budget in order to assist staff in learning about new technologies, develop new skills, and to address other needs to improve overall services to our consumers. By providing the additional opportunities for training, MCB’s objective is to increase the number and quality of successful employment outcomes.

MCB generally provides more training to its staff than what the Training Grant supports; although, MCB is aware of the importance of professional development which has a direct correlation to improved services and employment outcomes. As we hire new staff to replace more experienced staff, we can expect the need and related costs for training to increase significantly. To address those issues, we have developed a New Employee Orientation Procedure for managers to use during the first couple months of each new employee’s time with the agency. It is designed to make sure that all new staff become familiar with various parts of the agency and the different duties and responsibilities of other staff. MCB also require that all new staff attend a two-week program at the MCB Training Center under the blindfold to get a better understanding of blindness and the Skills of Blindness training offered at the Center.

By using training needs surveys, input from managers, and special requests from staff, the agency is able to provide a wide variety of training covering a variety of topics. Two of the major training programs each year are the Michigan Rehabilitation Conference (MRC) and the MAER Annual Conference. The MRC is the largest conference in the state for rehabilitation providers, educators, community partners, and consumers. The MAER program is designed specifically for blind rehabilitation instructors.

We also support the annual conferences for the two major consumer organizations; the Michigan Council of the Blind and Visually Impaired and the Michigan Chapter of the National Federation of the Blind. Each group conference is held in the fall and we send at least 10 staff to each one.

In addition to using MCB’s funds and the In-Service Training Grant, the agency frequently utilize the services of the Region V TACE Center at Southern Illinois University. TACE has been very supportive of MCB over the years and the agency has an excellent working relationship with them.

The training scheduled for staff and/or conferences and workshops is geared towards job development, job placement, assistive technology, specific disabilities, vocational assessment, counseling services, and general vocational rehabilitation issues. All of these topics are very important to our staff and the degree of skill development and professionalism that are in accordance with MCB’s goals and objectives.

MCB continues to maintain a close working relationship with the state’s general rehabilitation agency, Michigan Rehabilitation Services, as well as through collaborating with MRS to discussed ways to improve and expand working relations that results in improved services to persons with disabilities.

MCB works with the three universities providing rehabilitation training to learn of potential candidates for internships and/or hire. This is consistent with Section 101(a)(7) of the Act and 34 CFR 361.18(a). MCB has hired a number of new staff over the past several years and in most instances, MCB posted these positions with the universities and received some very good candidates to interview. This involvement with the schools has improved our relationship which, in turn, has increased the number of internship possibilities and the pool of potential hires.

 

All consumers of MCB are entitled to receive materials in their preferred format when possible. Typically the options include Braille, large print, email, CD, or tape. The agency continues to put all of our brochures and several other documents on the MCB website in a format accessible by anyone with a computer. MCB had two staff in our deaf-blind unit and one person at the Training Center capable of communicating in sign language. The agency has the ability to obtain interpreters and translators when necessary in order to expedite services, as well as to facilitate communication. MCB has utilized various organizations such as the Chaldean Council of Detroit as a source for translator services.

 

The Administrator of the Consumer Services Division and the State Director of the Michigan Commission for the Blind continues to be active participants on the Statewide Transition Network Team in an effort to coordinate staff development under the agency’s Comprehensive Plan for Personnel Development (CSPD) with the personnel development under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) as provided by Section 101(a)(7)(a)(ii) of the Act and 34 CFR 361.18(f). The process of developing cash-matches enables the agencies to share ideas, goals and objectives with the personnel that are involved in carrying out the requirements of the agreements. The Administrator of the Consumer Services Division works closely with the transition team to develop specific procedures for improving the coordination of CSPD and IDEA requirements for personnel development. These agreements allow for maximum sharing of information related to the needs of consumers and enhance planning for the future provision of services.

This screen was last updated on Jul 6 2011 2:30PM by Leamon Jones

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 Michigan Commission for the Blind’s Comprehensive Needs Assessment is conducted every three years by the Michigan State University (MSU) Office of Rehabilitation and Disability Studies. The last Comprehensive Needs Assessment was conducted in FY 2008 jointly with the Michigan Commission for the Blind and the Michigan Rehabilitation Services (MRS). The results were made available to the agency in FY 2009 and the agency is currently implementing the results of the assessment.

A mixed methods approach was utilized for this project. An archival review of facts and findings provided by (1) Centers for Independent Living (CILs), (2) Employment Supports Project funded by the Developmental Disabilities Council, and (3) Disability Town Hall Meetings administrated by the Michigan Rehabilitation Council was conducted. In addition, data was analyzed using the 2007 RSA 911 data and the Michigan population data from the 2006 American Community Survey (ACS). Finally, an electronic Community Rehabilitation Organization (CROs) Survey was developed and conducted throughout the state of Michigan.

The Michigan Commission for the Blind’s 2008 Comprehensive Needs Assessment recommended MCB, in collaboration with other partners, to have plans to continue consumer focus groups, community rehabilitation organization surveys, conducted by various agencies and entities, some who are or are not affiliated with MCB. Additional recommendations included monitoring the number of males that exited MCB with an IPE and services initiated, but not employed; the disproportionate numbers of African American and Hispanic/Latinos, including males and females for employment outcomes; and provide resources to coordinate services and resources to better serve consumers. The assessment also noted that the three primary impediments to successful employment are: transportation, poor economic climate and employer attitudes.

MCB is working with community partners to develop appropriate training programs for youths and adults to expand employment outcomes to meet the needs of the 21st Century labor market. MCB is collaborating with various community agencies to identify the needs of unserved and underserved populations. MCB is initiating an increased effort to improve comprehensive services to minorities, specifically to African Americans, Hispanic/Latinos and Native Americans to affect more positive employment outcomes. The agency is working diligently with Native American health centers which enable MCB to establish relationships with a number of tribes to provide information regarding the agency’s programs. The staff also is working collegially with the Hispanic/Latino, African and Arab American communities to increase opportunities for training and employment outcomes. The agency has been effective in establishing transition programs in all of the large intermediate school districts in the state. MCB continues to establish transition opportunities for blind and visually impaired individuals in the rural areas of the state.

The Comprehensive Needs Assessment survey indicated that there is a need for more collaboration with community rehabilitation agencies to provide rehabilitation services to persons with severe disabilities which include supported employment consumers. MCB was able to place more emphasis on services for persons with multiple impairments. This enabled the agency to focus on employment opportunities for supported employment individuals. The agency will continue to work with its community partners to increase opportunities for supported employment consumers. The Comprehensive Needs Assessment identified the need to provide opportunities for individuals to acquire technical skills, accommodations for employment, daily living, transportation, and improved counselor practices. MCB has continued to work with community rehabilitation agencies to improve processes that will lead to increased training opportunities for persons with severe disability, specifically blind and visually impaired individuals.

The survey results indicates that no specific minority group was underserved; although, it indicated some findings that are of concern regarding African American employment outcomes. MCB continues to work with its Cultural Diversity Committee to identify ways to improve service delivery to minority populations (i.e., Native Americans and Hispanic/Latino Americans) that may be unserved and underserved. MCB’s outreach activities include participating in community events, health fairs and etc. to ensure that information is being disseminated to minorities and underserved populations in order to increase referrals to the agency for rehabilitation services.

The survey instrument mentions the statewide Workforce Investment System as it relates to WIA legislation and the Title IV Rehabilitation Act, as amended in 1998. The Michigan Commission for the Blind continues to review its Memorandums of Understanding with the workforce investment system (Michigan Works!) to ensure access to programs; such as, computer training, vocational evaluations, interest inventories, resume writing and virtual interviews. The Michigan Commission for the Blind is also working with the Michigan Works! No Worker Left Behind program that provides skills training in highly demand careers in health and allied services, construction, information technology and a host of other trades. MCB co-sponsors employer days and employer fairs with the Michigan Works! and is co-located in several of the Michigan Works! offices on an itinerant basis. The agency’s familiarization with the Michigan Works! programs enable them to more effectively assist blind and visually impaired consumers who are seeking employment in the competitive labor market.

This screen was last updated on Jun 3 2011 12:17PM by Leamon Jones

The Michigan Commission for the Blind’s annual estimates of individuals eligible to be served within the blind and visually impaired population in the state of Michigan will be 7,701. It is anticipated that 3,264 of these individuals will receive services through funds provided under Part B of Title I of the Act and under Part B of Title VI of the Act. Approximately 3,229 persons will be served under Title I and 35 persons under Title VI of the Act.

The total costs to provide services to the eligible population that are blind and visually impaired are estimated to be $4,591,784 for case services under Title I. MCB anticipates serving 3,264 through Title 1 and Title VI of the Act. The cost for providing comprehensive services under these two programs is estimated to be $9,815,347 including administrative costs, but excluding other agency programs and initiatives such as the Michigan Commission for the Blind Training Center and the Business Enterprise Program.

Category Title I or Title VI Estimated Funds Estimated Number to be Served Average Cost of Services
0
Totals   $0 0

This screen was last updated on May 18 2011 2:38PM by Leamon Jones

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

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

The Michigan Commission for the Blind’s Comprehensive Needs Assessment Study indicated a need to monitor the number of males that exited MCB with IPE and services initiated, but not employed; the disproportionate numbers of African Americans and Hispanic/Latinos, including males and females for employment outcomes; and provide resources to coordinate services and resources to better serve consumers. MCB will continue to increase effective service delivery to minority populations, establish community relationships, provide professional development, partner with other agencies to increase employment outcomes, expand transition activities and improve informational access through the collaboration with the Library Services for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, renamed the Braille and Talking Book Library (BTBL).

Goal 1 - Monitoring the number of minority males exiting VR program

MCB has established a goal to monitor 50% of minority males that exited the Vocational Rehabilitation program with IPE’s developed and services initiated, but without an employment outcome.

Goal 2 - Minority Outreach

The Michigan Commission for the Blind’s priority is to expand outreach activities by establishing town hall meetings and informational sessions with each group. MCB is aware of the need to channel resources in the area of unserved and underserved populations. MCB’s strategic plan emphasizes the need to increase rehabilitation services to Latino/Hispanic Americans, African Americans, Native Americans and Arabic/Chaldean populations and MCB will monitor the number of referrals resulting from the above activities.

Goal 3 - Community Partnership

The agency will develop relationships with community rehabilitation organizations, mental health agencies, housing authority, transportation sources to assist in providing expanded services for consumers.

Goal 4 - Technology Training

MCB, through its working relationship with technology vendors, is constantly aware of the need to make sure that staff and consumers are familiar with the new technology and its applications. The Commission provides technology training yearly for staff on the latest adaptive and/or technology equipment.

Goal 5 - Professional Development

MCB provides its professional staff opportunities to further their knowledge in the field of rehabilitation through collaborations with TACE which provides specific training that enhance the skills and knowledge of staff to assist consumers in achieving their goals of independence and employment. MCB also participates in two professional training conferences that are instrumental in helping the professional staff to become aware of current trends in the field of rehabilitation and ways to improve service delivery to persons with disabilities.

Goal 6 - Employment Outcomes

Indicator 1.1 references the number of individuals with employment outcomes. The Michigan Commission for the Blind goal is to increase competitive employment opportunities for individuals with visual impairment and blindness by utilizing its business services staff which includes job developers to develop employer relations to foster greater job opportunities through its work with the Michigan Works!, National Employment Team (NET), employers and employment fairs to increase the percentage of employment outcomes so that consumers will have more opportunities to market their skills. MCB’s priority is to seek out new opportunities within the community each year and to establish meaningful partnerships with its community partners in order to expand employment outcomes and service opportunities for blind and visually impaired individuals. MCB is a partner with the Governors Small Business Initiative. This partnership will provide the agency with opportunities to develop meaningful relationships with small businesses throughout the state. The agency has participated in the Small Business Summit where a variety of small businesses presented their business objectives and man power needs. The agency’s collaboration with these small businesses will open opportunities for greater employment outcomes. MCB, through its collaboration with community partners and employers, has established a goal to rehabilitate 170 consumers with competitive outcomes. One goal to establish meaningful relationships with community rehabilitation agencies is to develop and expand vocational training opportunities for individuals with blindness and visual impairment for the purpose of increasing employment outcomes. Another goal is to collaborate with the employment community through the use of MCB’s business services staff, job developers and brochures to inform employers of services that the Commission can provide, as well as how the commission can assist in providing qualified job ready candidates.

Goal 7 - Transition

The transition initiative is a top priority of MCB. MCB has participated in the Michigan Transition Initiative (MTI) conference and the Michigan Transition Outcomes Project (MI-TOP) to gain knowledge as well as to share information regarding proven practices in regards to transition opportunities. MCB, through its collaborative efforts with intermediate school districts in various locations of the state continues to develop summer transition programs that enable students to acquire soft skills, work experience and educational endeavors; thereby, preparing these individuals for independent living and employment readiness.

Goal 8 - Library Services

The VR staff and the library staff collaborate to ensure that consumers are aware of the services and how to access the materials in their preferred format. This increased collaboration will provide additional avenues for consumers who are pursuing vocational and secondary training. The library’s technology staff provides technical assistance and training in the use of the computer and assistive technology devices. These services are provided to individuals who are blind and visually impaired; therefore, Title I funds are used to provide services to this group. MCB’s collaboration with the library provides an excellent venue for sharing the latest advancement in adaptive technology that assist the staff with its goals regarding improved services for consumers. MCB’s staff benefits from this collaborative effort; in that, staff receives updated technology training in a variety of settings through the library.

Goal 9 - Supported Employment

The agency continues to develop working relationships with its community partners to promote employment opportunities for supported employment consumers. MCB and the Department of Community Mental Health has an agreement that will expand opportunities to increase involvement with local CMH’s resulting in more referrals to the agency. It also provides provisions for natural supports and long term follow along services. These activities are expected to assist the agency in expanding employment opportunities for this population.

This screen was last updated on Jun 29 2011 4:09PM by Leamon Jones

  • 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.

This agency is not implementing an Order of Selection.

This screen was last updated on Jul 28 2009 8:39AM by Leamon Jones

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.

The Michigan Commission for the Blind serves the more severely disabled individuals who are blind and visually impaired, as well as some individuals who are deaf/blind through the Supported Employment program. MCB has an agreement with Community Mental Health to increase referrals by 5%. MCB will continue to collaborate with various community partners, and intermediate school districts to obtain appropriate referrals for vocational exploration and rehabilitation services.

MCB received $95,911 to provide comprehensive rehabilitation services to the most severe and/or multiple impaired individuals. The staff will utilize supported employment funds to develop vocational opportunities for the most severely disabled individuals to achieve employment outcomes. MCB’s goal is to work with the community rehabilitation organizations to establish programs that provides training to enhance marketable skills that will enable the recipients to obtain job placement within an integrated setting in their communities. Each of the community rehabilitation organizations emphasize specialized programs that are supported by the labor market demands. These programs include, but are not limited to, Micro-enterprise businesses, packaging and assembly, clerical activities, food services, and janitorial training for consumers. As the agency continues to collaborate with its community partners to increase vocational choices, it is anticipated that MCB will provide services to 35 individuals as a result of the supported employment funds.

This screen was last updated on May 18 2011 4:40PM by Leamon Jones

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.

Indicator 1.1: Number of Individuals with Employment Outcomes. The Michigan Commission for the Blind projection for the number of individuals with employment outcomes that was set by the agency was not achieved compared with the national average of blind agencies. MCB is focusing on specific training from TACE and other agencies to assist the staff with innovative approaches to redefine its efforts to increase employment outcomes. Michigan’s economy and the unemployment rate is among the highest in the nation, which directly affects employment opportunities for all citizens including those with disabilities in obtaining gainful employment. The agency’s strategic plan emphasizes the need to be aware of employment opportunities and employment trends as the agency works with Michigan Works! in identifying Michigan’s top 50 careers so that consumers will receive training in emerging careers. As MCB continues to receive labor market information through its collaboration with Michigan Works! that provides employment trends locally and statewide, this will enable the agency to provide training appropriate to the current labor market demands. Staff will work with a variety of employers to increase on-the-job training opportunities for job-ready consumers. MCB has initiated job clubs in major cities throughout the state for the purpose of assisting job ready consumers in their efforts to obtain employment. MCB provides Employment Readiness Seminars quarterly for all job ready consumers. The seminar provides local employers opportunities to interview job ready consumers. It also provides information regarding work incentives for employers and the consumers are provided with information regarding Work Incentive Planning and Assistance (WIPA). MCB will continue to work with the National Business Alliance, trade organizations and apprenticeship programs through its Business Services program to expand employment opportunities for the population that MCB serves.

Indicator 1.2: Percentage of Individuals Receiving Services Who Had Employment Outcomes. MCB was not successful in achieving this indicator. The State of Michigan continues to be among states with the highest unemployment rate in the nation. This high unemployment rate directly affected the employment outcomes for the Michigan Commission for the Blind consumers. MCB was able to replace some counseling staff; although the agency continues to experience vacancies in the counseling area. The new staff and the vacancies that the agency currently has are impacting upon its ability to increase employment outcomes for persons who are blind and visually impaired. The time period for new staff to be productive is generally one to two years. However, MCB continues to invest in appropriate training for staff in job placement and other related training to attempt to minimize the effects of the depressed labor market. MCB makes available to counseling staff the opportunity to participate in job placement training through the Michigan Rehabilitation Counseling Educators Association and the Job Placement Division of the Michigan Rehabilitation Association, along with private trainers emphasizing job placement techniques as well as TACE supported employment programs that equip the staff with tools to compete in the competitive labor market. MCB has three employment specialists to work with the counselors in placing job ready consumers. These positions are supported by the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA) funds that expands MCB’s infrastructure to heighten its ability to work more effectively with employers and other community agencies to increase employment options.

Indicator 1.3: Percentage of Individuals with Employment Outcomes Who Were Competitively Employed. The Michigan Commission for the Blind met this indicator with 79.95%. MCB staff is aware of the importance of establishing relationships with community partners in order to increase opportunities for consumers to expand employment options that will result in more individuals being placed in the competitive labor market.

Indicator 1.4: Percentage of Persons with Competitive Employment Outcomes Who Had Significant Disabilities. The Michigan Commission for the Blind met this indicator with 99.68%.

Indicator 1.5: Ratio of Average VR Hourly Wage to Average Wage. MCB continues to provide consumers with choices regarding their vocational objectives; therefore, the development of career options has continued to assist MCB in reaching this indicator. The agency met this indicator with 0.613%.

Indicator 1.6: Difference in Percentage of individuals Achieving Competitive Employment Who Report Own Income as Primary Source of Support at Closure and Application. It is a goal of MCB to provide consumers with options to choose careers that lead to gainful employment. As a result of the economy and consumers desire to work part-time, MCB was not successful in assisting consumers to obtain full time employment which would elevate their income. A number of consumers are choosing to work part-time so that full-time employment will not affect their benefits. The agency continues to encourage consumers to work with the CWICS to receive appropriate information regarding work incentiives that will allow them to make inform choices regarding full-time employment.

Indicator 2.1: Ratio of Minority to Non-Minority Service Rate. MCB continues to emphasize the importance of outreach to minority populations that are experiencing blindness and visual impairment. MCB’s Cultural Diversity team primary objective is to provide the agency with information and approaches to improve services to unserved and underserved populations. MCB met this indicator with 0.929%.

MCB has four strategic teams: Service Delivery Design, Image and Identity, Cultural Diversity and Technology that assist in the strategic planning process to achieve the agency’s goals and priorities. These teams make recommendations for evaluation and assessment of the agency’s services, timeliness of services, review the policy manual and procedures, identify unserved and underserved populations, and provide the agency with information regarding new and innovative technology equipment and programs. All of the design teams are composed of agency staff, community partners and consumers.

Strategy for Goal 1 - Monitoring minority males exiting the VR program

The Comprehensive Needs Assessment indicated that MCB should monitor the number of minority males that exit the system without employment outcomes. The Michigan Commission for the Blind (MCB) will randomly review IPE’s quarterly to determine if the programs are achieving the objectives that were established by the consumer and counselor. As a result of the review, feedback will be provided to the counselor to be shared with the consumers in order to assist in achieving their vocational goal.

Strategy for Goal 2 - Minority Outreach

The Michigan Commission for the Blind’s priority is to expand outreach activities. MCB is aware of the need to channel resources in the area of unserved and underserved populations. As a result, MCB’s strategic plan emphasizes the need to increase rehabilitation services to Latino/Hispanic Americans, African Americans, Native Americans and Arabic/Chaldean populations. The staff of MCB received specialized training that will equip them with skills and knowledge to enhance service provisions to the above mentioned minority populations. MCB staff participates in Latino/Hispanic events such as the Festival Mexicana, and Hispanic Heritage Day to provide information regarding MCB services to assist individuals in transition activities, vocational training, job placement and independent living. The staff is involved with the LaSed Community Action Coalition in providing information regarding services provided by MCB, as well as working with the local Michigan Works! located within the Hispanic community to promote employment opportunities to individuals with blindness and visual impairments. Job placement training for staff through TACE, collaborative efforts with the community rehabilitation organizations and the development of employment relationships with employers resulted in increased outcomes for this population.

Another unserved population that MCB’s outreach activities have had a significant impact in providing services is to the Native Americans. The staff continues to familiarize themselves with the culture and the various aspects of individual tribal needs. MCB staff has developed relationships with the American Indian Health and Family Services (AIHFS) of Southeast Michigan, Inc. which has allowed them to meet with the leaders in the individual tribes to be able to understand their values and needs as it relates to education, job training, and employment outcomes. The health center is a facility that distributes information to the Native American population. Through collaboration with the health center, the agency staff has been successful in providing rehabilitation services to seniors as well as with job ready consumers, especially working with Native Americans in urban areas. MCB staff has established working relationships with Native Americans at the Hannahville Reservation and at the Sioux Reservation. As a result of the collaboration with the health center and reservations, the agency receives referrals throughout the year for rehabilitation assistance. MCB has developed an agreement with the Hannahville Indian Community Vocational Rehabilitation Program, (121 Project Visions). The agreement outlines procedures and practices utilized by both entities to increase service delivery to consumers within the program. Through the staff attendance at Pow Wow’s, cultural training, and dialoguing with the elders of the tribes, the counseling staff are receiving vocational referrals from these activities.

MCB continues to work with Wayne State University (WSU) Rehabilitation Counselor program to improve outcomes for the African American population. The Rehabilitation Counselor program continues to explore avenues to increase relationships with the African American population that will result in more employment outcomes. WSU and MCB continues to explore innovative counseling approaches to work more effectively with the urban population to identify practices that will enable counselors to utilize techniques to achieve successful outcomes. MCB is working with an urban school district to implement a specialized educational program that will focus on at risk students to obtain a high school diploma or general educational degree. MCB’s agreements with intermediate school districts will enable the agency to work closely with this program.

Strategy for Goal 3 - Community Partnerships

MCB is collaborating with its community partners to assist in the agency’s expansion of vocational training, resources and employment outcomes.

MCB’s agreement with the Department of Community Mental Health will assist in providing these service opportunities. The agency is working with the Department of Transportation to identify ways to improve transportation services to persons with disabilities that will enable them to participate in employment and leisure time activities. The agency encourages consumers to participate on the local advisory counsel of transportation providers within their geographical location. The Michigan Commission for the Blind along with its community partners continues to collaborate on ways to improve delivery of services to its constituents to enhance the opportunities to acquire appropriate work skills for the purpose of obtaining competitive employment. MCB strategy is to share information and resources in the areas of housing and health care concerns that will assist consumers in maintaining a productive way of life.

Strategy for Goal 4 - Technology

MCB, through its working relationship with technology vendors are constantly aware of the need to make sure that staff and consumers are familiar with the new technology and its applications. MCB collaborates with community agencies and organizations to make sure that their programs and services are accessible to blind and visually impaired consumers, as well as to assist them with the appropriate technology and adaptive equipment that allows individuals with vision impairments to utilize technology in various programs. MCB makes available technology training for staff and consumers on the latest technology and adaptive equipment that assist individuals in the workforce and with daily living skills. MCB participates in two technology fairs, one of which is sponsored in part by MCB and the Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped in Ann Arbor, (Vision 2010) and is held every other year. At the technology fair more than 50 vendors displays equipment for blind and visually impaired individuals to enhance their knowledge, independence, education, daily living and employment skills. The Technology Sizzler, held in FY 2010 in Detroit, Michigan was co-sponsored by MCB, the intermediate school district and other local agencies. MCB participates in the program by providing information regarding services as it relates to employment and independence. The Sizzler features a variety of vendors that showcase technology which assist students in their academic endeavors and individuals seeking employment. Both events are opened to consumers and MCB encourages their attendance. The Michigan Commission for the Blind encourages staff to participate in these technology events in order that they may be able to assist their consumers with technology in all aspects of their lives. MCB provides assistive technology services and devices to its consumers through the provisions of individual plans for employment. The IPE specifies the types of services, technology training and devices that will be necessary to assist the individual in achieving their desired vocational goals throughout the rehabilitation process.

Strategy for Goal 5 - Professional Development

MCB provides the professional staff opportunities to further their knowledge in the field of rehabilitation through collaborations with TACE which provides specific training that enhance the skills and knowledge of staff to assist consumers in achieving their goals of independence and employment. MCB also participates in two professional training conferences that are instrumental in helping the professional staff to become aware of current trends in the field of rehabilitation and ways to improve service delivery to persons with disabilities. These two professional training conferences are the Michigan Association of Educators and Rehabilitation (MAER) and the Michigan Rehabilitation Conference. Each of these professional conferences emphasizes the importance of counselors and other rehabilitation providers to gain knowledge in their prospective fields. MCB supports staff participation in these conferences. Further, the two consumer groups, the Michigan Association of the Blind and Visually Impaired and the Michigan Chapter of the National Federation of the Blind provides a statewide conference annually that enables MCB staff to hear current issues that are pertinent to persons that are blind an visually impaired.

Strategy for Goal 6 - Employment Outcomes

MCB is working to increase services to minority populations. The objective is to improve the effectiveness of service delivery to minorities. Through its communication and marketing coordinator, MCB has developed brochures in alternative formats for outreach purposes to unserved and underserved populations. These pamphlets and brochures have been distributed to MCB offices, consumers, as well with community partners. Additional efforts are being employed to provide services to the urban populations within the state of Michigan to increase employment outcomes.

Another one of MCB’s efforts is to provide expanded communication opportunities for consumers through the collaboration with Newsline. This media allows blind and visually impaired consumer access to information through multiple news papers. This service also provides job ready consumers with employment information, job leads and training opportunities.

MCB’s priority is to develop cooperative working relations with the Office of Aging and the Area Agency on Aging to improve and expand services to seniors and other vocational consumers with visual disabilities. The development of this partnership will expand vocational training opportunities statewide for individuals that are legally blind that are ready to enter the world of work. This cooperative agreement will provide the individuals with specific technology training leading to an array of employment opportunities.

MCB, through its collaboration with community partners and employers, has established a goal to rehabilitate 170 consumers with competitive outcomes. These individuals will participate in rehabilitation programs that will equip them to enter into the labor market with skills that will enable them to obtain gainful employment as well as fringe benefits. MCB will employ the assistance of the Michigan Works!, the National Business Team, labor market information and local employers to assist in achieving employment outcomes. These activities underscore the efforts of the agency to provide services to individuals as well as those that receive services through the Supported Employment program.

MCB will continue to focus on the minority males and females; specifically, Hispanic/Latinos and African Americans. MCB has collaborated with minority businesses that are located in the community in order to develop relationships that lead to employment opportunities. MCB’s managers are working closely with the counselors in the development of IPE’s to improve communications to involve consumers in appropriately selecting vocational goals through the provision of labor market information, green job development within Michigan and the No Worker Left Behind program in order to improve successful employment outcomes.

In relation to use of Title I funds, the Michigan Commission for the Blind provides documents in an accessible format and languages which includes brochures, pamphlets as well as captions and description on videos and DVD’s. MCB distributes materials for outreach activities to a variety of agencies and organizations to inform them of the types of services that MCB provides to persons with disabilities and specifically to those that are blind and visually impaired. MCB collaborates with community partners, as well as rehabilitation agencies, colleges and universities and other training facilities to provide assistive technology services and devices to assist MCB’s consumers with access to training. MCB provides employers with technology assessments for prospective employees and works with employers to determine the appropriate technology that may be necessary for specific job duties.

The Michigan Commission for the Blind uses Title I funds to develop and expand the Business Services program to establish relationships with employers. Through the marketing activities of the business services staff, the Commission is assisting employers to find qualified individuals to meet their employment needs. The Commission receives job leads from the National Business Employment Network to increase opportunities for blind and visually impaired individuals to obtain employment from national companies. The business services staff is an intricate part of MCB’s rehabilitation process. This program works collaboratively with the Michigan Works! and employers within the geographic areas of the state. The marketing activities of the business services staff emphasize the importance of collaborating with the Chamber of Commerce, Business Leadership Network and the National Business Employment Team to develop opportunities for the agency’s consumers to obtain gainful employment. The Business Services program also provides employers with an array of services to assist companies in maintaining and retaining qualified employees. MCB’s involvement in the Governor’s Small Business Initiative continues to provide the agency’s consumers with additional avenues to gain employment. The agency’s staff is working collaboratively with small business owners to assess and assist with employment needs in order that job ready consumers will be considered for positions within their businesses. MCB’s affiliation with the National Business Employment Team provides another resource to promote a greater opportunity nationally for individuals with visual impairments and blindness to become successfully employed.

The Michigan Commission for the Blind partners with a variety of community organizations to provide vocational training for blind and visually impaired individuals. Through the collaboration with the Michigan Rehabilitation Services (MRS) and the Department of Community Mental Health, an agreement was developed to mitigate gaps in services to persons with mental impairments and developmental disabilities including persons with blindness and visual impairments. This agreement emphasizes the need to increase services to this population. MCB’s objective is to work with the local CMH’s to increase referrals and employment outcomes up to five percent.

MCB collaborates with statewide workforce investment system (Michigan Works!) to increase program development that will provide assessments, vocational training and job placement services. Another one of Michigan Works! programs that the Commission for the Blind is working closely to ensure that MCB’s consumers are included in is the No Worker Left Behind (NWLB) initiative. This program provides training for unemployed individuals in specific careers. The state has identified some priority careers; such as, healthcare, technology, construction, accounting, and trades. The agency is aware of the importance of partnering with Michigan Works! in order to increase employment opportunities for the population that it serves. Throughout the state, and in various Michigan Works! offices, the Commission for the Blind is co-located on an itinerant basis. Some of the Michigan Works! locations in which MCB has a presence are: Flint, Marquette, Monroe, Clinton Township, Detroit, Down River, Lansing, Ann Arbor, Kalamazoo and Adrian. The development of these working relationships with the Michigan Works! will enable the Commission consumers to utilize their services and their employment search. The agency partners with the Michigan Works! offices to provide job expos for persons that are unemployed, which includes persons with disabilities. These activities are to assist in the reduction of persons who are underemployed and unemployed in the state.

Strategy for Goal 7 - Transition

The transition initiative is a top priority of MCB. MCB has participated in the Michigan Transition Initiative (MTI) conference and the Michigan Transition Opportunity Program (Mi-TOP) to gain knowledge as well as to share information regarding proven practices and to improve working relations with teacher consultants throughout the state. MCB, through its collaborative efforts with intermediate school districts in various locations of the state continues to develop transition agreements which includes summer transition programs enabling students to acquire soft skills, work experience and educational endeavors; thereby, preparing these individuals for independent living and employment opportunities. These transition activities are being expanded to provide opportunities for students to participate throughout the academic year. One of the mechanisms that MCB utilizes in the Transition program is the Youth Low Vision program. This program identifies eligible youths with visual impairments at the age 14 through the individual plan for employment (IPE) which provides for the provision of evaluations and head-borne devices to assist in the academic endeavors as well as activities of daily living. Another initiative that MCB is utilizing to evaluate the effectiveness of its Transition program is analyzing the data to identify areas to improve transition outcomes. MCB, MSU and MRS are involved in the program evaluation of its data to share best practices to make improvements in areas of needs.

Strategy for Goal 8 - Library Services

The VR staff and the library staff collaborates to ensure the consumers are aware of the services and how to access the materials in their preferred format. This increased collaboration will provide additional avenues for consumers who are pursuing vocational and secondary training. The library’s technology staff provides technical assistance and training in the use of the computer and assistive technology devices for consumers the latest adaptive technology. These services are provided to individuals who are blind and visually impaired; therefore, Title I funds are used to provide service to this group. MCB’s staff benefits from the working relationship with the library because of its knowledge and experience in regards to the various types of technology that enables MCB’s staff to receive information and training to assist visually impaired and blind individuals.

Strategy for Goal 9 - Supported Employment

The agency continues to develop working relationships with its community partners to promote employment opportunities for supported employment consumers. MCB and the Department of Community Mental Health has an agreement that will expand opportunities to increase involvement with local CMH’s resulting in more referrals to the agency. It also provides provisions for natural supports and long term follow along. These activities are expected to assist the agency in expanding employment opportunities for this population. The agency is working with its community partners to develop competitive employment opportunities within the individual’s community. MCB anticipates providing employment opportunities for 35 eligible supported employment consumers.

 

This screen was last updated on Jun 29 2011 4:24PM by Leamon Jones

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

Goal #1 Monitoring Minority Males Exiting the VR Program

The Michigan Commission for the Blind has reviewed the recommendations of the Comprehensive Needs Assessment as it relates to the employment outcomes of minority males exiting the VR program with employment outcomes. Out of the total number of minority males receiving services, 25% were successful in obtaining competitive employment. The agency’s goal is to continue to work to increase minority outcomes in this area.

Goal #2 Minority Outreach

As mentioned in section 4.11 (d) (2) MCB’s strategic plan emphasizes the need to increase rehabilitation services to Latino/Hispanics, African Americans, Native Americans and Arabic/Chaldean Americans. The staff of MCB received specialized training to work effectively with and expand opportunities for the above mentioned minority groups. MCB continues to participate in Latino/Hispanic events such as the Festival Mexicana, and Hispanic Heritage Day to provide information regarding MCB services to assist individuals in transition activities, vocational training, job placement and independent living. The staff is involved with the LaSed Community Action Coalition where they share information regarding MCB services, as well as working with the local Michigan Works! located within the Hispanic community to promote employment opportunities to individuals with blindness and visual impairment. MCB provides brochures in Spanish and Arabic as well as in alternative formats. MCB staff continues to collaborate with the American Indian Health and Family Services (AIHFS) of Southeast Michigan, Inc. that has enabled them to work with individual tribes to promote independence, education, job training, and employment outcomes. The health center serves as a facility that distributes information to the Native American population. Through collaboration with the health center, the agency staff has been successful in providing rehabilitation services to seniors as well as with job ready consumers, especially working with Native Americans in urban areas. As a result of these activities, MCB increased referrals from minority populations.

MCB staff has established working relationships with the Native Americans tribal heads in several areas of the state. As a result of the collaboration with the reservations and other community resources, the agency continues to see an increase in referrals throughout the year for rehabilitation assistance. The staff continues to familiarize themselves with the culture and the various aspects of individual tribal needs. Through the staff attendance at Pow Wow?s, cultural training, collaborations with the elders of the tribes and the local school districts, the counseling staff is gradually building trust relationships that continues to produce positive results.

MCB continues to work with Wayne State University (WSU) Rehabilitation Counselor program to identify methods that will assist in improving outcomes for the African American population that will result in more referrals and employment outcomes. WSU and MCB have collaborated on methods to identify practices that will enable counselors to utilize techniques in assisting this population to achieve successful outcomes. As a result of the collaboration, the university and MCB have developed seminars that focus on issues of visual impairments and blindness as a counseling approach to assist graduate students to be aware of the dynamics of the disability and to provide comprehensive approaches to effectively improve outcomes. MCB’s work with urban school districts to continue to support the need for African American special education students to obtain a high school diploma or general educational degree has shown minimal progress; although, efforts are continuing to be employed because of the increased need to combat this growing concern of high school drop outs, which includes persons with disabilities.

MCB continues to provide the Arab American Council as well as health facilities with information regarding MCB?s programs and services. A member of MCB’s Diversity Committee is active in the Arab Community. This individual provides MCB with information regarding the Arab Americans, their culture, as well as their education and employment needs. The collaboration has resulted in improved service delivery to the Arab American population. MCB provides brochures in Arabic which has had a positive effect on improved relationships resulting in increased referrals from this population.

Goal #3 Collaboration with community partners

The agency through its collaborative efforts has developed meaningful relationships with its community partners, which have provided expanded opportunities for MCB?s consumers to gain vocational training, job placement and employment outcomes. As a participating partner of the Partnership Forum, MCB along with MRS and other community rehabilitation organizations discussed ways to eliminate duplications and gaps that directly affected the employment outcomes of individuals with disabilities. The three workgroups (Soft Skills, Marketing and Communication) that emanated from the Partnership Forum made recommendations which have been implemented and the Partners for Employment of Persons with Disabilities (PEPD) group is monitoring the results of the recommendations to determine the impact on employment outcomes and the bridging of gaps in employment activities. The overall objectives of the groups are to continue to work to improve employability and job retention. As a result, the three workgroups have been immersed in the rehabilitation process to assure the effective use of outcomes of each group.

MCB’s priority is to work with Michigan Works! offices. The agreements with Michigan Works! outline accessibility and necessary adaptive equipment that will encourage consumers to utilize these service centers for employment assistance. As a participant agency, MCB has observed that the majority of Michigan Works! offices and One-Stops Centers are equipped with adaptive equipment that allows blind and visually impaired individuals to access their services in the same way their peers access job search services. MCB continues to work with the One-Stop Centers to remove barriers that prevent blind and visually impaired consumers from accessing their programs and services. The accessibility has improved and MCB will continue to encourage staff to inform consumers of the availability of accessible services at Michigan Works! MCB’s itinerant staff is co-located at several of the Michigan Works! resulting in increased use of their services by blind and visually impaired individuals as they attempt to obtain gainful employment. As a result of the collaboration with the Michigan Works! MCB has been successful in increasing consumer participation at various sites. Consumers have been able to take part in orientation programs and other trainings at some Michigan Works! offices.

MCB, through its collaboration with community partners and employers, has established a goal to rehabilitate 170 consumers with competitive outcomes. These individuals will have participated in rehabilitation programs that will equip them to enter into the labor market with skills that will make them competitive, as well as receive fringe benefits. MCB was successful in assisting 166 consumers in obtaining gainful employment in a variety of occupations. MCB will continue to partner with the Michigan Works!, the National Business Network, and utilize the labor market information and local employers to increase and achieve the employment goal. The agency continues to focus on individuals who can benefit from supported employment services as MCB expands their working relationships with the Michigan Department of Community Mental Health through the agreement that was developed to provide for increased services and employment outcomes. These and other activities underscore the importance of collaboration and partnering with employers and community agencies to provide timely services to individuals who are blind and visually impaired.

Goal #4 Technology

MCB continues to explore current technology for staff and consumers. MCB’s web based case management system (System 7) provides staff with valuable data that enables them to effectively manage their case loads which allows them to provide timely services to its consumers. MCB has a Technology Committee that provides the agency with updated information regarding new equipment and devices that are being developed that could be of assistance to the staff in carrying out their responsibilities and assisting consumers in obtaining their goals. The Technology Committee provides additional services to the agency through the development of a procedure to evaluate and recommend qualified technology vendors who provides training and instruction to MCB consumers. Through this procedure, vendors are categorized as to their expertise in various areas. As a result, a number of technology vendors have been identified as approved providers of technology services and added to MCB’s website.

Goal #5 Professional Development

The Michigan Commission for the Blind’s priority is to provide staff with professional training to enable them to be aware of current knowledge and information regarding the rehabilitation process that will equip them to meet the demands of its consumers in an ever changing labor market. MCB continues to pursue additional learning opportunities for staff in the area of job development and job placement. All new staff, along with current staff, continues to be trained in the latest techniques in job development and job placement as well as technology and accommodation assessments necessary to assist consumers in obtaining and maintaining employment. The staff participated in Motivational Interviewing, Case Management, Job Placement and Ethics training. Each of these trainings provided staff with specific skills relating to a particular function of their job. The Ethics training is a major component for rehabilitation counselors in the provision of services. The Case Management training was vital for all new staff to attend, as well as some of the journeyman staff to receive updates regarding case movement in providing timely services.

The Michigan Rehabilitation Conference is an annual event where staff can gain knowledge and information regarding numerous topics relating to the provision of rehabilitation services to persons with disabilities, such as, employment, diversity, cultural competencies, transition from school to work, employment information and strategies, and personality disorders. Through this training conference, the staff is able to obtain continuing education credits and to expand their knowledge regarding service delivery to consumers. MCB emphasizes the importance of developing skills in the area of job placement and employer relationship building; however, the emphasis remains on providing current professional development that assist staff in being effective in improved service delivery to consumers and employers. The agency continues to focus training that relates to its goals and objectives. MCB is aware that training is imperative for staff to be equipped with knowledge and skills to participate in an ever-changing society.

Goal #6 Employment Outcomes

The state of Michigan economy has been impacted by a severe reduction in manufacturing and other employment opportunities. The job outlook for Michigan continues to make a slow recovery; although, increased employment opportunity may not be experienced by MCB’s consumers in the current economic environment. Michigan’s rate of unemployment is still in the double digits for individuals who are unemployed; therefore, persons who are blind and visually impaired are experiencing greater difficulty in obtaining gainful employment.

MCB, through its collaboration with community partners and employers, had established a goal to rehabilitate 170 consumers in 2010 with competitive outcomes. Due to the slow employment growth in the state of Michigan, the agency was able to rehabilitate 166 individuals. MCB’s goal as a result of the employment climate in Michigan will be to rehabilitate 170 consumers to achieve competitive employment outcomes for FY 2011. MCB will utilize Michigan Works!, the National Business Team, limited term job placement staff, labor market information and local employers to achieve the employment objective. These activities underscore the efforts of the agency to provide services to individuals who are job ready and to consumers that receive services through the Supported Employment program.

Goal #7 Transition

The Michigan Commission for the Blind Transition program works in conjunction with the Youth Low Vision program that provides expanded vocational opportunities as well as pre-employment skill development for youths. The Youth Low Vision program provides youths with low vision evaluations and head borne devices that are used in educational settings and daily living activities. MCB has agreements with all of the major intermediate school districts (ISD) to provide job shadowing opportunities, work experience and internship programs for high school youths to assist students in developing the needed skills for transitioning from school to work or secondary education. MCB continues to expand its transition objectives for high school students with ISD’s to develop agreements and working relationships to provide the transition activities within these districts for individuals that are blind and visually impaired.

MCB’s Business Enterprise Program (BEP) Summer Work Opportunity Program (SWOP) for youths in high school and college opens opportunities for individuals to obtain valuable work experience in the food service industry and further introduces the small business entrepreneur concepts to individuals in transition programs. MCB’s involvement in the program will enable transitioning students to become aware of the Business Enterprise Program as well as the food service industry. Each year MCB targets nine summer internships for transitioning students. MCB was successful in providing six youths with work experience through SWOP for the summer 2010.

MCB’s collaboration with Opportunities Unlimited for the Blind provided transition services to youths during the summer where youths had an opportunity to participate in summer camp activities; such as, independent living, socialization, communication skills and employment opportunities. The Blindness without Barriers program, in collaboration with Michigan Commission for the Blind and Opportunities Unlimited for the Blind, provided transition students with employment in several businesses in the local area. A number of these students showed marketable improvements in their ability to perform the above mentioned activities. MCB has been involved in this transition experience for more than three years and students are participating as the program content expands to include several additional skills that enhance employment opportunities.

Goal #8 Library Services

The Braille and Talking Book Library is a part of the Michigan Commission for the Blind. This division provides information to persons who are blind and visually impaired throughout the state. The library provides accessible reading materials through a variety of mediums; such as cassettes, digital, talking books and Braille and books on line. The library continues to increase access to persons who are blind and visually impaired by 75% by providing opportunities for information through the digital media. This media is expected to increase as taped materials continue to decrease. The library also provides its patrons the opportunity to participate in a monthly book club.

The Adaptive Technology Center of the library provides consumers with the opportunity to utilize computers with screen reading and magnification software to enhance ones access to the informational highway. These services are particularly important to vocational consumers who are seeking information regarding careers, employment outlook, as well as assistance in obtaining periodicals on employment trends.

The Braille and Talking Book Library assist the agency in achieving its goals and objectives by providing many of the consumer’s information in accessible formats that can be utilized in training programs, activities of daily living, as well as on the job training and employment settings. It also enables MCB’s staff to be knowledgeable of current technology and additional resources that will assist MCB to achieve its goals of improved services.

 

Goal #9 Supported Employment

The Michigan Commission for the Blind serves the most severely disabled individuals through the Supported Employment program. This program provides an array of supported services to assist these individuals in achieving a competitive employment outcome. The Supported Employment program provides opportunities for individuals with multiple disabilities and those with deaf/blindness which includes Rubella and Ushers syndrome. The agency’s goal is to continue to collaborate with various community rehabilitation organizations, community mental health agencies and intermediate school districts to obtain appropriate referrals for vocational exploration and rehabilitation services. The staff will work with the community rehabilitation organizations to provide training opportunities to enable this population to gain skills that will expand the employment outcomes within the individual’s community. Each of the community rehabilitation organizations emphasize specific programs that allows for individualized program development. The agency has been instrumental in working with a number of the rehabilitation organizations to provide specialized training for supported employment individuals who are blind and visually impaired, as well as consumers that are deaf/blind. These programs include, but are not limited to, clerical activities, food services, janitorial and micro-enterprise businesses for consumers.

MCB’s agreement with the Department of Community Mental Health (CMH) outlines specific objectives regarding referrals and employment opportunities. This agreement was jointly developed for the purpose of providing additional services to persons with visual impairments and blindness that can benefit fully from the supported employment approach to training and job placement. The agency is expected to increase referrals by five percent. MCB discussed with CMH the importance of establishing long term follow-up services to maintain the employment activities for supported employment consumers, as well as the need for auxiliary aids to enhance their daily living skills and employment outcomes.

The staff will utilize supported employment funds to develop vocational opportunities for the most severely disabled individuals to achieve employment outcomes. As the agency continues to explore opportunities and collaborate with its community partners to increase vocational choices, it was anticipated that MCB would provide services to 35 individuals; however, MCB is aware of the importance of continuous collaboration with its community partners; therefore, MCB assisted 19 supported employment consumers in becoming gainfully employed. This objective is among MCB’s top priority to continue expanding program opportunities for multiple impaired individuals through the use of supported employment funds.

 

Indicator 1.1: Number of Individuals with Employment Outcomes. The Michigan Commission for the Blind projection for the number of individuals with employment outcomes that was set by the agency was not achieved as well as compared with the national average. MCB is focusing on specific training from TACE and other agencies to assist the staff with innovative approaches to redefine its efforts to increase employment outcomes. Michigan’s economy and the unemployment rate is among the highest in the nation, which directly affects employment opportunities for all citizens including those with disabilities in obtaining gainful employment. The agency’s strategic plan emphasizes the need to be aware of employment opportunities and employment trends as the agency works with Michigan Works! in identifying Michigan’s top 50 for jobs today, jobs tomorrow so that consumers will receive training in the emerging careers. As MCB continues to receive labor market information through its collaboration with Michigan Works! that provides employment trends locally and statewide, this will enable the agency to provide training appropriate to the current labor market demands. Staff will work with a variety of employers to increase on-the-job training opportunities for job-ready consumers. MCB has initiated job clubs in major cities throughout the state for the purpose of assisting job ready consumers in their efforts to obtain employment. MCB provides Employment Readiness Seminars quarterly for all job ready consumers. The seminar provides local employers opportunities to interview job ready consumers. It also provides information regarding work incentives for employers and the consumers are provided with information regarding Work Incentive Planning and Assistance (WIPA). MCB will continue to work with the National Business Alliance, trade organizations and apprenticeship programs through its Business Services program to expand employment opportunities for the population that MCB serves.

Indicator 1.2: Percentage of Individuals Receiving Services Who Had Employment Outcomes. MCB was not successful in achieving this indicator. The State of Michigan continues to be among with states with the highest unemployment rate in the nation. This high unemployment rate directly affected the employment outcomes for the Michigan Commission for the Blind consumers. MCB was able to replace some counseling staff; although the agency continues to experience vacancies in the counseling area. The new staff and the vacancies that the agency currently has are impacting upon its ability to increase employment outcomes for persons who are blind and visually impaired. The time period for new staff to be productive is generally one to two years. However, MCB continues to invest in appropriate training for staff in job placement and other related training to attempt to minimize the effects of the depressed labor market. MCB makes available to counseling staff the opportunity to participate in job placement training through the Michigan Rehabilitation Counseling Educators Association and the Job Placement Division of the Michigan Rehabilitation Association, along with private trainers emphasizing job placement techniques as well as TACE supported employment programs that equip the staff with the tools to compete in the competitive labor market. MCB has three employment specialists to work with the counselors in placing job ready consumers. These positions are supported by the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA) funds that expands MCB’s infrastructure to heighten its ability to work more effectively with employers and other community agencies to increase employment options.

Indicator 1.3: Percentage of Individuals with Employment Outcomes Who Were Competitively Employed. The Michigan Commission for the Blind met this indicator with 79.95%. MCB staff is aware of the importance of establishing relationships with community partners in order to increase opportunities for consumers to expand employment options that will result in more individuals being placed in the competitive labor market.

Indicator 1.4: Percentage of Persons with Competitive Employment Outcomes Who Had Significant Disabilities. The Michigan Commission for the Blind met this indicator with 99.68%.

Indicator 1.5: Ratio of Average VR Hourly Wage to Average Wage. MCB continues to provide consumers with choices regarding their vocational objectives; therefore, the development of career options has continued to assist MCB in reaching this indicator. The agency met this indicator with 0.613%.

Indicator 1.6: Difference in Percentage of individuals Achieving Competitive Employment Who Report Own Income as Primary Source of Support at Closure and Application. It is a goal of MCB to provide consumers with options to choose careers that lead to gainful employment. As a result of the economy, MCB was not successful in assisting consumers to obtain full time employment which would elevate their income. A number of consumers are choosing to work part-time that will not affect their benefits. The agency continues to encourage consumers to work with the CWICS to receive appropriate information regarding work incentives that will enable them to make inform choices regarding full-time employment.

Indicator 2.1: Ratio of Minority to Non-Minority Service Rate. MCB continues to emphasize the importance of outreach to minority populations that are experiencing blindness and visual impairment. MCB’s Cultural Diversity team primary objective is to provide the agency with information and approaches to improve services to unserved and underserved populations. MCB met this indicator with 0.929%.

 

During the past fiscal year, Newsline and MCB collaborated on methods to assist Newsline with a grant to support accessible newspapers for blind and visually impaired individuals. This one time grant of $20,000 was to provide opportunities for blind and visually impaired individuals access to information from national and local newspapers in regards to employment trends and job leads for job ready consumers. As a vocational agency, MCB utilizes all resources to assist job ready consumers with information that can help the individuals to identify careers and emerging careers as they plan their future. This media provides information on a variety of topics that impacts their life as well as their livelihood.

This screen was last updated on Jun 29 2011 4:30PM by Leamon Jones

  • 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

The Michigan Commission for the Blind continues to work with the community agencies and organizations to expand the Supported Employment program to provide appropriate training and job placement services, as well as follow-along services where possible. The program provides specific supports for persons with multiple impairments. Through collaboration and partnering with community rehabilitation agencies and community mental health organizations, the Commission for the Blind has been able to develop employment opportunities within the community that allow for consumers to benefit from training in employment outcomes. MCB’s supported employment consumers participate in various components of the program. The Commission utilizes job coaching and the follow-along services to maximize employment opportunities. The Michigan Commission for the Blind encourages placement in an integrated setting within the individual’s community. MCB’s staff and community partners work collaboratively to make a smooth transition to extended services. Once eligibility has been established and an assessment has occurred to identify the level of functioning in the vocational goal, the extended services are initiated. The extended services often depend upon community location as well as the availability of community organizations to provide the supports. The time period may extend up to 18 months. Frequently, MCB has incorporated natural supports in the IPE that will enable them to maintain their employment. The Commission for the Blind received $95,911 to provide comprehensive training and job placement for approximately 35 consumers. The agency continues to collaborate with Community Mental Health to establish the needed follow-along services in order to enable more consumers to be successfully employed.

This screen was last updated on May 19 2011 3:51PM by Leamon Jones

The following information is captured by the MIS.

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Approved on 09/01/2011 at 9:07 AM

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Published on 09/01/2011 at 10:49 AM

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