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 Department of Labor and Economic Growth State Plan for Fiscal Year 2013 (submitted FY 2012)

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

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

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

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

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

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

1.7 The (enter title of state officer below)
Yes

Treasurer State of Michigan

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

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

Director

... 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
Maura D. Corrigan

Title of Signatory
Director

Date Signed (mm/dd/yyyy)
08/03/2012

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 2013
No

Section 1 Footnotes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(a) Conduct of public meetings.

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

(b) Notice requirements.

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

(c) Special consultation requirements.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(a) Designated state agency.

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

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

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

(b) Designated state unit.

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

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

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

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

The State Plan must contain one of the following assurances.

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

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

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

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

(Option B was selected)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

If "Yes", the designated state agency:

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

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

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

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

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

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

X This agency is requesting a waiver of statewideness.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(c) Coordination with education officials.

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

  1. The State Plan description must:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(a) In general.

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

(b) Employment of individuals with disabilities.

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

(c) Facilities.

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

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

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

(a) Data system on personnel and personnel development.

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

  1. Qualified personnel needs.

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

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

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

  1. Personnel development.

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

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

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

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

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

(c) Personnel standards.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(d) Staff development.

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

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

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

(e) Personnel to address individual communication needs.

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

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

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

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

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

(a) Comprehensive statewide assessment.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(b) Annual estimates.

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

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

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

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

(c) Goals and priorities.

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

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

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

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

  1. provides a justification for the order; and

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

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

(d) Strategies.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(e) Evaluation and reports of progress.

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

  1. Attachment 4.11(e)(2):

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

5.3 Ability to serve all eligible individuals; order of selection for services. (Sections 12(d) and 101(a)(5) of the Rehabilitation Act; 34 CFR 361.36)

(a) The designated state unit is able to provide the full range of services listed in Section 103(a) of the Rehabilitation Act and 34 CFR 361.48, as appropriate, to all eligible individuals with disabilities in the state who apply for services. No

(b) If No:

  1. Individuals with the most significant disabilities, in accordance with criteria established by the state, are selected first for vocational rehabilitation services before other individuals with disabilities.

  1. Attachment 4.11(c)(3):

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

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

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

  1. Eligible individuals who do not meet the order of selection criteria have access to the services provided through the designated state unit's information and referral system established under Section 101(a)(20) of the Rehabilitation Act, 34 CFR 361.37, and subsection 5.1 of this State Plan.

5.4 Availability of comparable services and benefits. (Sections 101(a)(8) and 103(a) of the Rehabilitation Act; 34 CFR 361.53)

(a) Prior to providing any vocational rehabilitation services, except those services identified in paragraph (b), to an eligible individual or to members of the individual's family, the state unit determines whether comparable services and benefits exist under any other program and whether those services and benefits are available to the individual.
(b) The following services are exempt from a determination of the availability of comparable services and benefits:

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

  1. counseling and guidance, including information and support services to assist an individual in exercising informed choice consistent with the provisions of Section 102(d) of the Rehabilitation Act;

  1. referral and other services to secure needed services from other agencies, including other components of the statewide work force investment system, through agreements developed under Section 101(a)(11) of the Rehabilitation Act, if such services are not available under this State Plan;

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

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

  1. post-employment services consisting of the services listed under subparagraphs (1) through (5) of this paragraph.

(c) The requirements of paragraph (a) of this section do not apply if the determination of the availability of comparable services and benefits under any other program would interrupt or delay:

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

  1. an immediate job placement; or

  1. provision of vocational rehabilitation services to any individual who is determined to be at extreme medical risk, based on medical evidence provided by an appropriate qualified medical professional.

(d) The governor in consultation with the designated state vocational rehabilitation agency and other appropriate agencies ensures that an interagency agreement or other mechanism for interagency coordination that meets the requirements of Section 101(a)(8)(B)(i)-(iv) of the Rehabilitation Act takes effect between the designated state unit and any appropriate public entity, including the state Medicaid program, a public institution of higher education, and a component of the statewide work force investment system to ensure the provision of the vocational rehabilitation services identified in Section 103(a) of the Rehabilitation Act and 34 CFR 361.48, other than the services identified in paragraph (b) of this section, that are included in the individualized plan for employment of an eligible individual, including the provision of those vocational rehabilitation services during the pendency of any dispute that may arise in the implementation of the interagency agreement or other mechanism for interagency coordination.

5.5 Individualized plan for employment. (Section 101(a)(9) of the Rehabilitation Act; 34 CFR 361.45 and .46)

(a) An individualized plan for employment meeting the requirements of Section 102(b) of the Rehabilitation Act and 34 CFR 361.45 and .46 is developed and implemented in a timely manner for each individual determined to be eligible for vocational rehabilitation services, except if the state has implemented an order of selection, and is developed and implemented for each individual to whom the designated state unit is able to provide vocational rehabilitation services.
(b) Services to an eligible individual are provided in accordance with the provisions of the individualized plan for employment.

5.6 Opportunity to make informed choices regarding the selection of services and providers. (Sections 101(a)(19) and 102(d) of the Rehabilitation Act; 34 CFR 361.52)

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

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

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

5.8 Annual review of individuals in extended employment or other employment under special certificate provisions of the fair labor standards act of 1938. (Section 101(a)(14) of the Rehabilitation Act; 34 CFR 361.55)

(a) The designated state unit conducts an annual review and reevaluation of the status of each individual with a disability served under this State Plan:

  1. who has achieved an employment outcome in which the individual is compensated in accordance with Section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act (29 U.S.C. 214(c)); or

  1. whose record of services is closed while the individual is in extended employment on the basis that the individual is unable to achieve an employment outcome in an integrated setting or that the individual made an informed choice to remain in extended employment.

(b) The designated state unit carries out the annual review and reevaluation for two years after the individual's record of services is closed (and thereafter if requested by the individual or, if appropriate, the individual's representative) to determine the interests, priorities and needs of the individual with respect to competitive employment or training for competitive employment.
(c) The designated state unit makes maximum efforts, including the identification and provision of vocational rehabilitation services, reasonable accommodations and other necessary support services, to assist the individuals described in paragraph (a) in engaging in competitive employment.
(d) The individual with a disability or, if appropriate, the individual's representative has input into the review and reevaluation and, through signed acknowledgement, attests that the review and reevaluation have been conducted.

5.9 Use of Title I funds for construction of facilities. (Sections 101(a)(17) and 103(b)(2)(A) of the Rehabilitation Act; 34 CFR 361.49(a)(1), .61 and .62(b))

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

(a) The federal share of the cost of construction for facilities for a fiscal year does not exceed an amount equal to 10 percent of the state's allotment under Section 110 of the Rehabilitation Act for that fiscal year.
(b) The provisions of Section 306 of the Rehabilitation Act that were in effect prior to the enactment of the Rehabilitation Act Amendments of 1998 apply to such construction.
(c) There is compliance with the requirements in 34 CFR 361.62(b) that ensure the use of the construction authority will not reduce the efforts of the designated state agency in providing other vocational rehabilitation services other than the establishment of facilities for community rehabilitation programs.

5.10 Contracts and cooperative agreements. (Section 101(a)(24) of the Rehabilitation Act; 34 CFR 361.31 and .32)

(a) Contracts with for-profit organizations.

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

(b) Cooperative agreements with private nonprofit organizations.

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

Section 6: Program Administration

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

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

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

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

6.3 Quality, scope and extent of supported employment services. (Section 625(b)(3) of the Rehabilitation Act; 34 CFR 363.11(c) and .50(b)(2))

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

6.4 Goals and plans for distribution of Title VI, Part B, funds. (Section 625(b)(3) of the Rehabilitation Act; 34 CFR 363.11(d) and .20)

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

6.5 Evidence of collaboration with respect to supported employment services and extended services. (Sections 625(b)(4) and (5) of the Rehabilitation Act; 34 CFR 363.11(e))

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

7.2 Use of funds in providing services. (Sections 623 and 625(b)(6)(A) and (D) of the Rehabilitation Act; 34 CFR 363.6(c)(2)(iv), .11(g)(1) and (4))

(a) Funds made available under Title VI, Part B, of the Rehabilitation Act are used by the designated state agency only to provide supported employment services to individuals with the most significant disabilities who are eligible to receive such services.
(b) Funds provided under Title VI, Part B, are used only to supplement and not supplant the funds provided under Title I, Part B, of the Rehabilitation Act, in providing supported employment services specified in the individualized plan for employment.
(c) Funds provided under Part B of Title VI or Title I of the Rehabilitation Act are not used to provide extended services to individuals who are eligible under Part B of Title VI or Title I of the Rehabilitation Act.

8.1 Scope of supported employment services. (Sections 7(36) and 625(b)(6)(F) and (G) of the Rehabilitation Act; 34 CFR 361.5(b)(54), 363.11(g)(6) and (7))

(a) Supported employment services are those services as defined in Section 7(36) of the Rehabilitation Act and 34 CFR 361.5(b)(54).
(b) To the extent job skills training is provided, the training is provided on-site.
(c) Supported employment services include placement in an integrated setting for the maximum number of hours possible based on the unique strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, interests and informed choice of individuals with the most significant disabilities.

8.2 Comprehensive assessments of individuals with significant disabilities. (Sections 7(2)(B) and 625(b)(6)(B); 34 CFR 361.5(b)(6)(ii) and 363.11(g)(2))

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

8.3 Individualized plan for employment. (Sections 102(b)(3)(F) and 625(b)(6)(C) and (E) of the Rehabilitation Act; 34 CFR 361.46(b) and 363.11(g)(3) and (5))

(a) An individualized plan for employment that meets the requirements of Section 102(b) of the Rehabilitation Act and 34 CFR 361.45 and .46 is developed and updated using funds under Title I.
(b) The individualized plan for employment:

  1. specifies the supported employment services to be provided;

  1. describes the expected extended services needed; and

  1. identifies the source of extended services, including natural supports, or, to the extent that it is not possible to identify the source of extended services at the time the individualized plan for employment plan is developed, a statement describing the basis for concluding that there is a reasonable expectation that sources will become available.

(c) Services provided under an individualized plan for employment are coordinated with services provided under other individualized plans established under other federal or state programs.

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

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

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

OVERVIEW:

In fiscal year 2011, the Michigan Rehabilitation Council (MRC or Council) worked diligently to uphold its mission and be successful in the achievement of our federal mandates as set forth in Section 105 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (the Act).

This attachment utilizes the nine primary State Rehabilitation Council (SRC) mandates to report the activities of the Council as it worked to provide the customer voice into the internal workings of our state unit, Michigan Rehabilitation Services (MRS). This attachment also provides an overview of our organizational structure and highlights our advocacy and educational efforts with our colleagues, partners, and the public about the public vocational rehabilitation (VR) system in Michigan.

1. To consult with the Workforce Investment Board on Council functions. The individual appointed to serve as the liaison member from Michigan’s Workforce Board – the Council on Labor and Economic Growth (CLEG) and as a voting member of the MRC, served us well, with relevant information shared with our membership.

2. To review, analyze, and advise the general vocational rehabilitation program of its responsibilities under the Rehabilitation Act. This mandate was achieved through active participation in the following MRS activities: (1) MAT – MRS Advisory Team Meetings (2) provided input to MRS’ Key to Excellence Portal, which was designed to enhance communication among MRS staff (3) Independent Living (IL) / MRS Working Alliance – Operational and Strategic Planning Teams (4) Bureau Leadership Council Meetings (5) Customer Input Team (6) MRC/MRS Executive Meetings with State Director and MRC Chairs (7) Provided input into development of Virtual Orientation for MRS website (8) Marketing Team and subgroups related to creating a joint MRC/MRS Annual Report, forms and publications, and transition handbooks (9) MRS Statewide grant review team (10) Inclusion Workgroup for One Stop Service Centers (11) Executive Team Strategy Meetings (12) Interview teams for management positions (13) Consultation with the Customer Rights Representative/ Hearings Manager (14) MRS/Centers for Independent Living (CIL) Grant Review Team (15) Cash Match Workgroup (16) provided input to update the MRS Transition Guide (17) MRS Order of Selection for Services Workgroup (18) Interview Team for Administrative Law Judges and (19) American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) Funded On-the-Job (OJT) staff opportunities for four Customers of MRS.

The MRC also facilitated activities in working with the state agency as related to this mandate by hosting the Customers of MRS Leadership Program, which supported the attendance of 10 Customers of MRS and 2 Mentors, who were previous scholarship recipients, at the annual Michigan Rehabilitation Conference in Traverse City. The MRC also hosted an exhibit for two days of the conference.

3. In partnership with MRS develop, agree to, and review State goals and priorities in the State Plan and evaluate the effectiveness of the VR program. The Chair and Vice Chair continued the bimonthly meeting schedule with the MRS State Director and MRC Liaison. One intention of this meeting is to discuss critical issues being faced by the Bureau, so that the MRC membership can strategize on the best methods to utilize as they work to advocate on behalf of customers. In addition, the meetings enhance the communication and relationship between the Bureau and Council. As the MRS Long Term Plan (LTP) nears its final year, the Council has been included in the various work groups designed to meet the LTP goals.

4. To advise and assist MRS in the preparation of the State Plan, the strategic plan, reports, needs assessments, and evaluation. The MRC met with MRS staff to assure how the State Plan process would take place. Simultaneously, the Council authored Attachment 4.2, while reviewing the attachments submitted by MRS staff offering input as relevant. The MRC continues to utilize a tracking form to monitor the commitments and recommendations made in the State Plan 2012. The Council was actively involved with Project Excellence in the review and editing of the Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment, which was published in 2011.

5. To conduct a review and analysis of consumer satisfaction. Anecdotal customer satisfaction information was collected by the MRC through the following activities: (1) Worked with Project Excellence in the review, analysis, and update of the Customer Satisfaction Survey tool distributed at case closure (2) Dialogued with MRS on other modalities that could be utilized to increase customer input (3) Sponsored one employment focus group (EFG) in Mt. Pleasant and two EFGs at the Michigan Career and Technical Institute with 40 students in attendance (4) Through public comment received at Business Meetings (5) Through a Success Story web form on the MRC website and (6) Through e-mails and phone calls received at the MRC office.

6. To prepare and submit an annual report to the Commissioner of the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA), the Governor, and the public. The Annual Report for fiscal year 2011 was submitted to RSA.

7. To coordinate with other councils, as specified by the Rehabilitation Act.

Statewide Independent Living Council (SILC): Coordinated activities included (1) mutual participation at Business Meetings with members appointed to represent the respective councils (2) MRC members and staff providing input to the State Plan for Independent Living through a variety of activities (3) MRC participation in SILC sponsored ‘Partnership Days’ (4) SILC staff presentation to in-person MRC Public Policy Agenda Committee on the SILC and CIL Network and (5) MRC assistance at SILC Workshops with CILs.

Michigan Developmental Disabilities Council (MDDC): After the loss of a Council member who provided a conduit between the two Councils, staff to each organization continues to determine new mechanisms for sustaining the partnership.

Special Education Advisory Council (SEAC): As a result of competing priorities, the MRC was not able to attend the Council meetings held during this fiscal year. In FY 2012, the Council will determine its representation at these meetings.

Advisory Council on Mental Illness (ACMI): The MRC continues to make efforts to join this Department of Community Health’s Council. It is expected that this situation will be resolved early in the 2012 calendar year, with MRC representation at the table as an ACMI member.

8. To provide coordination between MRS, the State Independent Living Council (SILC) and independent living centers. In Michigan, the Center for Independent Living (CIL) trade association, Disability Network/Michigan and the Michigan SILC have both established a strong partnership with MRS. The MRC works to enhance the partnership by continually advocating on behalf of the independent living needs of the customers of MRS. Involvement on CIL grant review and strategic working alliance teams furthers our efforts.

9. To perform other functions, consistent with the Rehabilitation Act, as the council determines appropriate. A letter writing campaign took place in September 2011 in an effort to educate and inform all members of the Michigan Legislature regarding the MRS federal/state match funding formula. We conveyed that MRS has not been able to match their federal award with the required state funds, resulting in a return of nearly 20 million dollars to the federal government within the last two fiscal years. Following the distribution of this correspondence, personal contact was made to key legislators in an effort to provide further education about the current financial dilemma.

MRC ACTIVITIES: The MRC conducted six business meetings in FY 2011. The in-person meetings took place in Mt. Pleasant, MCTI in Plainwell, and Holland over a two-day period. The first day was dedicated to professional development for the membership, with the second day for the business meeting.

In addition, three teleconference meetings were held with an agenda that conducted business in a three hour time period. In an effort to manage other critical issues, ‘Special Teleconference Meetings’ were held for discussion and approval of the State Plan, MRC Budget, Addendums to Bylaws, and FY 2012 Meetings Calendar.

The MRC Committee structure included: Executive, Information and Evaluation (I & E), Public Policy Agenda (PPA), and Service Delivery Effectiveness (SDE). Monthly committee meetings were held via teleconference as were bi-annual in-person meetings. In the Spring of 2011, the I & E and SDE Committees were redesigned to just the SDE Committee, with three work teams included for goal achievement: SDE Work Team 1 focused on Data/Program Evaluation, SDE Work Team 2 focused on Customer Input/Satisfaction, and SDE Work Team 3 for Special Projects. Three Ad Hoc Committees (Advocacy Day, Nominations, and State Plan) were successful in the achievement of their work tasks.

MRC MEMBERS: A 30% increase in our membership resulted with the signing of the Governor’s Executive Order (EO) in December 2008. The current economic climate has not supported an increase in our budget. For FY 2012, the Council absorbed a 3.3% budget reduction. Our current membership of 20 members surpasses the mandated requirement of 17, with a budget that was originally designed for the same population. The Chairs of the Council met with the Governor’s Appointments Office Director in an effort to downsize the MRC Member population. Executive Order (EO) 2012-10 decreases the membership number to 17.

STATEWIDE ACTIVITIES: The MRC continued participation in the following Statewide activities: (1) MI-Job Coalition (2) Michigan Rehabilitation Association Membership (3) Michigan Rehabilitation Conference Planning Committee (4) MARO Spring Management Conference (5) Transition Training and (6) Michigan Association of Administrators of Special Education (MAASE) Meeting.

In May 2011, the MRC hosted the annual ‘Promoting Abilities’ Event at the Capitol. Employers and Customers of MRS provided testimonies to their life-changing experiences of working with MRS. The Council awarded the ‘MRC Beacon Award’ to the MRS Eastern District Staff for a redesign of their service system that resulted in outstanding employment outcomes for their customers.

The Council conducted one in-person New Member Orientation, as well as four 1-hour New Member Orientation Information Clip Sessions via teleconference. Topics covered included sessions about the MRS Service System, State Plan, and the Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Process and were open to all members.

The MRC also initiated the development and production of a VR Process Poster, which will be displayed in waiting areas of all MRS District Offices. The idea originated from the Wisconsin VR Agency, and with input from MRS, resulted in MRS’ “Six Steps to Vocational Rehabilitation” being incorporated into the final poster, with smaller desktop versions printed for each counselor to use as a resource with their customers.

NATIONAL ACTIVITIES: Two MRC Staff Members are members of the National Rehabilitation Association. The Executive Director (ED) serves as Chair of the National Coalition of State Rehabilitation Councils (NCSRC), with meetings held in San Diego and Bethesda offering SRC training and networking opportunities. The Program Director (PD) continues to offer expertise and technical support through management of the website and list serv as supported by the MRC. The ED, PD, and a colleague from the Oklahoma SRC attended the Consortia of Administrators for Native American Rehabilitation (CANAR) spring conference in Green Bay, WI and presented a workshop on ‘The Value of Partnership’.

MISCELLANEOUS MRC OPERATIONAL INFORMATION:

Fiscal Management:

FY 2012 MRC Budget: The MRC Budget for FY 2012 was approved by the membership and then negotiated with the state agency to ensure financial solvency for the MRC beginning October 1, 2011.

Organizational Structure:

As the SRC to Michigan Rehabilitation Services, the operations of the Council benefit from an annual grant arrangement between MRS and a statewide trade association for community rehabilitation programs, MARO, which serves as the fiduciary to the Council. The MRC and MARO have an Operations Agreement which provides the related details for staff, wages, benefits, the budget and line item narrative. The MRC is supported with three staff who are housed in an office suite designed to effectively manage the daily business operations, along with providing meeting space. The Council benefitted from the talents and skills of a customer of MRS placed at our office for an OJT experience and completed many special projects.

GOVERNOR’S EXECUTIVE ORDER 2012 – 10 (EO):

An EO was signed in June 2012 and the following changes will be effective on October 1st: MRS and its SRC will move to the Department of Human Services; the SRC will be renamed the Michigan Council for Rehabilitation Services (MCRS) with expectations to serve both the general and blind VR units. As we work to understand the new and expanded roles and responsibilities of the MCRS (moving from a SRC that worked with just the general unit, now expanding the same responsibilities to the blind unit), it is expected that our current leadership will strategize a plan for this expansion. Activities will most likely include: establish a proactive partnership with the blind unit, education for the membership of the VR system for the blind, education for the blind unit staff on the role and responsibilities of a SRC, and negotiate a resource plan for the mandated work responsibilities. The MCRS leadership will maintain a focus on the effective management of the Council ensuring the success of the federal mandates for both the general and blind VR programs.

MRS SUCCESSES FOR FY 2011:

- MRS served 49,021 Michigan citizens with disabilities.

- 7,704 customers were successfully assisted into competitive employment.

- Annual earnings reached $205,728,444.68 for individuals who successfully entered the work force.

- $13.08 was the average hourly starting wage for those successfully employed at case closure.

- Overall customer satisfaction was 82%.

MRS continues to lead the nation in most performance indicators achieved as established by the federal government. For FY 2011, MRS was 3rd in the nation for 24 general programs and had two times as many employment outcomes as the national average for general agencies (7,704 vs. 3,806). MRS was 5th in the nation among all 56 Vocational Rehabilitation programs and achieved three times as many employment outcomes as the national average of all VR agencies (7,704 vs. 2,229).

Program highlights for FY 2011 include:

- Effective partnerships with local and statewide organizations continued to yield outstanding results for MRS.

- Substantial growth and successful outcomes were achieved by customers who established small businesses.

- Expansion of partnerships with employers resulting in benefits to the job seekers and the business in need of qualified candidates.

- A number of MRS staff were recognized by local, state or national peers for their outstanding professionalism.

- Services to youth in transition were strengthened optimizing the potential of each customer.

- Michigan Career and Technical Institute (MCTI) graduated 325 students, with 78% entering into gainful employment and a job retention rate of 95%.

- Collaborated with the MRC for two legislative events that showcased the success of customers, employers, partners, and staff of MRS and recognized the benefit of involving the Council within the internal workings of their program.

Whether it is in an urban community with limited community resources, a rural setting with geographic challenges, the training school trying to match “younger customers” with no job experience into employment, or the administration recognizing system stressors and working to alleviate the situation with innovative techniques, MRS staff continues to rise to the challenge so that customers receive quality services so that they may become gainfully employed and engage within their communities in a manner which is of their choosing.

Within the guise of the above successes, MRS does have challenges within their system. The MRC experience is that when MRS learns of a situation in need of attention, they work to understand the circumstance and then determine plausible solutions. MRS also demonstrates keen insight in their analysis of a situation as a onetime event or perhaps a flaw in their system that must be remedied. In recent years, the Council has recognized that some challenges are imposed on MRS from external sources, while others are directly related to the unfortunate evolution of increasing costs meshed with the depletion of some resources.

MRS FINANCIAL STRESSORS

In the midst of the Michigan VR program environment that prioritizes the establishment of effective partnerships to benefit customers and the continuous improvement of their service system, it is apparent to the Council that significant financial stressors continue to exist within the MRS system that affects customers and staff.

In FY 2012, MRS learned that it was expected to absorb $10.3 million or an increase of 9% in operational costs associated with retirements, Information Technology (IT) and case service costs. These additional expenses have had a direct impact on the MRS carry forward funds that state units rely on for budget gaps. MRS reports that FY 2013 will begin with very limited carry forward funds.

The increase of cost of living allotments to the MRS federal award has resulted in additional “match” dollars needed at a time when both local and statewide agreement opportunities have diminished. MRS continues to receive one of the lowest amounts of general fund match in the country. This situation has resulted in MRS pursuing third party agreements in an attempt to match as much federal award as possible. The MRC supports agreements between MRS and other service providers on the local and statewide level, as it provides creative programming that benefits the needs of the mutual customers within MRS service areas. The MRC hopes the need for fundraising by MRS Staff will be minimized as sources of longer-term funding are identified and utilized. The MRS system for agreements would benefit from the implementation of an outcome report, so that additional transparency would be available to the public with regard to how public funds are being utilized to the benefit of Michigan citizens with disabilities in their local community. We believe that it could include a summary brief with regard to each agreement, utilizing the factors depicted in the service contract. Information such as customers served, disability characteristics, and benefit to employment outcomes, etc. would provide the reader with the progress of each agreement.

Over the past two years, MRS returned nearly $20 million to the federal government as they were not able to garner enough state match (from general funds and/or agreements). The funds returned are dispersed to other state VR programs, which means money intended for Michigan citizens with disabilities is being redirected to other states. The return on investment of the MRS system has a significant impact on the Michigan economy both in the local communities and statewide systems. For every $1.00 spent by MRS on case services, $9.83 returns to the state as people with disabilities are employed, become tax payers and active members of their communities. In 2011, MRS spent nearly $45 million on goods and services across our state, as they worked with customers toward successful employment outcomes.

The number of MRS staff has fluctuated greatly over time. Records indicate that since 2002 due to attrition, retirement, and cost reduction MRS has lost 52 staff positions throughout their organization. Since FY 2010, they have lost 25 of these positions. The impact is seen in the field offices as managers have demonstrated great innovation in maximizing the use of the staff for the greatest potential of quality services and competitive employment outcomes. As well, the MRS Central Administrative Office has downsized over the years, often relinquishing staff positions for reassignment to the district offices which provide direct services to customers.

As the MRS administration has grappled with the effective management of their financial stressors, they have consistently reminded staff to keep focused on their mission. The MRS Mission: MRS partners with individuals and employers to achieve quality employment outcomes and independence for individuals with disabilities. The priority of providing quality VR services to Michigan citizens with disabilities has been upheld and is demonstrated by their successful FY 2011 performance data. Simultaneously, the administration has recognized that part of this focus must be the responsibility of instituting cost cutting efforts. These efforts have included: staff reductions, expanding their third party agreements with staff assigned to determine and design innovative funding sources that would support the VR program, reductions in administrative costs, implementing a new evidence based practice resulting in increases to placement rates at a lower cost, researching innovative methods to offset high cost case purchases, and reducing costs of facilities, leases, and the consolidation of projects. The administration is continually examining each aspect of their system to determine new opportunities for innovation of service provision and further cost reductions, all while preserving the integrity of the public VR program.

PROACTIVE EFFORTS OF MRS WITH REGARD TO ORDER OF SELECTION FOR SERVICES (OSS)

Over the past four years, the MRC has been an active participant on two different internal MRS Order of Selection for Services (OSS) Work Teams. The first work team focused on researching all aspects of OSS, while the second one dealt with how the establishment and implementation of OSS would impact the MRS system. In addition, through various reports, data, and presentations, the MRC has been well informed of MRS’ efforts to manage their resources, as they worked to avoid the establishment of OSS. With our primary responsibility to review, analyze and advise MRS regarding their service system, we recognize that they are in a rather precarious situation of managing their system with increasing costs. The MRS system is not a simple one to understand as there are numerous variables that impact their resources, whether it is staffing or funding. They are functioning with fewer staff, increased costs (most imposed by the State of Michigan) and a reduction of agreements.

As the voice of the customers of MRS, the MRC does not support the philosophy and structure of OSS, especially the notion of a waiting list for customers. MRS has worked diligently to research and redesign their method of determining eligibility for each customer. They found that their current system of determining the “significance” of disability could be improved, so that greater equity would be provided for customers within their system. The redesigned structure should meet that desire, but the paradigm shift for counselors will be significant. As the staff are trained on the implementation of this new structure, the MRC reiterates their stance on the benefits of a centralized eligibility system to assure equity of decision making for customers about their eligibility for services.

The federal requirement for each VR unit is to utilize the annual update to the State Plan to indicate their intention to establish an OSS during the next fiscal year. MRS has indicated that they will establish OSS in FY 2013, with the possibility of implementation, depending on their fiscal and staff resources. The MRC believes that MRS is at a point in their operations where they must administratively establish OSS, so that if a significant increase in resources does not occur during the next fiscal year, they will be prepared to implement without imploding their service system, which would be devastating to the customers being served.

A review of the draft FY 2013 MRS State Plan Attachment 4.11 (c) (3), revealed the new priority categories for services, the factors that have resulted in the MRS need to justify OSS establishment, and the anticipated reduction of customers served, the MRC fully supports MRS in their plan to manage their resources in accordance with federal law, by establishing an OSS.

MRS PUBLIC MEETING OUTCOMES

The process for the FY 2013 State Plan (SP) for MRS was rather challenging this year, as a number of variables came into play. MRS began the SP update process in early 2012 with MRC staff and a member serving on the work team. With two significant changes included in the FY 2013 SP, MRS recognized that they needed to host Public Meetings to gain customer and stakeholder input. Gathering input on the updated eligibility categories for both disability characteristics and service needs, and the impending movement of MRS to the Department of Human Services (DHS) were the focus of the public meetings. Because of the delays associated with the transfer, MRS requested an extension of the federal due date for the SP (June 30, 2012). MRS was informed that in order to receive their federal funds on October 1st, 2012 (the beginning of the fiscal year), the SP would need to be received by RSA in early August.

In late June, the new EO was published, MRS finalized the SP based on additional information from the order and the draft was sent to both departments (LARA & DHS) for review and approval. Once input was received, MRS SP work team reviewed the information, made edits as needed, and turned the document back to DHS for approval of the final draft. Within the next work day, MRS sent the notice of Public Meetings requirements to each field office, posted it to their website and LARA issued a Press Release distributed to all media outlets. Though MRS has received complaints about the lack of turnaround time to make comment, they found themselves in a situation which demanded that they move the process ahead based on the need to meet the RSA timeframes, in order to receive their federal funding on time. The State of Michigan guideline for notice of public meetings is 18 hours; MRS posted their notices eight days prior to the first scheduled meetings. Since the meetings, the MRS SP work team has met to debrief on the experience of hosting Public Meetings, prepared a summary report, and established best practices for future meetings.

The majority of public input focused on opposition to the implementation of OSS with increased costs, decreased outcomes and not serving individuals with disabilities as the critical issues. Examples of comments include: “This does not appear to be a very ‘cost effective’ change in policy.”; “Just consider the cost of putting disabled people on a waiting list that does not move very fast at all.”; “Going into OSS would do a serious disservice to the people of Michigan.”; “The process of OSS is not beneficial to individuals with disabilities and disability services.”; “OSS is BAD for Michigan.”; “Increased costs to State with fewer outcomes.”; and “OSS will further negatively impact local communities because half of MRS’ $42M service funds comes from 4 -1 cash matches with . . .”. One comment stated: “Embrace OSS as the logical and mandated solution to an inability to serve all who need services.”.

The majority of public input urged policy makers and MRS to pursue additional State General Funds so that they could bring in the full federal award. Examples of comments include: “Millions in federal match funding is there for the taking. Please use them. Do whatever you can to avoid effecting thousands of Michigan citizens who need this service.” and “Provide a $3.3 General Fund allocation to MRS that captures the full $14 million of allocated federal funds for Michigan, which will go to other states if not captured.”

Some comments expressed concern about the move of MRS to DHS, as they worried that DHS would take over MRS’ funding, utilizing it for their own program. An example of a comment: “The money that usually would go through MRS might be cut and I don’t agree with the merger.” Most comments depicted positive feedback for the MRS system, citing effectiveness, cost savings, and encouraged further efficiencies. Some comments expressed concern about the short turnaround time for response to the MRS SP.

CLOSING COMMENTS:

MRS is to be commended for their efforts to effectively manage their resources. The MRC looks forward to future opportunities to partner with MRS as we review, analyze, and advise them for the benefit of the customer experience. Once MRS is able to fully match their federal award, citizens with disabilities will benefit, MRS staff can be focused on the continuous improvement of their service system, and financial agreements will be driven by creative programming opportunities. The MRC also looks forward to developing positive working relationships with DHS and MCB.

RECOMMENDATIONS – STATE PLAN FY 2013:

1 – We recommend that MRS publish an annual report on the outcomes of their agreements.

2 – We recommend that MRS design and implement a centralized eligibility system for customers.

3 – We support MRS’ plan to establish an Order of Selection in FY 2013. In addition, we look forward to our continued work with MRS to assure a smooth transition if OSS must be implemented which would be in keeping with federal requirements.

MRS RESPONSE:

Throughout a very challenging and turbulent year, the Michigan Rehabilitation Council has continued as a very strong and steadfast partner for MRS. The Council has continued to be intricately involved in MRS program planning and evaluation, to assure that customer input and impacts are proactively considered before decisions are made. This approach to our partnership has enabled both partners to grow in knowledge regarding challenges, opportunities, and needs faced by each party. The partnership continues to be based on a foundation of respect, trust, and open and timely communication; including effectively resolving differences. Whenever MRS has faced a serious challenge, the MRC has been eager to assist with problem resolution.

MRS agrees with the summary of the MRC activities and believes this summary reveals the extensive involvement they have had in MRS operations. It was unfortunate that MRS had to decrease the budget for MRC operations, but they have managed the reduction well and have agreed to continue to adhere to State guidelines for cost reductions when pertinent and practical. The MRC program has been reviewed by external auditors and continues to demonstrate sound fiscal and program management. They have managed to continue functioning effectively, even during periods of confusion and significant membership reduction. They have reflected a commitment to excellent customer service and outcomes that serves to strengthen MRS.

As regards the three State Plan recommendations made by the MRC:

1) MRS agrees with the need for improved assessment and reporting of program outcomes for its agreements. We have recognized this need for several years, but have been delayed in addressing it due to limited staff capacity and numerous other priorities. We plan to at least design a system this year to capture this information, barring other diversions.

2) MRS plans to pilot test two different approaches to centralized eligibility during FY 2013. Based on the pilot test results, statewide implementation decisions will be made with the MRC input.

Pilot 1 - CENTRAL REVIEW/CENTRALIZED ELIGIBILITY:

Assign a Central Office Consultant to each District to coordinate a 100% review of eligibility determination/severity category. Consultant will also serve as the District expert. Counselors will forward all draft eligibility decisions to the Consultant for review and finalization. All questions, issues, concerns, assistance and training will be coordinated by the Central Office Consultant.

Pilot 2 - INTERNAL REVIEW/ CENTRALIZED ELIGIBILITY:

Apply traditional MRS Champion model to the Eligibility Determination process including accuracy of severity category. Train counselors to assure consistency in applying measures of severity coding. Select a Champion for each site who will act as coach and to serve as the local expert. Counselors will draft eligibility determination and forward to the Champion for review. Field Champions would be a part of a larger cohort (support group) that consisted of other district champions for standardized training, practices and procedures. This would require a centralized cohort leader, possibly a consultant or manager from the Policy Unit, Innovation Unit or Staff Development Unit. This model will also include a random sampling review from the Policy Unit and will coordinate with the efforts of a similar pending quality assurance project.

3) MRS agrees with the MRC’s final recommendation relative to the establishment of Order of Selection for Services (OSS), to prepare the bureau for a smoother transition to implementation if necessary next year. MRC representatives have assisted MRS develop cost reduction strategies to prevent OSS as long as possible, while also helping the bureau shape policy, procedures, and training necessary for OSS implementation.

Finally, we appreciate the time and effort the MRC assiduously devotes to fulfilling its responsibility under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended. We regard the Council as consummate advocates for MRS customers and look forward to continually improving the MRS program with their assistance.

This screen was last updated on Sep 21 2012 1:03PM by Geraldine Moore

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.

Identification of the Types of Activities to Be Carried out under a Waiver of Statewideness.

Michigan Rehabilitation Services (MRS) will continue to develop and maintain specific targeted agreements with local agencies in fiscal year 2013 to match federal funds and augment state General Fund/General Purpose (GF/GP) funds.

MRS cannot lobby the Legislature for additional state match funds, however, various approaches have been taken to educate the Legislature for increased state match funding especially when the economy improves. MRS has participated on an enhanced partnership team with various partners including the Independent Living (IL) network, the Michigan Council for Rehabilitation Services (MCRS) and MARO Employment and Training Organization, and has developed educational brochures focused on budget and return on investment for the public and Legislature. Annual updates are sent to individual legislators highlighting customer achievements in their regions. All these efforts are designed to capture full federal funding and decrease MRS’ reliance on local agreements, which skew service equity.

Michigan Rehabilitation Services (MRS) has developed a policy for the development of activities to be carried out under a waiver of statewideness, which is applied when the nonfederal share of the cost of the services is met from funds provided by an interagency cash transfer agreement or as part of a third party cooperative arrangement. This policy is based on Section 101(a) of the Rehabilitation Act and 34 CFR 361.26 and 361.28 regulations. The MRS state policy includes the following criteria:

(1) The 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;

(2) The goal of the provision of services is to promote the vocational rehabilitation of substantially larger numbers of individuals with disabilities or of individuals with disabilities with particular types of impairments or from particular ethnic populations that have traditionally been underserved by the Bureau, and other target populations identified in the Rehabilitation Act (for example, students with disabilities needing transition services);

(3) MRS requests a waiver of statewideness on an annual basis in order to provide services to such target groups as described above. MRS policy requires each agreement to:

- describe the services to be provided to individuals

- contain written assurances signed by the local public agency that it will make available to MRS the non-federal share of funds

- contain written assurance that MRS approval will be obtained for each proposed service before it is put into effect

- contain written assurance that the agreement will comply with all State Plan requirements for services approved under the waiver, including the state’s Order of Selection for Services (OSS) requirements

(4) Services under the waiver of statewideness, used to promote the vocational rehabilitation of substantially larger numbers, may include any of the following services:

- Assessment for determining eligibility, and determining vocational rehabilitation needs, including, if appropriate, an assessment by personnel skilled in rehabilitation technology;

- Vocational rehabilitation counseling and guidance, including information and support services to assist an individual in exercising informed choice;

- Information and referral and other services necessary to assist applicants and eligible individuals to secure needed services from other agencies;

- Vocational and other training services, including personal and vocational adjustment training, books, tools, and other training materials;

- Maintenance;

- Transportation in connection with the rendering of any vocational rehabilitation service;

- Interpreter services, including sign language and oral interpreter services, for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing;

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

- Supported employment services;

- Personal assistance services in accordance with the definition of that term in Sec. 361.5(b)(39);

- Post-employment services;

- Occupational licenses, tools, equipment, initial stocks, and supplies;

- Rehabilitation technology including vehicular modification, telecommunications, sensory, and other technological aids and devices;

- Transition services;

- Services for self-employment or telecommuting or establishing a small business operation as an employment outcome;

- Other goods and services determined necessary for the individual with a disability to achieve an employment outcome.

1. School District Agreements

These Interagency Cash Transfer Agreements and Third Party Cooperative Arrangements* provide coordinated vocational rehabilitation and special education services to eligible youth with disabilities, especially significantly disabled youth, from the intermediate school district (ISD) or with the local school district. Emphasis is placed on students in need of transition service planning. The agreements provide for a variety of rehabilitation services, as needed. Referrals are from local high schools or ISDs.

The following school agreements are in effect during FY 2012. Based on RSA monitoring findings and subsequent guidance, they were reviewed and modified to meet required standards.

MRS District and Intermediate/Local School District

Ann Arbor, Hillsdale ISD

Ann Arbor, Jackson ISD

Ann Arbor, Jackson Public Schools

Ann Arbor, Lenawee ISD

Ann Arbor, Lenawee ISD - Youth Placement

Ann Arbor, LESA - Special Ed, WSC-Wash, WSC-Liv

*Ann Arbor, Livingston ESA

Ann Arbor, Livingston County Schools Project

*Ann Arbor, Washtenaw ISD

Ann Arbor, Washtenaw ISD - Special Ed

Ann Arbor, Washtenaw ISD - Young Adult Pilot

Detroit Renaissance, Detroit Public Schools

Detroit Renaissance, Gross Pointe High Schools

Detroit Renaissance, Wayne County RESA

Eastern Michigan, Genesee Intermediate School District

Eastern Michigan, Huron County ISD

Eastern Michigan, Lapeer County ISD

Eastern Michigan, Sanilac County ISD

Eastern Michigan, St. Clair RESA

Eastern Michigan, Tuscola County ISD -- SCL

Grand Rapids, Ionia ISD

*Grand Rapids, Ionia ISD

*Grand Rapids, Kent ISD

Grand Rapids, Kent ISD Transitions

Lansing, Clinton County RESA

Lansing, Eaton ISD

*Lansing, Eaton ISD

Lansing, Ingham County ISD

*Lansing, Ingham ISD

Lansing, Shiawassee RESD

Macomb, Armada Schools

Macomb, Center Line High Schools

Macomb, Chippewa Valley Schools

Macomb, Clintondale Schools

Macomb, Compass Point Learning Center/Anchor Bay Schs.

Macomb, Fraser Schools

Macomb, L’anse Creuse Schools

Macomb, Lincoln High School

*Macomb, MISD

Macomb, MISD/Lutz School for Transition

*Macomb, MISD/Lutz

Macomb, Mt. Clemens Schools

Macomb, New Haven Schools

Macomb, Richmond

Macomb, Romeo Schools

Macomb, Roseville High School

Macomb, Warren Consolidated Schools

Marquette, Delta-Schoolcraft ISD

Marquette, Dickinson-Iron Intermediate School District

Marquette, Eastern UP ISD

Marquette, Gogebic-Ontonagon ISD

Marquette, Marquette-Alger ISD

*Marquette, Marquette-Alger Reg. Ed. Serv. Agency

Marquette, Menominee ISD

*MCTI, Delton Kellogg Schools

Mid-Michigan, Bay-Arenac ISD

Mid-Michigan, Farwell Schools

Mid-Michigan, Midland ESA

Mid-Michigan, Saginaw ISD

*Mid-Michigan, Saginaw ISD

*Northern Michigan, AMA ESD

Northern Michigan, Cheboygan Schools

Northern Michigan, ESD-AMA

Northern Michigan, ESD-COP

Northern Michigan, Gaylord Schools

Northern Michigan, ISD Charlevoix - Emmet

Northern Michigan, ISD COOR

Northern Michigan, ISD Wexford - Missaukee

Northern Michigan, ISD-TBA Special Education

Northern Michigan, ISD-TBA Vocational Education

*Northern Michigan, Iosco RESA (1)

Northern Michigan, Manistee ISD

Northern Michigan, RESA Iosco

*Northern Michigan, TBA ISD Special Education

Oakland, Berkley Schools

Oakland, Bloomfield Hills Schools

Oakland, Bloomfield Hills Schools--Deaf Program

Oakland, Clarkston Schools

Oakland, Holly Schools

Oakland, Huron Valley School

Oakland, Oakland Schools ISD

*Oakland, Oakland ISD

Oakland, Rochester Schools

Oakland, Southfield Schools

Southwest Michigan, Berrien ESA

*Southwest Michigan, Berrien RESA

Southwest Michigan, Branch ISD

Southwest Michigan, Calhoun ISD

*Southwest Michigan, Cass ISD

Southwest Michigan, KRESA

Southwest Michigan, Lewis Cass ISD

Southwest Michigan, St. Joe ISD

Southwest Michigan, Van Buren ISD

Wayne, Dearborn Public Schools

Wayne, Monroe Internship

Wayne, Monroe ISD

Wayne, SEMCA

Wayne, WRESA

West Central, Allegan CO ISD

West Central, Baldwin Community Schools

West Central, Mason-Lake ISD

West Central, Montcalm ISD

West Central, Muskegon ISD

West Central, Ottawa Co. ISD

*Included in these agreements are Third Party Cooperative Arrangements.

2. Community Mental Health Agreements

These joint rehabilitation and mental health programs operate under an umbrella agreement with separate local contracts. The umbrella agreement is between the Michigan Rehabilitation Services and Department of Community Health. The purpose of the umbrella agreement is to permit MRS district offices and local community mental health centers to (a) provide for the continuance of cooperative programs; (b) expand current program activities; and/or (c) respond to rehabilitation needs of individuals with mental illness and developmental disabilities in communities where integrative programs are limited or do not exist.

The individual local agreements are for funds and services between MRS district offices and community mental health (CMH) boards or centers. Customers must be eligible for vocational rehabilitation services.

The CMH boards provide state and local matching funds, coordination, diagnostic and clinical information, and therapy. MRS assigns needed staff and provides the full range of rehabilitation services according to customer needs.

The following CMH agreements are in effect during FY 2012. Based on monitoring findings by RSA, they were reviewed and modified to meet required standards.

*Included in these agreements are Third Party Cooperative Arrangements.

MRS District and Community Mental Health Agency

Ann Arbor, Genesis House - Livingston CMH

Ann Arbor, Jackson Lifeways (CMH)

Ann Arbor, Livingston CMH

Ann Arbor, Washtenaw CMH

Detroit Renaissance, Wayne County CMH Agency

Eastern Michigan, Genesee CMH

Eastern Michigan, Lapeer County CMH

Eastern Michigan, Sanilac Community Mental Health

Eastern Michigan, St. Clair County CMH

Grand Rapids, Ionia County CMH

Lansing, Clinton-Eaton-Ingham CMH (DD)

Lansing, Clinton-Eaton-Ingham CMH (MI)

Lansing, Shiawassee CMH

Macomb, Community Mental Health

Marquette, Copper Co. CMH

Marquette, Dickinson-Iron CMH/Northpointe Beh. Healthcare

Marquette, Gogebic Co. CMH

Marquette, Hiawatha Behav. Health (Schcrft-East UP CMH)

Marquette, Pathways (Alger, Delta, Luce & Mqt. Co.)

Mid-Michigan, Bay-Arenac CMH

Mid-Michigan, Central Michigan CMH

Mid-Michigan, Gratiot CMH

Northern Michigan, CMH AuSable Valley

Northern Michigan, CMH Manistee-Benzie

Northern Michigan, CMH North Country

Northern Michigan, CMH Northeast

Oakland, Oakland County CMH Authority

Southwest Michigan, Barry County CMH

Southwest Michigan, Berrien CMH - Riverwood

Southwest Michigan, Branch CMH

Southwest Michigan, Calhoun County CMH

Southwest Michigan, Cass CMH Woodlands

Southwest Michigan, Kal CMH SAS

Southwest Michigan, Kal CMH/SAS

Southwest Michigan, St. Joe CMH

Southwest Michigan, Van Buren CMH

West Central, Allegan County CMH

West Central, Newaygo CMH

West Central, Ottawa Co. CMH

3. Multi-entity Interagency Cash Transfer Agreements

These agreements represent collaborative programming between MRS, CMH, and ISDs. The purpose of these types of agreements is to promote efficient coordination of comprehensive services necessary for youth with developmental and mental/emotional disabilities to achieve vocational/career preparation while in high school and more efficiently transition into suitable employment following education. The collaboration of these three entities promotes more cost-effective use of limited funds to serve more individuals from a targeted population (school youth). Referrals are made from either local CMH or ISD.

The following Interagency Cash Transfer Agreements are in effect during FY 2012 and are renewed annually.

MRS District and Agency

Marquette, Copper Country ISD (CCISD-CMH)

Southwest Michigan, Calhoun ISD & CMH

West Central, Mecosta ISD/CMH

West Central, Muskegon CMH/ISD

West Central, Ottawa CMH/ISD

4. Other Agreements

Rehabilitation program agreements have been jointly developed with county departments of the Department of Human Services (DHS) and other agencies to expand the delivery of rehabilitation services to special populations who meet MRS eligibility requirements (for example American Indians, welfare recipients, etc.).

MRS District and Agency

Ann Arbor, Lenawee DHS

Ann Arbor, U of M Work Connections

Ann Arbor, Washtenaw-Livingston County Sub Abuse

Detroit Renaissance, Behavioral Health Professionals, Inc (BHPI)

Eastern Michigan, Mott Community College

Grand Rapids, Network 180

Grand Rapids, Network 180 Pinerest

Grand Rapids, Network 180 Substance Abuse

Lansing, Ingham County

Lansing, Mid-South Substance Abuse Commission

Macomb, Macomb Academy

Macomb, Macomb Community College

Macomb, Macomb County Office of Substance Abuse

Marquette, Bay Mills Indian Community

Marquette, Hannahville Indian Community

Northern Michigan, Little River Band

Northern Michigan, NMD COG

Northern Michigan, Northern Michigan Substance Abuse Services, Inc.

Oakland, Oakland Community College - BOLD

Southwest Michigan, Berrien Human DHS

Southwest Michigan, Berrien MPRI (MI Works)

Southwest Michigan, Cass Cty DHS

Southwest Michigan, Goodwill Southwest Michigan (MI Works)

Southwest Michigan, Pokagon Band

Southwest Michigan, Youth Build (MI Works)

Wayne, Schoolcraft College LAC

West Central, Little River Band

West Central, Muskegon Community College/West Shore CC

This screen was last updated on Aug 9 2012 8:46AM by Geraldine Moore

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.

Michigan Rehabilitation Services (MRS) cooperates with federal, state, and local public agencies that are not a part of the statewide workforce investment system to provide comprehensive services related to the rehabilitation of individuals and groups of individuals with disabilities.

Such cooperative relationships include the following:

A) A cooperative agreement with the state entity responsible for the Medicaid program, the Medical Services Administration, to coordinate the utilization of Medicaid and vocational rehabilitation (VR) services for individuals who are eligible for both Medicaid and MRS services. This agreement includes roles and responsibilities of each party for the provision and funding of services, reciprocal referral procedures, methods for resolving disputes, and reimbursement arrangements.

B) Cooperation with Michigan Department of Community Health and other disability advocacy organizations to carry out the Ticket To Work/Work Incentives Improvement Act (TTWWIIA).

C) Cooperation with Social Security Administration (SSA) regional and local district offices to establish and improve the use of work incentives for Social Security disability recipients returning to work. Each MRS office has dedicated staff to address special needs of SSA recipients. These staff collaborate with SSA funded benefits planners to assure accurate information for SSA customers entering the workforce. MRS has a formal agreement with SSA to act as an Employment Network under the Ticket-to-Work program. MRS also has agreements with seven other employment networks and will continue to explore further opportunities to collaborate in the delivery of vocational rehabilitation services to individuals who have a “Ticket-to-Work” from SSA.

D) MRS continues a collaborative agreement with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Rural Development that promotes enhanced employment and housing opportunities for persons in rural areas. MRS remains available to conduct disability awareness training and accessibility site reviews for Rural Development facilities in Michigan to facilitate the participation of individuals with disabilities in USDA services. MRS also receives notice of employment opportunities from USDA.

E) MRS continues involvement in State use (Set Aside) contracting programs to support employment of persons with disabilities. An MRS representative is a participant on the State’s disability set-aside committee to ensure that Community Rehabilitation Programs identified by MRS are given priority in certain types of contracts set aside for such organizations under State law.

F) MRS has a Letter of Agreement that establishes the principles, terms, and conditions under which the United States Department of Labor-Employment and Training Administration, Apprenticeship Training, and Employer & Labor Services develop, promote and coordinate strategies that lead to increased career opportunities for individuals with disabilities in the skilled trades.

G) MRS continues three contracts for university-based research and evaluation. The first addresses the Bureau’s need for comprehensive needs assessments and continuous improvement measures. The second is for student internships that support Comprehensive System of Personnel Development (CSPD) recruiting efforts from state universities that have Council on Rehabilitation Education (CORE) approved master’s degree programs in vocational rehabilitation counseling. The third is for the management and continuous improvement to an on-line learning and knowledge system (“E-Learn”) to provide staff with training and development.

H) MRS maintains an agreement with the Michigan Student Financial Aid Association to facilitate maximum use of student financial aid resources for MRS customers who will attend post-secondary education. The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) describes the roles and responsibilities of financial aid officers in Michigan’s institutions of higher education and MRS counselors in coordinating student financial aid for MRS customers while avoiding financial aid over-awards. It provides for the use of common forms in communicating financial need and financial aid awards offered to student-customers by each of the parties, consistent with the requirements of the Higher Education Act and the Rehabilitation Act.

I) MRS continues the memoranda of understanding (MOU) with all public institutions of higher education (IHE) in the State. This MOU provides for the coordination of services for students of a public IHE who are also eligible customers of MRS. It addresses the responsibilities of each party under the laws that condition services for each. It stipulates that MRS is responsible for the provision of vocational rehabilitation services under the Section 103 (a) of the Rehabilitation Act as amended, and that the IHE is responsible for the determination of what constitutes reasonable accommodation to its programs, and for the provision of the same. The agreement addresses financial responsibilities of the parties, and sets forth methods of resolving interagency disputes, consistent with the requirements of Section 101(a)(8) of the Act.

J) MRS continues the agreement with the Veterans Administration to provide coordinated services to returning veterans with disabilities. The agreement stipulates that services not be duplicated, but are complementary in assisting eligible veterans achieve meaningful employment, in accordance with the laws and regulations governing each entity. Bureau liaisons are identified to assist in coordinating cooperative employment plans. Cross training has been provided to ensure understanding of both federal programs.

K) MRS developed a new agreement with The Michigan Department of Education/Office of Special Education, to support the seamless transition of students from school to adult life that facilitates the development and completion of their Individualized Education Program (IEP) under section 614(d) of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The agreement addresses key items identified in IDEA and the Rehabilitation Act and includes information about the purpose, the authority and scope, foundations of the partnership, roles and responsibilities, confidentiality, student documentation, student eligibility, MRS attendance at IEP team meetings, seamless transition services, coordination of resources, resolution of differences, data reporting, 504 students and termination and changes.

L) MRS has a Strategic Alliance Plan with Disability Network of Michigan (representing Centers for Independent Living), the Michigan Council for Rehabilitation Services (MCRS), and the Michigan Statewide Independent Living Council to transform our service delivery systems into a holistic approach for the employment and independence of individuals with disabilities throughout Michigan.

M) MRS continues the agreement with the Department of Community Health and the Bureau of Services for Blind Services (BSBP) (formerly Michigan Commission for the Blind) to coordinate and improve services to customers with cognitive impairments and mental illness, including those requiring supported employment.

N) MRS continues the agreements with the Department of Community Health and the Developmental Disabilities Council to coordinate and improve comprehensive services to customers with cognitive impairments, developmental disabilities, and mental illness to assist in job placement and follow-along services including supported employment.

O) MRS developed a new MOU with the Hannahville Indian Community Vocational Rehabilitation Program’s Project Vision. The Project Visions and MRS MOU provide rehabilitation services under section 121 of Title I of the Rehabilitation Act, of 1973 as amended, and Title I of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, respectively. This MOU represents the cooperation, coordination, and collaboration necessary to create an effective service delivery partnership designed to increase employment opportunities for those served by both our programs. MRS expects to continue to collaborate with the Consortia of Administrators for Native American Rehabilitation (CANAR) to promote this MOU as a best practice.

This screen was last updated on Aug 9 2012 8:40AM by Geraldine Moore

  • 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.

Michigan Rehabilitation Services (MRS) will continue to coordinate activities with education officials to facilitate the transition of students with disabilities from school to work or post-secondary education. At the secondary level, MRS works with eligible students to coordinate the development of Individualized Plans for Employment (IPEs) at the earliest possible time during the transition planning process that MRS services are appropriate. IPEs are completed prior to the student’s exit from secondary education.

On November 1, 2011, an updated interagency agreement was signed with the Michigan Department of Education/Office of Special Education (MDE/OSE) which provides for the seamless transition of students from secondary education to adult life that facilitates the development and completion of their Individualized Education Program (IEP) under section 614(d) of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). This agreement was interpreted through publishing and disseminating a document entitled, “Transition Services for Youth, Answers to Frequently Asked Questions”. This document was last updated in October, 2011. The agreement addresses key items identified in IDEA and the Rehabilitation Act: and includes information about the purpose, the authority and scope, foundations of the partnership, roles and responsibilities, confidentiality, student documentation, student eligibility, MRS attendance at IEP Team meetings, seamless transition services, coordination of resources, resolution of differences, data reporting, 504 students and termination and changes.

The MDE/OSE and MRS Interagency Agreement is designed to act as a template or model for the subsequent development of local partnership agreements that promote collaboration and allow for the provision of vocational rehabilitation to transition youth.

A) Consultation and technical assistance to assist educational agencies in planning for the transition students with disabilities from school to post-school activities, including vocational rehabilitation (VR) services.

The Department of Education is engaging in a continuous improvement process designed to obtain input from stakeholders in the targeted area of transition and has sought participation and input from MRS. The state unit staff provides technical assistance and consultation and participates as a member of the educational agency Michigan Transition Outcomes Project and the Michigan Transition Services Association (MTSA) advisory board. The Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC), consisting of 25 governor appointed delegates representing 23 organizations and 8 at-large appointments, including the State Unit as an ex-officio member, continues to emphasize transition. Priority activities include implementing researched-based transition practices, monitoring state data on graduation rates, dropout rates and post-school outcomes, as well as addressing the impact on students with disabilities of implementation of the new Michigan Merit Curriculum (MMC) and the Personal Curriculum option.

The Detroit Renaissance District (DRD) office continues to strengthen its relationship with the Detroit Public Schools’ (DPS) Transition Program for students with disabilities. Through an increased Interagency Cash Transfer Agreement for Fiscal Year 2012, MRS has made staff and services available throughout DPS. However, as the Transition Program continues to improve, continued challenges are faced in obtaining required documentation from DPS to maintain specialized services. Because DPS has had significant and unique financial concerns, MRS has offered assistance to expedite the Interagency Cash Transfer documentation process.

The Michigan Transition for the 21st Century Project (MT-21) and the Guideposts for Success continue to be promoted by both the state unit and educational entities as a research-based-practice model for providing a breadth of transition services. MRS, in partnership with the Bureau of Services for Blind Persons (BSBP), is implementing MT-21 which will identify, document and disseminate promising and effective transition practices throughout Michigan. The primary emphasis will be to build a systemic, working base of knowledge and promising practices that will then be utilized in the rehabilitation process to promote increased employment outcomes. Since project inception, an MRS implementation team has met regularly to provide input and direction to the MT-21 project coordinator and its program evaluation partner, Michigan State University Project Excellence. MRS has implemented new definitions for Transition Youth and Young Adult customers as a result of extensive data analysis and other findings carried out during the project’s initial discovery phase. Planning is currently under way for the project’s next phase targeted to begin summer, 2012 and continue throughout FY 2013. This phase entails collecting qualitative input from MRS staff, partners and stakeholders, including customers, about transition practices currently in place around the state.

B) Transition planning by personnel of the designated state agency and educational agency that facilitates the development and completion of their individualized education programs.

Transition coordinators work closely with MRS counselors and other education personnel to ensure the completion of Individualized Education Programs (IEPs). Transition planning is occurring between the educational entity and the state unit that enhances the development of IEPs. MRS staff does not complete the IEP; the IEP Team, which includes the educational entity staff, completes the IEP. Partnership agreements currently in place encourage the participation of MRS staff in the IEP process; school staff is required to invite rehabilitation counselors to participate in IEP meetings if they anticipate that MRS is likely to pay for or provide vocational rehabilitation services for a student to obtain or maintain employment. Schools are required to obtain parental consent or consent from the student if they are 18 or older and their own guardian (as applicable), to allow an agency representative to attend the student’s IEP team meeting. Interagency referrals and parental involvement with the IEP team is occurring as a result of IDEA 2004 legislation.

The state unit collects data and maintains a directory of MRS counselors specializing in transition caseloads, including staff who maintain partial transition caseloads. Linkages between district offices and local schools are formal, as evidenced through written partnership agreements, and informal, as evidenced by significant communication and collaboration in the absence of a written partnership agreement.

C) Roles and responsibilities, including financial responsibilities, of each agency, including provisions for determining state lead agencies and qualified personnel responsible for transition services.

Training and technical assistance regarding the role, function and requirements of the vocational rehabilitation program in coordinating transition services with schools is an ongoing process.

MRS’ MOU with the Department of Education reflects the following roles and responsibilities:

Roles and Responsibilities

Participants shall convene annually to assess, review, address and facilitate progress and resolution of concerns relating to the terms of the Interagency Agreement.

The MDE/OSE and MRS shall assign staff to be responsible for implementing the Interagency Agreement. This includes the establishment of structures and mechanisms for communication, coordination and collaboration between statewide, regional, and local participating agencies.

Participating agencies will advocate for the rights and interests of students with disabilities in all education, human service, and workforce reform initiatives implemented at the state level. This includes access into Career and Vocational Technical Education programs and Michigan Works! and outreach to any underserved populations.

Participants to this Agreement shall support systems for collection and use of meaningful data that include demographics, service delivery patterns, and outcomes resulting from the provision of services and support.

MRS and MDE/OSE maintain, strengthen and improve transition partnerships by joint participation in the following:

• Special Education Advisory Council (SEAC)

• Michigan Transition Outcomes Project (MI-TOP)

• Michigan Transition Services Association Executive Board (MTSA)

Coordination of Resources

Meeting the individual needs of youth dually eligible for special education services and MRS services requires resource sharing and coordination. This will drive alignment of local policies, programs, and practices which support a seamless transition system. MRS and MDE/OSE agree that quality student-centered planning requires shared responsibility and coordination of resources. When MRS resource sharing options are utilized, they are not to be used to replace services that are the responsibility of MDE/OSE as directed by the IDEA. Personnel and financial resources may be shared among MRS and Local Educational Agencies (LEAs) to address the transition employment needs of youth with disabilities under three defined options:

• Transfer of Funds (Cash Match) Agreements may be established that use non-federal local dollars as contribution for the purpose of capturing additional federal vocational rehabilitation funds to expand and enhance vocational rehabilitation services to students with disabilities. These agreements must include assurances required by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services and the Rehabilitation Services Administration.

• Third Party Cooperative Staffing Arrangements (Certified Expenditures) are agreements with partners which entail the use of loaned staff provided by the partner as a contribution to MRS. The partner documents that specific expenditures have been incurred, such as wages for loaned staff or supplies, and MRS uses that value for match. The vocational rehabilitation services provided by this arrangement must not be the statutory obligation of the partner.

• Donations and Gifts are contributions received by MRS from private individuals or organizations. These funds are used by MRS for cost sharing or matching. Donations and gifts cannot use in-kind contributions as an allowable source of matching funds and carry certain stipulations regarding conditions for use.

MRS and the educational agency will continue to provide statewide training to promote the legal mandates for transition services. This training will include key stakeholders both as trainers and as learners. Such training will also be conducted at independent statewide conferences and at bureau sponsored workshops designed to meet the training needs of rehabilitation counselors.

The MDE/OSE provides grant funding to Intermediate School Districts (ISDs) to support transition activities, and it is anticipated that this funding will continue. The Michigan Transition Outcomes Project (MI-TOP) funded through the MDE/OSE works with community partners, including MRS, to build capacity at the community level. Data is collected as required by the U.S. Department of Education - Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) and is part of the State Performance Plan (SPP) and the Annual Performance Report (APR) that is reported back to OSEP. Results are compiled and used to improve transition provisions in Michigan. MRS and MT-21 staff are part of a Transition Core Planning Team that addresses the coordination of transition services in Michigan.

Partnerships at the state level between the Michigan Department of Education/Office of Special Education and MRS are critical. These partnerships set the stage for strategies at the local level that result in the sharing of transition related costs. Agreements between entities at the local level address the use of financial resources and specify data sharing activities. Efforts are being made by MRS to improve the quality, consistency and clarity of these agreements and to better articulate the return on investment to educational partners. The ISD/LEA provides services as required in the IEP, such as community-based instruction, work-based learning, leisure skills training, adult living skills training, social skills training, and self-determination skills training. MRS typically provides services required for the eligible student’s Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE), such as job seeking skills, job training, job placement and job coaching.

Both local school districts and MRS have established strong relationships with employers to support the employment of individuals with disabilities. The Career Preparation system links not only schools, MRS and workforce investment agencies, but also routinely includes employers in the planning and implementation of the Career Preparation system.

The state unit continues to create resources and capacity to support the identification of post-secondary training when appropriate in support of the Governor’s emphasis on increasing and keeping college graduates in Michigan. The “Transition Guide to College”, has been revised and renamed, “Michigan Rehabilitation Services Customer Guide to Continuing Education and Training after High School.” This guide is designed specifically for MRS customers to better plan for and navigate the postsecondary education setting.

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

School transition coordinators work cooperatively with designated MRS staff to identify students who may qualify for and benefit from services. Identification of and outreach to students includes a description of the vocational rehabilitation program, application procedures, eligibility requirements, and the scope of services available to eligible students. Identification and outreach activities also address services to students eligible under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and eligible incarcerated youth with disabilities.

All MRS district business plans include a description of identification and outreach strategies, community development plans, and capacity building. MRS monitors and assures that district office plans address outreach to youth and students with disabilities from underserved populations such as minorities and at risk populations. Data and management reports are provided to support the development of business plans that result in improved outcomes for all youth, with emphasis on improved outcomes for minority and at risk youth.

State unit staff routinely participates in outreach activities through the creation and dissemination of marketing brochures and booklets as well as regular informational presentations, exhibits, poster sessions and presence at education and other related conferences. MRS has developed a quarterly newsletter entitled, The Transition Bulletin, which has a distribution list of over 1,500 readers, including MRS and community stakeholders. The Transition Bulletin provides a wide array of information on transition-related trends, practices, and resources.

MRS also entered into an informal agreement with the Office of Adult Education in the Career Education Department of the Workforce Development Agency to provide guidance and technical assistance to adult educators working with adults with disabilities who are in the adult education system on how they can access vocational rehabilitation services.

This screen was last updated on Aug 1 2012 1:26PM by Geraldine Moore

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

In establishing cooperative agreements with private non-profit vocational services providers, the State Unit, consistent with 34 CFR 361.31, 361.32 and 361.51 requires accessibility of facilities, personnel standards, and the prevention of fraud, waste and abuse.

Michigan Rehabilitation Services (MRS) continues to establish relationships with private non-profit and for profit organizations that are community rehabilitation providers, medical service providers, and providers of other services and supports that are required by customers to achieve the goals in their Individualized Plans for Employment. These services include medical and psychological assessments and services, job development and employer services, job coaching and facilitation, accommodations and ergonomics, independent living services to support employment goals, follow up services, and other services especially for individuals with significant disabilities. The agreements vary from information and referral relationships to fee for service relationships to funding relationships. Quality, cost, effectiveness, and customer satisfaction with services are reviewed periodically. Vendors and community partners are informed of MRS strategic goals and are involved in, or provide input into, district work plans and community resource development. District staff develops relationships in the community to meet the needs of their customers and to provide choice of providers to their customers. Activities include collaboration and service enhancement. Additionally, MRS has recently hired a rehabilitation consultant with responsibilities to develop and foster improved collaboration and service provision.

Any cooperative agreements MRS establishes with private nonprofit vocational rehabilitation service providers will be based on priorities from the Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment (CSNA). However, MRS plans on meeting the needs and priorities from the CSNA without these types of agreements for FY 2013. If it is determined necessary to enter into agreements, the focus will be on services for customers with mental illness; those of Arab or Arab American ethnicity or Hispanic or Latino ethnicity; customers with autism spectrum disorders; or of other categories clearly referenced in the Needs Assessment document. Service needs of customers from the needs assessment include: transportation, access to mental health, supported employment and transition.

This screen was last updated on Jul 30 2012 3:25PM by Geraldine Moore

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.

Michigan Rehabilitation Services (MRS) has maintained a long-standing relationship with the Department of Community Health (DCH) for the provision of extended follow-along services for individuals with the most significant disabilities. The relationship includes persons with developmental disabilities and mental illness and is operationalized at local levels through the creation of specific partnership agreements between community mental health service providers, Michigan Rehabilitation Services (MRS), community rehabilitation organizations and local school districts.

In 1998, the DCH and MRS jointly issued a set of guidelines for the provision of supported employment services. In brief, the agreement stipulates that MRS is responsible for time limited supported employment services, and community mental health providers are responsible for extended supported employment services. The policies and collaboration were reconfirmed in FY 2000 to staff and providers. Guidelines were jointly developed and distributed to assist communities in the development and expansion of supported employment services. An updated agreement between the Department of Community Health, Michigan Rehabilitation Services and the Bureau of Services for Blind Persons (BSBP) (formerly Michigan Commission for the Blind) has been in place since 2009. The intent of the agreement is to identify effective practices and improve outcomes for mutual customers.

With the move by the DCH to managed care contracts with local community mental health boards, there has been substantial change in the funding structure and eligibility criteria for mental health consumers. Agreements between local Community Mental Health and MRS field offices have had to adapt to these changing circumstances, which have had the effect of shifting some of the costs for supported employment from local mental health entities to MRS. MRS continues to address these shifts by engaging local mental health entities in dialogue, in order to stop a decline in supported employment extended support services for customers with most significant disabilities.

MRS continues to implement strategies related to a formalized Interagency Agreement with the DCH for the specific provision of improving collaboration, services and outcomes for mutual customers. The associated joint operations team continues to meet monthly. MRS is in the process of presenting recommendations for updating the interagency agreement to more accurately reflect accomplishments as well as new directions. In addition, in FY 2012, a draft supported employment Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) was submitted to the DCH/MRS/BSBP operations team for review and approval for distribution to field staff from each entity.

Obtaining current and accurate data related to joint DCH/MRS customers has been a challenge. MRS has been able to readily provide the data. DCH has encountered difficulty with their Community Health Accounting Medicaid Processing System (CHAMPS) and currently is providing data in 90 days. It is expected that the lag time will be cut to 60 days by FY 2013 so that data pulls will occur more often and in a timely manner.

MRS continues to be a “signatory” on the Michigan Department of Community Health Medicaid Infrastructure Grant with the expressed goals of: increasing the number of people with disabilities who are working in Michigan, improving competitive employment for persons with disabilities, and addressing systemic barriers to employment for persons with disabilities.

This screen was last updated on Jul 30 2012 3:26PM by Geraldine Moore

Data System on Personnel and Personnel Development

Replacement of vacancies have been prioritized through the use of a resource allocation model, which calculates the number of work aged individuals with disabilities estimated to be in a given area and assigns staff accordingly. Consideration is then given to Bureau need. The Michigan Rehabilitation Services (MRS) Executive Team regularly reviews caseload size and other triggers for determination of where to target filling open counselor positions. MRS prioritizes filling counseling positions over other vacancies, whenever possible. Recently, MRS reduced its staff FTE count by 20 positions due to budget constraints.

The following table illustrates the number of anticipated vacancies for the period of FY 2012 through 2017. The annual turnover rate of counselors remains constant at 10 percent and those positions continue to be filled within three to six months of a counselor’s departure. The ratio of counselors to customers is 1:100 (this number was achieved by dividing the number of open cases [26,840] in 2011 by the total number of counselors [269]). The staff ratio of 1 counselor to 100 customers is anticipated in FY 2013, if a) there is no State government reduction-in-force initiative, b) the trend of 1 percent growth in customers continues and, c) MRS is able to hire the expected number of new counselors in FY 2012.

*Rehabilitation Coordinators are bachelor-level counselors who are targeted in the Comprehensive System of Personnel Development (CSPD) plan to attain their master’s degrees. If MRS combines the counselors, coordinators and site managers, then MRS has 294 potential case carrying staff.

Current/Projected Vacancies FY 2012-13 Table

 

Row Job Title Total positions Current vacancies Projected vacancies over the next 5 years
1 Rehabilitation Coordinators* 1 0 0
2 Rehabilitation Counselors (masters degree) 264 10 100
3 Rehab Educators (voc. tech center teachers) 30 1 10
4 Site mgrs—may carry a caseload (masters deg.) 29 8 15
5 0 0 0
6 0 0 0
7 0 0 0
8 0 0 0
9 0 0 0
10 0 0 0

 

MRS is committed to employing staff with CSPD qualifications. When MRS recognized that the current pool of candidates from Council on Rehabilitation Education (CORE) rehabilitation counseling programs was insufficient to meet the need for new counselors, the following were established:

• A grant with the CORE rehabilitation programs to recruit students in Rehabilitation Counseling programs for a paid internship in MRS offices.

• A statewide recruitment program for outreach to students in both general counseling and rehabilitation counseling programs. Recruitment materials include a DVD, information packet and talking points for presenters.

• A process to hire candidates with alternative human services degrees (such as Social Work or Special Education) who are lacking one or two classes needed for the rehabilitation counselor designation and to assist in payment for classes to fulfill these qualifications.

• An extensive training program for new counselors to develop and maintain the highest standards. Topics include: MRS policy, casework practices, specific disabilities, job development and motivational interviewing.

Despite MRS’ considerable effort to recruit, employ, and retain qualified rehabilitation counselors, the current pay and benefits for staff has fallen behind that of community colleges, Veterans Administration and other state VR programs, and some positions in public school systems. Partially due to our extensive training of staff, MRS counselors are prime candidates for openings in other organizations. This has resulted in the steady attrition of counseling staff.

The following table documents the current enrollment at the three CORE accredited rehabilitation counseling programs in Michigan in FY 2011-2012, the most current information available.

Table Two: Enrollment from CORE Accredited Rehabilitation Counseling Programs

 

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 34 0 7 13
3 Wayne State University 85 0 21 10
4 0 0 0 0
5 0 0 0 0

 

MRS receives federal long-term training grant funds which are supplemented with the Title I budget. MRS is currently receiving a Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) Quality Award and receives additional assistance from Technical Assistance and Continuing Education (TACE) Region 5. As part of an overall effort to respond to a budget shortfall, Title I funds dedicated to training will be reduced by more than $100,000 in FY 2013. With current budget constraints, it will be difficult to maintain the level of training MRS currently offers in order to achieve established goals and priorities.

In preparation for Order of Selection for Services (OSS), MRS will be conducting training so that counseling staff can accurately apply recently revised policies including eligibility, disability priority categories and functional limitations. This training will begin in FY 2012 and will continue through FY 2013.

MRS, in collaboration with Michigan Council for Rehabilitation Services (MCRS), values, embraces and cultivates a culture of diversity and inclusion, including personnel from minority background and persons who are individuals with disabilities. MRS recruitment and marketing materials honor these values. While the state of Michigan does not collect disability data on individuals in our employ, an informal survey of MRS employees from April 2011, from which more than half of the staff responded, reflects that 36.4% of civil servants considered themselves to be persons with a disability.

The following recruitment and retention activities are ongoing:

RECRUITMENT AND PREPARATION PLAN

Assess and monitor the enrollment at the higher education institutions within the State with an emphasis on the RSA funded master’s programs.

Facilitate the visibility of the State Unit at the institutions of higher education by:

• Convening regular meetings with the CORE universities’ faculty members for joint planning and recruitment.

• Allowing MRS personnel to serve on university curriculum committees and as adjunct faculty and guest lecturers.

• Continuing to be the most utilized placement and intern sites by the institutions of higher education; all employment opportunities with MRS are posted on the Internet.

• Maintaining paid internship opportunities for students participating in master’s level graduate programs in rehabilitation counseling, particularly students with disabilities and of minority backgrounds. In FY 2010, MRS awarded a 3-year contract to Western Michigan University to continue this program, which would include surveying and conducting focus groups of MRS staff to understand MRS internal needs.

The recruitment team will maintain consistent and statewide recruitment activities by:

• Collaborating with the MRS marketing team in the revising of the MRS recruitment brochure, “Join Our Team,” which accurately reflects the diversity of our staff and recruitment efforts.

• Continuing to use an integrated recruitment packet including PowerPoint presentation and a facilitator’s guide. Specially trained field office personnel present these materials to potential candidates in a variety of educational programs and partner organizations.

• The recruitment packet describes employment opportunities and benefits of working for MRS and of residing in Michigan.

• Conducting periodic webinars for all current MRS counselor interns, in conjunction with Western Michigan University, on employment to discuss opportunities within MRS.

• Continuing to encourage staff to explore employment in rehabilitation counseling with customers.

• Offering tuition reimbursement for staff to complete rehabilitation counseling master’s degree programs.

• Collaborating with the MCRS to facilitate and provide financial support for customers to attend the Michigan Rehabilitation Conference. The conference is attended by rehabilitation professionals. MRS customers are exposed to the rehabilitation field and professions through networking with other professionals, students and employers across the state. In previous years, many have expressed an interest in furthering their education to become a Rehabilitation Counselor based on their experience at the conference.

• Distributing recruitment brochures to attendees, including students at the National Conference of Rehabilitation Educators, Michigan Rehabilitation Conference, the Multicultural Rehabilitation Concerns Division of the National Rehabilitation Association, and other appropriate events.

RETENTION ACTIVITIES

Focus will continue on retention and engagement of qualified staff through various activities including:

• Encourage staff involvement in professional and disability advocacy associations and their respective conferences to foster networking, professionalism, and leadership development.

• Conduct an audit to assess the overall culture of MRS and plan activities to enhance the work environment. Continue a program to enhance the MRS district office culture and improve customer service. At this time, 40 percent of our district offices have engaged in this process. As a result, employees are reporting improved teamwork, better inter-office relationships, and more positive customer feedback. This project has several phases and will be offered statewide.

• Invest in staff growth and development by providing training opportunities through various teaching modalities.

• Engage all counseling staff and managers in extensive Motivational Interviewing training, which has been shown to improve staff satisfaction as well as customer outcomes in other state VR programs.

• Offer structured management and leadership development activities to all staff as part of succession planning.

LEADERSHIP AND CAPACITY BUILDING

MRS continues leadership and capacity building through the following major endeavors:

• The annual School for Leadership engages 35 diverse MRS staff members from all levels of the organization, in a broad range of leadership development activities over a 12 month period. Alumni activities continue to build leadership skills and support MRS projects.

• A series of training programs are offered for newly promoted managers.

• Monthly activities for consultants develop consultation and leadership skills.

• All managers are encouraged to participate in leadership training offered by MRS and Civil Service, using resources from Region V TACE whenever possible.

• MRS staff are offered major educational opportunities, including statewide conferences related to the rehabilitation profession. Conferences offered include the Michigan Rehabilitation Conference, MARO Employment and Training, Michigan Transition Conference, National Conference of Rehabilitation Educators, the Multicultural Rehabilitation Concerns Division of the National Rehabilitation Association, and other appropriate events. Attending sessions presented by experts in the rehabilitation field develops staff skills. The opportunity to help design and/or present sessions offers leadership and capacity building as well.

SUCCESSION PLANNING (Strategic Workforce Development)

The purpose of succession planning efforts by MRS is to preserve the integrity and sustain the viability of public vocational rehabilitation, which results in quality customer services and outcomes. Succession planning is integrated into all staff development, CSPD and retention strategies. MRS is:

• Expanding current succession planning strategies and building a comprehensive approach that ranges from onboarding new staff to executive coaching. Onboarding is defined as a process of getting new employees oriented, integrated and delivering results as efficiently, effectively and energetically as possible. It goes beyond the typical employee orientation and involves helping new hires become fully acclimated to an organization’s values, mission and culture.

• Minimizing program disruptions due to staff departures and reassignments through cross training.

• Continuing fair and equitable practices in selection.

• Promoting diversity in staff, ideas and approaches.

• Encouraging personal responsibility of all staff to access and participate in developmental opportunities.

• Collecting and analyzing data regarding potential retirements, key positions and skills.

• Developing training (department, bureau, Civil Service, etc.) to address the specific succession planning needs identified.

• Using cross-functional bureau teamwork experiences and training.

• Properly employing back-ups when managers are away from the office.

• Increase participants in statewide work groups. Rotate as often as possible.

• Committing to provide individualized coaching and job shadowing to staff interested in preparing for future promotional opportunities.

 

Civil Service, through MRS, has established the following standards for a qualified rehabilitation counselor or vocational technical teacher:

• A qualified rehabilitation counselor is defined as a counselor with a minimum of a master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling, counseling, or a counseling related field such as psychology, social work, or special education. Newly employed counselors with a master’s degree in counseling or a counseling related field who do not have documented graduate level coursework with a primary focus in theories and techniques of counseling must complete such coursework/training during their 12 month probationary period. The above courses must be provided by an accredited University (through on-line or classroom training). The cost is covered by MRS.

Changes in the Certified Rehabilitation Counseling (CRC) standards have resulted in fewer qualified applicants. To ensure a sufficient number of qualified counselor applicants, Michigan Rehabilitation Services has broadened its personnel standards by adding to its list of qualified applicants related degrees such as psychology, social work and special education, in addition to rehabilitation counseling and counseling. The new standards remain consistent with national standards for rehabilitation counselors and have been approved by RSA and Michigan Civil Service.

To assure that qualified staff are hired or current staff attain required qualifications, MRS has taken the following steps for staff who need additional coursework:

1) Implemented a comprehensive system for tracking and funding the required course, Theories and Techniques of Counseling.

2) Provided funding for existing staff seeking to take needed coursework to attain the level of qualified counselor. Although the RSA long-term training grant is no longer available, in-service training dollars continue to support staff to meet CSPD standards.

3) Provided paid internships for students from the CORE accredited graduate programs via grant to Western Michigan University for all accredited programs.

4) Provided ongoing training to all district managers and site managers on appropriate hiring procedures.

MRS counselors currently meet all CSPD standards.

The CSPD project begun in 1999 has ended, and staff have either gotten degrees, retired, or have decided to remain at a coordinator level, with manager completing all core activities.

Newly employed counselors with a master’s degree in counseling or a counseling related field who do not have documented graduate-level coursework with a primary focus in theories and techniques of counseling must complete such coursework/training during their 12-month probationary period through an accredited University (on-line or classroom training) to remain employed.

• A vocational technical teacher or instructor employed by MRS must demonstrate they are qualified in their respective field by having the appropriate educational degree or work experience, teaching methodology course work or seminar as required by Civil Service and the state technical school’s accrediting agencies. Also, such teacher must attend, at least every five years, an in-service training program on disability sensitivity, informed choice and acquisition of needed reasonable accommodations or modifications.

 

According to the state of Michigan’s Civil Service Strategic Plan, the state of Michigan has continued its commitment to having a well-trained and effective workforce in state government.

A systemic approach to staff development has been established by MRS to:

• Analyze needs of professional and paraprofessional staff, particularly with respect to core competencies through a comprehensive training needs assessment

• Develop materials that appeal to a variety of learning styles and accommodation needs.

• Implement training.

• Evaluate the impact of training on the knowledge, skills and performance gaps using Kirkpatrick’s four levels of evaluation (these levels are: reaction, learning, behavior and results).

MRS provides integrated learning systems to disseminate significant knowledge from research and other sources. This is accomplished through classroom learning, distance education, teleconferencing, printed materials and video conferencing. MRS may experiment with other modalities, such as offering just-in-time training. Learning resources include the Institute on Rehabilitation Issues, information from the National Clearing House and TACE.

Major activities include the development of performance standards in response to Long-term Plan Goal 5, which relates to the delivery of quality professional vocational rehabilitation services.

In response to an internal needs assessment conducted in response to Goal 5, MRS has launched a major initiative to provide training in job development and motivational interviewing for all service delivery staff.

Corresponding to the Corrective Action Plan (CAP) for RSA, MRS is developing and conducting extensive training on topics related to the CAP, including residency criteria for establishing a presence in the State, completion of the Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) for transition students prior to graduation, and discontinuing use of a financial needs test for SSI/SSDI recipients.

In the Federal In-Service Grant, ‘Core Functions’ were determined for specific classifications within Michigan Rehabilitation Services. Training topics relate to core functions and reflect MRS’ further commitment to ensure all personnel receive appropriate and adequate training.

Program Enhancement

MRS is engaged in a system change project which is expected to improve rehabilitation outcomes, as well as staff satisfaction and retention. The two-pronged approach focuses on customer motivation and job development. The project is largely funded by an RSA Quality Award and supplemented with Title I and TACE 5 support.

MRS staff and vendors participate in a 3-day job development workshop which is transforming the way MRS approaches job development and services to business customers. Systemic supports include employer tracking in the MRS Accessible Web-based Activity and Reporting Environment (AWARE) electronic case management system, an implementation template and consultant support for managers. Managers are required to report on implementation progress as part of their district operational plans.

Counselors and managers are participating in four days of training in motivational interviewing. This is followed by coding of audio tapes with feedback and skill building classes over a six month period. Research supports this method for integrating motivational interviewing skills into counseling process. With the support of TACE 5, rehabilitation assistants will participate in training on the spirit of Motivational Interviewing to ensure a positive experience for customers from their first contact with MRS.

Additional training activities are funded through the RSA in-service training grant supplemented by Title I dollars. These funds are allocated to the MRS Central Office for statewide initiatives as well as to local offices and divisions so that local training opportunities are easily coordinated. Staff is also encouraged to take advantage of training opportunities offered by their respective professional organizations and with their community partners.

Research findings are integrated into many training activities offered.

MRS is consistently researching the latest updates on disabilities, best practices and treatment options. This research is distributed to staff through internal and external training, webinars, E-Learn and rehabilitation articles and journals. Disability-related training includes general medical aspects and implications concerning functional capacity and/or ergonomics and assistive technology. Examples of training programs that used current research are: Autism/Asperger’s Syndrome, Customized Employment, Epilepsy, Deaf and Hard of Hearing, HIV, Accommodations, Serving the Transition Youth Population, Interpreting Assessment Reports, Vocational Assessment, and evidence based practice in Supported Employment. Training modules placed into MRS E-Learn routinely utilize the findings gained from research and other credible sources.

 

Michigan Rehabilitation Services (MRS) hires qualified counselors who are bi-lingual in American Sign Language, Spanish or Arabic if the local community has a large population of ethnic groups who require them in order to receive services. Each office has also posted MRS information in English, Spanish, or Arabic, clarifying which bilingual counselors and program materials are available in customer’s native language. Materials are available in Braille and other accessible forms, as requested by customer. Qualified sign language interpreters are contracted on an as needed basis.

 

MRS has a long standing partnership with the Michigan public school system including a formalized interagency agreement between the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) Office of Special Education (OSE) and MRS. This interagency agreement was recently revised, updated and signed on March 1, 2011.

MRS has operationalized transition services to youth and has continued to work on improving the quality of those services. To support this, the MRS Consultant assigned to Transition and partners with the Staff Development Unit to develop and deliver training to MRS counselors, in collaboration with MDE/OSE (MI TOP).

The MT-21 project [see Attachment 4.8(b)(2)] will provide MRS staff with additional information about staff development and training needs related to the provision of youth transition services, the Guideposts for Success, and exemplary transition practices. It will also identify opportunities for joint training for MRS staff, Bureau of Services for Blind Persons (BSBP) staff, educators, and other youth services providers.

Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment (CSNA)

The following trainings are being conducted as a result of the CSNA:

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

MRS is providing training to improve employment outcomes and enhance counselor knowledge and skill level relative to this population.

Training options will include StART Training (Statewide Autism Resources and Training Project), Michigan Rehabilitation Association (MRA) Conference and the Michigan Transition Services Association (MTSA) Conference.

StART has offered free training to many MRS staff this year. As a result of the training and collaboration, StART and MRS have established three pilot sites for students with ASD that provide specific employment supports.

In addition, a state level work group has formed that includes representatives from MRS, StART, Michigan Transition Outcome Project (MI TOP) and the Department of Community Health (DCH). The Bureau of Services for Blind Persons (BSBP) has also been invited to participate. The goal for this work group is to improve employment outcomes for students with ASD. The work group’s first step is to cross train all participants regarding the roles and functions of each organization that is represented on the work group.

Underserved Racial and Ethnic Populations

Through our on-line learning system, E-Learn, the SDU offers a wide range of options designed to increase staff’s awareness of cultural differences in an effort to help counselors become more effective in working with individuals from various backgrounds. Topics include “Counseling without Bias,” “Basic Concepts in Multicultural Communication,” “Considering Differences”. Content is relevant to various cultural groups including, African Americans, American Indians, Asians, Hispanic/Latinos and Middle Eastern cultures.

MRS is developing a comprehensive approach to diversity training based on the CSNA. This is consistent with the MRS multicultural values. The purpose of this training is to enhance counselors’ skills and knowledge to work effectively and ethically with diverse populations. Strategies will include development of an internal design team, collaboration with the MCRS and possibly hiring an external consultant.

Older Workers

The following training programs are available to all MRS staff: “How to Work Effectively with Older Workers,” “Aging with Disability,” “Accommodations for An Aging Workforce,” “The New Definition of ‘Older’ Worker” and the “New Dilemmas in the Workplace for the Older Worker.” Staff worked jointly with Michigan Civil Service to host trainings to increase awareness of the dynamics of multi-generational work environments and will continue to make available to staff.

Assistive Technology

The bureau’s Assistive Technology (AT) Consultant is developing training and projects to inform counselors about technology to meet the needs of the individuals served by MRS. The assistive technology goals for fiscal year 2013 include the following:

• Tech Points Training: On-line training modules based on the Tech Points concept and designed specifically to the VR process.

• Assistive Technology Consideration Framework: As part of the vocational needs assessment, adopt and use a valid model for AT consideration.

• Regional Trainings: Deliver regional training to promote and teach the AT Consideration Framework to MRS staff.

Assessment and Training Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities

MRS will work with the Business Network Unit and the Innovation Unit, units within the Bureau of MRS, to increase counselor understanding of non-traditional means to acquire job-related skills in addition to college training. Counselors will understand the role of apprenticeships, on-the-job evaluations and on-the-job training opportunities to assist customers in achieving competitive employment.

This screen was last updated on Sep 21 2012 1:06PM by Geraldine Moore

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.

Michigan Rehabilitation Services (MRS), in collaboration with the Bureau of Services for Blind Persons (BSBP) (formerly Michigan Commission for the Blind) and Michigan Council for Rehabilitation Services (MCRS) (formerly Michigan Rehabilitation Council), contracted with the Michigan State University (MSU) Office of Rehabilitation and Disability Studies, to perform the 2011 Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment, which is performed every 3 years. MRS is addressing the rehabilitation needs of individuals with disabilities, which were identified in the Assessment as follows:

1. Rehabilitation Needs of Individuals with Disabilities Residing Within the State

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

In 2011 91% of MRS customers determined to be eligible for services were consistently those significantly or most significantly disabled; 63% were most significant. The majority of the individuals with most significant disabilities were referred and provided services by Community Mental Health and Community Rehabilitation Organizations (CROs).

B. Individuals with disabilities who are minorities

Hispanic/Latino residents specifically in the mid- and southwestern section of Michigan; Native Americans in the Upper Peninsula and Northern Michigan; and Asian or Pacific Islanders specifically Arab and Arab Americans and Hmong residents in the southeastern part of the state. African American residents apply for MRS services at higher rates than their proportion in the population, but are statistically less likely to be determined eligible for services. White and Asian customers are statistically more likely to close with an employment outcome while Native Americans were least likely to have a successful outcome.

In FY 2011, Michigan served 7,887 minorities who exited the VR program. This represents a service rate of .859 to individuals with disabilities from minority backgrounds as a ratio to the service rate for all individuals with disabilities from non-minority backgrounds, which exceeds the .80 federal requirement. Michigan ranked 37th out of 56 for this indicator.

C. Individuals with disabilities who have been unserved or underserved by the vocational rehabilitation program.

In 2011, the CSNA did not identify any unserved populations. No group, based on disability, was unserved in Michigan. The CSNA did identify numerous underserved populations.

Michigan adult residents with mental illness who need mental health services and supported employment services were the number one population identified as underserved. Although the proportion of Michigan residents with mental illness served by MRS has remained relatively stable over the last three years, the availability of services from CMH has continued to diminish over the state over the last five years. Due to the ongoing reduction in CMH funding, Michigan continues to struggle with a failing economy and high unemployment. CMH does not have the resources necessary to provide mental health services and/or supported employment services to individuals with severe diagnoses unless the person presents as a risk to self or others.

Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) are the primary emerging population reported as either currently or to be an underserved population. Although the number of youth with ASD applying for MRS services has been slowly but steadily increasing, the 2009 IDEA data indicates that the number may drastically increase annually over the course of the next three years as higher numbers of students begin to reach age 14 to 16. Concern was expressed at all levels about the job readiness preparation this group will have as they exit school, the preparedness of the adult vocational rehabilitation agency staff to provide services, and the availability of supported employment services for this population.

Transition Youth with severe disabilities are another potentially (re)emerging underserved population based upon how the newly implemented Michigan Merit Curriculum (MMC) will impact graduation rates, dropout rates, and the employability of students with disabilities.

D. Other components of the workforce investment system:

The extant data (i.e., Workforce Investment Act (WIA) State Annual Report, Wagner-Peyser Act data) indicated that non-vocational rehabilitation WIA related programs (e.g., Michigan Works!) are providing services to a very limited population of people with disabilities in Michigan. This finding may indicate that people with disabilities are not disclosing their disability status to Michigan Works! when they are applying for services and/or that Michigan Works! is underserving Michigan residents with disabilities.

The needs assessment analyzed outcomes for Adults, Dislocated Workers, and Youth with disabilities that exited WIA in Program Year (PY) 2007 to 2009. During PY 2009, 148 adults with disabilities of all exiters (184) entered new employment, resulting in an employment rate of 80.4%. Retention and Employment/Credential Rates were consistent with the Entered Employment Rate. The 2009 rate of earnings change in six months was $9,026 (=$1,200,515/$133). A comparison of the 2009 WIA outcome rates by special population groups shows the outcome rates of individuals with disabilities and public assistance recipients were generally low.

As part of the One-Stop services delivery system, Wagner-Peyser employment services focuses on providing a variety of employment-related labor exchange services including job search assistance, job referral, and placement assistance for job seekers, re-employment services to unemployment insurance claimants, and recruitment services to employers with job openings.

During PY 2009, 24,196 (3.2% of a total 766,846 job seekers) individuals with disabilities received employment services with funding under the Wagner-Peyser Act.

This screen was last updated on Jul 30 2012 3:32PM by Geraldine Moore

1) Michigan estimates that 32,670* individuals will be eligible for services in FY 2013. However, it is possible that Michigan will not be able to serve all eligible individuals. If Order of Selection is implemented as outlined in Section 4.11(c)(3), Michigan estimates serving 30,797 eligible individuals.

*MRS calculated three-year averages from fiscal years 2009, 2010, and 2011 based on Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) 113 data for customers with existing plans and new plans in each fiscal year. MRS divided the number of customers in service/plan status into the actual expenditures (includes American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA)) for each fiscal year to determine an average annual case cost for that year. Pre-ARRA, MRS was able to serve all eligible customers with a $45 million case service budget. MRS divided $45 million by the average case cost for each year to determine how many customers would have been served without the ARRA funds. MRS averaged these numbers to estimate 32,670 eligible customers. That is also the method MRS used to arrive at the number expected to be served with a reduced budget of $42.5 million.

2) The estimated number of eligible individuals who will receive services in FY 2013 under Part B of Title I is 30,435 and Part B of Title VI is 362.

3) The estimated cost in FY 2013 to serve all eligible individuals is $45,000,000. MRS expects to have available $42,500,000 to serve approximately 30,797 eligible customers.

See Attachment 4.11(c)(3) for more details regarding Order of Selection.

Definitions for Table below:

Order of Selection for Services (OSS)

Most Significantly Disabled (MSD)

Significantly Disabled (SD)

Not Significantly Disabled (NSD)

Category Title I or Title VI Estimated Funds Estimated Number to be Served Average Cost of Services
OSS Category 1 - Title I – (MSD) Title I $27,550,000 19,964 $1,379
OSS Category 1 - Title VI – (MSD) Title VI $500,000 362 $1,381
OSS Category 2 - Title I – (SD) Title I $12,750,000 9239 $1,380
OSS Category 3 Title I -- (NSD) Title I $1,700,000 1232 $1,379
Totals   $42,500,000 30,797 $1,380

This screen was last updated on Sep 21 2012 1:18PM by Geraldine Moore

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.

In 2008, Michigan Rehabilitation Services (MRS), in collaboration with Michigan Council for Rehabilitation Services (MCRS) (formerly Michigan Rehabilitation Council) developed a five-year strategic plan based on a multitude of data, including the Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment (CSNA), customer satisfaction feedback, assorted state audits, environmental scanning with partners and advocacy groups, program evaluation studies, and other state and federal research. FY 2013 is the final year of plan implementation with the expectation of most goals and priorities being achieved.

Current MRS Strategic Plan Goals and Priorities

GOAL 1 -- EMPLOYMENT-FOCUSED OUTCOMES

Ensure that people with disabilities served by Michigan Rehabilitation Services will compete successfully for jobs in the 21st Century, exercising informed choice consistent with their individual abilities, capabilities, interests, and rehabilitation needs.

Objective 1: Realign MRS policies, procedures, practices, services, and internal and external expectations to ensure primary focus on actions that achieve employment outcomes for people with disabilities.

Objective 2: Ensure customers have essential accommodations, soft and technology skills, and assistive technology to be competitive.

Objective 3: Provide state-of-the-art information and linkage to current and emerging job opportunities, consistent with customer goals.

Measures:

- Meet or exceed federal performance standards and national employment outcome averages. (Compare to FY 2009 baseline.)

- Increase employment outcomes in high demand occupations compared to FY 2009 baseline.

- Increase IPE correlation to employment outcomes compared to FY 2009 baseline.

- All policy and procedures reviewed, revised, approved and distributed consistent with employment focus.

- Obtain baseline data on customer satisfaction with quality of jobs, and use of Labor Market Information (LMI) for informed choice.

GOAL 2 -- CUSTOMER EMPOWERMENT AND SELF ADVOCACY

Empower customers to access complete, accurate information needed to make informed choices and self-assuredly seek employment and employment-related services.

Objective 1: Create a virtual orientation in a variety of formats for applicants to improve access to information about vocational rehabilitation services.

Objective 2: Provide tools and resources for customers to obtain current information on labor market trends through Internet access and a variety of other means.

Objective 3: Collaborate with CILs to ensure individuals have a comprehensive knowledge of available resources in support of employment outcomes.

Objective 4: Promote customer self-advocacy through increased collaboration with CILs.

Measures:

- Increase in number of computer resource stations in districts.

- Increase in number of CIL partners participating in customer orientations.

- Plan developed to collaborate with CILs to promote customer self-advocacy.

GOAL 3 -- BUSINESS/COMMUNITY COLLABORATION

Collaborate and partner with targeted employers, agencies and organizations to maximize quality employment and independence for persons with disabilities.

Objective 1: Prioritize partnerships by reviewing and evaluating current relationships to find ways of improving return on investment, consistent with bureau mission, vision, and values.

Objective 2: Develop new strategic partnerships with targeted employers, emphasizing innovative ways to increase employment opportunities for people with disabilities and addressing disability management needs of employers.

Objective 3: Collaborate with community agencies and organizations to identify, create, and use innovative approaches to access community supports and services needed by customers for quality employment and independence.

Objective 4: Focus collaboration to improve services and outcomes for target populations.

Measures:

- Increased employment outcomes for persons with disabilities achieved through all strategic partnerships.

- Increased strategic partnerships with employers and number of jobs obtained through those partnerships.

- Increased level of community supports and services received by customers to enhance quality employment and independent living.

- Increased employer satisfaction with employees placed through MRS.

GOAL 4 -- VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION/INDEPENDENT LIVING RELATIONSHIPS

Promote quality employment outcomes and independence for persons with disabilities by building stronger relationships with independent living communities.

Objective 1: Convene and sustain joint planning activities with independent living communities at local, regional, and state levels.

Objective 2: Engage in shared community education and advocacy that improves access to resources, services, and employment outcomes.

Objective 3: Collaborate with independent living communities to promote better understanding and use of community supports and services by customers, employers, and partners.

Measures:

- Increase number of community supports received by customers.

- Plan for “wrap around”/holistic approach to employment is developed by MRS with Independent Living (IL) and MCRS partners and implemented.

GOAL 5 -- QUALITY PROFESSIONAL VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION SERVICES

Improve delivery of professional vocational rehabilitation services to achieve quality employment outcomes and customer satisfaction.

Objective 1: Set clear expectations for counselors to demonstrate the “core conditions of counseling” when serving customers.

Objective 2: Develop counselor skills in vocational rehabilitation assessments and the use of labor market information in developing Individualized Plans for Employment (IPEs), inclusive of local employer contacts and community partner involvement.

Objective 3: Improve comprehensive “vocational rehabilitation counseling”, and career-planning, inclusive of informed customer choice delivered by qualified rehabilitation personnel.

Objective 4: Ensure that counselors develop and demonstrate a level of “competency in job placement and retention services” that is required to appropriately address the needs of individual customers throughout the comprehensive vocational rehabilitation process.

Objective 5: Better utilize existing information within Accessible Web-based Activity and Reporting Environment (AWARE) to improve caseload management, and achieve MRS accountability standards.

Measures:

- Increased customer satisfaction with services, the service delivery process, timeliness, and employment outcomes.

- Evidence of enhanced customer participation in the vocational rehabilitation process.

- Improved rehabilitation rates.

- Increased demonstration of counselor competency in job placement and retention services.

PRIORITIES

In addition to these strategic plan activities, MRS will focus on the following additional priorities necessitated by emerging circumstances:

Priority 1: Continue to actively seek resources to capture full federal award, including: (1) educate and inform the Designated State Agency (DSA) and the Michigan legislature (2) efforts to increase match and private contributions consistent with Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) criteria and guidance.

Measure: Increase in resources necessary to reduce unmatched federal dollars.

Priority 2: Effectively manage resources to prevent OSS implementation; implement Order of Selection for Services (OSS) if required based on Federal criteria and approval.

Measure: Cost reduction strategies are approved and implemented. OSS is implemented timely and orderly with supporting rationale and infrastructure (as required).

Priority 3: Effectively manage and coordinate various audit/review Corrective Action Plans (CAP) including the CAP for the RSA Section 107 performance review findings and state Office of the Auditor General (OAG) audits.

Measure: Approved corrective actions are completed consistent with established timelines and evaluation measures.

Priority 4: Manage bureau transition to new DSA in an effective and efficient manner.

Measure: Minimal disruption to customer service, compliance with relevant state and federal requirements, and minimal impact on staff morale and productivity.

Priority 5: Develop and implement enhanced Quality Assurance System to align and improve Bureau performance management to include an accountability process that improves bureau compliance with federal and state law, regulations and policy and promotes quality services and outcomes.

Measure: Develop and implement process to improve vendor selection, performance and evaluation and to decrease fraud. Case review system and staff coaching reduces casework non compliance.

Priority 6: Promote and maintain a culture of innovation that stimulates continuous program improvements.

Measure: At least 2 major projects/pilot tests launched with evaluation design and related resources.

MRS resources and processes will align with these priorities.

This screen was last updated on Jul 30 2012 3:38PM by Geraldine Moore

  • Identify the order to be followed in selecting eligible individuals to be provided vocational rehabilitation services.
  • Identify the justification for the order.
  • Identify the service and outcome goals.
  • Identify the time within which these goals may be achieved for individuals in each priority category within the order.
  • Describe how individuals with the most significant disabilities are selected for services before all other individuals with disabilities.

Justification for order of selection

MRS has experienced several factors which will impact its ability to serve all eligible individuals during fiscal year 2013.

• Beginning in FY 2012, legislative action required state departments to contribute an increased percentage of employees’ salaries towards prefunding state retirement costs. This, along with other unexpected cost increases, has reduced the amount of funding available. This is not a one time increase. It is anticipated that these increased costs will continue in the future.

• MRS will have a significant decrease in carry forward funds. In previous fiscal years, there was as much as 15 million dollars in carry forward funds. For fiscal year 2013, MRS hopes to carry forward an estimated 3 million dollars.

• MRS has a significant reliance on local match through Interagency Cash Transfer Agreements, Third Party Cooperative Arrangements and private contributions. There has been a trend toward local partners decreasing their local match in response to their diminishing resources. The decreasing amounts of available local match equates to the inability of MRS to capture its share of the federal award for vocational rehabilitation services. Although partners and advocates have consistently sought additional General Fund/General Purpose (GF/GP) funds, MRS must continue to seek Interagency Cash Transfer Agreements, Third Party Cooperative Arrangements and private contributions, as appropriate, to secure the full federal award.

• Decreased funds available to MRS have resulted in an approximate decrease of about 30 Civil Service positions. This has resulted in fewer staff to serve eligible rehabilitation customers.

It is estimated that MRS will operate with a $42.5 million case service budget for FY 2013. This is approximately $2.5 million less than FY 2012, and will result in MRS not having enough resources to serve all eligible customers in FY 2013. It is estimated that MRS will serve between 1 and 2 thousand fewer customers than those eligible for MRS services. The number could increase if MRS experiences decreases in its local match from its cash transfers, third party arrangements and private contributions and/or significant increase in operational expenses.

 

Description of Priority categories

Individuals are assigned to the highest priority category for which they are eligible at the time eligibility is decided.

The Michigan Rehabilitation Services (MRS) priority categories are as follows:

Category 1 -- Most Significantly Disabled (MSD):

A) Individuals with a severe physical or mental impairment that seriously limits three or more of the seven functional capacities in terms of an employment outcome and

B) Whose vocational rehabilitation can be expected to require three or more vocational rehabilitation services over at least six months.

Category 2 -- Significantly Disabled (SD):

A) Individuals with a severe physical or mental impairment that seriously limits two of the seven functional capacities in terms of an employment outcome and

B) Whose vocational rehabilitation can be expected to require three or more vocational rehabilitation services over at least six months.

An eligible SSDI or SSI recipient is automatically considered to be, at least, an individual with a significant disability. An SSDI or SSI recipient could be considered most significantly disabled, if MRS receives medical documentation that indicates the individual is eligible for Category 1.

Category 3 -- Not Significantly Disabled (NSD):

A) An individual with a physical or mental impairment that seriously limits one of the seven functional capacities in terms of an employment outcome and

B) Whose vocational rehabilitation does not require multiple services over six months.

The codes to be used for priority categories are as follows:

1. Most Significantly Disabled

2. Significantly Disabled

3. Not Significantly Disabled

Written notification will be provided to all individuals who are placed on the waiting list for vocational rehabilitation services. The notification will include information about available resources and services the individual may contact for assistance with locating employment, including information about the nearest Michigan Works! office established per the Workforce Investment Act of 1998.

 

Priority of categories to receive VR services under the order

The Order of Selection was established to ensure that individuals with the most significant disabilities are selected first for the provision of vocational rehabilitation services. Those with significant disabilities are selected second and then those in priority category 3 – not significantly disabled.

The determination to establish and implement the Order of Selection is based on a reduction in projected funding for the fiscal year. The Order of Selection is statewide and does not select one disabling condition over another disabling condition.

The order is not based on age, sex, marital status, religion, race, color, national origin, political affiliation, or the vocational goal of the individual with a disability. Factors that relate to the significance of the disability are the only factors used in the order.

The following factors are indicators that would signal the need to consider closing priority categories:

• A reduction in available case service funds that exceeds 5%.

• An increase in counselor caseload average size that exceeds 115 cases.

• The inability of MRS to fill position vacancies that extends beyond 60 days.

• An increase in days that it takes customers to move from referral to orientation that exceeds 30 days.

• An increase in the number of days it takes customers to move from application to eligibility that exceeds 45 days.

• An increase in the number of days that it takes customers to move from eligibility to plan that exceeds 90 days.

• A significant increase in the average amount of eligible customers served by MRS exceeding 35,000 eligible customers.

• An increase in customer complaints that focus on the inability to access vocational rehabilitation services.

 

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

Priority Category Number of individuals to be served Estimated number of individuals who will exit with employment after receiving services Estimated number of individuals who will exit without employment after receiving services Time within which goals are to be achieved Cost of services
1 20,326 3,504 7,552 FY 2013 $28,050,000
2 9,239 2,414 3,309 FY 2013 $12,750,000
3 1,232 311 97 FY 2013 $1,700,000

This screen was last updated on Sep 21 2012 1:08PM by Geraldine Moore

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.

Michigan Rehabilitation Services (MRS) plans to continue to offer supported employment services to individuals with the most significant disabilities throughout the state. Agreements with schools and community mental health service providers form the basis of most MRS supported employment services.

The entire Title VI-B award for FY 2013 will be distributed to district offices in the form of case service funds. The funds will be used primarily to purchase job coaching and transitional employment related service from private, non-profit community rehabilitation programs and psychosocial programs.

The size of Title VI-B awards to individual MRS district offices is based on the percentage of work aged individuals with disabilities in each community. The MRS goal is to achieve equity in resource and program availability throughout the State based on this work aged disability population. This is complicated by the lack of sufficient partner resources or commitment for long term supports. MRS is collaborating with partners, especially the Department of Community Health (DCH) in resource sharing and development, and program improvements to assure equitable access across the state to Supported Employment options. A recent agreement with DCH has generated increased collaboration at local levels to expand services to individuals with chronic illnesses, including supported employment. The size of a local supported employment program is largely dependent upon consumer demand for the service, as well as the community’s ability to fund the long-term supports necessary to maintain consumers in supported employment. As budgets are reduced at state and local levels, creative resource sharing options are being explored.

The agreement with DCH includes measurable goals and objectives for increased supported employment services and outcomes as follows:

1) Jointly define integrated setting and develop key data indicators that can be utilized by all parties.

2) Manage referrals for employment related services.

3) Increase employment outcomes (quantity and quality) for persons served jointly.

4) Improve interagency collaboration. Identify and share activities to support and monitor local collaboration.

Baseline data has been gathered, regional forums conducted, and collaboration techniques expanded. MRS was also an active partner in Michigan’s Medicaid Infrastructure Grant which also targets increased employment outcomes for people with significant disabilities, especially chronic mental illness. This grant has ended; however MRS is collaborating with DCH to determine ways to sustain the employment focus this grant has initiated.

This screen was last updated on Jul 30 2012 3:40PM by Geraldine Moore

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.

Interagency agreements remain in place with the Michigan Department of Community Health and the Michigan Department of Education/Special Education Services to enhance collaboration, improve services and increase employment outcomes for our mutual customers.

As a result of a statewide donation agreement MRS works in partnership with Michigan Farm Bureau, Easter Seals-Michigan, Michigan State University Extension, Greenstone Farm Credit Services, Pioneer, and Disabled American Veterans to provide services to farmers and family members. Based upon the nature of the disability, recommendations are made and information is provided that may allow individuals to continue farming. Solutions to problems could include modifications to tools and equipment, different equipment, or adaptive devices that allow an individual to return to or keep farming safely.

Michigan Transition Services Association (MTSA) is a well established, statewide nonprofit organization that reaches out to those individuals and community partners involved in providing Transition services for students receiving special education services. MTSA and MRS have a common interest in the area of achieving employment outcomes for young people with disabilities and began conversations and planning over a year ago to look creatively at the needs of both organizations and to find innovative ways to partner to leverage resources to help students. As a result of this conversation, the MTSA board recently voted at their Strategic Planning Session to donate $17,500 ($64,750) to MRS for the purpose of establishing a fund source where MRS and education representatives at the local level can compete for funding to create innovative work-based learning opportunities for students.

During FY 2012, MRS continued to offer the opportunity for Districts to request funding for innovative programming targeted toward emerging and/or underserved customer populations as identified in the 2011 Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment (CSNA). Managers were encouraged to develop and implement projects together with their Community Rehabilitation Organization (CRO), Center for Independent Living (CIL) and other community partners/agencies. Successful projects are those which provide effective interventions and show promise for replication within other MRS Districts and/or nationally. This practice will likely be curtailed in FY 2013 due to budget constraints.

 

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.

Methods to expand and improve assistive technology services and devices -- Assistive Technology (AT) initiatives will continue to be identified and integrated into each stage of the vocational rehabilitation program. One of the major needs in the area of AT is to disseminate comprehensive information to Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) consumers and staff about techniques, devices and services that have been effective in helping consumers achieve employment outcomes. To this end, Michigan Rehabilitation Services (MRS) will implement a standardized approach for AT consideration to guide counselors and consumers in the proper evaluation and selection of AT services and devices. MRS is exploring the TECHPOINTS model to suggest when and how a counselor could consider use of AT services or devices throughout the rehabilitation process. Online and regional training will be made available to successfully implement both strategies.

MRS will continue an interagency agreement with the Assistive Technology Project implemented by the Michigan Disability Rights Coalition (MDRC). This agreement results in regional and statewide initiatives in a variety of formats that benefit customers, counselors and other stakeholders. The Project supports a financial loan program, device exchange, device demonstrations, training, technical assistance and public awareness activities.

MRS will continue to engage in cooperative relationships with state, regional, and local stakeholders to develop AT initiatives that increase employment outcomes for customers.

Additionally, MRS will continue to develop additional AT resource capacity at Michigan Career and Technical Institute (MCTI). Finally, MRS has a rehabilitation consultant assigned to foster improved AT services, both to internal and external customers. The consultant is developing new strategies for improving staff training related to AT and for enhanced AT services with customers.

 

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.

The 2011 Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment (CSNA) has identified the following underserved populations: Autism Spectrum Disorder, Developmentally Disabled as relates to supported employment and long term follow along, chronic mental illness, older adults with disabilities, Transition, Arab/American, Hispanic/Latino, Hmong, Native American, and individuals with a disability and felony record. With the assistance of consultants, MRS is developing and implementing methods to prioritize the needs of the underserved populations and strategies to improve services and outcomes in FY 2013.

In order to increase services to underserved minority customers, Michigan Rehabilitation Services established the MCTI East campus in the city of Detroit. This was accomplished using American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds.

MCTI East’s Annual Performance/Continuous Improvement report, issued October 3, 2011, shows that MCTI East served 221 students in the following program areas:

• Career Readiness Center (Career Assessment, Health Care Plus, Building Trades Prep, and Job Readiness)

• Certified Nursing Assistant

• Employer Based Training (CVS, Greenfield Collision, E&B Maintenance, R&B)

• Community Based Training (Partnership for Dialysis Training)

• Partnered with the Detroit Public Schools; 33 Transition students participated in a summer youth program

 

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

The 2011 CSNA did not include any need for further establishment, development, or improvement of community rehabilitation programs beyond MRS’ current relationships.

MRS has recently hired a rehabilitation consultant to identify best practices and share them across the state to enhance programming opportunities.

Community rehabilitation organizations such as partnerships with Goodwill Industries, Peckham, Inc., Jewish Vocational Services (JVS), and other community rehabilitation private for profit and private non-profit organizations will continue to be strengthened to involve them more fully in delivery of vocational rehabilitation services at the state and local levels.

 

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

Michigan’s poor economy continues to be a challenge to MRS. Even with one of the highest unemployment rates in the nation, MRS has persevered and achieved federal performance standards and indicators. MRS will continue these efforts in FY 2013.

 

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

Improvements in programmatic and physical accessibility for individuals with disabilities in the one-stop system will continue to occur via collaborative activities with the Michigan Works! Association and Michigan Works! agencies. MRS continues to be involved in these follow-up activities, which include customer and one-stop agency needs assessment, disability awareness and de-mystification for staff, removal of artificial and real barriers, improving knowledge of resources and systems related to individuals with disabilities, assistive technology, and basic accommodations.

MRS continues its partnership with the state’s One-Stop system (i.e. Michigan Works!) and the state’s administrators of the One-Stop system (i.e. the Workforce Development Agency), including a presence in all Michigan Works! sites including satellite offices. Although the state Director was removed from the state Workforce Board, participation on local workforce boards continue at local levels. An internal MRS strategic workgroup (including MCRS) has updated both the Memorandum of Understanding with the Michigan Works! partners and related policies and guidelines for improved inclusion, services and service assessment of individuals with disabilities served by the state’s One-Stop system.

The 2011 Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment reported a decreased number of individuals served by Michigan’s One-Stop system. This is likely due to issues related to individuals with disabilities’ reluctance to self-disclose at Michigan Works! Service Centers and/or a state trend, in which Michigan residents are moving from the state and/or dropping out of the labor market. One strategy of MRS will be to explore better ways of tracking individuals served by Michigan Works! and removing disincentives for agencies to effectively serve individuals with disabilities. MRS will continue to effectively serve individuals with the most significant disabilities. Improvements in programmatic and physical accessibility for individuals with disabilities in the One-Stop system will continue to occur via collaborative activities with the Michigan Works! Association and One-Stop Centers.

Michigan Rehabilitation Services (MRS) has continued its ongoing interagency agreement with the Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA). The agreement allows UIA staff to provide an array of placement related activities to MRS customers. Efforts are under way to maintain this agreement for FY 2013.

 

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.

In accordance with the goals and priorities identified in Attachment 4.11(c)(1), MRS will continue to employ the following strategies concurrent with development of the new strategic plan.

GOAL 1 - EMPLOYMENT-FOCUSED OUTCOMES

Ensure people with disabilities served by Michigan Rehabilitation Services will compete successfully for jobs in the 21st Century, exercising informed choice consistent with their individual abilities, capabilities, interests, and rehabilitation needs.

Objective 1: Realign MRS policies, procedures, practices, services, and internal and external expectations to ensure primary focus on actions that achieve employment outcomes for people with disabilities.

Strategies

1. Develop criteria/template for determining alignment with employment focus (completed)

2. Review and revise existing policies and procedures for alignment; identify need for revisions (completed)

3. Identify major business practices

4. Review against criteria/template

5. Develop plan for improved alignment

6. Review with all staff performance expectations

7. Raise expectations as needed to align with criteria

Objective 2: Ensure customers have essential accommodations, soft and technology skills, and assistive technology to be competitive.

Strategies

1. Measure current accommodation services (completed)

2. Create vision and work plan (completed)

3. Realign and redefine policy for clear definition

4. Develop training to implement customer support services designed for advanced accommodations, technology, and assistive skills

5. Align practice and services to support accommodations, soft and technical skills, as well as assistive technology for customer employment outcomes (completed)

Objective 3: Provide state-of-the-art information and linkage to current and emerging job opportunities, consistent with customer goals.

Strategies

1. Inventory existing Labor Market Information (LMI) with utility assessment (pros and cons) of each one (completed)

2. Survey staff, customers and partners to identify unmet needs and resources ideas

3. Create, research, pilot test creative tools/methods to generate real time user friendly LMI (E-Learn, website, etc.)

4. Implement new tools/methodologies for customer/staff use

5. Evaluate the effectiveness of the new tools/methodologies

6. Tweak/revise tools/methodologies based on evaluation results

GOAL 2 - CUSTOMER EMPOWERMENT AND SELF ADVOCACY

Empower customers to access complete, accurate information to make informed choices and self-assuredly seek employment and employment-related services.

Objective 1. Create a virtual orientation in a variety of formats for applicants to improve access to information about vocational rehabilitation services.

Strategies

1. Confirm customer handbook is up to date and compatible with virtual format(s) (complete)

2. Determine venues for the virtual orientation(s) (complete)

3. Design and implement a plan to accomplish the task, i.e. pilot, revise, and implement

Objective 2: Provide tools and resources for customers to obtain current information on labor market trends through Internet access and a variety of other means.

Strategies

1. Compile web site information (completed)

2. Configure easy access to internet web sites in pilot MRS locations (completed)

3. Evaluate pilot with customer satisfaction information

4. Recommend next steps

Objective 3: Collaborate with CILs to ensure individuals have a comprehensive knowledge of available resources in support of employment outcomes.

Strategies

1. Discuss with ILs their interest and capacity to participate in customer orientations (completed)

2. Develop and coordinate with interested CILs, other aspects of their involvement to increase customer knowledge and access to available resources (completed)

3. Establish timelines and milestones and implement in participating districts/CILs

Objective 4: Promote customer self-advocacy through increased collaboration with CILs.

Strategies

1. Discuss with CILs their interest and capacity for increased collaboration on self-advocacy services for customers of MRS (completed)

2. Develop and coordinate with interested CILs, other aspects of their involvement (completed)

3. Establish timelines and milestones and implement in participating districts/CILs

GOAL 3 - BUSINESS/COMMUNITY COLLABORATION

Collaborate and partner with targeted employers, agencies and organizations to maximize quality employment and independence for persons with disabilities.

Objective 1. Prioritize bureau partnerships by reviewing and evaluating current relationships to find ways of improving return on investment, consistent with bureau mission, vision, and values.

Strategies

1. Define strategic partnerships and identify existing strategic partnerships (completed)

2. Compile a list of all workgroups and boards on which MRS personnel serve (completed)

3. Determine how each type of strategic partnership should be evaluated (completed)

4. Analyze level of past performance of strategic partnerships

5. Concentrate resources with present partners who have created favorable Return on Investment (R-O-I)

Objective 2: Develop new strategic partnerships with targeted employers, emphasizing innovative ways to increase employment opportunities for people with disabilities and addressing disability management needs of employers.

Strategies

1. Identify additional potential strategic and innovative partnerships with employers utilizing parameters established in Strategy 1, Objective 1) (completed)

2. Form relationships with targeted employers, establishing baseline, setting goals, and timeframes (completed)

Objective 3: Collaborate with community agencies and organizations to identify, create, and use innovative approaches to access community supports and services needed by customers for quality employment and independence.

Strategies

1. Define strategic partnerships and identify existing strategic partnerships (completed)

2. Compile a list of all workgroups and boards on which MRS personnel serve (completed)

3. Determine how each type of strategic partnership should be evaluated (completed)

4. Analyze level of past performance of strategic partnerships (completed)

5. Concentrate resources with present partners who have created favorable return on investment.

Objective 4: Focus collaboration to improve customer services and outcomes for target populations.

Strategies

1. Identify target populations and their needs (completed)

2. Determine program and direction and innovative strategies (completed)

3. Encourage and support existing and new partners in the development of innovation grants, which will improve customer outcomes

GOAL 4 - VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION/INDEPENDENT LIVING RELATIONSHIPS

Promote quality employment outcomes and independence for persons with disabilities by building a stronger relationship with independent living communities

Objective 1: Convene and sustain joint planning activities with independent living communities at local, regional, and state levels.

Strategies

1. Identify “effective and promising planning practices”. Develop a tool for self-assessment of practices to assist MRS and CILs for initiating and sustaining joint planning activities (completed)

2. Obtain self-assessment, share model practices, and update self-assessment tool as appropriate (completed)

3. Implement the practice guidelines at all levels as part of business planning for the upcoming year (completed)

4. Evaluate the first year’s implementation, make appropriate revisions to the practice guidelines, and disseminate revised guidelines for use in the next business planning cycle

Objective 2: Engage in shared community education and advocacy that improves access to resources, services, and employment outcomes.

Strategies

1. Identify “effective and promising practices”. Develop a tool for self-assessment of practices to assist MRS and CILs for initiating and sustaining joint activities (completed)

2. Obtain self-assessment, share model practices, and update self- assessment tool as appropriate (completed)

3. Implement the practice guidelines at all levels as part of business planning for the upcoming year (completed)

4. Evaluate the first year’s implementation, make appropriate revisions to the practice guidelines, and disseminate revised guidelines for use in the next business planning cycle

Objective 3: Collaborate with independent living communities to promote better understanding and use of community supports and services by customers, employers, and partners.

Strategies

1. Identify “effective and promising practices”. Develop a tool for self-assessment of practices to assist MRS and CILs for initiating and sustaining joint activities (completed)

2. Obtain self-assessment, share model practices, and update self-assessment tool as appropriate (completed)

3. Implement the practice guidelines at all levels as part of business planning for the upcoming year (completed)

4. Evaluate the first year’s implementation, make appropriate revisions to the practice guidelines, and disseminate revised guidelines for use in the next business planning cycle

GOAL 5 - QUALITY PROFESSIONAL VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION SERVICES

Improve delivery of professional vocational rehabilitation services to achieve quality employment outcomes and customer satisfaction.

Objective 1: Set clear expectations for counselors to demonstrate the “core conditions of counseling” when serving customers.

Strategies

1. Establish a standard of professional practice (completed)

2. Develop a site office self-assessment instrument to identify local strengths and opportunities for improvement (OFI) (completed)

3. Identify, develop, and implement training, coaching, and mentoring strategies to address opportunities for improvement (completed)

4. Site office assessment by external team instrument to identify local strengths and opportunities for improvement (OFI)

5. Internal customer satisfaction of Strategy 1 - survey of counselor, site managers, and district managers by site

Objective 2: Develop counselor skills in vocational rehabilitation assessments and the use of Labor Market Information in developing Individualized Plans for Employment (IPEs), inclusive of local employer contacts and community partner involvement.

Strategies

1. Establish a standard of professional practice (completed)

2. Develop a site office self-assessment instrument to identify local strengths and opportunities for improvement (OFI) (completed)

3. Identify, develop, and implement training, coaching, and mentoring strategies to address opportunities for improvement

4. Site office assessment by external team instrument to identify local strengths and opportunities for improvement (OFI)

5. Internal customer satisfaction of Strategy 1 - survey of counselor, site managers, and district managers by site

Objective 3: Improve comprehensive “vocational rehabilitation counseling”, and career-planning, inclusive of informed customer choice delivered by qualified rehabilitation personnel.

Strategies

1. Establish a standard of professional practice (completed)

2. Develop a site office self-assessment instrument to identify local strengths and opportunities for improvement (OFI) (completed)

3. Identify, develop, and implement training, coaching, and mentoring strategies to address opportunities for improvement

4. Site office assessment by external team instrument to identify local strengths and opportunities for improvement (OFI)

5. Internal customer satisfaction of Strategy 1 - survey of counselor, site managers, and district managers by site

Objective 4: Ensure that counselors develop and demonstrate a level of “competency in job placement and retention services” that is required to appropriately address the needs of individual customers throughout the comprehensive vocational rehabilitation process.

Strategies

1. Establish a standard of professional practice (completed)

2. Develop a site office self-assessment instrument to identify local strengths and opportunities for improvement (OFI) (completed)

3. Identify, develop, and implement training, coaching, and mentoring strategies to address opportunities for improvement

4. Site office assessment by external team instrument to identify local strengths and opportunities for improvement (OFI)

5. Internal customer satisfaction of Strategy 1 - survey of counselor, site managers, and district managers by site

Objective 5: Better utilize existing information within AWARE to improve caseload management and achieve MRS accountability standards.

Strategies

1. Identify existing AWARE functions and propose enhancements

2. Provide training on AWARE

3. Reinforce policy and ensure compliance through development and implementation of a quality assurance system.

 

This screen was last updated on Aug 1 2012 2:33PM by Geraldine Moore

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

The following goals and strategies are included in the 2008-2013 MRS Long-Term Plan (Strategic Plan). This plan describes MRS’ mission, vision, internal values, principles, goals, strategies, and expected outcomes for fiscal year 2008 through fiscal year 2013. Regular discussion of progress and adjustments were completed by MRS with the Michigan Council for Rehabilitation Services (MCRS) (formerly Michigan Rehabilitation Council). In FY 2013, MRS will fully evaluate plan achievement and develop its next strategic plan.

This section describes the progress achieved and impediments encountered in achieving these goals.

GOAL 1 – EMPLOYMENT-FOCUSED OUTCOMES

Ensure people with disabilities served by MRS will compete successfully for jobs in the 21st Century, exercising informed choice consistent with their individual abilities, capabilities, interests, and rehabilitation needs.

Objective 1: Realign MRS policies, procedures, practices, services, and internal and external expectations to ensure primary focus on actions that achieve employment outcomes for people with disabilities.

Objective 2: Ensure customers have essential accommodations, soft and technology skills, and assistive technology to be competitive.

Objective 3: Provide state-of-the-art information and linkage to current and emerging job opportunities, consistent with customer goals.

Completion Status: This goal has been completed.

Progress:

Objective 1 and 2 relative to Goal 1 have been completed. In summary, the related strategies included developing policies, templates for measuring, developing work plans to ensure alignment along with training related activities. Objective 3 strategies related to Labor Market Information (LMI) have been completed. Providing updated strategies and tools to implement the LMI is an ongoing process.

GOAL 2 – CUSTOMER EMPOWERMENT AND SELF ADVOCACY

Empower customers to access complete, accurate information to make informed choices and self-assuredly seek employment and employment-related services.

Objective 1: Create a virtual orientation in a variety of formats for applicants to improve access to information about vocational rehabilitation services.

Objective 2: Provide tools and resources for customers to obtain current information on labor market trends through Internet access and a variety of other means.

Objective 3: Collaborate with Centers for Independent Living (CILs) to ensure individuals have a comprehensive knowledge of available resources in support of employment outcomes.

Objective 4: Promote customer self-advocacy through increased collaboration with CILs.

Completion Status: This goal has been completed.

Progress: The virtual orientation is operational statewide. The customer handbook has been updated to be compatible with the virtual orientation.

A MRS/IL Strategic Alliance, containing timelines and milestones was developed and has been implemented. The focus of the strategic alliance is to enhance the inclusion of IL services for MRS customers as they work to achieve employment goals. Phase I and Phase II of the plan are complete and/or ongoing. Phase III, reflect and look ahead, has not been initiated. Loss of key staff to retirement and/or promotion and the lack of a dedicated MRS consultant has delayed this phase. We have realigned team membership and a consultant is now in place. We anticipate Phase III implementation to begin prior to the end of FY 2012.

The following strategies contributed to the achievement of this goal:

* developed and coordinated with interested CILs other aspects of their involvement to increase customer knowledge and access to available resources.

* established timelines and milestones and implemented in participating districts/CILs.

* discussed with CILs their interest and capacity for increased collaboration on self advocacy services for customers of MRS.

* developed and coordinated with interested CILs, other aspects of their involvement.

GOAL 3 – BUSINESS/COMMUNITY COLLABORATION

Collaborate and partner with targeted employers, agencies and organizations to maximize quality employment and independence for persons with disabilities.

Objective 1: Prioritize bureau partnerships by reviewing and evaluating current relationships to find ways of improving return on investment, consistent with bureau mission, vision, and values.

Objective 2: Develop new strategic partnerships with targeted employers, emphasizing innovative ways to increase employment opportunities for people with disabilities and addressing disability management needs of employers.

Objective 3: Collaborate with community agencies and organizations to identify, create, and use innovative approaches to access community supports and services needed by customers for quality employment and independence.

Objective 4: Focus collaboration to improve services and outcomes for target populations.

Completion Status: This goal has been completed.

Progress:

MRS used the following strategies:

1. MRS established a definition for strategic partnerships and has identified existing strategic partnerships.

2. MRS has determined how each type of strategic partnership should be evaluated.

3. Strategic partnerships with targeted organizations and employers have been implemented.

Results:

• Improved customer outcomes

• Strengthened partnerships through state and local collaborations

• Implemented Enhanced Employment Outcomes model strengthening partnerships with employers, agencies and organizations.

• Improved customer service and outcomes for targeted populations achieved through Innovation Projects and local initiatives that target deaf, autism, Michigan Prisoner ReEntry Initiative (MPRI), youth and others.

• American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funded On-the-Job Training (OJT) partnerships resulted in new employer contacts.

• The Business Network Unit was instrumental in strategically developing targeted partnerships through local and federal employer and business connections. On the local level, MRS participated in various employer based training programs. The employers included Adams Electronics, Shape Corporation, City of Battle Creek, the State of Michigan, and Title Source.

• On the federal level, employer/business contacts were established through the Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation (CSAVR) National Employment Team. Key Business/Employer partners included Sodexo, Manpower, United States Forest Services, and TJX companies.

GOAL 4 – VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION/INDEPENDENT LIVING RELATIONSHIPS

Promote quality employment outcomes and independence for persons with disabilities by building stronger relationships with independent living communities.

Objective 1: Convene and sustain joint planning activities with independent living communities at local, regional, and state levels.

Objective 2: Engage in shared community education and advocacy that improves access to resources, services, and employment outcomes.

Objective 3: Collaborate with independent living communities to promote better understanding and use of community supports and services by customers, employers, and partners.

Completion Status: This goal has been completed.

Progress: An IL Strategy Workgroup was convened in the fall of 2009. In 2010 this workgroup developed a structure for implementation including Leadership, Operations, and Evaluation Teams. In Phase I, statewide forums were held to engage partners and communicate the vision, values and desired outcomes. These forums were highly successful, setting the stage for the next phase. Phase II has begun and involves local MRS and CIL offices working collaboratively to develop service strategies to accomplish the vision, values, and desired outcomes. These strategies build on current relationships and incorporate knowledge of evidence-based promising practices.

Regular state level meetings are continuing, initial regional meetings were held, and local community of practice meetings are under way. Planning for follow-along and regional meetings is beginning. The Evaluation Team developed a plan to collect and analyze data to evaluate implementation in one year’s time.

The following strategies contributed to the completion of this goal:

1. Identify “effective and promising planning practices”. Develop a tool for self-assessment of practices to assist MRS and CILs for initiating and sustaining joint planning activities.

2. Obtain self-assessment, share model practices, and update self-assessment tool as appropriate.

3. Implement the practice guidelines at all levels as part of business planning for the upcoming year.

4. Evaluate the first year’s implementation, make appropriate revisions to the practice guidelines and disseminate revised guidelines for use in the next business planning cycle.

GOAL 5 – QUALITY PROFESSIONAL VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION SERVICES

Improve delivery of professional vocational rehabilitation services to achieve quality employment outcomes and customer satisfaction.

Objective 1: Set clear expectations for counselors to demonstrate the “core conditions of counseling” when serving customers.

Objective 2: Develop counselor skills in vocational assessments and the use of labor market information in developing Individualized Plans for Employment (IPEs), inclusive of local employer contacts and community partner involvement.

Objective 3: Improve comprehensive vocational rehabilitation counseling, and career-planning, inclusive of informed customer choice delivered by qualified rehabilitation personnel.

Objective 4: Ensure that counselors develop and demonstrate a level of “competency in job placement and retention services” that is required to appropriately address the needs of individual customers throughout the comprehensive vocational rehabilitation process.

Objective 5: Better utilize existing information within the MRS Accessible Web-based Activity and Reporting Environment (AWARE) electronic case management system to improve caseload management and achieve MRS accountability standards.

Completion Status: This goal has not yet been completed.

Progress: This goal and objectives have not been completed. The scale of work was not anticipated and as a result, some of the deadlines have not been fully accomplished.

Therefore, we have moved forward with training and other interventions out of sequence of the original strategies.

• Each objective of Goal 5 has the same 4 strategies for implementation.

• The first strategy is to develop a standard of practice for each objective. This was completed in 2009.

• The second strategy is for offices to complete site office self-assessments, of which two have been completed for Objectives 3 and 4. The site office self-assessment process is being re-evaluated to improve efficiency and effectiveness.

• Strategy 3 was completed for Objectives 1 and 4. Training for Objectives 2 and 3 is being designed with implementation expected in early FY 2013. MRS is currently working on full implementation of the job development methods introduced over the past year, which is expected to result in achievement of the identified measures.

• The final step, assessment by an outside organization, has been discussed with partners in evaluation and rehabilitation education. It is expected to be in process in 2013 and completed in 2014.

• Objective 5 has been completed.

FY 2012 PRIORITIES WERE:

Priority 1: Actively seek resources to capture full federal award; including match and donations, consistent with Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) criteria and guidance.

Measure: Increase in resources necessary to reduce unmatched federal dollars.

Priority 2: Prepare for implementation of Order of Selection for Services (OSS) should budget and/or staffing reductions occur as projected and pending RSA approval.

Measure: OSS Work Group determination of implementation requirements developed by October 15, 2010. State Plan amended as needed and timely RSA approval sought.

Priority 3: Enhance leadership development and staff development for anticipated significant staff departures.

Measure: Career goals were identified for all staff by October 30, 2010 and strategy developed for succession in all employment categories.

Priority 4: Obtain approval and implement Corrective Action Plan (CAP) for RSA Section 107 performance review findings within approved timelines and continue program adjustments as required.

Measure: CAP developed consistent with due date, approved by RSA and implemented.

Priority 5: Improve rehabilitation rate and employment outcomes for transition youth and minority customers, including expansion of MCTI East to improve services and outcomes for southeast Michigan (with highest unemployment rates).

Measure: MCTI East is expanded to include 1-2 vocational training programs. MRS adjusted rehabilitation rate is increased for all customers served, transition youth and minorities.

Priority 6: Improve referrals, orientation, and intake processes to assure all practices are customer friendly, provided in a timely and professional manner and are consistent with policies and procedures.

Measure: Reduced complaints from Client Assistance Program (CAP), MCRS and customers regarding inconsistent ineffective front end referral, orientation, and intake procedures. All policy and office practices consistent with law and regulations.

PRIORITY UPDATES:

Priority 1 continues and has not yet been achieved, due to a depressed state economy, and reduced partner resources for match.

Priorities 2, 3, 4, and 6 from the FY 2012 State Plan have been achieved.

Priority 5 was not achieved, due to insufficient resources and staff/community support to expand MCTI East. New plans for MCTI East will be considered in the FY 2013 strategic planning process.

 

1) Offer supported employment services to individuals with most significant disabilities.

This goal was achieved based on the following strategies:

(a) Maintained agreements with schools and community mental health service providers.

(b) Collaborated with partners in resource sharing and development, and program improvements to increase services.

2) Serve 800-850 individuals with Title VI B supported employment services.

This goal was not achieved based on the following impediments:

(a) A reduction in supported employment funds from Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA)

(b) lack of available long term supports

(c) diminished referrals

3) Achieve equity in resource and program availability throughout the State.

This goal was not achieved based on the following impediments:

(a) lack of available long term supports

(b) diminished referrals

 

The Federal Performance Measures were substantially achieved. MRS met or exceeded all but one of the seven federally mandated performance measures for FY 2011. MRS attained the following performance measures:

(3 column table)

Column 1 -- Performance Measures

Column 2 -- Goal for FY 2011

Column 3 -- MRS Attainment in FY 2011

Number of Employment Outcomes 7,375 7,704

Percent Employed 55.8 50.5%

Employed Competitively 72.6 99.0%

Significant Disability 62.4 95.9%

Earnings Ratio .52 .60

Self-Support 53.0 61.2

Minority Ratio .80 .86

These performance measures include individuals who received supported employment services. MRS considers this achievement to be notable as Michigan has one of the highest unemployment rates in the country.

Employment outcomes impacted by additional ARRA funds

MRS developed a series of establishment projects to assist customers to obtain and retain jobs. Local districts developed innovative placement projects in their respective communities. Funds were also set aside for increased on-the-job evaluations and on-the-job training for persons with disabilities in demand occupations. Some of these projects involved contracting and working with partners to create and maintain employment for their staff. The agency also entered into 3rd party cooperative agreements with Community Rehabilitation Organizations to promote innovative approaches to job development and acquisition for persons with disabilities in emerging and demand occupations. These 3rd party cooperative agreements targeted underserved or unserved populations and/or locations with the highest economic challenges.

The Michigan Career and Technical Institute (MCTI) developed customized training for demand and emerging occupations including jobs that support State initiatives for green jobs and alternative energy, and current demand for pharmacy technicians with CVS, Wal-Mart, etc. MRS also replicated MCTI customized training programming in the Detroit area through the creation of MCTI East. Its training programs focused on demand and emerging occupations encompassing a wide range of occupations and skill levels. The program also included an assessment and remediation component. To reduce future operating cost MRS also upgraded MCTI structures to “green standards”.

MRS set goals of (1) creating or retaining 99 jobs and (2) achieving 950 successful rehabilitation closures. Based on federal reporting requirements, MRS and the state’s (Centers for Independent Living) CILs created or retained a total of 344 FTEs over the two year period. MRS also achieved 1200 successful rehabilitation closures, exceeding its goal by 250.

Meet or Exceed MCTI Service Goals

MCTI exceeded its goal of 1,050 customers served; 1,749 customers attended MCTI. Placement statistics did not meet the goal of 80%; 75% of graduates obtained employment.

Employer Acquisition and Retention Services

In FY 2011 Michigan Rehabilitation Services (MRS) served 2,207 employers and provided 3,348 acquisition services and 570 retention services. These achieved services were down from our FY 2010 achieved services. MRS has initiated programs to insure that all business services data are recorded consistently to insure consistent and accurate reporting. This current data information was received from the MRS AWARE Client Data System.

Business Network Unit

The Business Network Unit (BNU) continues its dual service program with Business Services and Disability Management. The components of the dual program consist of small business, internal and external business services, organizational development, along with state-wide business services resource development combined with continuous improvement programming. BNU current staffing includes two (2) business consultants, a district manager, and other professional disability management and support staff. BNU continues to engage in strengthening relationships with district offices and striving to capture internal and external fee-for-service opportunities.

 

FY 2011 Innovation and Expansion Expenditures consistent with our Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment and Long Term plan were:

(2 column table)

(column 1 -- description of innovation and expansion activities)

(column 2 -- funds utilized in FY 2011)

Innovation Unit Projects - Total $486,399

Examples:

Ann Arbor Homeless, Ann Arbor MPRI, Ann Arbor PWI/CIL, Grand Rapids Autism Independence & Self Sufficiency, Innovations Project -- aimed at individuals who are on the autism spectrum for ages 18 to 26 and in need of independence and self sufficiency, job training and skills development, Kalamazoo MPRI, MCTI Pharmacy Tech Program, Northern Michigan District Traverse Bay Area Intermediate, School District (TBAISD)

MRS Customer Leadership Scholarships 10,564

MCRS Public Education 20,000

Total $516,963

This screen was last updated on Aug 1 2012 9:17AM by Geraldine Moore

  • 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

Michigan Rehabilitation Services (MRS) plans to offer a variety of supported employment services to individuals with the most significant disabilities throughout the state. Agreements with schools and community mental health service providers continue to form the basis of most supported employment services. Services through these agreements include, but are not limited to individual community based placement, psychosocial rehabilitation via clubhouse programs, job coaching, job referral, job development, job placement, and long-term follow along. Some programs include enclaves and short-term trial work experiences to assist the consumer in making an informed choice in selecting a vocational goal. Person-centered planning is used to assist individuals referred by mental health programs in selecting an employment goal, services and service providers selecting an employment goal, services and service providers that are needed to reach the individual’s supported employment goal.

The Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment has confirmed that people with mental illness and significant cognitive impairments are underserved populations. The current Michigan Comprehensive Employment Services Grant (MCESG) agreement between Michigan Rehabilitation Services (MRS), the Bureau of Services for Blind Persons (BSBP) formerly Michigan Commission for the Blind, Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) is designed to increase and improve services for these populations.

MRS, MDCH, and local Community Mental Health providers work together to organize, plan, deliver, and fund supported employment as one method to strengthen vocational program options for individuals with the most significant disabilities. MRS, MDCH, and Bureau of Services for Blind Persons (BSBP) have an agreement for the purpose of endorsing and promoting the competitive employment of individuals with disabilities, served jointly by the organizations, in accordance with the identified guiding principles. The Michigan Department of Technology Management and Budget (DTMB) is assisting in acquiring and exchanging aggregate data. The aggregate data will reflect MRS and BSBP in open and closed cases and MDCH data to include individuals served within the Community Mental Health service programs. This document will serve as the template for use by local parties.

MRS district offices will continue to implement transitional employment approaches (not to exceed 18 months except under special circumstances documented in the case record and agreed to by eligible individuals and MRS) in local partnership agreements with community mental health and school programs.

Specific strategies and support services are used for students with the most significant disabilities, such as longer job coach utilization and assistive technology. Michigan Rehabilitation Services, Department of Education, Special Education, and the Department of Community Health, Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services Division, continue their collaboration to improve supported employment resources for youth at state and local levels.

This screen was last updated on Jul 30 2012 4:41PM by Geraldine Moore

The following information is captured by the MIS.

Last updated on 09/21/2012 at 1:18 PM

Last updated by samimooreg

Completed on 09/24/2012 at 11:30 AM

Completed by samiporterj

Approved on 10/01/2012 at 9:52 AM

Approved by rsacavataioc

Published on 10/02/2012 at 6:49 AM

Published by kschelle

The following documents have been identified as being related to the information you are viewing.

  • Monitoring Follow-Up and Technical Assistance Report for Michigan — as of June 24, 2013
    DOC (1.2M) | PDF (923KB)

  • "A Better Bottom Line: Employing People with Disabilities" — A blueprint for Governors has been issued by the National Governors Association (NGA).
    PDF (4.13M)

  • TAC-14-02 — Submission of the FY 2015 State Plan for the Vocational Rehabilitation Services Program and Supplement for the Supported Employment Services Program. (May 28, 2014)
    DOC (247KB) | PDF (233KB)

  • ED-80-0013 - Certification Regarding Lobbying — 34 CFR 82.110(b) requires each State VR agency to submit for approval a signed certification regarding lobbying for each program for which federal funds are requested. In other words, one certification must be submitted for the VR program and another for the Supported Employment program.
    MS Word (24KB)

OMB Control Number: 1820-0500, approved for use through 03/31/2016

According to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, no persons are required to respond to a collection of information unless such collection displays a valid OMB control number. Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 25 hours per response, including time for reviewing instructions, searching existing data sources, gathering and maintaining the data needed, and completing and reviewing the collection of information. The obligation to respond to this collection is required to obtain or retain a benefit (Section 13 of the Rehabilitation Act, as amended). Send comments regarding the burden estimate or any other aspect of this collection of information, including suggestions for reducing this burden, to U.S. Department of Education, Washington, D.C. 20202-4537 or email ICDocketMgr@ed.gov and reference the OMB Control Number 1820-0500. Note: Please do not return the completed form to this address.