View VR State Plan
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.
(b) Notice requirements.
(c) Special consultation requirements.
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:
- comprehensive system of personnel development;
- assessments, estimates, goals and priorities, and reports of progress;
- innovation and expansion activities; and
- 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.
- 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.
- The designated state agency is a state agency that is primarily concerned with vocational rehabilitation or vocational and other rehabilitation of individuals with disabilities. (Option B was not selected/Option A was selected)
- In American Samoa, the designated state agency is the governor.
(b) Designated state unit.
- 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:
- 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;
- has a full-time director;
- has a staff, at least 90 percent of whom are employed full-time on the rehabilitation work of the organizational unit; and
- 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.
- The name of the designated state vocational rehabilitation unit is
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)
(a) The designated state agency is an independent state commission. (Option A was not selected/Option B was selected)
(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 and the designated state unit.
- jointly with the State Rehabilitation Council develops, agrees to and reviews annually state goals and priorities and jointly submits to the commissioner annual reports of progress in accordance with the provisions of Section 101(a)(15) of the Rehabilitation Act, 34 CFR 361.29 and subsection 4.11 of this State Plan;
- regularly consults with the State Rehabilitation Council regarding the development, implementation and revision of state policies and procedures of general applicability pertaining to the provision of vocational rehabilitation services;
- includes in the State Plan and in any revision to the State Plan a summary of input provided by the State Rehabilitation Council, including recommendations from the annual report of the council described in Section 105(c)(5) of the Rehabilitation Act and 34 CFR 361.17(h)(5), the review and analysis of consumer satisfaction described in Section 105(c)(4) of the Rehabilitation Act and 34 CFR 361.17(h)(4), and other reports prepared by the council and the response of the designated state unit to the input and recommendations, including explanations for rejecting any input or recommendation; and
- transmits to the council:
- all plans, reports and other information required under 34 CFR 361 to be submitted to the commissioner;
- all policies and information on all practices and procedures of general applicability provided to or used by rehabilitation personnel in carrying out this State Plan and its supplement; and
- copies of due process hearing decisions issued under 34 CFR 361.57, which are transmitted in such a manner as to ensure that the identity of the participants in the hearings is kept confidential.
(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.
4.3 Consultations regarding the administration of the State Plan. (Section 101(a)(16)(B) of the Rehabilitation Act; 34 CFR 361.21)
(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)
4.5 Local administration. (Sections 7(24) and 101(a)(2)(A) of the Rehabilitation Act; 34 CFR 361.5(b)(47) and .15)
(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)
(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))
(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:
- 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;
- 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
- 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:
- identification of the types of services to be provided;
- written assurance from the local public agency that it will make available to the state unit the nonfederal share of funds;
- written assurance that state unit approval will be obtained for each proposed service before it is put into effect; and
- 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.
(b) Cooperation and coordination with other agencies and entities.
- 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;
- 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;
- 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,
- 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.
- 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.
- The State Plan description must:
- 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
- include information on a formal interagency agreement with the state educational agency that, at a minimum, provides for:
- 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;
- 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;
- roles and responsibilities, including financial responsibilities, of each agency, including provisions for determining state lead agencies and qualified personnel responsible for transition services; and
- 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.
(e) Cooperative agreement with recipients of grants for services to American Indians.
- There is in the state a recipient(s) of a grant under Part C of Title I of the Rehabilitation Act for the provision of vocational rehabilitation services for American Indians who are individuals with disabilities residing on or near federal and state reservations. No
- 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:
- strategies for interagency referral and information sharing that will assist in eligibility determinations and the development of individualized plans for employment;
- 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
- 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.
(b) Employment of individuals with disabilities.
4.10 Comprehensive system of personnel development. (Section 101(a)(7) of the Rehabilitation Act; 34 CFR 361.18)
(a) Data system on personnel and personnel development.
- Qualified personnel needs.
- 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;
- The number of personnel currently needed by the state agency to provide vocational rehabilitation services, broken down by personnel category; and
- 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.
- Personnel development.
- A list of the institutions of higher education in the state that are preparing vocational rehabilitation professionals, by type of program;
- The number of students enrolled at each of those institutions, broken down by type of program; and
- 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.
(c) Personnel standards.
- 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.
- 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.
- The written plan required by subparagraph (c)(2) describes the following:
- specific strategies for retraining, recruiting and hiring personnel;
- the specific time period by which all state unit personnel will meet the standards required by subparagraph (c)(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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
(f) Coordination of personnel development under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
4.11. Statewide assessment; annual estimates; annual state goals and priorities; strategies; and progress reports.
(a) Comprehensive statewide assessment.
- 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:
- the rehabilitation needs of individuals with disabilities residing within the state, particularly the vocational rehabilitation services needs of:
- individuals with the most significant disabilities, including their need for supported employment services;
- 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
- individuals with disabilities served through other components of the statewide work force investment system.
- The need to establish, develop or improve community rehabilitation programs within the state.
- 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.
- number of individuals in the state who are eligible for services under the plan;
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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):
- shows the order to be followed in selecting eligible individuals to be provided vocational rehabilitation services;
- provides a justification for the order; and
- 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.
- 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.
- Attachment 4.11(d) describes the strategies, including:
- 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;
- 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;
- as applicable, the plan of the state for establishing, developing or improving community rehabilitation programs;
- 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
- strategies for assisting other components of the statewide work force investment system in assisting individuals with disabilities.
- Attachment 4.11 (d) describes how the designated state agency uses these strategies to:
- 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);
- support the innovation and expansion activities identified in subparagraph 4.12(a)(1) and (2) of the plan; and
- 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.
- 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.
- Attachment 4.11(e)(2):
- 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;
- identifies the strategies that contributed to the achievement of the goals and priorities;
- describes the factors that impeded their achievement, to the extent they were not achieved;
- assesses the performance of the state on the standards and indicators established pursuant to Section 106 of the Rehabilitation Act; and
- 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:
- 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
- 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)
5.2 Residency. (Section 101(a)(12) of the Rehabilitation Act; 34 CFR 361.42(c)(1))
5.3 Ability to serve all eligible individuals; order of selection for services. (Sections 12(d) and 101(a)(5) of the Rehabilitation Act; 34 CFR 361.36)
(a) The designated state unit is able to provide the full range of services listed in Section 103(a) of the Rehabilitation Act and 34 CFR 361.48, as appropriate, to all eligible individuals with disabilities in the state who apply for services. Yes
(b) If No:
- 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.
- Attachment 4.11(c)(3):
- shows the order to be followed in selecting eligible individuals to be provided vocational rehabilitation services;
- provides a justification for the order of selection; and
- 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.
- 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:
- assessment for determining eligibility and vocational rehabilitation needs by qualified personnel, including, if appropriate, an assessment by personnel skilled in rehabilitation technology;
- 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;
- 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;
- job-related services, including job search and placement assistance, job retention services, follow-up services, and follow-along services;
- rehabilitation technology, including telecommunications, sensory and other technological aids and devices; and
- 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:
- progress of the individual toward achieving the employment outcome identified in the individualized plan for employment;
- an immediate job placement; or
- 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)
5.7 Services to American Indians. (Section 101(a)(13) of the Rehabilitation Act; 34 CFR 361.30)
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:
- 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
- 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))
(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.
(b) Cooperative agreements with private nonprofit organizations.
Section 6: Program Administration
6.1 Designated state agency. (Section 625(b)(1) of the Rehabilitation Act; 34 CFR 363.11(a))
6.2 Statewide assessment of supported employment services needs. (Section 625(b)(2) of the Rehabilitation Act; 34 CFR 363.11(b))
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))
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)
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))
6.6 Minority outreach. (34 CFR 363.11(f))
6.7 Reports. (Sections 625(b)(8) and 626 of the Rehabilitation Act; 34 CFR 363.11(h) and .52)
7.1 Five percent limitation on administrative costs. (Section 625(b)(7) of the Rehabilitation Act; 34 CFR 363.11(g)(8))
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))
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:
- specifies the supported employment services to be provided;
- describes the expected extended services needed; and
- 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.
The CNMI Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR) conducted Public Hearings for the FY 2013 State Plan Updates throughout the CNMI. Sessions were held on the three major islands of Tinian (April 9, 2012), Saipan (April 10, 2012), and Rota (April 11, 2012). The schedules for the hearings were disseminated to the Office of the Governor, to the Mayor’s Office of both Tinian and Rota, and the two local newspapers, Saipan Tribune and Marianas Variety. The scheduled public forums were also highlighted and announced on OVR’s website. All advertisements disseminated also contained information for special accommodations if needed for persons with disabilities. In addition, outreach counselors assigned to Rota and Tinian also informed VR consumers and interested residents of Rota and Tinian to attend the hearings.
At the Public Hearings, information on the Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment was given, people were encouraged to comment on the new OVR Policy and Procedures Manual that was updated, revised, and implemented in September 2011, and to voice any recommendations on what and/or how services can best be provided for each respective island. The following comments were adopted by the State Rehabilitation Council (SRC) and presented to OVR as recommendations. SRC Comment: OVR counselors should be ready to be accommodating to the unique needs of persons with disabilities. OVR Comment: OVR will ensure that in-service trainings to its counseling & administrative staff on necessary and appropriate means of addressing issues for persons with disabilities. SRC Comment: Accessible modes transportation for all three islands are definitely the top highlights for persons with disabilities. OVR Comment: OVR will continue to work closely with the Governor’s office for update on the provision of transportation need to persons with disabilities, SRC Comment: Rota and Tinian addressed the need for an office to provide VR services or independent living services. OVR Comment: OVR expressed that until such time that the rate of disabled population in both islands increases to at least 50, the provision of a counseling staff will be addressed. SRC Comment: There was an expressed need of a CRP in Tinian to address individuals with disabilities who are noticed to be very productive yet without any helpful resources to invest in their talents. OVR Comment: OVR encouraged the initiative of committed individuals who can explore the support of available federal grants to address the lack of CRP on Rota and Tinian.
This screen was last updated on Jun 26 2012 12:34AM by Christopher Camacho
Attachment 4.8(b): Cooperation, Collaboration, and Coordination
with Other Agencies and Other Entities
(1) Cooperation with Agencies That Are Not in the
Statewide Workforce Investment System and with Other Entities
OVR will continue its efforts to maintain or develop cooperative arrangements and agreements with various local, State, and Federal agencies and entities for referrals, training, services, facilities utilization, potential cost-sharing, and advocacy activities. The agencies include:
• Statewide Independent Living Council for referral services, information, and advocacy.
• CNMI Council on Developmental Disabilities for systemic change, public policy development, advocacy, empowerment training, identification of barriers to employment and community inclusion for individuals with developmental disabilities, referral services, and coordination with public education and awareness activities during Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month in March.
Trankilu Alternative Financing Program (also known as Assistive Technology Loan Program) for affordable loans made available to anyone who intends to purchase assistive technology, adapted vehicles, or modifications for a CNMI resident with a disability. Employers (provided that the assistive technology is to benefit exclusively the individual with a disability) and entrepreneurs with disabilities may qualify to participate in this program.
•Department of Public Health
Community Guidance Center for referrals of rehabilitation services and the
Transitional Living Center for activities of daily living training and referral services.
Physical Therapy Section for evaluation, assessment, referral, and treatment services.
CNMI Medicaid Office for cost sharing arrangements for services provided and referrals. OVR and Medicaid have a current Memorandum of Agreement for cost sharing purposes.
Medical Referral Programs (Rota and Tinian Health Centers, Hawaii, etc.) for cost sharing of consumers who require off-island services and referrals.
•Scholarship Office for educational financial assistance at Northern Marianas College and other Institutions of Higher Education (IHE), referral of students to OVR for VR assistance and internships, and information on rehabilitation careers to students.
•Northern Marianas College
The University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities for faculty, student, and family training and advocacy, accommodations, increased awareness and empowerment in the postsecondary setting, and referral services.
Counseling Office, Disabilities Support Services for referrals, sensitivity training, transition, accommodation assistance, and financial aid counseling for students with disabilities.
Community Living Skills/Expanded Families Nutrition Education Program for training in activities of daily living skills and for referral services.
Adult Education and Literacy Program for educational and job skill training and referral
•Northern Marianas Housing Corporation for housing, Section 8 new construction, vouchers for rehabilitation and/or home modification loans and grants and for referrals.
•Department of Community and Cultural Affairs Office
Office on Aging for referrals to assist older individuals with disabilities through its Aging and Disability Resource Center, a center providing information and referral; transportation services; coordination with Older Americans Awareness Month activities in May; and Senior Community Service Employment Program for subsidized part-time employment opportunities for low income individuals aged 55 and over.
Division of Youth Services for referrals and assistance on outreach.
Nutrition Assistance Program for referrals and food assistance.
Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program for assistance, utility payment subsidies and referral services.
Child Care Program to assist individuals with disabilities & low-income families to pay for
Child care while working, attending school or training.
•Carolinian Affairs Office for referrals, rights and assistance on outreach of Carolinians.
•Saipan Chamber of Commerce for sponsorship of employers’ training and education, mentoring and jobsite training and referral services.
•Society for Human Resource Management for job development and placement, assistance on outreach, advocacy training, and referral services.
•Northern Marianas Protection and Advocacy Systems, Inc. for advocacy training, seminars, workshops, and referral services.
•CNMI Center for Living Independently for advocacy and IL training, information and referrals, peer counseling, and transportation referrals.
•Mayors’ Offices of Saipan, Tinian, and Rota for referrals, outreach, program support services and coordination, and utility subsidies payment.
•Karidat for temporary housing, maintenance expenses, food assistance, and referral services.
•Ayuda Network for referrals, inter-agency updates, training and development.
This screen was last updated on Jul 1 2010 11:50PM by Lourdes Atalig
Attachment 4.8(b): Cooperation, Collaboration, and Coordination with Other Agencies and Other Entities
(2) Coordination with Education Officials
OVR and NMC (Northern Marianas College), CNMI’s only public and post-secondary educational institution revised their Interagency Agreement in FY 2007, completed and signed it in February 2008. The agreement outlined the responsibilities and cost structure that would be applied to services provided to eligible students with disabilities.
OVR will continue to work with the Counseling Unit and the University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD) Coordinator at NMC to ensure that transition, training, and accommodation services for eligible college students are coordinated. A network continues among the OVR Director, the NMC Counseling Director and the NMC transition team that address transition development issues which both agencies will collaboratively undertake in the Fall of each year.
OVR staffs have periodically met with NMC Counseling, UCEDD, and program staff to discuss and establish a referral system that would also facilitate the provision of services and assistance to students with disabilities. Faculty and staff training needs on disability-related issues will be identified and addressed.
The Interagency Agreement between OVR and the Public School System/Special Education Program (PSS/SPED) that was revised to reflect changes in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and approved in 2006 is still operational. With the new PSS administration, the interagency agreement will be reviewed in FY 2010 to determine whether further updates or revisions are required.
The PSS-SpEd is responsible for providing transition services to students with disabilities who are still in the secondary school system. Quality transition planning, therefore, involves PSS and the schools to work collaboratively with the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation to provide a continuum of appropriate services for students with disabilities to prepare for the world of work.
The Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR), subject to availability of funds, provides transition services that involve planning and preparing for the student’s future (employment) after he/she exits the school system, in an effort to minimize gaps and delays from school to post-school activities. The OVR’s role in the transition planning process is to:
• Provide consultation to the student/parent/student’s representative;
• Provide technical assistance to the school;
• Create early awareness of VR program and services;
• Appropriately identify students who may benefit from VR services;
• Participate in the planning and coordination of transition services for development of the Individualize Plan for Employment (IPE);
• Establish eligibility for VR services prior to exit from the school system;
• Provide VR transition services, where appropriate, if they are beyond the scope of special education; and
• Provide employment related services after the student exist the school system
PSS/SPEd is responsible for service delivery while the student with a disability is in school. If the IEP Team determines that a student requires access to an AT device at home in order to assure the child an appropriate program, PSS/SPEd will provide or purchase the AT. However, when the student with a disability is in school and has applied for VR, been determined eligible, and has an IPE developed, the cost of service necessary for both education and for the consumer to become employed, will be negotiated between the PSS/SPEd and OVR. Final approval to purchase the services required will depends on OVR funding availability and expenditure authorizes from PSS and OVR.
The agreement outlines each agency’s overall role and responsibilities relating to the provision of transition services of students with disabilities. The agreement included the development and approval of an individualized plan for employment (IPE) before each student is determined eligible for VR services leaves the school setting. The Individualized Plan of Employment (IPE) is coordinated & developed by the Counselor and Consumer with all necessary services, resources available and approved by expenditure authority. The consumer is made sure that his/her informed choices are readily provided.
This screen was last updated on Aug 11 2010 7:13PM by Lourdes Atalig
Attachment 4.8(b): Cooperation, Collaboration, and Coordination
with Other Agencies and Other Entities
(3) Cooperative Agreements with Private Non-Profit Organizations
There are no Private Non-Profit organizations that provide vocational rehabilitation services in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), therefore, OVR does not have any cooperative agreements with any private non-profit agency.
This screen was last updated on Jul 1 2010 11:53PM by Lourdes Atalig
Attachment 4.8(b): Cooperation, Collaboration, and Coordination with Other Agencies and Other Entities
(4) Arrangements and Cooperative Agreements for the
Provision of Supported Employment Services
In FY 2007, OVR negotiated a contract with a private company to provide job coaching services. The job coaches assisted individuals with most significant disabilities during their participation in the Work Experience Training Program. The company is also willing to provide personal attendant services when required.
The lack of community rehabilitation programs (CRP) and supported employment and extended service providers is a major obstacle to providing the comprehensive support services required to achieve success in this program. Discussions with public agencies and individual service providers to provide supported employment and extended services are on-going. OVR will also continue to inform potential employers of various incentives and assistance that may be available when hiring or maintaining individuals with the most significant disabilities.
This screen was last updated on Jun 28 2009 11:53PM by Lourdes Atalig
Data System on Personnel and Personnel Development
OVR staff qualifications are reviewed to identify educational and training needs that are required to enhance professional development. These needs are incorporated in individual staff development plans that conform to both CNMI personnel and VR standards as established in the Rehabilitation Act Amendments of 1998. All counseling personnel who do not meet these standards will be required to show significant progress per Section 101(a)(7) of the Rehabilitation Act. Activities that will continue to be conducted on an annual basis include: 1) Projections on the number of VR consumers to assess staffing needs, and to maintain or plan appropriate and adequate staffing levels; 2) Findings of monitoring reports, SRC recommendations, Customer Satisfaction survey results, and performance evaluations will be reviewed for staffing suggestions. Other documents, such as reviewers’ comments on the state plan development, deficiencies noted in submitted quarterly/annual RSA reports, and audit reports will also be reviewed; 3) Consulting with VR counseling staff to identify training topics; and 4) Review of progress on the individual professional staff development plan.
The Office of Vocational Rehabilitation currently employs six (6) personnel to serve approximately two hundred (200) individuals/consumers per year. Personnel providing VR services to individuals are one (1) VR Counselor I, two (2) VR Counselor II, one (1) Rehabilitation Technician II, and two (2) VR Counselor Aides. The OVR currently needs to fill the vacancy position of a Case Services Manager in order to be at full staffing level.
It is projected over this period that approximately two hundred fifty (250) individuals per year will be served. Based on these projections, it is anticipated that the following positions will be filled over the next five (5) years or be provided on contractual basis:
•Job coach service – the need to accommodate our consumers with job coach services for limited duration, when the need is there, will be provided on a contractual basis or provided on part time basis. Because of the collaborative effort between the Public School System - Special Education Program and OVR, OVR may not be providing it solely, however, OVR stands ready to commit the service when the demand is there, regardless if our partner agency may not be able to provide it because of circumstances beyond their control. Presently, OVR is in the process of announcement for a contractual service for FY’2012 to provide the service.
•Job developer – is another critical component that would assist in aggressively identifying employers and/or innovatively creating job skills for our consumers to be self-employed and/or to gain marketable job skills for general employment to achieve the desired result of total independence. However, for as we anticipate increase of consumers and the demand for identification of employers from both the private and public sectors, this position will definitely need to support the current responsibilities of our VR Counselors.
|Row||Job Title||Total positions||Current vacancies||Projected vacancies over the next 5 years|
|1||Case Services Manager||1||1||1|
There are no institutions of higher education within the CNMI, Micronesia, or Hawaii that offer a Master’s in Rehabilitation Counseling. OVR’s recruitment efforts have been limited to contacts at San Diego State University (SDSU) for referrals or information about recent graduates in the field. One (1) of the three (3) VR counselors obtained a Master’s Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from the SDSU in FY 2005 and is currently in the process of preparing to re-take her Certification in Rehabilitation Counseling Exam on Guam. Another counselor, currently enrolled under the SDSU’s on-line Master’s Program for Rehabilitation Counseling, is confirmed for completion of her Master’s program by late July FY 2012. The third counselor, who was recently hired in April FY 2012, is expected to begin the Master’s program at SDSU in Spring FY 2013. OVR will continue to encourage its counseling support staff to enroll in the SDSU’s distance education program and at the Northern Marianas College at the level of their professional development needs and requirements. OVR will continue to explore educational and training opportunities offered by other educational institutions that can further assist with enhancing the professional development of OVR staff.
|Row||Institutions||Students enrolled||Employees sponsored by agency and/or RSA||Graduates sponsored by agency and/or RSA||Graduates from the previous year|
|1||San Diego State University||2||2||1||1|
There are no institutions of higher education within the CNMI, Micronesia, or Hawaii that offer a Master’s in Rehabilitation Counseling. OVR’s recruitment efforts have been limited to contacts at San Diego State University (SDSU) for referrals or information about recent graduates in the field. OVR will continue its efforts in obtaining a list of CNMI students who are receiving local scholarship assistance and majoring in related fields at off-island universities and/or colleges. These students will be sent information about careers in rehabilitation in hopes of spurring interest. Job skills development for current personnel will be accomplished through enrollment in appropriate Northern Marianas College, International Business, and Professional College courses. Staff educational, skills, and professional development will also be reinforced by regularly scheduling staff to attend job skills training sessions conducted by other government agencies such as the Office of Personnel Management and local organizations. Other recruitment and retention activities include: 1) Participating in job fairs and career day activities to generate interest and awareness among college and high school students, especially students with disabilities, of potential career opportunities in the field of vocational rehabilitation; 2) Encouraging students who are ready to graduate, high-school and post-secondary institutions, to file resumes that may be considered if, and when, a VR vacancy is created through retirement, resignation, promotion, or transfer of existing staff and when additional counseling positions are established in the future; 3) Conducting reviews of administrative and counselor salary schedules of related agencies and/or organizations to determine benchmark salary ranges for types of vacant positions. Based on these reviews, competitive compensation packages for VR administrative and counseling positions can be established with Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to recruit and retain highly qualified applicants and staff. Applicants that represent the ethnically diverse community and individuals with disabilities will be given hiring preference; 4) Providing an attractive benefits package to off-island hires that includes a housing allowance, recruitment and repatriation transportation, and participation in professional development activities such as attending off-island workshops, conferences, and other opportunities for earning professional continuing professional education credits; and 5) Conducting awareness and outreach activities with our local television company to market employment incentives and encourage persons with disabilities to have courage to enter the workforce.
OVR has not developed a formal recruitment strategy to reach minorities and individuals with disabilities. However, since FY’2009 all employees of OVR have been representatives of minority groups. Currently, five of OVR’s fourteen staff members are individuals with disabilities who are active and past VR consumers. It has always been OVR’s position and practice to contact and encourage qualified current and former VR consumers to apply for any vacant positions within the office. OVR also employs all qualified individuals and without regard to race, beliefs, economic status or challenges.
Since the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) is one of the U.S. insular areas, OVR opted not to have a state defined standard for VR Counselors. To ensure that OVR counselors are comparable to U.S. mainland counselors, OVR maintains adherence to the highest standards as established by the mainland educational requirements of a certified rehabilitation counselor as the agency standards. However, because of the limited pool of qualified applicants for VR Counselor positions, OVR opened with flexibility the recruitment of individuals with a Bachelor’s Degree in Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling or related field from an accredited U.S. College or University with at least 3 years of experience in counseling or social work or other related fields for VR Counselors. Experience in working with individuals with disabilities is also required. If the applicant does not have a Master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling, he/she is informed that obtaining the graduate degree is a requirement of the position. Thus, an Individual Degree Plan is then developed to ensure that the Master’s degree is obtained within three (3) years from date of employment. Counselor transcript, student records, and grades are submitted to the OVR Director for periodic review to determine if progress is satisfactory.
OVR’s on-going staff development activities which incorporate both on and off-island opportunities include: 1) Enrolling in relevant courses offered at Northern Marianas College, the International Business and Professional College, and any other organizations or institutions that offer coursework that will enhance job skills; 2) Attending relative trainings, workshops, and seminars offered by the Office of Personnel Management, other government agencies, and organizations; 3) Attending conferences and workshops that cover specific VR related issues to enhance program knowledge and practices and to earn VR counselor professional certifications and Continuing Education Units; 4) Coordinating intensive training sessions with TACE IX (Technical Assistance and Continuing Education) designed specifically for VR staff covering a variety of subjects that will enhance work skills and professional development and program knowledge; 5) Initiating inter-agency awareness through trainings and workshops covering VR issues with appropriate staff from partner agencies and other organizations; and 6) Continued networking with NRLI Cohort graduates for assistance in VR counseling, management and staff training needs.
The educational needs for OVR personnel are determined based on input from the State Rehabilitation Council, findings of RSA Monitoring reports, Comprehensive Training Needs Assessment, and Individual Staff Performance Evaluations. OVR will continue its on-going staff development activities that are funded in part by the In-Service Training grant. OVR plans to continue contracting with San Diego State University TACE IX to provide trainings on assessments, vocational counseling, and job placement and rehabilitation technology. OVR Manager for Administration and Operations will undergo management and leadership training through the National Rehabilitation Leadership Institute (NRLI).
Information and hand-outs from workshops and trainings attended by OVR staffs are shared, reviewed, and discussed during staff monthly meetings and also presented at the Council’s quarterly meetings.
The majority of OVR staffs are multi-lingual, with personnel who can speak, read, and write in English, Chamorro, Carolinian, and Palauan. One VR Counselor possesses signing skills. OVR staff members have also participated in ASL classes offered at the Northern Marianas College. Counseling staff have also participated in the annual Rehabilitation Counseling w/deaf & hard of hearing adults training sponsored by the Western Oregon University. Plans are also underway for other counseling staff to register for the signing skills class when courses become available at the Northern Marianas College.
Plans are in place for OVR and CNMI Public School System (PSS) officials to discuss the coordination of personnel development activities through joint training sessions that involve OVR staff and PSS faculty. Additional coordination efforts will be addressed with the arrival of TACE IX consultants in August 2012. TACE IX consultants will assist with relevant training topics and potential cost sharing arrangements.
This screen was last updated on Jun 25 2012 9:45PM by Christopher Camacho
Identify the need to establish, develop, or improve community rehabilitation programs within the state.
In FY’2010, the Comprehensive Statewide Assessment of Rehabilitation Needs of Individuals With Disabilities was conducted by Region IX TACE (Technical Assistance & Continuing Education Center) of SDSU-II (San Diego State University Interwork Institute) covering FY’ 2008-2010. The Office of Vocational Rehabilitation in partnership with the State Rehabilitation Council conducts a Comprehensive Statewide Assessment every three years as required under Section 101(a)(15) of the Rehabilitation Act, as amended. The Final Report was completed in March 18, 2011. The next Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment will cover FY’ 2011-2013 and the results will be submitted to RSA with the FY 2014 State Plan.
Results of the CNMI 2010 Census will include data on people with disabilities; however, data and information on such demographic characteristics will not be available until September 2012. Currently, only CNMI 2010 Census statistics on housing and population counts per village are available.
The FY’2010 Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment (CSNA) conducted by Region IX TACE of SDSU-II personnel used survey instruments developed and utilized in the State of California. However, the resulting report did not have data or information specific to the population of individuals with most significant disabilities (MSD).
The structure of the surveys designed for individuals with disabilities and community agencies were organized into six categories: mobility, communication, self-care, interpersonal skills, work skills, and work tolerance. The summary of the FY’ 2010 final assessment findings are as follows:
How important is it for you to receive help to meet any mobility needs that are not currently being met? Twenty-three of the 34 individuals who responded to this question indicated that receiving help with unmet mobility needs was either “important” or “very important”. The focus group findings in mobility as follows:
1. Accessible parking—The mobility concern most noted by focus group participants related to lack of accessible parking spaces are:
•There is no enforcement of the accessible parking spaces;
•Fines for inappropriate use of accessible parking spaces need to increase;
•More funding is needed for accessible parking space.
2. Vendor Services: Focus groups discussed the lack of vendor services. There is a need for Vendors in the CNMI to be informed and update their business with supplies of assistive technologies/devices for people with disabilities.
3. Public Transportation Services: Without a reliable public transportation it is impossible for many, if not most, individuals with disabilities to keep all necessary appointments with service providers e.g. eligibility meetings, assessments, employment, and others. Public transportation concerns revolved around the lack of public transportation systems in the CNMI and include the following sentiments:
•There is a need to advocate for Local Bill 17-43, which will establish a Department of Transportation so that CNMI can apply for federal transportation funding.
•There is a lack of public transit and no transit authority.
4. Physical accessibility of establishments: Participants in three focus groups described their experiences with physical barriers to buildings in the community. The following statement described the needs in this area:
•Many stores are not ADA compliant and are not wheelchair accessible
•Lack of resources to renovate buildings for accessibility
•Lack of funding for building modification and barrier removal
•Government buildings do not have accessible elevators.
How important is if for you to receive help to meet any communication needs that are not currently being met? Responses to this question indicated a slightly higher degree of importance on receiving additional help in the area of communication compared to mobility. Many of the issues of communication deemed to be of greatest unmet need were those related to employment, e.g. getting information on how to progress in your career, getting access to a computer, preparing for job interviews, getting a reader or interpreter, getting or using communication aids or supports, and communicating by telephone.
The communication need discussed most frequently was services with assistive communication technology. The following comments illustrated the needs:
•There is rapid development in the technology field, but these tools are not available in the CNMI;
•The lack of technology for the Deaf and hearing impaired;
•Inadequate technologies at the AT Center for the Blind, e.g. Braille embosser, etc.
How important is it for you to receive help with any self care needs that are not currently being met? Respondents placed a high degree of importance in receiving additional assistance with self-care. Of the 39 respondents, 34 (87%) indicated that getting help with unmet self care needs was either “important” or “very important”. Self-care issues of the greatest unmet need reported by respondents focused upon understanding health and income benefits, getting information about your health insurance benefits, managing finances, independent living skills training and the need for personal care attendants.
Interpersonal skills needs were identified as unmet needs by approximately one-third of individual respondents. Of the 37 respondents, 31 (83.7%) individuals responded that getting assistance with unmet interpersonal skills needs was either “important” or “very important”. The Focus group findings indicated that interpersonal skills were not a highly expressed unmet need. The only interpersonal skill mentioned was the need for social interaction opportunities for persons with disabilities.
The areas of greatest unmet need reported by respondents related to planning activities and starting activities, followed by actually starting activities such as job tasks. Focus group results showed that the unmet work skill needs for people with disabilities were discussed at a lower rate in comparison to all other needs. Work skills needs that were addressed included the need for pre-vocational training, the need for more work experience, and needs related to supported employment services.
The unmet need reported by respondents pertained to use of computers and technology at work and employer accommodations. Focus group findings that unmet work tolerance needs for people with disabilities were discussed at a lower rate in comparison to all other needs. Work tolerance needs that were mentioned included the need for assistance in adjusting to a new job and the need for supports after an individual starts working.
Participants in the focus groups conducted in CNMI described other needs that did not included in the above six functional areas of need (mobility, communication, self-care, interpersonal skills, work skills, and work tolerance). Additional topics of need generally fit into the following categories:
•Service systems: Majority of unmet needs were related to the service systems (agencies, organizations, in addition to OVR) that provide vocational or independent living services to individuals with disabilities. Although the statewide Workfoce Investment System, was not specifically involved as respondents to the survey, it is a system that refers clients to OVR. Needs expressed by respondents to the survey included the need to conduct more outreach and to educate employers, the need for health care services, the need for agencies to cooperate and share information, unmet needs due to a lack of social service providers, and the need for assistance with benefits planning.
•Other Needs: The needs expressed with the greatest degree of consensus in this category included the need for more assistive technology services, the need to conduct outreach and education to the general public, the need to improved job placement services, and the need for respite for family members serving as care providers.
•Transition: Some of the needs expressed included issues related to assistive technology, general improvement to transition services, improving students’ communication skills, issues with the IEP, and engaging parents in the transition process.
Individuals who are minorities:
The Final CSNA for 2008-2010, published in 2011, inlcudes a breakdown of the minority populations surveyed. The cultural background of respondents included persons who reported being Chamorro, Carolinian, Palauan, Ponpeian, Filipino or Other. Needs identified included disability awareness, collaboration between service systems and the development of MOUs, employer education, outreach, Assistive Technology services, job coaches and support by community agencies. OVR had planned on including data relevant to the total population of the CNMI, the number of persons with disabilities who are minorities, and other demographic characteristics of residents were not included in the survey pending the final report from the CNMI Census 2010. As of summer FY2011, results from the CNMI Census 2010 became available, however, only data on housing and population counts per election districts are currently available. Data on other demographic characteristics will not become available until September 2012, as reported by the CNMI Department of Commerce. Pertinent demographic data will be included in the FY’ 2014 State Plan Updates.
Individuals with disabilities who have been un-served or under-served by the Vocational Rehabilitation Program: Every effort was made to reach un-served and underserved populations by distributing surveys to community organizations whether or not they were consumers of the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation. Individual self-administered surveys were also distributed to persons with disabilities through Office of Vocational Rehabilitation staff and through organizations that provide services to persons with disabilities. Through these organizations, the needs assessment team hoped to collect information from individuals who had no prior relationship with the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation and obtain information representing un-served or underserved population. A total of one hundred (100) individual self-administered surveys were distributed to individuals with disabilities in the CNMI. Only forty (40) responded to the surveys. A total of twenty-five (25) community agency self-administered surveys were distributed and only seven (7) responded to the surveys. THe most frequently expressed needs included: Getting information about mobility accommodations; Finding out where to get mobility accommodations; Getting attendants; Understanding benefits such as SSI, SSDI, food stamps, Medicare/Medicaid and MIP; Getting information about health insurance benefits; Actually planning or organizing activities, such as job tasks; Getting or using assistive devices at work or training; and Determining how computers or other technology might help individuals with disabilities at work.
Projecting the number of individuals who are most significantly disabled, un-served and underserved is problematical in the CNMI. The most recent information on the disabled population in the CNMI is the Census 2000 findings. According to the Census, there were roughly 7,700 individuals, ages 21 to 64, who reported themselves as disabled, 79% of this number reported that they were employed. No other information is given. This lack of specific detailed information on individuals with disabilities makes it extremely difficult to produce meaningful projections on the numbers and categories of the disabled population. The Census 2010 demographic characteristics data that is yet to be released will provide the number of individuals with disabilities. VR services should ensure that these individuals’ need, and the nature and scope of services may be extrapolated from the assessment findings. Providers of the services will be determined by the individuals’ needs. However, the majority of respondents surveyed reported their primary diability as specific learning disability, other, orthopedic, mental impairment, other visual or missing/declined to select. Of the respondents surveyed, the following needs were identified: job coach services, planning and organizing job tasks and activities, as well as more/improved supported employment services.
Individuals with disabilities served through other components of the statewide workforce investment systems were not specifically surveyed, as community rehabiltiation agencies or programs did respond to the surveys, which are included in the Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment. Currently, the CNMI Workforce Investment Agency (WIA) routinely refers individuals with disabilities who apply for their services to OVR. Their needs are addressed as OVR consumers. However, OVR will specifically survey the workfoce development system in its next CSNA.
The need to establish, develop, or improve community rehabilitation programs in the CNMI was no tidentified in the FY’2010 CSNA. Although respondents did communicate the need for community supports, as many rely on families to provide employment and independent living supports. The need for MOUS to be developed were also stated as a need in the 2008-2010 CSNA and for agencies and systems to collaborate and share resources. OVR continues to emphasize the importance of establishing and developing Community Rehabilitation Programs to more fully address the problems and requirement of individuals with disabilities in the CNMI who seek employment. OVR in conjunction with the State Rehabilitation Council will continue to pursue discussions with the administration and law makers in regards to appropriation of local funds to CRPs to be used solely for this purpose.
Summary of Prominent Needs identified in the CSNA:
•A need for assistance with self-employment planning and financing
•A need to address barriers to physical access to public spaces
•A need to educate employers and the public about disability
•Work skills (the ability to learn or perform work functions)
•Work tolerance (the ability to sustain the required level of work function)
•Getting information about your health insurance benefits
•Preparing for job interviews
•Getting information on how to progress in their careers
•Determining how computers or other technology might help them at work
•Using information from printed materials and signs
•Learning about the work settings that would be best for them.
A number of these needs and services could be provided by Community Rehabilitation Programs (CRPs). Being that there is only one CRP in the CNMI, the lack of CRPs is a major obstacle to addressing and providing these necessary services.
Employer and Public Education Regarding Disabilities:
•Employers are not accommodating individuals with disabilities or assigning them to alternate work; they need to be educated about disabilities
•Employers need to be educated about retaining employees with disabilities
•There is a need to educate the public about disabilities in order to overcome misconceptions
•Employer attitudes about disability are a major barrier to employment
•Employers are concerned about safety and they have misconceptions about the safety record of people with disabilities
•Employers need to be informed of incentives for hiring persons with disabilities.
Cooperation between Service Agencies:
•There is a need for more collaboration and dialogue between service agencies
•Agencies need to understand one another better; collaboration is not happening
•We need more cross-training opportunities with staff from other agencies.
•Individuals with learning disabilities are assessed if they should require OVR services
•We need to serve the autism population more effectively
•There is a need to conduct more outreach to people in Rota and Tinian.
Significant and Most Significantly Disabled Individuals:
Individuals who were invited to participate in the focus group sessions were all former or current OVR consumers who had significant or most significant disabilities. The needs identified during the focus group sessions are considered as representative of the needs of individuals with significant and most significant disabilities. Three specific needs mentioned were:
1) Lack of accessible public transportation system has been cited in the needs assessment conducted in FY’2010. The HB 17-43 which will establish an Office of Transit Authority in the CNMI is still pending. There is still no public transportation system nor accessible public transportation in the CNMI.
2) OVR will continue to refer individuals to the CNMI Council on Developmental Disabilities for AT funding assistance through their Trankilu Alternative Financing Program. Individuals who are eligible for VR services will be provided AT assistance as part of their rehabilitation plan.
3) OVR continues to contract a local health-related service company to provide job coaching services for OVR consumers who were most significantly disabled. OVR will continue to work with the company to ensure that the job coaches are available when required and that they are adequately trained and qualified.
This screen was last updated on Aug 1 2012 5:45PM by Christopher Camacho
Based on a three year average of total applicants for fiscal years 2009, 2010, and 2011, OVR estimates that approximately 230 individuals will receive VR services in FY 2013. Previous year caseloads for both Title I Basic Support and Title VI, Part B, Supported Employment were as follows: 1) Title I, Basic Support = 95 eligible individuals; and 2) Title VI, Part B, Supported Employment = 55 eligible individuals. Based on previous year totals, OVR estimates that approximately 150 individuals will be determined eligible for BS and SE services in FY 2013. Costs are as follows: 1) Title I, Basic Support = $194,376; which amounts to approximately $2,046 per eligible consumer; and 2) Title VI, Part B, Supported Employment = $32,394; which amounts to approximately $589 per eligible consumer.
The FY 2011 Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment was completed in March 2011, but did not include the population of persons with disabilities in the CNMI due to the CNMI Census 2010 being unavailable at the time of the assessment. In the summer of FY 2011, the CNMI Census 2010 results became available, however, only provided data on housing and population per election district. Information on demographic characteristics will not be available until September 2012. It is estimated that there may be as many as three thousand individuals of working age with disabilities in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI). A significant number of these individuals may be eligible for VR services. At the rate of consumers maximizing services provided by the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR), OVR is blessed not to operate under an Order of Selection.
|Category||Title I or Title VI||Estimated Funds||Estimated Number to be Served||Average Cost of Services|
This screen was last updated on Jul 29 2012 6:37PM by Christopher Camacho
The Office of Vocational Rehabilitation and the State Rehabilitation Council reviewed and jointly approved the revised goals. The goals and priorities of the OVR for FY 2012, developed in collaboration with the CNMI SRC, and incorporating the findings of the FY 2010 Comprehensive Statewide Assessment, are as follows: Goal 1. Strive to deliver quality and timely services to applicants and consumers. Priorities: (a) Continue efforts to maintain an effective program management system by conducting performance evaluations on a quarterly basis; (b) Continue to provide training and educational opportunities for VR counseling and administrative staff to meet established standards and enhance professional staff development by identifying both on-island and off-island opportunities; (c) Continue collaboration with disability and disability-related partners in the community to maximize resources by meeting regularly to discuss current efforts. Goal 2. Serve as an advocate for individuals with disabilities Priorities: (a) Continue to work closely with policy leaders to recognize the valuable contributions of individuals with disabilities and provide incentives through legislation for employers who hire individuals with disabilities; (b) Continue to market and promote the VR program through memberships on other councils and through public education activities; (c) Increase employers’ awareness of VR programs and services and the viability and benefits of hiring individuals with disabilities by conducting educational activities aimed at employers. (d) Continue to advocate for the passage of HB17-43 to establish an Office of Transit Authority so that CNMI will be able to get funding source for accessible public transportation for our people with disabilities. Goal 3. Continue to work closely with the Workforce Investment Board to maintain and improve the best features of our workforce development system and to integrate services for consumers. Priorities: (a) Maintain and utilize the representation of OVR, SRC, and WIA members in the partnering organizations and continue to strengthen the relationships; (b) Conduct inter-agency training/awareness of disability involving staff with similar job responsibilities. Goal 4. Facilitate the seamless transition of students with disabilities to employment or continued education. Priorities: (a) Continue to refined and strengthen the existing collaboration with the Public School System/Special Education as described in the interagency agreement to ensure appropriate services are provided to students with disabilities by monitoring the number of referrals; (b) Participate in PSS career days and job exploration activities; (c) Implement the provisions of the interagency agreement with Northern Marianas College to ensure appropriate services and supports are provided to eligible students with disabilities by meeting with appropriate staff and faculty members; (d) Continue to participate and initiate disability related training activities for PSS/SPED and NMC staff and faculty.
This screen was last updated on Aug 3 2011 8:39PM by Lourdes Atalig
- Identify the order to be followed in selecting eligible individuals to be provided vocational rehabilitation services.
- Identify the justification for the order.
- Identify the service and outcome goals.
- Identify the time within which these goals may be achieved for individuals in each priority category within the order.
- Describe how individuals with the most significant disabilities are selected for services before all other individuals with disabilities.
This screen was last updated on Jun 28 2009 11:55PM by Lourdes Atalig
The OVR goals and plans for the distribution of Title VI, Part B Funds Supported Employment (SE) Services are 5% for administrative costs and the balance for the provision and delivery of services to individuals with the most significant disabilities. These services will include, but are not limited to, consumer’s assessment, transportation, job placement/training, job coaches, personal attendants, assistive technology devices, job and worksite modifications that may be required by consumers at employment sites, and other services needed by the individual to achieve employment outcomes. With these services, OVR’s goal as described in 4.11(c)(4) is to achieve approximately ten (10) supported employment outcomes per year.
In FY 2011, OVR was only able to achieve eight (8) supported employment outcomes, falling short of meeting the goal. Some of the factors that impeded the achievement of OVR’s goals included: 1) Consumers have been requiring extended services; 2) Lack of employment opportunities in the CNMI; and 3) Consumers failing to cooperate or refusing further services.
In addition, there is a lack of community rehabilitation programs and extended employment service providers with only one CRP in the CNMI providing job coaching and extended services. The CNMI has only one community rehabilitation program, Marianas Health Services, which can at least provide personal assistance and/or job coaching services for consumers. OVR continues to contract with Marianas Health Services to provide job coaching services to individuals with the most significant disabilities (MSD) during their participation in the work experience training program (WET). It does need to expand its programs to cater to the unique needs of OVR consumers for the successful realization of their goals and objectives as stated in their individual employment plans. OVR ensures that it continues to expend the Title VI, Part B funds to qualified service providers who will assist consumers in maintaining employment in an integrated work setting.
This screen was last updated on Jul 29 2012 6:46PM by Christopher Camacho
This attachment should include required strategies and how the agency will use these strategies to achieve its goals and priorities, support innovation and expansion activities, and overcome any barriers to accessing the vocational rehabilitation and the supported employment programs. (See sections 101(a)(15)(D) and (18)(B) of the Act and Section 427 of the General Education Provisions Act (GEPA)).
Describe the methods to be used to expand and improve services to individuals with disabilities.
Identify how a broad range of assistive technology services and assistive technology devices will be provided to individuals with disabilities at each stage of the rehabilitation process; and describe how assistive technology services and devices will be provided to individuals with disabilities on a statewide basis.
Identify what outreach procedures will be used to identify and serve individuals with disabilities who are minorities, including those with the most significant disabilities; and what outreach procedures will be used to identify and serve individuals with disabilities who have been unserved or underserved by the VR program.
If applicable, identify plans for establishing, developing, or improving community rehabilitation programs within the state.
Describe strategies to improve the performance of the state with respect to the evaluation standards and performance indicators.
Describe strategies for assisting other components of the statewide workforce investment system in assisting individuals with disabilities.
Describe how the agency's strategies will be used to:
- achieve goals and priorities identified in Attachment 4.11(c)(1);
- support innovation and expansion activities; and
- overcome identified barriers relating to equitable access to and participation of individuals with disabilities in the state Vocational Rehabilitation Services Program and the state Supported Employment Services Program.
Attachment 4.11: Assessments; Annual Estimates;
Goals and Priorities; Strategies; and Reports of Progress
(d) State’s Strategies and the Use of Title I Funds for
Innovation and Expansion Activities
(To Address Needs Identified in the Comprehensive Assessment and to Achieve Identified Goals and Priorities)
The strategies that OVR has chosen to assist achieving its goals and priorities for FY 2009 are:
Goal 1. Expand and improve services to individuals with disabilities
OVR staff will conduct presentations on Tinian and Rota aimed at students and parents to inform them of transition services that can be provided. Flyers and posters will be distributed announcing the assistance the OVR can provide to individuals with disabilities.
OVR will strengthen its collaboration with the Community Guidance Center, the Transitional Living Center, the Mental Health Planning Council, the Autism Society of the CNMI and the Council on Developmental Disabilities to identify outreach activities.
Contracting the former PSS AT Specialist will ensure that a range of AT services and devices will be available to individuals with disabilities
OVR will conduct a comprehensive review of internal and external processes and procedures that may serve as barriers and develop resolutions.
Goal 2. Serve as an advocate for individuals with disabilities
OVR will continue its attempts to recruit employers as members of the SRC. This will facilitate a better understanding of the feasibility of hiring individuals with disabilities. OVR will also conduct presentations at the Saipan Chamber of Commerce meetings.
OVR is part of a network that receives notices of pending legislation prior to general public announcements. Utilizing this information will allow OVR to compose and submit comments on a timely basis.
OVR will work with its partners to identify topics of training that will benefit the agency or organization.
Collaborate with State Rehabilitation Council (SRC), partner agencies for the realization of a community rehabilitation program that can be spearheaded by VR consumer support group.
Goal 3. Continue to work closely with the Workforce Investment Board to maintain and improve the best features of our workforce development system and to integrate services for consumers.
OVR will continue to ensure that WIA (State Workforce Investment Board) is represented at all VR related functions and visa versa. WIA has designated a staff to work directly with OVR in placing VR consumers in jobs after having been properly screened.
OVR will continue to participate in WIA apprenticeship panel in efforts to address the critical need of apprenticeship which should also include the participation of persons with disabilities.
OVR will pursue more cooperative and linkage agreements with other agencies and organizations providing related services to individuals with disabilities to avoid duplication of services.
The Executive Director of the Workforce Investment Agency (WIA) is an active member of the SRC. Other members of SRC represent disability related agencies and organizations. OVR and the Division of Employment Services of the Department of Labor, NMC, and the PSS/Special Education Program have on-going interagency agreements.
Goal 4. Facilitate the seamless transition of students with disabilities to employment or continued education.
OVR will meet regularly with PSS and NMC officials to review and monitor progress on their respective interagency agreements. OVR will also meet with faculty and staff to encourage referrals. Presentations and interagency training will increase cooperation and collaboration between the agencies.
Other activities that will be continued include:
• Printing and distribution of promotional and marketing materials.
• Purchases of ads for radio spots, TV and printed media.
• Improvements and expansion of the OVR web page.
• Inter-agency training and seminars highlighting VR program and services.
• Promotion of OVR as a resource for employers, annual training sessions for the employers, and activities supporting the October Disability Employment Awareness Month.
• Memberships will be continued in professional organizations that provide opportunities for VR information sharing.
• The counselor’s monthly visitation to the islands of Tinian and Rota will be continued.
• The State Rehabilitation Council and the Statewide Independent Living Council will hold at least one meeting annually on both Tinian and Rota to increase awareness of their existence, roles and responsibilities. Annual retreats for the Councils and attendance at national conferences and seminars will also be coordinated to increase their participation and effectiveness as council/board members.
(To Carry Out Outreach Activities to Identify and Serve Individuals with the Most Significant Disabilities Who are Minorities)
OVR will strengthen its collaboration with the Community Guidance Center, the Transitional Living Center, the Mental Health Planning Council, the Autism Society of the CNMI and the Council on Developmental Disabilities to identify outreach activities and serve individuals with the most significant disabilities. Although there is no need to specifically target minority individuals in the CNMI because the 985 of the population are members of minority groups, OVR will continue to conduct media advertisement in native languages. In addition to these activities, OVR has prioritized the recruitment and hiring of staff members who represent the various ethnic groups in the CNMI, possess multi-lingual skills, and are sensitive to and aware of cultural values.
How Assistive Technology Services and Devices will be provided to Individuals with Disabilities on a Statewide Basis:
•Conduct assessment and evaluation through contract with Marianas Assistive Technology Services with regards to individuals with disabilities in need of AT services and technology
•Increase awareness activities on VR services that would benefit those in need of AT services and technology
•OVR continues with outreach efforts through media channels (newspapers, television, and radio) which inform the statewide population on the availability of vocational rehabilitation services. OVR Counselors then discuss with eligible consumers a range of methods to address particular disabilities which include the use of assistive technology services and devices.
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.
•Through participation in Assistive Technology fair conducted annually by the Developmental Disabilities Council A.T. Program
•Through collaborative meetings with partner agencies focusing and identifying the AT needs of individuals with disabilities
•OVR counselors work together with medical professionals to determine Assistive Technology Services and Devices necessary to address the consumers’ needs.
Outreach Procedures to Identify and Serve individuals with Disabilities who have been Underserved or Unserved by the Program
•Conduct surveys on all three islands (Saipan,Tinian, Rota) through media and OVR website
•Collaborate with KKMP local Radio Station for awareness talk show on VR services benefiting individuals with disabilities in the CNMI
•As part of OVR’s outreach efforts, vocational rehabilitation services are announced through media channels (newspaper, television, and radio) and forums. Counselors conducts monthly visits to Rota and Tinian to provide VR services and meet with partner agencies for any referrals of individuals that would avail to OVR services.
Plans for Establishing, Developing, or Improving Community Rehabiltiation Programs
•Request the assistance of SDSU TACE to assist in this area
•Collaborate with all partner agencies on concrete plans in meeting the CRP needs of individuals with disabilities serve by each ser ice proving agency
•Through collaboration with partner stakeholder of SRC
Strategies for Assisting other Components of the Statewide Workforce Investment System in Assisting Individuals with Disabilities.
•Counseling staff will collaborate quarterly with the Workforce Investment Agency (WIA) clients contact to ensure that sharing of employment resources and activities are continued and undertaken as specified in consumers IPEs
•Conduct period meetings or updates and progress on workforce and employment for individuals with disabilities under both VR and WIA agencies
Strategies to Support Innovation and Expansion Activities.
Title I funds for Innovation and Expansion were utilized to promote and generate awareness of individuals with disabilities and programs and services by:
•Sponsoring and participating in public recognition/awareness events
•Using the various media for announcements, advertisements, and press releases related to disability activities
•Developing promotional materials containing information about individuals with disabilities and programs and services that are offered
•Purchasing materials and supplies that will be available to consumers and general public and for distribution to other agencies including PSS/SPED for transition student support
•Continuing monthly outreach travels to the municipalities of Tinian and Rota
Funds were also used for the State Rehabilitation Council activities such as:
•Travel by SRC members to attend conferences, meetings, and trainings
•Facilities rentals for SRC meetings and training sessions
•Consultant fees for training and policy development
•Meeting materials and advertising costs
•Printed materials for public awareness/information
Overcoming identified Barriers Relating to Equitable Access to and Participation of Individuals with Disabilities in the state VR Services Program and the state Supported Employment Services Program.
•Conduct survey among individuals with disabilities on barriers that may not be revealed during meetings with consumers and counselors.
•Conduct staff in-service training focusing on issues pertinent to barriers relating to Equitable access in awareness of information beneficial to individuals with disabilities
This screen was last updated on Aug 3 2011 9:01PM by Lourdes Atalig
Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) and Supported Employment (SE) Goals
In collaboration with the SRC, the effectiveness of OVR was measured by reviewing the achievement of stated goals and priorities, the extent to which the evaluation standards and performance indicators were met, and the use of Title I funds for Innovation and Expansion (I&E).
Goals, Priorities, and Activities. The goals and priorities of OVR for FY 2010 were developed in collaboration with the CNMI SRC, and incorporated the findings of the FY 2007 Comprehensive Statewide Assessment, performance on standards and indicators, and Consumer Satisfaction Survey results were as follows:
Goal 1. Expand and improve services to individuals with disabilities.
Priorities: a) Increase caseloads from Tinian and Rota (unserved and underserved areas) ;
Activity: Counselors have increased contacts with high school counselors to meet at the beginning of the school year and request for more applicant intake.
Activity: Counseling Staff continued to conduct monthly outreach activities and VR consumer follow-ups on the islands of Tinian and Rota; activities include conducting orientation and meeting with partner agencies to obtain information and data of individuals who can benefit from VR services. Contracting with A.T. Specialist for assessment of A.T. needs for OVR consumers is on-going.
b) Increase referrals of autistic and mentally impaired individuals (unserved and underserved individuals);
Activity: Counseling staff continue to be scheduled to attend the CNMI Autistic Organization meetings which are held monthly, including regular participation at IEP (Individualized Education Plan) meetings and MHPC (Mental Health Planning Council) meetings, and other relevant events/meetings as they are scheduled. This is OVR’s targeted strategy to increase awareness and provide information on VR services benefitting the autistic and mentally impaired individuals.
c) Contract the retired PSS AT specialist to conduct evaluations and make recommendations for appropriate AT devices;
Activity: OVR Counselors coordinate with the AT specialist to work specifically with consumer on AT needs as specified in their IPEs.
d) Identify and address barriers that impact the timely delivery, extent, and quality of services provided to consumers.
Activity: Through constant review and monitoring, OVR continually identifies operational and programmatic procedures that would be effective for VR service delivery. These revisions and changes are reflected in the comprehensive OVR Program Services Policy and Procedures Manual newly updated and implemented in September FY 2011. In addition, OVR directives and official bulletins are sent to all OVR staff and stakeholders, when required and as needed.
Activity: OVR utilized numerous resources, both on-and-off-island, and through electronic access for training, education, and other staff professional development activities. In-service training sessions utilizing on-island specialists and representatives from other disability-related agencies are also held regularly at OVR.
Training activities under the Technical Assistance and Continuing Education (TACE IX) grant of SDSU Inter-work Institute continues to be the source of staff professional development for OVR counseling, management and support staff.
Activity: OVR continues to identify and provide staff professional development training and educational advancement opportunities to enable VR counselors and administrative staff to meet established standards;
Activity: Under the existing partnership of OVR and Western Oregon University (WOU), OVR counseling and administrative staff having direct and/or indirect responsibilities to persons with hearing challenges, participated in the annual WOU Summer institute;
Activity: Keep current “best practices” related to service delivery to VR consumers by other VR agencies and sharing information with staff;
Activity: Information on “best practices” obtained from attending conferences, trainings, workshops, etc., as well as through electronic and hard copy correspondence are routinely disseminated and shared amongst all OVR staff during regularly scheduled staff meetings;
Goal 2. Serve as an advocate for individuals with disabilities
Priorities: a) Increase employer awareness of the VR program services and the viability and benefits of hiring individuals with disabilities by conducting educational activities specifically targeting employers.
1) OVR’s outreach and awareness materials (consumer success stories/testimonials, employer information packets, press releases, annual reports, etc.) were disseminated to both public and private agencies and organizations throughout the three main islands of Saipan, Rota, and Tinian including to the administrators of VR agencies throughout the U.S. Mainland;
2) OVR launched information and public awareness campaigns along with consumers, SRC members, and employer advocates to increase awareness of employer incentives and benefits via the local media outlets;
3) OVR coordinated the Employer Recognition Ceremonies on the three main islands of Saipan, Tinian, and Rota: Rota—October 6, 2011; Tinian—October 13, 2011; and Saipan—October 20, 2011. OVR recognized new companies and companies that have demonstrated their commitment to hiring and supporting individuals with disabilities. OVR continues to conduct employer awareness campaigns of the VR program services and the benefits of hiring individuals with disabilities.
Continue to expand and strengthen collaboration and cooperation with partner agencies on activities that promote the interests and contributions of individuals with disabilities.
b) Monitor legislation that impacts individuals with disabilities and provide input during the public hearing process;
Activity: A proclamation signing ceremony was scheduled at the CNMI Governor’s Office on September 30, 2011, however, due to pressing matters requiring the Governor’s immediate attention, the proclamation activity was canceled. SRC members continue to informally contact members of the legislature to discuss concerns and potential solutions.
c) Conduct inter-agency training and disability awareness activities for staff with similar job responsibilities.
1) OVR continues to organize and conduct inter-agency trainings and disability awareness activities with all partner agency staff. In FY2011, OVR coordinated, supported, or participated in events that promoted inter-agency training and disability awareness activities. Some training and disability awareness activities included the following: 1) OVR participating in Career Fair Days for both the CNMI Public School System and the Northern Marianas College; 2) Participating in partner agency events such as events and activities organized by the CNMI Cancer Association, the Public School System, NMPASI, the Autism Society, etc.; 3) Organizing and coordinating inter-agency trainings on disability regulation and the VR process which was conducted by Region IX TACE, SDSU personnel; 4) Celebrating National Disability Employer Awareness Month—NDEAM, National Rehabilitation Counselor’s Day, etc.; and 5) Ensuring that there are presenters representing other agencies such as enforcement, transportation, and homeland security agencies at the quarterly SRC meetings to provide information on accessibility, transportation accessibility for individuals with disabilities, and to promote disability awareness. OVR continues to collaborate with agencies and partner organizations in an overall effort to increase disability awareness.
Overall, OVR continues to be very active in supporting the activities of disability agencies and disability-related entities through direct participation and/or attendance (e.g., proclamation ceremonies, career fairs, meetings, trainings, workshops, etc.).
In addition, OVR continues to work with the SRC, the CNMI Office of the Governor, and the newly established Mass Transit Office, to address issues with accessible transportation for individuals with disabilities.
Goal 3. Facilitate the seamless transition of students with disabilities to employment or continued education.
a) Increase referrals from PSS and Northern Marianas College (NMC), strengthen the existing collaboration with the Public School System/Special Education, and to ensure appropriate services are provided to students with disabilities.
Activity: In an effort to increase referrals from PSS/SpEd and NMC, OVR resolved to strengthen collaboration and coordination efforts. Some of the activities OVR engaged in to achieve this included: 1) OVR and PSS/SpEd (Public School System/Special Education) reviewed and revised their inter-agency agreement which took effect October 2006; 2) Counseling staff continue to attend IEP meetings with the public high schools; and 3) OVR continues to organize and coordinate joint meetings with PSS conducted by Region IX TACE-SDSU personnel to identify transition related issues and strengthen collaboration between PSS and OVR. In addition, a PSS/SpEd staff is also a member of the State Rehabilitation Council and also served as the sub-committee chair for Transition and Assistive Technology.
Additional data that shows this strategy is increasing referrals from both the PSS and NMC, is the fact that OVR has experienced increased numbers in high-school transition cases and applications for services from NMC students and faculty. High-school transition cases have increased from 65 students in school year 2010-2011, to 82 students in school year 2011-2012. OVR continues to receive applications for VR services from NMC students and faculty, which is a strong indication that outreach activities targeting these particular groups are working;
b) Identify service providers, e.g. tutors, job coaches, for students with disabilities;
Activity: OVR continued working with the CNMI Workforce Investment Agency to place eligible transition students in appropriate job sites through the summer employment program.
c) Conduct presentations for faculty, staff, and parents of students with disabilities to provide information on OVR services and assistance;
Activity: OVR regularly organizes and coordinates opportunities for faculty, staff, and parents of students with disabilities to invite open discussions to facilitate the spread of information on VR services and assistance with these services, and continues to explore other arenas to conduct presentations whenever the opportunity presents itself.
Some FY 2011 activities include: 1) OVR’s regular participation in providing and presenting information to all interested parties on the VR program and process during PSS and NMC Career Fair Days; 2) Participating in Open House, celebration, recognition, and outreach activities and events conducted by partner agencies; 3) Counseling staff continue to attend IEP meetings with the public high schools; and 4) OVR continues to organize and coordinate joint meetings with PSS and partner agencies to be conducted by Region IX TACE-SDSU personnel to strengthen collaboration between PSS, partner agencies, and OVR.
d) Initiate disability related training activities for PSS/SPED and NMC staff and faculty.
Activity: The revised and updated interagency agreement between OVR and Northern Marianas College was finalized in February 2008. OVR has made presentations to teachers and administrators of the Public School System about the VR program. OVR also invited staff and faculty from secondary and post-secondary educational institutions to attend relevant training sessions.
Strategies implemented to achieve goals and priorities and the factors that impeded the achievment of goals and priorities and the extent they were not acheived:
a) Establishment of the Community Rehabilitation Program (CRP has always been difficult due to the lack of appropriate facilities and funding). OVR continued to work on this effort, which aimed to provide training and educational activities specifically for eligible Supported Employment consumers.
b) With the very limited resources on island to support Supported Employment programs critical for MSD’s, any new establishment of services and programs beneficial to the rehabilitation and independence of persons with disabilities will contribute to Supported Employment program goal will be difficult to achieve.
c) OVR also continues to work to strengthen collaboration with a network of disability and disability-related partners in the community to maximize resources.
d) OVR maintained its membership on a number of community organizations and agencies. OVR regularly participates in activities conducted by partner agencies and other disability related organizations;
e) OVR continues to expand and improve service delivery and quality to Individuals with disabilities.
The OVR goals and plans for the distribution of Title VI, Part B Funds Supported Employment (SE) Services are 5% for administrative costs and the balance for the provision and delivery of services to individuals with the most significant disabilities.
With the current level of funding, In FY 2011, OVR’s goal was to serve approximate twenty-five (25) individuals with the most significant disabilities in IEPs with a supported employment goal and achieve approximately ten (10) supported employment outcomes per year.
Status: In FY 2011, OVR was able to serve fifty-five (55) individuals with most significant disabilities with a supported employment goal, surpassing FY2011’s goal of providing services for twenty-five (25) individuals. However, OVR was only able to achieve eight (8) supported employment outcomes for FY2011. Some of the factors that impeded the achievement of OVR’s goals included: 1) Consumers have been requiring extended services; 2) Lack of employment opportunities in the CNMI; and 3) Consumers failing to cooperate or refusing further services.
These services will include, but are not limited to, consumer’s assessment, transportation, job placement/training, job coaches, personal attendants, assistive technology devices, job and worksite modifications that may be required by consumers at employment sites, and other services needed by the individual to achieve employment outcomes.
Supported Employment Goals Acheived:
1. OVR Counselors continue to meet with high-school counselors from Saipan, Tinian, and Rota regarding the transition of students who would benefit from VR services.
2.OVR continues to contract with Marianas Health Services to provide job coaching services to individuals with the most significant disabilities (MSD) during their participation in the work experience training program (WET).
3.The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds received in FY’2009 have been used to provide independent living skills training to consumers with MSD as supported by their Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) for employment outcome.
4.OVR, in partnership with the Workforce Investment Agency (WIA), placed eligible individuals with significant disabilities in appropriate job sites for the summer employment program.
5.OVR continues to expand and improve statewide awareness and services to individuals with disabilities.
6. OVR continues to collaborate with the Public School System (PSS) and both public and private agencies and organizations to provide career exploration experiences to high school transition students.
The CNMI has identified one community rehabilitation program which can at least provide personal assistance and/or job coaching services for consumers.
It does need to expand its programs to cater to the unique needs of OVR consumers for the successful realization of their goals and objectives as stated in their individual employment plans. OVR ensures that it continues to expend the Title VI, Part B funds to qualified service providers who will assist consumers in maintaining employment in an integrated work setting.
Evaluation Standards and Performance Indicators. An assessment of the CNMI OVR was done by using the Evaluation Standards and Performance Indicators established by the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services/Rehabilitation Services Administration.
The results of the CNMI OVR Evaluation Standards and Performance Indicators for FY 2011are as follows:
Standard 1 - Employment Outcomes. A DSU must assist any eligible individual, including an individual with a significant disability, to obtain, maintain, or regain high-quality employment.
Performance Indicator 1.1 The number of individuals exiting the VR program who achieved an employment outcome during the current performance period compared to the number of individuals who exit the VR program after achieving an employment outcome during the previous performance period.
Federal Standard: 35 = or exceeded
CNMI achieved 36 employment outcomes
Performance Indicator 1.2 Of all individuals who exit the VR program after receiving services, the percentage who are determined to have achieved an employment outcome.
Federal Standard: 55.80%
CNMI Achieved: 81.82%
Performance Indicator 1.3 (primary) Of all individuals determined to have achieved an employment outcome, the percentage who exited the VR program in competitive, self-, or BEP employment with earnings equivalent to at least the minimum wage.
Federal Standard: 72.60%
CNMI Achieved: 61.11%
Performance Indicator 1.4 (primary) Of all individuals who exit the VR program in competitive, self-, or BEP employment with earnings equivalent to at least the minimum wage, the percentage who are individuals with significant disabilities.
Federal Standard: 62.40%
CNMI Achieved: 59.09%
Performance Indicator 1.5 (primary) The average hourly earnings of all individuals who exited the VR program in competitive, self-, or BEP employment with earnings levels equivalent to at least the minimum wage as a ratio to the State’s average hourly earnings for all individuals in the State.
Federal Standard: 0.52
CNMI Achieved 3.21
Performance Indicator 1.6
Of all individuals who exited the VR program in competitive, self-, or BEP employment with earnings equivalent to at least the minimum wage, the difference between the percentage who reported their own income as the largest single source of economic support at the time they exited the VR program and the percentage who reported their own income as the largest single source of support at the time they apply for VR services.
Federal Standard: 53
CNMI Acheived: 4.55
Standard 2 - Equal Access to Services A DSU must ensure that individuals from minority backgrounds have equal access to VR services.
Performance Indicator 2.1 The service rate for all individuals with disabilities from minority backgrounds as a ratio to the service rate for all non-minority individuals with disabilities.
Federal Standard 0.8
CNMI Achieved .512
Title I funds for Innovation and Expansion were utilized to promote and generate awareness of individuals with disabilities and programs and services by:
• Sponsoring and participating in public recognition, outreach, and awareness events;
• Using the various media for announcements, advertisements, and press releases related to disability activities;
• Developing promotional materials containing information about individuals with disabilities and programs and services that are offered;
• Purchasing materials and supplies that will be available to consumers and the general public for distribution to other agencies including PSS/SPED for transition student support;
• Continuing monthly outreach travels to the municipalities of Tinian and Rota. Funds were also used for Council activities such as:
1) Staff support
2) Travel by SRC members to attend conferences, meetings, and trainings
3) Facility rentals for SRC meetings and training sessions
4) Consultant fees for training and policy development
5) Meeting materials and advertising costs
6) Printed materials for public awareness/information
This screen was last updated on Jul 30 2012 6:34PM by Christopher Camacho
OVR will continue its efforts to provide services to individuals with the most significant disabilities to achieve their vocational goals. The Office continues to negotiate with both private firms and public agencies to identify appropriate integrated settings for consumers participating in this program. OVR entered into a contract with a private firm to provide job coaching and personal attendant services for supported employment consumers. As stated in a previous attachment, the lack of community rehabilitation programs and extended employment service providers in the CNMI is a critical obstacle to providing a full range of services to consumers who are most significantly disabled. OVR will expend Title VI, Part B funds on maintaining consumers employed in integrated competitive work settings by identifying service providers to assist the consumer in achieving employment goals. Quality of Supported Employment: The supported employment services are coordinated among the counseling staff with the goal of providing comprehensive services to consumers on the islands of Saipan, Tinian, and Rota. Direct case service delivery is provided by the counselors and other service providers when appropriate and available. One of the Counselors also handles transition students by compiling student assessment information to determine eligibility. On-going monitoring of Supported Employment cases will be conducted to evaluate the timeliness and appropriateness of service delivery to individuals with the most significant disabilities. Scope of Supported Employment Services: Scope of services includes counseling and guidance, vocational training, restoration, adaptive devices, follow-up and other post employment services. While initial job counseling will be provided by the OVR, the employer will also be oriented to working with the consumer with the aim of eventual independent supervision. Extent of Supported Employment: Services The specifics and extent of the services needed are determined on an individual basis and written in the consumer’s Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE). A maximum of eighteen (18) months of post employment services to assist the consumer achieving job stability and may be extended with justification in an amended IPE. Extended support services will be provided through alternative methods which frequently involve co-workers, supervisors, families, and friends. When the IPE is developed, extended support services are planned in order to assure continued support for the consumers. Services will not end until the consumer’s job skills meet the employer’s expectations and the job is permanent. Specific services that may be provided by families are transportation and personal assistance.
Timing of the transition from supported employment to extended services: The timing of the transition to extended services for consumers receiving supported employment services from OVR as part of their approved IPE occurs as soon as the IPE services are completed and the consumer has achieved the employment outcome described in the IPE, or after a period of time not to exceed 18 months whichever comes first. The OVR may, under special circumstances, extend supported employment services beyond 18 months, if the eligible individual and the VR counselor agree to extend the time to achieve the employment outcome identified in the IPE.
This screen was last updated on Aug 3 2011 9:15PM by Lourdes Atalig
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