ED/OSERS/RSA
Rehabilitation Services Administration
U.S. Department of Education

Published September 4, 2014.   Print   Print preview   Export to MS Word   Export to Excel  

State Plan for the State Vocational Rehabilitation Services Program and
State Plan Supplement for the State Supported Employment Services Program
North Carolina Division of Services for the Blind State Plan for Fiscal Year 2014 (submitted FY 2013)

Preprint - Section 1: State Certifications

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

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

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

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

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

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

1.7 The (enter title of state officer below) Yes

Director North Carolina Division of Services for the Blind

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

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

Secretary North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services

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

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

State Plan Certified By

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

Signed?Yes

Name of SignatoryAldonda Z. Wos, M.D.

Title of SignatorySecretary of Department of Health and Human Services

Date Signed (mm/dd/yyyy)07/01/2013

Assurances Certified By

At the request of RSA, the designated state agency and/or the designated state unit provide the following assurance(s), in addition to those contained within Section 2 through 8 below, in connection with the approval of the State Plan for FY 2014No

Section 1 Footnotes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Preprint - Section 2: Public Comment on State Plan Policies and Proceduress

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

(a) Conduct of public meetings.

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

(b) Notice requirements.

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

(c) Special consultation requirements.

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

Preprint - Section 3: Submission of the State Plan and its Supplement

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Preprint - Section 4: Administration of the State Plan

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

(a) Designated state agency.

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

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

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

(b) Designated state unit.

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

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

  1. The name of the designated state vocational rehabilitation unit is
North Carolina Division of Services for the Blind

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

The State Plan must contain one of the following assurances.

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

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

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

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

(Option B was selected)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

If "Yes", the designated state agency:

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

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

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

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

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

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

This agency is not requesting a waiver of statewideness.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(c) Coordination with education officials.

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

  1. The State Plan description must:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(a) In general.

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

(b) Employment of individuals with disabilities.

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

(c) Facilities.

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

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

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

(a) Data system on personnel and personnel development.

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

  1. Qualified personnel needs.

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

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

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

  1. Personnel development.

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

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

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

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

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

(c) Personnel standards.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(d) Staff development.

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

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

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

(e) Personnel to address individual communication needs.

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

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

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

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

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

(a) Comprehensive statewide assessment.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(b) Annual estimates.

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

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

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

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

(c) Goals and priorities.

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

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

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

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

  1. provides a justification for the order; and

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

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

(d) Strategies.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(e) Evaluation and reports of progress.

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

  1. Attachment 4.11(e)(2):

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Preprint - Section 5: Administration of the Provision of Vocational Rehabilitation Services

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

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

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

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

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

(a) The designated state unit is able to provide the full range of services listed in Section 103(a) of the Rehabilitation Act and 34 CFR 361.48, as appropriate, to all eligible individuals with disabilities in the state who apply for services. Yes

(b) If No:

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

  1. Attachment 4.11(c)(3):

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  1. an immediate job placement; or

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(a) Contracts with for-profit organizations.

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

(b) Cooperative agreements with private nonprofit organizations.

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

Preprint - Section 6: Program Administration

Section 6: Program Administration

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Preprint - Section 7: Financial Administration

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

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

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

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

Preprint - Section 8: Provision of Supported Employment Services

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

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

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

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

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

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

  1. specifies the supported employment services to be provided;

  1. describes the expected extended services needed; and

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

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

Attachment 4.2(c) Input of State Rehabilitation Council

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

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

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

The State Rehabilitation Council members conducted three focus groups in Waynesville, NC, High Point, NC and Elizabeth City, NC. The Council held two public hearings in Charlotte, NC and Fayetteville, NC during FFY2013 for the collection of information to be used in the development of the FFY2014 State Plan. The Council’s Committee on the State Plan met with Division staff members to work on the development of the State Plan. The State Rehabilitation Council met on Thursday, June 13, 2013, reviewed and approved the State Plan for FFY2014. The Council recommendations and DSB’s responses were: • The Council’s chairperson, Richard Oliver, stressed the importance of the State Plan in working with individuals served by the Division in reaching their goal of employment. He also indicated that one of the roles of the Council is work with DSB to insure the State Plan is implemented and followed. DSB’s response: DSB staff welcomes the Council’s involvement and encourages close cooperation between DSB staff and the State Rehabilitation Council. • The Council’s chairperson recommended that attachment 4.11 (c) (1) State Goals and Priorities for FFY 2014, Priority 1 be revised to include a measurable on the increase of 1% in the average wage for the next FFY. DSB response: Objective (e) was added to include a 1% increase in the wage average for the next FFY. • The Council recommended a revision in 4.10 attachment concerning a Psychiatric Certification program should be deleted as it was not able to be scheduled. DSB response: The Psychiatric Certification program was deleted as requested. The Council approved the State Plan for DSB, FFY 2014 with these revisions. Division’s response: DSB will submit the Plan with revisions to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services for approval and then to the Rehabilitation Services Administration.

This screen was last updated on Aug 15 2013 3:00PM by David Arthur

Attachment 4.7(b)(3) Request for Waiver of Statewideness

This agency has not requested a waiver of statewideness.

This screen has never been updated.

Attachment 4.8(b)(1) Cooperative Agreements with Agencies Not Carrying Out Activities Under the Statewide Workforce Investment System

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

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

The North Carolina Division of Services for the Blind (DSB) has established cooperative and collaborative working relationships with various federal, state and local agencies and organizations in our mission to help blind, visually impaired and deaf-blind citizens of North Carolina receive the most comprehensive and beneficial services and supports available to facilitate their vocational and independent living goals.  Many of the agencies and organizations with whom the Division collaborates are carrying out activities under the Statewide Workforce Investment System.

DSB has a cooperative agreement with the NC Department of Public Instruction (DPI) and the University of North Carolina (UNC) Department of Allied Sciences which are believed to be entities that are not part of the Statewide Workforce Investment System.  The agreement with DPI establishes coordination for the provision of educational and transitional services to students with visual impairments.  The Division and DPI maintain good working relationships to ensure clear communication and effective use of resources in meeting the needs of transition age students.  DSB partners with UNC’s Department of Allied Sciences in support of the university’s rehabilitation counseling program.   The Division provides clinical experiences for students in the program through DSB district offices and residential rehabilitation facility.   DSB and UNC mutually plan and schedule student assignments.  The Division provides students training and supervision, mentoring, constructive feedback and formal evaluations.  Students are also provided office and work space, use of computers and other office equipment and technology, and exposure to other professions in the field rehabilitation such as, orientation and mobility, low vision, social work and medical eye care.  UNC provides DSB staff opportunities to participate in clinical education conferences and meetings.  This collaborative relationship also creates potential employment opportunities for students upon the completion of their education.

 Additionally, the Division has informal collaborative relationships with other organizations and consumer and advocacy groups that are not carrying out activities under the Statewide Workforce Investment System such as the Governor Morehead School, NC Association of Blind Students, Governor Morehead School Alumni Association, NC Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, North Carolina Lions Inc., NC Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired and Prevent Blindness NC.  DSB and the organizations and groups collaborate in referrals for services and supports, sharing information and resources, sponsorship and participation in trainings and events, outreach and educating the general public about blindness and vision loss and increasing the general public’s awareness of the needs and abilities of individuals who have visual disabilities.

 DSB is one of the designated state units (DSUs) that serves as a part of the NC Statewide Independent Living Council (NC SILC).  NC SILC in collaboration with the DSUs develop three-year State Plans for Independent Living (SPILs).  DSB actively engages with the SILC in the development of goals, objectives and measures to help meet the independent living needs of North Carolinians who have disabilities.  These entities serve together on various work groups and committees such as governance, community based living, youth leadership forum, evaluation, civil rights and IL services and supports.  The work groups and committees address matters and complete the tasks and activities required to achieve the goals and desired outcomes stated in the SPIL.  A SILC member serves on the DSB State Rehabilitation Council.

 Cooperative and collaborative relationships have been established between NC Centers for Independent Living (CILs) and DSB.  Consumers are referred by and to each entity, relevant information is shared, CILs have allowed DSB the use of facilities for DSB to provide consumers community-based independent living skills training and in return DSB staff have provided CIL staff in-service training pertaining to visual disabilities.  DSB has provided consumers individual advocacy skills training and referred to the CILs for systems change advocacy needs.

 

This screen was last updated on Aug 15 2013 3:00PM by David Arthur

Attachment 4.8(b)(2) Coordination with Education Officials

  • Describe the designated state unit's plans, policies, and procedures for coordination with education officials to facilitate the transition of students with disabilities from school to the receipt of vocational rehabilitation services, including provisions for the development and approval of an individualized plan for employment before each student determined to be eligible for vocational rehabilitation services leaves the school setting or, if the designated state unit is operating on an order of selection, before each eligible student able to be served under the order leaves the school setting.
  • Provide information on the formal interagency agreement with the state educational agency with respect to
    • consultation and technical assistance to assist educational agencies in planning for the transition of students with disabilities from school to post-school activities, including VR services;
    • transition planning by personnel of the designated state agency and educational agency that facilitates the development and completion of their individualized education programs;
    • roles and responsibilities, including financial responsibilities, of each agency, including provisions for determining state lead agencies and qualified personnel responsible for transition services;
    • procedures for outreach to and identification of students with disabilities who need transition services.

DSB provides transition rehabilitation services for students in North Carolina who are blind, deaf-blind, or visually impaired. Each student served by the Division of Services for the Blind VR program must have an Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE). The IPE incorporates transitional elements of the student’s Individualized Education Plan (IEP).  DSB transition staff and VR counselors are expected to participate in student IEP meetings pertaining to transition matters. If the Division is operating under an order of selection, the IPE should be developed and approved before the student who is able to be served under the order of selection leaves the school setting.  Local school systems provide students services that are within its legal responsibility and customary practice.  These services are provided without cost to the Division.  DSB provides transitional and supportive services that are not available through the local school systems.  All cost for services for which a student is found eligible is paid for with DSB-VR case service funds. 

 Formal cooperative agreements exist with the NC Department of Public Instruction and local school districts in some parts of the state.  The emphasis of  the Memorandum of Agreement with the Department of Public Instruction is on students who are blind, deaf-blind, or visually impaired, being served by local education agencies (LEAs) who are of transition age (14 to 21) and who need vocational rehabilitation services. This agreement acknowledges the role of DSB in providing these services and encourages local LEA’s to develop working relationships with  the staff who cover their county and encourages referring students, sharing information and joint engagement in IEP meetings. DSB shares information about the transition program and provides technical assistance and consultation to DPI and LEAs regarding accommodations and assistive technology that will help facilitate the education and vocational rehabilitation of students who are blind, deaf-blind, or visually impaired.

 In addition, DSB has agreements with thirteen (13) other public school systems across the state. These agreements designate the cost sharing of transition staff positions, the duties of these positions and the services to be provided by both parties in meeting the needs of transition age students  The school systems with whom DSB continues to have agreements are Brunswick County, Charlotte-Mecklenburg County, Cumberland County,  Edgecombe County,  Guilford County,  Nash-Rocky Mount, New Hanover County, Onslow County, Pender County, Pitt County, Wake County Schools, Wilson County, Winston-Salem-Forsyth County Schools and the Governor Morehead School for the Blind.

 Transition students are served by vocational rehabilitation counselors in school systems and parts of the state where DSB does not have a formal cooperative agreement. Vocational rehabilitation counselors develop and cultivate working relationships with school systems by educating them about the transition and vocational services available through DSB and providing technical assistance and consultation pertaining to the needs of and resources available to transition students. DSB’s goal is that ultimately all eligible students will be served by transition counselors through formal cooperative agreements with the schools. Studies have demonstrated that students, who are blind, deaf-blind or visually impaired, benefit from earlier identification and referral to the transition counselor and access to available services and supports. Such partnerships enable the counselor to develop stronger working relationships with the students, family and the school staff with greater knowledge of the available resources and supports within the school district.  Opportunities to participate more fully in the student’s individualized education planning process are also more readily available.

Therefore, DSB will continue its outreach efforts and collaboration with school districts to develop and implement formal cooperative agreements and transition programs in other locations throughout the state.

 

 

This screen was last updated on Aug 15 2013 3:00PM by David Arthur

Attachment 4.8(b)(3) Cooperative Agreements with Private Nonprofit Organizations

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

 DSB purchases supported employment services from Community Rehabilitation Programs (CRP) for individuals who will require the assistance of a job coach to find a job, then learn the duties of the job and finally, long term support to insure the individual is able to retain the job. The CRP must meet certain requirements before services are purchased, such as the Contractor will maintain accreditation through the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF), Council on Accreditation (COA), or other DSB approved national accrediting authorities, be a vendor with the state of North Carolina and accept payments for services provided through an outcome based program.

 DSB has cooperative agreements with eight CRPs for the provision of long term follow up support services (extended services) to individuals who achieved their goal of employment assistance from the supported employment program. The CRP meets with the individual based on DSB’s phase system for long term follow up.  The Contractor provides extended services and ongoing support services through individual contacts on the schedule as listed below.  The contractor bills DSB for these contacts and follows the phases of

 DSB’s extended services plan as follows:

 Phase 1: Twice monthly contacts with the individual and employer for the first 6 months of extended services, unless there is a provision in the IPE for off –site monitoring. 

 Phase 2: At the end of 6 months, the contractor, individual and employer should  make determination as to the individual’s stabilization on the job. If the individual is well stabilized, an offer should be made to the individual and employer that continued monitoring could be made once every six months. If this choice is chosen by the individual and employer, the contractor must continue to monitor in the phase no less than 24 months. The individual and employer need to sign a waiver acknowledging that they are in agreement to entering into this phase.

 Phase 3: Once the individual has successfully completed phase 2, the contractor may offer the individual and employer an opportunity to cease regular monitoring. If they chose to enter into phase 3, the individual is placed on an inactive list and monitoring would only be at the individual or employer’s request. To enter into this phase, the individual and employer must sign a waiver agreeing to the conditions of phase 3. If  the contractor is contacted by either the individual or employer, the contractor will make an on-site visit to determine what services are needed to re-stabilize the individual’s job. If the contractor determines that more than minimal services are needed, then the contractor should refer the individual back to the DSB’s Vocational Rehabilitation Program for possible case activation. However, if the contractor  determines that the issues can be resolved with for example, short term training or educating of staff, this service should be provided to the individual and/or employer.

DSB provides the Contractor with staff training, consultation and technical assistance, as appropriate.  DSB’s VR Counselor coordinates with the Contractor individual admissions and subsequent services.  Consistent with DSB policy, the referring VR Counselor provides the Contractor with the necessary documents. DSB participates in admissions, attends subsequent staffing, and provides individual rehabilitation counseling and other rehabilitation services to promote the individual’s progress while enrolled with the Contractor.  Individual records will reflect evidence of mutual effort and each party will keep the other informed regarding placement and follow-up activities.

DSB Rehabilitation Program Specialist meets periodically with the CRP’s personnel to provide assistance relative to standards compliance, fiscal accountability, quality of service, individual referrals, and the planning of program services for DSB individuals as identified in this contract.

 DSB developed a community-based work adjustment services program with assistance from several community rehabilitation programs (CRP) for eligible individuals who require initial intervention to improve and increase productivity, attendance, punctuality, ability to interact appropriately with coworkers and supervisors, and work tolerance, yet do not require long-term support. CRP’s across the state have developed specialized programs for these services that include situational assessments, job placement and job coaching services. Payments are made to the CRP’s using an outcome based format, with increment payments made based on milestones.

This screen was last updated on Aug 15 2013 3:00PM by David Arthur

Attachment 4.8(b)(4) Arrangements and Cooperative Agreements for the Provision of Supported Employment Services

Describe the efforts of the designated state agency to identify and make arrangements, including entering into cooperative agreements, with other state agencies and other appropriate entities in order to provide the following services to individuals with the most significant disabilities:

  • supported employment services; and
  • extended services.

DSB has contacted the NC Division of Deaf and Hard of Hearing and the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation to inquire if these programs directly provide supported employment services and/or extended services. The response is that neither program provided these services.

 DSB also contacted NC Division of Mental Health to inquire if it provides supported employment services and/or extended services. Mental Health does not provide direct supported employment services but through the CAP fund does pay for limited extended services to individuals who meet the eligibility guidelines for the program. However, a waiting list is developed for each local management agency in the system and funds are very limited.

DSB employs an outcome based method of purchasing supported employment services from Community Rehabilitation Programs (CRP) for eligible individuals who are determined to be most significantly disabled and are in need of supported employment. The CRP must meet three requirements:

(1) the CRP must be certified by a nationally recognized certification program such as   Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF), Council on Accreditation (COA), or Council on Quality Leadership (CQL);

(2) the CRP must be a vendor of the state;

(3) the CRP must be willing to accept DSB’s milestone payment system. DSB continues to contract for extended services and currently has agreements with CRPs to provide this important service.

There are five milestones and two incentives throughout the entire supported employment process. The milestones are:

 Milestone 1: Assessment and Employment Plan

Completion: The eligible individual has completed a situation assessment, and an Employment Plan has been developed to identify the strategies to be used to assist the individual in reaching their goal of employment.

Payment rate of $500.00

Milestone 2: Job Development Services

Completion: The individual has completed applications with 10 different employers and three interviews with confirming documentation to referring VR counselor. If the individual is placed on a job prior to completing 10 applications and three interviews, the milestone is considered to be completed and payment can be made.

Payment rate of $500

 Milestone 3: Job Placement Services

Completion: The eligible individual is placed on a job and has worked for 14 business days with confirming documentation to the VR counselor of placement and progress.

(Business day is a day in which the individual has actually worked on the job.) Payment rate is $3,800

 Incentive 1:

The individual is placed on a job by the CRP staff in 90 days or less from the date the individual begins the situational assessment.

The incentive payment rate is $200. This can only be paid once per case.

 Milestone 4: Stabilization

Completion: The individual has learned the tasks of the job and has become comfortable with the work environment and coworkers. The job coach is spending no more than a weekly visit to the job site. The individual, VR Counselor, and Job Coach including feedback from the employer, all agree the individual has stabilized in the job.

Payment rate is $3,800

 Milestone 5: Successful Employment Outcome (Status 26 Closure)

Completion: The eligible individual is considered successfully working without provision of substantial services for at least 90 days from the date of stabilization.

Payment rate is $1,200

 Incentive 2:

The employer provides health insurance coverage at little or no cost to the individual, and the individual is eligible to be covered at the time of case closure.

The incentive payment rate is $200.

 Total payment for each successfully completed placement will be $10,200.

The Community Rehabilitation Program provides documentation in the form of a copy of the Job Coaches case notes to the DSB VR Counselor with each invoice for payment of the milestones.

 DSB VR counselor and individual must agree the milestone was met before payment is made.

 

This screen was last updated on Aug 15 2013 3:00PM by David Arthur

Attachment 4.10 Comprehensive System of Personnel Development

Data System on Personnel and Personnel Development

DSB’s vocational rehabilitation (VR) program served 3,994 individuals over the past year, and the number served is projected to change in the upcoming years with continued outreach efforts being made with the Hispanic/Latino populations. The independent living rehabilitation (ILR) program served 1,486 individuals during the past year. It is determined that, based on these current numbers of individuals served, DSB has adequate qualified rehabilitation staff positions.

 Positions within DSB that fall under CSPD requirements are 32 VR counselors, 15 ILR counselors, 1 vocational evaluator, 4 VR area supervisors, 3 VR district supervisors for a total of 55 personnel required to serve these numbers of individuals.

 If vacancies occur in these positions, applicants are recruited that will meet the agency’s definition of “qualified rehabilitation counselor”. Turnover rate for VR counselor I positions has averaged about 26.087% while the turnover rate for VR counselor II positions has averaged about 7.692%. Based on the turnover rate and current positions, including the number of individuals who are approaching retirement age, it is anticipated that a total of 15 new

VR and ILR counselors will be needed during the next year. This will result in the potential for recruitment of 45 new individuals over a 3 year period. It must be recognized that some of these vacancies are created by promotion into administrative roles in the agency that are not counted in the 54 counselor positions. Other administrative positions are anticipated to become open due to retirements over the next 5 years, creating openings for advancement of identified positions.

 DSB has developed a system to analyze and record the educational background of rehabilitation counselors as they are hired. This system also tracks the progress of current rehabilitation counselors who are working towards compliance with CSPD requirements such as those hired with related degrees that only need 1 or 2 courses.

 The breakdown of education levels for the 55 positions subject to CSPD requirements is:

 34 with Master Degrees in Rehabilitation or Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC)

 16 with Master Degrees in closely related fields that are considered a “qualified rehabilitation counselor” by CSPD standards

 5 vacancies

Currently, 100% of the 49 currently employed VR Staff meet the education standards for qualified rehabilitation counselor. Individuals who will meet the definition of “qualified rehabilitation counselor” are being recruited for all current vacancies and are hired whenever possible.

 DSB utilizes 18 paraprofessionals in the VR program. The breakdown is as follows: 2 rehabilitation casework assistants, 2 rehabilitation casework technicians, 7 human services placement specialists, and 7 community employment specialists. At present we have enough paraprofessionals to meet the number of eligible individuals being served. It is anticipated DSB will need 10 additional paraprofessionals in the next 5 years as numbers served increase and due to turnover.

The agency currently has 21 staff members with 30 years or more and 16 staff members with 25 years to 30 years for a total of 37 staff that could retire in the next year. Presently, DSB has the following vacancies:

 

 

 

Row Job Title Total positions Current vacancies Projected vacancies over the next 5 years
1 Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors 32 2 35
2 Independent Living Rehabilitation Counselors 15 3 11
3 Vocational Evaluator 1 0 0
4 District Supervisors 4 0 0
5 Counselor-In-Charge 3 0 0
6 0 0 0
7 0 0 0
8 0 0 0
9 0 0 0
10 0 0 0

 

DSB has developed a relationship with four North Carolina universities who currently offer graduate degrees in rehabilitation counseling studies. These include East Carolina University (ECU), A&T State University, Winston-Salem State University (WSSU), and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-CH). AT&T State and the WSSU programs are historically black universities and were established with the assistance of Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) grant and school funding. Stipends and financial aid assistance are offered to candidates in these programs. Classes began in fall, 2003 and continue to this date. Division representatives serve on the steering committee at each university. The universities and DSB plan to continue partnering to provide internships for students as needed. Winston-Salem State University received funding in 2002 to offer a bachelor degree in rehabilitation studies, and coursework continues. The master degree program in rehabilitation studies is designed in coordination with the undergraduate program to encourage these graduates to pursue a master degree. North Carolina A&T State University has used the structure in existing master degree programs in guidance and counseling to build the rehabilitation counseling master degree program. UNC has received an RSA grant to provide a master’s degree in psychiatric disabilities and is currently offering four courses as part of their master’s program.

 

 

 

Row Institutions Students enrolled Employees sponsored by agency and/or RSA Graduates sponsored by agency and/or RSA Graduates from the previous year
1 East Carolina University (ECU), 29 0 0 0
2 A&T State University 109 0 0 7
3 Winston-Salem State University 62 0 0 16
4 University of North Carolina 40 0 0 14
5 0 0 0 0

 

 DSB has offered unpaid internship positions for students in their last semester of a master level degree program in rehabilitation counseling and is presently offering a paid internship for a graduate student who is working with the Rehabilitation Center’s World of Work summer program for transition age participants. Offering internships educates students about the needs of individuals who are blind or visually impaired and strengthens the pool of candidates for possible employment with DSB.

 Nationwide recruitment is now done by posting positions in NeoGov, an Internet Human Resources Application Provider for Government Agencies. NeoGov has eliminated the need for numerous individual contacts to advertise available positions and has expanded the available applicant pool. A section on DSB’s website labeled, “Career Opportunities” links browsers to NeoGov listings at: http://www.ncdhhs.gov/dsb/aboutus/career_opp.htm.

 Among state office level management and area supervisors, DSB has 2 staff members with more than 25 years of service. The need for succession planning was identified and steps have been taken. DSB utilizes the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services leadership training as a point of entrance for pre-supervisory training. DSB conducts leadership/pre-supervisory training in an effort to begin to identify staff interested in management opportunities.

 DSB uses affirmative action to insure the employment and advancement in employment of qualified individuals with disabilities. On an annual basis, DSB conducts a workforce analysis of its representation of persons with disabilities, of persons of different ethnic groups and of males and females in different personnel classifications and occupational categories. Those classifications and occupational categories in which persons with disabilities and minority groups are under-represented are identified, and goals are established to increase representation in DSB’s workforce.

 During their first year of employment, all rehabilitation counselors are required to complete developmental training in casework requirements and documentation. The chiefs of rehabilitation and the area and district rehabilitation supervisors provide this training in small groups to directly address agency policies and procedures for professional casework practices. After 1 year of employment, rehabilitation counselors who meet the standard for qualified rehabilitation counselor may request promotion to rehabilitation counselor II. Evaluation procedures for this promotion consist of a written and oral examination of casework policies and procedures, caseload review and audit, and review of contact with caseload eligible individuals to assess quality and satisfaction of services. The chief of rehabilitation field services administers and reviews all aspects of the examination process. Counselors are also required to participate in a week-long adjustment to blindness training which is organized by the rehabilitation center teacher staff and management.

 

DSB policies and procedures for the establishment and maintenance of personnel standards to ensure that DSB professional and paraprofessional staff are adequately trained and prepared, including:

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

2.         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, institutions of higher education, and other public agencies of these steps and the timelines for taking each step.

 DSB implemented a comprehensive system of personnel development (CSPD) as established in the 1998 state plan and as amended in January 1, 1999. This system is based on the 1998 Amendments to the Rehabilitation Act, its regulations, and technical assistance and guidance from Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA). Changes implemented over past years have resulted in growth of the number of the agency’s rehabilitation counselors who meet CSPD education requirements. Currently, 100% of DSB rehabilitation counselors meet CSPD requirements.

 The requirements of education and experience for rehabilitation counselor I positions were developed by DSB in conjunction with the Office of State Personnel (OSP), the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and RSA. The standard for vocational rehabilitation counselors at DSB is consistent with the national standard as there is no standard in North Carolina for vocational rehabilitation professionals. On October 1, 2008, DSB initiated a more comprehensive standard. For a rehabilitation counselor I, this standard will include a master degree in rehabilitation counseling; a master degree in a closely related field such as counseling, social work, psychology, and special education; current Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) certification; or current enrollment in a qualifying master degree program AND graduation prior to the date of hire. For an independent living rehabilitation counselor, the standard will include the same requirements as for a rehabilitation counselor I.  DSB believes that this more comprehensive standard will assist in recruiting for more difficult-to-fill counselor positions, particularly those positions based in rural areas and those covering several counties which require extensive travel.

 The agency will, to the maximum extent possible, hire only those applicants who possess master degrees in rehabilitation counseling or a master degree in a closely related field. Reviews of all transcripts will be conducted by the agency’s personnel department and the rehabilitation program specialist for CSPD. If it is determined that an applicant has a master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling or a closely related field but is in need of specific coursework e.g. Counseling Theories and Techniques and (1 of the following) Medical Aspects of Disability or Psychosocial/Cultural Aspects of Disability, DSB will assist the applicant in obtaining that coursework in a manner and time frame agreed upon between the agency and employee. The newly hired counselor will be required to be registered for the first class within 6 months of their hire date. Completion of any needed coursework must be accomplished within 2 years from their hire date but prior to moving to independent counselor status.

 If qualified applicants cannot be found after extensive recruitment, DSB will consider applicants who are currently enrolled in an accredited rehabilitation counseling master’s degree program, or a closely related master of counseling degree program.

 

DSB’s policies, procedures, and activities to ensure that all personnel employed by DSB receive appropriate and adequate training in terms of:

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

2. procedures for the acquisition and dissemination to designated state unit professionals and paraprofessional’s significant knowledge from research and other sources.

 DSB has an ongoing comprehensive system for personnel development that provides all staff classifications with appropriate job-related training. Staff members complete learning requests yearly to identify specific training needs. The program specialist for training analyzes the learning requests, and then plans specific training activities to meet the identified needs. As a result of these requests, training has been provided in an array of training events with relevant curriculum and skills acquisition experiences. DSB has developed and presented intensive training sessions this year.

 Staff attended-trainings many of which were developed as in-service trainings included:

• Assistive Technology

• Best Practices for DSB’s New Rehabilitation Counselors

• Business Service Representative Training

• Comprehensive Vocational Evaluation System

• DHHS Leadership Training

• Discovery Training

• Employment Opportunities Professional Training

• iPad and iPod Trainings

• JAWS Software

• Medical Update: Anatomy and Physiology of the Eye

• National Transition Conference

• New Employee Orientation to Adjustment to Blindness

• New Employee Low Vision Training

• North Carolina Conference on Visual Impairment and Blindness (NCCVIB) in collaboration with Governor Morehead School for the Blind, and the NC Department of Public Instruction

• North Carolina Deaf Blind Association Conference

• Nursing Eye Care Consultant Device Training

• Office Assistant

• Orientation & Mobility at SOMA Conference

• Pre Supervisory

• Professional and Personal Development?

• Rehabilitation Center and Evaluation Unit specific topics

• Strategic Planning

• Teaching Financial Literacy

• Tribal Indian Training – Cherokee and Lumbee

 A library of rehabilitation resources is maintained in the state office. The program specialist continually reviews available materials for the library, identifies and purchases current information relevant to vocational rehabilitation and to vision-related topics. Areas specifically addressed in the learning requests are targeted in this search of materials. These books and materials are available in regular and adapted format, and can be checked out from the library by any staff member across the state. Equipment is purchased and maintained to enhance training programs, presentations, and small group work.

DSB requires professional skills in customer service and business relationship development to enhance employment opportunities. Training materials are extensively researched and drawn from a rich spectrum of resources, including vocational rehabilitation, sales, customer service, business, marketing, workforce development, job development, SSA, RSA, EEOC, ODEP, ADA National Network, and Technical Assistance and Continuing Education (TACE) Centers. Attention is given to knowledge translation: a process which includes knowledge dissemination of evidence-based and best practices derived from the results of rigorous research. The Program Specialist for Employment Services provides comprehensive training on these subjects to all newly hired VRCs and VR staff responsible for job development and placement. Follow-up training and one-on-one coaching is available to staff not meeting performance objectives.

 DSB has maintained the authority granted by the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification to provide Certified Rehabilitation Counselor Credits (CRC) for all certified rehabilitation counselors. The agency also has the authority to grant Continuing Educational Units (CEU) by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET).

DSB partnered with Mississippi State University Research and Training Center Vision Specialist Certificate Program to train staff in the specific area of vision. DSB had one person graduate from this program in August 2012 and nine graduated in 2011. DSB began a Transition Certificate program with Winston-Salem State University and 2 staff were scheduled to finish in the fall 2012.  

 

 

DSB has personnel and obtains the services of other individuals who are able to communicate in the native language of applicants or eligible individuals who have limited English speaking ability or in appropriate modes of communication with applicants or eligible individuals.

 The capability to produce Braille is available in all seven district office locations. Information can also be produced in large print for distribution as needed in the district offices with use of existing computer equipment. Mass production of Braille and large print material is done by the specialized communications unit located at DSB’s state office to support DSB’s employees who are blind or visually impaired. Information is put on tape for those who prefer this mode of communication by district office staff. Information is also shared using e-communications (e-mail, disks, etc.), and each office has a computer with speech access for staff who use this mode of communication. DSB has placed the policy and procedures manual on DSB’s website. The website currently contains information about all of DSB’s programs, frequently used forms, links to resources, the local office locations, and the staff directory.

 DSB has a specialized program for persons who have both vision and hearing loss. The program consists of 5 specialists to serve the district offices and a statewide program specialist who manages the activities of this program. Each member of this program is skilled in use of sign language to enhance communication. The consultants work very closely with rehabilitation counselors on all cases where individuals have any degree of both vision and hearing loss. They provide information regarding specialized needs of these individuals, the availability of resources, and the arrangement of appropriate communication. This collaboration insures the individual has the opportunity for maximum participation in a rehabilitation program of services that will lead to successful employment. DSB maintains a list of approved interpreters and dedicated funding for interpreting services through the resources of the Department of Health and Human Services.

 North Carolina has a large Hispanic/Latino population, with an increasing number of Spanish-speaking individuals. DSB has worked with other organizations to provide outreach information about available services. The rehabilitation program handbook and the brochure, “Having Trouble with Your Vision”, have been printed in Spanish for distribution. Software has been purchased in several offices that will translate appointment letters and individual plans for employment (IPE) into Spanish. A list of qualified interpreters is maintained in each office, and these can be hired as required to enhance communication. When necessary, all offices have access to a state-contracted service for interpreting services available through use of a telephone. When an applicant or eligible individual meets with a staff member, the Telelanguage service is contacted, and they obtain a language specific interpreter by telephone. Through use of a speakerphone, the interpreter translates the conversations into a language that the individual and staff understand. Initial feedback from use of this program is that it is efficient and constructive to effective communication.

 Also, DSB purchased Rosetta Stone-Spanish and made the program available to all staff in the agency. Staff will learn enough everyday language to work with Hispanic/Latino applicants and eligible individuals. DSB currently has 10 staff engaged in the program and is recruiting additional participants.

 

 

 

DSB works with the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction to insure all students who are blind or visually impaired have access to vocational rehabilitation services while attending public school. DSB has 14 memorandums of agreements with school systems to provide transition programs for their students who are blind or visually impaired. These programs work with students who are blind or visually impaired, the school staff, and the parents or guardians as the student transitions from school to work, and continue working with them until they achieve their employment goals. The specialized programs are located in the following school systems: Cumberland County Schools, Mecklenburg County Schools, Pitt County Schools, Wilson County Schools, Nash/Rocky Mount Schools, Edgecombe County Schools, Wake County Schools, Guilford County Schools, Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools, New Hanover County Schools, Pender County Schools, Onslow County Schools, Brunswick County Schools, and the Governor Morehead School for the Blind. Each program consists of a rehabilitation counselor and a community employment specialist who are trained to work with students during their transition from school to work.

 

All rehabilitation counselors have received training on IDEA. Rehabilitation counselors in the district offices develop relationships with school systems and with teachers who serve students with blindness or visual impairments in their coverage area. They participate as members of the school’s individualized education program (IEP) team as a provider of transition services for students who are blind or who are visually impaired. Consultation is provided to all rehabilitation counselors who include students on their caseload. The program specialist and the specialized transition counselors are available to advise counselors in areas such as participation on the IEP team and location of specialized resources for students as they transition from school to work.

 

DSB provides additional specialized services for students, such as the summer youth programs at the Rehabilitation Center for the Blind. One program called “SAVVY” (Summer Adjustment to Blindness Vital to Visually Impaired Youth) World Of Work provides career exploration, paid internships with job coaching, interviewing skills and counseling provided by DSB staff. One program “SAVVY” Youth in Transition provides a classroom setting and field trips to develop skills and confidence for greater independence, specific life skills, basic living skills, social development, vocational and study skills and independent living. Another program called “SAVVY” College Prep provides “college survival skills,” such as independent study habits and maximum use of any assistive technology.

 

In addition, DSB provides three “mini centers” throughout the state in coordination with the vocational rehabilitation transition program staff and the independent living rehabilitation staff for those students who cannot attend one of the Center programs. DSB also provides two recreational/challenge programs to build self-confidence.

 

A rehabilitation program specialist is assigned to coordinate transition services to insure all students have access to DSB’s vocational rehabilitation services while in high school. The school systems with transition programs renew their cooperative agreements for funding and the transition program specialist coordinates the involvement of the local DSB staff, the school staff, and DSB’s financial officers to insure these agreements are complete and accurate.

 

DSB continues to work towards expansion of the availability of additional transition programs that can better prepare students in transition from school to work and develops specialized training in transition services. The Department of Public Instruction’s consultant for vision impairment and DSB’s specialist for transition services work together to identify areas to establish new programs and to provide consultation for the school systems in transition program development. The program specialist is responsible for maintaining a good relationship with the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) to insure continued communication at the state level that will enhance the availability of services to students in their local school systems. DPI’s consultant for vision impairment serves on DSB’s state rehabilitation council.

This screen was last updated on Aug 15 2013 2:57PM by David Arthur

Attachment 4.11(a) Statewide Assessment

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

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

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

The Division has undergone major management and leadership staff changes during FFY 2013.  As such the development of the Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment has been delayed.

The Division has contracted the services of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Department of Allied Health Sciences,

Division of Rehabilitation Counseling & Psychology to conduct the assessment which will be completed by October 31, 2013.

This screen was last updated on Aug 15 2013 3:11PM by David Arthur

Attachment 4.11(b) Annual Estimates

During Federal Fiscal year 2012, DSB served 3,192 individuals with title I case service funds with expenditures of $3,798,182.  During Federal Fiscal Year 2011, DSB served 3,877 individuals with Title I case service funds expenditures of $4,733,085.

 During Federal Fiscal Year 2014, DSB estimates that 3,535 individuals will receive vocational rehabilitation services using Title I funds. Projected cost of services is estimated to be $4,261,442 without implementation of order of selection.

 During Federal Fiscal year 2012, DSB served 29 individuals with the most significant disabilities (MSD) with the supported employment services title VI, Part B budget of $128,812.  During Federal Fiscal Year 2011, DSB served 75 individuals with the most significant disabilities with supported employment services using Title VI, Part B, funds of $30,230.

 During Federal Fiscal Year 2014, DSB estimates that 35 individuals with the most significant disabilities will be provided supported employment services with Title VI, Part B, funds at a projected budget of $130,000.  These individuals will also be eligible for use of Title I funds for other services, such as medical, training, guidance and counseling or other required services. Therefore, these individuals who receive supported employment services through Title VI funds are also included in the estimated number of individuals who may receive Title I funds in the table below.

 The projected costs represent only the cost of services purchased in the provision of assessment and other services to applicants and eligible individuals. DSB has an Order of Selection Plan for eligibility determination under the Rehabilitation Act. It has not been implemented, as DSB has provided vocational rehabilitation services to all eligible individuals.

 

Category Title I or Title VI Estimated Funds Estimated Number to be Served Average Cost of Services
All eligible Individuals Title I $3,798,182 3,192 $1,189
Supported Employment Title VI $130,000 35 $3,714
Totals   $3,928,182 3,227 $1,217

This screen was last updated on Aug 14 2013 2:51PM by David Arthur

Attachment 4.11(c)(1) State Goals and Priorities

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

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

PRIORITY 1: INCREASE THE AVERAGE WAGES AND BENEFITS OF INDIVIDUALS CLOSED WITH SUCCESSFUL WAGE-EARNING EMPLOYMENT OUTCOMES

Goal 1: Individuals who are blind or visually impaired in North Carolina will have access to employment opportunities that provide good wages and level of benefits.

Objective (a): DSB’s staff will utilize the Internship program to obtain placements for eligible individuals who have recently completed post-secondary training or occupational education. The Internship training program gives newly trained eligible individuals a competitive edge with the number of experienced individuals in the current job market due to company closings and layoffs. DSB reimburses an employer up to 100% of the individual’s wages and benefits contribution without requiring a commitment of hiring at the completion of the internship. The use of Internship will remain a strategy through September, 2015, with the goal of seven Internship placements that result in three successful employment outcomes.

Objective (b): DSB staff will build upon the use of Work Experiences without Pay to target opportunities using labor market information for determining where employment is more likely to be offered at the conclusion of the Work Experience agreement. The goal will be to enter into 80 Work Experience without Pay agreements that result in 12 placements.

 Objective (c): DSB staff will have resources of community-based work adjustment services through community rehabilitation programs for eligible individuals who require this service for successful employment. It is a resource for individuals who need short-term job coaching to be successful on the job, but do not require long-term support services afforded by supported employment services. The goal for FFY2014 will be five successful employment closures with use of this program.

 Objective (d): DSB will participate in an employer portal designed exclusively for VR individuals, which will permit increased access to local, statewide, and national job openings and direct exposure to business customers seeking to employ individuals from the talent pool of people with disabilities. The goal will be to identify a viable portal and pilot the use of it in one district office.

 Objective (e): DSB will seek to increase the average wage of individuals going to work by 1% over last year’s wage. (Base line in FFY2012 is $11.94)

 Goal 2: Increase staff knowledge about careers, employment opportunities, and business relationship development.

 Objective (a): Provide ongoing training experiences for all VR counselors, business representatives, and community employment specialists to include detailed knowledge of DSB Work Experiences, DSB Business Services, and evidence supported and best practices for achieving optimal employment outcomes.

 Objective (b): Provide staff with information on local and state labor markets, especially careers in high demand and the skills and training required to enter those careers. Additionally, provide information on assistive technology available for use in these high demand careers.

 Objective (c): Train all DSB VR counselors, business representatives, and community employment specialists on how to develop and improve upon business relationship building skills. Provide targeted one-on-one training by the Program Specialist for Employment Services to rehabilitation counselors and business representatives that will consist of job coaching through an employer interview for new staff and those staff with lower numbers of business contacts and successful placements.

 PRIORITY 2: ELIGIBLE INDIVIDUALS WILL HAVE ACCESS TO ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY (AT) REQUIRED FOR EMPLOYMENT

 Goal 1: Provide assistive technology for all eligible individuals who require specific equipment and software in order to obtain, maintain, and regain employment.

Objective a: Purchase of technology for eligible individuals without regard to financial eligibility when required for success in reaching their vocational goal. The individual must be working toward an employment goal that requires specific technology to attain, regain, or maintain employment and have the capacity to use the equipment.

 Goal 2: Assistive technology staff in all seven District Offices will receive training on latest software and hardware to enhance placement opportunities.

 Objective (a): Provide training for the Rehabilitation Engineer, Assistive Technology Consultants, and Assistive Technology teachers and instructors about new and innovative products.

 Objective (b): Partner with the NC Assistive Technology Project and the NC Rehabilitation Association to sponsor the 2013 “NCRA/NCATP Training Conference and Exhibitor Showcase” (formerly the NC Assistive Technology Expo) August 28-30, 2013, and identify at least two presentations about assistive technology for individuals who are blind or who have visual impairments.

 PRIORITY 3:  TRANSITION SERVICES WILL BE AVAILABLE IN ALL COUNTIES OF NORTH CAROLINA FOR STUDENTS WHO ARE BLIND OR VISUALLY IMPAIRED.

 Goal 1: DSB will continue to provide transition services to students who are blind or visually impaired attending schools in all 115 Local Education Agencies (LEA’s) of North Carolina.

The goal will be to increase the number of individuals, ages 14-21, served by 2% (baseline for FFY2012: 402)

 Objective (a) Current Cooperative Agreements with fourteen public school districts will be maintained, as school budget shortfalls are predicted to continue in the next fiscal year. Public schools in North Carolina are searching for programs to cut in order to preserve their own staffs.

 Objective (b) Transition services to students attending schools without DSB Cooperative Agreements are served by DSB VR counselors covering those counties where the schools are located.

 Goal 2: DSB will provide continuing education training for transition program staff.

 Objective (a) The Program Specialist for Transition Services will continue to have transition staff meetings and provide ongoing trainings quarterly to increase staff awareness and knowledge about transition issues and policy.

 Goal 3:   Rehabilitation Counselors will increase their awareness of opportunities for internships and work experiences for transition age students.

Objective (a) Provide current information about opportunities for transition age individuals on the agency’s web-page or other media.

 Objective (b) Provide training to new Rehabilitation Counselors about Transition Services available to eligible students on their caseloads

 Objective (c) Program Specialist for Transition Services and the Transition Counselors in each area will continue to be available for consultation regarding transition services.

 PRIORITY 4:   QUALITY AND KNOWLEDGEABLE OUTREACH TO INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES, FAMILY MEMBERS, AND INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE MINORITIES, INCLUDING THOSE WITH THE MOST SIGNIFICANT DISABILITIES WILL BE PROVIDED BY DSB.

 Goal 1:  DSB’s services will be provided to individuals, families, minority populations and those experiencing health disparities through targeted outreach activities. Data for the objectives will be captured and managed in DSB’s new case management system called BEAM.

 Objective (a): Outreach activities will result in the increase of total consumers served who are Hispanics/Latinos by 1% during the period October 1, 2013 to September 30, 2014. (The baseline for FFY 2011 was 140)

 Objective (b): Outreach activities will result in the increase of total consumers served who are African American by 1% from October 1, 2013 to September 30, 2014. (The baseline for FFY 2011 was a total of 1526, 1446 African-American, 80 Native American.)

 Objective (c): Outreach activities will result in the increase of total consumers served who are Native American by 1% during the period October 1, 2013 to September 30, 2014. (The baseline for FFY 2011 was 80.)

 Objective (d): Outreach activities will result in the increase of total consumers served who are Veterans by 1% during the period October 1, 2013 to September 30, 2014. (Baseline data needs to be collected for this population for the first time using BEAM.)

 Objective (e): Outreach activities will result in the increase of total consumers served who have diabetes by 1% during the period October 1, 2013 to September 30, 2014. (The baseline for FFY 2011 was 140.)

 Goal 2:  DSB will develop marketing opportunities to targeted audiences regarding specific agency programs.

  Objective (a):  DSB will develop individualized program/service brochures (Vocational Rehabilitation Program, Independent Living Rehabilitation, Independent Living Services, Deaf-Blind, Rehab Center, Business Enterprise, Assistive Technology and Assistive Technology Instructors, Evaluation Unit and for individuals with Diabetes, medical providers and Veterans) to be placed on the agency’s website and utilize social media as a method for DSB to communicate with potential applicants or those seeing information regarding agency services.

 Objective (b): DSB will use a VR employer portal to establish contact with employers who would like to post job opportunities, with the goal of having ten job opportunities posted during FFY 2014.

 Goal 3: DSB will identify ways by which DSB can assist veterans with disabilities to become able to obtain, maintain or regain employment.

  Objective (a): Through BEAM and contacts with the Veterans Administration, Disabled Veterans of America, and the American Legion, DSB will educate these organizations on ways the Division can assist veterans through a collaborative continuum of independent living and employment services.

 Goal 4: DSB will continually seek and identify ways in which to reach the growing minority populations across North Carolina.

 Objective (a): Increase the number of DSB employees who are of an ethnic or racial minority by 1.5 percent for FFY 2014.

 Objective (b): During FFY 2014, eight DSB staff will utilize the Spanish training modules to acquire some level of proficiency in speaking and/or understanding Spanish.

PRIORITY 5: OVER THE NEXT TWO FISCAL YEARS, IMPLEMENTATION OF SYSTEMATIC PROGRAM EVALUATIONS AND CONSISTENT QUALITY ASSURANCE METHODS WILL ASSURE THE AGENCY IS MEETING THE MISSION OF ENABLING INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE BLIND OR VISUALLY IMPAIRED TO ACHIEVE THEIR GOALS OF INDEPENDENCE AND EMPLOYMENT.

 Goal 1: To provide consistent and accurate data using the new case management system, BEAM, to assess program performance.

 Objective (a): The agency will provide refresher training, support, and problem-solving prior to the scheduled “go-live” of October, 2013, for the agency’s new case management system, BEAM.  All issues regarding BEAM use by staff using assistive technology will be resolved during the first year of its use. 

 Objective (b): Monthly reviews of outcome data by rehabilitation program chiefs and managers will be completed with supervisors and other program staff. 

 Goal 2: To provide holistic, consistent, and accurate methods of quality assurance and program evaluation.

 Objective (a): Develop an up-to- date Quality Assurance Manual outline identifying areas requiring specific methods of quality assurance based on outcome measures with consideration of BEAM.  The manual will be completed and in place with staff during FFY2014.

 Objective (b): To use Quality Assurance methods to achieve holistic, consistent, and accurate measures of case reviews.

 Objective (c): To provide feedback and training to counseling staff using the results of the Quality Assurance reviews to improve best practices in providing services to individuals.

 

This screen was last updated on Aug 14 2013 2:51PM by David Arthur

Attachment 4.11(c)(3) Order of Selection

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

This agency is not implementing an Order of Selection.

This screen was last updated on Aug 20 2009 1:22PM by David Arthur

Attachment 4.11(c)(4) Goals and Plans for Distribution of Title VI, Part B Funds

Specify the state's goals and priorities with respect to the distribution of funds received under section 622 of the Act for the provision of supported employment services.

DSB subscribes to the following FY 2014 supported employment goals:

 In all 100 counties, DSB plans to identify individuals with disabilities that have traditionally been underserved and not served, who will require Supported Employment services in order to achieve a successful employment outcome by using the following objectives:

1. Provide training to new Rehabilitation Counselors to help them identify and refer individuals with the most significant disabilities for Supported Employment services.

 2. DSB’s Program Specialist will provide training to Community Rehabilitation Program staff, as requested, on information about working with individuals who are blind or visually impaired to assist in job development and placement.

 3. Community Rehabilitation Programs will identify individuals with the most significant disabilities who want to work, and refer them to DSB for vocational rehabilitation services, which may include Supported Employment services.

 4. During Fiscal Year 2014, DSB plans to close ten (10) individuals indicating successful employment outcomes (Status 26) after receiving Supported Employment services.

This screen was last updated on Aug 14 2013 2:51PM by David Arthur

Attachment 4.11(d) State's Strategies

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.

PRIORITY 1:  INCREASE THE AVERAGE WAGES AND BENEFITS OF INDIVIDUALS CLOSED WITH SUCCESSFUL WAGE-EARNING EMPLOYMENT OUTCOMES

 Through the use of the DSB-sponsored internship program, DSB staff will have opportunities to obtain employment for eligible individuals who that have recently completed post-secondary training or vocational trades training.  These opportunities will benefit both eligible individuals and employers. A newly trained eligible individual can gain work experience in the field of their training while the employer has an opportunity to ensure the individual is a match for the job. 

 These opportunities give newly trained individuals a competitive edge with the increased number of applicants for jobs who have experience in the field due to current job market conditions that include company closings, layoffs, and job losses. DSB will reimburse the employer up to 100% of the wages and benefits contribution during the internship without requiring a commitment of hiring at the end of the internship.  The number of hours worked during the week can be 20 to 40 hours, with a maximum of 1,000 hours per internship.  If all interns, projected at 7, work a maximum amount of 40 hours per week, the maximum amount paid for these internships will be $70,000.

 The community-based work adjustment services will continue to be available to staff through local community rehabilitation programs (CRP’s)  as a resource for individuals who require short-term job coaching to be successful on a job, but do not require long-term support. The estimated amount of funds to be expended for this strategy is $45,000.

 The 2010 Census identified one of the fastest growing segments of the job market in North Carolina as the older worker.  This year, statewide as well as district office training will place emphasis on identifying transferable skills, utilizing all low vision and other assistive technology, and other skills needed to effectively provide placements for the older worker.  Offices will be directed to share information regarding employers who offer higher wages and career advancement opportunities, and now opportunities for older workers. The estimated amount of funds to be expended for this strategy is $15,000.

 PRIORITY 2:  ELIGIBLE INDIVIDUALS WILL HAVE ACCESS TO ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY (AT) AS REQUIRED FOR EMPLOYMENT.

 DSB plans to continue to provide all assistive technology, to include low vision devices and mobility aids required for employment (including training for employment) without regard to financial eligibility. Assistive Technology staff will receive ongoing training on the most appropriate required equipment, and purchases will be monitored. The estimated amount of funds to be expended for this strategy is $300,000.

 DSB will be a contributing sponsor to the 2013 NCATP/NCRA Conference hosted by the NC Assistive Technology Program and the NC Rehabilitation Association on August 28-30, 2013.  A DSB AT Consultant will serve on the planning committee, and there will be at least two presentations about access technology for individuals who are blind or visually impaired.  The conference also sponsors a vendor expo with many vendors, with over 25% being vendors with products for persons who are blind or visually impaired.   All DSB AT Consultants (6), Rehabilitation Engineer (1), AT Instructors (4), Technology teacher (1), and Rehabilitation Center AT Instructors (3) will be sponsored to attend this conference.

 In conjunction with this conference, DSB will sponsor two-day training for AT staff to study new products. Topics being considered are use of alternative products, new uses of existing products, and demonstration of a difficult job modification. The estimated amount of funds to be expended for both of these strategies is $3,500.

PRIORITY 3:  TRANSITION SERVICES WILL BE AVAILABLE IN ALL COUNTIES OF NORTH CAROLINA FOR STUDENTS WHO ARE BLIND OR VISUALLY IMPAIRED.

 The Program Specialist for Transition will coordinate training for all new counselors on opportunities available to all students ages 14-21, such as sponsoring eligible post-secondary expenses, the summer programs, as well as internships or On-the-job Training Programs (OJT) and job development and placement from DSB.

 The Program Specialist for Transition will meet with all DSB’s VR Counselors to review and update transition services available to students ages 14-21. The program specialist will also meet with this staff to help them keep current with best practices when working with transition age students.

 The Program Specialist for Transition will meet with staff designated to work with transition aged students in the schools which have Memorandum of Agreements with DSB to provide these services in the schools on a quarterly basis to update on best practices.

PRIORITY 4:   QUALITY AND KNOWLEDGEABLE OUTREACH TO INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES, FAMILY MEMBERS, AND INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE MINORITIES, INCLUDING THOSE WITH THE MOST SIGNIFICANT DISABILITIES WILL BE PROVIDED BY DSB.

 DSB will continue to participate in outreach activities in all areas of North Carolina as opportunities arise.  Activities in previous years have had to be cut due to budget restraints. DSB has a staff member in each area that is responsible for identifying activities, and reports will be made of each event.

Utilizing the Memorandums of Agreement established with the Lumbee Tribal Vocational Rehabilitation Program and the Eastern Cherokee Tribal Vocational Rehabilitation Program, outreach and services provided to Native Americans will be increased. Contacts with the University of North Carolina at Pembroke, which is located in the counties of Lumbee Tribal communities, will be maintained to provide consultation and cooperation between these programs. 

  DSB will use social media (as approved by the NC Department of Health and Human Services) as a tool to reach potential employers.  It will also be a resource and method of staying in touch with organizations, individuals and other sources of reaching the un-served and underserved.

 BEAM, the agency’s new electronic data system, provides a portal for employers to communicate with DSB’s VR staff, as well as to find information they may need in regard to their staff that may be blind or have a visual impairment.  The Program Specialist for Employment Services will continue to participate on a committee for the completion of access to this portal for employers.  During FFY2014, the Program Specialist will work with supervisors and DSB’s VR staff about educating employers regarding the use of the portal.

 DSB will utilize the EEO Plan to ensure that applicants who are the most qualified for positions and are of a minority population are considered and their cultural and ethnic skill background is considered in the hiring process.  For example, those who are fluent in Spanish will greatly assist in outreach to the Latino population.  

 DSB will continue to provide employees access to Spanish language tutorials for learning this language skill.  Introductory skills can assist in the initiation of service provision.

 PRIORITY 5:  OVER THE NEXT TWO FISCAL YEARS, DSB WILL IMPLEMENT A SYSTEMATIC METHOD OF PROGRAM EVALUATION AND CONSISTENT QUALITY ASSURANCE METHODS TO ASSURE THE AGENCY IS MEETING THE AGENCY’S MISSION AND VISION.

 DSB will provide re-training and follow-up to all staff in the use of the agency’s new data system, BEAM, ensuring total accessibility for all users. DSB’s engineer and AT instructor will develop a training workshop for staff that use AT in navigating BEAM with JAWS prior to the re-training for BEAM. Several AT staff will be trained as “on-site” help desk assistants to work with staff who use AT to ensure accurate usage and to provide immediate assistance.

 The new Quality Assurance Case Review Form will be refined and used for all case reviews to insure that consistency and accuracy is standardized across all VR case loads.

 The development of a Quality Assurance Manual has been postponed until the launching of the new case management system, BEAM, scheduled for October 2013.  This electronic case management system and data collection system and its capabilities and accessibility are still unknown.  Manuals developed by other states and data gathered by ongoing studies will be used as the Manual is developed. 

All training for new Rehabilitation Counselors will contain a segment on quality services. 

 

 

 

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.

 The Division will plan to provide all assistive technology, to include low vision devices and mobility aids required for employment (including training for employment) without regard to financial eligibility.   The low vision devices are recommended by DSB Nurse Eye Care Consultants or Low Vision Specialist, and may range from a simple magnifier to high-end CCTV’s.  Our Rehabilitation Engineer, six Assistive Technology Consultants, and the Rehabilitation Center for the Blind AT Teacher stay knowledgeable of all new products, do individualized assessments of individuals, then recommend the combintations of computer equipment with assistive technology, which include devices such as adaptive software, CCTV’s that work with computers, larger monitors, Braille displays,Braille embossers, notetakers such as the BrailleNote or PacMate, or specialized software to adapt training programs or jobs to make them accessible for our individuals.   

The change to make required equipment available without regard to financial eligibility was done through a temporary rule change during FFY2010 and FFY2011.  It was observed that those who needed equipment and were not financially eligible were often young individuals headed towards training and education for higher paying jobs.  A change required a State APA Rule change, and a temporary rule change was granted that will allow these purchases through FFY2012.  During FFY2012, the State rules Committee  has approved this rule change, and it is now permanent.  Rehabilitation Counselors will be educated regarding appropriate use of this rule for required equipment, and purchases will be monitored. The estimated amount of funds to be expended for this strategy is $300,000.

The Division will be a contributing sponsor at the 2011 NC Assistive Technology Expo, hosted by the Partners in Assistive Technology, in November, 2011.  A Division AT teacher from the Rehabilitation Center for the Blind will serve on the planning committee, and at least two presentations about access technology for individuals who are blind or visually impaired.  The Expo also sponsors a vendor expo with many vendors, with over 25% being vendors with products for persons who are blind or visually impaired.   All Division AT Consultants (6), Rehabilitation Engineer (1), AT Instructors (4), Technology teacher (1), and Rehabilitation Center AT Instructors (3) will be sponsored to attend this expo.

 In conjunction with the Expo, Division will sponsor two-day training for AT staff to study new products.  Topics being considered are use of alternative products, new uses of existing products, and demonstration of a difficult job modification. The estimated amount of funds to be expended for both of these strategies is $6,500.

 

Identify what outreach procedures will be used to identify and serve individuals with disabilities who are minorities, including those with the most significant disabilities; and what outreach procedures will be used to identify and serve individuals with disabilities who have been unserved or underserved by the VR program.

The Division developed a plan of targeted outreach to reach growing minority communities. Consequently the Division developed materials and presentations specifically for communities of color. Since minority communities are disproportionately affected by illnesses such as obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and vascular disease, minorities are at risk for greater rates of vision loss. The following steps will be implemented to reach minority communities:

 1. Focus on faith based outreach by participating in health fairs, presenting to congregations, and participating in other related events.

 2. A Spanish-speaking employee will be employed by the Division

 3. The number of Division employees who speak Spanish will be increased.

 4. The Division will participate in community cultural events.

 5. The Division will make outreach events accessible through the use of foreign language interpreters and the provision of publications in Spanish as needed.

 6. The Division will provide outreach to programs serving minorities with health disparities

 

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

1.The Division will work with the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services to identify and recruit more CRPs to participate with the Division in the provison of supported employment services

2. The  Division will use the state’s Contract ad Procurement system to recruit CRPs in the provision of supported employment services.

3. The Division will continue to encourage VR Counselors to identify and recuit CRPs in the counties they cover that could be beneficial in working with the individuals they serve.

4. The Division will continue the provision of training to CRP staff in the areas of working with individuals who are blind as well in the job development, job placement and job coaching process.

 

 

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

The one area of RSA’s standards and indicators that has consistently hard for the Divison to accomplish is Standard 1, Indicator 1.5, Earnings ratio comparison to state average wage (Standard 0.59).  The Division will continue the internship program and the wage reimbursement program for advanced placement to serve as incentives to employers to employ Division-sponsored individuals in higher paying jobs. 

Successful employment outcomes have suffered over the past three years due to the high level of unemployment in North Carolina, especially in the rural areas, and the loss of jobs in the manufacturing realm.  In addition, the Division has experienced extended vacancies in counselor positions at a higher rate that in the past, mainly due to retirements of experienced counselors, lack of pay raises in over three years, and extended freeze on employment.  Even though staff have worked hard to cover vacant positions, a negative effect has occurred in a decrease in successful employment outcomes and an increase in unsuccessful closures.  The Division will provide leadership training opportunities for rehabilitatio counselors as retention incentives, and will begin training with new counselors immediately in areas such as placement and blindness information.

During FFY2013, the new case management system, BEAM, is scheduled to go-live after a long wait.  Division staff have never had a case management system and this will provide counselors and supervisors methods to better manage their caseloads, such as immediate queries into cases needing action.

 

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

The State of North Carolina is currently studying the workforce investestment system in North Carolina and considering restructuring of it.  DSB has participated in recent studies and presentations, and will be following the outcome of this study.  Upon its completion, DSB will make any necessary adjustments. 

Currently DSB Counselors meet with applicants and eligible individuals in local Job Link Centers.  They work with the staff in these Centers in finding potential job leads for staff and to gain knowledge of industry and employer expansion in their areas.   

 

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.

 

This screen was last updated on Aug 14 2013 2:51PM by David Arthur

Attachment 4.11(e)(2) Evaluation and Reports of Progress

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

DSB’s priorities in FFY2012 included:

(1)      increasing the average wages and benefits of individuals closed with  successful wage-earning employment outcomes,

(2)      ensuring access to assistive technology (AT) for all eligible individuals who require AT for employment,

(3)      providing transition services to all students who are blind or visually impaired individuals, especially in rural areas,

(4)      providing information to reach individuals with disabilities, family  members and individuals who are minorities, especially those with most significant disabilities, to increase knowledge about DSB services, and

(5)      developing systematic program evaluation and consistent quality assurance methods.

PRIORITY 1: INCREASE THE AVERAGE WAGES AND BENEFITS OF INDIVIDUALS CLOSED WITH SUCCESSFUL WAGE-EARNING EMPLOYMENT OUTCOMES.  

 Evaluation: During FFY2012, individuals who achieved employment outcomes earned an average wage of $11.94 per hour, a 2.8% real increase over FFY2011 and the highest real percentage increase since FFY2009.

 External variables affecting wage and benefits outcomes include continuing high unemployment rates in North Carolina, especially in the rural areas, and disability policies which create disincentives for Social Security recipients to earn higher wages.

 Training of new staff includes this priority, and with the initiation of DSB’s case management system during FFY2014, data collection will be more readily available, allowing for improved monitoring. 

Goal 1: Individuals who are blind or visually impaired in North Carolina will have access to employment opportunities that provide good wages and level benefits.

  Objective (a): DSB’s staff will obtain placements for eligible individuals who have recently completed post-secondary training or occupational education through a specialized on-the-job training program called the “Intern Program”.  The “Intern Program” replaces a similar on-the-job training program funded through ARRA called ARRA On-The-Job Training (ARRA OJT). This training program gives newly trained eligible individuals a competitive edge with the number of experienced individuals in the current job market due to company closings and layoffs.  DSB reimburses an employer up to 100% of the individual’s wages and benefits contribution without requiring a commitment of hiring for a specific period of time agreed upon in a written agreement with the employer and the Division.  The economy recovery in North Carolina has been slower than anticipated, especially in the more rural areas of the state.

 Therefore, this will remain a strategy through September, 2013, with the goal of seven placements that result in five permanent job offers and four successful employment outcomes.

 Evaluation: DSB staff obtained placements using the Internship program, previously known as ARRA On-The-Job Training, for eligible individuals who recently completed post-secondary training or occupational education.  During FFY2012, five individuals were placed in jobs through the Internship program.  One of the individuals maintained in the job after the end of the internship period and is expected to become a successful employment outcome for FFY2013. 

 Since the program’s inception in 2009, one-third of individuals placed in Internship maintained employment with the employer of their internship, and 67% of individuals placed in Internship secured permanent positions with average wages that exceeded DSB’s average income at closure for FFY2012.

 Objective (b):  DSB staff will have resources of community-based work adjustment services through community rehabilitation programs for eligible individuals who require this service for successful employment. It is a resource for individuals who need short-term job coaching to be successful on the job, but do not require long-term support services afforded by supported employment services. The goal for FFY2013 will be five successful employment closures with use of this program.

 Evaluation: DSB staff utilized community-based work adjustment services through community rehabilitation programs for eligible individuals who require this service for successful employment. It is a resource for individuals who need short-term job coaching to be successful on the job, but do not require long-term support services afforded by supported employment services. Three individuals were referred for work adjustment services in FFY 2012.

Goal 2: Increase staff knowledge about careers and employment opportunities in the State and the requirements of these positions.

Objective (a): Provide ongoing training experiences for all Division VR counselors, business representatives and community employment specialists about career opportunities in North Carolina’s changing economy to include a segment on job analysis and use of assistive technology.

 Evaluation: Training experiences were provided for all DSB VR counselors, business representatives, and community employment specialists about career opportunities in North Carolina’s changing economy and included segments on job analysis and use of assistive technology.  In the fourth quarter of FFY2012, a job development series was launched via email to all DSB VR staff responsible for job development. The series included strategies for locating businesses and building business relationships to create employment opportunities for individuals receiving DSB VR services.

Objective (b): Expand the use of the office plan in each seven district offices for contacting businesses in the locations that targets employers offering higher wages and career advancement.

Evaluation: An office plan was developed in each of the seven district offices for contacting businesses that target employers offering higher wages and career advancement. During FFY2012, each office met with the Employment Services Specialist to develop a plan.  This plan was stressed by the supervisors and the business representatives in the offices throughout the year.

Objective (c): Provide targeted one-on-one training by the Program Specialist for Job Development and Placement to each rehabilitation counselor and business representative that will consist of job coaching through an employer interview. In those areas and for those staff with lower numbers of business contacts and successful placements, a follow-up session will be held.

Evaluation: One-on-one training, including job coaching through an employer interview, was conducted by the Program Specialist for Employment Services in the first quarter of FFY2012. Newly hired VR counselors in the remainder of FFY2012 did not receive job development and placement training or one-on-one job coaching through an employer interview due to a six month vacancy in the Employment Services Specialist’s position and delay of new counselor training due to administrative staff changes. In FFY2012, all business representatives were trained on DSB Work Experiences, business services, and the dual customer, business relationship approach to job development and placement.

 PRIORITY 2: ELIGIBLE INDIVIDUALS WILL HAVE ACCESS TO ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY (AT) REQUIRED FOR EMPLOYMENT

Goal 1: Provide assistive technology for all eligible individuals who require specific equipment and software in order to obtain, maintain, and regain employment.

 Objective: Purchase of technology for eligible individuals without regard to financial eligibility when required for success in reaching their vocational goal.  DSB changed the procedure for purchasing required AT from a service provided only to those who meet financial need criteria, to a service provided to eligible individuals without regard to financial need in FFY2010. 

 During FFY2010 and FFY2011, ARRA funding was used to fund this policy change through September 30, 2011.  Due to advancements in AT over the past three years, new training opportunities and jobs have opened to individuals who are blind or visually impaired with use of AT.  Therefore, the agency recommended that the practice of purchasing required AT without regard to economic remain in place after the expiration of ARRA funds, which was approved by the State Rehabilitation Council.

 Evaluation: DSB provided AT services to 762 individuals in FFY2012 and purchased $385,232.92 in assistive technology ranging from low vision devices such as magnifiers to closed circuit televisions (CCTV) and other devices to assist individuals in reaching their goals of employment and independence.

 Goal 2: Assistive technology staff in all seven District Offices will receive training on latest software and hardware to enhance placement opportunities.

 Objective (a): Provide training for the Rehabilitation Engineer, Assistive Technology Consultants, and Assistive Technology teachers and instructors about new and innovative products. 

Evaluation: Training was provided on December 4, 2012 for the Assistive Technology Consultants, the Rehabilitation Engineer and the Assistive Technology teacher and Assistive Technology Instructors in alternative products.  Ten persons received training in the use of the low vision devices as well as updated versions of screen reader products by GW Micro, Window Eyes and JAWS.

 Objective (b): Partner with the NC Assistive Technology Project and the NC Rehabilitation Association to sponsor the 2012”GREAT” (Global Rehabilitation Enhanced by Assistive Technology) (formerly the NC Assistive Technology Expo) to be held December 5-7, 2012, and identify at least two presentations about access technology for individuals who are blind or who have visual impairments.

Evaluation: Eighteen DSB staff attended the GREAT conference, a training conference and vendor display. The Division partnered with the NC Assistive Technology Project as one of the sponsors for the 2012 Expo, which was attended by over 500 AT users, professionals, students, teachers and other interested individuals. A DSB staff person worked on the planning committee and arranged six presentations about assistive technology for individuals who are blind or who have visual impairments.

 PRIORITY 3:  TRANSITION SERVICES WILL BE AVAILABLE IN ALL COUNTIES OF NORTH CAROLINA FOR STUDENTS WHO ARE BLIND OR VISUALLY IMPAIRED.

 Goal 1:  DSB will continue to provide transition services to students who are blind or visually impaired attending schools in all 115 Local Education Agencies (LEA’s) of North Carolina.

The goal will be to increase the number of individuals, ages 14-21, served by 2% (baseline for FFY2011: 290)

 Objective (a) Current Cooperative Agreements with fourteen LEAs’ will be maintained, as economic instability continues and projected budget shortfalls are projected to increase in the next fiscal year. LEA’s in North Carolina are searching for programs to cut in order to preserve their own staffs.

Evaluation: Durham County Public Schools did not renew the Cooperative Agreement with DSB in FFY2012, citing budgetary shortfalls and not having any students who were blind or visually impaired age 14 or older attending their schools. DSB was able to maintain Cooperative Agreements with the other fourteen schools. The total number of students receiving services in these programs was 270 students.

 Objective (b) Transition services to students attending schools without DSB Cooperative Agreements will be served by DSB VR counselors in the counties where the schools are located.

 Evaluation: DSB provided services to another 132 students in these schools throughout North Carolina. The total number of students age 14-21 served was 402.

 Goal 2:  DSB will provide continuing education training for transition program staff.

Evaluation: Southeast Region TACE program provided Discovery Training to all Transition staff beginning September 2012, with follow up training in November 2012 and follow up phone conferences in January 2013, and March 2013.

 Objective (a)   Transition Staff that have enrolled in Certificate in Transition with Winston-Salem State University will complete these courses.

Evaluation: The Certificate program was scheduled to be completed by January 2013. Unfortunately, Winston-Salem State University did not offer the courses in the fall semester of 2012 for staff to complete the program. However, the staff member without a master degree was accepted into the graduate program for Rehabilitation Counseling with courses completed transferred into his program.

Objective (b) All Transition Staff will complete training in the Discovery Process provided by Southeast Regional TACE program, so they can begin to use the process with the students in their programs during this Fiscal Year.

Evaluation: Southeast Region TACE program provided Discovery Training to all Transition staff beginning September 2012, with follow up training in November 2012 and follow up phone conferences in December 2012, and March 2013. Completion of Discovery is planned for the fall of 2013 with follow up phone conferences.

Objective (c) The Program Specialist for Transition Services will continue to have transition staff meetings and/or provide ongoing trainings quarterly to increase staff awareness and knowledge about transition issues and policy.

Evaluation: transition staff met in September, 2012, January 2013 and by phone in March, 2013.  

Goal 3:  Each Rehabilitation Counselor in areas where specialized transition programs are not available will increase awareness of opportunities for internships and work experiences for transition age students.

Objective (a) Provide current information about opportunities for transition age individuals on the agency’s web-page or other media.

Evaluation: The transition link is updated as needed. Counselors are also kept updated on DSB summer programs for transition age students on their caseloads.

Objective (b) Provide training to new Rehabilitation Counselors on Transition Services available to eligible students on their caseloads

 Evaluation: The new Counselor training provided in April and May 2013 included a section on Transition Services.

Objective (c) Program Specialist for Transition Services and the Transition Counselor in each area will continue to be available for consultation regarding transition services.

Evaluation: The summer of 2012, the Transition Counselors included students from outside the school systems they covered to participate in the summer mini-centers and recreational programs 

they provided. The transition Counselors work with other VR Counselors to provide information about other opportunities that are available to students, such as Youth Leadership programs, conferences for youth who are blind or visually impaired and training programs that become available. The Program Specialist is available to provide information to VR staff and assist with school personnel as needed.

PRIORITY 4:  QUALITY AND KNOWLEDGEABLE OUTREACH TO INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES, FAMILY MEMBERS, AND INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE MINORITIES, INCLUDING THOSE WITH THE MOST SIGNIFICANT DISABILITIES WILL BE PROVIDED BY DSB.

Goal 1 The Division will continue to participate in outreach activities in all areas of North Carolina as opportunities arise.  Activities in previous years have had to be cut due to budget restraints. The Division has a staff member in each area that is responsible for identifying activities, and reports will be made of each event.

Evaluation: Outreach is an obligation of every DSB employee. In addition to having five Outreach Specialists, DSB encourages all staff to participate in outreach designed to educate individuals about the variety of services available through the agency. Outreach efforts for the 2011-2012 fiscal year resulted in 283 outreach events that impacted over 15,500 people. 48 of these events were targeted outreach to Native Americans, Latino Americans, and Veterans.

Outreach took place through workshops, health fairs, and conference participation as vendors/exhibitors and conference presentations. Many of the events took place in rural communities, at faith based organizations, senior centers, support groups, and on an individual level. These numbers do not reflect the volume of individual outreach activities that occurred, but instead, represent the collaborative efforts of the masses.

DSB launched the “Each One Teach One” Campaign. This is a program that provides diabetes awareness information, and the relationship that it has specifically on vision and hearing. The campaign teaches individuals and families about the consequences and complication of diabetes as prompted by the 2010 Comprehensive Needs Assessment conducted by East Carolina University. The assessment offered strategic recommendations which included:

 

  • Outreach to various constituencies via language appropriate materials. Suggestions were;
  • Hold topical seminars (e.g., living with and tips on managing your diabetes) in local communities.
  • Host mini-center activities in various locations targeting specific minorities.

 The results were a program that focused on educating individuals in rural, underserved communities to include Native American, African American, Latino Americans; faith based groups, the geriatric population, and Veterans.

 Goal 2 Utilizing the Memorandums of Agreement established with the Lumbee Tribal Vocational Rehabilitation Program and the Eastern Cherokee Tribal Vocational Rehabilitation Program, outreach and services provided to Native Americans will be increased. Contacts with the University of North Carolina at Pembroke, which is located in the counties of Lumbee Tribal communities, will be maintained to provide consultation and cooperation between these programs. 

Evaluation: During the past fiscal year, approximately 8% of the agency’s outreach has been with Native American Communities. Some of the activities have included participating in three day POW WOWS and other cultural events.

Goal 3 The Division will use social media (as approved by the NC Department of Health and Human Services) as a tool to reach potential employers.  It will also be a resource and method of staying in touch with organizations, individuals, and other sources of reaching the un-served and underserved.

Evaluation:  The NC Department of Health and Human Services did not approve of DSB’s use of social media at this time. The Department selected two Divisions to participate in a pilot project with Facebook but DSB was not one of the chosen Divisions.

DSB was honored to be a speaker at the annual convention for ophthalmologists. During the presentation, the story of a young man who lost his vision and hearing was shared. The recorded story, told in the individual’s own words, asked the question, “Why did it take seven years to learn about the services of DSB?” His life would have been so much less destructive, if when his doctor informed him that nothing else medically could be done to save his vision, he had been referred to DSB. Instead of benefiting from services that could have saved his job, this man lost his job, his home, his wife and family. This college graduate learned about DSB approximately 3 years later, and is now striving to re-gain his independence, dignity and self-worth by returning to work. His story prompted the inception of an outreach project that focuses on the medical community as a partner with DSB in providing services to individuals with vision loss. DSB developed a video entitled, “DSB, Part of the Continuum of Care”, which recognizes the need for partnerships with the medical community in getting individuals newly blinded to services.  The video begins with the two individuals sharing their journeys of lives devastated by the onset of vision loss, with nowhere to turn for support or assistance. The two share their experiences of losing vision and working with doctors who informed them there was nothing else they could do to improve or prevent vision loss. The man featured experienced diabetes, kidney failure, amputations, hearing loss and blindness. He was never told by his physician about the services available through DSB. He learned of the services approximately three years after losing his vision. The woman featured is a former general VR Counselor from another state who lost her vision due to macular degeneration. She was never informed about DSB’s Independent Living Program. As she was from out of state, she was unaware that NC had a separate rehabilitation agency for the Blind that provided the specialized services she required to live more independently after becoming legally blind. Some of the services that were provided by the Independent Living Rehabilitation Program included the ability to: determine if food was spoiled, to use the stove, microwave, pour hot liquids safely, safe travel, match clothing, use the computer, pay bills, identify medications, and manipulate and use a smart phone and its applications. The seven minute video, filmed and produced at no cost to the agency by two DSB employees, was designed to use as a training tool for practicing ophthalmologists. The film highlights the impact of doctors failing to provide patients with the highest level of opportunity for successful adaptation to the onset of vision loss. The impact of doctors working collaboratively with community partners, such as DSB, to provide free adjustment to blindness services is critical. Referring patients to DSB results in individuals who are better adjusted, better informed, and better positioned to experience positive health outcomes and quality of life through independence. The video ends with shared stories of triumph and independence after receiving assistance from DSB. With DSB as a vital part of that continuum of care, more people can experience greater levels of independence without being stripped of life as they have known it. The video clearly captures that loss of vision is overwhelming but with the proper supports in place, training and services can provide hope in a world that once seemed so dark.

Goal 4 BEAM, the agency’s new electronic data system, provides a portal for employers to communicate with the Division’s VR staff, as well as to find information they may need in regard to their staff that may be blind or have a visual impairment.  The Program Specialist for Employment Services will continue to participate on a committee for the completion of access to this portal for employers.  During FFY2013, the Program Specialist will work with supervisors and the Division’s VR staff about educating employers regarding the use of the portal.

Evaluation: The much anticipated BEAM database/case management system did not go live this fiscal year as planned. It is still in the developmental strategies and therefore this objective could not be completed.

Goal 5 The Division will utilize the EEO Plan to ensure that applicants for positions who are of a minority population are considered and their cultural and ethnic skill background is considered in the hiring process.  For example, those who are fluent in Spanish will greatly assist in outreach to the Latino population.  

Evaluation: DSB hired one employee who is fluent in Spanish and is able to assist with serving this population in various capacities.

Goal 6 The Division will continue to provide employees access to Spanish language tutorials for learning this language skill.  Introductory skills can assist in the initiation of service provision.

Evaluation: DSB purchased a multiple license package of Rosetta Stone, a computer software package that immerses individuals into the Spanish culture. Approximately eight DSB employees participated in learning survival Spanish. DSB also participated in outreach activities that enabled staff to provide materials provided in Spanish to potential program applicants.

PRIORITY 5: OVER THE NEXT THREE FISCAL YEARS, DEVELOPMENT OF SYSTEMATIC PROGRAM EVALUATIONS AND CONSISTENT QUALITY ASSURANCE METHODS WILL ASSURE THE AGENCY IS MEETING THE MISSION OF ENABLING INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE BLIND OR VISUALLY IMPAIRED TO ACHIEVE THEIR GOALS OF INDEPENDENCE AND EMPLOYMENT.

Goal 1: To provide consistent and accurate data for use for assessing program performance.

Objective (a): The agency will provide refresher training, support, and problem-solving upon the scheduled “go-live” of October 1, 2012, for the agency’s new case management system, BEAM.  All issues regarding BEAM use by staff using assistive technology will be resolved during the first year of its use.

Evaluation: BEAM “go-live” date was delayed due to ongoing development issues. Its deployment date is now October 2013, with intense testing in June, July and August, 2013. Staff using assistive technology to access BEAM will receive specialized JAWS training September 3-4, 2013. BEAM retraining is scheduled for September 9-13, 2013.

Objective (b): Monthly reviews of outcome data by rehabilitation program chiefs and managers was completed with supervisors and other program staff.

Evaluation: The reviews continue on a monthly basis through Supervisor’s meetings and since January, 2013, weekly meeting concerning progress on the deployment of BEAM.

Goal 2: To provide holistic, consistent, and accurate methods of quality assurance and program evaluation.

Objective (a): Develop an up-to- date Quality Assurance Manual outline identifying areas requiring specific methods of quality assurance based on outcome measures with consideration of BEAM.  The manual will be written and in place with staff during FFY2013.

Evaluation: The Quality Assurance Manual has been delayed due to BEAM deployment becoming the priority project within DSB and the Department of Health and Human Services until FFY 2014.

Objective (b): To obtain reviews and input from all program managers to develop draft methods to achieve holistic, consistent, and accurate measures.

Evaluation: The new Quality Assurance Review Form for the FFY 2012 caseload reviews was implemented. The results of each caseload and office reviews were discussed with supervisors and staff. Meetings were held in each district office for training on areas that were indicated in the reviews as needed to be strengthened.

 

 

 

DSB’s goals for supported employment for FY 2013 are:

DSB will work to identify individuals with disabilities that have traditionally been underserved and not served,  throughout North Carolina, who will require Supported Employment services in order to achieve a successful employment outcome by using the following objectives:

1. Provided ongoing training to Rehabilitation Counselors to help them identify and refer individuals with the most significant disabilities for Supported Employment services.

Strategy:  DSB provided information and discussion on supported employment program to VR staff by meeting with staff in all the Division’s district offices. DSB encouraged VR counselors to refer individuals who could benefit from these specialized services available from supported employment programs. The Division will schedule additional meetings with DSB VR staff to provide follow up trainings. 

 2. DSB will provide training to Community Rehabilitation Program staff, information about working with individuals who are blind or visually impaired to assist in job development and placement.

Strategy: DSB provided training sessions to new CRP staff in FFY 2012. The trainings included, overview for DSB services that are available to support an individual going to work, a basic introduction to most common eye diseases and how they affect vision, introduction to sighted guide, introduction to Deaf/Blind issues, and a presentation and discussion on job development and placement for individuals who are blind or visually impaired. DSB will continue to provide ongoing training to CRP staff to improve successful outcomes.

3. Community Rehabilitation Programs will identify individuals with the most significant disabilities who want to work, and refer them to the Division for vocational rehabilitation services, which may include Supported Employment services.

Strategy:  The training that is provided to CRP staff by the Division includes in the overview, a discussion on referring individuals who are blind or visually impaired not only to the vocational rehabilitation program, but to all programs that DSB offers. There were two  individuals referred by CRPS in the FFY 2011. The training to CRP will continue and the ongoing discussion with CRPs includes making referrals when possible.

4. During Fiscal Year 2013, DSB plans to close twenty (20) individuals indicating successful employment outcomes (Status 26) after receiving Supported Employment services.

Strategy: DSB continues to actively pursue CRPs to provide supported employment services. DSB continues to encourage the VR counselors to refer to CRPs for supported employment services. DSB will continue to train both CRP staff to improve outcomes and to work with VR staff to make the referrals of individuals to the CRPs for services.

FACTORS THEAT IMPEDED THE ACHIEVEMENT OF THE GOALS AND PRIORITIES

1. The jobless rate in rural North Carolina continues to above the national average. There reamins intense competition for job openings and more difficult for individuals with disabilites to find jobs.

2. DSB has expereienced a higher that anticipated turnover rate with VR Counselors in 2011 and 2012, which causes vacant caseloads to be minmually covered by other staff. This results in lower referral to CRPs for supported employment services. 

3. DSB continues to struggle with an out-dated Information Technology System which wasss suppose to be in place in the last Federal Fiscal Year. This antiqued system results in data entering errors that continue to plaque the system so inaccurate coding of supported employment cases continues.

DSB is hopeful the economy  and a more stable staff will improve the placement of more individuals in jobs through the use of supported employment in the next FFY.

 

Standard 1.1 - The change in the aggregated number of employment outcomes for FFY2012 as compared to the number of employment outcomes for FFY2011 (Goal 0 or greater)

In FFY2012, the aggregated number of employment outcomes is 1,124.  For FFY2011, the number of employment outcomes was 1,152.  This is a decrease of 28 successful employment outcomes.  Goal not achieved.

Standard 1.2 - Of all individuals who exit the VR Program after receiving services, the percentage who are determined to have achieved an employment outcome (Goal, 68.9%).

In FFY12, DSB had an aggregate 1,494 people served with Status 26 and 28 outcomes. Of those, 1,124 were closed Status 26 (75.23%). Goal achieved.

Standard 1.3 - PRIMARY INDICATOR - Of all individuals determined to have achieved employment outcomes, the percentage that exit the VR program in competitive, self- or BEP employment with earnings equivalent to at least the minimum wage (Goal, 35.4%).

The aggregated FFY2012 number of individuals achieving successful employment outcomes is 1,124.  Of these, 1,111 are employed in competitive employment.  The total percentage is 98.84% who are successfully employed in competitive employment.  Goal achieved.

Standard 1.4 – PRIMARY INDICATOR - 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 (Goal, 89%).

DSB’s aggregate total from Standard 1.3 that met the criteria was 1,111. Of those, 951 are individuals with significant disabilities.  The total percentage of individuals with successful competitive employment outcomes that have significant disabilities is 85.60%.  Goal not achieved.

Standard 1.5 – PRIMARY INDICATOR - The average hourly earnings of all individuals who exit 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 wage for all individuals in the State who are employed (Goal, 0.59).

The goal or indicator for the standard means DSB’s average wage should equal or exceed 59% of the state average wage. The average wage of those meeting the criteria in FFY2012 is $11.57. The state average hourly wage for FFY2012 is $20.45. For 2012, DSB’s aggregated ratio is 0.566, falling short of the goal of 0.59 by .024. Goal not met.

Standard 1.6 - Of all individuals who exit the VR program in competitive, self- or BEP employment with earnings equivalent to at least the minimum wage, the difference between the percentage who report their own income as the largest single source of economic support at the time they exit the VR program and the percentage who report their own income as the largest single source of support at the time they apply for VR services.  (Goal, 30.4)

Of all successful employment outcomes In the aggregated FFY2012, DSB found 635 (57.16%) reported their own income as their largest single source of support at application.  Upon closure, the number of those reporting their own income as the largest single source of support rose to 1,016, or 91.45%.  The difference between the percentages is 34.  Goal achieved.

Standard 2.1 - The service rate for all individuals with disabilities from minority backgrounds as a ratio to the service rate for all individuals with disabilities from non-minority backgrounds (Goal, 0.80). This standard is measured by individual fiscal year and not aggregated.

The number of non-minorities exiting DSB’s VR Program FFY2012 is 670, and the number of non-minorities who received services in FFY2012 is 487, resulting in a non-minority service rate of 72.7.  The number of minorities exiting the Division’s VR Program FFY2012 is 441, and the number of minorities who received services in FFY2012 is 269. The Division’s ratio of the minority service rate to non-minority service rate for FFY2012 is 0.839.  This ratio exceeds  the goal of 0.80.   Goal  achieved.

RSA requires agencies meet or exceed four of the six indicators under Standard 1, including meeting or exceeding two of the three primary indicators. Agencies also have to meet RSA Standard 2 regardless. Although DSB met three of the six indicators, including one of the three primary ones, from Standard 1, it failed to meet Standard 1. DSB met Standard 2.

 

DSB Partnered with the NC Assistive Technology Project and the NC Rehabilitation Association to sponsor the 2012”GREAT” (Global Rehabilitation Enhanced by Assistive Technology) DSB also sponsored a two-day training session in conjunction with this conference, for AT staff to study new products. Topics were, use of alternative products, new uses of existing products, and demonstration of a difficult job modification. The amount of funds expended for both of these strategies was $6,500.

DSB was able to reimburse the NC DSB State Rehabilitation Council members travel costs in 2012 to attend Council meetings in Raleigh, NC. However, most members chose to attend the meetings via phone conference technology.

This screen was last updated on Aug 16 2013 9:33AM by David Arthur

Attachment 6.3 Quality, Scope, and Extent of Supported Employment Services

  • Describe quality, scope, and extent of supported employment services to be provided to individuals with the most significant disabilities
  • Describe the timing of the transition to extended services

Quality

DSBs supported employment services program is more cost effective since it was converted to performance-based outcomes, and eligible individuals are able to achieve their employment goals more quickly.

 DSB’s supported employment services program through policy changes, purchase of supported employment services from private nonprofit Community Rehabilitation Programs (CRP’s), good practice guidelines, updated training and technical assistance to DSB staff, and training to private nonprofit CRP staff, employers, eligible individuals, families and advocates, has moved the program towards an improved quality of services.

 Quality outcomes emphasize achievement of a successful stable employment outcome as determined by the individual, DSB’s VR counselor, the CRP job coach, and the employer. Stable employment is achieved when all four parties agree that stabilization has occurred. The individual is encouraged to exercise informed choice in determining if a quality outcome has been achieved. DSB’s objective is for the individual to make employment choices consistent with their strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, and interests in the most integrated setting possible.

 DSB assures that the extended long term support services identified on the Individualized Plan for Employment are provided by the contracted private nonprofit organization to begin when stabilization has been determined and to continue for as long as the individual requires the service.

 Scope

The scope of supported employment services includes all of DSB’s services provided under Title I, and in addition, the coordination of extended long term support services and the development of natural supports. The expanded scope of supported employment long term supports requires a continuation of DSB’s involvement in the coordination and collaboration with the private nonprofit CRP’s, employers and families. Post-employment services are provided when supports and services needed by the individual exceed the responsibility of the extended long term support services provider.

 Extent

DSB purchases supported employment services from private nonprofit CRP’s in the individual’s locality, and offers supported employment services to eligible individuals with the most significant disabilities in all 100 counties of the state. In addition, supported employment services are available to high school students participating in the DSB’s transition programs in all 100 counties if required for successful employment outcomes.

 DSB continues to identify more private nonprofit CRP’s for the development of contracts to provide supported employment services. This will allow eligible individuals to have more choices available to them for supported employment services that can assist them in reaching their employment goals.

DSB’s extended long term services are provided in three phases to allow the individual choices in the level of service desired and required to achieve longevity of employment. The individual makes the final decision about their movement through the phases of extended services. The phases of extended long term services are:

 Phase 1: The CRP providing the extended services meets with the individual twice monthly at the place of employment for at least 6 months. When the six month period ends, the CRP, the individual, and the employer review the individual’s progress. If all parties agree that the individual is performing the job without any difficulties and no other problems are present with the placement, the individual can move to the next phase. This action requires the individual’s signature on a waiver for this change in level of service. If the individual feels that they are not ready to move to the next phase, then they remain in Phase 1. An individual can remain in any phase indefinitely.

 Phase 2: The CRP meets with the individual at the place of employment at least once every six months for at least 2 years to review progress of placement. The meetings can take place more often if necessary to resolve any minor problems. After 2 years, another review is conducted with the individual, the CRP, and the employer. If all agree that the individual remains stable in the placement, they can move to the last phase. The movement requires the signature of the individual on a waiver agreeing to the move.

 Phase 3: The individual and employer understand that if a problem occurs, the CRP will be contacted to meet and to complete an assessment of the problem. If the problem can be resolved quickly with short-term intervention such as a few visits, the individual will remain in this phase. If the problem is new or difficult to resolve without DSB’s intervention, the individual will be referred back to the DSB for further assistance. The goal of this action is to allow the individual to either retain the job or to begin the process for obtaining new employment in the quickest and most effective manner as to minimize the interruption of employment. DSB will, at the time of the referral, make a determination whether the problem can be resolved in Status 32 Post Employment Services or whether a new case will be required.

  DSB is continually striving towards improving its supported employment program to provide the best service possible to the individual. Therefore, DSB uses the following strategies to work towards this objective.

• Identify additional private nonprofit CRP’s with supported employment service programs to expand its supported employment program and to provide eligible individuals with more choices of service providers available to them.

• Provide training to new CRP vendors with DSB’s supported employment program to assist them in working with individuals who are blind or visually impaired.

• Provide ongoing training to CRP staff already working with DSB’s supported employment program.

• Develop natural supports for its individuals to assist them in becoming more independent in their communities, to include self-pay, co-workers, employers, and family/friends.

This screen was last updated on Aug 14 2013 2:51PM by David Arthur

System Information

System information

The following information is captured by the MIS.

Last updated on:08/16/2013 9:34 AM

Last updated by:sancarthurd

Completed on: 08/16/2013 9:34 AM

Completed by: sancarthurd

Approved on: 08/16/2013 12:37 PM

Approved by: rscomillerb