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

State Plan for the State Vocational Rehabilitation Services Program and
State Plan Supplement for the State Supported Employment Services Program
North Dakota Division of Vocational Rehabilitation State Plan for Fiscal Year 2013 (submitted FY 2012)

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

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

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

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

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

1.7 The (enter title of state officer below)
Yes

DIRECTOR DIVISION OF VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION

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

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

DIRECTOR DIVISION OF VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION

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

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

State Plan Certified By

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

Signed?
Yes

Name of Signatory
Russ Cusack

Title of Signatory
Director, ND DVR

Date Signed (mm/dd/yyyy)
06/18/2012

Assurances Certified By

At the request of RSA, the designated state agency and/or the designated state unit provide the following assurance(s), in addition to those contained within Section 2 through 8 below, in connection with the approval of the State Plan for FY 2013
Yes

Comments:

Signed?
Yes

Name of Signatory
Russ Cusack

Title of Signatory
Director, ND DVR

Date Signed (mm/dd/yyyy)
06/18/2012

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

Section 1 Footnotes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(a) Conduct of public meetings.

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

(b) Notice requirements.

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

(c) Special consultation requirements.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(a) Designated state agency.

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

  1. The designated state agency is a state agency that is 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
DIVISION OF VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

(b) If No:

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

  1. Attachment 4.11(c)(3):

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  1. an immediate job placement; or

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(a) Contracts with for-profit organizations.

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

(b) Cooperative agreements with private nonprofit organizations.

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

Section 6: Program Administration

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  1. specifies the supported employment services to be provided;

  1. describes the expected extended services needed; and

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

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

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

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

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

The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation continues to regularly seek the advice of the State Rehabilitation Council (SRC) on a number of issues including the state plan contents, consumer satisfaction, program goals and evaluation, policies, order of selection, public education and building relationships with the business community.

When the need for DVR to enter into Order of Selection was presented to the SRC, the general consensus was that while they didn’t want the agency to have to enter into OOS, they understood the need and are supportive of that decision.

As a result of the limited funds, DVR felt the need to revise the post-secondary education policy. These proposed changes were reviewed with the SRC. They were supportive in accepting those changes. As a result, DVR has implemented the revisions to the post-secondary education policy.

The results of the client satisfaction survey for FFY 2011 showed 89% satisfaction with vocational rehabilitation services. The SRC receives quarterly reports on the client satisfaction rates. They review them and this information is discussed at the quarterly meetings. They have not identified any trends or anomalies. The SRC made no policy recommendations during this fiscal year, nor did their Annual Report include any specific recommendations based on the survey results.

The recommendations 1 – 3 were made by the Council throughout the year and after reviewing public comment from the state plan input meetings held in April 2012.

RECOMMENDATION 1:

Recommend that DVR and 121 Project directors work on dual caseload issues. DVR should convene a meeting with regional administrators, state office administrators and 121 project directors to work out dual caseload policies and best practices.

Response:

DVR concurs and will continue to do so. The DVR director will create a plan to ensure this is accomplished. Goal 6 Strategy 6.1 addresses this recommendation.

RECOMMENDATION 2:

Recommend DVR continue to educate the public, on an on-going basis, about what individuals who have disabilities can do in terms of employment.

Response:

DVR concurs and will continue to do so. Attachment 6.3 addresses this recommendation.

RECOMMENDATION 3:

Recommend DVR continue to partner with other agencies to utilize all community resources to meet the needs of the individuals.

Response:

DVR concurs and will continue to do so. Goal 2 and Goal 3 Strategies 3.2 and 3.4 specifically address this recommendation.

This screen was last updated on Jul 2 2012 12:39PM by Robyn Throlson

This agency has not requested a waiver of statewideness.

This screen was last updated on Jun 23 2010 1:34PM by Robyn Throlson

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 Division of Vocational Rehabilitation continues to work with multiple agencies and entities throughout the state. A number of these cooperative ventures are related to cooperative ventures with the Department of Human Services Division of Mental Health and Substance Abuse in development of a sustained system of benefit planning and other vocational supports that facilitate employment of persons with the most significant disabilities. Listed below are the primary businesses, agencies and groups with whom we are currently working. The only groups in this attachment, with whom we have a formal written agreement, are with the North Dakota Department of Agriculture and Department of Veteran’s Affairs Vocational Rehabilitation Program.

North Dakota Department of Agriculture - Cooperative agreement with ND DVR to assist with DVR’s Rural Services initiative. The department’s Ag Mediation Services provides on-site assessments of the financial health and viability of the farm/ranch operation.

Department of Veterans’ Affairs Vocational Rehabilitation Program – Cooperative agreement with VA/VR is to ‘ensure seamless, coordinated, and effective VR services to North Dakota’s veterans with disabilities and their dependents with disabilities; to improve cooperation and collaboration between the two agencies; to avoid duplication of services; to improve interagency communication; and to establish staff cross-training opportunities.’

While we do not have formal written agreements with the following entities, state and regional DVR staff work cooperatively with them based on the individual consumer needs.

Interagency Program for Assistive Technology (IPAT) – IPAT is North Dakota’s Tech Act Program. IPAT serves as North Dakota’s federally funded assistive technology project through a sub-contract with the North Dakota’s Department of Human Service’s Division of Vocational Rehabilitation. IPAT offers free services to North Dakotans with disabilities to help them get the assistive technology (AT) services they need. IPAT is a statewide program designed to increase access to, and acquisition of, assistive technology. The DVR Director is a voting member on their advisory council. In addition, the DVR AT Program Administrator participates in a collaborative partnership with IPAT and others on an AT Re-use Program established in 2010.

Business Information Centers (BIC) – Located in Bismarck and Grand Forks, the BICs provide consultation and resources for DVR consumers on various aspects of establishing and maintaining a business.

Small Business Administration (SBA) – Ongoing coordination of shared training and education programs between SBA staff and DVR staff.

Department of Commerce and local economic development groups – Offers resources for funding and business development for DVR consumers.

Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) - Provides mentoring and consultation to DVR consumers who are developing business plans.

Lewis and Clark Development Corporation - Process revolving loan fund applications for DVR consumers pursuing self-employment.

Developmental Disabilities Council – Periodically provides monies for the revolving loan fund. They also provided an overview of transition data in ND as it relates to ND DVR and employment outcomes.

North Dakota Association for the Disabled (NDAD) – Occasionally provides monies to DVR consumers for non-employment related expenses.

North Dakota Chamber of Commerce - Cooperative training and information exchange. Regional DVR staff are also members of their local chambers and participate on various chamber committees. This enables DVR to develop relationships with the business community.

Rocky Mountain Disability and Business Technical Assistance Center (DBTAC) - Provides technical assistance, resources, education and training on disability issues including the ADA.

Center of Technology and Business – Provides technical assistance to DVR consumers in developing Business and Marketing plans.

North Dakota Center for People with Disabilities (NDCPD) at Minot State University – NDCPD also administers the Medicaid Infrastructure Grant (MIG) in North Dakota. DVR staff also serve as members of various MIG committees.

This screen was last updated on Jun 18 2012 11:01AM by Robyn Throlson

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

The Memorandum of Understanding for Transition Services was revised and renewed July 1, 2011 and is in effect through June 30, 2015 or until such time as IDEA is reauthorized. Parties to the agreement are the Department of Public Instruction, Office of Special Education, Job Service North Dakota, the Department of Career and Technical Education and the Department of Health’s Children Special Health Services Unit, Developmental Disabilities Division and the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation. The MOU addresses many areas including: consultation and technical assistance, transition planning, roles and responsibilities including financial responsibilities of the agencies and outreach. Some of those activities are described below.

DVR policy provides that Individualized Plans for Employment are developed as soon as possible, but at least before the student leaves high school. Since the actual service delivery takes place in the eight regions of the state, each region has developed a regional transition Community of Practice committee. Each regional committee is to develop committee goals which are in various phases of implementation. The committees use a specific document for their planning process entitled: "Essential Tools, Interagency Transition Team Development and Facilitation" published by the National Center on Secondary Education and Training, OSEP. The use of this document is helping to better coordinate efforts. Updated training was held in December 2011 for the Regional Community of Practice groups.

The goals include the following elements: how transition activities will be implemented, the source and amount of funding needed, who is involved and their roles and responsibilities, and evaluation criteria. The Department of Public Instruction also contracts for services to track students with disabilities exiting secondary education, how many go to employment, how many enter post-secondary training, how many have other post-secondary plans and how many do not.

North Dakota’s Community of Practice on Transition has representation from each region and continues to be very active, holding quarterly meetings. Four subcommittees were established in 2009 to address specific areas of need: Assessment, Information Sharing, Youth Leadership and Healthy Transitions. A fifth committee on Employment was initiated in December 2011. DVR is the lead on this subcommittee. These committees have been involved with or are currently working on the following projects:

Training on the utilization of the assessment occurred during the Transition Conference that was held in April 2011. Also, the Department of Public Instruction contracted with a person to record and archive the training on this document. This information will be available through DPI’s website.

A collaborative effort with the Client Assistance Program, Mental Health and Substance Abuse, Juvenile Justice, Family Voices, DVR and youth resulted in the development of a Youth Conference focusing on developing a Youth Leadership Movement in North Dakota and assisting youth with developing self advocacy skills.

DVR coordinated with the Division of Mental Health and Substance Abuse to develop the administrative code and policies for the Transition to Independence Program. A Strategic Plan was then conducted and used to give direction to the project. DVR co-facilitates the quarterly meetings with this group.

The Employment committee is focusing on soft skills training, job coach training and the tie with business services.

The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation had committed approximately $500,000 per year statewide to fund transition activities. The local education units, and other partners, may provide additional funds and resources. In 2011, DVR also funded special transition projects for summer employment, a transition camp for students with disabilities and transition fairs.

In 2011, DVR launched the teacher Internship Project. The DVR Teacher Internship Project was designed to provide teachers with an opportunity to work closely with their local DVR office and transition counselors. The project provided teachers with information regarding the VR program and process, adult agencies, employers’ needs, labor market information, disability legislation, etc. The teachers participated in a three-week internship program, beginning with an in-depth orientation to the VR process at the beginning of the internship. The teachers were administered a pre and post evaluation to gauge what they know prior to participating in the program and knowledge gained after the internship. The teachers’ knowledge of the VR process, transition and adult agencies went from 66% at the pre-test to 89% at the post test.

Overall, teachers had the opportunity to learn about the services DVR provides and the collaborative partner agencies that also assist clients to become successfully employed. With the realization that for students to be successful during the transition process, we need to consider all avenues and services that might aid in reducing barriers to employment for students with disabilities, regardless if they are pursuing employment or post-secondary training.

In addition, transitioning students who are identified through the education unit’s Section 504 coordinator are referred to the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, and contacts are made with the guidance counselors to assure those with special needs are aware of services through DVR. Referrals are also received from Independent Living Centers, Human Service Centers, and Community Rehabilitation providers working with transition age students.

North Dakota Division of Vocational Rehabilitation has a very good working relationship with the Department of Public Instruction (DPI). We have attended and will continue to attend national conferences bringing back information to be presented as a team at the state level. We are looking at the feasibility of conducting regional training during the upcoming biennium for DVR & DPI staff, parents, partnering agencies and community advocates.

As a result of need for a better focus on transition in a region within the state, a transition contract was developed and awarded to a Community Rehabilitation Provider in the Fargo region. Currently, there are four transition contracts, two with Community Rehabilitation Providers and two with the school system.

This screen was last updated on Jun 18 2012 11:03AM by Robyn Throlson

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

The utilization of community rehabilitation programs varies considerably throughout the state in that needs and resources are unique to each region. The regional offices at the local level work closely with their local providers to identify needs and to determine, with the provider, whether or not they are able to meet that need. In addition, the triennial assessment of rehabilitation needs completed in FY 2012 included survey questions specific to community rehabilitation programs, their ability to meet individual’s employment related needs and barriers encountered in meeting needs. Survey results are discussed in Attachment 4.11(a).

The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation also continues to utilize information gathered from public hearings as well as input received from the providers themselves and organizations such as the North Dakota Association of Community Facilities and the North Dakota Statewide Independent Living Council to work more closely together. The agency will continue to make every effort to improve services to individuals when a problem is identified in a particular region.

To insure ongoing dialogue, the North Dakota Association of Community Facilities and the North Dakota Statewide Independent Living Council are represented on the State Rehabilitation Council where issues are discussed whenever appropriate.

As a major player on the North Dakota Workforce Development Council, DVR continues to be an active partner as opportunities arise.

The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation continues to survey providers for input regarding their training needs. North Dakota also continues to use the TACE in Colorado as a training resource when training needs are identified, including any training needs that may emerge as a result of provider outcome data. Current training available to Community Rehabilitation Providers includes: monthly video conference training on various topics, DVR 101, and National Employment Certification through TACE.

DVR in a partnership with the Division of Mental Health and Substance Abuse, Community Rehabilitation Providers, and the TBI Coordinator is working to develop consistent services for TBI clients from pre-employment, to SEP and extended services.

The first semi-annual provider meeting was held in March 2011. These meetings continue to promote collaboration and dialog between providers and DVR staff.

New outcome based vocational development rates and guidelines will be implemented by July 2012. Two work groups were established from the semi-annual provider meeting to review and update SEP Guidelines and vocational development services. The group also evaluated and developed a standardized situational assessment form to be used by all DVR staff and providers across the state. A standardized fee for this service was also established.

In addition, standards will be established for facilities and providers of services used by the agency. Rehabilitation facilities must be certified either by CARF, The Council (The Council of Quality and Leadership for People with Disabilities or CQL) or have an approved plan in place for acquiring accreditation. Medical service providers must be approved by the State Licensing Board through its agreement with the Department of Human Services. All educational and vocational technical programs must be recognized by the State Board of Higher Education.

Vocational Rehabilitation will continue to work with providers during the remainder of FFY 2012 to develop provider profiles and facts sheets.

The department has, as part of its contract package, language that addresses accessibility of facilities, affirmative action plans, special communication needs, and fraud, waste, and abuse.

This screen was last updated on Jun 18 2012 11:04AM by Robyn Throlson

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

  • supported employment services; and
  • extended services.

The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation is purchasing services from sixteen private non-profit providers, two private-for-profit agencies and one public agency for the provision of supported employment services and extended services. Representatives from DVR, Developmental Disabilities and Mental Health previously conducted regional visits to providers and regional staff. The purpose was to assess the program needs and funding requirements. Based on the results, new supported employment guidelines and outcome-based reimbursement methods were implemented the beginning of FFY 2008. These guidelines continue to be reviewed as needed.

All units that purchase extended services fall under the administrative control of the North Dakota Department of Human Services and have developed a Memorandum of Understanding. During this past year, the units were focused on securing a contract to provide extended services. That contract was granted to Rocky Mountain Rehab PC and is being managed by Mental Health and Substance Abuse. Representatives of Developmental Disabilities, the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation and Mental Health and Substance Abuse are now working to revise the MOU, which is currently in draft form, and will continue to meet regularly to review, develop and amend policies, procedures and fiscal issues.

In cooperation with Mental Health and Substance Abuse, DVR is participating in a special supported employment demonstration project in one of the regional offices. The project uses an evidence-based supported employment model for consumers with the dual diagnosis of mental illness and substance abuse. The project began March 2009. The DVR state office program administrator responsible for supported employment is involved with the project and program review, including being a member of the fidelity review team.

This screen was last updated on Jun 18 2012 11:05AM by Robyn Throlson

Data System on Personnel and Personnel Development

The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation’s procedures and activities to establish and maintain a comprehensive system of personnel development are described below. This plan ensures an adequate supply of qualified rehabilitation professionals and paraprofessionals for the operation of the state vocational rehabilitation program.

1. Data System

DVR’s system to collect personnel information provides annual data concerning the numbers and categories of personnel that are employed by the state agency as well as the projected retirements within five years. The numbers of personnel are then compared to the clients served to determine the projected number of staff needed, including the ratio of counselors to clients. Information on personnel development is described in Section 4 of this attachment.

There are currently 93.5 individuals employed by North Dakota Division of Vocational Rehabilitation.

They are in the categories listed below.

During FFY 2011, 6921 individuals were served by vocational rehabilitation. This results in an annual client to counselor ratio of 165 to 1. DVR attempts to hire counseling staff as necessary, based on projected caseload numbers. Current staffing is sufficient to provide vocational rehabilitation services. Hiring additional counseling staff will be dependent upon the need to maintain a reasonable counselor to client ratio and the availability of funding. DVR currently has 4 counselor vacancies.

DVR had added Career Assessment Specialists and Business Specialists to assist our counselors to improve client services. They were created as temporary positions. Due to implementation of the Order of Selection, those positions have been eliminated.

The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation has 33 Counselors and Regional Administrators who meet the Qualified Rehabilitation Professional (QRP), Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) standards. Of those, one CRC is a bachelor level counselor. This represents 67.3% of the staff who are required to meet QRP standards. We anticipate 2 additional staff will be eligible to sit for the CRC exam during the summer of 2012. One Vision Rehabilitation Specialist and four Central Office administrators hold CRC certification. All CRC staff must maintain CRC status by participating in the required training. The state DVR office is an approved continuing education provider through CRCC, and the training officer coordinates and notifies staff of various training opportunities throughout the year, including training available at the annual conference. Counselors update their CRC status with their administrator at their annual performance review.

In 2011 North Dakota Vocational Rehabilitation’s annual turnover rate for counselors was 14.8%, with an overall agency turnover rate of 7.7%. The turnover rate for counselors was 7.5% in 2009. Overall, there has been a drop in the counselor turnover rate which was 17% in 2005. At least 50% of the staff who have left the agency indicated they left for higher salaries.

During the next five years we estimate 22.5 staff members will be leaving the agency due to retirement alone.

The positions are listed in the table below.

Additional vacancy positions are estimated at 25 counselors in the next five years, in addition to the seven listed below. Traditionally, there is very little turn-over in the non-counselor positions.

 

Row Job Title Total positions Current vacancies Projected vacancies over the next 5 years
1 DSU Director 1 0 0
2 Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors 42 4 7
3 Regional Support Staff 12 1 5
4 State Office Administrators and Support Staff 11 1 3
5 Regional Vocational Rehabilitation Administrators 8 0 4
6 Vision Rehabilitation Specialists 7 1 2
7 Human Service Specialists/Aids/Drivers 8 0 3
8 Supported Employment Coordinator/Voc. Evaluator 2 0 1
9 Business Specialists 1 0 0
10 Career Assessment Specialists 2 0 0

 

We recognize that we will be losing valuable experience and managerial knowledge with the high level of retirees who are currently administrators in the regional and central offices. Our “Success in Leadership” initiative (launched in 2007) is a major aspect of our succession planning efforts. Each of the nine members will serve a three year term. We have seen some exciting things happening with this group. Two of the members were promoted to a central office administration position and one to a regional administrator position.

The purpose of Success in Leadership is to challenge individuals to become positive forces of change in the field of Vocational Rehabilitation by adopting and implementing exemplary leadership practices. All staff, regardless of their position, are able to apply to become part of Success in Leadership. We believe it is important for all staff to be able to expand their knowledge, skills and abilities by participating in quality training on their path to leadership.

There are no colleges in the state that offer a Master’s Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling, consequently counselor job openings are sent electronically to universities in the Region VIII states that offer a Master’s Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling and the National Clearing House. The universities will post all counselor openings.

The table below depicts the out-of-state institutions that are providing training to North Dakota Division of Vocational Rehabilitation staff who are required to meet Qualified Rehabilitation Professional standards: Regional VR Administrators and VR Counselors. The table also depicts training sites used by North Dakota Vision Rehabilitation Specialists. The numbers enrolled and graduated are for FFY 2011.

 

Row Institutions Students enrolled Employees sponsored by agency and/or RSA Graduates sponsored by agency and/or RSA Graduates from the previous year
1 Utah State University 3 3 0 0
2 West Virginia University 1 1 1 1
3 Wisconsin-Stout 1 1 0 0
4 Virginia Commonwealth University 1 1 0 0
5 University of Kentucky 0 0 2 2

 

The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation lists all counselor job openings with Job Service North Dakota, specifying a preference for individuals with a Master’s Degree in rehabilitation counseling with credentials to qualify for certification. We will also consider the possibility of paid internships as an incentive to attract Master’s level interns with the intention of retaining them for counselor openings.

The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation recruits minorities and individuals from graduate programs in rehabilitation counseling, however, universities in our state do not offer a Master’s Degree in rehabilitation counseling. Therefore, we are forced to recruit graduate level counselors from out-of-state. We are often unsuccessful in this effort because in most instances, our salaries are not competitive at the graduate level. If we are successful in recruiting graduate level counselors, we often find it difficult to retain them for the same reason.

The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation recruits individuals with disabilities and provides reasonable accommodations needed to perform essential job functions. Reasonable accommodations include readers, drivers, and adaptive equipment for current staff with disabilities.

The Success in Leadership staff retention study 2007-2008 concluded that most current DVR employees like their jobs and most former employees liked their jobs. The data also supports the conclusion that most current DVR employees would leave for better salary and that most of the former employees left to better salary, if they did not retire.

The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation is requesting reclassification of the professional rehabilitation counselor series to move the counselor positions up a pay grade.

 

The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation has established a policy to ensure that professionals providing Vocational Rehabilitation services are appropriately and adequately trained to meet “Qualified Rehabilitation Professional Standards.” The standard established is that they are nationally Certified Rehabilitation Counselors.

A. The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation will hire rehabilitation counselors who hold a Master’s Degree in rehabilitation counseling or closely related field from a Council on Rehabilitation Education (CORE) accredited program and who hold CRC certification or could obtain such certification within 3 years of the date of hire. If unable to recruit individuals who meet these qualifications, DVR will hire the most appropriate and qualified applicant with the expectation that the individual hired will participate in educational programs to meet “Qualified Rehabilitation Professional” standards within 5 years of the date of hire.

B. Individuals who do not meet personnel standards will develop a training plan that will identify how they will meet the personnel standards. The plan will also include time lines for meeting the personnel standard which must be approved by their regional administrator and the Central Office Training Coordinator.

C. At the present time, individuals requiring retraining to meet the personnel standards enroll in Utah State University’s Distance Education Master’s Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling program, the University of Wisconsin – Stout, West Virginia University, or Virginia Commonwealth University to complete the educational requirement for qualified rehabilitation personnel standards.

At present, and pending new awards of the RSA Long-Term Training/CSPD Scholarships, funding support for the training of counselors and regional administrators is primarily from RSA scholarships through Utah State University, the University of Wisconsin – Stout, West Virginia University and Virginia Commonwealth University. The Utah State University scholarship covers one-half tuition, a book stipend and $1000 allowance for summer on-campus courses. West Virginia University and Virginia Commonwealth University covers all costs. The University of Wisconsin Stout covers half of the tuition and fee costs. Costs not covered by the scholarships are covered by Vocational Rehabilitation’s 110 funds with limited funding from the In-Service Training Grant.

In 1999, North Dakota DVR’s QRP standards were implemented. The goal established at implementation was that 50% of staff on board October 1, 1999, would meet the QRP standards by October 2004 and 100% by October 2009. All staff hired after that date are required to meet QRP standards within 5 years of hire. Currently, 100% of the original staff meet the QRP standards. Staff hired after that date have either met the standard or are in the process of doing so as required.

 

The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation conducts an assessment of the training needs of the current staff at all levels - administrative, counselor, and support staff. The needs assessment focuses on two levels of training (1) statewide training topics that are consistent with the State Plan and RSA priorities, and (2) regional training that addresses issues identified through case reviews, performance appraisals and other training that will assist staff in progressing toward their career goals.

In-service training provides for attendance at workshops, conferences, formal course work training in rehabilitation counseling, medical assessment, ethics, job placement, rehabilitation technology, ADA, reauthorization, and other rehabilitation related training. All employees have access to these training opportunities. The agency’s continuing education program also allows reimbursement for the cost of tuition and books for classes that are related to job duties and will increase the employee’s skills in specific areas.

Since there are no institutions of higher education in North Dakota that prepare rehabilitation professional counselors at the Master’s Degree level, North Dakota, at the present time, collaborates with Utah State University, University of Wisconsin Stout, Virginia Commonwealth University, and West Virginia University to prepare rehabilitation professionals.

The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation receives and distributes information such as rehabilitation journals, Rehabilitation Briefs, National Clearinghouse of Rehabilitation Research Materials, topics researched by the Institute on Rehabilitation Issues, as well as videos and printed materials on related rehabilitation issues. Information is disseminated through the state email system and hard copies, CDs, DVDs are sent through the mail.

The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation supports participation in professional organizations by encouraging attendance and providing registration and travel expenses for professional organization meetings and conferences. A number of vocational rehabilitation personnel are active members and hold leadership positions in professional organizations.

Central Office staff is involved in the implementation of the Workforce Investment Act and training is provided as needed.

 

The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation provides interpreter services to individuals who have limited English speaking ability. In several regions where minority populations are more predominant, DVR staff have attended training on the customs and culture of minority groups. These materials are available to all DVR staff. In addition, the annual training needs assessment typically identifies a need for cultural awareness training. This training has been, and will continue to be, conducted in the regions that request it, with other regions invited to attend. In May of 2011, ND DVR co-sponsored and attended the “Lakol Wichohan Ogna Mawanie” conference with the 121 Project, Standing Rock Vocational Rehabilitation. In September 2011, some DVR staff also attended the “Becoming One With the Spirit of the Horse” conference.

The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation provides personnel or obtains services to accommodate clients in need of appropriate modes of communication. Agency staff members who have an interest are encouraged to take sign language classes. In regions that do not have personnel trained in alternate modes of communication, this service is purchased.

 

The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation coordinates CSPD efforts with the CSPD requirements under IDEA. The Department of Public Instruction is represented on the State Rehabilitation Council where information on training conferences is shared and invitations extended to attend each other’s conferences and other training activities. DVR is also a member of the statewide Community of Practice that has broad-based representation of agencies involved in various aspects of Transition. Members of the Community of Practice, including one DVR staff, were also part of multi-agency team that participated, for the sixth year in a row, in a National Transition Training Conference to identify ways to improve Transition services in the state. In April 2011, ND DVR had 2 staff on the planning committee and was a co-sponsor of the 2011 North Dakota Secondary Transition Interagency Conference “Selecting Interventions to Improve Student Outcomes.” DVR staff attended the conference and several staff presented at the conference.

This screen was last updated on Jun 19 2012 10:34AM by Robyn Throlson

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.

Results of Comprehensive Statewide Assessment of the Rehabilitation Needs of Individuals with Disabilities

North Dakota Division of Vocational Rehabilitation conducts a comprehensive assessment of rehabilitation needs every 3 years. Together with the State Rehabilitation Council’s Evaluation Committee and research analysts from the designated state agency’s research team, DVR began planning for the FFY 2013-2015 assessment in 2011. The next comprehensive assessment will be completed for the FFY 2016 state plan. The results of the CSNA will be used to develop goals, priorities, strategies and actions for both DVR’s State and Strategic Plans.

In November/December of 2011, DVR completed a series of assessment activities to determine the employment services needs of individuals with disabilities. These activities included: surveys to DVR consumers; representatives of organizations that provide employment services to individuals with disabilities; people advocating for individuals with disabilities; and individuals with disabilities that could benefit from employment-related services. Activities also included environmental scan of data from sources such as the American Community Survey, the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, and the Current Population Survey. This information was analyzed and the report was completed in February 2012.

There was a total of 1,000 consumer needs survey questionnaires sent to individuals with disabilities. In addition, a press release invited interested parties to participate in the survey. Both a paper-based and online version of the survey was provided to give respondents flexibility in completing the survey. A total of 242 consumer needs surveys were returned.

A total of 204 questionnaires were sent to advocates. These individuals were chosen based on their role with certain agencies or as a member of boards, advisory councils and committees who are connected to, and advocate for, individuals with disabilities. This included advocacy groups, disability organizations, Client Assistance Program, SRC and Statewide Independent Living Council (SILC) members, Centers for Independent Living, various state agencies, 121 projects, and VR staff. Both a paper-based and online version of the survey was provided to give respondents flexibility in completing the survey. A total of 104 Advocate surveys were returned.

In addition, a total of 164 questionnaires were sent to individuals and directors of institutions and agencies chosen because of their likelihood to have a connection with or interest in individuals with disabilities. This included community rehabilitation programs, supported employment providers, psychosocial rehabilitation centers, disability support services in the North Dakota university system, occupational therapy departments, directors of special education. Both a paper-based and online version of the survey was provided to give respondents flexibility in completing the survey. A total of 43 CRP provider surveys were returned.

For all surveys, responses were received from every region in the state with higher populated regions taking a greater share. Descriptive statistics and qualitative methods were applied for data analysis.

Also, the North Dakota Department of Human Services conducted a stakeholder survey seeking public input about human service needs and issues in November 2011. DVR was one of the programs addressed in the survey and the results were therefore incorporated into this assessment.

DVR performs an ongoing analysis of data. There are monthly reports created that show progress towards employment goals, number served, number of referrals, rehab rate and percent with significant disabilities. In addition, quarterly reporting also tracks goals for Business Services Older Blind, Client Satisfaction surveys and results of follow-up surveys conducted with individuals whose cases closed successfully. This follow-up survey tracks job retention six months after closure which is at least nine months after employment began. It also serves as an opportunity to assess if any post-employment services might be needed at that time. This on-going analysis is used to identify trends which then generally require further analysis. As a result, we performed a deeper analysis of closures prior to the development of the employment plan. In addition, we have been working on revamping the vocational development process and have developed an outcome based system that is paid at a flat rate at the completion of different steps in the process.

Overall, irrespective of disability status, the most important unmet employment related needs were identified as assistance with finding and/or keeping a job, vocational guidance and benefits planning. Transition services were also important to CRPs and Advocates.

Of the 242 individuals with disabilities who completed the survey, the most commonly identified employment need not being met was assistance with finding and/or keeping a job (19.1%). Other highlighted needs were vocational guidance (16.9%), and benefits planning (16.0%).

Transition-age respondents did not have strongly ranked employment needs; none of the employment needs were above twenty percent, instead the employment needs that were unmet were spread throughout the choices. As with the others, benefits planning and assistance with finding and/or keeping a job was listed in their top three employment needs. While transition-age respondents had a lower average number of employment service needs not being met than respondents 25 years of age and older (1.3 compared to 1.9). However, a higher percentage of transition-age respondents (16.3%) say their employment needs are never met than respondents 25 years of age and older (8.1%).

The table below contains the major rehabilitation needs identified during the 2013-2015 Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment with the most predominant needs at the top.

The needs include those identified by or on behalf of individuals with all types of disabilities including individuals with the most severe disabilities, minorities, individuals who may be underserved and individuals served through the state’s Workforce Investment system. Individuals who are considered underserved are frequently individuals who have a mental illness and those who have traumatic brain injuries.

The rehabilitation needs cut across all types and “categories”. No needs were unique to any one of the groups for whom this assessment was conducted. Rather, the unique needs are identified with each individual during the vocational rehabilitation process.

Many of the major rehabilitation needs are systemic in nature and apply one way or another to every individual with a disability who receives VR services.

Need: Assistance with Finding and/or Keeping a Job

Applies to: Most Severe Disability, WIA, Unserved & Underserved, Minorities

Need: Vocational Counseling and Guidance

Applies to: Most Severe Disability, WIA, Unserved & Underserved, Minorities

Need: Benefits Planning

Applies to: Most Severe Disability, WIA, Unserved & Underserved, Minorities

Need: Increased Opportunities for Self Employment

Applies to: Most Severe Disability, WIA, Unserved & Underserved, Minorities

Need: On-the-Job Training

Applies to: Most Severe Disability, WIA, Unserved & Underserved, Minorities

Need: Supported Employment (SEP)

Applies to: Most Severe Disability, WIA, Unserved & Underserved, Minorities

Need: Workplace Relationship Training

Applies to: Most Severe Disability, WIA, Unserved & Underserved, Minorities

Need: Housing

Applies to: Most Severe Disability, WIA, Unserved & Underserved, Minorities

Need: Assistive Technology

Applies to: Most Severe Disability, Unserved & Underserved, Minorities

Need: Physical and Mental Restoration Services

Applies to: Most Severe Disability, WIA, Unserved & Underserved, Minorities

Need: Transportation

Applies to: Most Severe Disability, WIA, Unserved & Underserved, Minorities

Need: Extended Services

Applies to: Most Severe Disability, WIA, Unserved & Underserved, Minorities

Need: Independent Living Skills Training

Applies to: Most Severe Disability, WIA, Unserved & Underserved, Minorities

Need: Transition Services, Youth to Adult

Applies to: Most Severe Disability, WIA, Unserved & Underserved, Minorities

Need: Interpreter Services

Applies to: Most Severe Disability, Unserved & Underserved, Minorities

Based on information from the Department of Public Instruction in 2011, there are 700 students in Special Education who are between the ages of 18-21. These individuals could potentially receive supported employment or Title 1 services during the next one to three years. Some of the major disability categories of these students include the following:

Specific Learning Disabilities 250

Intellectual Disabilities 170

Other Health Impairment 100

Autism 71

Severe Mental Illness/Emotional Disturbance 42

Sensory Impairments 38

Orthopedic Impairment 17

Traumatic Brain Injury 6

Vision Impairment…………………………………………………………………………...3

Hearing Impairment………………………………………………………………………… 2

Deaf-Blind …………………………………………………………………………………. 1

Assessment Of The Need To Establish, Develop Or Improve Community Rehabilitation Programs.

As part of the 2013 - 2015 Comprehensive Statewide Assessment of Rehabilitation Needs, a total of 164 CRP needs survey questionnaires were sent to individuals and directors of institutions and agencies chosen because of their likelihood to have a connection with or interest in individuals with disabilities. This included community rehabilitation programs, supported employment providers, psychosocial rehabilitation centers, Disability Support Services in the North Dakota University System, occupational therapy departments, and directors of special education. A total of 43 CRP provider surveys were returned. In addition a total of 204 questionnaires were sent to advocates. These individuals were chosen based on their role with certain agencies or as a member of boards, advisory councils and committees who are connected to, and advocate for, individuals with disabilities. This included advocacy groups, disability organizations, Client Assistance Program, SRC and Statewide Independent Living Council (SILC) members, Centers for Independent Living, various state agencies, 121 projects, and VR staff. A total of 104 Advocate surveys were returned.

Both a paper-based and online version of the survey was provided to give respondents flexibility in completing the survey. Responses were received from every region in the state with higher populated regions taking a greater share. Descriptive statistics and qualitative methods were applied for data analysis.

The surveys were designed to enable a comparison between Community Rehab programs responses and non-CRP responses to the same set of questions. Questions included met and unmet employment-related needs, barriers encountered by CRPS and allowed for suggestions for improving services and removing barriers.

Unmet Needs:

CRPs identified Benefits Planning and Transition employment services as being at the top of the list of unmet needs, followed by assistance with finding and/or keeping a job. Advocates indicated assistance with finding and/or keeping a job was the most significant unmet need.

The benefits planners are extremely important to individuals with disabilities and to provide program managers and provider staff with training on available resources so that maximum access is available to those who would benefit.

Due to the discontinuation of the WIPA program, the number of benefits planners in the state has decreased from three to one. The one remaining position is currently supported by DVR but due to the limitations in funds, DVR is unable to provide more funds for additional positions. However, DVR is working with the Division of Mental Health and Substance Abuse to grow a statewide sustainable system of SSA benefit planning services. Goal 2.4

There were concerns regarding the need for transition services to start at an earlier age with more comprehensive career planning.

DVR is collaborating with state agencies and community partners, including the Department of Public Instruction, to implement transition activities and to develop tools and strategies to better assist student’s transition from school to work or college. DVR is also actively participating in the Community of Practice workgroups and is providing support and technical assistance to them to meet local needs. Goal 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, and 3.4

There continues to be struggle with the quality of employment for people with the most significant disabilities.

About 71% of the larger CRPs currently stated that they provide job placement and follow up. In addition, an additional 64% provide SEP.

There will be continued education and awareness activities for the business community, lawmakers, service providers, educators, family members, and the general public. DVR will also continue to work with Extended Service Funding sources to ensure individuals are able to utilize SEP and access supports once the DVR case is closed. Attachment 6.3

Barriers:

CRPs felt that funding for agency operations and services was the most significant barrier to their ability to provide employment related services followed by community perception of individuals with disabilities and geographic location of or distance to individuals. Advocate respondents had similar thoughts however indicated that funding for extended services was the most significant barrier followed by funding for agency operations and services with community perception and geographic location tied in third place.

Comments were made about the need for better training and reimbursement for staff who serve individuals with the most significant disabilities as well as funding for SEP/Extended services and job coaching.

DVR continues to use the TACE in Colorado as a training resource when training needs are identified, including any training needs that may emerge as a result of provider outcome data. Current training available to Community Rehabilitation Providers includes: monthly video conference training on various topics, DVR 101, and National Employment Certification through TACE. Attachment 4.8(b)(3)

Two workgroups were established to review and update SEP Guidelines and Vocational Development services. Based on their recommendations, a standardized fee for these services was established. Attachment 4.8(b)(3) In addition, DVR will be partnering with the Division of Mental Health and Substance Abuse to develop strategies which will increase the use of transitional employment, customized employment and other supported employment strategies. Goal 1.5

There were comments made that there needs to be more community education to reduce the stigma of hiring individuals with disabilities.

DVR staff will continue to provide education and awareness activities for the business community, lawmakers, service providers, educators, family members, and the general public to increase Disability Awareness. Attachment 6.3

Additional discussion relative to community rehabilitation programs is found in Attachment 4.8(b)(3) - Cooperative Agreements with Private Non-profit Rehabilitation Service Providers.

This screen was last updated on Jul 2 2012 11:15AM by Robyn Throlson

Based on data from the U.S. Bureau of the Census, North Dakota has over 37,400 residents between the ages of 16 and 64 who report a disability and consequently could be eligible for Vocational Rehabilitation services.

It is estimated that during the current federal fiscal year 2012, a total of 4108 individuals will receive Vocational Rehabilitation services. The estimated breakdown is 3853 individuals will receive services through Title I and 255 individuals will receive services through Title VI, Part B. The estimated annual cost to provide services is $6 million.

NDVR is now under an order of selection with all categories closed. At this time we are not anticipating opening any categories during FFY 2012. We will only be serving those already in a service status. On the wait list, there are currently 718 individuals in Category 1 requiring an estimated cost of $1,118,091; 735 individuals in Category 2 requiring an estimated cost of $1,144,564; and 121 individuals in Category 3 requiring an estimated cost of $188,424 for a total of 1,574 individuals requiring an estimated $2,451,079.

We are estimating that there will be 255 individuals eligible for Title VI, Part B funds for a total of $300,000.

Category Title I or Title VI Estimated Funds Estimated Number to be Served Average Cost of Services
Priority Category 1 Title I $2,159,878 1,387 $1,557
Priority Category 2 Title I $3,000,782 1927 $1,557
Priority Category 3 Title I $839,340 539 $1,557
Priority Category 1 Title VI $300,000 255 $1,176
Title VI
Totals   $6,300,000 4,108 $1,533

This screen was last updated on Jul 2 2012 11:23AM by Robyn Throlson

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

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

The following annual goals and priorities were presented to the SRC on April 19, 2012 and were approved. The goals were based on the results of the 2013-2015 Triennial Needs Assessment which is described in Attachment 4.11(a), public input gathered in April 2012, VR’s managing for results strategic planning, and federal standards and indicators.

Goal 1 Meet Federal Standard 1 – Employment Outcomes. NDVR will meet or exceed, at a minimum, four of the six indicators, and at least two of the three primary indicators by 09/30/2013.

Source: State Rehabilitation Council, NDVR Managing for Results and Federal Standards and Indicators

Goal 2 *DVR will engage strategic partners to develop a comprehensive network of support for individuals to help improve their employment outcomes by 9/30/2013. Source: State Rehabilitation Council; Analysis of Triennial Assessment; Public Input;

Goal 3 Continue the implementation of State and Regional Youth Transition Services by having 20% of those served and employed be youth by 9/30/2013.

Source: State Rehabilitation Council; Analysis of Triennial Assessment; Public Input; NDVR Managing for Results

Goal 4 Enhance counseling and guidance services thereby improving employment outcomes for the individuals and achieving or exceeding an 80% satisfaction rate by 9/30/2013.

Source: State Rehabilitation Council; Analysis of Triennial Assessment; Public Input; NDVR Managing for Results

Goal 5 *DVR will take steps to open Priority Category I with a target of late FFY 2013 or early 2014.

Source: State Rehabilitation Council; Public Input; NDVR Managing for Result

Goal 6 Meet Service Rate to Minorities in Federal Standard 2. The ratio of the service rate for minorities and the service rate for non-minorities will be at least .80 by 09/30/2013.

Source: State Rehabilitation Council, Analysis of Triennial Assessment; Federal Standards and Indicators

*These goals include supported employment. Supported employment is also specifically addressed in Attachment 4.11(c)(4) and Attachment 4.11(d) Goal 1, Strategy 1.5 and 1.6

This screen was last updated on Jun 18 2012 12:06PM by Robyn Throlson

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

Justification for order of selection

North Dakota Vocational Rehabilitation has determined that there will not be sufficient financial resources to provide vocational rehabilitation services to all eligible individuals. Consequently, Order of Selection for services was implemented. At this time, all categories are closed. This decision was made based on an analysis of available resources, the spending patterns over the last five fiscal years, the available budget authority, and an estimate of the amount of funds that would be needed to continue to serve those currently on an IPE, and in consultation with the State Rehabilitation Counsel and the Rehabilitation Services Administration.

As of June 1, 2012, there were a total of 1,574 consumers on the wait list. Of that, 718 were in Priority Category 1, 735 were in Priority Category 2 and 121 were in Priority Category 3. At this time, we are estimating that approximately 1,800 consumers will be on the wait list by the end of FFY 2012.

DVR experienced a significant increase in case service expenditures in the four years between 2008 and 2011. The majority of the increase is related to increased cost of training for individuals with disabilities. Training costs increased from $3,915,306 in 2008 to $5,262,958 in 2011. In 2008, expenditures exceeded the grant award by more than $148,000. In 2009, expenditures exceeded the grant award by more than $155,000. In 2010, expenditures exceeded the grant award by more than $161,000. Expenditures in 2011 exceeded the grant award by more than $3.2 million. This pattern has depleted our carry forward.

In addition, DVR is under contract for a new case management system as recommended in the 2009 RSA Monitoring Report. We anticipate spending $250,000 during FFY 2012 and anticipate spending an additional $1 million each of the next two grant years.

Individuals currently receiving services under an Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) will continue to receive services.

 

Description of Priority categories

All eligible individuals with disabilities will be assigned a priority category, notified of their assigned category, and notified of their right to appeal that assignment. All necessary and reasonable services shall be available to individuals receiving services under an Order of Selection.

Priority Category 1 - Individuals determined to have a most significant disability

(1) those who meet the criteria for significant disability, but are seriously limited in two or more functional capacities (such as mobility, communication, self care, self direction, interpersonal skills, work tolerance, or work skills) in terms of an employment outcome; and

(2) require multiple core services over an extended period of time (six months or more).

Priority Category 2 - Individuals with significant disabilities

(1) individuals who are receiving Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income; or

(2) those who have significant physical or mental impairments which seriously limit one functional capacity (such as mobility, communication, self care, self direction, interpersonal skills, work tolerance, or work skills) in terms of an employment outcome; and

(3) whose vocational rehabilitation can be expected to require multiple vocational rehabilitation services over an extended period of time (over six months); and

(4) who have one or more physical or mental disabilities resulting from: amputation, arthritis, autism, blindness, burn injury, cancer, cerebral palsy, cystic fibrosis, deafness, head injury, heart disease, hemiplegia, hemophilia, respiratory or pulmonary dysfunction, mental retardation, mental illness, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, musculoskeletal disorders, neurological disorders (including stroke and epilepsy), paraplegia, quadriplegia and other spinal cord conditions, sickle cell anemia, specific learning disability, end-stage renal disease, or another disability or combination of disabilities determined on the basis of an assessment for determining eligibility and vocational rehabilitation needs to cause comparable substantial functional limitations.

Priority Category 3 - Other individuals with disabilities

All applicants, including those in trial work programs, shall receive services necessary to determine eligibility for Vocational Rehabilitation services and Order of Selection priority classification without regard to the availability of funds or the implementation of the Order of Selection. Such services shall be provided on a timely basis in accordance with the provisions of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended.

 

Priority of categories to receive VR services under the order

At this time, we are only providing services to consumers who were in a plan status. All Priority Categories are currently closed.

 

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

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

For FFY 2013, we are not anticipating completely opening a category but hope to partially open Priority Category 1 for a group of individuals. It is estimated that 1,750 individuals, currently in plan, will receive services and that 500 individuals will exit services with employment after receiving services. We are also anticipating an estimated 275 individuals to exit services without achieving their employment goal.

Priority Category Number of individuals to be served Estimated number of individuals who will exit with employment after receiving services Estimated number of individuals who will exit without employment after receiving services Time within which goals are to be achieved Cost of services
1 1,750 500 275 29 $3,700,000

This screen was last updated on Jul 2 2012 12:24PM by Robyn Throlson

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

The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation’s primary goal for the utilization of Title VI-B funds is to provide training and stabilization for an estimated 255 individuals with the most severe disabilities per year. Of those, it’s projected that 50 individuals will be placed in supported employment in FFY 2012. During FFY 2011, 255 individuals were designated as eligible for supported employment and 47 became employed. The breakdown by disability of those employed is expected to be similar to that of FFY 2011: cognitive disabilities – 48.9%; mental illness and/or alcohol and drug addiction – 29.8%; physical/medical disabilities – 2.1%; autism – 4.3%; traumatic brain injury – 12.8%; and other disabilities – 2.1%.

In the summer of 2011, DVR implemented a HELPS screening tool which assists with identifying people who have a traumatic brain injury. This contributed to the increase in the number of individuals with TBI’s that accessed SEP services. In addition, DVR utilized ARRA dollars to contract for technical assistance services and training on various issues related to the rehab process when working with individuals who have a TBI.

Because the VI-B funds can only be used for supported employment services if there is an assurance of the availability of extended services, the level of usage is dependent upon the availability of other funding sources for extended services. The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation will continue to work with the Division of Mental Health and Substance Abuse, Developmental Disabilities Division, Division of Aging Services, County TBI Waiver Services and service providers to coordinate funding and services.

The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation will continue agreements whenever and wherever appropriate with the sixteen private non-profit community rehabilitation agencies, two private for profit and one public agency to provide training and stabilization throughout the state. Extended Services will also be provided by the community rehabilitation agencies with state general funds, Title XIX waivered funds, or other funds from sources other than state/federal Vocational Rehabilitation funds.

This screen was last updated on Jun 18 2012 1:13PM by Robyn Throlson

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.

North Dakota Vocational Rehabilitation, working with the SRC, is involved in ongoing data analysis, soliciting input from the public to include VR consumers and partner stakeholders in determining the strategic direction of the agency that are inclusive of the FFY 2013 goals and priorities in Attachment 4.11 (C) (1) . The data sources used in identification and evaluation of the agency strategies include the Triennial Needs Assessment, annual and information extracted that reports on the progress toward attaining the standards and indicators. The annual case review process is used to further evaluate the effectiveness of rehabilitation counseling and guidance service provided across the agency. The Designated State Agency conducts biannual stakeholder surveys that provide rich information to the agency with regard to emerging needs.

 

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.

No major barriers to equitable access and participation have been identified by individuals with disabilities in either the state DVR services or supported employment services programs. All individuals closed from DVR receive a survey, which is designed to solicit feedback on their level of satisfaction with their participation in decision-making, the services they received, their employment, if applicable, as well as anything additional they would like to comment on. Survey results are shared with the regional offices and the State Rehabilitation Council.

Assistive Technology: DVR continues to support assistive technology as an integral part of each stage of the VR process. The assistive technology screening tool, currently used during the intake process with all applicants, was revised and implemented during FFY 2008. The purpose of the revision was to increase the effectiveness of the tool and thereby improve the quality of services provided to DVR clients. When assistive technology needs are identified, further assessment and/or referrals are provided as necessary to include referrals to IPAT, the State Tech Act Program. IPAT has two demonstration labs, one in Bismarck and one in Fargo. DVR is a member of the IPAT Advisory Council and the AT Re-use Work Group. IPAT has developed fundraising events to fund assistive technology purchases and DVR has supported these efforts.

 

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.

In North Dakota, 9.4% of the population is comprised of minorities. Native Americans are the largest of these minority groups at 5.5%. During FFY 2011 of all the individuals who became employed through VR services, 15.3% were minorities.

The breakdown of minorities employed during FFY 2011 is as follows: 11.0% Native Americans, 1.6% Hispanic, 2.8% Black and 0.5% Asian/Pacific Islander. These figures are slightly higher than last year and are expected to be similar during this next year.

Prior to the addition of the fourth Section 121 Project being awarded their grant this year, DVR had added a counselor position to work on the Three Affiliated Tribes Reservation. This veteran counselor is to be a resource for training and consulting on cultural sensitivity and minority issues with DVR staff across the state. Both the state and regional Vocational Rehabilitation offices provide technical assistance to the remaining 121 projects, as requested. These four programs are also served by the Client Assistance Program. In addition to providing technical assistance, DVR has itinerant counselors who visit the reservations to work together with the projects to provide services otherwise not available, or to meet with those individuals who prefer to work with vocational rehabilitation. DVR also coordinates off reservation services for individuals and invites 121 Project staff to any training activities coordinated through our office.

Goal 1, Strategy 1.3, and Goal 6 in Section (1) of this attachment, identify additional activities related to outreach and services to minorities.

Goal 1, Strategies 1.5 and 1.6 are specific to supported employment services.

 

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

The results of the Provider Survey conducted with the 2013-2015 Triennial Needs Assessment is discussed in Attachment 4.11(a).

DVR met with providers across the state early FFY 2011 and continues to do so through semiannual provider meetings.

In addition, DVR developed and implemented a Provider Service Agreement. The purpose of the certification is to enhance provider training in order for them to better meet individual needs. Implementation of the agreements was finalized on 10/1/2011.

 

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

Historically, DVR does well with achieving the standards and indicators. To improve 1.1, DVR will utilize cognitive motivational tools and techniques to move motivated individuals toward work. To continue with the success that we have experienced with Standard 2, we will continue to work with tribal relationships and cultural awareness and sensitivity as outlined above.

 

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

DVR has been consulting with our partners in the statewide workforce investment system. We are providing assistance and guidance with completing their State Workforce and Strategic Plans to ensure they are addressing the barriers encountered by individuals with disabilities.

 

Describe how the agency's strategies will be used to:

  • achieve goals and priorities identified in Attachment 4.11(c)(1);
  • support innovation and expansion activities; and
  • overcome identified barriers relating to equitable access to and participation of individuals with disabilities in the state Vocational Rehabilitation Services Program and the state Supported Employment Services Program.

The goals and strategies below are based on the results of the 2013-2015 Triennial Assessment of Rehabilitation Needs conducted in 2012, public input, federal standards and indicators, recommendations from the State Rehabilitation Council and DVR’s Managing for Results Strategic Planning. They are designed to support achievement of DVR’s goals and priorities identified in Attachment 4.11 (c)(1).

Notations are made by the goals and/or strategies that include innovation, expansion and improvement of services and/or outreach activities.

Some strategies support achievement of more than one of DVR’s goals.

Goal 1 Meet Federal Standard 1 – Employment Outcomes. DVR will meet or exceed, at a minimum, four of the six indicators, and at least two of the three primary indicators by 09/30/2013.

Strategy 1.1 Each quarter, evaluate performance in meeting statewide and regional employment goals. Take action to improve performance where necessary.

Strategy 1.2 Encourage individual use of the on-line labor exchange system maintained by Job Service.

Strategy 1.3 Continue to analyze various closure statuses, particularly with regard to minority populations, to aid in identifying reasons individuals discontinue services. Implement strategies to address increased individual involvement in receiving VR services. Take action to improve individual outcomes where indicated.

Strategy 1.4 Continue to look at all aspects of the VR process during the case reviews, including Vocational Guidance and Counseling and Assessment. Provide feedback and training as necessary.

Strategy 1.5 Partner with the Division of Mental Health and Substance Abuse to develop effective strategies which will increase the use of transitional employment, customized employment and other supported employment strategies.

Innovation/enhancement/improvement

Strategy 1.6 Provide input to the Division of Mental Health and Substance Abuse for the Employment Development Initiative grant to improve SEP services for individuals with mental illness.

Innovation/enhancement/improvement

Strategy 1.7 Analyze 26 closures and 6 months follow-up and conduct additional follow-up as indicated.

Strategy 1.8 Increase hourly wages by 3% for those exiting the VR program.

Strategy 1.9 Increase the number of hours worked at closure.

Goal 2 DVR will engage strategic partners to develop a comprehensive network of support for individuals to help improve their employment outcomes by 9/30/2013.

Strategy 2.1 Increase individuals’ knowledge of disability services in development of statewide and regional web-based resource guides.

Strategy 2.2 Increase staff knowledge and use of comparable benefits, through action of state and regional office administrative staff, to formalize the provision of benefits to individuals.

Strategy 2.3 Develop a statewide strategic plan for the North Dakota workforce system inclusive of the employment of people with disabilities.

Strategy 2.4 Grow, with the North Dakota Division of Mental Health and Substance Abuse, a statewide sustainable system of SSA benefit planning services.

Innovation/enhancement/improvement

Strategy 2.5 Partner with the North Dakota Center for Persons with Disabilities and the Employment First movement to assist individuals exiting the VR program with achieving a viable self-employed outcome.

Innovation/enhancement/improvement

Goal 3 Continue the implementation of State and Regional Youth Transition Services by having 20% of those served and employed be youth by 9/30/2013.

Strategy 3.1 Actively participate in Community of Practice workgroups.

Innovation/enhancement/improvement

Strategy 3.2 Collaborate with state agencies, including the Division of Mental Health and Substance Abuse and the Department of Public Instruction, to implement Transition activities resulting from the 2011 Legislative session.

Innovation/enhancement/improvement

Strategy 3.3 Support and provide technical assistance to the Regional Community of Practice groups to meet local needs,

Innovation/enhancement/improvement

Strategy 3.4 Collaborate with community partners to develop tools and strategies to better assist student’s transition from high school to work or college.

Innovation/enhancement/improvement

Goal 4 Enhance counseling and guidance services thereby improving employment outcomes for the individuals and achieving or exceeding an 80% satisfaction rate by 9/30/2013.

Strategy 4.1 With TACE support, train staff on cognitive motivational tools so they can assist their client to develop “intrinsic motivation” and better assess their readiness to work.

Strategy 4.2 Adjust caseload of VR Counselors to provide significant counseling and guidance as well as job placement.

Strategy 4.3 Adapt a COTS product to provide a web-based case management system. This activity will save counselor time.

Strategy 4.4 Train and implement a new comprehensive assessment of rehabilitation needs for new clients but also for individuals who are not making progress in their current plan.

Goal 5 DVR will take steps to open Priority Category I with a target of late FFY 2013 or early 2014.

Strategy 5.1 Current policies such as higher ed and client participation will be reviewed and changes made based upon input from the SRC.

Strategy 5.2 The average cost per client will be re-evaluated to facilitate opening Priority Category I.

Strategy 5.3 DVR will increase the provision of services in-house.

Goal 6 Meet the Service Rate to Minorities in Federal Standard 2. The ratio of the service rate for minorities and the service rate for non-minorities will be at least .80 by 09/30/2012.

Strategy 6.1 - Schedule meetings with 121 Projects at least twice per year to facilitate ongoing relationships.

Strategy 6.2 - Continue to provide technical assistance and support to the four 121 Projects.

Strategy 6.3 - Support participation in training opportunities to increase cultural awareness and understanding of minority populations.

Strategy 6.4 – Work with the SRC Resource Committee, the Designated State Agency Human Resource Division and other state VR agencies to identify recruitment strategies focusing on Native Americans and other minority groups.

Strategy 6.5 - Meet with various referral sources to clarify the purpose of Vocational Rehabilitation.

Strategy 6.6 – We have a veteran counselor working with the Native American population on the Three Affiliated Tribes Reservation covering New Town and the surrounding area. This counselor will be a resource for training and consulting on cultural sensitivity and minority issues with VR staff across the state.

 

This screen was last updated on Jul 3 2012 10:54AM by Robyn Throlson

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

DVR achieved or made substantial progress towards achieving the goals, priorities and innovation and expansion activities established for FFY 2011.

Progress is described as follows:

Goal 1 – Meet Federal Standard 1 – Employment Outcomes

Achievement Status:

Achieved – Exceeded 5 of the 6 indicators, including all 3 of the primary indicators, in Standard 1.

Goal 2 – Continue the Implementation of State and Regional Youth Transition Services by increasing referrals of individuals 21 years and under from 676 to 690 which is an increase of 2% by 9/30/2012. Increase the summer employment projects from eight to nine by 09/30/2012.

Achievement Status:

Partially Met – DVR was able to exceed the targeted goal for the number of referrals of individuals 21 years and under by 34. The evaluations from last summer’s employment project showed that it was a success and people would be interested in participating again in the future. However, due to the implementation of the Order of Selection, the Summer Employment Projects have been placed on hold.

Goal 3 – Develop Job Readiness Resources and Services that Consumers Can Access To Meet Their Needs.

Achievement Status:

Partially Met – Soft skills contracts were implemented and in-house assessment processes are underway. The contracts were cancelled in January 2012 due to limited funds.

Goal 4 – Continue Implementation of the next phase of the on-going Public Education Campaign.

Achievement Status:

Achieved - The plan has been implemented. A private sector communication company was hired to develop and implement the media buy plan. Month-long broadcasts were conducted in July and October 2011 focusing on “Individual Abilities” and “Transition.” The “Transition” campaign was recognized by the ND chapter of the American Advertising Federation with a Silver “ADDY” Award for 30 second advertising.

Goal 5 – Continue to develop Opportunities to Collaborate with Partners and Stakeholders to Strengthen Relationships and Meet Individuals’ Needs.

Achievement Status:

Making Substantial Progress - A semi-annual provider meeting was established to discuss concerns and needs across the state. We will hold off on the development/implementation of provider profiles until the new data management system is in place.

Goal 6 – Meet Service Rate to Minorities in Federal Standard 2.

Achievement Status:

Achieved – Met Federal Standard 2.

*These include Supported Employment outcomes.

 

Supported Employment

The primary Supported Employment goals identified in Attachment 4.11(c)(4) were to provide training and stabilization to an estimated 260 individuals and employ 80 individuals. We were able to provide training and stabilization to 255 individuals, missing the goal by five. 47 individuals became employed, missing that goal by 33.

 

DVR exceeded 5 or the 6 indicators, including all 3 of the primary indicators, in Standard 1. We had 100 fewer employment outcomes in 1.1. However, DRV exceeded the rehab rate by 6.37%, exceeded the percent with earnings at or above minimum wage by 26.35%, exceeded the percent with earnings at or above minimum wage with significant disabilities by 24.45%, exceeded the earnings as a ration to the State’s average pay by .109, and exceeded the difference between percentage of self-support at closure and application by 8.88. DVR also met Standard 2.

 

Innovation and Expansion

During FFY 2011, innovation and expansion funds were spent on ADA, Business Services, Transition Services, Assistive Technology, and State Rehabilitation Council expenses.

ADA:

DVR continues to participate with on-going education. The regional offices host or are involved with sporadic events tied to the ADA. In addition, DVR continues to support referrals and provide resources to employers and businesses in the community.

Business Services:

I & E funds were used to pay for civic and service organization membership, including Chamber of Commerce, for regional and state DVR staff. Funds were also used for booth registration at high-profile regional and state conferences and events. Both allow for higher visibility of DVR within the business community and by our individuals. They enable us to develop long-term partnerships with business owners and employers based on common goals, which should enhance recruitment and retention practices benefiting individuals with disabilities.

Three temp positions were hired using ARRA funds to provide business services support and to work with individuals in refining their job readiness and research skills. In May 2011, funding for those positions was switched to regular case services dollars and the positions will all officially end June 30, 2012.

Transition:

NDVR had transition contracts with providers and special education units where students were able to receive various work experience, including job shadows, as well as developing resumes and practicing interviewing skills.

Rehab Services Council:

Funds were used to advertise the SRC meetings, and to provide travel and per diem to SRC members.

Assistive Technology:

Funds were and are being used to support Solutions Labs. There are currently two located in Grand Forks and Bismarck. AT will be used in the comprehensive assessment and vocational guidance process. The items that will be used to complete the assessments may also be used to demonstrate reasonable accommodations.

Two temp positions were hired using ARRA funds to provide career assessment services and oversight to the assessment centers and CRC. In May 2011, funding for those positions was switched to regular case services dollars and the positions will officially end June 30, 2012.

This screen was last updated on Jul 3 2012 11:35AM by Robyn Throlson

  • 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

Supported employment services are available to individuals with the most severe disabilities in all disability categories including developmental disabilities, severe mental illness, traumatic brain injury, and physical disabilities. Services are provided by 19 providers, 16 of which are private non-profit, two private for-profit and one public provider through a regional human service center. The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation projects to serve 160 individuals with the most severe disabilities, using primarily individual placement in competitive employment. Other modes such as mobile work crew may also be considered in those situations where a group placement appears to be the only type of outcome consistent with the individual’s unique strengths, resources, abilities, capabilities, concerns, interests and informed choice.

Individuals with the most severe disabilities will be served and outcomes achieved through the implementation of the following activities.

Continued education and awareness activities for the business community, lawmakers, service providers, educators, family members, and the general public.

Targeting supported employment as an outcome for students with the most severe disabilities transitioning from school-to-work through regional transition services.

Coordination of the interfacing of the departments, agencies, divisions, organizations and programs whose activities have a direct impact on Supported Employment Services.

Identification of training and technical assistance needs based on provider outcome data.

Continue to require licensing for all supported employment providers which will include accreditation by a national accrediting body.

Continue to have semi-annual meeting with providers to provide technical assistance and training.

Continue to work with Extended Service Funding sources to ensure individuals are able to utilize SEP and access supports once the DVR case is closed.

Supported employment training is provided up to 18 months, unless more time is necessary for the client. In order to ensure continuity and a smooth transition, documentation must demonstrate that the individual meets the criteria for transitioning to extended services.

Criteria for transitioning to extended services is as follows:

1. Substantial progress towards hours per week goal.

2. Satisfactory performance of all job duties and reasonable expectation it will continue.

3. 20% intervention or less for 2 months or intervention at a consistent level above 20% but not greater than 50% for 4 months.

4. Extended services is immediately available from sources other than VI-B or 110.

5. Final approval of extended services is determined by the funding agency based on a team approach that includes the client, counselor, provider and funding agency.

At least 30 days prior to the anticipated transition to extended services, DVR counselors should notify extended service providers and funders. This will allow time to determine needed hours of extended services and to obligate funds.

Documentation must show that the individual was in employment for 120 days before the counselor closed the case 26, and that payment for extended services is available from sources other than 110 or VI-B. During the first 60 days in Status 22, DVR will continue to pay for services. During the second 60 days the Extended Services funding unit (DD, Mental Health or other sources such as the TBI grant or State General Funds) will begin to pay for extended services. If the individual’s employment remains stable after the second 60 days, the DVR case will be closed as successfully employed, Status 26. At that point the individual will be exclusively in Extended Services.

This screen was last updated on Jun 18 2012 1:25PM by Robyn Throlson

The following information is captured by the MIS.

Last updated on 07/03/2012 at 11:35 AM

Last updated by sandthrolsonr

Completed on 07/03/2012 at 2:22 PM

Completed by sandthrolsonr

Approved on 07/10/2012 at 11:31 AM

Approved by rscodiehlm

Published on 09/25/2012 at 12:45 PM

Published by kschelle

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