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
New Hampshire Division of Career Technology and Adult Learning State Plan for Fiscal Year 2013 (submitted FY 2012)

1.1 The NH Department of Education State Board of Education 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 NH Department of Education [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

Commissioner of Education for the State of New Hampshire

... 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

Commissioner of Education for the State on New Hampshire

... 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
Virginia M. Barry, PhD

Title of Signatory
Commissioner of Education, NH Department of Education

Date Signed (mm/dd/yyyy)
05/21/2012

Assurances Certified By

At the request of RSA, the designated state agency and/or the designated state unit provide the following assurance(s), in addition to those contained within Section 2 through 8 below, in connection with the approval of the State Plan for FY 2013
No

Section 1 Footnotes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(a) Conduct of public meetings.

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

(b) Notice requirements.

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

(c) Special consultation requirements.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(a) Designated state agency.

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

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

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

(b) Designated state unit.

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

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

  1. The name of the designated state vocational rehabilitation unit is
Division of Career Technology and Adult Learning

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. No

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

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

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

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

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

(a) In general.

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

(b) Employment of individuals with disabilities.

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

(c) Facilities.

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

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

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

(a) Data system on personnel and personnel development.

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

  1. Qualified personnel needs.

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

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

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

  1. Personnel development.

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

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

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

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

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

(c) Personnel standards.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(d) Staff development.

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

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

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

(e) Personnel to address individual communication needs.

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

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

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

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

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

(a) Comprehensive statewide assessment.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(b) Annual estimates.

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

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

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

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

(c) Goals and priorities.

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

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

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

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

  1. provides a justification for the order; and

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

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

(d) Strategies.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(e) Evaluation and reports of progress.

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

  1. Attachment 4.11(e)(2):

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(b) If No:

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

  1. Attachment 4.11(c)(3):

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  1. an immediate job placement; or

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(a) Contracts with for-profit organizations.

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

(b) Cooperative agreements with private nonprofit organizations.

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

Section 6: Program Administration

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  1. specifies the supported employment services to be provided;

  1. describes the expected extended services needed; and

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

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

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.

Comment: Council members recommended that the Agency continue to support and focus on transition activities. It was noted that the youth are our future and that the Agency should continue to seek ways to expand these programs, and to seek new and different ways of education and training.

Agency Response: The Agency agrees with this recommendation and will continue to support transition activities. Transition is one of the goal areas that the Agency has and maintains within our Agency Goals and Priorities.

Comment: Council members recommended that the NHVR leadership take on the issue of communication and maintaining contact with customers as an area of priority and develop a specific plan of action that includes outcome goals.

Agency Response: The Agency agrees and will include communication and maintaining contact in the activities for the upcoming year.

Comment: Council members recommended that NHVR look into spaces where counselors meet with customers to assure confidentiality.

Agency Response: NH Vocational Rehabilitation respects the confidentiality of our customers and the Administration will address this issue with the Field staff to assure that the spaces where counselors meet with customers are in locations where confidentiality can be maintained.

This screen was last updated on Jun 1 2012 9:43AM by Ella McAllister

This agency has not requested a waiver of statewideness.

This screen was last updated on Jun 30 2009 9:15AM by Ella McAllister

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 Agency continually seeks to build and maintain relationships with other agencies and organizations that would impact on the employment outcomes of individuals with disabilities. The Agency has continued to build even stronger relationships than were initially fostered by Ticket to Work Legislation. The Medicaid Infrastructure Grant (MIG) was the central organizing force for these efforts during the grant years which ended in December 2011. The MIG received a short no cost extension to complete grant activities in early 2012. Subsequent to the successful passage and implementation of the Medicaid for Employed Adults with Disabilities (MEAD) program, the next phase of the MIG grant focused on the development of statewide, integrated employment services for individuals with disabilities. The MIG includes partners from Community Mental Health, Area Agencies, Independent Living and community rehabilitation providers. Staff of NHVR is involved at all levels with this effort. This includes membership on the State Advisory Council and the State Steering Committee as well as numerous teams that have formed as the increased need for collaboration was identified. These teams include efforts to develop consistent standards and training for job developers, and business relations and education and outreach to social security beneficiaries.

In June 2007, the NH Legislature passed a law establishing a Commission on Autism Spectrum Disorders. This Commission was charged with examining and making recommendations regarding the needs of children and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). The VR Field Service Administrator was asked to serve on this Commission and participated in the completion of the 2008 Commission report. As a result of this effort, a Council on ASD was established with appointed membership from the Governor which includes the Commissioner of Education and the Director of NH Vocational Rehabilitation. Contact with the administrative staff of the Council confirms that the work plan of this group clearly defines the recommendations and priorities for NHVR in terms of serving this population. This includes efforts to engage the business community to ensure that individuals on the spectrum are prepared to meet NH’s workforce needs; work to develop innovative supported employment initiatives, access to all levels of training and opportunities for community inclusion and independent living. The Agency is encouraged to work with all partner agencies and entities that also impact on the lives of these individuals and whose collaboration with NHVR is essential to maximizing the services to and success of individuals who experience ASD. In 2011 the agency began developing a comprehensive approach to serving our customers with ASD. Two VR staff attended the National Autism Conference and they have been developing a system to address the rehabilitation needs of customers with ASD.

NHVR collaborates with Northeast Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services (NDHHS) and other partners in the deaf community so that there is a team approach when placement of a customer is made. All parties having the same and updated information allows the customer and the team to have more success in obtaining job retention. It also allows for any communication issues that could be occurring in the team, so that the customer has the best chance of success. In 2011, NDHHS sought the participation of NHVR in a project that was facilitated by the National Association of State Directors of Special Education (NASDSE) to review the NASDSE Guidelines for the Education of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students, and to then utilize those Guidelines in the development of NH specific Guidelines which would serve as best practice for school districts in NH. The year-long project has resulted in the New Hampshire Educational Service Guidelines for Students who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing, which will be presented to the New Hampshire Association of Special Education Directors in April 2012, for use in the development of 2012-2013 Individual Education Programs.

New Hampshire Vocational Rehabilitation and the Manchester Veterans Administration (VA) Regional Office, VA Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Services (VR&E) are continuing to work together and have revised referral and service delivery process. By working together, NHVR and VR&E counselors are continuing to focus on identifying opportunities to assist the veteran by combining resources whenever necessary, leveraging our business contacts and orchestrating blended funding options to help our wounded warriors’ efforts to reenter the work force. Because of this effort, Jim Hinson, Statewide Program Coordinator - Corporate Relations - and designated Wounded Warrior Management Liaison was recognized in May 2011 by the NH Small Business Administration for being the 2011 NH Veteran Small Business Champion of the Year.

In addition, representatives from NH Employment Security, NH Department of Health and Human Services, NH Vocational Rehabilitation, Manchester VA Regional Office, VA Medical Center, US Department of Labor, Easter Seals, and the NH National Guard are continuing to work together to address the emergent needs of Service Members and families affected by deployment. Towards the end of 2011 John Lynch, Governor State of New Hampshire, appointed members of this group, the Commission on PTSD and TBI – SB 102, to study the effects of service-connected post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury suffered in the line of duty by members of the armed forces and veterans. The Commission on PTSD and TBI will survey NH veterans and make recommendations on any gaps in services.

The USDA Rural Development office in New Hampshire does not administer any workforce development or economic development programs that would assist individuals with employment or small business startup assistance. New Hampshire does not have a state use contracting program.

This screen was last updated on Jun 1 2012 9:45AM by Ella McAllister

  • 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.

Organized within the New Hampshire Department of Education, NHVR participates in the State’s transition initiatives. NHVR counselors across the state are involved in the local and regional partnerships which were developed to implement the activities of the grant. Counselors advocate for the inclusion of students with disabilities and special education staff in the systemic changes occurring in the schools.

NHVR understands the need for services to be identified and in place prior to a student leaving the school setting in order to assist the student with a smooth transition to post-school activities which may include post-secondary education, training, employment, and related vocational rehabilitation services which will lead to competitive or supported employment. To assure this planning, the Agency provides 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.

The Agency has entered into an interagency agreement with the state educational agency with respect to transition planning. This agreement includes information regarding roles and responsibilities, including financial responsibilities, of each agency, provisions for determining state lead agencies and qualified personnel responsible for transition services; and procedures for outreach to and identification of students with disabilities who need transition services.

Within the Department’s Dropout Plan, NHVR works to help identify and assist youth with disabilities who may be at high risk of or who have already dropped out of school to remain in or return to school, transition plans and transition.

NHVR has coordinated with various local partners through ARRA resources to engage in activities which will not only identify students who have dropped out of high school, but connect with those students who might be at risk for dropping out, to develop activities which will stem from a personalized learning strategy. Such activities will assist the students to re-engage in their educational setting as well as connect them in a more meaningful way to their transition plan through their Individualized Education Plan. These activities have included the development of Extended Learning Opportunities, with the support of their VR counselor toward identifying a career goal through the implementation of their Individualized Plan for Employment. NHVR has sustained these partnerships with local agencies and school districts since the discontinuation of ARRA funding.

NHVR continues to be an active leader in the state and national Community of Practice on Transition (CoP). Using its strategy, it is intended to promote and to influence transition practice and policy on multiple levels, using more of a grassroots type of approach. The CoP sponsors an annual Transition Summit, and is currently focusing its efforts on the use of technology in transition, job development for youth, development of Extended Learning Opportunities and meaningful family engagement in transition.

The Agency continues to be involved in the implementation of sector based employment opportunities through Project SEARCH, the START certificate and Project INCOME. These focus on the healthcare, hospitality and insurance industries respectively. To date, NHVR has supported over 100 students in these programs in an effort to reach their employment goal.

NHVR continues to employ a full-time Transition coordinator and a part-time Transition specialist to work statewide to improve services to youth with disabilities. The NHVR Transition coordinator and specialist have been successful in assisting local vocational rehabilitation counselors in providing information and access to schools with which this agency has had minimal contact in the past. The activities these positions cover include:

* working with NHVR counselors to improve access and services provided to youth with disabilities;

* working with NHVR counselors to develop best practices and examples of best practices to youth with disabilities;

* providing training on activities occurring across the state as a result of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act 2008, the Rehabilitation Act and best practices with NHVR;

* coordinating efforts with NHVR counselors, school district staff, school-to-work staff and other constituents, to ensure the inclusion of youth with disabilities in the systemic changes occurring in the schools as a result of the IDEA 2008 and the Rehabilitation Act;

* providing advocacy for youth with disabilities to a variety of constituents;

* improving connections between NHVR and other transition service agencies;

* providing information and guidance regarding Labor Laws as they relate to job shadow, internships and work experience for youth with disabilities;

* marketing school staff, students and families, adult service agencies, etc. in a variety of areas, e.g., employment issues as a result of disability, transition of students with disabilities, availability of adult services, best practices in transition of youth with disabilities, accessing adult services, employer perspectives; develop relationships with other agencies providing services to youth with disabilities to maximize services offered;

* functioning as a liaison to the Department of Education which is systematically changing the types of services they offer to school districts; and

* providing technical assistance on grants as they are developed with multiple agencies and programs to ensure the inclusion of all youth.

*the development of transition programs for youth such as the Earn and Learn program, A Chance to Experience Success, and Project SEARCH

The NHVR liaisons continue to actively facilitate meetings with school staff, NHVR counselors and school-to-work staff to plan the inclusion of students with disabilities in the systemic changes occurring within the state.

The Agency will continue to expand and solidify its interagency approach to ensuring a successful transition from school to employment opportunities for students with disabilities throughout the State. On both the statewide and local level, VR Agency staff continues to participate in planning, program development and funding of transition from school to work initiatives with other agencies and school districts. In addition, the Agency staff have participated in training programs targeting the dissemination of best practice information.

The Agency continues to work closely with local school districts to develop, implement and expand programs designed to facilitate the transition process. Currently, the Agency has 28 counselors working with schools and students with disabilities; three (3) of whom are dedicated as full-time counselors with school caseloads. This allows the Agency to better respond to the needs of individual school districts and youth with significant disabilities in the respective districts. Efforts in transition will take a variety of forms including, but not limited to, interagency training, direct services to youth with disabilities and their parents, and team building.

Over 1500 individuals on the Agency’s current caseload are under the age of 21. And each year the Agency receives over 700 referrals per year of individuals who are under the age of 21. Students served by the Agency represent all disability groups and not just those in special education programs. Counselors are frequently present in schools receiving referrals from teachers, guidance counselors, and administrators. Serving this population will remain a focus activity of the Agency.

The Agency plans to include statewide training and technical assistance intervention for schools and families for developing natural supports, which is a school and work based learning model including job training, monitoring and general workplace competencies in its continued innovation and expansion activities.

This screen was last updated on Jun 1 2012 9:47AM by Ella McAllister

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

NH Vocational Rehabilitation works with Community Rehabilitation Program providers (CRPs) to develop a menu of services and new component pricing. The current menu of services and component pricing does not differentiate between profit and nonprofit agencies and is standard for all CRPs. The agency has completed systemic changes for the type and provision of services, training/competency and outcomes that are related to Community Rehabilitation Programs and providers. NHVR has collaborated with other partners to achieve a statewide accepted competency model that utilized shared resources and will create consistency in how multiple systems utilize vendors that may provide services to customers in a variety of settings.

The process to determine the need for new, improved or expanded programs will be accomplished through:

1) public forums in seven regions to include customers of Vocational Rehabilitation, Vocational Rehabilitation staff, community rehabilitation programs staff, developmental services area agency staff, mental health center staff, and the general public;

2) meetings of Vocational Rehabilitation administrators and consultants;

3) meetings of the State Rehabilitation Council; and

4) consultation with the State Board of Education.

Through continuing statewide studies, the rehabilitation needs of individuals with disabilities, including individuals with significant disabilities, the Agency gathers data and utilizes this to identify ways in which the overall effectiveness of community rehabilitation program services might be improved.

The Agency will continue to seek ways to identify and meet the needs of individuals with disabilities in New Hampshire including, where appropriate, provision of services to groups of individuals with disabilities through the establishment, development and improvement of collaboration with private vocational rehabilitation service providers including community rehabilitation programs.

This screen was last updated on Jun 1 2012 9:48AM by Ella McAllister

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 Agency has developed relationships with both the State Community Developmental Services Administration and the State Community Mental Health Services Administration. The relationships are designed to enhance the collaboration of rehabilitation, case management and vocational service provider personnel with eligible individuals and their families regarding the implementation and continuation of individualized supported employment.

NH Vocational Rehabilitation shall continue to provide training and technical assistance according to identified need with existing resources, including the development of new strategies and the refinement of existing structures to encourage full integration. A revised Memorandum of Agreement with the Bureau of Developmental Disabilities and the Bureau of Behavioral Health are planned for 2012.

Individuals with significant disabilities to be served under this program will likely have developmental disabilities and/or mental illness, since these are the groups for which funding is available for long-term support after Vocational Rehabilitation services are completed. In addition, the Division will seek additional avenues to expand the availability of supported employment services, including ongoing support services provided through natural community-based supports by families, employers, life insurance carriers and community organizations, for individuals with acquired brain injuries, significant physical disabilities, and other disabling conditions. The Agency will continue to collaborate with the Division of Behavioral Health and with the Division of Developmental Services regarding any necessary system changes that will encourage and facilitate natural supports.

This screen was last updated on Jun 1 2012 9:49AM by Ella McAllister

Data System on Personnel and Personnel Development

The Agency has implemented a comprehensive system of personnel development (CSPD) which identifies procedures and activities designed to ensure that there is an adequate supply of qualified professionals for the Agency. The CSPD plan has been amended with input from members of the State Rehabilitation Council (SRC). The full Council had the opportunity to review and comment on the CSPD plan, the development of the plan and related policies and procedures. Included in this plan are the following requirements:

* Data system on personnel and personnel development

* Plan for recruitment and retention of qualified personnel

* Personnel Standards

* Staff development

* Personnel to address individual communication needs

* Coordination with personnel under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act

The Agency collects and analyzes, on an annual basis, data on qualified personnel needs and personnel development. An annual training needs assessment is completed to identify focus areas for personnel development activities for the upcoming year. Data collected for financial and planning purposes is used for this analysis. This is data that reflects current information regarding personnel who are employed by NHVR. Included within this assessment is a self-assessment of training needs, an update of individual growth plans, and identification of training needs by regional leaders and an evaluation of the statewide assessment of the rehabilitation needs of persons with significant disabilities.

Over the next five years, the Agency anticipates hiring staff to fill openings created through retirement and other personnel turnover. The Agency realizes the need for continued recruitment and training of qualified personnel. Succession planning is a necessary part of the Agency’s preparation to address projected hiring needs, and is included within the annual analysis of qualified personnel needs and personnel development.

The Agency has 45 Rehabilitation Counselor positions. At present 31 of the staff holding these positions meet the standard; seven caseload carrying counselors do not meet the standard; and there are three vacancies. Current data indicates that the ratio of Rehabilitation Counselor to customers served is 148 customers to each Counselor. This information is reviewed quarterly by the Agency and the Policy committee of the State Rehabilitation Council. The Agency regularly reviews staffing patterns and caseload size to determine coverage needs. Although not optimal, the Agency believes that, at this time the current staffing is adequate to meet the needs of the Agency’s customers. Over the next five years the Agency projects a relatively stable staffing pattern. However, data indicates that there is an existing population of students with disabilities transitioning from school to post-secondary activities, including work that would require additional staff to adequately serve. These requirements will also be continually reviewed and adapted to meet any changing needs.

In addition the Agency also has four non-caseload carrying Counselor positions; two Counselor positions specifically designated to assist customers with benefit planning; and two of the current Counselor positions are being designated to target placement activities within the Agency.

It is anticipated that all required state unit personnel will meet the standard within seven years (10/1/2019).

During FY 11, three Rehabilitation Counselors resigned their positions with the agency. This is in-line with the average two to five position vacancies the Agency has experienced in the past few years. This represented a six percent turnover rate for Rehabilitation Counselors in the Agency.

Staff projections for the next five years:

Evaluating the past and current numbers of individuals served by the Agency reveals a stable pattern with moderate projections for any increases in these numbers served by the Agency over the upcoming five-year period. Based on these stable numbers of individuals served by the program, the current staffing pattern is projected to be adequate in serving the individuals who apply for vocational rehabilitation services in NH over the next five-year period.

During FY 11 there was no turnover of supervisory, vocational evaluation or support staff within the Agency. One administrative staff person was hired and resigned the position during the fiscal year.

It is anticipated that the turnover pattern will be fairly stable over the projected five-year period. Over the upcoming five-year period staff leaving the agency through retirement and attrition are anticipated to be 2-5 administrative staff persons, 10-15 rehabilitation counselors, 1-2 supervisory staff, 1 vocational evaluator staff and 8-12 support staff.

 

Row Job Title Total positions Current vacancies Projected vacancies over the next 5 years
1 Administrative Staff 10 0 5
2 Counselor Staff 45 3 15
3 Supervisor / Regional Leader 6 1 2
4 Vocational Evaluator 1 0 1
5 Support Staff 26 0 12
6 Other Staff 8 0 3
7 0 0 0
8 0 0 0
9 0 0 0
10 0 0 0

 

While there are no educational institutions in New Hampshire that offer graduate studies in rehabilitation counseling, there are several colleges and universities in the region that offer a Master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling, including:

Assumption College has 103 full and part time matriculated students currently enrolled in their Rehabilitation Counseling programs including the 30 who will graduate in May 2012. Assumption had 41 students graduate with Master’s of Arts degrees in Rehabilitation Counseling in the previous year (2011). Although there is not any current RSA grant or scholarship funding to students attending Assumption College, the college notes that a few current students have received RSA traineeships in the past. The Agency had two staff enrolled in the Assumption College program who were not able to continue when the RSA grant was discontinued.

Central Connecticut State University has 92 students currently enrolled (2012) in their Counselor Education with Specialization in Professional and Rehabilitation Counseling Master’s in Science program. They report graduating 45 students between 2009 and 2011 and an average of 15 students each year.

Salve Regina University currently has 68 students enrolled in their Master’s Degree program. Twenty-three of these students have received RSA funding. Twelve students are anticipated to graduate in May of 2012 while 14 students graduated in May of 2011. The school has RSA long-term training funding and has some opportunities for distance education.

The University of Southern Maine offers a Master’s of Science in Counseling with a specialty in Rehabilitation Counseling. There are 22 students currently in the master’s RC program. (2 FT; 20 PT). None of the students currently receive RSA funding. Two students completed the program and graduated in 2011; three students are expected to graduate the program in the Spring of 2012.

In addition to regional programs, Agency staff have been able to take advantage of distance learning opportunities from institutions in other states to attain their Master’s degrees. Currently one NHVR staff is enrolled at Southern University in Louisiana and is expected to graduate in May of 2012 . One NHVR staff graduated from that program in 2011.

All rehabilitation counseling graduates from the colleges listed will be eligible for Certification as a Rehabilitation Counselor through the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification (CRCC).

 

Row Institutions Students enrolled Employees sponsored by agency and/or RSA Graduates sponsored by agency and/or RSA Graduates from the previous year
1 Assumption Collge 103 0 30 41
2 Central CT 92 0 0 15
3 Salve Regina University 68 0 3 18
4 University of Sourthern Maine 22 0 0 2
5 0 0 0 0

 

Data received through the annual assessment of training needs is used for the development and implementation of the Agency’s in-service training plan and staff development activities. The results are also shared with supervisors and administrators and utilized in the updating and implementation of professional growth plans.

The identified training needs are utilized in the planning and development of training.

Staff also are encouraged to participate in professional development training. Two NHVR staff members completed state level Public Supervisor training in FY10. Two additional staff will be enrolling in the program in 2012. The Agency had two staff complete the national leadership training program. Further activities toward recruitment and retention of qualified personnel are identified within the Personnel Standards and Staff Development sections below.

In addition to the communication and recruitment efforts with the colleges and universities in the region, NHVR uses the Recruitment Center for State Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors (www.rehabjobs.info) in recruitment efforts.

 

NHVR recognizes that the requirements of the CSPD provide an opportunity to increase the knowledge, skills and abilities of rehabilitation counselors, thereby enhancing the provision of services and the quality of employment outcomes. In accordance with 34 CFR 361.18 (c)(2)(i), NHVR has established the following personnel standard:

1. Master’s in Rehabilitation Counseling; or

2. Master’s in Counseling* and 4 core courses

a. One course on Assessment b. One course on Occupational Information or Job Placement c. One course on Medical or Psychosocial and Cultural

Aspects of Disabilities d. One course on Community Resources or Delivery of Rehabilitation Services

*The Master’s degree must be in the field of counseling. Examples of degrees that may be considered as a Master’s in counseling or as counseling-related may include, but are not necessarily limited to, degrees in rehabilitation, special education, social work, and psychology. If your degree is in a counseling discipline other than rehabilitation counseling, a course on the Theories and Techniques of Counseling, as defined by CRCC, must be part of the degree requirements. Other required courses may be taken as part of or in addition to the original Master’s degree.

Or

3. Master’s, Specialist or Doctoral degree in one of 13 qualifying majors (listed below) granted by a college or university accredited by CHEA - PLUS a post-graduate advanced certificate or degree that includes a minimum of 18 semester hours or 27 quarter hours granted by a college or university that also offers a CORE-accredited Master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling.

Six graduate courses (one each on Theories and Techniques of Counseling; Foundations of Rehabilitation Counseling; Assessment; Occupational Information or Job Placement; Medical or Psychosocial and Cultural Aspects of Disabilities, and; Community Resources or Delivery of Rehabilitation Services.)

Acceptable Master’s, Specialist or Doctoral Degree Majors

Behavioral Health Psychology

Behavioral Science Psychometrics

Disability Studies Rehabilitation

Human Relations Social Work

Human Services Special Education

Marriage and Family Therapy Occupational Therapy

Vocational Assessment/Evaluation

Priority will be given to a Master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling both in new hires and in support of training to assist staff to achieve the standard.

Outreach efforts will be targeted toward individuals who meet the personnel standards and who are from minority backgrounds or are individuals with disabilities. Recruitment efforts will be coordinated with disability groups and associations serving minority populations, through contacts and sharing of job opportunities available within the Agency.

While it is the intent of NHVR to hire and retain employees who meet the standard, in some instances we are unable to hire professional staff who meet these standards. Factors which impact on the hiring of staff in NH who meet the personnel standard include a limited pool of qualified candidates and geographical considerations that result from the rural nature of the state. NHVR has worked to address this issue in a number of ways including working with the NH Division of Personnel to develop the capacity to hire staff at a bachelor degree level who are immediately placed in a training plan to achieve the requirements of the standard. This plan provides for the training necessary to obtain their Master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling or a Counseling Master’s that meets the criteria of the standard and outlines the support the Agency will provide to achieve this. In addition, the Agency continues to seek programs and coursework, including those that utilize long distance technology that will assist Counselors to achieve the standard.

To ameliorate the impact of these factors, NHVR conducts outreach activities to reach potential candidates. NHVR has identified colleges and universities in New England that provide Master’s level training in rehabilitation counseling and will continue to work with these institutions toward the recruitment of qualified candidates. NHVR has worked with the University of Hartford and Assumption College to identify and provide needed coursework for staff. The Training Officer continues to seek alternative educational opportunities for staff through emerging long distance learning opportunities, including RSA-funded training opportunities such as the Southern University program in Louisiana.

NHVR supports retraining of new and existing employees through the following plan and policies:

Current employees are eligible for educational assistance to return to graduate level training. Any employee who enrolls in an accredited Master’s program in Rehabilitation Counseling or a Master’s in Counseling that meets the standard will be eligible for release time.

All staff will be encouraged to continue to update and maintain their skills by completing 100 hours of in-service training every five years. The Training Officer will maintain current records of the training offered and credit hours earned. The In-Service Training Project (ISTP) provides training that is available and accessible to all NHVR personnel.

The Training Officer maintains records that track progress in meeting the personnel standard for all rehabilitation counseling staff. These records will include education level, completion of core courses, continuing education credits obtained and individual growth plans that outline how individual employees will meet the personnel standard within seven years. Records will be updated regularly and analyzed yearly to assess progress.

NHVR maintains records that identify the degree to which new hires meet the personnel standard. These records will be analyzed on a yearly basis to assess the success of the Agency in obtaining qualified personnel and to identify factors that impede the hiring of staff who meet the standard.

At this time, seven Rehabilitation Counseling staff do not meet the personnel standard and are either in a plan to achieve that standard, or have been newly hired and are developing a plan to achieve the standard.

 

The Agency continues to provide staff with appropriate and adequate training. The Agency recognizes the importance of having qualified, professional vocational rehabilitation staff to assist persons with disabilities to locate, train for, engage in and maintain employment. The in-service training project is designed to assure that Agency staff have the knowledge, skills and resources to assist persons with significant disabilities to achieve their employment goals. The activities of the project are targeted to address the needs identified through the training assessment and federal priorities and are evaluated and updated yearly.

Agency training includes a comprehensive orientation for new staff, ongoing training opportunities for existing staff at all levels of the organization, and a system to evaluate effectiveness of the training efforts. Training needs will be met through attending classes, workshops, and seminars in the state. Support staff, as well as counselors and management staff, are encouraged to attend training.

In-service training addresses retention of qualified staff, development of new skills for new staff, leadership development and capacity building. Basic and ongoing training is based on the Agency assisting staff to meet the identified counselor competencies; staff needs assessment, state plan forums and ongoing monitoring. Objective 2 of the in-service training project seeks to ensure that the staff have the training and resources to provide customer-focused service delivery. Trainings each year to meet this objective are focused on training that enhances service delivery and include training in areas of assessment, vocational counseling, job placement, and rehabilitation technology. Specific trainings that address these subjects that are planned or in planning for fiscal year 2012 include: developing job opportunities; utilizing assistive technology and modification; maximizing comprehensive assessment; counseling skills; utilization of community resources; working effectively with community rehabilitation programs; disability topics; and case practice.

The Agency seeks to gather and use information obtained through research and collaboration with other agencies to enhance and further develop the skills and capacities of rehabilitation staff.

Job-related workshops and seminars will be sponsored in cooperation with other state agencies with whom the Agency has cooperative working agreements, and by state, regional and national trainers. This will include trainers from the Division of Mental Health and the New England Technical Assistance and Continuing Education (TACE) Center. These activities will coincide with the ongoing development and upgrading of professional growth plans.

 

The Agency has developed strategies to meet (through Agency staff and/or by obtaining the services of others) the individual communication needs of applicants and recipients of services through appropriate modes of communication or in native languages.

The Agency has taken actions to establish and maintain minimum standards to ensure the availability of personnel within the designated state unit who, to the maximum extent feasible, are trained to communicate in the native language or mode of communication of the customer.

The Agency utilizes interpreters to communicate in the native language of applicants and eligible individuals, and is developing procedures to assist counselors to obtain qualified interpreters, including the identification of resources within the state for interpreters, cultural information, and translation services.

The Agency includes on its staff, or arranges to have available to staff, those individuals able to communicate with applicants and eligible individuals who utilize manual communication, and/or tactile, oral and non-verbal communication devices. The Agency maintains a list of state/national certified interpreters for persons who are deaf or hard of hearing. The Agency has the ability to, and will provide large print documents, recorded information, computer disk formats, and assistive listening devices, as appropriate, to the individual.

 

In 2008, New Hampshire was the recipient of a collaborative grant written to support coordinated efforts between NHVR and the NH Bureau of Special Education funded through the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services (OSERS). The grant provides for $40,000 of various technical assistance activities to be provided to the state by identified Technical Assistance Centers. Utilizing the Community of Practice (CoP) strategy, NH is working with the National Secondary Transition Technical Assistance Center (NSTTAC) and the IDEA Partnership at the National Association of State Directors of Special Education (NASDSE) to focus on:

• Promoting effective transition planning, writing of measurable post-school goals and compliance toward Indicator 13;

• Developing strategies toward youth leadership and engagement in the NH CoP;

• Developing school-business partnerships;

• Evaluating the CoP strategy in NH;

• Promoting development of local communities of practice; and

• Coordination of a state team to represent NH at the annual NSTTAC Transition Institute in Charlotte, NC.

While the grant funds have been expended, NH Vocational Rehabilitation continues to be an active partner in the Community of Practice activities which continue within the State and support professional development activities.

NHVR staff continue to work with other areas of the department toward coordinating the Agency’s comprehensive system of personnel development efforts with personnel development activities occurring within the NH Department of Education.

This screen was last updated on Jul 26 2012 10:49AM by Ella McAllister

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.

NH Vocational Rehabilitation conducts regular and ongoing assessments of the rehabilitation needs of individuals with significant disabilities residing in the state.

In 2010, NHVR completed the required triennial comprehensive statewide assessment of the rehabilitation needs of individuals in the state. Included in the needs assessment is a review of New Hampshire population statistics: NHVR service data; survey data to assess customer satisfaction; survey data to assess the provision of transition services and the needs of transition-aged customers; and information received at forums held at strategic locations throughout the State. The full report can be viewed online at: http://www.education.nh.gov/career/vocational/documents/csna-fy2010.doc

The data in this section of the plan has been updated to include data available at the time of the FY 2013 state plan amendment preparation. This update includes information from 1) six public forums held throughout the state with the purpose of assessing the rehabilitation needs of individuals with significant disabilities residing in the state, receiving comments and recommendations to update the rehabilitation and career needs of individuals with significant disabilities residing in the state and the need for supported employment services; 2) an online survey that was available during the public comment period that allowed individuals who were unable to attend a forum (or chose not to attend) to provide input and recommendations; 3) input solicited from stakeholders including the Mental Health and Developmental Disability systems 4) review of demographic data and 5) the data from the current customer satisfaction survey.

The findings continue to support previously identified rehabilitation needs for persons with disability in NH in the following areas of :

• Awareness

• Education

• Outreach

• Access

• Collaboration

• Transition

• Housing

• Transportation

• Placement

• Information and Referral / Resources

• Staff Development

• Training

Assessment data was sought from various individuals, groups and agencies including individuals who experienced and/or worked with individuals with the most significant disabilities, including the need for supported employment services; individuals with disabilities who are minorities; individuals who have been unserved or underserved by the vocational rehabilitation program; individuals served through other components of the statewide workforce system and individuals served through Community Rehabilitation Programs (CRPs).

During FY 2010 NHVR, working with the State Rehabilitation Council, completed the required comprehensive statewide assessment due to be completed every three years. The next scheduled completion of the statewide assessment is set for fiscal year 2013. The SRC began working with the Agency in FY 11 on the FY 13 three-year needs assessment. The SRC identified two needs areas it believed should be further investigated, services to Veterans and services to individuals with a dual diagnosis of mental health and substance abuse. The SRC presented its analysis of the data relating to services to Veterans and concluded that NHVR continues to work in collaboration with its partners at the VA and other organizations which provide a variety of services to “wounded warriors” and their families. The SRC workgroup investigating individuals with dual diagnosis has developed an action plan that includes some survey methodology to gather additional information about this group. NHVR also sits on the special Task Force created by the Governor to assess and insure that the needs of Veterans and their families are being met by state and local organizations.

This screen was last updated on Jun 1 2012 10:08AM by Ella McAllister

2010 Census data demonstrates a profile of 850,768 individuals residing in the state between the ages of 18 and 64. Of that total, 76,114 report to having a disability (8.9% of the state’s 18 to 64 population). Information from the 2010 survey regarding the number of these individuals in the workforce was not yet available.

Disability data from the 2009 American Community Survey reveals that of the 76, 000 individuals identifying themselves with a disability that 46,000 were not employed. This 46,000 represents 60% of the working age adults (ages 18 – 64) with disabilities in the state. In this study this not employed group was further broken down to show that a majority of the individuals in this group do not identify themselves as being in the labor force. The results show that of the 56,000 individuals in NH who identified themselves as unemployed and in the labor force, 14% or approximately 8,000 of these individuals reported having a disability.

During the period of 10/1/12-9/30/13, NH Vocational Rehabilitation anticipates a workload of 8,050 individuals.

Applicants expected on hand October 1, 2012 - 200

Number of Applicants expected during FY 2013 - 3,400

Customers in eligible statuses expected on hand 10/1/12 - 4,450

Total eligible individuals expected in FY 2013 – 8,050

Category Title I or Title VI Estimated Funds Estimated Number to be Served Average Cost of Services
Assessment $958,950 1,750 $547
Diagnosis/treatment of physical & mental impairmnt $1,435,700 700 $2,051
Training - Institution of Higher Education $1,188,700 500 $2,377
Training - Job Readines & Augmentive Skills $750,000 1200 $625
Training - Vocational & Occupational Skills $1,225,000 1225 $1,000
Maintenance $120,000 330 $363
Transportation $450,000 500 $900
Personal Assistance Service $245,800 70 $3,511
Rehab Technology $425,248 100 $4,252
Other (Includes Post Employment Services) $1,217,391 915 $1,330
Totals   $8,016,789 7,290 $1,099

This screen was last updated on Jun 1 2012 10:21AM by Ella McAllister

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 State goals and priorities were jointly developed with NHVR and agreed to by the State Rehabilitation Council (SRC). Each year the SRC reviews these goals and priorities as part of the state planning process. This year the Agency's goals have been expanded to further define and demonstrate the priorities and activities of the Agency. These changes were based on the most recent results obtained during the updating of the comprehensive statewide assessment, the federal standards and indicators and on information that the Agency has gathered and used in strategic planning for the Agency.

NH Vocational Rehabilitation's goals and priorities in carrying out the vocational rehabilitation and supported employment programs

Goal 1---Quality self-determined employment outcomes for persons with disabilities in New Hampshire.

Goal 2---Effective and efficient use of resources

Goal 3---Increase educational attainment, employment and self sufficiency of transition-aged youth

Goal 4---Promote an environment that supports the Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor-Customer relationship

Goal 5---Provide ongoing support for the State Rehabilitation Council (SRC) and the Statewide Independent Living Council (SILC)

This screen was last updated on Jun 30 2009 9:34AM by Ella McAllister

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

This agency is not implementing an Order of Selection.

This screen was last updated on Jun 30 2009 9:35AM by Ella McAllister

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.

Approximately 95% of all funds available through Title VI, Part B will be used for services to customers. Individual service authorizations will be used to purchase individual services for eligible individuals; however, services may be contracted to service providers to develop supported employment services for groups not covered under other programs or to develop programs in areas of the state where supported employment services are not readily available.

The funds will be deployed statewide, as needed, for individuals with disabilities eligible for VI-B funding until exhausted, then supplemented with Title I funds as appropriate. It is planned to rehabilitate 55 persons in supported employment outcomes anticipated in fiscal year 2012. The majority of these customers are expected to be individuals with developmental disabilities and/or mental illness as these are the disabilities for which funding is available for long-term supports after vocational rehabilitation services are completed.

The Agency will continue to seek alternative sources for long-term supports, including the use of natural supports, as appropriate, to the individual.

This screen was last updated on Jun 1 2012 10:24AM by Ella McAllister

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.

NHVR Strategies to achieve State Goals

Goal 1---Quality self-determined employment outcomes for persons with disabilities in New Hampshire.

Strategies and Activities:

•Complete Community Rehabilitation Program provider (CRP) restructuring/enhancing/re-engineering work to enhance services received through CRPs

o Develop competency-based model for certification of CRPs

o Support training to demonstrate competencies

•Coordinate with the systems for community mental health centers and community developmental disability organizations to increase the expectations for integrated, competitive employment for individuals served under these programs

•Increase internal placement capacity

•Develop new relationships between NHVR and employers at a national, regional, and local level

o Collaborate with CSAVR/National NET Team

o Maintain partnerships with the NH Works systems including participation in business expos and job fairs

o Continue using innovative marketing strategies, targeting businesses, to promote employment outcomes for persons with disabilities in New Hampshire.

•Promote self-sufficiency and informed choice through use of internal agency work incentive services

•Create a system for long term supports for customers who have been unable to maintain consistent employment through Ticket to Work Partnership Plus Initiative

•Maintain options and technical assistance for customers and counselors related to the development and implementation of small business and self employment plans

•Improve access to demand occupations through sector-based training and employment strategies

•Target outreach efforts to support the employment outcomes of underserved populations

•Improve vocational rehabilitation services to the deaf, hard of hearing, late deafened, and deaf blind communities

o Provide appropriate training opportunities as needed for staff to develop and improve needed skills regarding services to the deaf, hard of hearing, late deafened, or deaf blind communities.

o Increase delivery of, awareness of, and coordination of available educational and vocational services among at risk students who are deaf, hard of hearing, and deaf blind.

o Develop transition resources and increased opportunities for students who are deaf, hard of hearing, and deaf blind and their parents through collaboration with DOE, and other partner, School-to- Work transition program.

o Collaborate with the Bureau of Special Education to establish suggested guidelines for the development of Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) or other programs that could improve outcomes for students who are deaf, hard of hearing, and deaf blind

o Collaborate with NHVR Office of Services for Blind and Visually Impaired to improve services to students who are deaf and blind.

o Improve job development, placement, and retention for customers who are deaf, hard of hearing, late deafened and deaf blind.

o Improve business owners understanding and acceptance of customers who are deaf, hard of hearing, late-deafened and deaf blind.

o Collaborate with NHVR Office of Services for Blind and Visually Impaired to improve job opportunities for customers who are deaf blind.

o Create opportunities to improve communication on the job for customers who are deaf, hard of hearing, late deafened, and deaf blind during Job Search Workshops.

o Continue to work with the Taskforce on Deafness and Hearing Loss on projects relevant to the deaf, hard of hearing, late deafened, and deaf blind communities.

Measurement plan:

NHVR will achieve or exceed the required federal standards for the following indicators:

1.1 The number of persons achieving employment outcomes will equal or exceed the previous year. FY 2010 outcomes were 1043. FY 2011 outcomes were 1085.

1.2 The percentage of individuals rehabilitated will equal or exceed 55.8%.

1.3 The average hourly earnings of all individuals who exit the program in competitive employment as a ratio to the average hourly earnings for all employment in NH will equal or exceed .52.

1.4 Of all the individuals who achieve competitive employment, the difference between the percent who reported their own income as the largest single source of economic support at closure compared to the percent at application. The difference must equal or exceed 53

1.5 The service rate for all individuals with disabilities from minority backgrounds as a ratio of the service rate for all non-minority individuals with disabilities will equal or exceed .80

NHVR will demonstrate equal or improved performance when compared to the baseline for the following measurable indicators:

1.6 The average number hours worked by persons rehabilitated. A baseline was determined utilizing fy 09 data. Baseline: Average number of hours worked by individuals achieving an employment outcome - 27.7 hours per week.

1.7 The number of SSI recipients and SSDI beneficiaries who achieve Substantial Gainful activity earnings level for at least 9 months. A baseline was determined utilizing fy 09 data. Baseline: 95 customers who achieved a successful employment outcome in fy 09 and were identified as receiving SSI and/or SSDI at application met the SGA earning levels for at least 9 months.

1.8 The percent of persons rehabilitated in full-time competitive employment who are covered by health insurance through employment. A baseline was determined utilizing fy 09 data. Baseline: 24% of the individuals achieving an employment outcome.

1.9 Number of successful employment outcomes after participating in post-secondary education. A baseline was determined utilizing fy 09 data. Baseline: 96 individuals achieved a successful vocational outcome after participating in postsecondary education.

1.10 The number accessing Medicaid for Employed Adults with Disabilities (MEAD) at case closure. Due to the way the CMS captures data, a baseline was not set for this item yet. The Agency is working to update the collection of information to include this element.

1.11 The number of individuals who successfully achieve self-employment. A baseline was determined utilizing fy 09 data. Baseline: Eleven (11) individuals were closed successfully with employment goals that included self-employment in fy 09.

Goal 2---Effective and efficient use of resources

Strategies and Activities:

•Build and support relationships with providers and partners in the state

o Develop menu of service for Community Rehabilitation Programs that links component pricing to specific customer needs

o Monitor the performance based payment system for obtaining and retaining employment

o Implement a direct purchase process for hearing appliances in collaboration with audiologists

•Monitor fiscal management strategies that have been implemented to identify effectiveness

o Monitor cost containment strategies to identify impact and to assure that strategies do not prevent service provision for individuals

o Maintain the centralized accounting functions

o Utilize four-year budgetary planning process examining historical trends to influence fiscal and program planning

•Utilize data driven decision making

o Align staff performance accountability measures with goals and priorities

o Update and maintain quality assurance and accountability system

•Improve the availability and quality of interpreters in the state of New Hampshire.

o Provide administrative support to the NH Interpreting Licensure Board

o Coordinate and provide the NH Interpreter Screening Process to obtain additional licensed interpreters

o Update and disperse Interpreter Directory as needed.

o Work collaboratively with New Hampshire Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (NHRID) and other organizations invested in the expansion of interpreting services to assess the need for and promote the use of all types of CART and interpreting services (e.g., ASL interpreters, CDIs, oral interpreters, deaf blind interpreters, etc).

•Improve the accessibility to assistive device that can improve employment outcomes for customers who are deaf, hard of hearing, late deafened, and deaf blind

o Continue to use the Videophone RelaySystem (VRS) and CSDIO (Video Remote Interpreter) and provide training on how to use these services.

o Increase awareness of the availability of this service at the Regional Offices and Employers across the State of New Hampshire.

Measurement plan:

NHVR will achieve or exceed the required federal standard for the following indicator

2.1 Rehabilitation rate will equal or exceed 55.8%

NHVR will demonstrate equal or improved performance when compared to the baseline for the following measurable indicators:

2.2 Percent for whom eligibility is determined in 60 days or less from application unless the customer agrees to an extension. A baseline was determined utilizing fy 09 data. Baseline: 89 percent of applicants.

2.3 Percent of accurate presumptive eligibility decisions for persons eligible for SSI or SSDI. A baseline was determined utilizing fy 09 data. Baseline: 90 percent.

2.4 Percent for whom IPEs are developed within 120 days or less from eligibility unless the customer agrees to an extension. A baseline was determined utilizing fy 09 data. Baseline: 90 percent.

2.5 Average consumer satisfaction using the ACSI index model. Target greater than 70.

2.6 Average expended per rehabilitation for the life of the case. A baseline was determined utilizing fy 09 data. Baseline: $4,300.

2.7 Annual number of persons in service (status 02-24 +32). A baseline was determined utilizing fy 09 data. Baseline: 6,781.

2.8 Annual contribution to IPE costs through comparable benefits and services. It was identified that the current CMS does not collect this data. Work in 2010 will identify data collection strategies and follow up staff training on collection of this information.

2.9 Percent of persons referred to placement or supported employment providers who achieve employment meeting all rehabilitation criteria. A baseline has not been set for this item yet. Current work is in progress with Community Rehabilitation Program (CRP) staff on service delivery. A baseline will be determined following that activity.

2.10 The average wage achieved by persons referred to placement or supported employment providers. A baseline was determined utilizing fy 09 data. Baseline: $9.11.

2.11 Percent of cases reviewed for which there is evidence that the service provider was given clear information about the customer’s employment goals and expectations. This data was identified as not currently tracked within the Agency CMS. Determination of a baseline for this item was extended based on current work with CRPs both internal and through the development of a statewide Employment Information System.

2.12 Percent of cases reviewed for which referral to a job placement or supported employment service provider was appropriate based on the individual needs of the consumer. Data relevant to this item is not currently tracked in the CMS. Determination of a baseline for this item was extended based on current work with CRPs both internal and through the development of a statewide Employment Information System.

2.13 Percent of cases reviewed for which there is evidence of counseling and guidance provided by NHVR. A baseline was determined utilizing fy 09 data. Baseline: 90 percent.

Goal 3---Increase educational attainment, employment and self sufficiency of transition aged youth

Strategies and Activities:

•Expand community employment opportunities and exploration of appropriate career paths, such as job shadows, informational interviews and work-based assessments

•Build partnerships with school transition personnel and serve as a resource for career planning

•Encourage career focused and work based experiences during the transition from school to work

•Identify students with disabilities who have been underserved and develop strategies for engagement

•Utilize alternative and extended learning opportunities (ELO) for skill acquisition and academic achievement for students who require non-traditional learning environments

Measurement Plan:

NHVR will demonstrate equal or improved performance when compared to the baseline for the following measurable indicators:

3.1 Number of new applications from transition students. A baseline was determined utilizing fy 09 data. Baseline: 602 applications.

3.2 Number of new IPEs for transition students. A baseline was determined utilizing fy 09 data. Baseline: 304 Individualized Plans for Employment (IPE) developed.

3.3 Rehabilitation rate for transition students. A baseline was determined utilizing fy 09 data. Baseline: 67 percent.

3.4 Of transition students who achieve competitive employment, the difference between the percent who reported their own income as the largest single source of economic support at closure compared to the percent at application. A baseline was determined utilizing fy 09 data. Baseline: 78 percent.

3.5 Average hourly wage of transition students rehabilitated. A baseline was determined utilizing fy 09 data. Baseline: $8.97 per hour.

3.6 Number of transition aged students that are participating in a post secondary or training program following graduation

Goal 4---Promote an environment that supports the Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor –Customer relationship

Strategies and Activities

•Support the development and retention of qualified rehabilitation staff through a comprehensive system of personnel development, leadership and succession planning

•Provide training to staff in the utilization of rehabilitation technology to enhance customer employability

•Utilize public forums and customer satisfaction survey data to foster continuous improvement of VR services

•Explore strategies to maximize customer engagement throughout the VR process

•Provide opportunities for individuals to make informed choice throughout the VR process

Measurement Plan:

NHVR will demonstrate equal or improved performance when compared to the baseline for the following measurable indicators:

4.1 Number of rehabilitation counseling staff who have achieved the CSPD standard. A baseline was determined utilizing fy 09 data. Baseline: Thirty (30) rehabilitation counseling staff.

4.2 Percent of cases reviewed for which there is evidence that assistive technology services and assistive technology devices were assessed and used as necessary for individuals with disabilities at each stage of the rehabilitation process. It was identified that current case review data collection did not include this element. Case review process to be updated to include monitoring of this element.

4.3 Percent of cases reviewed for which there is evidence that the consumer had the opportunity to exercise informed choice throughout the rehabilitation process. It was identified that current case review data collection did not include this element. Case review process to be updated to include monitoring of this element.

4.4 Percent of cases reviewed for which there is evidence of continued contact and customer engagement throughout the vocational rehabilitation process. It was identified that current case review data collection did not include this element. Case review process to be updated to include monitoring of this element.

Goal 5---Provide ongoing support for the State Rehabilitation Council (SRC) and the Statewide Independent Living Council (SILC)

Strategies and Activities

•Inclusion of the SRC in the development of agency policy

•Support the SRC and the SILC to build capacity for community involvement and participation

•Support the training of SRC members relative to the implementation of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended

Measurement plan:

NHVR will demonstrate equal or improved performance when compared to the baseline for the following measurable indicators:

5.1 Number of annual stakeholder meetings exceed or are equal to 4 per year.

5.2 Post meeting ratings by SRC/SILC members related to the effectiveness of their meetings and opportunities for meaningful involvement. This will be measured by a survey of the SRC and SILC membership.

 

Identify how a broad range of assistive technology services and assistive technology devices will be provided to individuals with disabilities at each stage of the rehabilitation process; and describe how assistive technology services and devices will be provided to individuals with disabilities on a statewide basis.

The Agency recognizes that the term assistive technology service encompasses a broad spectrum of services that includes ‘any service that directly assists an individual with a disability in the selection, acquisition or use of an assistive technology device’ (Technology-Related Assistance Act, 1988). This includes the evaluation of an individual’s needs and may include services to assist in the selection, design, fitting, customizing, adaptation, application, maintenance, repair or the replacing of an assistive technology device(s). Included in this broad definition is the coordination and utilization of other therapies and interventions; and training or technical assistance to the customer about assistive technology services and in the use of any technology services that have been identified and/or provided.

One of the major needs in the area of assistive technology is to assure that customers and staff have access to information about techniques, devices and services that can effectively assist the customer to reach their employment goals. Technical assistance and training related to the assessments for and provision of a broad range of assistive technology services and devices are available from a number of assistive technology providers in the state including Rehabilitation Technology Consulting , NH Assistive Technology Evaluation & Consultation (NH-ATEC); the NH Association for the Blind, the NH Accessible Instructional Materials (AIM) Center and The New Hampshire Deaf and Hard of Hearing Education Initiative Project (DHHEIP). . These sources provide services throughout the state. Counselors, staff and customers also utilize resources that are available online such as the Job Accommodation Network’s information and resources.

 

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 this area the Agency seeks to maintain a service rate for minorities that achieves or exceeds the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) target rate of .80.

NH Vocational Rehabilitation met this standard for equity in access of services for minority groups, RSA standard 2.1 in fiscal year 2012.

As part of the continuing statewide studies of the needs of individuals with disabilities and how these needs may be most effectively met, New Hampshire Vocational Rehabilitation includes outreach procedures to populations such as racial and ethnic minorities.

Outreach procedures for identifying and serving individuals with the most significant disabilities who are minorities over the next three years will include:

• Continuing to identify and partner with local agencies that serve diverse populations to enhance services provided to these individuals including services to Hispanics;

• Continue to promote use of telephonic interpreting services for offices;

• Continue to promote cultural competency of all staff in order to effectively service NH’s multicultural population and recruit staff from the community; and

• Increased emphasis in the identification, referral and provision of effective vocational rehabilitation services to individuals with disabilities who are also a member of a minority group.

NH Vocational Rehabilitation is committed to assisting individuals with significant disabilities, including individuals with the most significant disabilities, to secure suitable employment, and financial and personal independence by providing rehabilitation services. The Agency continually assesses the barriers and strategies to reduce barriers that relate to equal access to the State VR program. In planning this year specific input was solicited from the Developmental Disabilities Council; the Statewide Independent Living Council; the State MH Planning Council; the Governor’s Commission on Disability; the Autism Council and the executive committee of the Special Education Administrators in the state

In providing a quality customer focused service delivery system that is timely, effective and responds to the needs of individuals with disabilities throughout the state, the NHVR recognizes the need to expand and improve services to individuals with sensory, cognitive, physical and mental impairments who have traditionally not been served or have been underserved by the vocational rehabilitation program. This goal is to be accomplished through:

• Continue to maintain cooperative working relationships between NH Vocational Rehabilitation and community developmental disabilities organizations (area agencies) and community mental health centers.

• Continue to collaborate with stakeholder partners and invest in services to address the following needs related to individuals who are considered underserved.

• Seek and implement strategies to expand and improve the provision of supported employment services.

• Seek and implement strategies to expand and improve services to youth in transition from school to work

• Seek strategies to improve service for persons with severe and persistent mental illness.

• Implement pilot project to include Benefits Specialist staff in Regional Offices.

• Seek strategies to expand and improve services to individuals who have experienced a traumatic brain injury.

• Seek strategies to improve services to individuals who experience autism spectrum disorders.

• Continue to increase collaboration efforts to provide vocational rehabilitation services for returning veterans.

• Continue to coordinate services for persons with developmental disabilities.

• Include in the staff training program disability specific training in areas that have been identified as disability groups that may be unserved or underserved by the vocational rehabilitation program.

 

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

 

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

NH Vocational Rehabilitation met each of the federal performance indicators for FY 12. The standards and indicators are included above in the measurment strategy for meeting the State’s Goals and Priorities.

 

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

NH Vocational Rehabilitation maintains ongoing collaborative efforts with other workforce investment partners in the state. Agency staff participate on committees at various levels of the statewide workforce investment system such as the Interagency Directors Group (IDG). This allows for collaboration as activities and strategies are developed. It also provides an opportunity to assure inclusion for individuals with disabilities is considered in planning and implementation of new services or initiatives or as revisions are made. In addition, NH Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors have an on-site presence at local one stop centers to work with customers and to provide information and technical assistance to other workforce partners regarding providing equal access for 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 strategies (and measurment of progress) identified earlier in this attachment are specifically tied to the achievement of the goals and priorities in 4.11 (c)(1) as well as activities that continually improve (including innovation and expansion) the work of NH Vocational Rehabilitation.

NHVR analyzed the characteristics of individuals determined to be ineligible to see if any trends existed that would identify that a specific group (disability, race, etc.) experienced barriers relating to equitable access to Vocational Rehabilitation services. During fiscal year 2011, 3,411 individuals applied for vocational rehabilitation services. Of these 3,411 individuals, 24 were found ineligible (less than 1%). The following is a breakdown of the characteristics of these 24 individuals.

Closure Reasons

Reason for Closure

02- Disability too significant 3

08- No disabling condition 2

09- No impediment to employment 4

11- Does not require VR services 15

Sex

Male 13

Female 11

Referral Source

Elementary or High School (public and/or private) 1

Post-secondary educational institution 0

Physician or medical facility 3

One stop 8

Community Rehabilitation Program 3

Self , 6

Other 3

Disability Code

Visual Impairments 3

Deaf / Hard of Hearing 2

Cognitive 7

Mental & Emotional 4

Physical 8

No impairment 0

Race:

Caucasian: 21

African American: 2

American Indian: 0

Asian: 1

Pacific Islander: 0

While this data did not demonstrate the existence of any trends related to a specific group (disability, race, etc.), NH Vocational Rehabilitation remains committed to assuring that no applicant or group of applicants is excluded from services solely on the basis of type of disability and that the Agency does not discriminate on the basis of age, gender, disability, race, color, creed, national origin, marital status or sexual orientation in its programs, activities and employment practices. Ongoing strategies to overcome identified barriers to equitable access include:

• Information and materials are provided to applicants and eligible individuals through appropriate modes of communication, i.e., the language or method of communication understandable to the individual.

• NH Vocational Rehabilitation ensures that Counselors are aware of how an individual’s cognitive disability might affect his or her ability to participate in the vocational rehabilitation process and the need to provide supports and accommodations to these individuals in the process.

• Working with the Bureau of Behavioral Health toward strategies and practices to improve supported employment outcomes.

• Exploring long-term funding options such as Partnership Plus, for individuals who need extended supports.

• Continuing Benefit Specialist project.

 

This screen was last updated on Jun 1 2012 10:55AM by Ella McAllister

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

Goal 1---Quality self-determined employment outcomes for persons with disabilities in New Hampshire.

NHVR will achieve or exceed the required federal standards for the following indicators:

During fiscal year 2011, NH Vocational Rehabilitation met all six federal indicators under the federal standard 1: Employment Outcomes.

1.1 The number of persons achieving employment outcomes will equal or exceed the previous year. The baseline for this measurement was the FY 2010 data of outcomes or 1043 individuals who achieved an employment outcome. In FY 11, NHVR met this measurement. Employment outcomes achieved in FY 11 were 1085 which is an increase of 42 more than the target. The target established for FY 2012 is 1085 or greater.

1.2 The percentage of individuals rehabilitated will equal or exceed 55.8%.

Met in FY 11. The percentage of individuals rehabilitated in FY 11 was 62.26%

1.3 The average hourly earnings of all individuals who exit the program in competitive employment as a ratio to the average hourly earnings for all employment in NH will equal or exceed .52.

Met in FY 11. The ratio in FY 11 was .54.

1.4 Of all the individuals who achieve competitive employment, the difference between the percent who reported their own income as the largest single source of economic support at closure compared to the percent at application. The difference must equal or exceed 53 (math difference)

Met in FY 11. The difference in FY 11 was 53.72 (math difference)

1.5 The service rate for all individuals with disabilities from minority backgrounds as a ratio of the service rate for all non-minority individuals with disabilities will equal or exceed .80

Met in FY 11. The ratio in FY 11 was .96

NHVR will demonstrate equal or improved performance when compared to the baseline for the following measurable indicators:

1.6 The average number hours worked by persons rehabilitated. A baseline was determined utilizing FY 09 data. Fiscal year 2011 data was measured against this baseline. In FY 09 the average number of hours worked by individuals achieving an employment outcome was 27.7 hours per week. In FY 11 the average number of hours worked by individuals achieving an employment outcome was 27.1 which was slightly less than the baseline target.

1.7 The number of SSI recipients and SSDI beneficiaries who achieve Substantial Gainful Activity earnings level for at least ninety days. A baseline was determined utilizing FY 09 data. Fiscal year 2011 data on this item will be measured against this baseline. In FY 09, 95 customers achieved successful vocational outcomes that were identified as receiving SSI and/or SSDI at application and met SGA levels. In FY 11, 82 customers receiving SSI and/or SSDI at application achieved employment outcomes that met SGA levels at closure.

1.8 The percent of persons rehabilitated in full-time competitive employment who are covered by health insurance through employment. A baseline was determined utilizing FY 09 data. Fiscal year 2011 data on this item was measured against this baseline. The percent of persons rehabilitated in FY 09 in full-time employment who were covered by health insurance was 260 individuals working at 30+ hours per week or 24%. Target set at 24% or greater for FY 11. In FY 11 did not meet the baseline target -- the percent of persons rehabilitated in full time employment who were covered by health insurance was 207 (19.1 %).

1.9 Number of successful employment outcomes after participating in post-secondary education. A baseline was determined utilizing FY 09 data. Fiscal year 2011 data on this item was measured against this baseline. In FY09 the number of successful outcomes after participating in postsecondary education was 96. (This is 9% of the successful closures in FY09). In FY11, the number of successful outcomes after participating in postsecondary education was 109. (This is 10% of the successful closures in FY 11).

1.10 The number accessing Medicaid for Employed Adults with Disabilities (MEAD) at case closure. Due to the way the CMS captures data, we were not able to establish a baseline for this item in FY 09. The Agency is working to update the collection of information to include this element. During fiscal year 2010, 14 closures were identified as participating in MEAD. During fiscal year 2011, nine individuals were identified as participating in MEAD.

1.11 The number of individuals who successfully achieve self-employment. A baseline was determined utilizing FY 09 data. Fiscal year 2011 data on this item was measured against this baseline. Eleven individuals were closed successfully with employment goals that included self-employment in FY 09. In FY 11, nine individuals were closed successfully with employment goals that included self-employment.

Additionally information and activity in 2011 and continuing into 20121 that has impact on this goal area has included:

In reviewing the outcome data for FY 2011, NHVR looked at the economy in which our customers were working to obtain jobs. The Agency recognizes that New Hampshire, along with the rest to the country is still in a state of economic flux and recovery. Available resources reviewed included ‘Road to Recovery, New Hampshire’s Economy 2010’ and ‘NH Vital Signs’, publications from the New Hampshire Department of Employment Security. The statistics show that during the later half of calendar year 2009 and into 2010, New Hampshire’s economy was still showing the impact of the recession. During the downturn NH experienced increased gross job losses while simultaneously experiencing a decrease in job gains. This has led to a prolonged period of net job loss. In addition to job loss, NH workers were also forced to work part-time for economic reasons. These workers include those that normally work full time but are currently employed for less than 35 hours per week due to slack work or slow business conditions. This group also includes those who would prefer to be working full-time but have been unable to find a full time job. During the period from July 2009 through June 2010 approximately 5.3 percent of NH’s employed were employed part-time for economic reasons (this is an increase from approximately 2.7 percent reported in the time frame July 2007 through June 2008). This increase is noted to be a function of the recession and slow recovery as many employees were working reduced hours to avoid layoffs and employers were reluctant to hire full-time workers until business conditions improved.

It was also of note that there was a downturn in labor force participation rates by age group during the recession that may have also impacted NHVR customers in the same age grouping. New Hampshire’s Employment Security’s Economic & Labor Market Information Bureau noted that “Young persons in the age groups of 16 to 19 years and 20 to 24 years had lower participation rates for 2009, declining from 52.2 percent to 46.0 percent and from 78.9 percent to 74 percent respectively. These represent large single year drops in participation, but also continue a long-term trend of declining participation.”

Jim Hinson, Statewide Program Coordinator – Corporate Relations and designated Community Rehabilitation Program (CRP) Management Liaison continues to oversee NHVR efforts to restructure, enhance and re-engineer services provided to VR customers through Community Rehabilitation Providers. He routinely meets with CRPs to reinforce the VR Placement Process and ensure continuity. In order to continually improve the VR Placement Process, minor adjustments are made in order to simplify the process.

The CRP Management Liaison continues to meet regularly with Community Rehabilitation Program providers to address any concerns, provide follow-up training, foster open communications and to ensure that the VR Placement Process is being followed. To help the VR customer select a CRP and to create an opportunity for the CRPs to market their services directly to the VR customer, we have started writing a Customer Guide to Job Development. In this guide we will explain the VR Placement Process, identify everyone’s roles and responsibilities, and give each CRP space to tell the VR customer about themselves and their services.

In 2011, NHVR completed their work with the Granite State Employment Project (a project of the Medicaid Infrastructure Grant (MIG)) and other community partners to purchase the Association of Community Rehabilitation Educators (ACRE) Training curriculum. This training provides the competency-based model that we needed to establish a formal CRP certification. We now have a core group of four certified ACRE Trainers in NH and approximately 150 people have completed the training. In addition, our upcoming April 2012 class is already full.

Students who complete the ACRE program are being encouraged to take their training to the next level by taking the three-hour proctored exam that can earn them the title of Certified Employment Support Professional. So far, NH has 32 Certified Employment Support Professionals. The NHVR Statewide Coordinator of Corporate Relations (Jim Hinson) has earned both of these certifications, and serves as our CRP Management Liaison. He is also the point of contact for employers, supervisors, and managers who still have questions after attending the July 2011 informational training that was provided for supporting/supervising employment professionals.

NHVR continues to work to determine the best ways to connect with the Developmental Disability (DD) system. With anticipated budgetary changes within the DD system, Lisa Hatz, Interim NHVR Director will be reaching out to Matthew Ertas, Bureau Administrator, Bureau of Developmental Services to discuss how this will impact VR and how we can best work together to serve the DD population. Project Search has assisted many customers with developmental disabilities in the last several years to obtain great employment situations.

Our two Employment Specialists are continuing to provide valuable connections and stability in Manchester and Concord. They have become involved in Workforce Coalitions that bring together all of our local community partners to enhance job development for our customers.

NHVR continues to work aggressively with CSAVR/National Employment Team. As a result of this effort, links are being established between NHVR customers and our national business community. Job leads from Lowes, USDA, IRS, J. Lodge, DeCA, FHWA, HHS and others are routinely shared with VR customers and direct contact is made when needed.

NHVR continues to work with NH Works and other community partners around the State of NH. NHVR participates in major business expos, HR conferences, Chamber of Commerce events, job fairs, and other disability specific conferences around the State of NH.

NHVR continues to attend events throughout the state and use innovative marketing strategies such as We Are Success and I Am Success. These campaigns, along with our collaboration with the NH Division of Economic Development, are having an impact on businesses seeing us as a credible resource. More than ever before, businesses are contacting us to fill their open positions and answer their disability-related questions. Furthermore, we team up with the NH Division of Economic Development to recognize businesses that routinely recruit, hire, and/or retain employees with disabilities.

During FY 11 internal benefits counseling was provided to 157 customers who were served in the Portsmouth and Manchester regions. Twenty-five customers were closed status 26. Our internal benefits counseling staff also continue to jointly partner with the Institute on Disability with respect to the Real Study, a National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) research project designed to provide money coaching and benefits counseling to job seeking and employed individuals with disabilities.

During FY 11, technical assistance was provided to 13 customers presenting self-employment plans for administrative approval. The Medicaid Infrastructure Grant (MIG) supported employment self-employment initiatives located in the Keene, Manchester and Nashua regions of the State came to a close in May, 2011. The local entities were not able to find alternative funding sources to sustain these initiatives once the MIG support ended. After completing the Statewide self-employment training to VR counselors via Dr. Bill Osgood of the Knowledge Institute, a second phase of training was provided to VR self-employment consultants, partner agencies, SCORE and the SBDC specific to the Tier I business proposal requirements, virtual tools and resources. Localized training to VR counselors to further reinforce the Tier I model and utilization of the tools will continue into 2012. In addition, Tier 2 training will be facilitated to VR counselors and data persistence issues with the website will be resolved.

NHVR is involved with Project SEARCH throughout the state. Project SEARCH is a school-to-work program in the medical industry for students with cognitive and physical disabilities in their final year of high school eligibility. The program is currently located at St Joseph Hospital (Nashua), Catholic Medical Center (Manchester), Concord Hospital (Concord), Cheshire Medical Center (Keene), Portsmouth Regional Hospital (Seacoast region), and Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center (Lebanon). Curriculum includes an orientation to familiarize students with hospital protocol, culture and the facility. Students work with the instructor and career trainers to explore internship options in hospital departments ranging from the supply chain and food and nutrition services to the rehabilitation center and imaging, then ultimately decide which internship sites best fit their career goals. Seventy-four (74) NH students were directly served by Project SEARCH in 2011. There were 41 full-year enrollments, 111 full-year internships, 5 half-year enrollments, 8 half-year internships, and 29 actual job placements.

The START certificate program within the hospitality industry continues - The START (Skills, Tasks, And Results Training) Hospitality Program allows NH students over 18 years of age with special needs to earn an internationally recognized entry-level certification from the American Hotel and Lodging Association’s Educational Institute

NHVR is committed in our efforts to support the employment outcomes of underserved populations. We have increased the number of disability specific conferences, business expos, job fairs, Chamber of Commerce events in larger cities and visits to local community colleges in order to build community partnerships with groups already successfully working with these targeted populations.

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services continues to be active and support activities and efforts, including providing administrative support to the NH Interpreter Licensure Board; maintaining the NH Interpreter Directory; and working collaboratively with New Hampshire Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (NHRID) and other organizations invested in the expansion of interpreting services to assess the need for and promote the use of all types of CART and interpreting services (e.g., ASL interpreters, CDIs, oral interpreters, deaf blind interpreters, etc).

The Office of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services provided information and support to the counselors working with customers who are deaf or hard of hearing throughout the year.

Goal 2---Effective and efficient use of resources

NHVR will achieve or exceed the required federal standard for the following indicator

2.1 Rehabilitation rate will equal or exceed 55.8%

Met in FY 11. The Rehabilitation rate in FY 11 was 62.26%

NHVR will demonstrate equal or improved performance when compared to the baseline for the following measurable indicators:

2.2 Percent for whom eligibility is determined in 60 days or less from application unless the customer agrees to an extension. A baseline was determined utilizing FY 09 data. Fiscal year 2011 data on this item was measured against this baseline. In FY 09 eligibility was determined in 60 days or less from application for 89% of the customers who applied for services. In FY 11 eligibility was determined in 60 days or less from application for 93% of the customers who applied for services.

2.3 Percent of accurate presumptive eligibility decisions for persons eligible for SSI or SSDI. A baseline was determined utilizing FY 09 data. Fiscal year 2010 data on this item will be measured against this baseline. Target set for 2010 was 90%. During an FY 11 case review the agency achieved a rating of 76% in this area. The Agency is working to reinforce documentation in this area.

2.4 Percent for whom IPEs are developed within 120 days or less from eligibility unless the customer agrees to an extension. A baseline was determined utilizing FY 09 data. Fiscal year 2011 data on this item was measured against this baseline. Target set for 2010 - 90%. The percentage of cases for whom IPE’s were developed in FY 11 within 120 days or less from eligibility was: 75%. In reviewing the data, it was identified that in FY 10 the average time to develop a Plan for Employment was 4.04 months. This is a reduction in time to complete the plan from FY 09 when the average time was 4.27 months to complete the plan. During FY 11 the agency continued to see a reduction in average time to complete the plan. In FY 11 the average time to complete the plan was 121.11 days (or 3.94 months).

2.5 Average consumer satisfaction using the American Consumer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) index model. Target – an ACSI score of 70 or above.

From Customer Satisfaction Survey – Among all customers surveyed in 2011the satisfaction index was 76.

2.6 Average expended per rehabilitation for the life of the case. A baseline was determined utilizing FY 09 data. Fiscal year 2011 data on this item was measured against this baseline. Average expended per rehabilitation in FY 09 – services purchased/life of the case – was $4,300. Average expended per rehabilitation in FY 11 services purchased/life of the case – was $4,161 which was slightly lower than the baseline year.

2.7 Annual number of persons in service (status 02-24 +32). A baseline was determined utilizing FY 09 data. Fiscal year 2011 data on this item was measured against this baseline. Number served in FY 09 was 7,920. The number of individuals served in FY 11 was 8,507.

2.8 Annual contribution to IPE costs through comparable benefits and services. At the beginning of FY 10, it was identified that the current CMS does not collect this data. Work in 2010 identified a collection strategy. In FY 10, forty-nine (49) cases were identified as using comparable benefits ($55,803). In FY 11 use of comparable benefits was recorded in cases ($92,757).

2.9 Percent of persons referred to placement or supported employment providers who achieve employment meeting all rehabilitation criteria. The Agency has updated CRPs /VR partnership on service delivery. In reviewing this item it was determined to not pursue this particular measurement strategy in FY 2011 and to look at other strategies to measure CRP effectiveness. This decision came as a result of a review that showed that not all customers were referred to CRPs for placement services and that those numbers affected overall percentage data.

2.10 The average wage achieved by persons referred to placement or supported employment providers. A baseline was determined utilizing FY 09 data. Fiscal year 2011 data on this item was measured against this baseline. The average wage for all persons referred to CRPs for placement services for 2009 was $9.11. In FY 11, for customers who worked with a CRP and achieved an employment outcome, the average wage was $9.93 per hour.

2.11 Percent of cases reviewed for which there is evidence that the service provider was given clear information about the consumer’s employment goals and expectations. Data not currently tracked in the Agency computer management system (CMS) – this item was extended based on current work with CRPs both internal and through the statewide EIS system. However, due to budget cuts within New Hampshire the statewide EIS system project has been put on an indefinite hold. As a result the Agency sought other methods to gather this data and plans to include a review that was completed mid FY 2011. The case review demonstrated that there was evidence that the service provider was provided with clear information about the customer’s employment goals and expectations 77% of the time. This review included the new forms and reporting that was developed and trained in late FY 2010, however many of the cases reviewed were referred to the CRP prior to the new processes. It is anticipated that this percentage will increase as counselors implement the new CRP referral process.

2.12 Percent of cases reviewed for which referral to a job placement or supported employment service provider was appropriate based on the individual needs of the consumer. Data not currently tracked in the CMS – this item was extended based on current work with CRPs both internal and statewide EIS system. As noted above due to budget cuts the statewide EIS system project has been put on an indefinite hold. As a result the Agency sought other methods to gather this data, including a case review that revealed that 93% of the cases referred to a CRP had documentation that demonstrated the referral was appropriate based on the needs of the customer.

2.13 Percent of cases reviewed for which there is evidence of counseling and guidance provided by NHVR. This item was not included in past case review activity so no baseline was able to be determined from existing data prior to FY 11. From case review completed in FY 11, 78% of the cases reviewed demonstrated evidence that counseling and guidance were provided by NHVR.

Additionally information and activity in 2011 and continuing into 2012 that has impact on this goal area has included:

NHVR has worked the last year to ensure the new component pricing and CRP services have had a smooth transition. The agency is looking at adding new incentive services in the FY 11 year to link directly to the RSA standards and indicators. The agency is exploring several models of direct purchasing for hearing aids to assist in cost savings.

The agency has monitored and discussed counselor performance on a monthly basis with the counselors’ supervisors. Various strategies have been employed to provide support to struggling counselors. In FY 12 the Agency will update our quality assurance program and have different teams that will work on those around the state. Attending the QA summit was instrumental in viewing other systems to support what we would like to create in NH.

Goal 3---Increase educational attainment, employment and self-sufficiency of transition-aged youth. (In NH for the data related to transition youth, the Agency includes individuals referred to the Agency who are 21 or younger at time of referral).

NHVR will demonstrate equal or improved performance when compared to the baseline for the following measurable indicators:

3.1 Number of new applications from transition students. A baseline was determined utilizing FY 09 data. Fiscal year 2011 data on this item was measured against this baseline. In FY 09 there were 602 new applications received from transition-aged customers. In FY 11 there were 731 new applications received from transition-aged customers.

3.2 Number of new IPEs for transition students. A baseline was determined utilizing FY 09 data. Fiscal year 2011 data on this item was measured against this baseline. In FY 09 there were 340 new IPEs for transition- aged customers. In FY 11 there were 485 new IPE implemented for transition-aged customers.

3.3 Rehabilitation rate for transition students. A baseline was determined utilizing FY 09 data. Fiscal year 2011 data on this item will be measured against this baseline. In FY 09 the rehabilitation rate for transition-aged customers was 66.8%. In FY 11 the rehabilitation rate for transition-aged customers was 52%.

3.4 Of transition students who achieve competitive employment, the difference between the percent who reported their own income as the largest single source of economic support at closure compared to the percent at application. A baseline was determined utilizing FY 09 data. Fiscal year 2011 data on this item will be measured against this baseline. FY 09 - For transition-aged customers achieving an employment outcome 78% reported their own income as the largest single source of economic support compared to application. In FY 11- For transition-aged customers achieving an employment outcome 75% reported their own income as the largest single source of economic support compared to application.

3.5 Average hourly wage of transition students rehabilitated. A baseline was determined utilizing FY 09 data. Fiscal year 2011 data on this item will be measured against this baseline. The average hourly wage for transition-aged customers who achieved an employment outcome in FY 09 was $8.97 her hour. The average hourly wage for transition-aged customers who achieved an employment outcome in FY 11 was $9.00 per hour.

Additionally information and activity in 2011 and continuing into 2012 that has impact on this goal area has included:

CRP menu of services updated. This provides transition counselors with greater ability to provide these services to students. A transition work group has been developed to continue to work on the menu of services particularly for transition.

Need to have greater discussion as to how we want to use CRPs or other opportunities to provide these opportunities, particularly work-based assessments.

The Bureau has developed a Power Point and timeline for services for purposes of developing a consistent VR message across the state.

Presentations and materials have been provided to over a dozen schools as of February 2011. This presentation has been given to a number of conferences, special education directors groups, etc. A transition specific, student friendly brochure has also been developed for schools and counselors to disseminate.

Students who are at-risk were identified through the ARRA funded projects covering Manchester, Portsmouth and Somersworth. Strategies such as ELO development, soft skill building, paid work experience, internships and attendance of Adult Ed classes are being utilized for engagement of students.

The Manchester area Granite State Independent Living’s Earn and Learn project has been tremendously successful in reengaging students into school, and preventing drop out, and developing career and work skills. This project used ELOs (extended learning opportunities) to allow students to gain high school credit, and paid work experiences to gain employment skills. As of September 2011, 113 ELOs have been completed, equaling 69 credits. Fifty-two work experiences were created, with four students being hired permanently directly from those experiences. Since November 2009 20 at risk students with disabilities have graduated from high school and two obtained GEDs as a direct result of this program.

ACES (A Chance to Experience Success) hosted its first cohort of students during July 2010 at Keene State College. Eleven students with LD/ADHD participated in a two-week on campus experience focusing on career development and building independent living skills. Students develop a portfolio of their experience to use to build stronger IEPs and IPEs. The ACES program ran again during the summer of 2011 with 12 students.

Fee for service to Enriched Learning Center in Berlin to provide soft skill development through classroom experience as well as work experience leading to paid employment. Service is open to ten students/young adults in the Berlin and Conway areas who are at-risk and in their last year of high school, or who may have left school within the last couple of years, but need additional skills/supports due to having fallen through the cracks while in school. To date, 20 students have gone through the program. Of these, five students gained paid employment and another five are either working with supports or ready for employment.

As noted earlier, Project SEARCH has assisted many customers with developmental disabilities in the last several years to obtain great employment situations. Examples of some of the jobs obtained include Facilities Assistant, Dermatology Assistant, Podiatry Assistant, Phlebotomy lab Assistant, OB/GYN Assistant, Project Assistant, Office Support staff, LNA, and Housekeeper. Fiscal year 2011to date has seen an expansion of this project to other areas in the state with trainees in the following locations:

? Portsmouth currently has eight in their class (full year, Portsmouth Regional Hospital)

? River Valley currently has eight in their class (full year, Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center)

Since the beginning of Project SEARCH in NH in 2009, to date NHVR has engaged 88 trainees in the program.

The Strafford Learning Center in Somersworth NH used their ARRA funds to work with struggling students in their region. They provided adult education classes and some internship/job shadow experiences to students, as well as referring them to VR services. In the summer of 2011, they instituted their own version of the Earn and Learn program and worked with eight students over the summer.

Beginning in the winter of 2011-12, VR will be working with Project RENEW, to bring their person centered planning approach to VR in our work with students with mental health and emotional and behavioral challenges.

In the winter of 2011-12, VR also has developed the NHVR Transition Internship Project. The NHVR Transition Internship Project is designed to provide teachers and school personnel with an opportunity to work closely with their local VR office and transition counselors. The project is intended to provide teachers with information regarding the VR program and process, adult agencies, employers’ needs, labor market information, disability legislation, etc.

The teacher will participate in a three-week internship program beginning with an in depth orientation to the VR process at the beginning of the internship.

NHVR has teamed up with Keene State College for this project. Three graduate credits will be received by the school personnel who satisfactorily complete the course. It is hoped that this project will assist in improving collaboration between systems, and will help to create better outcomes for our transition students in NH.

Goal 4---Promote an environment that supports the Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor - Customer relationship

4.1 Number of rehabilitation counseling staff who have achieved the CSPD standard. A baseline was determined utilizing FY 09 data. Fiscal year 2011 data on this item was measured against this baseline. The FY 09 count of rehabilitation counseling staff who have achieved the CSPD standard is 30. Ten staff were currently working toward the CSPD standard. There were two vacancies. Staffing at the end of FY 11: 30 rehabilitation counseling staff have achieved the CSPD standard. Two additional staff are expected to complete the required training during FY 2012. There are seven case load carrying counselors currently working toward the CSPD and three vacancies.

4.2 Percent of cases reviewed for which there is evidence that assistive technology services and assistive technology devices were assessed and used as necessary for individuals with disabilities at each stage of the rehabilitation process. It was identified that current case review data collection did not include this element. It was further identified that this is a training need area for staff. In-service training has included assistive tech services and devices and will continue to target this area as a training need in FY 12 and FY 13. During FY 11, ninety-six (96) individuals received purchased assistive technology services and/or devices.

4.3 Percent of cases reviewed for which there is evidence that the consumer had the opportunity to exercise informed choice throughout the rehabilitation process. It was identified that current case review data collection did not include this element. It was further identified that this is a training need area for staff. Case review process was updated to include monitoring of this element. Rehabilitation counselors have consistently included informed choice in the process (97% in FY 11); as a result we are no longer tracking this item as part of the Agency goals and priorities.

4.4 Percent of cases reviewed for which there is evidence of continued contact and customer engagement throughout the vocational rehabilitation process. It was identified that current case review data collection did not include this element. Case review completed in FY 11 identified that 68% of the time the case documentation showed evidence of continued contact and customer engagement. The Agency is taking a closer look at this area including review of procedure and recording toward improvement in this area.

Additionally information and activity in 2011 and continuing into 2012 that has impact on this goal area has included:

To support the development and retention of qualified rehabilitation staff through a comprehensive system of personnel development, leadership and succession planning, NHVR added another staff person to assist in training and coaching counselors in the Agency last year and this has increased capacity for training and support available to staff. Planned activities for 2012 include leadership development and succession planning.

Toward implementing strategies to maximize customer engagement throughout the VR process, counselor standards have been implemented that provide additional emphasis on the need for ongoing and consistent communication between the customer and the counselor in the VR process.

Goal 5---Provide ongoing support for the State Rehabilitation Council (SRC) and the Statewide Independent Living Council (SILC)

5.1 Number of annual stakeholder meetings exceed or are equal to four per year.

• Met in FY 11 and this item is on track for FY 12.

5.2 Annual ratings by SRC/SILC members related to the effectiveness of their meetings and opportunities for meaningful involvement.

An assessment completed by the SRC revealed that on a scale from 1 – 5 (where 5 was excellent), the SRC membership who participated in the survey provided the following ratings:

Effectiveness of SRC meetings 4.59

Frequency of SRC meetings 4.65

Opportunities for meaningful involvement 4.53

Adequate information is provided to actively participate in Council meetings 4.65

Information provided in a way to be easily understood 4.47

Meeting location 4.76

Accessibility of meeting and materials 4.76

An assessment completed by the SILC revealed that on a scale from 1 – 5 (where 5 was excellent), the SILC membership who participated in the survey provided the following ratings:

Effectiveness of SILC meetings 4.44

Frequency of SILC meetings 4.56

Opportunities for meaningful involvement 4.22

Adequate information is provided to actively participate in Council meetings 4.89

Information provided in a way to be easily understood 4.89

Meeting location 4.78

Accessibility of meeting and materials 4.67

Additional information about the SRC: The State Rehabilitation Council has intensified its efforts to recognize successful VR customers, their counselors, and employers. The SRC is actively involved with the reiterations of the annual Agency customer satisfaction survey, as well as the development and modifications of Agency Policy. The SRC continues to work in close partnership with the Agency as it reviews data in order to make recommendations relative to service delivery, priorities, and the “order of selection.”

Additional information about the SILC: The Statewide Independent Living Council has undertaken two projects which are focused on the dissemination of information to individuals living with disabilities, community providers, state agencies, family members, and legislators. The SILC Monthly Resource Guide is sent to over 500 individuals and organizations. These resource guides are geared toward a specific topic each month. Guides have been published providing resource information on such topics as successful school transitions; healthy eating; deaf/hard of hearing; blindness/visual impairment; transportation; health care, etc. As a result of this effort, the SILC has increased the awareness of its mission and role within New Hampshire. The SILC also publishes a monthly newsletter which is sent to over 750 individuals and organizations. The newsletter highlights the work of the SILC and its members in its mission to promote the IL philosophy.

Additionally activity related to identifying activities targeted to improve services delivery to individuals who have been unserved or underserved include:

Continuing to maintain cooperative working relationships between NH Vocational Rehabilitation and community developmental disabilities organizations (area agencies) and community mental health centers. Administrative staff maintain ongoing relationships via membership on key committees as well as collaboration with staff on a local and statewide level including participation on the Medicaid Infrastructure Grant (MIG) Statewide Advisory Committee, and the Employment Leadership Committee from the Bureau of Developmental Services.

Agency staff participate with the Autism Council which has set as its yearly priority the development of regional collaboratives and completion of a resource driven web site. This work group is tasked with providing the resources relative to employment and independent living. There is the noted link to Project SEARCH and to ensuring that students on the spectrum have opportunities for inclusion as soon as possible. Several members of the work group have joined together to develop an ARRA proposal for VR which would provide after school socialization and skill development as a prevocational approach that would prepare students on the spectrum for inclusion in sector-based training and provide a blueprint for strategies and support they will need to be successful in industry-based training.

 

In FY 11 the agency served 769 individuals who were identified as requiring supported employment services with an outcome of rehabilitating 49 individuals.

The majority of these customers were, as expected, individuals with developmental disabilities and/or mental illness as these are the disabilities for which funding is available for long term supports after vocational rehabilitation services are completed. These funding sources have had various challenges to their resources over the last several years. The Agency does, and will continue to, seek alternative sources for long-term supports, including the use of natural supports, and benefits planning as appropriate, to the individual.

The Agency is working with the state mental health and developmental disability bureaus on improving systems working together for ehanced employment outcomes for individuals who need long term supports to obtain and maintain competitive employment.

 

Federal Standards and Indicators Measures - NH Vocational Rehabilition met each of the performance indicators for FY 11

Standard 1.1: Number of individuals exiting the VR program who achieved an employment outcome during the current performance period compared to the previous year.

Indicator Performance Level: >0

NHVR FY 11 result: +41 (3.93% increase)

Standard 1.2: Off all individuals who exit the VR program after receiving services, the percentage who are determined to have achieved an employment outcome.

Indicator Performance Level: >=55.8%

NHVR FY 11 result: 62.26 %

Standard 1.3: Off all individuals determined to have achieved an employment outcome, the percentage who exited the VR program in competitive, self-, or business enterprise program employment with earnings equivalent to at least the minimum wage.

Indicator Performance Level: >=72.6%

NHVR FY 11 result: 95.48%

Standard 1:4: Off all the individuals who exit the VR program in competitive, self or BEP employment with earnings equivalent to at least the minimum wage, the percentage who are individuals with significant disabilities.

Indicator Performance Level: >= 62.4%

NHVR FY 11 result: 91.69%

Standard 1:5: The average hourly earnings of all individuals who exit the VR program in competitive, self-, or BEP employment with earnings equivalent to at least the minimum wage as a ratio to the State’s average hourly earnings for all individuals in the State who are employed.

Indicator Performance Level: >=.52

NHVR FY 11 result: 0.54

Standard 1:6: Of all the individuals who exit the VR program in competitive, self or BEP employment with earnings equivalent to at least the minimum wage, the difference between the percentage who report their own income as the largest single source of economic support at the time they exit the program and the percentage who report their own income as the largest single source of support at the time they apply for VR services

Indicator Performance Level: 53.0

NHVR FY 11 result: 53.72

Standard 2: The service rate for all individuals with disabilities from minority backgrounds as a ratio to the service rate for all individuals with disabilities from non-minority backgrounds.

Indicator Performance Level: >=.80

NHVR FY 11 result: .96

 

The Agency reserves funds for innovation and expansion activities each year. Funds budgeted for these activities for FY 11 were $130,000. Funds set aside for these activities for FY 12 are $130,000. The following describes progress in achieving the goals and priorities and the uses of Title I funds for Innovation and Expansion activities for the FY 11.

Monies set aside for innovation and expansion were used to support the Agency goals and priorities identified in section 1 above including:

• Support of the State Rehabilitation Council and the Statewide Independent Living Council

• Support for Business Networking efforts

• Self-Employment development activities including staff training

• Career Planning Tools further development and Training

• Customer Satisfaction survey

This screen was last updated on Jul 26 2012 10:50AM by Ella McAllister

  • 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

Number of individuals who will receive service provided with funds under part B of Title VI of the Act: It is anticipated that NHVR will serve 1,700 persons in supported employment during fiscal years 2012-2017.

Analysis - Goals were set at: Planned to rehabilitate - 300 persons in supported employment during fiscal years 2012 - 2017, approximately 55 each year. In FY 11 the agency served 769 individuals who were identified as requiring supported employment services with an outcome of rehabilitating 49 individuals.

The majority of these customers were, as expected, individuals with developmental disabilities and/or mental illness as these are the disabilities for which funding is available for long term supports after vocational rehabilitation services are completed. These funding sources have had various challenges to their resources over the last several years. The Agency does, and will continue to, seek alternative sources for long-term supports, including the use of natural supports, and benefits planning as appropriate, to the individual.

For individuals who require supported employment supports the transition to extended services follows the timeframe established in the Individualized Plan for Employment and is no later than 18 months after placement in supported employment, unless under special circumstances a longer period is necessary for the individual to be stabilized in the job. Prior to the transition the counselor must assure that the extended services are available and can be provided without a hiatus in services.

This screen was last updated on Jul 26 2012 10:41AM by Ella McAllister

The following information is captured by the MIS.

Last updated on 07/26/2012 at 10:50 AM

Last updated by sanhmcallistere

Completed on 07/31/2012 at 2:16 PM

Completed by sanhmcallistere

Approved on 08/01/2012 at 7:16 AM

Approved by rscowilliamsm

Published on 09/28/2012 at 7:04 AM

Published by kschelle

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