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

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

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

Preprint - Section 1: State Certifications

1.1 The New Mexico Division of Vocational Rehabilitation is authorized to submit this State Plan under Title I of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended [1] and its supplement under Title VI, Part B, of the Rehabilitation Act [2].

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

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

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

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

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

1.7 The (enter title of state officer below) Yes

Director of New Mexico Division of Vocational Rehabilitation

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

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

Director of New Mexico Division of Vocational Rehabilitation

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

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

State Plan Certified By

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

Signed?Yes

Name of SignatoryRalph Vigil

Title of SignatoryActing Director

Date Signed (mm/dd/yyyy)06/28/2013

Assurances Certified By

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

Section 1 Footnotes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(a) Conduct of public meetings.

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

(b) Notice requirements.

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

(c) Special consultation requirements.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Preprint - Section 4: Administration of the State Plan

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

(a) Designated state agency.

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

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

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

(b) Designated state unit.

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

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

  1. The name of the designated state vocational rehabilitation unit is
New Mexico Division of Vocational Rehabilitation

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

The State Plan must contain one of the following assurances.

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

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

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

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

(Option B was selected)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

If "Yes", the designated state agency:

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

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

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

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

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

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

This agency is not requesting a waiver of statewideness.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(c) Coordination with education officials.

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

  1. The State Plan description must:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(a) In general.

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

(b) Employment of individuals with disabilities.

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

(c) Facilities.

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

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

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

(a) Data system on personnel and personnel development.

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

  1. Qualified personnel needs.

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

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

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

  1. Personnel development.

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

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

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

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

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

(c) Personnel standards.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(d) Staff development.

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

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

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

(e) Personnel to address individual communication needs.

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

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

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

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

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

(a) Comprehensive statewide assessment.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(b) Annual estimates.

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

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

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

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

(c) Goals and priorities.

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

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

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

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

  1. provides a justification for the order; and

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

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

(d) Strategies.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(e) Evaluation and reports of progress.

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

  1. Attachment 4.11(e)(2):

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(b) If No:

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

  1. Attachment 4.11(c)(3):

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  1. an immediate job placement; or

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(a) Contracts with for-profit organizations.

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

(b) Cooperative agreements with private nonprofit organizations.

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

Preprint - Section 6: Program Administration

Section 6: Program Administration

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Preprint - Section 7: Financial Administration

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

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

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

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

Preprint - Section 8: Provision of Supported Employment Services

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

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

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

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

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

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

  1. specifies the supported employment services to be provided;

  1. describes the expected extended services needed; and

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

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

Attachment 4.2(c) Input of State Rehabilitation Council

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

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

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

Attachment 4.2(c): Summary of Input and Recommendations of the State Rehabilitation Council; Response of the Designated State Unit; and Explanations for Rejection of Input or Recommendations -

The State Rehabilitation Council (SRC) meets quarterly. SRC members represent all geographical regions of the state, ethnicities, and most importantly, individuals with disabilities. The Council also enjoys a strong presence of the American Indian Rehabilitation Programs with two directors of four different 121 American Indian Rehabilitation Programs on the Council. The Council has provided recommendations to the Division on an on-going basis and as part of its annual reporting process.

Regarding Training and Education of Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors:

COMMENT: The State Rehabilitation Council continues to support a policy of advanced education and training of vocational rehabilitation counselors now employed by the Division so they can meet the highest requirements in the State applicable to that profession. Currently, the highest requirement is licensure granted by the Public Education Department.

RESPONSE: The Division welcomes this support. The Division implemented a Comprehensive System of Personnel Development to meet the license requirements for Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors. At this time, all but one of the VR counselors has met the state approved standards for licensure. The remaining VR counselor is expected to meet licensure requirements within the next year. In addition, each of the nine Field Program Managers and two of the three Field Operations Directors have been granted licensure.

COMMENT: The State Rehabilitation Council supports the Divisions Leadership Institute for Tomorrow (LIFT). This is considered an important activity aimed at staff retention, succession planning, and staff development.

RESPONSE: In November of 2011, the agency graduated 22 staff from the first LIFT cohort. This project based activity was considered a very successful endeavor that benefited the agency and its employees. It also assisted in improving staff morale.

Cohort 2 began in the fall of 2012. Training sessions and project activity are currently underway.

Regarding Licensing of Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors:

COMMENT: The State Rehabilitation Council continues ongoing support of licensing of qualified vocational rehabilitation counselors employed by the Division through authority of the Public Education Department.

RESPONSE: NMDVR has licensed all counselors. The highest licensure requirement is a Master’s Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling. All new hires into the counseling ranks are required to have a Master’s Degree. Those hired without a Master’s Degree or meeting the license requirement are required to complete the necessary post-graduate work for licensure. The Division will assist these employees in meeting the expense of this training.

Of the licensed counselors, the Division employs 25 individuals with Certified Rehabilitation Counselor designation. All have Masters Degrees. Fourteen of these individuals are caseload Rehabilitation Counselors located throughout the State providing direct services to DVR clients. Eleven individuals occupy other professional positions in the Division such as working in the Director’s Office, Program Development and Support, and Administrative Services Unit. Though not a requirement by the Division, five of the nine Rehabilitation Services Program Managers and two of the Field Operations Directors have earned their Certified Rehabilitation Counselor designation. The Division encourages acquisition of CRC certification and is pleased that each year individuals are added to these ranks. In addition, the Division will help individuals defray the costs of acquiring continuing education credits and renewal fees for CRC. CRC certification meets the highest licensure requirement in New Mexico.

COMMENT: In addition to licensing of qualified vocational rehabilitation counselors, the SRC continues to support appropriate salary analysis for continuous update of competitive salary for vocational rehabilitation counselors commensurate with the educational and licensure requirements of the profession. While the current economic conditions and State Personnel Office restrictions have temporarily halted activities in this area, the SRC remains optimistic of the progress the Division will continue to make in assuring competitive salaries for vocational rehabilitation counselors.

RESPONSE: As a result of the SRC’s comments and concerns regarding appropriate, competitive salaries for vocational rehabilitation counselors, the Division remains committed to seeking ways of addressing the salary of Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors. The Division works with the State Personnel Office to restructure counselor pay to be in line with licensure, education, and competency standards

Prior to the hiring freeze (and halt to other personnel actions of this nature) that occurred in 2008, NMDVR provided In-Pay Band Adjustments to vocational rehabilitation counselors and program managers coinciding with the agency’s pay plan to compensate key positions. The agency continues to recruit and hire professional staff at newly established attractive salary levels.

Regarding Counselor Performance Evaluation:

COMMENT: The SRC is optimistic about the Division’s approach to evaluate counselor job performance based on objective, measurable criteria.

RESPONSE: A program policy instruction (PPI-05-01) standardized criteria for Rehabilitation Services Staff and remains in effect. This PPI provides clear expectations and equitable appraisal of staff job performance, standardized performance for all positions in the Rehabilitation Services Unit that perform essentially the same job functions. Job assignments, based upon the agency’s mission and goals, reflect the team approach to case/caseload management and the rehabilitation process. Job assignments focus on completion of the individual job tasks that are essential to the achievement of team and agency objectives. Specific to vocational rehabilitation counselors in the Rehabilitation Services Unit, job performance is rated on four main job assignments:

1) to assist participants in achieving a suitable employment outcome;

2) provide quality services to participants;

3) perform effective case/caseload management through timely service delivery; and

4) provide services to participants with significant/most significant disabilities resulting in quality outcomes. Each of the variables has specific criteria.

A fifth job assignment can be added by the Program Manager to address specific caseloads (such as TBI, SDMI, Deaf, etc.) areas of specialty (such as Spanish speaking, transition, etc.), computer liaison responsibilities, Lead Counselor responsibilities or other activities, which relate to the job and the overall goals and mission of the agency. These measures also align with federal standards and indicators, and state performance measures.

Regarding Recruitment and Retention of Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors:

COMMENT: The State Rehabilitation Council continues to support ongoing recruitment of graduates from the Rehabilitation Counseling education program at New Mexico Highlands University. In addition to recruiting local graduates, the SRC also supports ongoing recruitment of qualified vocational rehabilitation counselors from other states.

RESPONSE: This is an on-going collaboration between the Division and the SRC. The Division welcomes this support and has successfully recruited a number of graduates from the rehabilitation counseling education program at New Mexico Highlands University. The Division will continue to recruit graduates from this program as well as make job offers with appropriate compensation to applicants who qualify from other states. It is noteworthy that the Division has been successful in recruiting qualified counselors with a background in vocational rehabilitation. In addition, the Division has supported individual students by providing opportunities to complete required internships.

COMMENT: The SRC has worked on developing a strategy for recognizing those staff that “go the extra mile” in terms of their service to New Mexicans with disabilities. The SRC has established criteria and a committee to work with DVR staff to recognize staff. In fiscal year 2013, three counseling staff were recognized. The SRC is considering the addition of an award recognizing an outstanding employer in FFY 2014.

RESPONSE: The Division welcomes this activity and will support it. The Division holds an annual staff recognition event, but the awarding of recognition by the SRC as an external entity will serve to further reinforce positive performance and is a welcome gesture from the SRC.

Regarding Participant Satisfaction Surveying and Statewide Needs Assessments

COMMENT: Some of the respondents to the last two participant satisfaction studies requested follow-up from DVR staff, therefore, DVR will have to determine mechanisms to follow up with client/respondents who have asked to be contacted.

RESPONSE: The Division is committed to providing the highest quality rehabilitation services. Specific to this is an ability to respond to client concerns. At the caseload level, the ability to address client concerns is exemplary and supported by the results of the last two Participant Satisfaction surveys. However, the Division will need to consider aligning resources outside of the caseload structure to address the specific nature of following up with survey respondents in a timely fashion.

COMMENT: In 2012, the SRC collaborated with DVR staff in the completion of a Participant Satisfaction and Statewide Needs Assessments. The collaboration entailed a number of steps inclusive of contract development and implementation, design of the survey instruments, determination of parameters of random sampling, evaluation of findings, followed by publication and dissemination of the studies.

RESPONSE: The Division and its participants benefit from positive collaboration with the SRC. The efforts and results of the recent Participant Satisfaction Surveys and Statewide Needs Assessments attest to the good working relationship that exists between DVR staff with the SRC. Recommendations contained in the surveys will result in long-term joint efforts to improve direct services to DVR clients. The Division, in collaboration with the SRC completed a Statewide Needs Assessment during the spring of 2012. The Division will work jointly to meet the three year requirement for a Needs Assessment and provide up to date information, although they may happen more frequently depending on agency resources.

Regarding Other Issues Related to DVR Services:

COMMENT: The State Rehabilitation Council continues to support the appointment of Division representatives to each of the Local Workforce Development Boards.

RESPONSE: The Division has appointed a member to each of the Local Workforce Development Boards. Three local boards are represented by local Area Program Managers. One is represented by an administrative staff person in the Program Development and Supports Unit. The Division welcomes this support from the State Rehabilitation Council.

COMMENT: The SRC recommends re-establishing the Native American Liaison Program, previously funded through DVR and administered through New Vistas. The SRC would like to see the NA Liaisons and the DVR Counselors and DVR Technicians have the opportunity to interact in a more collaborative manner.

RESPONSE: Because of budgetary constraints, NMDVR no longer contracts with an outside entity to support the Native American Liaison Program (NALP) contract. When there is sufficient budget, this contract will likely be reconstituted. As noted, two of the Directors of the Section 121 American Indian and Navajo Nation Rehabilitation Programs in New Mexico serve on the State Rehabilitation Council. The Division works with the 121 Programs to align resources, streamline service delivery, and increase employment outcomes.

COMMENT: The SRC expresses interest and concern about forging stronger interagency relationships between the NMDVR and the One-Stop Centers. The SRC is interested in learning more about the collaborative efforts of working interagency, providing seamless services, and tracking of successful outcomes.

RESPONSE: The Division welcomes SRC support of creating greater collaboration with One-Stop service delivery entities. Unfortunately, the Navigator program, which included a VR presence in most of the state’s One-Stop centers has expired (grant funding expired). NMDVR will be working with One-Stop partners to identify more effective methods for serving people with disabilities in the One-Stops.

COMMENT: The SRC supports School-to-Work Transition services at the high school level and specifically coordinated efforts between the schools and DVR continue to be lacking resulting in increased difficulties of access for transition services. The SRC recommends

a) DVR has a team of specialists with responsibility of reaching out to students, schools, and school transition specialists statewide to inform, instruct, and collaborate the coordination of transition services for students covered by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act;

b) DVR create access to transition services to students 16 years of age.

c) The DVR Transition Coordinator as well as counselors with transition students in their caseloads, collaborate with agencies that provide transition services to enhance and develop comprehensive transition services plans.

RESPONSE: Indicated below are strides toward meeting concerns of the SRC:

a) DVR has counselors assigned to every school district in the state. In most instances, VR counselors enlist the support of rehabilitation technicians to provide outreach and orientation activities. DVR trains counselors and instructs them to contact school districts early in the school year in order to provide information on services and to encourage early application for services by seniors and exiting students. It is important to note that VR staff must rely on public school staff to assist in the coordination of outreach activities. In some instances, this has been problematic. Additionally, Special Education (IDEA) students can be more easily identified as they are receiving services from school staff. This is not always the case with other students with disabilities (Section 504).

b) Currently, vacancies in the VR counselor ranks have created challenges to serving in excess of 9,000 clients annually. Because of this, priority is given to serving seniors/exiting students. In many instances particularly with transition counselors, students age 16 and up receive consultative services. Order of Selection has also created challenges in serving this population. All Order priority categories are currently open, however many eligible students were previously placed on waiting lists. The Division will continue to strive to serve more transitioning students. Limited resources influence the extent to which the Division can expand service delivery.

c) The Division will continue to promote greater collaboration with agencies that provide transition services to expand the state’s service delivery capacity for transition services and maximize the use of resources. One activity that will promote planning and networking is the annual “Summer Transition Institute” which the Division plays an active role in coordinating.

COMMENT: The State Rehabilitation Council continues to welcome Division support for these on-going concerns to the Council, specifically:

a) Development of a methodology for keeping eligible participants from dropping out of their program before completion to increase the number of participants successfully completing their program;

b) Streamlining of the procurement process, both for consumer services and for grants to programs;

c) Methods for improving relations with American Indian Vocational Rehabilitation Programs and the updating of the cooperative agreements;

d) Informed consumer choice, e.g. individual service plans and service providers, including self-employment plans for eligible individuals served by the Division;

e) Division/State Rehabilitation Council innovation and expansion;

f) Monitor the implementation of an Order of Selection;

g) Increase the Division’s involvement in planning for and providing services to students in transition from school to work or higher education, including Special State Supported Schools; one SRC member suggested that a percentage be identified in this statement to make it more measurable and quantifiable.

h) Monitor activities related to Ticket to Work, Workforce Investment, Welfare to Work Legislation, and ADA Restoration Act;

i) Work cooperatively and in partnership with the Division to assist recipients of SSDI/SSI to receive technical assistance for appropriate training and supports to enable these individuals to retain, regain, or maintain employment including healthcare benefits, and other related services.

j) Timely design, dissemination, review and report of Client Satisfaction Survey and Statewide Needs Assessments.

RESPONSE: The Division will continue to work closely with the Council and support the Council in its work on these issues. Strategic planning and implementing activities of the State Plan will drive the allocation of Division resources to addresses these long-term and very complex issues. Additionally, the Division encourages collaboration with the Statewide Independent Living Council and the Centers of Independent Living throughout the state to meet some of these objectives.

COMMENT: The Council supports the Division’s decision to reassign benefits advisors as VR technicians with benefits advisement responsibilities. This is considered an important service to DVR participants on Social Security and/or Supplemental Security Income disability benefits that need to make an informed choice about whether they want to obtain employment, and what the impact of employment would be on their benefits.

RESPONSE: Until fiscal year 2013, the Division was providing benefits advisement under two grants. When each of the grants expired, the Division opted to absorb the benefits advisement staff into the Rehabilitation Services Unit program. Those staff members now provide a dual function of rehabilitation technician work and benefits advisement. The benefits advisement is provided only to vocational rehabilitation participants. The Division agrees that this is a very important service and aligns with the mission of Ticket to Work and vocational rehabilitation.

This screen was last updated on Jun 25 2013 12:52PM by John Fullinwider

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

This agency has not requested a waiver of statewideness.

This screen has never been updated.

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

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

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

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

The Division has developed and maintained interagency agreements with agencies which carry out activities and which do not carry out activities under the statewide workforce investment system.

Some of the agencies not under the state workforce investment system are: The Veteran’s Affairs Administration, The New Mexico Commission on the Deaf and Hard of Hearing; The Developmental Disabilities Planning Council, The Department of Health, and the Developmental Disabilities Support Services Division to provide supported employment services to individuals on the developmental disabilities waiver and Jackson case members.

The Department also has a Memorandum of Understanding with the Public Education Department to further effect school-to-work transition services throughout the state. Although a Native American Liaison program that was contracted with New Vistas in Santa Fe has come to an end, The Division continues to coordinate services and outreach to Native Americans with Native American Vocational Rehabilitation programs at Jemez Pueblo, Laguna-Acoma Pueblo and the Navajo Nation. In addition, agency counseling staff are assigned to Pueblos and Tribes within New Mexico to provide outreach and services.

The Division coordinates and contracts services with Community Outreach Program in Albuquerque to individuals who are deaf. These services include job seeking skills training, job placement, supportive services. The Division further contracts with the Centers of Independent Living in the state. Again the services include job seeking skills training, job placement and supportive services.

The Division will seek out guidance from its Federal Cognizant Agency, in working toward a collaborative arrangement with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, entering into an appropriate Memorandum of Agreement. Currently, the Division does not participate in programs carried out by the Under Secretary for Rural Development of the United States. At this time, the Division does not have formal arrangements with other federal programs. As predicted in the previous State Plan, a State Use contract program is now implemented in New Mexico.

This screen was last updated on Jun 26 2013 3:29PM by John Fullinwider

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

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

Attachment 4.8(b)(2) – Coordination with Education Officials The Division is an organizational unit of and works with the Public Education Department to facilitate the transition of students who are receiving special education services from the provision of a free appropriate public education under the responsibility of an educational agency. The Division also works with local education agencies to coordinate student referrals to the Division field offices and provide for eligibility determination of the student for vocational rehabilitation services and the development and approval of the Individual Plan for Employment before the student leaves the school setting. Order of Selection was implemented in February of 2011. Memoranda of Understanding with Local Education Agencies have been and will continue to be revised to address Order of Selection. In addition, NMDVR anticipates release of participants currently on the waitlist with little to no wait times for newly eligible transition students. The Individual Plan for Employment must, at a minimum, identify the long-term vocational rehabilitation goal, intermediate vocational rehabilitation objectives, and goals and objectives related to enabling students with disabilities to live independently. These vocational rehabilitation goals and objectives are to be consistent with the student’s individual education plan. The Division makes every effort to develop and implement the transition student’s Individual Plan for Employment prior to leaving high school. The Division’s role and responsibilities are defined by a formal plan developed by the Public Education Department and, as appropriate, enters into memoranda of agreement with local educational agencies responsible for the free appropriate public education of students with disabilities receiving special education services.

The Public Education Department, of which NMDVR is a division, is the State Education Agency (SEA).The memorandum of understanding with the Public Education Department serves to facilitate the integration and coordination of services to eligible secondary education students in providing a continuum of services that will meet the needs of all Individuals with Disabilities Education Act eligible students. The integrated continuum of services is to be flexible enough to meet the needs of all IDEA eligible students to qualify for DVR services within the available resources, maximize opportunity for students and eliminate limitations and obstacles. The MOU further outlines: A. Assure that all students with disabilities as defined by the IDEA and its implementing regulations receive appropriate services; B. Coordinate services to students with disabilities so as to maximize learner outcomes and provide for a successful transition to appropriate employment as specified in student Individualized Education Programs (IEPs); C. Formalize referral procedures with appropriate agency(ies) to ensure students with disabilities are provided with opportunities for services; D. Coordinate services delivery and follow-up/along with the education/rehabilitation services continuum; E. Establish joint trainings to provide staff development and other training activities for Local Educational Agency (LEA) transition specialists and other individuals involved in transition planning.

The current Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the New Mexico Public Education Department was executed in 2004 and remains in effect. While review of the MOU indicates that required elements are in place, coordination with the SEA will be pursued in FFY 2014 to determine if updates to the current document are required.

The MOU with the Public Education Department as the SEA defines responsibilities of both the SEA and designated state agency (NMDVR) for leadership, consultation and technical assistance to educational agencies in planning and providing transition services (including VR services) to students with disabilities. This includes technical assistance to aid in facilitation of student IEPs, as appropriate. The MOU identifies NM Public Education Department as the lead agency, establishes that no funds will be exchanged between the parties under the MOU, and provides procedures for dispute resolution between the parties under the MOU. The MOU describes processes for reporting by NMDVR to NMPED regarding VR counselor assignments to New Mexico high schools and service information provided to schools, students and families.

The agreements with individual Local Education Agencies identify: 1) Policies, practices, and procedures that can be coordinated between the agencies, including definitions, eligibility criteria for vocational rehabilitation services, policies and procedures for making referrals, procedures for outreach students receiving special education services and in need of transition service, practices and procedures also address time-frames for evaluation and follow-up with students; 2) The roles of each agency, including provisions for determining State lead agencies and qualified personnel responsible for transition services; 3) Procedures for providing training, consultation, and technical assistance to assist staff of State and local educational agencies as to the availability, benefits of, and eligibility criteria for vocational rehabilitation services; 4) Available resources, including sources of funds for the development and expansion of services; 5) The financial responsibility of each agency in providing services to students with disabilities who are receiving special education services consistent with State law; 6) Procedures for resolving disputes between the agencies that are parties to the agreement; and 7) All other components necessary to ensure meaningful cooperation among agencies, including procedures to facilitate the development of local teams to coordinate the provision of services to students with disabilities, sharing data, and coordinating joint training of staff providing transition services. Currently, Cooperative Agreements are in place between the Division and the following local education agencies: Albuquerque Public Schools Belen Public Schools Carlsbad Municipal Schools Cobre Consolidated Schools Deming Public Schools Gadsden Independent Schools High Plan Regional Center Cooperative Las Cruces Public Schools Lea Regional Center Cooperative Los Lunas Public Schools Northeast Regional Center Cooperative Region IX Center Cooperative Roswell Independent Schools Silver Consolidated Schools The Division works with local education agencies throughout New Mexico to provide school-to-work transition and maintains a School-to-Work Transition Specialist position in Albuquerque. In addition, the Division maintains three specialized caseloads in the state located in Albuquerque in Bernalillo County, Las Cruces in Dona Ana County, and Santa Fe in Santa Fe County providing services only to transition students. Division counseling staff and rehabilitation technicians are deployed on a regional basis. Area Division program managers and local counseling staff work with local education agencies to ensure that students with disabilities are afforded the opportunity to apply for vocational rehabilitation services. Referrals are made at the local level from local education agencies or schools to the Division’s field offices. High School-age Hispanic and American Indian youth with disabilities benefit from mentorship services to help them identify and work toward future professional goals. Mentoring Diverse Abilities encourages and assists students from Bernalillo High School, Gadsden School District and Tohajiilee Schools through mentoring, paid work experience, introduction to post-secondary educational opportunities, youth leadership training, parent education, job development and job coaching.

This screen was last updated on Aug 15 2013 6:13PM by John Fullinwider

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

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

Attachment 4.8(b)(3) – Cooperative Agreements with Nonprofit Organizations The Division ensures the appropriate use of community rehabilitation programs to the maximum extent feasible. The Division purchases a broad range of services for clients through local community rehabilitation programs. These services consist of but not limited to: a. Medical, neuropsychological; psychiatric, psychological, social, and vocational services; b. Testing, fitting, or training in the use of prosthetic and orthotic devices; c. Recreational therapy; d. Physical and occupational therapy; e. Speech, language, and hearing therapy inclusive of purchase of hearing aids; f. Psychiatric, psychological, and social services, including behavior management services; g. Assessment for determining eligibility and vocational rehabilitation needs; h. Rehabilitation technology; i. Assistive technology; j. Job development, placement, and retention services; k. Orientation and mobility services for individuals who are blind; l. Extended employment; m. Psycho-social rehabilitation services; n. Supported employment services and extended services; o. Services to family members when necessary to the vocational rehabilitation of the individual; p. Personal assistance services; and q. Services similar to the services described above. Most services purchased from community rehabilitation programs are on an individualized basis addressing the specific barriers to employment as a result of an individual’s disabling condition. Where applicable, community programs must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF). The Division requires services be purchased in conformance with State laws which regulate professional practices (ex.: psychologists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, etc.). When appropriate to the individualized needs of a participant of vocational rehabilitation services, community rehabilitation programs are utilized toward an employment outcome. Contractual agreements are frequently utilized with community rehabilitation programs.

A cooperative agreement with a private non-profit service provider may also be established via a Memorandum of Understanding or Memorandum of Agreement.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) may be utilized with community rehabilitation providers as appropriate which does not require an exchange of agency funds but is a legal document describing a bilateral agreement between parties. This document expresses a convergence of will between the parties indicating an intended common line of action, rather than a legal commitment.

A Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) may be utilized as a written document between parties to cooperatively work together on an agreed upon project or to meet an agreed upon objective. The purpose of an MOA is to have a written understanding of the agreement between parties. The MOA can also be a legal document that is binding and holds the parties responsible to their commitment or it may be a partnership agreement that is not legally binding.

MOUs with private non-profit organizations currently exist in some areas of the state and indicate the purpose and goals toward vocational rehabilitation of participants as well as the responsibilities of both NMDVR and the non-profit organization. As indicated above, such agreements do not involve exchange of funds between the parties.

The previous State Plan reported that there were no providers of driving evaluations and lessons in the State of New Mexico. Driving evaluations and lessons are now available in the state through the Driving to Independence Program. This Arizona-based program also operates a location in Albuquerque, New Mexico. There are three Certified Driving Rehabilitation Specialists on staff. The program provides services including Potential to Drive and Driver Assessments.

This screen was last updated on Aug 15 2013 6:22PM by John Fullinwider

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

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

  • supported employment services; and
  • extended services.

Attachment 4.8(b)(4) – Arrangements and Cooperative Agreements for the Provision of Supported Employment Services Supported employment services provided by the Division consist of case services made available through the Title VI-B funds of the Rehabilitation Act (earmarked by the federal government for this purpose). Title VI-B funds for Federal Fiscal Year equaled $244,500.00. Title I funds of the Rehabilitation Act (available for general, basic vocational rehabilitation services) are used for supported employment services upon depletion of Title VI-B funds. The Division procures supported employment services on a case-by-case basis from local rehabilitation programs that have committed long-term funding to the individual participants. Area supervisors conduct direct negotiations of fee for service procurement schedules of supported employment services. The local counselor and the State Office monitor the scope and quality of supported employment services available to DVR participants. Supported employment service providers are required to submit to the Division monthly reports to the local area supervisor of client progress and satisfaction, as well as demographic data. The review, compilation, and analysis of the monthly cumulative reports obtained from the contract vendor enable the Division to monitor the quality of job coaching. The DVR participant’s counselor reviews these reports with the contract provider to ensure that the scope of services comply with supported employment guidelines and are consistent with the vocational needs of the participant. Quality of supported employment services is measured in terms of integration achieved by the individual at the work-site along with the amount of wages earned. To increase the level of integration, the Division emphasizes the individualized placement model. This information is documented in the participant case files and monitored on a monthly basis. The scope and extend of services provided to clients under the Individualized Plan for Employment for supported employment continues to be the same as those available to individuals under the Title I program. This is in accordance with Division operating procedures. All services are provided on an equitable basis within the constraints of available funding. The Division does not target specific disability groups to provide supported employment services. However, long-term support funding by the State is currently available for those individuals who are either developmentally disabled or who have significant disabling mental illness. The Division continues to seek long-term funding for support for other disability groups. To this end, the Division seeks to negotiate with other state agencies and private non-profit organizations. Traditionally, cooperative agreements between the New Mexico Health Department Development Disabilities Services Division and the Mental Health Division facilitate the transition from Title VI-B funding to a long-term funding source. The transition occurs when the time spent by the job coach with the DVR participant in supported employment program decreases to an average of 8 hours (20%) per week or less. Another determinant is agreement by the client, employer, job coach and the NMDVR counselor that the transition to the long-term funding source is appropriate and consistent with the vocational needs of the client. It is noted that time limits are not defined in the Division’s Manual of Operational Procedures; rather each case is assessed in terms of individual needs for supported employment services. Memorandum of Agreement has been entered into between the New Mexico Health Department’s Developmental Disabilities Supports Division and the Mental Health Division to accomplish joint implementation for supported employment under: the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, 29 U.S.C 795(b)(1) and 721(a)(11); 8.314.5 New Mexico Administrative Code and Walter Stephens Jackson, et.al. vs. Los Lunas Center for Persons with Developmental Disabilities, et.al. CIV No.87-0839-JP/LCS. The MOU defines, eligibility for DVR services, DVR eligibility criteria for Supported Employment, Developmental Disabilities Support Division eligibility for the purposes of the MOU, methods of accomplishment outlining the responsibilities of the Developmental Disabilities Supports Division such as implementation and maintenance of a referral process, offer of long-term support, and implementation of additional responsibilities to carry out the agreement. The MOU outlines responsibilities of the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, joint responsibilities of both DVR and DDSD, and targeted outcomes. The MOU defines Ongoing Support Services – Services that are: 1. Needed to support and maintain an individual with significant disabilities in supported employment, 2. Based on a determination by the designated State Unit of the individual’s needs as specified in an Individualized Plan for Employment; and 3. Furnished by the designated State Unit in 34 CPR 363.4(c)(3) and following transitions, by one or more extended services providers throughout the individual’s term of employment in a particular job placement or multiple placements if those placements are being provided under a program of transition employment. 4. Include, at a minimum, twice-monthly monitoring to assess employment stability at the work site of each individual in supported employment (unless the Individualized Plan for Employment provides for off-site monitoring), and based upon that assessment, the coordination or provision of specific services at or away from the work site, that are needed to maintain employment stability. If off-site monitoring is determined to be appropriate, there must be contact with the employer each month. It is noted that the Division partners with the Developmental Disabilities Services Division.

The Developmental Disabilities Services Division provided administrative support to and houses the Behavioral Health Collaborative to provide a long-term funding mechanism for Developmental Disabilities Medicaid Waiver recipients. Behavioral Health Services funding is a collaborative to provide comprehensive and vocational services to individuals with significantly disabled mental illness. Both mechanisms mentioned above are used to fund long-term supported employment services and extended services.

This screen was last updated on Jun 25 2013 5:11PM by John Fullinwider

Attachment 4.10 Comprehensive System of Personnel Development

Data System on Personnel and Personnel Development

Attachment 4.10: Comprehensive System of Personnel Development

In preparation for its budget request, the Division annually assesses the supply of qualified professionals and paraprofessionals available to the Division to ensure an adequate staffing base.

The Division maintains professional vocational rehabilitation counselors to provide direct client services. These counselors manage individual caseloads.

The total number of counselors employed corresponds with a ratio of approximately one counselor per 30,000 of the general population, the number of positions filled as allowed by the State Personnel Office, and the available budget as approved by the State Legislature and Congress. Under this current methodology with 66 caseloads, the Division has enough counselors to serve a statewide population base of 1,980,000.

Ideally, the Division would like to decrease the ratio to one counselor per 25,000 of the general population with prevalence of disability and geographic variables factored into the ratio. Under this new formula, the Division has determined that 13 new counselor positions will be needed to adequately meet the growing population needs, for a total of 79 counselor positions.

Creating additional challenges to realizing an ideal ratio is the fact that the Division was under a hiring freeze until the fall of 2012. In fiscal years 2011 and 2012, the Division experienced approximately a 20 – 23 percent vacancy rate in the VR counselor ranks. In January of 2012 the hiring freeze was relaxed. Due to attrition and retirements, the vacancy rate remains around 20 – 25 percent. The Division has begun to fill key positions and this continues to be a high priority for fiscal year 2014. The goal will be to reduce this vacancy rate to 10 percent or less.

When fully staffed, the Division employs 121 direct service positions consisting of Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors, Rehabilitation Technicians, and Caseload Secretaries in the Rehabilitation Services Unit (RSU). There are 66 vocational rehabilitation counselor positions for the 66 caseloads located throughout the state. The Division also employs 34 rehabilitation technicians and 21 caseload secretaries providing direct services to DVR clients. The ratio of counselor to rehabilitation technician and caseload secretaries varies throughout the state given the available resources. A typical ratio is one caseload secretary and one rehabilitation technician to two vocational rehabilitation counselors. In some offices in rural locations, DVR staff is usually one counselor and one rehabilitation technician.

The Division employs 25 individuals with Certified Rehabilitation Counselor, (CRC) designation. All have Masters Degrees. Fourteen of these individuals are caseload Rehabilitation Counselors located throughout the State providing direct services to DVR clients. Another eleven individuals occupy other professional positions located in the Division as follows:

Administrative Services

Staff Development = Two Positions

Director’s Office = One Position

Program Development

And Support = One Position

RSU Field Operations Directors = One Position

RSU Program Managers = Five Positions

RSU State Office Positions = One Position

The Division encourages eligible staff to attain CRC designation.

 

Row Job Title Total positions Current vacancies Projected vacancies over the next 5 years
1 Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor 66 10 33
2 Rehabilitation Technician 34 11 17
3 Caseload Secretary 21 7 11
4 0 0 0
5 0 0 0
6 0 0 0
7 0 0 0
8 0 0 0
9 0 0 0
10 0 0 0

 

New Mexico Highlands University (NMHU), Las Vegas, New Mexico has 63 students currently enrolled in the RSA counselor training grant, and vocational evaluation grant. The number of recent graduates by academic year is as follows:

2009 = five graduates (all eligible to sit for the CRC exam)

2010 = seven graduates

2011 = eight graduates

2012 = nine graduates

2013 = fifteen graduates anticipated

The Division was instrumental in assisting to develop and is committed to maintaining a vocational rehabilitation counselor Master’s degree education program at NMHU. The DVR director, field managers, and Staff Development personnel sit on NMHU’s curriculum advisory council to ensure that coursework is aligned with Agency goals; additionally, individuals from within the agency have taught courses in Foundations of Rehabilitation, Transition, and Job Placement in NMHU’s Rehabilitation Counselor Master’s program.

The Division continues to work with New Mexico Highlands University students to complete their internships with the NMDVR. Internships enhance opportunities to hire the NMHU graduates. Three internships were provided to NMHU students at NMDVR offices in 2012-2013, and one other NMHU graduate was hired as a VRC in an NMDVR field office.

New Mexico Highlands University applied for and received three year candidacy for accreditation in July 2008 from the Council on Rehabilitation Education (CORE). Full CORE accreditation was received in June of 2012 for eight years.

 

Row Institutions Students enrolled Employees sponsored by agency and/or RSA Graduates sponsored by agency and/or RSA Graduates from the previous year
1 New Mexico Highlands University 63 0 9 9
2 0 0 0 0
3 0 0 0 0
4 0 0 0 0
5 0 0 0 0

 

The implementation of the required standards to a Master’s Degree under the Comprehensive System of Personnel Development initially attributed to the high turnover rates in vocational rehabilitation counselor positions. This rate has been as high as 32%. In response, the Division has implemented strategies that have realized a significant reduction in the turnover rate.

Five factors are considered to contribute to maintaining reduced counselor turnover:

1)Employees of the Division are covered by the State Personnel Act:

2)The Division has committed to hiring and compensating staff at competitive salaries (appropriate placement);

3)State of New Mexico employees are offered a competitive employment benefits package, including premium health care coverage and having the option to retire with 25 years of services (75% of average of top three years’ salary) for staff hired before 2012 and 30 years of service thereafter;

4)State Personnel Board Rules allow for VR Counselors to be paid a supervisory differential for assuming supervisory responsibilities inclusive of training staff in effective case management and best practices;

5)The Division offers training and continuing education opportunities not available with other state agencies.

As of May 2013 direct service positions the Division has a complement of the following positions as noted below:

•66 Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor Positions with 10 vacancies.

•34 Rehabilitation Technician Positions with 11 vacancies.

•21 Caseload Secretary Positions with 7 vacancies.

The Division experiences some barriers in hiring qualified staff particularly in isolated work locations. The State Personnel Director, pursuant to the direction of the State Personnel Board, establishes, maintains and in conjunction with state agencies, administers a pay plan for all positions throughout the classified service. The State Personnel Director conducts an annual survey of Total Compensation (means of all forms of cash compensation and the dollar value of the employer-sponsored benefit package.) The comparison market is comprised of private and public entities within the state of New Mexico, regional state government employers, and Central, Western, and Southwestern state government employers. The pay plan offers many compensation tools for agencies to utilize to help management attract qualified applicants as well as retain employees who contribute to the overall success of the organization, motivate employees to maintain high standards of productivity and service, and reward employees for their specific contributions to the achievement of the organizational goals and objectives.

The Division has committed funds for retraining efforts to ensure that all personnel, particularly vocational rehabilitation counselors, meet the highest requirements in the state applicable to that particular profession. In providing for training programs, the Division takes into consideration succession planning and capacity building as well as evolving issues such as amendments to the Rehabilitation Act, the Workforce Investment Act, Ticket-to-Work, consumer informed choice, etc.

The Division has been largely successful in recruiting individuals with disabilities as well as those from minority groups. The Division continues to hire individuals with disabilities whenever those individuals are viable candidates. Job accommodations for staff with disabilities are routinely provided to maintain employment.

The Division advertises job openings on the Internet at DVRgetsjobs.com, in addition to State Personnel Office listings; both are available nationally to anyone with Internet access.

The Division uses the State Personnel automated data system to account for the number of employees, status of individual employees as probationary, permanent, temporary, or term and related information such as salary, earned leave balance, etc. Vacancies are reported on a routine basis and used to monitor hiring activities. All new hires, promotions and transfers require the approval of the Division Director.

In addition, the Division will continue to provide training and experience to all staff interested in increasing their job skills. The Staff Development Unit responds to agency initiatives such as roll-out of Order of Selection training and enhanced AWARE case management software functionality. The Staff Development Unit financially supports training which offers continuing education credits in a variety of training opportunities to assist all DVR staff meet and maintain the highest qualifications. The Staff Development Unit also supports training programs such as baccalaureate programs for Business. NMDVR has two staff members that are currently in administrative positions working toward Master’s Degrees in Rehabilitation Counseling who intend to advance in VRC jobs.

The Division’s strategic planning effort includes a Goal Area of Career Development and Succession Planning for all staff. The Division is well aware of the need to hire and retain well qualified staff. The agency is also experiencing an exodus of senior employees with valuable skills and “agency knowledge.”

As part of the Division’s overall strategic planning efforts and in spite of these times of difficult budget decisions, NMDVR is proactively working toward the future in terms of career development and succession planning. A Career Development Team has developed a plan which will benefit staff, the agency, and the participants served by the Division. The goals of this group are to help staff develop skills that may help them advance or become more effective in their jobs.

The Career Development Program entitled the Leadership Institute for Tomorrow (LIFT) has been endorsed by the Division’s Leadership Team and includes the following components: Leadership Foundations, Supervisory Academy, Degree Advancement, and Customized Growth Opportunities. LIFT was rolled out in July 2010, and the first cohort of 22 staff participants graduated in the November, 2011. This project oriented activity was considered to be very successful. A steering committee of 12 individuals representing a cross section of the agency worked in collaboration with the Region 6 Technical Assistance and Continuing Education (TACE) Center to customize the LIFT program to meet the needs of NMDVR.

Prior to initiating the second cohort of LIFT, an agency-wide Organizational Impact Survey was conducted in March 2012 with the assistance of the Region 6, Technical Assistance and Continuing Education (TACE) Center. The survey results enabled the Division to address concerns about funding, perceived workload inequity and LIFT projects. During April 2012, the Acting Director traveled to each area and the administrative office to provide information and encourage participation in LIFT Cohort II. In these meetings, LIFT Cohort I graduates co-presented as did one of the field operations directors. Applications for Cohort II were accepted during May of 2012. The first training session of Cohort II began in August 2012. Of the twenty individuals selected for Cohort II, eighteen are expected to complete the program in October 2013. Upon graduating from LIFT, all Cohort I Associates were given an opportunity to serve on the Cohort II Steering Committee, subcommittee, and/or as LIFT Coaches. Seven individuals volunteered for the Steering Committee, with two additional individuals offering to assist on subcommittees. Sixteen graduates volunteered as LIFT Coaches for Cohort II. The co-chair of Cohort II Steering Committee is a LIFT Graduate. LIFT is focused on succession planning, leadership and individual development, proactively preparing NMDVR for the future.

In conjunction with the TACE, a state-wide training needs assessment was conducted in January 2012. The results were reviewed with Program Managers to identify training priorities and solicit feedback. We have several new supervisors, and are providing training opportunities to assist them in acquiring the knowledge, skills and abilities to be successful in their new roles and responsibilities. In-house subject matter experts and TACE staff have provided no cost training on Case/Caseload Management Review, Order of Selection, Employment Law, Employee Evaluations, and Seven Habits for Managers.

The TACE is also facilitating NMDVR’s organizational alignment initiative which focuses on accountability, results and communication. Agency leaders are examining ways to improve employee onboarding, recruitment and retention. This may provide the opportunity for additional staff training.

It is hoped that the above listed measures will encourage well-qualified staff to elect remaining employed with the Division beyond retirement eligibility, and/or consider post-retirement contract employment to address increased retention during anticipated upcoming shortages of qualified workers.

 

The Division developed state licensure for vocational rehabilitation counselors through its parent agency, the New Mexico Public Education Department in 2001. This licensure, endorsed in rule by the Public Education Department is required of all vocational rehabilitation counselors working for the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation and is commensurate with national standards under CSPD.

A policy requiring all VR counselors to apply for state licensure by December 2002 was adopted in January 2002. Counselors who are not eligible for the highest level of state licensure are required to participate in a training plan that will lead to licensure.

As of early 2013, NMDVR has 50 licensed counselors. Nine recent hires have applications and/or background checks pending with the NM Public Education Department. We anticipate that one will become licensed, and one more will begin a CSPD degree program in the fall of 2013. Upon completion of 1 year experience as a VRC, the remaining seven will complete the licensure process. Each of the nine program managers are also licensed, as are the two of three field operations directors.

In 2001, DVR included the Master’s degree as the academic standard for the Job Related Qualifications Standard to meet the requirement of § 361.18 CSPD of the Rehabilitation Act. Persons seeking licensure in rehabilitation counseling shall meet the requirements of Subsections A, B, C, D, or E:

A. Valid certification as a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor issued by the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification, 1699 E. Woodfield Rd, Suite 300, Schaumberg, IL 60173. Phone: 847.944.1325, www.crccertification.com.

B. Master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling from a regionally accredited college or university. This requirement shall be satisfied by meeting the requirements of Subsection B(1) or B(2) below.

1. A master’s degree awarded by a New Mexico college or university must incorporate the New Mexico Public Education Department’s approved competencies in rehabilitation counseling.

2. A master’s degree awarded by a college or university outside of New Mexico must be in a rehabilitation counseling program approved by the New Mexico Public Education Department.

C. Master’s degree in school counseling, vocational counseling or other related field and the provisions of Subsection C(1) or C(2) below.

1. One (1) year of experience in rehabilitation counseling, or

2. Fifteen (15) semester hours of credit in the rehabilitation counseling competency areas of vocational/transition assessment, medical aspects of disability, psychosocial and/or psycho-cultural aspects of disability case management in rehabilitation counseling, issues and practices in rehabilitation counseling, or placement aspects of rehabilitation counseling.

D. Bachelor’s degree in rehabilitation counseling from a regionally accredited college or university and one (1) year of experience in public or private facility in which direct vocational rehabilitation counseling is the primary job responsibility. The degree requirement shall be satisfied by meeting the requirements of Subsection D(1), or D(2) below.

1. A bachelor’s degree awarded by a New Mexico college or university must incorporate the New Mexico Public Education Department’s approved competencies in rehabilitation counseling.

2. A bachelor’s degree awarded by a college or university outside of New Mexico must be for a rehabilitation program approved by the New Mexico Public Education Department.

E. Bachelor’s degree in a related field and the provisions of Subsection E(1) or E(2) below.

1. Two (2) years of experience in a public or private Facility in which direct vocational rehabilitation counseling is the primary job responsibility, or

2. Fifteen (15) semester hours of credit in the rehabilitation counseling competency areas of vocational/transition assessment, medical aspects of disability, psychosocial and/or psycho-cultural aspects of disability, case management in rehabilitation counseling, issues and practices in rehabilitation counseling, or placement aspects of rehabilitation counseling.

Currently, all DVR counselors have applied for licensure. It should be noted that new counselors have 90 days to apply for their license. Licensure application includes a criminal background check. Licensure applications are monitored for compliance. If new DVR counselors do not meet the experience requirement for State Licensure, they are directed to re-apply upon gaining the necessary experience. Initial VR counselor licenses must be renewed after three years.

State licensure is identified in policy as top priority and required for continued employment. Identified documents to be submitted in the credentials package for licensure include:

•Official college transcripts of all degrees received;

•Copy of Certified Rehabilitation Counselor certification, if applicable;

•Work history in a rehabilitation field;

•Copies of course syllabi from courses related to counseling and guidance; vocational counseling; disability; psycho-social or psycho-cultural aspects of disability; case management in rehabilitation counseling; and placement aspects in rehabilitation counseling.

•Criminal background information

•Fingerprints

It is important to note that most, if not all, new hires for counselor positions have Masters Degrees. However, there may be rare occasions in which someone is hired without a Master’s Degree, especially in rural areas of the state. In these scenarios, these new hires are required to immediately begin working toward their Master’s Degree to meet the highest standards of the state.

Counselors without advanced degrees are required to enroll in the NMHU program or in another distance learning graduate program available from other institutions outside the state.

 

The Division continues to work cooperatively with the Public Education Department to issue State Licensure for rehabilitation counselors. The Division is coordinating with the State Personnel Office to incorporate the qualifications that are required for licensure into the requirements for vocational rehabilitation counselors within the State’s compensation and classification system and develop pay equity to better reflect the qualifications of licensed counselors. Counselors are encouraged to submit credentials and meet the qualification requirements of the Certified Rehabilitation Counselor designation as this is the highest recognized level of a qualified counselor under the licensure rule. The Staff Development Unit will support graduate level course work which, when completed, will allow counselors to sit for the CRC exam.

The Division maintains a Staff Development Unit (SDU) that is designated to provide for professional and paraprofessional development of all staff from various training facilities. All employees are encouraged to continually update their job skills and knowledge by taking advantage of training available to them through the SDU. Training can be internal to the agency, state sponsored training and training external of the agency through institutions of higher education, private vendors, professional training organizations – any training that a staff member would appreciate taking to enhance job performance with particular emphasis with respect to assessment, vocational counseling, job placement, and rehabilitation technology.

SDU provides and monitors a series of required training that is available to all new employees. NMDVR policy provides that all employees repeat these courses on a regular basis.

These on-demand, computer-based courses include: New Employee Orientation, Fraud Awareness, Federal Grants Management, Unlawful Harassment Prevention, Civil Rights, Workplace Violence Prevention, Mileage and Per Diem, Email Essentials and Substance Abuse & the Drug-Free Workplace Act. Counselors and Rehabilitation Technicians also complete on-line courses in Orientation to Rehabilitation and VR 101: Determining Eligibility and Writing the Individualized Plan for Employment. A Preventing Retaliation Claims Webinar is required for Managers and Supervisors.

SDU also offers Rehabilitation Academy to new counselors and rehabilitation technicians (rehabilitation secretaries are highly encouraged to attend). Participants from the Native American partner agencies and community based programs are invited to attend Rehab Academy. The Academy is taught over a three week period in a spaced learning manner and focuses on assessment, eligibility, vocational counseling, job placement and rehabilitation technology. A sample case has been developed which is “worked up” throughout the Academy. As this case develops, new staff learn to make appropriate eligibility decisions as well as decisions about suitable vocational goals. In addition training games and activities which reinforce the learning are used. Participants give the Academy high marks in terms of content and satisfaction with content delivery. SDU makes good use of technology in offering the training.

In an effort to promote containment of travel costs, the annual Statewide Staff Meeting was recently replaced by an Awards Webinar. SDU has also developed a New Employee Webinar which can be viewed by new employees from their offices and eliminate the need for out-of-town travel. Such measures ensure budget is available for direct service delivery.

The Division uses a customized software application called the Training Administration Service (TAS) to track employee training progress and CSPD compliance. This software provides the information necessary to summarize the training requested and completed on an individual basis. It provides the data necessary to analyze overall progress of individuals and groups of employees toward obtaining and retaining required credentials. The system offers the agency the ability to track all employees’ training and enables employees to request training offered by other vendors.

The SDU routinely acquires and disseminates research and information via electronic mail and Agency Intranet. Enhancements have been made to the SDU webpage which now includes training announcements, Rehab Academy materials, and an archive of recorded webinars.

With the assistance of the TACE, the SDU conducts annual needs assessments and works with the Division to provide the resources necessary to ensure that all personnel employed by the Division receive appropriate training. SDU offers workshops and seminars in various topics related to Rehabilitation Counseling all geared to sharpen counselors’ skills and abilities in serving citizens of New Mexico who have disabilities. The training topics are always based on expressed needs, whether by management or by committees such as the agency’s Health and Safety Committee. Recently, SDU staff collaborated with the Field Operations Directors to develop training information related to the agency’s revised Manual of Operating Procedures.

The Support Professionals Academy (SPA) is a training program that the TACE developed for administrative assistants, counselor assistants, and other support staff in rehabilitation. The objectives for the training are to:

1. Enhance self-perception of professional role

2. Increase value added to VR organization and unit team

3. Enhance skills and build professional assistant competencies

4. Utilize tools and resources for effective performance

5. Clarify career goals and contribution to organization

The training began in March 2013 with the first session, a face-to-face training, taking place over one and a half days. In order to accommodate NMDVR’s out of state travel restrictions, TACE conducted one of the on-site sessions in Albuquerque NM. This is being followed by three hours of instruction each month using a webinar platform, Collaborate, and then a final face-to-face session at the end of the year-long training. Thirteen support professionals from NMDVR are participating in the academy.

 

In New Mexico, there are large portions of the general population whose first language is Spanish or an American Indian dialect. When necessary, the Division obtains the services of interpreters of Spanish and other languages. However, Division staffing, which is consistent with the percentage of minority population and the general population, includes many individuals who are able to communicate in Spanish and native languages. This is most beneficial to terms of providing services to applicants and eligible individuals with limited English speaking ability.

Although not a requirement, the Division may give preference to individuals who are bilingual or multilingual in applying for Division jobs. Many of the Division’s field offices have at least one individual who can speak Spanish or an American Indian dialect. The Division’s EEO Plan reflects the State’s diversity. The Division successfully recruits graduates of New Mexico Highlands University’s Vocational Rehabilitation master’s program. Many of these graduates are from various minority groups.

In addition, the Division employs several individuals skilled in communicating in American Sign Language. When necessary, interpreters are hired to fulfill communication needs. Video Relay Interpreter equipment has also been installed in more rural field offices where use of live interpreters is quite limited. Staff in those offices have completed training in use of the equipment.

Telecommunications, sensory and other technological aids and devices may be used to assist individual applicants and clients to participate in and benefit from the rehabilitation program. The Division may purchase, lease, or utilize equipment from loan banks to meet these needs, as appropriate. Division staff may consult experts in rehabilitation technology and assistive devices to address client needs. Vocational evaluations and rehabilitation engineering services are purchased through qualified vendors. Other services purchased through qualified vendors include accessibility studies, job modifications, and identifying essential functions of jobs for employers and employees. The Division also employs some staff capable of performing these services.

 

The Division is organizationally placed under the Public Education Department, as is the Special Education Unit, which administers state services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. In developing its comprehensive system of personnel development, the Division has and will continue to coordinate with the Special Education Unit and will coordinate its CSPD activities with those provided under IDEA. This activity will be implemented under the auspices of the Secretary of Education.

The licensure rules for Rehabilitation Counselors in New Mexico are in agreement with the Public Education Department requirements and competencies applicable to both the school systems to effect school-to-work transition in the high schools and the Division.

The aforementioned activities for developing a distinct plan and maintaining a comprehensive system of personnel development will incorporate a methodology to ensure cooperation and coordination with the personnel development under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

This screen was last updated on Aug 10 2013 1:11PM by John Fullinwider

Attachment 4.11(a) Statewide Assessment

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

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

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

Mission Statement: The mission of the New Mexico Division of Vocational Rehabilitation is to encourage and assist the efforts of New Mexicans with disabilities to reach their goals for working and living in their communities.

Vision Statement: Every New Mexican with a disability has the opportunity to contribute to the quality of life and the economic prosperity of the state.

Attachment 4.11(a): Statewide Assessment, Results of Comprehensive Statewide Assessment of the Rehabilitation Needs of Individuals with Disabilities and Need to Establish, Develop, or Improve Community Rehabilitation Programs

The Division jointly conducts with the State Rehabilitation Council (SRC) continuing statewide studies to determine the needs of individuals with disabilities within the State and the best methods to meet those needs. The Division periodically conducts surveys through its programs, projects and activities to ensure that the annual evaluation of effectiveness of the vocational rehabilitation program meets the goals and objectives set forth in the State Plan, and does not impede the accomplishments of the purpose and policy of federal funding.

As part of the development of the State Plan, the continuing statewide studies include:

1) A triennial comprehensive assessment of the rehabilitation needs of individuals with significant disabilities who reside in the State,

2) A triennial review of the effectiveness of outreach procedures used to identify and serve individuals with disabilities who are minorities and individuals with disabilities who are unserved and under-served by the vocational rehabilitation system; and

3) A triennial review of the broad variety of methods to provide, expand, and improve vocational rehabilitation services to individuals with the most significant disabilities, including individuals receiving supported employment services.

The Division has historically conducted a statewide needs assessment and consumer satisfaction survey of the effectiveness of the State’s Vocational Rehabilitation program in providing vocational rehabilitation and supported employment services, especially to individuals with the most significant disabilities. In recent years, this has been interrupted due to budgetary constraints. The Division, in cooperation with the SRC, had an evaluation completed in May of 2012. The evaluation analyzes the extent to which the Division has achieved the goals and priorities established in the State Plan and annual amendments to the plan; and that the Division is in compliance with the evaluation standards and performance indicators established by the Rehabilitation Services Administration.

Specific to identifying statewide needs of individuals with disabilities in New Mexico, findings from the Participant and Stakeholder Satisfaction and Statewide Needs Assessments were reported in May of 2012 (Participant and Stakeholder Satisfaction and Statewide Needs Assessment, sponsored by the New Mexico State Rehabilitation Council and the New Mexico Division of Vocational Rehabilitation).

The results of the assessment completed in May of 2012 identified Vocational Rehabilitation needs of respondents with the most significant disabilities include:

• Development and/or improvement of strategies to increase respondents’ income sufficient to meet their basic needs.

• Improvement of strategies to assist respondents in obtaining employment in the most timely manner possible. NMDVR acknowledges this need while recognizing that current economic and labor market conditions continue to impact implementation of any such strategies.

• Strategies to increase access to technology needed by respondents toward disability accommodation.

• Access to education and training needed to obtain a desired employment outcome.

• Increased levels of, and better access to, public transportation.

Major findings in the 2012 Needs Assessment indicated:

1. 77% of respondents indicated that they either strongly agreed or agreed that they were satisfied with their living situation. 16.8% either disagreed or strongly disagreed. The remainder didn’t know or they had no opinion.

2. 82.1% of respondents either strongly agreed or agreed that they had transportation to get them where they needed to go; however, only 40.2% either strongly agreed or agreed that they had access to public transportation.

3. 61% of respondents either strongly agreed or agreed that they were able to get medical services that they needed. 28.5% either disagree or strongly disagreed. The remainder didn’t know or they had no opinion.

4. 49.5% of respondents strongly agreed or agreed that they had the technology needed for their disability. 34.2% either disagreed or strongly disagreed. The remainder didn’t know or they had no opinion.

5. 36% of respondents either strongly agreed or agreed that their income was enough for their basic needs. 55.8% either disagreed or strongly disagreed. The remainder didn’t know or they had no opinion.

6. 47.7% of respondents indicated that they either strongly agreed or agreed that they have the training or education needed to get the job they want. 39.8% either disagreed or strongly disagreed. The remainder didn’t know or they had no opinion.

Findings from the 2012 satisfaction survey indicate the following top most positive trends and negative trends.

Positive:

1. 83.2% of respondents indicated that they either strongly agreed or agreed that the Division staff treated them courteously.

2. 77% of respondents either strongly agreed or agreed that their counselor knew their disability and their needs.

3. 82.1% of respondents either strongly agreed or agreed that they had transportation to get them where they want to go.

4. 77% of respondents either strongly agreed or agreed that they were satisfied where they lived.

5. 73.4% of respondents either strongly agreed or agreed that they worked with their counselors to plan their goals.

Negative:

1. 55.8% of respondents either disagreed or strongly disagreed that their income was enough for their basic needs.

2. 40.8% of respondents either disagreed or strongly disagreed that they got a job quickly enough to meet their needs.

3. 39.8% of respondents disagreed or strongly disagreed that they had the training or education to get the job they wanted.

4. 34.2% of respondents either disagreed or strongly disagreed that they had the technology they needed for their disability.

5. 31.4% of respondents either disagreed or strongly disagreed that public transportation could get them where they needed to go.

The Division also assesses the needs of New Mexicans with disabilities utilizing reports generated by other entities in the state. Very recently, a preliminary report by the Center of Development and Disability, (Preliminary Report: Barriers to Access to Healthcare for People with Disabilities in New Mexico: Towards Improved Public Health Practice, Center for Development and Disability, 2300 Menaul Blvd NE, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87107, 505.272.2990, March 2007, Anthony Cahill, Ph.D.) reported that a greater percentage of people with disabilities, particularly those requiring assistance, responded that they sometime or always had a problem getting access to healthcare compared to people with no disability.

Another telling finding of this study was that providers’ perceptions of barriers faced by people with disabilities were generally limited to physical access issue and the use of certified American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters at primary and public healthcare offices was mostly unheard of. These types of resource issues provide challenges to NMDVR.

The New Mexico Developmental Disabilities Planning Council conducted several public forums in the latter part calendar year 2009. These forums were specific to garnering the public’s perception of need as related to Developmental Disabilities. Although the findings were not obtained by scientific methodology, but rather delivered by the public at the forums, the findings do illustrate rehabilitation needs in New Mexico and again are indicative of the resource challenges in the state. Select findings were specific to Childcare, Formal and Informal Community Supports, Education and Early Intervention, Employment, Health, Housing, Recreation, Transportation, and Quality Assurance.

Listed below are those findings which more directly impact vocational rehabilitation in New Mexico (language provided by NMDDPC):

• “Need career support for Persons with Disabilities (PWD) who have educational degrees”

• “Need re-employment and job change support services”

• “Need help for families of PWD to get employment”

• “Need to address employer misconceptions”

• “Inadequate transition services at college and between HS and employment”

• “Need job generation and development”

• “Need employer training”

• “Need DVR services and working relationship with them”

• “Teachers do not know what is required for transition”

• “Need community-based centers”

• “Need a one-stop shop for services”

• “Need services for adults with Autism”

• “Need training on education, benefits, legal assistance, guardianship”

• “Training needs to be culturally competent”

• “There is no driver training for PWD”

NMDVR recognizes the need to address the vocational rehabilitation needs of minorities. One such measure is to work toward the improvement of community rehabilitation programs within the state to address rehabilitation needs of minorities, especially those in remote rural communities is obvious. Geographically, New Mexico is a large state in land mass with many areas of the state sparsely populated. Many rural areas have few, if any, community rehabilitation providers (CRPs). Along with Rio Grande corridor from Taos in the northern part of the state to Las Cruces in the south, is a concentration of community rehabilitation providers in the larger communities of the Greater Albuquerque Metropolitan area, Socorro, and Las Cruces. The northeast quadrant, southeast quadrant, and the southwest quadrant are the areas most affected by the lack of service providers.

A case in point: the town of Raton in the northeast quadrant has only one CRP available to provide supported employment services. DVR also has a two person office in Raton. However, it is noted that before supported employment services can be agreed upon with the CRP, the individual must be on the Developmental Disabilities Medicaid Waiver for the long-term funding. This service provider is capable of offering services to the communities of Cimarron (41 miles) and the community of Angel Fire (80 miles) one way. Other communities served by the DVR office, such as Clayton (83 miles), Eagle Nest (65 miles), Springer (38 miles), Maxwell (about 23 miles), and Ute Park (about 50 miles) do not have the benefit of CRP services. Note: all mileage is one-way distance and the listed communities are not all inclusive of northeast New Mexico served by the DVR Office.

The same holds true for southeastern New Mexico in Lea County. There are two community rehabilitation providers in the town of Hobbs where DVR has a four person office. Both of these community rehabilitation providers are available only to individuals who live in Lea County to such places as Tatum (50 miles north) and Eunice (50 miles south). One provider specializes in mental health while the other provider specializes in developmental disabilities. All recipients of these services must have long-term funding in place before supported employment services are rendered.

In southwestern New Mexico, DVR has a two person office in Silver City where there are two community rehabilitation providers. Both providers make services available to residents in Silver City and Deming (50 miles) but not to the other communities served by the DVR office such as Mimbres (30 miles), Lordsburg (50 miles), Animas (80 miles), and Reserve (85 miles). Note: all mileage is one-way distance and the listed communities are not all inclusive of northeastern New Mexico served by the DVR Office.

Central western New Mexico is a very large territory inclusive of Indian Reservation land. American Indian populations have access to four community rehabilitation providers through their local tribal affiliations when resident on Indian land. However, for non-American Indian populations access to community rehabilitation programs is more limited to one provider and again funding is an issue relative to acquiring supported employment services. There are four staff in the Gallup DVR office serving a geographic community of almost 80 miles to the east, 25 miles to the Arizona state line, not less than 80 miles to the south, and not less than 50 miles to the north. Outside of Gallup and the services available to American Indian populations, there is not much available in terms of community rehabilitation programs in central western New Mexico.

There are other rural locations throughout the state where population is scarce and distances vast from community to community with few rehabilitation community providers. These rural locations are itinerantly served by DVR offices in larger communities with many community rehabilitation services providers stretching their resources as best they can to extend services.

Below are examples of how the Division addresses expansion of services to underserved and unserved populations with disabilities in the state.

The Division continues to explore ways to improve services to American Indian populations as well as increasing staff competencies with respect to cultural differences. Division resources will determine priority and further development of these broad general goals of Career Development, Successful Employment Outcomes, and DVR-SRC Collaboration:

1. Career Development -

Develop, create, increase, and improve specific training at Rehabilitation Academy specific to / incorporating Native American issues such as:

- cultural competency issues,

- identifying / listing statewide community services providers specific to Native Americans and making this information available to all counseling staff / teams

- best practices in developing professional relationships with the 121 Programs in the state (who’s who, where located, 121 Program Strengths, and their employment outreach activities)

- the array of services 121 programs offer (what they actually offer / provide and not what is specified by law, to learn how best to dovetail DVR services / strengths with 121 Program services / strengths

- dual participation of Native Americans in both 121 Programs and State VR, citing the laws / rules that govern this

- have 121 Program Directors participate and/or do the topic presentations / training at Rehabilitation Academy

- identifying best practices already employed by DVR counseling staff / teams that could be shared with attendees of Rehabilitation Academy

2. Successful Employment Outcomes –

a. Target increased successful employment outcomes of Native American participants as a strategic goal of the Division. This will help give focus and direction to achieving such a goal.

b. Explore self-employment opportunities with Native American DVR participants who have expressed desire to remain in their community with their business and / or those who want to locate their business in both their community and in the larger community

c. Develop working collaborative partnerships with statewide community services providers with outreach and /or specific services to Native American populations, such as Zia Chapter Paralyzed Veterans of America, Inc.; Abrazos Family Support Services: Education for Parents of Indian Children with Special Needs; Native American Disability Las Center, Inc.; and of course, the Centers for Independent Living throughout the state.

d. Many DVR counselors and staff who have expertise and / or have established networks with services to Native American populations: Gallup, Farmington, Rio Rancho, Taos, and other DVR venues. Their expertise, networking connections, and best practices should be garnered and made available to all DVR counseling staff / teams.

3. DVR – SRC Collaborative - Participant and Stakeholder Satisfaction and Statewide Needs Assessment Surveying -

There has been considerable discussion by the SRC that a “study within a study” could be done specifically focusing on Native American populations. To this end, the study sample could include all DVR participants with Native American race/ethnicity coding as well as the random sampling of identified demographics for the overall, larger study that would take place. In essence, we would be conducting a “study within a study” with specific reporting reflecting the findings of the larger, whole study and the “study within a study.” This will be explored during the next Participant Satisfaction, Statewide Needs Assessment survey.

Ticket to Work: The Social Security Administration’s Ticket to Work program is designed to provide a network of providers for Social Security beneficiaries to obtain employment outcome services. NMDVR is an Employment Network under the Ticket to Work program, and received over 1200 total ticket assignment at the end of fiscal year 2012.

NMDVR and Behavioral Health Services: NMDVR is a member of New Mexico’s Behavioral Health Purchasing Collaborative. During the past four year, work continued toward intra-agency collaboration specifically dealing with behavioral health services among all 17 agencies/divisions of the BHPC. Under the terms of an agreement reached with the State Behavioral Health Services Division, NMDVR continues to facilitate and monitor employment services for people within the BHSD system and to assist others in making connections with that system. Coordination of services among BHSD, NMDVR, regional employment providers, and mental health providers can increase successful employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities.

Collaboration with agencies providing services to deaf and hard of hearing individuals: In FFY 2013, NMDVR has participated in a collaborative effort with NM School for the Deaf, NM Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, NM Workforce Connection, Community Outreach Program for the Deaf and NM Public Education Department. Representatives from these agencies meet on a regular basis to explore and implement improvements in service provision to deaf and hard of hearing individuals. Although a relatively new initiative, this collaboration has already lead to increased resource information sharing between representatives the above agencies, Ticket-to-Work overview information for coalition representatives, increased awareness of specific needs and issues of Transition students who are deaf/hard of hearing, and improved collaboration regarding referral of deaf and hard of hearing Transition students to vocational rehabilitation services statewide. This collaboration will continue in FFY 2014 with information and awareness presentations state-wide.

Collaboration with Statewide Workforce Investment System: NMDVR has had representatives on the State and all of the local Workforce Investment boards since their inception in 2000. Representatives address the issues and interests of individuals with disabilities in the workforce investment system, both in developing policy and influencing service delivery. NMDVR has had a presence in local One-Stops through the Navigator grant program (this grant is now expired) and has otherwise collaborated with the Workforce offices itinerantly.

Although the Navigator program is completed, it did serve to increase awareness of vocational rehabilitation services and employment-related needs of people with disabilities at local One-stops. The result is that One-stop staff have established and maintain contact with NMDVR counselors throughout the state.

The Operator of the One-stop Provider in the Central and Northern regions of New Mexico sits on the State Rehabilitation Council as a business representative. He has committed to improving greater collaboration and resource sharing in both regions.

This screen was last updated on Jun 25 2013 5:17PM by John Fullinwider

Attachment 4.11(b) Annual Estimates

The total number of New Mexicans with disabilities who could potentially be eligible for services and who may or may not apply for vocational rehabilitation services is unknown at this time. Projections in this section relate to agency service delivery patterns and operations under an Order of Selection.

The following estimates are for FFY 2014:

• Number of eligible individuals in the state who will receive services provided with funds under Part B Title I: FFY 2014 Estimate = 9,600.

• Number of eligible individuals in the state who will receive services provided with funds under Part B Title VI: FFY 2014 Estimate = 350.

• Number of eligible individuals in the state who achieve a suitable (consistent with client’s skills, aptitudes, and interests) employment outcome for a minimum of 90 days: FFY 2014 Estimate = 800.

• Number of eligible individuals in the state who are most significantly/significantly disabled persons achieving a suitable (consistent with clients skills, aptitudes, and interests) employment for a minimum of 90 days: FFY 2014 Estimate = 800.

Estimated costs of services: FFY 2014 budgeted approximately $7,490,191 million.

The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation is under an Order of Selection. The table below provides estimates of the number of individuals to be served under each priority category within the order.

Category Title I or Title VI Estimated Funds Estimated Number to be Served Average Cost of Services
Most Significantly Disabled Title I $2,621,567 1,920 $1,365
Most Significantly Disabled Title VI $244,500 350 $698
Significantly Disabled Title I $4,494,114 7200 $624
Non-Significantly Disabled Title I $374,510 480 $780
Totals   $7,734,691 9,950 $777

This screen was last updated on Jun 26 2013 1:54PM by John Fullinwider

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

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

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

Mission Statement: The mission of the New Mexico Division of Vocational Rehabilitation is to encourage and assist the efforts of New Mexicans with disabilities to reach their goals for working and living in their communities.

Vision Statement: Every New Mexican with a disability has the opportunity to contribute to the quality of life and the economic prosperity of the state.

Attachment 4.11(c)(1): State’s Goals and Priorities:

Rehabilitation needs of individuals with disabilities

Working with the State Rehabilitation Council (SRC), the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) set the following goals by order of priority to coincide with the state fiscal year of July 2013 to June 30, 2014. The State Rehabilitation Council and the Division jointly reviewed the results reported in this Attachment taking into account Standards and Indicators and input from the SRC.

Goals and priorities identified by the Division also take into account the results of comprehensive statewide needs assessment report of May 2012 addressed later in this text.

State Goals and Priorities align with Federal Standards and Indicators. For purposes of this Attachment, the reported figures are Federal Fiscal Year.

Provide at the appropriate level quality services to increase the number of individuals with disabilities, as stipulated by the data sets below, while assisting them to gain, regain, preserve, or develop their ability to pursue employment.

A. Projected number of clients served for FFY 2014 – 9,600.

2007 Projected/Actual: 11,400/11,168

2008 Projected/Actual: 11,400/11,619

2009 Projected/Actual: 11,500 / 12,549

2010 Projected/Actual: 10,500/12,701

2011 Projected/Actual: 10,500/10,655

2012 Projected/Actual: 8,500/9,675

2013 Projected: 9,400

2014 Projected: 9,600

B. Increase the number of persons achieving an employment outcome consistent with the client’s skills, abilities, aptitudes, and interests. Employment outcomes will be for a minimum of 90 days, FFY 2014 Projected 800.

2007 Projected/Actual: 1,695/1,705

2008 Projected/Actual: 1,706/1,692

2009 Projected/Actual: 1,750/ 1,545

2010 Projected/Actual: 1,750/1,541

2011 Projected/Actual: 1,750/1,219

2012 Projected/Actual: 870/718

2013 Projected: 600

2014 Projected: 800

C. Increase the number of clients with significant disabilities served (coded significant disability at eligibility), FFY 2014 Projected 6,000.

2007 Projected/Actual: 6,300/8,697

2008 Projected/Actual: 6,300/9,155

2009 Projected/Actual: 6,400/9,948

2010 Projected/Actual: 6,400/10,251

2011 Projected/Actual: 5,100/9,141

2012 Projected/Actual: 6,000/5,864

2013 Projected: 5,800

2014 Projected: 6,000

D. Increase the number of persons with most significant/significant disabilities achieving an employment outcome consistent with their skills, abilities, aptitudes, and interests, FFY 2014 Projected 725.

2007 Projected: 1,075/1,636

2008 Projected/Actual: 1,032/1,612

2009 Projected/Actual:1,050/1,463

2010 Projected/Actual:1,050/1,493

2011 Projected/Actual:1,050/1,175

2012 Projected/Actual: 700/695

2013 Projected: 600

2014 Projected: 725

Individuals with the most significant disabilities, include their need for supported employment services.

The following goals and activities for supported employment are planned during 2013 – 2014:

Continue to provide Title VI-B services to clients in active status in pursuit of goals established in Individualized Plans for Employment. Approximately 350 clients will be provided Title VI-B services during the 2013 - 2014 Federal Fiscal Year. However, this estimate may be adjusted upwards because the Division has entered into an agreement with the Developmental Disabilities Supports Division to identify individuals in need of vocational rehabilitation services.

2007 Projected/Actual: 571/508

2008 Projected/Actual: 580/526

2009 Projected/Actual: 580/532

2010 Projected/Actual: 580/508

2011 Projected/Actual: 500/342

2012 Projected/Actual: 200/347

2013 Projected: 310

2014 Projected: 350

Strategies to enhance and increase Title VI-B services:

1. Continue to use Title VI-B funds for case services exclusively. Funds will be allocated to the Area Offices where the direct delivery of services takes place. These funds will be monitored quarterly and reallocated to the Area Offices based on need. Title I funds will also be used for supported employment services once Title VI-B funds are exhausted or if Title VI-B funds are rolled up into Title1at the federal level.

2. Continue to purchase supported employment services from programs on either a fee-for-services basis or through milestone payments developed regionally and/or through specific Memorandum of Understanding with other state agencies, for clients with the most significant disabilities.

3. Continue to seek long-term funding support from agencies providing supported employment. The Developmental Disabilities Support Division, Department of Health, provides long term funding for supported employment to provider agencies under the Developmental Disabilities Waiver and Mi Via Waivers. The Division works collaboratively with the Behavioral Health Services Division, Department of Health, New Mexico Department of Human Services, and the NM Behavioral Health Collaborative to assure ongoing support services for individuals with severe disabling mental illness served under supported employment Individualized Plans for Employment.

4. The Division continues to work with other state agencies under memoranda of understanding focusing on serving individuals with the most significant disabilities under supported employment plans.

5. Individual placements in integrated work settings at wages comparable to non-disabled peers performing similar work continue to be emphasized.

6. The Division has increased its collaboration through participation with provider agencies; as well as independent and statewide entities to promote “Employment First” principles for individuals with the most significant disabilities served under supported employment Individualized Plans for Employment.

7. The Division has established statewide liaisons in supported employment to assist the statewide Supported Employment Coordinator in technical assistance and conducting staff training relevant to supported employment policy and service provision. Division liaisons are active participants and attendees in supported employment trainings provided by experts at the local, regional, and national level. Division liaisons participate regularly in regional quarterly meetings held between collaborating agencies and the Developmental Disabilities Support Division, Department of Health.

8. The Division has a devoted staff person who provides guidance and technical assistance to staff, service providers, and other stakeholders. This individual also compiles information and data, and tracks Supported Employment activities.

9. The Division continues to support and promote strategies to assure employment opportunities for individuals with the most significant disabilities served under supported employment Individualized Plans for Employment.

Overarching Division strategies addressing rehabilitation needs of individuals with disabilities and individuals with the most significant disabilities include their need for supported employment services.

The primary strategy directly related to addressing rehabilitation needs of individuals with disabilities and those with significant disabilities including supported employment needs is to reduce turnover and fill vocational rehabilitation counselor positions. The Division is addressing both career development and succession planning in our long-term strategic planning goal of having an operational, comprehensive Career Development/Succession Planning system capable of meeting the expansion needs and innovation needs of the rehabilitation services delivery system inclusive of administrative supports to competently reinforce the rehabilitation services delivery system. The agency has surveyed staff in terms eligibility for retirement, whether staff are interested in returning to employment after retirement, and the career enhancement needs of staff so that they can prepare themselves for potential movement into leadership roles.

Statewide Needs Assessment

Goals and priorities identified by the Division are based on an analysis of the comprehensive statewide needs assessment report of May 2012. Some of the findings from the Statewide Needs Assessment are as follows:

1. 77% of respondents indicated that they either strongly agreed or agreed that they were satisfied with their living situation. 16.8% either disagreed or strongly disagreed. The remainder didn’t know or they had no opinion.

2. 82.1% of respondents either strongly agreed or agreed that they had transportation to get them where they needed to go; however, only 40.2% either strongly agreed or agreed that they had access to public transportation.

3. 61% of respondents either strongly agreed or agreed that they were able to get medical services that they needed. 28.5% either disagree or strongly disagreed. The remainder didn’t know or they had no opinion.

4. 49.5% of respondents strongly agreed or agreed that they had the technology needed for their disability. 34.2% either disagreed or strongly disagreed. The remainder didn’t know or they had no opinion.

5. 36% of respondents either strongly agreed or agreed that their income was enough for their basic needs. 55.8% either disagreed or strongly disagreed. The remainder didn’t know or they had no opinion.

6. 47.7% of respondents indicated that they either strongly agreed or agreed that they have the training or education needed to get the job they want. 39.8% either disagreed or strongly disagreed. The remainder didn’t know or they had no opinion.

It is noted that the State’s Goals and Priorities outlined in this Attachment align with the Standards and Indicators as detailed in Attachment 4.11(e)(2). However, the State Rehabilitation Council (SRC) has recommended the following to support and enhance the State’s Goals and Indicators:

• A policy of advanced education and training of VR counselors to promote their ability to become Certified Rehabilitation Counselors (not required).

• Continuation of the agency’s Leadership Institute for Tomorrow (LIFT).

• On-going support of licensing of qualified VR counselors through the authority of the Public Education Department.

• Continued appropriate salary analysis for continuous update of competitive salaries for VR counselors commensurate with educational and licensure requirements of the profession.

• Utilization of job performance evaluation that utilizes objective, measurable criteria.

• On-going recruitment of graduates from the Rehabilitation Counseling program at New Mexico Highlands University, as well as recruitment of qualified VR counselors from other states.

• The development of a strategy for the SRC to recognize those staff that go the “extra mile” in terms of service to New Mexicans with disabilities.

• Identification of a method to follow up with client/respondents of the Satisfaction Survey/Needs Assessment who asked to be contacted.

• Continued collaboration with agency staff to complete Participant Satisfaction and Statewide Needs Assessments.

• The continued appointment of Division representatives to each of the Local Workforce Development Boards.

• Re-establishment of the Native American Liaison Program when possible.

• Forging of stronger interagency relationships between NMDVR and Workforce Connection One-Stop centers around the state.

• Coordinate School-to-Work transition services including having a team of specialists to collaborate with school transition specialists to conduct outreach, inform, instruct, and coordinate transition services for individuals covered by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. Additionally, creating access to transition services to students 16 years of age and utilizing staff (transition coordinator, VR counselors specializing in transition, and VR counselors serving transition students) to collaborate with agencies that provide transition services to develop comprehensive transition plans.

• Division support to address on-going concerns of the SRC including:

o Development of a methodology to prevent eligible participants from dropping out of their program before completion.

o Streamlining of the procurement process.

o Methods for improving relations with American Indian VR Programs and updating cooperative agreements.

o Informed consumer choice.

o Division/SRC innovations and expansion.

o Monitoring the implementation of Order of Selection.

o Increasing the Division’s involvement in planning and providing services to transitioning students.

o Monitoring activities related to Ticket to Work, Workforce Investment. Welfare to Work and ADA Restoration Act.

o Working cooperatively to assist SSDI/SSI recipients to receive benefits advisement counseling services.

o Timely, design, dissemination, review and report of Client Satisfaction Survey and Statewide Needs Assessment.

• Support of the Division’s decision to reassign benefits advisors as VR technicians with benefits advisement responsibilities. This took place after the Benefits Advisement grants expired.

This screen was last updated on Jun 26 2013 3:11PM by John Fullinwider

Attachment 4.11(c)(3) Order of Selection

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

Justification for order of selection

Budget reductions experienced during fiscal years 2009-2013 have resulted in limited financial and personnel resources. Analysis of available resources resulted in a projection that by February, 2011, NMDVR lacked sufficient resources to provide services to all eligible individuals. The Division, in consultation with the State Rehabilitation Council, determined the necessity of implementation of an order of selection which ensures service delivery to eligible individuals with the most significant disabilities, first, individuals with significant disabilities second, and individuals with a disability third.

NMDVR received a state general fund appropriation of $4,410,900 which was reduced in August 2010 by 3.24%. This reduced the state match to $4,267,931. This also reduced the amount of federal funds that NMDVR can match to $15,769,303. The case service budget was established at $7,895,777.00 for state fiscal year 2011. August budget reductions decreased the budget by $212,708, leaving a balance of $7,683,069. This amount remained flat in fiscal year 12.

From October 2010 to September 2011, NMDVR was able to realize $765,270.00 in program income. This was budgeted directly to case service to offset budget reductions. Additionally, ARRA stimulus dollars were utilized to offset budget reductions experienced during the past few years. The Division exhausted those dollars in June of 2011.

Revenue projections in New Mexico have increased marginally during the past two fiscal years; however, the Division’s operating budget has essentially remained flat. Revenue projections conducted quarterly are a determining factor on whether further cuts are applied or the agency can be appropriated additional match. FFY 2014 is budgeted at approximately $7,490,191. Program income is budgeted at $400,000.

As indicated in the table below, it is estimated that NMDVR will serve 9,950 individuals for federal fiscal year 2014. The breakdown by priority group is as follows: Most Significantly Disabled – 2,270 Significantly Disabled – 7,200 Non-Significantly Disabled – 480. This projection could decrease depending on whether additional cuts are applied to the NMDVR. The table also provides detail on the projected cost of services per priority group. These projections could also be impacted by additional budget cuts.

 

Description of Priority categories

It is the policy of NMDVR to provide vocational rehabilitation services to eligible individuals under an order of selection. Under the order of selection, the Division has established three priority groups. Every individual determined to be eligible for services is placed in the appropriate priority group based upon the documentation used to determine eligibility and/or vocational rehabilitation needs. Selection and placement in a priority group is based solely upon the significance of the eligible individual’s disability, and is not based upon the type of disability, geographical area in which the individual lives, projected type of vocational outcome, age, sex, race, color, creed, religion, or national origin of the individual. The priority groups are:

(1) Priority Group 1. Eligible individuals with a most significant disability are persons:

a. Who have a severe physical or mental impairment which seriously impedes the individuals functional capacities in three or more functional capacities (such as mobility, communication, self-care, self-direction, interpersonal skills, cognitive abilities, or work tolerance or attendant factors) in terms of an employment outcome; and

b. whose vocational rehabilitation can be expected to require multiple and intensive vocational rehabilitation services in order to result in an employment outcome.

(2) Priority Group 2. Eligible individuals with a significant disability are persons:

a. who have a severe physical or mental impairment that seriously limits one or more functional capacities (such as mobility, communication, self-care, self-direction, interpersonal skills, cognitive abilities, or work tolerance or attendant factors) in terms of an employment outcome; and

b. for whom vocational rehabilitation can be expected to require multiple vocational rehabilitation services over an extended period of time.

(3) Priority Group 3. Other Eligible individuals are persons with a disability who meet eligibility criteria, but do not meet the definition of a significant or most significant disability.

 

Priority of categories to receive VR services under the order

NMDVR shall continue to plan for and provide services to all participants being served under an Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) prior to, and at the time of implementation of the order of selection irrespective of the severity of the participant’s disability. Participants that have been moved off of the waiting list and who are receiving services will also continue to do so regardless of whether their priority group is closed. Participants shall be placed in priority categories at the time of eligibility determination. Depending upon Division resources, the categories shall be closed for services in ascending order beginning with Category 3 and proceeding to Categories 2 and 1. Services shall be provided only to those individuals in an open category. Individuals with the most significant disabilities (priority category 1) will be selected for services before all others.

NMDVR will inform each participant on their caseloads:

(1) of the priority groups in the order of selection;

(2) if eligible, of the individual’s assignment to a priority group ;

(3) of the individual’s right to appeal that assignment;

(4) if eligible and in a priority group not being served, that they can remain on a waiting list until such time that the priority group is served; and

(5) of information and referral services available to all applicants.

Cases in eligible status within a closed priority group will be placed in delayed status and remain on a waiting list until such time as resources allow for the release of cases to be served. No IPE will be written for cases on the waiting list.

Staff will continue to take applications, diagnose and evaluate all applicants to determine eligibility and assign a priority group. If an eligible participant is placed in a closed priority group, the case will go on the waiting list and no IPE will be written.

When analysis of resources indicates the ability to open a priority group, the staff will receive notice along with a list of participants on their caseload who can be removed from delayed status. Eligible participants will be released from delayed status based on priority assignment and their application date, releasing those with the earliest application date. Staff will contact identified participants to develop and implement their Individualized Plan for Employment.

Any participant with an IPE that existed prior to the date an order of selection was implemented, irrespective of their priority group, will continue to receive services as planned. Such an IPE may be amended if the changes are necessary for the individual to continue progress toward achieving an appropriate employment outcome, or are otherwise necessary within policy. Persons requiring post-employment services will also be provided the necessary services regardless of priority group assignment.

Information and referral services will remain available to eligible participants who are not in an open priority group. These participants will be given information and guidance, using appropriate modes of communication, to assist such individuals in preparing for, securing, retaining or regaining employment, and will be appropriately referred to Federal and State programs (other than the vocational rehabilitation program) including other components of the statewide workforce investment system. No IPE will be written to provide such services to these individuals.

All priority groups were open as of Fall 2012. On-going assessment of expenditures, expenditure projections for new (not yet written) Individualized Plans for Employment, and current staff vacancies will be used to determine the need to close one or more priority categories in FFY 2014.

 

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

The Division’s case management system, AWARE, is designed to assure that individuals with the most significant disabilities are selected for services before all others.

Priority Category Number of individuals to be served Estimated number of individuals who will exit with employment after receiving services Estimated number of individuals who will exit without employment after receiving services Time within which goals are to be achieved Cost of services
1 2,270 175 400 10/1/2013 - 9/30/14 $2,866,067
2 7,200 1,575 800 10/1/2013 - 9/30/14 $4,494,114
3 480 50 200 10/1/2013 - 9/30/14 $374,510

This screen was last updated on Jun 25 2013 5:25PM by John Fullinwider

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

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

Mission Statement: The mission of the New Mexico Division of Vocational Rehabilitation is to encourage and assist the efforts of New Mexicans with disabilities to reach their goals for working and living in their communities.

Vision Statement: Every New Mexican with a disability has the opportunity to contribute to the quality of life and the economic prosperity of the state.

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

The following goals and activities for supported employment are planned during 2013 – 2014.

Continue Title VI-B services to clients in active status in pursuit of goals established in Individual Plans for Employment. Previous estimates of total individuals served under supported employment plans were low. The projection for Federal Fiscal Year 2013 – 2014 is 350.

2007 Projected/Actual: 571/508

2008 Projected/Actual: 580/526

2009 Projected/Actual: 580/532

2010 Projected/Actual: 580/508

2011 Projected/Actual: 500/342

2012 Projected/Actual: 200/347

2013 Projected: 310

2014 Projected: 350

Strategies to improve Title VI-B services:

1. Continue to use Title VI-B funds for case services exclusively. Funds will be allocated to the Area Offices where the direct delivery of services takes place. These funds will be monitored quarterly and reallocated to the Area Offices based on need. Title I funds will also be used for supported employment services once Title VI-B funds are exhausted.

2. Continue to purchase supported employment services from programs on either a fee-for-services basis or through milestone payments developed regionally and/or through specific Memorandum of Understanding with other state agencies, for clients with the most significant disabilities.

3. Continue to seek long-term funding support from agencies providing supported employment. The Developmental Disabilities Support Division, Department of Health, provides long term funding for supported employment to provider agencies under the Developmental Disabilities Waiver and Mi Via Waivers. The Division works collaboratively with the Behavioral Health Services Division, Department of Health, New Mexico Department of Human Services, and the NM Behavioral Health Collaborative to assure ongoing support services for individuals with severe disabling mental illness served under supported employment Individualized Plans for Employment.

4. The Division continues to work with other state agencies under memoranda of understanding focusing on serving individuals with the most significant disabilities under supported employment plans.

5. Individual placements in integrated work settings at wages comparable to non-disabled peers performing similar work continue to be emphasized.

6. The Division has increased its collaboration through participation with provider agencies; as well as independent and statewide entities to promote “Employment First” principles for individuals with the most significant disabilities served under supported employment Individualized Plans for Employment.

7. The Division has established statewide liaisons in supported employment to assist the statewide Supported Employment Coordinator in technical assistance and conducting staff training relevant to supported employment policy and service provision. Division liaisons are active participants and attendees in supported employment trainings provided by experts at the local, regional, and national level. Division liaisons participate regularly in regional quarterly meetings held between collaborating agencies and the Developmental Disabilities Support Division, Department of Health.

8. The Division has a devoted staff person who provides guidance and technical assistance to staff, service providers, and other stakeholders. This individual also compiles information and data, and tracks Supported Employment activities.

9. The Division continues to support and promote strategies to assure employment opportunities for individuals with the most significant disabilities served under supported employment Individualized Plans for Employment.

This screen was last updated on Jun 26 2013 3:32PM by John Fullinwider

Attachment 4.11(d) State's Strategies

This attachment should include required strategies and how the agency will use these strategies to achieve its goals and priorities, support innovation and expansion activities, and overcome any barriers to accessing the vocational rehabilitation and the supported employment programs. (See sections 101(a)(15)(D) and (18)(B) of the Act and Section 427 of the General Education Provisions Act (GEPA)).

Describe the methods to be used to expand and improve services to individuals with disabilities.

The Division continues to expand and improve services to individuals with the most significant disabilities, to individuals who are minorities, or individuals who have been unserved or under-served.

Client data is examined to determine increased utilization of services in specific areas. Additionally, testimony received in public hearings that supports this data is considered. When budget expansion request is requested, final approval of such action by the Public Education Department, the Legislature and the Governor enacts the decision.

Reserved Title I funds have traditionally been used to support innovation and expansion operations and activities of both the State Rehabilitation Council and the Statewide Independent Living Council. This support continues.

The Division continues to collaborate with the Governor’s Commission on Disability on two initiatives: 1) increase direct services and support personnel services to deaf - blind individuals through existing community providers and 2) transfer of the New Mexico Technology Assistance Program from the Division to the Governor’s Commission. This is close to completion as the Governor’s Commission has the proper infrastructure to administer the grant. This was done in cooperation with Rehabilitation Services Administration and the New Mexico Governor’s Office. The Division continues to support the transition to make it as seamless as possible.

 

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.

NMDVR has distributed video relay interpreter equipment in area offices where live interpreting is limited. Training of field staff on use of this technology is completed. While live interpreters are always the preference, this technology allows for improved access to VR services by deaf and hard of hearing applicants and participants, especially in rural areas.

Assistive technology services and devices are primarily identified as part of the Individualized Plan for Employment on a case-by-case basis for each participant. The New Mexico Technology Assistance Program (NMTAP) provides a loan bank of technological devices to participants. Staff members on the NMTAP provide technical assistance and demonstrations on various devices. The NMTAP is now transferred to the Governor’s Commission on Disability, but will remain a resource to VR staff and participants.

 

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

The Division continues to explore ways to improve services to American Indian populations as well as increasing staff competencies with respect to cultural differences. Division resources will determine priority and further development of these broad general goals of Career Development, Successful Employment Outcomes, and DVR-SRC Collaboration:

1. Career Development -

Develop, create, increase, and improve specific training at Rehabilitation Academy specific to / incorporating Native American issues such as:

- cultural competency issues,

- identifying / listing statewide community services providers specific to Native Americans and making this information available to all counseling staff / teams

- best practices in developing professional relationships with the 121 Programs in the state (who’s who, where located, 121 Program Strengths, and their employment outreach activities)

- the array of services 121 programs offer (what they actually offer / provide and not what is specified by law, to learn how best to dovetail DVR services / strengths with 121 Program services / strengths

- dual participation of Native Americans in both 121 Programs and State VR, citing the laws / rules that govern this

- have 121 Program Directors participate and/or do the topic presentations / training at Rehabilitation Academy

- identifying best practices already employed by DVR counseling staff / teams that could be shared with attendees of Rehabilitation Academy

2. Successful Employment Outcomes –

a. Target increased successful employment outcomes of Native American participants as a strategic goal of the Division. This will help give focus and direction to achieving such a goal.

b. Explore self-employment opportunities with Native American DVR participants who have expressed desire to remain in their community with their business and / or those who want to locate their business in both their community and in the larger community

c. Develop working collaborative partnerships with statewide community services providers with outreach and /or specific services to Native American populations, such as Zia Chapter Paralyzed Veterans of America, Inc.; Abrazos Family Support Services: Education for Parents of Indian Children with Special Needs; Native American Disability Las Center, Inc.; and of course, the Centers for Independent Living throughout the state.

d. Many DVR counselors and staff who have expertise and / or have established networks with services to Native American populations: Gallup, Farmington, Rio Rancho, Taos, and other DVR venues. Their expertise, networking connections, and best practices should be garnered and made available to all DVR counseling staff / teams.

3. DVR – SRC Collaborative - Participant and Stakeholder Satisfaction and Statewide Needs Assessment Surveying -

There has been considerable discussion by the SRC that a “study within a study” could be done specifically focusing on Native American populations. To this end, the study sample could include all DVR participants with Native American race/ethnicity coding as well as the random sampling of identified demographics for the overall, larger study that would take place. In essence, we would be conducting a “study within a study” with specific reporting reflecting the findings of the larger, whole study and the “study within a study.” This will be explored during the next Participant Satisfaction, Statewide Needs Assessment survey.

Ticket to Work: The Social Security Administration’s Ticket to Work program is designed to provide a network of providers for Social Security beneficiaries to obtain employment outcome services. NMDVR is an Employment Network under the Ticket to Work program.

NMDVR and Behavioral Health Services: NMDVR is a member of New Mexico’s Behavioral Health Purchasing Collaborative. During the past four year, work continued toward intra-agency collaboration specifically dealing with behavioral health services among all 17 agencies/divisions of the BHPC. Under the terms of an agreement reached with the State Behavioral Health Services Division, NMDVR continues to facilitate and monitor employment services for people within the BHSD system and to assist others in making connections with that system. Coordination of services among BHSD, NMDVR, regional employment providers, and mental health providers can increase successful employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities.

 

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

The agency Supported Employment Coordinator continues to act as a resource for community rehabilitation programs (CRPs) and vocational rehabilitation staff. While the agency maintains a memorandum of Understanding with the Developmental Disabilities Supports Division, efforts will be made to identify additional service providers and to maintain or improve relationships with existing CRPs.

Division staff that participated on one of the agency’s Leadership Institute programs initiated a project to develop standards for evaluating CRPs. The intent is to use this data for evaluating efficiency and for educating participants. This was preliminary work that laid the foundation for additional steps in FFY 13.

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

 

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

The NMDVR is under a Performance Improvement Plan as indicators 1.1 and 1.2 were not met. The primary reason for not meeting these was the implementation of an order of selection, which significantly impacted the agency’s service delivery capacity. Given that the Division as able to remove everyone off of the waiting list during FFY 13, service delivery capacity will be increased. Capacity, in conjunction with the Performance Improvement Plan will enable the Division to meet these standards within the next two years. Elements of the Performance Improvement Plan include:

• Develop innovative strategies to increase program outcomes in difficult economic times.

• Develop effective partnerships with participants, employers, vendors and others as appropriate, to improve participants’ outcomes and therefore program outcomes.

• Effectively and efficiently monitor and manage activities and expenditures for all programs for optimal performance.

• Obtain necessary state match to capture all federal rehabilitation dollars available to NM.

• Effectively implement an Order of Selection for participant services (priority of service) due to funding cuts.

• Implement innovative technology alternatives to improve communication, climate and performance.

• Prepare for retirement or loss of key staff (Recruitment and Retention).

 

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

NMDVR has had representatives on the State and all of the local Workforce Investment boards since their inception in 2000. Representatives address the issues and interests of individuals with disabilities in the workforce investment system, both in developing policy and influencing service delivery. NMDVR has had a presence in local One-Stops through the Navigator grant program (this grant is now expired) and has otherwise collaborated with the Workforce offices itinerantly.

Although the Navigator program is completed, it did serve to increase awareness of vocational rehabilitation services and employment-related needs of people with disabilities at local One-stops. The result is that One-stop staff have established and maintain contact with NMDVR counselors throughout the state.

The Operator of the One-stop Provider in the Central and Northern regions of New Mexico sits on the State Rehabilitation Council as a business representative. He has committed to improving greater collaboration and resource sharing in both regions.

 

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.

Strategies to achieve goals and priorities identified in Attachment 4.11(c)(1)

The primary strategy to achieve the goals and priorities identified in Attachment 4.11(c)(1), is to fill vacant vocational rehabilitation counselor positions and reduce turnover. A statewide hiring freeze in recent years lead to delays in filling vacant positions. Positions are now being advertised and positions continue to be filled. The ability to fill vacant positions will have a positive impact on the agency’s ability to respond to the State Rehabilitation Council’s recommendations including emphasis on placing NMDVR participants in jobs above poverty level, identifying migrant farm workers as a priority, and tracking of dual cases participants served by Native American 121 programs and DVR.

Strategies to support innovation and expansion activities

Reserved Title I funds have traditionally been used to support innovation and expansion operations and activities of both the State Rehabilitation Council and the Statewide Independent Living Council. This support continues.

The Division continues to collaborate with the Governor’s Commission on Disability on two initiatives: 1) increase direct services and support personnel services to deaf - blind individuals through existing community providers and 2) Transfer of the New Mexico Technology Assistance Program from the Division to the Governor’s Commission.

Innovation and expansion activities include DVR’s Leadership Institute for Tomorrow (LIFT). Cohort one was completed and a second cohort is currently underway in Fiscal 2013 and is a strategy designed to aid in reducing turnover as well as help provide for comprehensive career development and succession planning.

This program not only provides leadership training to participants interested in increased leadership roles, it also allows for the development of projects addressing real-time opportunities to improve agency processes and service to participants. Project examples from the completed first cohort include research and development of comparable service data base options as well as improved consistency in coordination of job development services.

• 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.

Strategies to address barriers to equitable access of and participation in state Vocational Rehabilitation Services include:

• Use of Video Relay Interpreter services. NMDVR has distributed video relay interpreter equipment in area offices where live interpreting is limited. Training of field staff on use of this technology is now complete. While live interpreters are always the preference, this technology will allow for improved access to VR services by deaf and hard of hearing applicants and participants, especially in rural areas.

• Collaboration with Behavioral Health Services. NMDVR continues work toward intra-agency collaboration dealing with behavioral health services among all agency/divisions in the New Mexico Behavioral Health Purchasing Collaborative (BHCP).

• Collaborative partnerships with statewide community service providers.

• Filling vacant rehabilitation counselor positions and reducing turnover.

• Addressing the issues and interests of individuals with disabilities in the workforce investment system both in developing policy and influencing service delivery, through representation on State Workforce Boards.

Strategies to address barriers to equitable access of and participation in state Supported Employment Services include:

• Continue to use Title VI-B funds for case services exclusively. Funds will be allocated to the Area Offices where the direct delivery of services takes place. These funds will be monitored quarterly and reallocated to the Area Offices based on need. Title I funds will also be used for supported employment services once Title VI-B funds are exhausted, or in the event that Title VI-B funds are rolled into Title I at the federal level.

• Continue to purchase supported employment services from programs on either a fee-for-services basis or through milestone payments developed regionally and/or through specific Memorandum of Understanding with other state agencies, for clients with the most significant disabilities.

• Continue to seek long-term funding support from agencies providing supported employment. The Developmental Disabilities Support Division, Department of Health, provides long term funding for supported employment to provider agencies under the Developmental Disabilities Waiver and Mi Via Waivers. The Division works collaboratively with the Behavioral Health Services Division, Department of Health, New Mexico Department of Human Services, and the NM Behavioral Health Collaborative to assure ongoing support services for individuals with severe disabling mental illness served under supported employment Individualized Plans for Employment.

 

This screen was last updated on Jun 26 2013 4:06PM by John Fullinwider

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

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

The Division continues to expand and improve services to individuals with the most significant disabilities, to individuals who are minorities, or individuals who have been unserved or under-served.

Client data is examined to determine increased utilization of services in specific areas. Additionally, testimony received in public hearings that supports this data is considered.

Specific outcomes/data will not be available for the 2012 – 2013 federal fiscal year until sometime after October 1, 2013 after submission of this State Plan. However, the following data represents achieved goals as outline in Attachment 4.11(c)(1): State’s Goals and Priorities for the Federal Fiscal Year 2012 (October 1, 2011 – September 30, 2012):

A. Number of clients served = 9,675

B. Number of persons achieving a viable employment outcome consistent with the client’s skills, abilities, aptitudes, interests, and a minimum of 90 days = 728

C. Number of clients with most significant/significant disabilities served (coded significant disability at eligibility) = 5,864

D. Number of persons with significant disabilities achieving a viable outcome consistent with their skills, abilities, aptitudes, interests, and a minimum of 90 days = 695

E. Number of Title VI-B served clients in active status = 347

Strategies that contributed to the achievement of goals and priorities are varied as indicated below:

1. Rehabilitation Academy is available to new and less experienced staff, and to more experienced staff as a refresher.

2. Training provided throughout the year by the Staff Development Unit and the University of Arkansas Technical Assistance and Continuing Education Center (TACE) inclusive of relevant topics to vocational rehabilitation and continuing education opportunities

3. Case and caseload reviews are conducted by field program managers routinely utilizing standardized instruments and monthly data reports

4. A comprehensive case review was coordinated by staff in the Program Development and Supports Unit, and completed by various field management staff and senior counseling staff.

5. Coaching and mentoring are provided by field program managers and lead counselors in field program to promote quality service delivery, support and guidance, and consistent practice

6. Memoranda of Understanding developed jointly with the Public Education Department, local school districts, the Developmental Disabilities Supports Division, the Behavioral Health Division, to promote collaboration and create systemic improvements

7. Performance appraisal measures have been standardized to enable cumulative performance aligned with agency goals

8. Staff is recognized annually to promote an additional incentive to exceed individual and agency goals.

9. Attainment of CSPD standards. Newer counseling staff is required to become licensed.

10. Attracting higher qualified staff.

11. Reduced ratio of staff to Program Managers allowing more time to managers to focus on Area needs, promote staff development, services to clients, and continuous quality improvement.

12. Factoring in Participant Satisfaction and Statewide Needs Assessment recommendations for improved best practices

Comprehensive strategic planning with seven major focus areas:

1. Budget Management – Effective Use of Resources

2. Career Development – Positive Organizational Climate

3. Innovative Technology Alternatives for Communication – Effective Use of Resources

4. Optimize funding for Core Program – Effective Use of Resources

5. Quality Participant Outcomes – Successful Participant Outcomes

6. State Rehabilitation Council and Stakeholder Satisfaction and Statewide Needs Assessment – Participant and Stakeholder Satisfaction

7. Streamlining Processes and Internal Controls – Participant and Stakeholder Satisfaction

The Division did not meet two Standards and Indicators in FFY 12, the number of achieved employment outcomes numerical (1.1) and achieved employment outcome percentage (1.2). Related factors are:

The agency has experienced vocational rehabilitation counselor and staff turnover in recent years has created significant staffing challenges. This has resulted in a 23% vacancy rate. Vacancies create a disruption in service delivery.

There are a number of less experienced counselors on a learning curve.

The agency is operating under an Order of Selection and it was not until the fall of 2012 that all individuals were moved off of the waiting list. This has significantly reduced the number of clients receiving services, those that have entered into an Individualized Plan for Employment, and the number of successful outcomes. Participants being released off of the waiting list will increase the number of clients in the pipeline and ultimately result in more employment outcomes. This will also increase the employment outcome percentage of all closures (standard 1.2) over the course of the next two years.

The agency is currently on a Performance and Improvement Plan (PIP) aimed at increasing successful employment outcomes and other standards and indicators, although resorting to an Order of Selection in February of 2011 has hampered the efforts outlined in the Performance Improvement Plan. The PIP has recently been modified to identify additional actions to improve outcomes. One such activity will be the creation of business development unit aimed at networking and marketing to private and public sector employers. Recognizing business as second customer will be critical to increasing production.

 

Number of Title VI-B served clients in active status = 347

Strategies to enhance and increase Title VI-B services included:

1. Continue to use Title VI-B funds for case services exclusively. Funds will be allocated to the Area Offices where the direct delivery of services takes place. These funds will be monitored quarterly and reallocated to the Area Offices based on need. Title I funds will also be used for supported employment services once Title VI-B funds are exhausted.

2. Continue to purchase supported employment services from programs on either a fee-for-services basis or through milestone payments developed regionally and/or through specific Memorandum of Understanding with other state agencies, for clients with the most significant disabilities.

3. Continue to seek long-term funding support from agencies providing supported employment. The Developmental Disabilities Support Division, Department of Health, provides long term funding for supported employment to provider agencies under the Developmental Disabilities Waiver and Mi Via Waivers. The Division works collaboratively with the Behavioral Health Services Division, Department of Health, New Mexico Department of Human Services, and the NM Behavioral Health Collaborative to assure ongoing support services for individuals with severe disabling mental illness served under supported employment Individualized Plans for Employment.

4. The Division continues to work with other state agencies under memoranda of understanding focusing on serving individuals with the most significant disabilities under supported employment plans.

5. Individual placements in integrated work settings at wages comparable to non-disabled peers performing similar work continue to be emphasized.

6. The Division has increased its collaboration through participation with provider agencies; as well as independent and statewide entities to promote “Employment First” principles for individuals with the most significant disabilities served under supported employment Individualized Plans for Employment.

7. The Division has established statewide liaisons in supported employment to assist the statewide Supported Employment Coordinator in technical assistance and conducting staff training relevant to supported employment policy and service provision. Division liaisons are active participants and attendees in supported employment trainings provided by experts at the local, regional, and national level. Division liaisons participate regularly in regional quarterly meetings held between collaborating agencies and the Developmental Disabilities Support Division, Department of Health.

8. The Division has a devoted staff person who provides guidance and technical assistance to staff, service providers, and other stakeholders. This individual also compiles information and data, and tracks Supported Employment activities.

9. The Division continues to support and promote strategies to assure employment opportunities for individuals with the most significant disabilities served under supported employment Individualized Plans for Employment.

Strategies that contributed to achievement of goals included use Title VI-B funds for case services exclusively, purchase of supported employment services from programs on either a fee-for-services basis or through milestone payments developed regionally and/or through specific Memorandum of Understanding with other state agencies, long-term funding support from agencies providing supported employment, and working with other state agencies under memoranda of understanding focusing on serving individuals with the most significant disabilities under supported employment plans.

Other strategies that continue to contribute to achievement of supported employment goals are the devoted SE Coordinator who provides technical support as well as intra and interagency coordination. The SE Coordinator, along with identified area Supported Employment Liaisons (one in each area), monitor SE referrals and follow up toward success in supported employment services.

Less case service under Supported Employment occurred due Order of Selection. Case Service is expected to gradually increase as participants have been moved off the waiting lists and served under Individualized Plans for Employment.

 

The Division did not meet two Standards and Indicators in FFY 12, the number of achieved employment outcomes numerical (1.1) and achieved employment outcome percentage (1.2).

Other Standards and Indicators were met or exceeded as inticated below:

Standards & Indicators

INDICATOR

1. EMPLOYMENT OUTCOMES

1.1 Achieved Employment Outcomes Numerical

(Indicator must exceed or equal

previous performance period)

FFY 08: 1692

FFY 09: 1545

FFY 10: 1541

FFY 11: 1219

FFY 12: 683

1.2 Achieved Employment Outcomes Percentage

(Indicator must = 55.8%)

FFY 08: 60.2

FFY 09: 55.2

FFY 10: 52.3

FFY 11: 50.7

FFY 12: 43.4

1.3 Percentage Closed Competitive, Self Employed or Business Enterprise Program (Indicator must = 72.6%)

FFY 08: 98.3

FFY 09: 97.9

FFY 10: 98.2

FFY 11: 98.9

FFY 12: 97.1

1.4 Percentage Closed Competitive, Self Employed or Business Enterprise Program Who Where Significantly or Most Significantly Disabled (Indicator must = 62.4%)

FFY 08: 95.2

FFY 09: 94.7

FFY 10: 96.9

FFY 11: 96.3

FFY 12: 98.0

1.5 Average Hourly Earnings Competitive, Self Employed or Business Enterprise Program Ratio of Least Minimum Wage to Average Hourly Earning of all Employed New Mexicans (indicator must = 0.52 [Ratio])

FFY 08: 0.64

FFY 09: 0.65

FFY 10: 0.65

FFY 11: 0.60

FFY 12: 0.60

1.6 Percentage Closed Competitive, Self Employed or Business Enterprise Program Reporting Own Income as Largest Single Source of Economic Support Reported at Closure as Reported at Application (Indicator must = 53.0 [Mathematical Difference]).

FFY 08: 54.2

FFY 09: 49.7

FFY 10: 51.6

FFY 11: 52.4

FFY 12: 60.0

2. EQUAL ACCESS TO SERVICES

2.1 Individuals with Disabilities from Minority Background as ratio to all Non-minority Individuals with Disabilities. (Indicator must = 0.80).

FFY 08: 0.89

FFY 09: 0.88

FFY 10: 0.85

FFY 11: 0.88

FFY 12: 0.90

 

Reserved Title I funds are used to support innovation and expansion operations and activities of both the State Rehabilitation Council and the Statewide Independent Living Council. This support will continue.

The Division continues to collaborate with the Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing and the Commission for the Blind to increase services to deaf - blind individuals through existing community providers.

BENCHMARKING - The NMDVR measures products and services against standards set by the federal government and its own past performance. For the Rehabilitation Services Program, the agency uses Federal Standards and Indicators, set by regulation, which do not require the Rehabilitation Services program to achieve all of the performance measures.

This screen was last updated on Aug 15 2013 5:51PM by John Fullinwider

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

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

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

Supported employment services provided by the Division consist of case services made available through the Title VI-B funds of the Rehabilitation Act. Title VI-B funds for Federal Fiscal Year equaled $244,500.00. In March of 2013, because of federal sequestration, there was a 5.1% reduction of Title VI –B funds which reduced the total Supported Employment grant awarded for FY 13 to $232,031.00.

Title I funds of the Rehabilitation Act (available for general, basic vocational rehabilitation services) are used for supported employment services upon depletion of Title VI-B funds.

The Division procures supported employment services on a case-by-case basis from local rehabilitation programs that have committed long-term funding to the individual participants. Area supervisors conduct direct negotiations of fee for service procurement schedules of supported employment services. The local area supervisors, counselors, Statewide Supported Employment Coordinator and administrative staff monitor the scope and quality of supported employment services available to DVR participants. Supported employment service providers are required to submit monthly reports to the Division including the local area counselor and supervisor. Reports highlight client progress and satisfaction, as well as pertinent demographic data. The review, compilation, and analysis of the monthly cumulative reports obtained from the contract vendor enable the Division to monitor the quality of job coaching. The DVR counselor reviews these reports with the contract provider to ensure that the scope of services comply with supported employment guidelines and are consistent with the vocational needs of the participant.

The quality of supported employment services is measured in terms of integration achieved by the individual at the work-site along with the amount of wages earned. To increase the level of integration, the Division emphasizes the individualized placement model. This information is documented in the participant case files and monitored on a monthly basis.

The scope and extent of services provided to clients under the Individualized Plan for Employment for supported employment continues to be the same as those available to individuals under the Title I program. This is in accordance with Division operating procedures. All services are provided on an equitable basis within the constraints of available funding.

The Division does not target specific disability groups to provide supported employment services. However, long-term support funding by the State is currently available for those individuals who are either developmentally disabled or who have significant disabling mental illness.

The Division continues to seek long-term funding support for other disability groups. To this end, the Division seeks to negotiate with other state agencies and private non-profit organizations. Traditionally, cooperative agreements between the New Mexico Department of Health Developmental Disabilities Supports Division and the Department of Aging and Long Term Services facilitate the transition from Title VI-B funding to a long-term funding source. The transition occurs when the time spent by the job coach with the DVR participant in supported employment program decreases to an average of 8 hours (20%) per week or less.

Another determinant is agreement by the client, employer, job coach and the NMDVR counselor that the transition to the long-term funding source is appropriate and consistent with the vocational needs of the client. It is noted that time limits are not defined in the Division’s Manual of Operational Procedures; rather, each case is assessed in terms of individual needs for supported employment services.

A Memorandum of Agreement has been entered into between the New Mexico Department of Health Developmental Disabilities Supports Division and the Department of Aging and Long Term Services to accomplish joint implementation for supported employment under: the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, 29 U.S.C 795(b)(1) and 721(a)(11); 8.314.5 New Mexico Administrative Code and Walter Stephens Jackson, et.al. vs. Los Lunas Center for Persons with Developmental Disabilities, et.al. CIV No.87-0839-JP/LCS. The MOA defines eligibility for DVR services, DVR eligibility criteria for Supported Employment, Developmental Disabilities Supports Division eligibility for the purposes of the MOA, methods of accomplishment outlining the responsibilities of the Developmental Disabilities Supports Division such as implementation and maintenance of a referral process, offer of long-term support, and implementation of additional responsibilities to carry out the agreement.

The MOA outlines joint responsibilities of the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, and the Developmental Disabilities Support Division, as well as targeted outcomes for each agency. The MOA defines Ongoing Support Services - Services that are: 1. Needed to support and maintain an individual with significant disabilities in supported employment, 2. Based on a determination by the designated State Unit of the individual’s needs as specified in an Individualized Plan for Employment; and 3. Furnished by the designated State Unit in 34 CPR 363.4(c)(3) and following transition, by one or more extended services providers throughout the individual’s term of employment in a particular job placement or multiple placements if those placements are being provided under a program of transition to employment. 4. Include, at a minimum, twice-monthly monitoring to assess employment stability at the work site of each individual in supported employment (unless the Individualized Plan for Employment provides for off-site monitoring), and based upon that assessment, the coordination or provision of specific services at or away from the work site, that are needed to maintain employment stability. If off-site monitoring is determined to be appropriate, there must be contact with the employer each month.

The Department of Human Services provides administrative support to and houses the Behavioral Health Collaborative to provide a long-term funding mechanism for Behavioral Health recipients. Behavioral Health Services and funding is allocated through the Collaborative to provide comprehensive and vocational services to individuals with significant disabling mental illness. Both mechanisms mentioned above are used to fund long-term supported employment services and extended services.

This screen was last updated on Jun 26 2013 4:17PM by John Fullinwider

System Information

System information

The following information is captured by the MIS.

Last updated on:08/16/2013 5:40 PM

Last updated by:sanmfullinwiderj

Completed on: 08/16/2013 5:40 PM

Completed by: sanmfullinwiderj

Approved on: 09/17/2013 2:55 PM

Approved by: rscostilesc