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

State Plan for the State Vocational Rehabilitation Services Program and
State Plan Supplement for the State Supported Employment Services Program
New York Commission for the Blind and Visually Handicapped State Plan for Fiscal Year 2013 (submitted FY 2012)

1.1 The The Department of Family Assistance/Office of Children and Family Services (DFA/ 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 Department of Family Assistance/Office of Children and family Services [3] agrees to operate and administer the State Vocational Rehabilitation Services Program in accordance with the provisions of this State Plan [4], the Rehabilitation Act, and all applicable regulations [5], policies and procedures established by the secretary. Funds made available under Section 111 of the Rehabilitation Act are used solely for the provision of vocational rehabilitation services under Title I of the Rehabilitation Act and the administration of the State Plan for the vocational rehabilitation services program.

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

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

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

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

1.7 The (enter title of state officer below)
Yes

The Commissioner, Office of Children and family Services (OCFS)

... 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

The Commissioner (OCFS)

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

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

State Plan Certified By

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

Signed?
Yes

Name of Signatory
Gladys Carrión

Title of Signatory
Commissioner

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

Assurances Certified By

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

Comments:

To establish a State Rehabilitation Council (SRC) that meets the criteria set forth in Section 105 of the act, as required in Section 101(a)(21)(ii), so that the CBVH can work with the SRC to fulfill the responsibilities listed in Section 101(a)(21)(ii).

Signed?
Yes

Name of Signatory
Gladys Carrión

Title of Signatory
Commissioner

Date Signed (mm/dd/yyyy)
09/25/2012

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

Section 1 Footnotes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(a) Conduct of public meetings.

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

(b) Notice requirements.

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

(c) Special consultation requirements.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(a) Designated state agency.

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

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

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

(b) Designated state unit.

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

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

  1. The name of the designated state vocational rehabilitation unit is
Commission for the Blind and Visually Handicapped (CBVH)

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

The State Plan must contain one of the following assurances.

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

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

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

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

(Option B was selected)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

If "Yes", the designated state agency:

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

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

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

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

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

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

This agency is not requesting a waiver of statewideness.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(c) Coordination with education officials.

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

  1. The State Plan description must:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(a) In general.

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

(b) Employment of individuals with disabilities.

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

(c) Facilities.

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

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

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

(a) Data system on personnel and personnel development.

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

  1. Qualified personnel needs.

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

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

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

  1. Personnel development.

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

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

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

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

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

(c) Personnel standards.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(d) Staff development.

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

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

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

(e) Personnel to address individual communication needs.

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

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

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

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

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

(a) Comprehensive statewide assessment.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(b) Annual estimates.

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

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

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

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

(c) Goals and priorities.

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

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

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

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

  1. provides a justification for the order; and

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

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

(d) Strategies.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(e) Evaluation and reports of progress.

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

  1. Attachment 4.11(e)(2):

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(b) If No:

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

  1. Attachment 4.11(c)(3):

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  1. an immediate job placement; or

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(a) Contracts with for-profit organizations.

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

(b) Cooperative agreements with private nonprofit organizations.

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

Section 6: Program Administration

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  1. specifies the supported employment services to be provided;

  1. describes the expected extended services needed; and

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

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

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

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

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

SUMMARY OF INPUT AND RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE STATE REHABILITATION COUNCIL; THE RESPONSE OF THE DESIGNATED STATE UNIT; AND EXPLANATION FOR REJECTION OF INPUT OR RECOMMENDATIONS

The State Rehabilitation Council (SRC) met on March 22, 2012 to review and provide input into the 2013 Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS), Commission for the Blind and Visually Handicapped (CBVH) State Plan for Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) and Supported Employment Services. Members of the SRC received copies of the proposed State Plan prior to that meeting.

State Rehabilitation Council Goals and Objectives

The SRC and CBVH comprise a strategic partnership. SRC members include current and former participants in the CBVH vocational rehabilitation program, parents of children who are legally blind, representatives from advocacy groups, a representative from the Blinded Veterans Association, representatives from the rehabilitation service provider agencies, members of CBVH’s Business Enterprise Program (BEP), representatives from business, industry and labor as well as ex-officio members representing both CBVH and other state agencies. The SRC assists CBVH in developing and reviewing the State Plan, including CBVH’s goals and priorities. The SRC provides policy advice and reviews consumer needs and satisfaction with services. CBVH collects and analyzes consumer satisfaction data on a regular basis. The data is shared with the SRC for review and comment at one of their quarterly meetings.

SRC Recommendations to the CBVH FY 2013 State Plan

1. Comment: Attachment 4.8(b)(2) - CBVH should engage the State Education Department regarding graduation requirements for youth who are legally blind, as well as other issues relating to the transition of legally blind youth from school to employment. CBVH should have a counselor or mandated person present at annual reviews of students with vision loss.

Response: CBVH agrees with this recommendation and will be addressing the SRC concerns as we update the formal interagency agreement with the New York State Education Department. The intention of the interagency agreement is to develop and establish the roles of each party with respect to transition planning. The agreement will include guidance, procedures and information from CBVH’s policies specific to transition services for students who are legally blind.

CBVH encourages families to notify their counselor when the family receives notice that a review of the child’s IEP (Individualized Education Program) will take place. CBVH staff must be invited by the family to attend these meetings. CBVH policy states that “the CBVH counselor may contribute to the Committee on Special Education (CSE) transition planning meetings as a meeting participant. If this is not possible, other alternatives should be used such as telephone conferences, so that students, parents, and school district staff can avail themselves of the CBVH counselor’s expertise.” Supervisors reinforce this policy at a local level and encourage staff to provide input into the student’s education plan as it relates to transition planning.

2. Comment: In Attachment 4.11(d), Goal 1, CBVH should include a new strategy to promote the expansion of the Business Enterprise Program to increase employment opportunities and outcomes.

Response: CBVH has added new Strategy 6 regarding the expansion of the Business Enterprise Program to Goal 1 in Attachment 4.11(d).

3. Comment: In Attachment 4.11(d), Goal 2, CBVH should add “unserved and underserved populations” in the goal statement.

Response: CBVH has added “unserved and underserved populations” to Goal 2 in Attachment 4.11(d).

4. Comment: In Attachment 4.11(d), Goal 2, Strategy 4, CBVH should include specific organizations such as literacy zones, community action programs, local church organizations, and local public organizations such as the Lion’s Club.

Response: CBVH has listed specific organization types to Goal 2, Strategy 4.

5. Comment: In Attachment 4.11(d), Goal 5, CBVH should include rural communities in the goal statement.

Response: This goal doesn’t identify any specific groups or populations, it applies to consumer statewide. CBVH counselors do take into account the individual needs of people across the State, regardless of their location. Strategy 2 specifically addressed increasing AT in rural communities.

6. Comment: In Attachment 4.11(d), Goal 7, Strategy 1, CBVH should add a personal, face to face contact from CBVH with business.

Response: CBVH has added language regarding personal, face-to-face contact with businesses to Goal 7, Strategy 1 in Attachment 4.11(d).

This screen was last updated on May 31 2012 9:11AM by Michael Rose

This agency has not requested a waiver of statewideness.

This screen has never been updated.

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.

COOPERATIVE AGREEMENTS WITH AGENCIES NOT CARRYING OUT ACTIVITIES UNDER THE STATEWIDE WORKFORCE INVESTMENT SYSTEM

In addition to collaborating with State Workforce partners, CBVH works with a number of community and national partners. Specific collaborations around employment include:

Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation (CSAVR)

CSAVR’s National Employment Team (NET) provides a coordinated approach to serving business customers through employer development, business consulting and corporate relations. By establishing partnerships with businesses, VR can better match employer staffing needs with the skills and interests of consumers seeking employment, as well as help business to retain employees who experience disability. The NET provides:

• Businesses with direct access to qualified applicants and support services from the public VR system,

• VR consumers with access to national employment opportunities and career development resources, and

• VR agencies with a national system for sharing employment resources, best practices and business connections.

A designated point of contact serves as the primary contact for employers seeking to partner with CBVH. In the past year, through the NET partnership, CBVH has shared information about Federal hiring initiatives as well as new corporate partnerships with CBVH staff and placement partners. In addition, the NET shared information on a number of internship and skill camp opportunities for high school and college students.

Working with Community Rehabilitation Programs (CRP)

CBVH is interested in improving the capacity of community rehabilitation partners to successfully place consumers who are legally blind. CBVH, the Region II Technical Assistance and Continuing Education program, and CRP jointly plan training to address information and skill needs of both CBVH and CRP staff.

The Metropolitan Placement Consortium, a collaboration among placement providers in the NYC metro area, has been meeting regularly and continues to expand membership. The Consortium’s mission is to work cooperatively to expand job opportunities for individuals who are legally blind and seeking employment.

Chapter 515 Interagency Implementation Team

The Chapter 515 Interagency Implementation Team composed of mid-level managers from CBVH, Adult Career and Continuing Education Services-Vocational Rehabilitation (ACCES-VR, formerly VESID), Office of People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD, formerly OMRDD) and Office of Mental Health (OMH), continues to meet to discuss ongoing concerns with implementation of supported employment intensive and extended services in New York State. The primary focus of the team continues to be discussion of solutions to systemic barriers and revising the Supported Employment Memorandum of Understanding toward more effective planning and coordination of intensive and extended services.

Most Integrated Setting Coordinating Council (MISCC)

The Most Integrated Setting Coordinating Council, established by Chapter 551 of the Laws of 2002, is responsible for developing a comprehensive statewide plan to provide that people of all ages with physical and mental disabilities receive care and services in the most integrated settings appropriate to their individual needs. OCFS CBVH is a member of the MISCC and has participated on both the employment and transportation committees, neither of which have met in the past year as the State’s focus has been on the Medicaid Infrastructure Grant. The MISCC has gained greater attention from the Governor and has formed new committees. Assessment, employment and transportation will remain a focus with representation from CBVH.

The MISCC is now being reformed to include the following workgroups:

1. Housing chaired by New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR)

2. Assessment Process chaired by OPWDD

3. Employment chaired by OMH

4. Livable Communities chaired by New York State Office for the Aging (NYSOFA)

5. Transportation chaired by New York State Department of Transportation (DOT)

The workgroups will be looking at issues related to data, metric goals and drafting a plan to comply with Olmstead v. L.C., 119 S.Ct. 2176 (1999).

Medicaid Infrastructure Grant (MIG)

New York’s Medicaid Infrastructure Grant funds the “New York Makes Work Pay” initiative which has taken a multi-pronged approach to improving employment outcomes. CBVH staff, providers and employers have participated in many of the initiatives under this program including:

• Pilots of the Discovery Process as a means to gain a greater understanding of consumers’ strengths, interests and abilities and the supports available to enable them to achieve employment through a customized approach;

• Collaboration to expand entrepreneurial employment opportunities

• Workshops to increase employer capacity and knowledge regarding hiring individuals with disabilities; and

• Benefits Advisement and Asset Development training for CBVH staff

Meeting the Needs of Special Populations

CBVH participated on the Interagency Council for Services to Persons who are Deaf, Deaf-Blind, or Hard of Hearing formed to coordinate the collection of information on population needs, engage in comprehensive strategic planning and prepare legislative and policy recommendations to the Governor and the State Legislature.

The Council has submitted to the Legislature a strategic plan addressing six priorities: interpreters/support service providers, assistive technology, children’s education, community education, mental health services and future needs.

Cooperation with Industries for the Blind of New York State

CBVH continues its partnership with Industries for the Blind of New York State (IBNYS) to facilitate growth in competitive employment options. IBNYS’ Strategic Plan states that its leadership will focus 50% of its time on opportunity development, including areas of employment in service and technology. While supporting new initiatives, IBNYS will also maintain its manufacturing components, looking for new products and customers.

CBVH has encouraged IBNYS affiliates to provide needed work experience and skill training to enable individuals who are interested in moving on to competitive employment in an integrated setting.

Cooperative Agreement with Recipients of Grants for Services to American Indians

In 2003, CBVH established an interagency agreement with the Seneca Nation of Indians Tribal Vocational Rehabilitation Program. The agreement represents both parties commitment to mutual cooperation, coordination and collaboration to increase vocational opportunities for members of the Seneca Nation of Indians who are legally blind. It establishes shared values, outlines how services will be coordinated and how members of both organizations will participate in cross-training activities. The collaborative relationship between the CBVH Buffalo District Office and the Seneca Nation of Indians Tribal Vocational Rehabilitation Program has increased awareness, acceptance and utilization of CBVH services. CBVH maintains a relationship in which referrals are handled in a timely and culturally sensitive manner. CBVH staff conducts in-service training with agencies on the Cattaraugus Reservation, and works closely with staff of the Salamanca satellite of the Section 121 program and with the Area Office for the Aging on the reservation. CBVH staff serves on the Section 121 Project Advisory Board, which meets monthly.

CBVH further supports the activities of the Section 121 Tribal VR Program through the delivery of state-funded services to children and elderly individuals, allowing them to better focus resources on tribal members seeking employment.

Programs Carried Out by the Undersecretary for Rural Development

CBVH does not have programs carried out by the Undersecretary for Rural Development of the United States Department of Agriculture.

State Use Contracting Programs

CBVH does not have state use contracting programs.

This screen was last updated on May 31 2012 9:11AM by Michael Rose

  • 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.

COORDINATION WITH EDUCATION OFFICIALS

Formal Interagency Agreement with the State Educational Agency

Understanding the importance of interagency planning and the need to increase the availability, access and quality of transition services, CBVH continues to work with school districts as they develop and implement transition services. The Joint Agreement on the Provision of Transition Services, signed in 1993 by CBVH, the Office of Vocational and Educational Services for Individuals with Disabilities (VESID) and the Office of Elementary, Middle, Secondary and Continuing Education (EMS) in the State Education Department articulates the expected relationship between vocational rehabilitation and secondary education programs in New York State. The joint agreement covers the following:

1. Increasing successful transition outcomes;

2. Enhancing vocational assessments;

3. Implementing transition planning procedures; and,

4. Implementing functional referral criteria for schools to refer students to VESID and to CBVH.

Roles and Responsibilities

The joint agreement clarifies that school districts have the primary planning and programmatic responsibilities for the provision of transition services for their students in school. School districts are financially responsible for transition services mandated for school districts by Federal or State statutes and regulations. CBVH personnel currently have a consulting role with the schools to see that adult services are involved in the planning and decision-making process regarding transition services for students with disabilities. CBVH is responsible only for services written into the IEP by the Committee on Special Education with the direct knowledge and agreement of the CBVH counselor. The transition services for youth are to be aligned with labor market needs and integrated community living opportunities, and coordinated with the adult world to facilitate employment, post-secondary education, and community living outcomes. CBVH may be consulted for vocational evaluation interpretation, occupational opportunities, decision making with the Committee on Special Education, coordination with adult services, peer counseling, role modeling and job placement analysis. CBVH will provide transition services if they are beyond the scope of the special education program and within the scope of VR services. Assessments for in-school youth may be purchased by CBVH when existing assessments fail to provide adequate information for the counselor to determine CBVH eligibility or to develop plans for CBVH services. In addition, if the student needs specific vocational services to prepare for employment upon exiting school, CBVH will fund these services.

Consultation and Technical Assistance

CBVH staff is required to consult with school personnel to assist in recommending assessment practices and interpreting results in relation to employment. CBVH counselors assist the school by identifying resources in the community that are familiar with blindness and that offer comprehensive assessments.

As a participant in the school’s transition process, CBVH staff are encouraged to contribute knowledge of rehabilitation services and outcomes, and to discuss post-school plans with the youth, family and school personnel.

Procedures for Outreach

A standardized process has been implemented for school district referrals. ACCES-VR and CBVH collaborate with school districts and other State agencies to facilitate a coordinated approach to the provision of transition services and to eliminate the duplication of assessment, services and reporting. The agreement specifically states that every student with a disability will receive comprehensive, coordinated educational services to prepare for employment, post-secondary education or community living when they leave school.

Plans, policies and procedures for coordination with education officials and roles and responsibilities of each agency:

The CBVH transition policy states that as a participant in the school’s transition planning process, CBVH staff should contribute knowledge of rehabilitation services and outcomes, and identify the need for involvement by other State agencies, adult service programs, independent living centers, and community based services whose resources can assist students who are legally blind, their families, and education personnel during the transition process. It also states that CBVH is responsible only for services written into the IEP by the Committee on Special Education with the direct knowledge and agreement of the CBVH counselor. Financial responsibility for services, other than those which are mandated for school districts by Federal or State statute or regulation, may be shared by other agencies, including CBVH.

Cooperative efforts between the schools and CBVH take place on a daily basis at the district office level. CBVH Children’s Consultants provide schools with technical support, help parents learn to advocate effectively for their children, and purchase services to supplement those that school districts are required to provide. As the student nears transition age, the CBVH Children’s Consultants’ familiarity with particular students allows for a more effective transition to the vocational rehabilitation program. In cooperation with the school and community agencies, CBVH vocational rehabilitation counselors encourage and help individuals to live independently and develop meaningful employment plans. During school years, CBVH counselors can provide vocational guidance and counseling, resource information, and the preparation of post high school service plans. In addition, CBVH counselors may be able to provide job related occupational tools, purchase low vision aids, assist in obtaining employment and facilitate summer employment. CBVH currently employs eight vocational rehabilitation counselors who work exclusively with transition age youth.

The transition counselors have provided educational guidance to CBVH vocational rehabilitation counselors and encouraged student and parent involvement in the transition process. Brochures describing CBVH services have been widely distributed. The brochures are available in regular print, large print and Braille (upon request) and electronically. A publication called “Transition: A Guide for Parents and Students” has been developed and distributed to families and school personnel. CBVH staff frequently visit transition career fairs and attend high school open houses and present information about CBVH at college programs that are held on college campuses. In addition, staff participate in transition conferences and work closely with many staff from local school districts to reinforce the mission of VR, explain the role VR plays in the transition process, and discuss VR policies and procedures.

Provide for the development and approval of an individualized plan for employment before school exit, also (3 b): transition planning by personnel that facilitates the development and completion of their IEP:

The 1993 agreement states that transition services and the agencies responsible for the provision of such services should be indicated on the Individual Education Plan (IEP) for all students with disabilities, ages 15 years or older. The CBVH Transition Policy recommends that the student’s Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) be developed, to the extent possible, during the annual review of the transition component of the IEP. At that time, information required on the IPE should be consistent with the content of the IEP, including vocational goals, educational and rehabilitation objectives, projected dates and responsibilities for participation in the transition process. CBVH policy requires that an IPE be completed for each eligible student by the time the student graduates from high school. CBVH transition counselors have received training on this policy requirement and on the requirements of developing an IPE and coordinating the IPE with the IEP. All CBVH transition counselors have been actively developing employment plans for youth.

The New York Deaf-Blind Collaborative

The New York Deaf-Blind Collaborative (NYDBC) is a five-year federally funded project which provides technical assistance to improve services for children and youth who are deaf-blind (ages 0-21). The NYDBC is housed at Queens College in Flushing, New York and is funded by the United States Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP). CBVH has agreed to collaborate on specific initiatives with NYDBC. Specifically, CBVH assisted NYDBC in disseminating a state-wide needs assessment to increase the early identification of children who are deaf-blind in New York State. CBVH staff will also receive considerable technical assistance and training from NYDBC that will increase knowledge and skills in addressing the developmental and educational needs of children who are deaf-blind.

CBVH will also be involved in collaborative relationships with local, regional and statewide teams (as necessary) to support and improve systems to better serve children and youth.

This screen was last updated on Sep 10 2012 3:20PM by Michael Rose

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

COOPERATIVE AGREEMENTS WITH PRIVATE NON-PROFIT VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION SERVICE PROVIDERS

In January 2009, CBVH awarded outcome-based Comprehensive Services contracts (CSC) to 17 private agencies in New York State to serve individuals who are legally blind. These contracts will be in effect until December 2013. The contract services are designed to assist consumers with a goal of employment to develop or improve the basic skills essential to successfully seek and maintain a job. Each contract agency provides consumers with comprehensive and integrated training in basic life skills for preparation for competitive or supported employment.

Prior to receiving any of three core contract services (vision rehabilitation therapy, orientation and mobility training and social casework), the consumer participates in an assessment to determine readiness for services and to establish a baseline of skills against which future progress can be compared. The assessment also provides information about the amount of time a consumer may need to complete a basic life skills training program. Once the assessment is completed, the consumer, counselor and the person completing the assessment meet to finalize goals for a basic life skills training program.

Prior to the implementation of the current CSC contracts, job placement services were part of each agency’s contract. In the 2009-1013 contracts, CBVH removed the provision of job placement services from the contracts and embarked on developing a more diverse and more extensive cadre of job placement options. In 2009, CBVH awarded 45 contracts to private agencies and qualified private vendors (individuals). Of these 45 contracts, 11 were awarded to the private agencies which already provide vision rehabilitation therapy, orientation and mobility training and social casework services, 30 were awarded to private agencies, independent living centers and organizations serving people with all disabilities and 4 were awarded to individuals.

Also, prior to implementation of the current CSC contracts, several CSC agencies had contracts to provide diagnostic vocational evaluation services. In the 2009-2013 contracts, the diagnostic vocational evaluation services were removed from the CSC contracts. CBVH developed a list of agencies/organizations and individuals able to provide these services. The result has been a more extensive list of providers. Currently, there are 14 providers of this service statewide.

In addition to these contracts, CBVH also has an outcome-based contract with Helen Keller National Center to provide services to individuals who are deaf-blind.

This screen was last updated on May 31 2012 9:11AM by Michael Rose

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.

EVIDENCE OF COLLABORATION REGARDING SUPPORTED EMPLOYMENT SERVICES AND EXTENDED SERVICES

Individuals who are legally blind often have needs that require a variety of services and supports. CBVH has designed programs to educate the public concerning issues of blindness, to identify individuals who may need CBVH services and to integrate people who are legally blind into local community activities. CBVH regularly collaborates with other agencies providing vocational services to all individuals including individuals with disabilities in order to access necessary individual, family and other community based supports. Memorandums of Agreement provide a framework for building a service delivery system which integrates vocational rehabilitation services with necessary community supports.

Collaborative activities with respect to supported employment are focused on achieving the following goals:

1. Having an array of supported employment services available for clients to access in a timely manner.

2. Coordinating services and eligibility requirements between agencies.

3. Identifying responsibility for funding and administration of intensive and extended supported employment services.

4. Enabling individuals whose placements have been interrupted to re-enter the supported employment system without difficulty.

Chapter 515 of the Laws of 1992 requires State agencies to coordinate their efforts on competitive employment for individuals with disabilities through a State Integrated Employment Plan. This legislation reduces duplication of services and increases quality, efficiency and effectiveness of services focusing on the needs and expectations of both consumers and employers.

As part of the legislation, a Memorandum of Interagency Understanding Regarding Supported Employment was developed among ACCES-VR (formerly VESID), CBVH, the Office of Persons with Developmental Disabilities (formerly OMRDD) and the Office of Mental Health (OMH). The Chapter 515 Committee, composed of representatives of these agencies, has been meeting regularly to refine the MOU to provide a clear mission and framework for collaboration which will support individual agreements defining more specific policy, procedure and funding issues. Discussions have focused on understanding the impact of recent policy changes among member agencies and the need to maximize the use of natural supports for those individuals who are not eligible.

The Committee prepares an Annual Report on Integrated Employment and has refined the report to more clearly explain data presented, and to share “next steps” to increase collaboration and increase integrated employment outcomes.

In addition, CBVH served on the Most Integrated Setting Coordinating Council (MISCC) which includes the four agencies above as well as other state and not-for-profit organizations involved with the employment of people with disabilities. CBVH serves on the MISCC Employment Committee which established guiding principles, and through its subcommittees addressed ways to better utilize employment data for planning, decrease duplicative efforts, create “no wrong door” access to services, market to employers, and find ways to better access public employment opportunities for all individuals with disabilities, including those in supported employment. CBVH also served on the Transportation Committee which was created to promote and advocate for the accessibility, reliability and affordability of transportation alternatives for individuals with disabilities.

As State Vocational Rehabilitation partners, CBVH and ACCES-VR work together to distribute Title VI-C funds and make decisions regarding supported employment services. A representative of CBVH participated in an ACCES-VR workgroup to develop new guidelines for providers of supported employment services, and new policy for VR staff to follow. CBVH is currently revising its policy to more closely parallel ACCES-VR’s.

CBVH has also supported and participated in activities being implemented under the Medicaid Infrastructure Grant (MIG), and serves on the steering committee to the MIG. Activities under the MIG which will particularly benefit individuals in supported employment are pilots of customized employment approaches, development of a statewide employment data base “New York Employment Services System (NYESS),” and expansion of the availability of work incentives advisement.

CBVH staff regularly attend the Empire State Association of Persons in Supported Employment (APSE) conference to dialogue with providers, consumers and advocates, and keep abreast of evidence-based practices.

Through ongoing collaboration, CBVH and partner agencies expect to:

1. Continue to develop, enhance and expand supported employment for persons with severe disabilities.

2. Establish a process that will improve the statewide management of supported employment programs by avoiding duplication of effort and funding, while increasing accountability.

3. Maximize the quality of service delivery through a comprehensive, continuous, efficient and effective referral process, individual program planning, coordination of intensive vocational services with extended services, and information collection, dissemination and technical assistance.

4. Identify issues, policies and practices that present systemic barriers to effective participation of individuals with severe disabilities and develop appropriate resolutions to remove such barriers.

5. Establish a planning process, consistent with the directions of the former State Interagency Council for Vocational Rehabilitation, for budget coordination which defines and projects the numbers of people in need of intensive and extended services for each fiscal year and facilitates program and fiscal planning.

This screen was last updated on May 31 2012 9:11AM by Michael Rose

Data System on Personnel and Personnel Development

DATA SYSTEM ON PERSONNEL AND PERSONNEL DEVELOPMENT

Number of Personnel Employed

As of January 1, 2012 CBVH employees totaled 132 individuals in seven district offices and the home office. There were an additional 20 vacancies. The total number of field staff was 67, with 7 positions vacant. Eight staff were down sized at the end of 2010. Approximately 4,400 legally blind individuals are "active" on VRCs’ caseloads at any given time. The average caseload is 54 consumers per VRC upstate, and 65 consumers per VRC downstate. The discrepancy in caseload sizes from upstate to downstate is due to the concentrated number of consumers in the downstate area.

Of the 56 Senior VRC and VRCs in field staff positions, 53 are Certified Rehabilitation Counselors (CRC) or CRC eligible. Two VRCs have reached retirement age, and have elected not to upgrade their credentials. They will receive Sr. VRC sign-off prior to establishing eligibility, signing the IPE and closing the cases. In addition, these individuals cannot perform an annual review of each IPE or amend any IPE for any consumer. One individual has applied to the Hunter College of the City University of New York (CUNY). Once accepted a training plan will be established and maintained until completion of the program. Should he chose not to attend, he will also be unable to perform the non-delegable functions of a VRC.

The result of personnel transactions for fiscal year 2011 as they affected each district office is as follows:

Buffalo – One Rehabilitation Teacher position is vacant

One VR counselor was hired

One VR counselor position is vacant

Syracuse – One Orientation and Mobility position is vacant

One VR counselor was hired

Albany - One Vision Rehabilitation Therapist position is vacant One District Manager position is vacant

One VR counselor was hired

White Plains – One VRC position is vacant

One Sr. VRC was hired

Two VR counselors were hired

Manhattan – One VRC position is vacant

Hempstead – One Orientation and Mobility position is vacant.

Harlem - No changes

CBVH is requesting budgetary approval to fill all of these positions. CBVH must seek NYS Division of the Budget approval for a waiver from the ongoing state hiring freeze in order to hire any personnel.

CBVH estimates that by the year 2017, 34 current VRCs and Senior VRCs will be age 55 or older and eligible to retire. Many of those within retirement age, however, will not have enough time in service to retire at age 55 and will retire at a later time. Due to the economic climate in the State, some staff may also postpone retirement to a later date. In using age 57 as a likely retirement age, we estimate that some employees who are older than 57 will remain employed by CBVH, and other VRCs, under age 57, may be promoted or leave for other reasons. Using this analysis of potential retirees and staff leaving for other reasons, we estimate that 32 VRCs and Senior VRCs will leave CBVH in the next 5 years. 23 of the 24 VRCs and Sr. VRCs expected to remain will be CRC or CRC eligible. One person will be enrolled in the vocational rehabilitation counseling program at Hunter College of CUNY.

Using the same formula, it is estimated that 4 of the 5 O&M instructors and RTs will retire or leave for other reasons. All vacancies in the O&M and RT disciplines are expected to be replaced.

This plan outlines strategies to update staff credentials so that all staff meets the highest academic standard for their profession. The in-service training unit of CBVH coordinates and evaluates all training programs attended by staff. All in-service training records are maintained electronically in a Microsoft Access program. A training file is maintained for each staff member containing: name, title, phone number, date hired, district office, college major, highest degree earned, a note section to track courses needed (if necessary), Certification or Certification eligible, and in-service training programs attended. CBVH can thus easily access data regarding staff credentials and CRC eligibility or status.

CBVH’s current staffing allows CBVH to effectively provide services to all individuals who apply for and are determined eligible for VR services. CBVH is aware that many professional staff intend to retire within the next five years. To plan for this, CBVH is:

1. Providing financial stipends to masters level college students who complete an internship program at CBVH as part of their Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor program. CBVH provided one paid VRC internship in CBVH district offices last year.

2. Collaborating with colleges and universities to train Orientation and Mobility Specialists and Vision Rehabilitation Therapists. Graduates will qualify for national certification through the Academy for Certification of Vision Rehabilitation and Education Professionals (ACVREP) or the National Blindness Professional Certification Board (NBPCB).

3. CBVH will partner with provider agencies and colleges to establish training programs for agency staff. Using distance learning technology, staff could complete most program requirements without needing to be on the college campus.

CBVH partnered with Hunter College to promote careers in orientation and mobility and rehabilitation teaching in the upstate region of the state. As a result, three students from the upstate region are enrolled in the O&M/RT distance learning program. Out of five total students enrolled, two students dropped out, leaving three remaining. It is expected that from five to ten rehabilitation teachers from this area will be cross trained in orientation and mobility.

 

Row Job Title Total positions Current vacancies Projected vacancies over the next 5 years
1 Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor 49 2 29
2 Senior Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor 9 0 7
3 Orientation and Mobility Instructor 6 2 6
4 Vision Rehabilitation Therapist 3 2 2
5 0 0 0
6 0 0 0
7 0 0 0
8 0 0 0
9 0 0 0
10 0 0 0

 

DATA ON PERSONNEL DEVELOPMENT

CBVH maintains contact with the three colleges and universities in the state that prepare vocational rehabilitation counselors as a source for CBVH staff positions.

In addition, CBVH continues to work closely with the colleges to develop a process for the recruitment of students from diverse populations, and to establish a curriculum based on best practices, research, and development trends.

For the calendar year beginning January 2011 and ending December 2011, the colleges reported the enrollment outlined in the table below.

Row 4 below: *Hunter College of CUNY is the only university preparation program in New York State graduating O&M instructors and VRTs. Graduates from this program are eligible for certification by the ACVREP.

 

Row Institutions Students enrolled Employees sponsored by agency and/or RSA Graduates sponsored by agency and/or RSA Graduates from the previous year
1 Hofstra University 51 0 0 15
2 Hunter College of the City of New York 83 2 18 24
3 State University of New York at Buffalo 92 0 0 22
4 Hunter College CUNY O&M/RT* 17 1 6 6
5 0 0 0 0

 

Plan for Recruitment, Preparation, and Retention of Qualified Personnel

The following steps describe the ongoing activities that will enable CBVH to continue the long-term CSPD plan and develop resources needed to recruit, prepare and retain qualified personnel in New York State:

1. Maintain relationships established with the Regional Technical Assistance and Training Center (TACE), the VR counseling pre-service preparation programs in NYS, pre-service O&M and RT programs, and long distance learning pre-service programs from other states.

2. Continue to track the number of students who graduate from pre-service programs statewide and the percentage of diverse populations (e.g. severely disabled, Latino) within those programs.

3. Continue to develop relationships with distance learning programs to locate curricula that meet the learning styles and needs of CBVH staff. These include video conferencing, videotapes, and/or computer technology.

4. Increase opportunities for staff in-service training.

5. Maintain a training database for all CBVH staff that includes the following information:

CRC status; Educational history; Proficiency areas (sign language, foreign language); Training priority requests; Graduate course work.

6. Continue to recruit qualified VRCs, O&Ms, and RTs including those from diverse backgrounds or who have needed language skills.

7. Continue to partner with ACCES-VR (formerly VESID) with regard to the CSPD and the long term training of employees.

 

PERSONNEL STANDARDS

Highest Standard for VRCs

CBVH hires only individuals who meet the New York State Department of Civil Service’s personnel standard for vocational rehabilitation counselors. The standard is:

A. A current Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification (CRCC certificate); OR

B. A master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling, including a supervised internship, from a Council on Rehabilitation Education (CORE) accredited program; OR

C. A master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling or Counseling and notice of academic eligibility for the CRCC certificate examination.

Plans to Retrain Staff Who Do Not Meet the Highest Requirements

Staff who do not meet the highest academic standards will either have atraining plan in place or they will requir supervisory approval prior to establishing eligibility, signing the IPE or determining case closure.

CBVH is not allowed by the NYS Department of Civil Service to hire new staff in VR Counselor positions who do not meet the personnel standard.

 

STAFF DEVELOPMENT

1. The CBVH in-service training program funds attendance at workshops, conferences, formal course work, agency developed training sessions, and Technical Assistance and Continuing Education (TACE) Center developed or sponsored training and conferences. Training has been offered in counseling, rehabilitation, medical aspects of disability, job placement, rehabilitation technology, cultural diversity, informed choice, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Rehabilitation Act Amendments of 1998, and other topics related to vocational rehabilitation. CBVH contracts with 7 Adaptive Technology Centers in the state. Upon request, the centers provide training to CBVH staff on new access technology for individuals with disabilities.

2. Training areas for staff development are determined by the following:

a. Annual needs assessment conducted by the Training Unit, b. RSA priorities, and c. CBVH administration priorities.

3. Information pertaining to training, information updates and conferences are forwarded by members of the CBVH home office who are responsible for the content areas.

 

PERSONNEL TO ADDRESS INDIVIDUAL COMMUNICATION NEEDS

CBVH continues to obtain the services of individuals able to communicate in the native language of individuals who have limited English speaking ability or require American Sign Language. Qualified interpreters are hired for services for individuals who are deaf/blind or who require in-person language interpretation. CBVH staff with the required qualifications may be used for this purpose, or sub-contractors with specialty skills may be used.

CBVH also uses the Language Line telephone interpretation services program that offers interpretation services in over 170 languages.

 

COORDINATION OF CSPD WITH THE INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES EDUCATION ACT (IDEA)

CBVH is not responsible for hiring staff who work in school systems – that is the responsibility of ACCES-VR, the New York state agency that administers both the vocational rehabilitation program for individuals with disabilities other than legal blindness as well as special education programs for school-age children. The CSPD functions for both areas are carried out within ACCES-VR’s Office of Program Development and Support Services (PDSS), in collaboration with other ACCES-VR organizational units. The CBVH CSPD was developed by a workgroup, which included representatives of both ACCES-VR and CBVH.

This screen was last updated on Sep 26 2012 11:23AM by Michael Rose

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.

COMPREHENSIVE STATEWIDE NEEDS ASSESSMENT

This Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment has been submitted with the FY 2011 State Plan and is intended to cover FY 2011 through FY 2013. Prior to submission of this Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment, CBVH and the State Rehabilitation Council (SRC) had jointly agreed to submit a needs assessment to RSA with every State Plan. This year, CBVH and the SRC were prepared to submit the final installment of a three year needs assessment. However, RSA recommended that CBVH begin submitting a Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment every three years. The Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment describes the rehabilitation needs of individuals with disabilities residing in New York State, particularly the vocational rehabilitation services needs of:

• Individuals with the most significant disabilities, including their need for supported employment services;

• Individuals with disabilities who are minorities and individuals with disabilities who have been unserved or underserved by the vocational rehabilitation program;

• Individuals with disabilities served through other components of the statewide workforce investment system (other than the vocational rehabilitation program) as identified by such individuals and personnel assisting such individuals through the components;

The Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment must also:

• Include an assessment of the need to establish, develop, or improve community rehabilitation programs within New York State; and

• Provide that New York State submits to the Commissioner a report containing information regarding updates to the assessment, for any year in which New York State updates the assessments.

For the most part, CBVH utilized the Model Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment Guide to conduct this needs assessment. Using a variety of resources, CBVH was able to gather information that addresses all the issues noted above. This information will help to develop CBVH’s goals and priorities. Information was gathered from many sources, including but not limited to:

1. Consumer surveys

2. Counselor surveys

3. Contract agency staff surveys

4. CBVH field management staff

5. Town meetings

6. National databases Local, State and National Organizations

7. Consumer Focus Groups

Not all groups responded to all areas of interest. For example, the consumer survey did not ask participants to determine which populations were unserved or underserved,

though other questions generated useful information that will be used to inform the state plan. Survey results will be provided first and then the information will be formulated to address the requirements of the comprehensive statewide needs assessment as it relates to the needs of CBVH consumers and whether CBVH needs to establish, develop or expand community rehabilitation programs.

DATA COLLECTION

Consumer Survey

CBVH staff mailed out 634 surveys to consumers who received vocational rehabilitation services in FFY 2009. Of these mailed surveys, 43 were returned as undeliverable and 148 were returned (25% response rate). The questions asked and response rates are:

1. Please identify your age range:

18-34 14.4%

35-49 31.5%

50-65 39.7%

65+ 14.4%

2. What is your gender?

Male 40.4%

Female 59.6%

3. What is your ethnicity?

African American 22.8%

Asian 3.5%

Caucasian 60.0%

Hispanic 11.0%

American Indian/

Alaskan Native 0%

Native Hawaiian/

Pacific Islander 0%

Two or more races 2.7%

4. My counselor returned my phone calls or emails within:

24 hours 64.7%

48 hours 19.8%

72 hours 7.4%

More than 72 hours 8.1%

5. My counselor treated me with courtesy and respect.

Yes, definitely 80.1%

Yes, I think so 11.3%

Not all the time 7.8%

No, not at all .8%

6. My counselor seemed concerned about my needs.

Yes, definitely 78.3%

Yes, I think so 12.6%

Not all the time 7.7%

No, not at all 1.4%

7. My counselor assisted me in evaluating my skills and abilities.

Yes 83.2%

No 16.8%

8. My counselor helped me develop a realistic goal.

Yes 71.7%

No 28.3%

9. My counselor assisted me in getting the appropriate training to reach my vocational goal.

Yes 70.7%

No 18.0%

I don’t know 11.3%

10. My counselor informed me that I have the right to choose the provider from which I want to obtain my vocational rehabilitation services.

Yes 70.0%

No 15.8%

I don’t know 14.2%

11. My counselor helped me get the appropriate services to obtain a job.

Yes 64.5%

No 21.0%

I don’t know 14.5%

12. Which of the following describes your current job situation? Indicate only one.

Employed full time (35 or

more hours per week) 25.7%

Employed part time (less than

35 hours per week) 17.4%

Self-Employed 11.8%

Employed with a job coach

or other support 2.8%

Not employed, but looking

for a job 18.8%

Not seeking employment 23.5%

13. If you are working, select all the apply:

I did not want to give up my benefits. 15.8%

There was no job available for me. 42.1%

Health insurance issues 7.0%

I am retired. 21.0%

Transportation issues 10.5%

Family obligations 3.5%

14. Please indicate the level of satisfaction with your job.

Very satisfied 40.6%

Satisfied 43.7%

Dissatisfied 11.5%

Very Dissatisfied 4.2%

15. Do you receive health benefits?

Yes 67.4%

No 32.6%

16. Are there any language barriers preventing you or someone you know from receiving services?

Yes 4.4%

No 95.6%

17. Would you recommend the Commission for the Blind and Visually Handicapped to another person?

Yes 90.4%

No 5.5%

I don’t know 4.1%

18. In an overall, general sense, how satisfied are you with the services received?

Very Satisfied 57.4%

Mostly Satisfied 28.4%

Indifferent 3.5%

Dissatisfied 5.0%

Very Dissatisfied 5.7%

19. Do you have any suggestions regarding how CBVH can reach out to consumers that are not currently benefiting from our services? Answers included:

• Increase outreach activities – attend community fairs, contact eye and health care providers

• Advertise – public service announcements, mailings, magazines, newspapers, website

• Develop training programs that will prepare consumers for jobs that are available

• Increase the number of satellite offices

• Increase the number of counselors/decrease counselor caseloads

• Improve counselor sensitivity to consumers needs, including cultural differences

• Improve accessibility to transportation

• Develop support groups for consumers

Counselor survey

At the present time, there are 43 counselors working for CBVH. Twenty-three responded to the survey (53% response rate). Listed below are the questions and the responses provided by the counselors.

1. From your experience working with individuals who are legally blind, what can our agency do to improve the provision of services?

• Improve provision of assistive technology services (5)

• Increase outreach efforts (3)

• Update the economic need thresholds (2)

• Decrease counselor caseload size (2)

• Decrease counselor paperwork requirements (2)

• Develop new consumer training programs (2)

• Increase the number of Supported Employment providers (1)

• Increase consumer input (1)

• Increase the number of placement services for entry level jobs (1)

• Develop a residential training location (1)

• Decrease private agency monopoly on service provision (1)

2. From your experience working with minority individuals who are legally blind, do you feel that there are additional services needed for this population? Minority is defined as a person who is Black, Hispanic, Asian, Pacific Islander, American Indian or Alaskan Native.

• Increase outreach efforts (9)

• Develop additional community resources (1)

• Increase academic and vocational training options (1)

• Increase consumer awareness of available resources (1)

• Increase counselor awareness of cultural differences (1)

• No comment (8)

3. From your experience working with minority individuals who are legally blind, do you feel that there are barriers to the provision of these services?

• Lack of understanding of cultural differences (4)

• Language (4)

• Lack of trust of governmental agencies (3)

• Lack of appropriate and consistent outreach activities (2)

• Negative stigma to receiving services (2)

• Limited economic need policy (1)

• Limited services (1)

• Lack of education (1)

• No comment (6)

4. From your experience working with minority individuals who are legally blind, what can our agency do to improve the provision of services?

• Improve outreach efforts (10)

• Improve counselor understanding of cultural difference (4)

• Develop entry level jobs (2)

• Develop additional community resources (1)

• Develop trust (1)

• Continue with Language Line (interpreter service) (1)

• Develop a more culturally diverse staff (1)

5. From your experience, what populations do you think are unserved by CBVH?

• Hispanic (4)

• Asian (4)

• American Indian (3)

• Consumers living in rural areas (3)

• Black (2)

• Pacific Islander (1)

• Alaskan Native (1)

• Non-English speaking (1)

• Eastern European (1)

• Middle Eastern (1)

• Refugees (1)

• Immigrants (1)

• Amish (1)

6. From your experience, what services are not being provided to the unserved populations?

• All services (7)

• Outreach (2)

• English as a Second Language training (1)

• Social Casework (1)

• No comment (7)

7. From your experience, what barriers exist that prevent or limit service provision to the unserved populations?

• Access to services, especially ESL (5)

• Inadequate outreach efforts (3)

• Transportation (2)

• Fear of leaving the community (2)

• Economic Need Policy (1)

• Assistive Technology Policy (1)

• Family (1)

• Service Coordination (1)

• Mistrust of government (1)

• No comment (4)

8. What can CBVH do to better serve the unserved populations?

• Increase outreach efforts (11)

• Improve counselor cultural competency (3)

• Provide more educational resources (2)

• Provide information in more languages (2)

• Open up satellite offices (1)

• Update economic need thresholds (1)

• Provide counseling (1)

• Provide better follow-up (1)

• Network in communities (1)

• No comment (4)

9. From your experience, what populations do you think are underserved by CBVH?

• Hispanic (5)

• Asian (5)

• Consumers living in rural communities (4)

• Black (3)

• American Indian (3)

• Consumers who do not speak English (3)

• Pacific Islander (1)

• Alaskan Native (1)

• Elderly in nursing homes (1)

• Consumers with multiple disabilities (1)

• Consumers with limited education (1)

• Eastern European (1)

• Middle Eastern (1)

• Consumers who are poor (1)

10. From your experience, what services are not being provided to the underserved population?

• All services (5)

• Outreach (3)

• Transportation (1)

• Educational services for adults with mental retardation (1)

• Counseling (1)

• Prevention (1)

• Follow-up (1)

• Work experiences (1)

• School age children (1)

• No comment (3)

11. From your experiences, what barriers exist that prevent or limit service provision to the underserved populations?

• Inadequate Outreach efforts (5)

• Access to transportation (4)

• English as a Second Language Training (3)

• Cultural stigmas (2)

• Distrust of government agencies (2)

• Not enough money to meet the needs (1)

• Training opportunities are limited (1)

• Preventative eye care (1)

• Amount of time spent on paperwork affects field staff ability to deliver timely, quality services (1)

• No comment (3)

12. What can CBVH do to better serve the underserved population?

• Improve outreach efforts (9)

• Reach out to employers (1)

• Open satellite offices (1)

• Provide counselors with training to improve understanding of mental retardation and other disabilities (1)

• Increase the number of counselors (1)

• Develop trust (1)

• Counselors need to make an effort to truly understand the needs of the populations they are serving (1)

• Improve networking opportunities (1)

• Improve financial resources (1)

• No comment (3)

13. Do you think there is a need to establish new community rehabilitation programs?

• No, existing ones should expand (9)

• Yes, would improve competitiveness and quality of services, but need to allocate additional funds (8)

• Yes, by developing a residential rehabilitation center (2)

• Yes, particularly in the Bronx, Brooklyn and Staten Island (1)

• Yes, but only in underserved areas

14. Do you think there is a need to develop or expand community rehabilitation programs?

• Yes (9)

• No (6)

• No, improve the programs that already exist (4)

• Yes, to underserved areas (2)

• Yes, expand vocational training programs (1)

• Yes, develop a residential rehabilitation center (1)

Contract Agency Staff Survey

CBVH contracts with 17 private, not-for-profit agencies to provide a wide variety of vocational rehabilitation services to consumers. A survey was sent to each agency, consisting of four questions. Nine responses were received for a 53% response rate. The survey questions and responses are listed below.

1. What populations (i.e. individuals who are deaf-blind, individuals who do not

speak English, individuals in rural communities, etc.) do you feel are unserved

or underserved?

• Consumers living in rural communities (4)

• Consumers who are Native American (3)

• Consumers who do not speak English (3)

• Consumers who are Hispanic (3)

• Poor people (3)

• Consumers with multiple disabilities (2)

• Consumers who are African American (2)

• Consumers who are elderly (2)

• Consumers who are infants/children (2)

• Consumers who are illegal aliens (1)

• Consumers who are mentally challenged (1)

2. Has your agency tried serving these consumers? If so, how?

• Community Outreach (4)

• Outreach to Eye Care Providers (2)

• Vision Screenings (1)

• Staff Training (2)

• Itinerant Services (1)

• Using Interpreters (1)

3. What barriers were encountered?

• Lack of funding (4)

• Language (3)

• Transportation (2)

• Staff shortage (2)

• Cultural Barriers (1)

• CBVH reputation (1)

4. What recommendations do you have for improving outreach and consumer access to services?

• Improve outreach efforts (8)

• Increase funding (1)

• Provide staff to work in rural communities (1)

CBVH Field Management Staff Survey

There are currently fourteen field management staff working for CBVH (District Managers and Senior Counselors). Surveys were sent to each field management staff member, nine were returned. That is a 64% response rate. The survey questions and responses are listed below.

1. What populations of consumers do you feel are unserved or underserved?

• Consumers who do not speak English (3)

• Consumers with multiple disabilities (2)

• Consumers who are immigrants (2)

• Consumers who have families that are not supportive (2)

• Consumers living in rural communities (1)

• Consumers who are poor (1)

• Consumers who are refugees (1)

• Consumers who are over 55 years old and want to work (1)

• Consumers who are newly blind (1)

• Consumers who are Asian (1)

• Consumers who are seeking employment (1)

2. What barriers exist that prevent CBVH from adequately providing services to consumers?

• Lack of outreach (4)

• Lack of staff, particularly Bi-lingual staff (2)

• Lack of resources for consumers with multiple disabilities (2)

• Lack of cultural awareness (2)

• Language (2)

• Transportation (1)

• Uncooperative school districts (1)

• Stigma of being disabled (1)

• Lack of resources (1)

• Lack of vocational options for consumers (1)

• Economic thresholds (1)

3. What recommendations do you have for improving outreach services?

• Staff training on cultural competency (3)

• Dedicated funding (2)

• More staff (2)

• Pay private agencies to conduct case finding (1)

• Connect with employers (1)

4. What recommendations do you have for improving consumer access to services?

• Outreach efforts (5)

• Use CBVH website (2)

• Hire more staff (2)

5. Do you feel that there is a need to improve existing community rehabilitation programs?

• Yes – increase funding and develop vocational training programs that will result in employment (7)

• No (2)

6. Do you feel that there is a need to develop new community rehabilitation programs?

• Unsure – need to conduct research (4)

• Yes (3)

• No (2)

7. What do you think is the most important priority for CBVH for the upcoming year?

• Increase staff (4)

• Outreach (3)

• Determine what factors enter into successful rehabilitation (1)

• Allow counselors to work on pilot projects (1)

• Develop training programs connected directly to employment (1)

• Improve Assistive Technology services (1)

Town Meetings

CBVH conducted three town meetings in February 2010: These meetings were held in Albany on February 2, Syracuse on February 17 and Farmingdale on February 25. Attendance was poor at all three locations. It is suspected that winter weather negatively affects attendance at these meetings. In an effort to improve attendance at the town meetings, CBVH is discussing holding them in October. Even though the state plan will not be available for comment at that time, CBVH would still be able to obtain valuable information from consumers and stakeholders about the provision of vocational rehabilitation services and ways to improve them. CBVH would then obtain comments on the 2012 State Plan by posting the proposed plan in February 2011 on its website and encouraging consumers and stakeholders to respond by letter, email or telephone.

In Albany, one consumer, one staff member from the New York State Commission on Quality of Care and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities (CQC), a local Client Assistance Program representative and an SRC representative were in attendance.

In Syracuse, attendees included one parent of a consumer who is in high school, the Chief Operating Officer from Access to Independence in Cortland County (who also submitted formal testimony prior to the meeting) and an SRC member.

In Farmingdale, one consumer, a community representative from the Helen Keller National Center (HKNC) and a technology instructor from the Suffolk Independent Living Organization (SILO) attended the meeting. It should be noted that a snow storm forced the rescheduling of this meeting.

The input received from these three town meetings are listed below:

1. CBVH does well in addressing issues related to blindness but needs to improve their response to consumers who are dually diagnosed.

2. Mental health populations are underserved.

3. Veterans are underserved.

4. People who are incarcerated (ready for release) are underserved.

5. Most consumer / CAP reported complaints with CBVH are generally focused on assistive technology issues where equipment becomes outdated quickly and consumer programs exceed the life of the assistive technology equipment.

6. CBVH is inconsistent with the provision of services from region to region.

7. Pre-College Requirement proposal could be a CAP issue. Each student should be evaluated individually.

8. CBVH Pre-College Program should be termed “required” and not “mandatory”. This would be more acceptable to students.

9. CBVH Pre-College requirement should occur in the summer between the 11th and 12th grades for the best effect.

10. CBVH is not generally recognized (not well-known) on Long Island’s East End. (Suffolk County)

11. CBVH needs representation at community meetings on Long Island.

12. CBVH needs to utilize existing blindness groups to get the word out about CBVH into the community. (Long Island)

13. There are large Hispanic communities in Long Island – Brentwood, Central Islip, Farmingville, and Huntington Station that are underserved.

14. CBVH needs to develop the capacity (upstate) for O & M specialists who have the specialized training required to work successfully with deaf-blind

consumers.

National Data Bases

CBVH used data bases from the US Census, US Department of Labor, and Annual Disability Statistics Compendium for 2009 and the American Foundation for the Blind to develop the tables below. The tables compare the population of the United States (general, by minority groups and gender) to the population of people with disabilities in New York State who are not employed and the population of consumers who received vocational rehabilitation services in FFY 2009.

United

States

New York State NYS - people who are disabled and not employed Current CBVH Consumers

Population – 16 to 64 years

Total =

195,020,523

Total =

12,711,571

929,462

100%

2093

100%

Race

White 79.8% 73.4% 616,233 66.3% 1,436 68.0%

African-American 12.8% 17.3% 141,218 15.2% 583 27.9%

Asian/Pacific Islander 7.1% 4.7% 69,152 7.4% 44 2.2%

American Indian or Alaskan Native

1.0%

.6%

3,718

.4%

17

.8%

Some other race NA NA 84,440 9.3% NA NA

Two or more races 1.7% 1.6% 12,641 1.4% 13 .6%

Hispanic 15.4% 16.7% 15,150 16.3% 313 15.0

Percentage unemployed, with a disability by gender New York State New York State

Male 434,105 46.7% 1,022 48.8

Female 495,357 53.3% 1,071 51.1

Local, State and National Organizations

CBVH sent out surveys to local, state and national organizations in an effort to gather information about services provided by those organizations as well as to determine how well-known CBVH was to the organizations. Most of the organizations do not provide direct services to consumers, but provide educational and training services to other agencies providing direct service to consumers. The organizations are not directly involved in the provision of vocational rehabilitation services.

• The Muscular Dystrophy Association

• American Heart Association

• State University of New York College of Optometry

• Fisher Landam Center for the Treatment of the Learning Disabled

• Lions Club

• Sterling Medical Group – provides services to Veterans

• Seaton Health Center for Diabetes

• American Diabetes Association

The survey questions are listed below.

1. What do you see as the vocational rehabilitation needs of your

consumers?

2. From your experience, what populations of individuals do you believe are

unserved or underserved?

3. What do you see as the vocational rehabilitation service needs for those

who are unserved or underserved (potential barriers)?

4. If you look at the employment needs of your consumers, can you identify

additional service needs including potential barriers and how CBVH can

meet those needs?

5. Is there anything else you would like to tell us?

The surveys did point out that CBVH is not well known to many organizations that are not direct service providers so these organizations are unable to inform their consumer bases about the services offered by CBVH. Most of the survey responses discussed the need for all people with disabilities to be informed about the services available to them and the fact that employment is a very important component of every person’s life, regardless of disability. CBVH will need to include these types of organizations in its outreach efforts.

Consumer Focus Groups

CBVH contracted with the Center for Essential Management Services (3 Claralon Court, Greenlawn, NY 11740) to conduct five consumer focus groups. Consumers included those looking for work, those living in rural areas, those representing ethnic minorities, those receiving supported employment services and those for whom English is not the primary language. These groups represented some of the consumers that CBVH staff identified as unserved and/or underserved. At the time of submission of this report, the final report was still being completed. Therefore, only preliminary results are being reported here. CBVH will provide RSA with a copy of the final report when it is available.

Consumers identified transportation as a pervasive problem that needs to be addressed in order for individuals to access services and become employed. Consumes also felt that CBVH needs to improve its outreach efforts by educating the public and employers about blindness and visual impairment. Consumers were also concerned about service delivery delays and losing benefits once employment was obtained. Providing better assistive technology and vocational skills training were also identified as areas in need of improvement.

THE REHABILITATION NEEDS OF CBVH CONSUMERS

Needs of individuals with the most significant disabilities, including their need for supported employment

Individuals who are legally blind are considered individuals with the most significant disabilities. CBVH does not have an order of selection so all consumers applying for services are immediately assigned a vocational rehabilitation counselor. The results of the consumer survey indicated that 85.8% of CBVH consumers are very satisfied or mostly satisfied with the services received from CBVH. However, there were several consistent themes mentioned by respondents that CBVH will need to address in order to meet the needs of its consumers:

• CBVH must improve its outreach efforts. All groups indicated that CBVH needs to market itself better, to all consumers (regardless of age, gender, or ethnicity) employers and other stakeholders.

• CBVH needs to develop and/or improve vocational training programs. Respondents feel that the current training programs are inadequate to meet the needs of the current job market. In addition, there is a need to develop training programs that will result in consumers acquiring skills needed for entry level jobs. This was considered very important to

• address the needs of consumers with multiple disabilities, consumers with

• limited English proficiency and consumers with limited education and/or vocational experiences.

• CBVH needs to improve the provision of assistive technology services to its consumers. Though not mentioned by any of the consumers completing the survey, every other group surveyed indicated that there are problems with the current service delivery system, including the economic threshold for providing the service, delays in purchasing recommended equipment, delays in receiving equipment and overall coordination of services.

• CBVH needs to develop ways to meet the needs of individuals living in rural communities. Suggestions include:

1. Decrease counselor caseload size and/or amount of paperwork thereby allowing counselors to have more time to work with these individuals;

2. Improve access to affordable, accessible transportation

3. Increase the number of Orientation and Mobility Instructors and Vision

4. Rehabilitation Therapists so consumers living in rural communities

5. would have access to services; and

6. Open satellite offices in rural communities so consumers and counselors can work more effectively and efficiently

• CBVH needs to address the issue of affordable, accessible transportation.

Out of all the individuals surveyed, only one comment addressed the issue of Supported Employment. One counselor indicated that CBVH needs to increase the number of Supported Employment providers. However, CBVH home office staff has indicated that there is inadequate funding to meet the needs of Supported Employment consumers.

Needs of individuals with disabilities who are minorities

Information obtained from the national data bases indicates that CBVH provision of services to individuals who are minorities is, except for services to individuals who are Asian/Pacific Islander, consistent with national statistics. In addition, the New York

State statistics for people with disabilities who are not employed are similar to CBVH consumer statistics except for individuals who are Asian/Pacific Islander, American Indian or Alaskan Native and two or more races. So, it appears that no ethnic group is unserved by CBVH, but there are three groups that are being underserved.

Survey responses supported the findings of the statistics mentioned above. Other groups of individuals were also identified as unserved and underserved; however, these groups do not meet the traditional definition of minority groups and will be reported in the next section of this report. Survey respondents shared similar recommendations to address the issue of meeting the needs of individuals with disabilities who are minorities:

• CBVH needs to improve outreach efforts to these population groups. Suggestions included advertising CBVH services (Public Service Announcements, mailings, magazines and newspapers) and attending community events. This will require dedicated funding and staff time.

• CBVH needs to improve the cultural competency of its staff. Staff needs to be more aware of cultural differences and how these differences might affect provision of services. CBVH should try to hire staff with more culturally diverse backgrounds.

• CBVH needs to increase resources available to individuals who are minorities. For example, there needs to be more access for consumers to English as a Second Language training programs.

Needs of individuals with disabilities who are unserved /underserved

Consumers were not asked to identify specific unserved and underserved populations. CBVH identified several groups of people as being unserved and/or underserved. For all groups of unserved and underserved individuals, recommendations for CBVH to better meet their needs include:

• CBVH needs to improve outreach efforts. Though survey respondents feel that CBVH provides services of high quality, they also felt that CBVH needs to do a better job of informing communities of the services available.

• CBVH needs to increase the number of Orientation and Mobility Instructors and Vision Rehabilitation Therapists in order to meet the demand for those services. This will become even more apparent if outreach efforts are intensified and additional consumers apply for services.

• CBVH needs to increase resources available to unserved/underserved consumers. This includes access to English as a Second Language training programs, vocational training programs, job placement services and education services.

• CBVH counselors need more time to address the issue of locating unserved/underserved consumers. In addition, service provision to this group of individuals is expected to be more complicated and to require more coordination of services, so counselors will need to have the time to provide quality services to these diverse groups of individuals.

• CBVH needs to improve the cultural competency of its staff. Staff needs to be more aware of cultural differences and how these differences might affect provision of services. CBVH should try to hire staff with more culturally diverse backgrounds.

• CBVH needs to build trust in the unserved and underserved communities so consumers will want to participate in services.

Needs of individuals with disabilities served through other components of the statewide workforce investment system

CBVH considers this a central office function and therefore information for this topic was provided by central office staff assigned to work with employment issues. This staff meets monthly with the Disability Plan Navigators from the New York State Department of Labor (DOL).

Also attending these meetings are staff from the New York State Office of Mental Health (OMH), the New York State Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities (OMRDD), the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA), The New York State Office of Alcohol and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) and the New York State Education Department, Vocational and Educational Services for People with Disabilities (VESID). The purpose of these meetings is to discuss ways that the Disability Plan Navigators can assist persons with disabilities to best utilize all the services offered at One-Stop Centers.

At the current time, CBVH does not have a system to keep track of consumer involvement with One-Stop Centers. This is handled at the local field office level. Feedback from field office staff regarding the effectiveness of One-Stop Centers varies across the state. Because blindness is a low incidence population and some Center staff might not work with a person who is legally blind for months, it is often necessary for CBVH counselors to work closely with the consumer and One-Stop Disability Plan Navigator to assist the consumer to access the full range of employment services offered at the One-Stop Centers.

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

There is general consensus among survey respondents that there is a need to develop vocational training programs that will result in consumers acquiring skills for the current job market. Whether there is a need to establish new community rehabilitation programs or to improve the ones that already exist is the real question. Survey responses were mixed and included:

• The need to develop a residential rehabilitation center.20

• The need to develop new resources thereby improving the competitiveness and quality of services. This would require additional funding.

• The need develop new resources in specific areas of the state.

• The need to work with other agencies throughout the state to develop and/or refine training programs.

• The need to expand the current programs

• The need to conduct thorough research to determine what programs are lacking and how to develop new programs that will meet the needs of consumers with diverse needs (multiply disabled, residing in a rural community, little or no education, etc.).

Most respondents agreed that there is a need to develop vocational training programs that will result in consumers being able to compete in the current job market. Also, there needs to be training programs for individuals who only want entry level employment.

This screen was last updated on Sep 2 2011 11:22AM by Michael Rose

ANNUAL ESTIMATES OF INDIVIDUALS TO BE SERVED AND COSTS OF SERVICES

CBVH estimates that during Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) 2013, 1,400 individuals will be found eligible for CBVH services. CBVH anticipates serving 4,500 individuals during FFY 2013. Of the 4,500 individuals expected to receive services, CBVH expects that 4,370 individuals will be served using Title I Vocational Rehabilitation funds at a total estimated cost of $24,000,000. CBVH expects that the remaining 130 individuals will be served using Title VI, Part B Supported Employment funds at a total estimated cost of $300,000.

In order to provide RSA with an estimate of the number of individuals in the State who are eligible for VR services under the Rehabilitation Act, CBVH has examined data from the 2000 Census. Using an incidence of legal blindness formula, CBVH estimates that there are 54,196 legally blind non-institutionalized individuals between the ages of 22 and 64 in New York State.

There are numerous factors that impact an individual’s choice to seek vocational rehabilitation services and ultimately obtain employment. There is currently no method to accurately assess how many of the estimated 54,196 legally blind individuals ages 22 through 64 would apply for CBVH services and be found eligible for services. Therefore, the best estimate of the number of individuals in the State who are eligible for VR services is based on historical data as noted above.

Category Title I or Title VI Estimated Funds Estimated Number to be Served Average Cost of Services
Vocational Rehabilitation Part B of Title I Title I $24,000,000 4,370 $5,491
Supported Employment Part B of Title VI Title VI $300,000 130 $2,307
Totals   $24,300,000 4,500 $5,400

This screen was last updated on May 31 2012 9:11AM by Michael Rose

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.

STATE’S GOALS AND PRIORITIES

Goals and Priorities

CBVH has updated the goals and priorities that were developed for the 2012 State Plan. These goals and priorities have been developed in accordance with the results of the Statewide Comprehensive Needs Assessment, recommendations from RSA, and CBVH administrative priorities. The SRC has provided input into these goals and priorities.

Proposed Goals:

Goal 1: Increase the number of competitive employment outcomes using Fiscal Year 2011 data on the number of competitive employment outcomes as a baseline.

Goal 2: Increase the number of individuals from ethnic and racial minority populations who receive services, using Fiscal Year 2011 data as a baseline.

Goal 3: Continue to pass the RSA Standards and Indicators.

Goal 4: Improve services of individuals who are Deaf-Blind.

Goal 5: Provide assistive technology services to an increased number of CBVH consumers using FY 2011 as a baseline.

Goal 6: Support teaching functional Braille to adults for daily living and employment activities.

Goal 7: Increase awareness of CBVH services in the statewide business community

This screen was last updated on Sep 12 2012 1:59PM by Michael Rose

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

This agency is not implementing an Order of Selection.

This screen has never been updated.

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.

GOALS AND PLANS FOR DISTRIBUTION OF TITLE VI, PART B FUNDS

The purpose of CBVH’s supported employment program is to enable individuals with the most significant disabilities to achieve and maintain competitive employment in their communities. CBVH continues to serve all eligible individuals that need supported employment services with a goal of placing as many individuals as possible in employment.

In FFY 2011, 12 consumers in the supported employment program obtained employment and successfully transitioned to extended supported employment services (a decrease of 3 from FFY 2010). However, an additional three individuals in supported employment were served as “job saves.” The average hourly wage decreased from $8.97/hr. back to $8.02/hr. (the same level as 2009), but the average number of hours worked per week increased from 19.36 to 20.25. A review of referral patterns reveals that referrals for supported employment have steadily decreased over the past four years from a high of 81 to a low of 32. This may account in part for lower outcomes. This issue will be examined closely. In addition, supported employment job development efforts continue to be hampered by the economic downturn which has led businesses to eliminate positions and to expect remaining staff to be able to perform multiple tasks. This makes it more difficult to find or carve suitable positions for many candidates.

CBVH has three primary goals for FY 2013. The first is to increase the number of individuals placed in supportive employment to at least the 2009 level (23); the second is to increase hourly wages to at least $8.50/hr.; the third is to continue to maintain the average number of hours worked to at least the 20.25 hrs. /week achieved in FY 2011. The recent development of a retail training program in Brooklyn and Long Island, and a mobile retail support crew is expected to expand opportunities for employment in retail stores in NYC and Long Island.

In New York State, the administrative responsibility for supported employment programs is consolidated in the Office of Adult Career and Continuing Education Services (ACCES-VR, formerly VESID), as established in accordance with Section 3, Chapter 515 of the Laws of New York of 1992.

In 2009, following a Request for Proposals process, ACCES-VR developed a new contract for all intensive supported employment services and for all ACCES-VR-funded extended services. With input from CBVH, 2010 funds to serve CBVH consumers were allocated to 51 providers to serve approximately 145 consumers. Because blindness is a low incidence disability, CBVH continues to be challenged in anticipating service needs and distributing the limited funds available. The lack of extended services funds further limits the number of individuals who can enter intensive supported employment services.

CBVH plans to work more closely with ACCES-VR in the future to determine the distribution of funds available for intensive and extended services, while providing information and training to enable staff to better access extended services through the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) or Office of Mental Health (OMH), as appropriate.

CBVH maintains case management, program monitoring and oversight responsibilities for the supported employment services provided to CBVH consumers. Service providers regularly provide CBVH with individual consumer reports, and CBVH staff meet regularly with providers and consumers.

In FY 2012, information formerly housed in the OMH New York Integrated Supported Employment Reporting (NYISER) system, will be migrated to the new NYESS system, an expanded version of the Department of Labor’s One-Stop Operating System. The new system will make data and reports more readily accessible for case monitoring and system evaluation. It will also give providers and the consumers with whom they work access to NY’s Job Bank and the Skills Matching and Referral Technology (SMART) skills matching system. It is expected to be operational during FY 2012. The State’s Medicaid Infrastructure Grant is supporting data conversion, development, and training and server costs.

CBVH will continue to work with ACCES-VR to assess performance on an ongoing basis, participate in on-site reviews, and provide technical assistance or recommend adjustments to contracts as needed.

CBVH, with ACCES-VR, continues to take a close look at supported employment caseloads to assure that Title VI-C funds are applied in the most effective manner to assist individuals with most significant disabilities in obtaining competitive employment.

Counselors have been instructed to:

• Conduct comprehensive assessments, including situational assessments, prior to referral for supported employment services in order to limit referrals to only those individuals who will benefit from a supported employment program. This also allows intensive service dollars to be focused more on job development, placement and training and should allow individuals to complete the intensive phase more quickly.

• Consider the use of natural supports following employment and start to establish eligibility for extended services at the beginning of the planning process. This will maximize the use of limited ACCES-VR funding for extended services.

• More closely monitor monthly training reports, especially for individuals who have been in training for more than 18 months, and to consider closing cases where the individual does not appear to be making progress toward employment.

In 2012, CBVH will be revising its Supported Employment policy to more closely mirror changes made by ACCES-VR with input from an advisory group, including a CBVH representative.

Provider agencies have been instructed to regularly review cases to determine which consumers no longer require extended services due to their increased experience and confidence, and the availability of natural supports.

During the past year, CBVH has worked with other members of the Chapter 515 Implementation Team to improve the delivery of supported employment services. Specifically, the team has:

• Drafted revisions to the existing Memorandum of Understanding to strengthen partner agencies’ commitment to the provision of supported employment services, and better planning and coordination of service delivery.

• Shared information about program revisions within each agency’s service delivery system

• Reviewed data to monitor the effectiveness of supported employment services

This screen was last updated on Sep 12 2012 2:05PM by Michael Rose

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.

STATE’S STRATEGIES AND USE OF TITLE I FUNDS FOR INNOVATION AND EXPANSION ACTIVITIES

As noted in Attachment 4.11(c)(1) State’s Goals and Priorities, CBVH, working with the SRC, updated the goals and priorities that were developed for the 2012 State Plan. The goal of increasing the number of competitive closures remains as a goal for this State Plan so that CBVH can continue to measure program service effectiveness. The goal of increasing the number of individuals from ethnic and racial minority populations also remains a goal for the 2013 State Plan because many stakeholders have indicated that there continues to be a need for CBVH to address this goal. These goals and priorities have been developed using feedback from CBVH workgroups, the Executive Board, the State Rehabilitation Council, participant input from CBVH open forums, the results of the Comprehensive Needs Assessment and CBVH administrative priorities.

Goal 1: Increase the number of competitive employment outcomes using Fiscal Year 2011 data on the number of competitive employment outcomes as a baseline.

Strategies

1. Increase outreach efforts to employers to make them aware of the skills and abilities of individuals who are blind and to develop partnerships.

2. Continue to work with the National Employment Team (NET) of the Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation (CSAVR) and other employment networks to improve employment options for CBVH consumers.

3. Work to build partnerships with centers and LWIBs and increase access to needed services by CBVH consumers.

4. Develop additional vocational training programs that meet the needs of consumers and businesses.

5. Develop working relationships with agencies that typically serve individuals with disabilities other than blindness.

6. Support and promote the Business Enterprise Program in the implementation of the expanded state legislative priority in order to

increase employment opportunities and successful outcomes.

Goal 2: Increase the number of individuals from ethnic and racial minority populations and other unserved and underserved groups who receive services using Fiscal Year 2011 as a baseline.

Strategies

1. Promote CBVH services to the populations identified in the Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment (CSNA) as underserved.

2. Implement activities to provide additional and improved services to minority populations. In addition, CBVH will continue its efforts to diversify its staff.

3. Increase the availability of services to minority populations by providing access to information in different languages. Also, improve consumer access to English as a Second Language training programs, vocational training programs, job placement services and education services.

4. Develop working relationships with culturally specific community-based organizations such as literacy programs, faith based organizations, service groups and community action programs. Continue to encourage CBVH staff to attend community cultural events as a way to expand awareness of CBVH services.

5. Initiate outreach efforts to specific underserved populations identified by each CBVH district.

Goal 3: Continue to pass the RSA Standards and Indicators.

RSA Standards and Indicators

1.1: Change in Number of Employment Outcomes - The number of individuals exiting the VR program who achieved an employment outcome during the current performance period compared to the number of individuals who exited the VR program after achieving an employment outcome during the previous period.

1.2: Percent Employed - Of all individuals who exit the VR program after receiving services, the percentage who are determined to have achieved an employment outcome.

1.3: Employed Competitively - Of all individuals determined to have achieved an employment outcome, the percentage who exit the VR program in competitive, self- or business enterprise program (BEP) employment with earnings equivalent to at least the minimum wage.

1.4: Significant Disability - Of all individuals who exit the VR program in competitive, self-, or BEP employment with earnings equivalent to at least the minimum wage, the percentage who are individuals with significant disabilities.

1.5: Earnings Ratio - The average hourly earnings of all individuals who exit the VR program in competitive, self-, or BEP employment with earnings levels equivalent to at least the minimum wage as a ratio to the State’s average hourly earnings for all individuals in the State who are employed (as derived from the Bureau of Labor Statistics report "State Average Annual Pay" for the most recent available year).

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

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

Strategies

1. CBVH will continue to work with district office staff to obtain accurate data in our Case Information System (CIS).

2. Monitor progress for the strategies associated with Goal 1 and Goal 2 and discuss progress at quarterly management meetings as these will also impact CBVH’s ability to pass the standards and indicators.

3. Increase the use of benefits advisement to help improve consumer’s earnings and CBVH performance on indicators 1.5 and 1.6.

Goal 4: Improve services to individuals who are deaf-blind.

Strategies

1. Implement recommendations from the Deaf-Blind Needs Assessment which are within the purview of CBVH.

a. Review and update the MOU with ACCES-VR, as necessary.

b. Explore development of additional programs and services to meet the needs of individuals who are deaf-blind.

c. Advocate for appropriate community resources to meet the needs of individuals who are deaf-blind.

2. With the Office of Persons with Developmental Disabilities, examine the deaf-blind population served by that agency and the issues faced by this population, and develop opportunities for service collaboration.

3. Continue membership on the Interagency Coordinating Council for Services to Persons Who Are Deaf, Deaf-Blind or Hard of Hearing and continue to actively work with the Council to address its work plan and priorities.

Goal 5: Provide assistive technology services to an increased number of

CBVH consumers.

Strategies

1. Increase the number of transition age college bound students who receive assistive technology training before their senior year of high school.

2. Increase the number of individual adaptive technology service providers who are able to provide assistive technology assessments and training, set-up equipment and provide technical assistance, particularly in rural communities.

3. Expand the use of loan closets using the Title I Innovation and Expansion funds.

4. Increase access to opportunities and settings in which to practice and reinforce computer skills.

5. Provide training opportunities for counseling staff, adaptive technology instructors and vendors on emerging adaptive technologies and their educational and business applications.

Goal 6 Support teaching functional Braille to adults for daily living and employment activities.

Strategies

1. Work with the CIS developers to determine the best mechanism for tracking Braille instruction.

2. Continue to encourage counselors to discuss the value and benefit of learning functional Braille skills with consumers.

3. Fill CBVH rehabilitation teacher positions to expand resources for Braille instruction.

4. Recruit prospective students to enroll in Vision Rehabilitation Therapy programs in order to increase the availability of Braille instruction.

Goal 7 Increase awareness of CBVH services in the statewide business community.

Strategies

1. Promote business awareness of CBVH workforce programs and business services through print, broadcast and electronic media, and continue to promote awareness of CBVH through personal face-to-face contacts with businesses.

2. Assist business in finding employees who have the education, skills and abilities to meet business needs.

3. Enhance the information and resources for business that are available on CBVH website and promote the website link in all marketing efforts.

4. Develop and implement local marketing plans in each CBVH district that encourage and strengthen partnerships between CBVH and community providers when creating business relationships.

 

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.

Provide assistive technology services to an increased number of CBVH consumers.

Strategies

1. Increase the number of transition age college bound students who receive assistive technology training before their senior year of high school.

2. Increase the number of individual adaptive technology service providers who are able to provide assistive technology assessments and training, set-up equipment and provide technical assistance, particularly in rural communities.

3. Expand the use of loan closets using the Title I Innovation and Expansion funds.

4. Increase access to opportunities and settings in which to practice and reinforce computer skills.

5. Provide training opportunities for counseling staff, adaptive technology instructors and vendors on emerging adaptive technologies and their educational and business applications.

 

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.

Increase the number of individuals from ethnic and racial minority populations and other unserved and underserved groups who receive services using Fiscal Year 2011 as a baseline.

Strategies

1. Improve outreach activities to the populations identified in the Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment (CSNA) as underserved by better marketing the services provided by CBVH.

2. Implement activities to provide additional and improved services to minority populations. In addition, CBVH will continue its efforts to diversify its staff.

3. Increase the availability of services to minority populations by providing access to information in different languages. Also, improve consumer access to English as a Second Language training programs, vocational training programs, job placement services and education services.

4. Develop working relationships with culturally specific community-based organizations such as literacy programs, faith based organizations, service groups and community action programs. Continue to encourage CBVH staff to attend community cultural events as a way to expand awareness of CBVH services.

5. Initiate outreach efforts to specific underserved populations identified by each CBVH district.

 

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

Establishing, Developing or Improving Community Rehabilitation Programs

As identified in the needs assessment, there does not appear to be a need to establish new community rehabilitation programs. However, the need to develop and improve existing community rehabilitation programs was identified. CBVH will work closely with community resources to:

1. Continue to improve the assistive technology services provided by contract agencies.

As part of CBVH’s efforts to improve assistive technology services, CBVH is seeking an objective means of assessing the skills of individuals who have received assistive technology training. The goal is to identify areas of further training or confirm an individual is ready to pursue his or her goal.

2. Develop and implement new and innovative training and placement programs for consumers.

CBVH is partnering with community rehabilitation programs to help them target growing job sectors and develop training programs to provide individuals with the appropriate skills to meet the needs of businesses in those sectors.

3. Improve and augment Comprehensive Services, Adaptive Technology, and

Evaluation/Placement services.

A joint CBVH/provider workgroup to discuss current practice and challenges in implementation of the Comprehensive Services Contract began meeting in January of 2011. The group, which consists of senior counselors and agency program directors, will work on an ongoing basis to establish best practices, service provision and documentation.

4. Continue joint training initiatives with community contractor agencies. CBVH and the Region 2 TACE Center sponsored the annual Vision Rehabilitation and Employment Institute.

Approximately 100 attendees participated in an array of workshops that related to Career Search, Landing a Job on the Phone, Consumers with Criminal Backgrounds, Work Readiness and Career Management.

 

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

Continue to pass the RSA Standards and Indicators.

RSA Standards and Indicators

1.1: Change in Number of Employment Outcomes - The number of individuals exiting the VR program who achieved an employment outcome during the current performance period compared to the number of individuals who exited the VR program after achieving an employment outcome during the previous period.

1.2: Percent Employed - Of all individuals who exit the VR program after receiving services, the percentage who are determined to have achieved an employment outcome.

1.3: Employed Competitively - Of all individuals determined to have achieved an employment outcome, the percentage who exit the VR program in competitive, self- or business enterprise program (BEP) employment with earnings equivalent to at least the minimum wage.

1.4: Significant Disability - Of all individuals who exit the VR program in competitive, self-, or BEP employment with earnings equivalent to at least the minimum wage, the percentage who are individuals with significant disabilities.

1.5: Earnings Ratio - The average hourly earnings of all individuals who exit the VR program in competitive, self-, or BEP employment with earnings levels equivalent to at least the minimum wage as a ratio to the State’s average hourly earnings for all individuals in the State who are employed (as derived from the Bureau of Labor Statistics report "State Average Annual Pay" for the most recent available year).

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

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

Strategies

1. CBVH will continue to work with district office staff to obtain accurate data in our Case Information System (CIS).

2. Monitor progress for the strategies associated with Goal 1 and Goal 2 and discuss progress at quarterly management meetings as these will also impact CBVH’s ability to pass the standards and indicators.

3. Encourage the use of benefits advisement to help improve consumer’s earnings and CBVH performance on indicators 1.5 and 1.6.

 

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

Assisting Other Components of the Statewide Workforce Investment System

CBVH works closely with other components of the Statewide Workforce Investment System, primarily through a number of workgroups and steering committees, including serving on the advisory group to NYS DOL’s new Disability Employment Initiative. CBVH and other partner agencies including, Office of People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD), Office of Alcohol and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS), ACCES-VR, the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA), participate in monthly teleconferences with the projects’ Disability Resource Coordinators (DRCs).

The DRC’s replace many of the Disability Program Navigators that were in One-Stop Centers. CBVH will also be serving on regional integrated teams formed under the initiative. In addition, CBVH serves on the steering committee for Customized Employment initiative under the Medicaid Infrastructure Group, the Chapter 515 Integrated Employment Workgroup, the Most Integrated Setting Coordinating Council’s Committee on Employment, and the Medicaid Infrastructure Grant steering committee. These workgroups and committees provide opportunities to learn about partner agencies, plan and coordinate services, and jointly market to consumers and businesses. Additional partners collaborating in these groups include community provider organizations, State Office for the Aging (SOFA), Office of Mental Health (OMH), Division of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA), Department of Health (DOH), Developmental Disabilities Planning Council (DDPC) and the Commission on Quality of Care and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities (CQCAPD).

 

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.

As noted in Attachment 4.11(c)(1) State’s Goals and Priorities, CBVH, working with the SRC, updated the goals and priorities that were developed for the 2012 State Plan. The goal of increasing the number of competitive closures remains as a goal for this State Plan so that CBVH can continue to measure program service effectiveness. The goal of increasing the number of individuals from ethnic and racial minority populations also remains a goal for the 2013 State Plan because many stakeholders have indicated that there continues to be a need for CBVH to address this goal. These goals and priorities have been developed using feedback from CBVH workgroups, the Executive Board, the State Rehabilitation Council, participant input from CBVH open forums, the results of the Comprehensive Needs Assessment and CBVH administrative priorities.

Innovation and Expansion Funds

CBVH plans to use Innovation and Expansion funds for several projects in FY 2013. These include enhancements to the Adaptive Technology Center contracts, innovative employment programs that were initially funded with ARRA funds and innovative training/placement programs for VR consumers.

CBVH will also continue to use innovation and expansion funds for the equipment loan closet program if needs for additional equipment purchases arise during the year.

Overcoming Identified Barriers Related to Equitable Access and Participation of Individuals with Disabilities in the state VR Services Program and the state Supported Employment Services Program

CBVH has conducted a statewide needs assessment to identify unserved and underserved populations, has expanded outreach efforts and has provided training for staff to increase cultural sensitivity to minority populations.

CBVH works with ACCES-VR to allocate contract capacity for Supported Employment services to try to assure the services are available to any most significantly disabled individual seeking those services.

 

This screen was last updated on Sep 12 2012 3:00PM by Michael Rose

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

EVALUATION AND REPORT OF PROGRESS IN ACHIEVING IDENTIFIED GOALS AND PRIORITIES AND USE OF TITLE I FUNDS FOR INNOVATION AND EXPANSION

CBVH evaluates progress toward achievement of goals and priorities on an ongoing basis. Progress achieved during the past year is reported as activities completed to address the strategies associated with each goal. Many of the strategies listed are ongoing activities. Where appropriate, objectives that have been met are noted. CBVH is reporting on the goals and objectives identified in the 2011 VR State Plan. Employment outcomes increased during this fiscal year. CBVH placed 388 individuals in competitive employment. This was a 4% increase over Fiscal Year 2010, when 374 individuals were placed in competitive employment. The average hourly wage for FY2011 was $20.20, an 11% increase over FY2010, when the average hourly wage was $19.48.

Goal 1:

Increase the number of competitive employment outcomes using Fiscal Year 2010 data on the number of competitive employment outcomes as a baseline.

1. CBVH assessed its eight innovative employment and training programs to verify adherence to contract expectations and assess which ones should be supported as vocational training programs once ARRA funding has ended. Four programs will continue as vocational training programs: one program to train direct support assistants to work in day habilitation programs, one retail training program, one customer service training program focusing on e-commerce, and one food service training program. Two programs, Scopist and Customer Contact representative, will no longer be available. Two programs, customer service in travel industry, and media and entertainment, continue to work toward obtaining their pilot outcomes under vocational rehabilitation funding, with the expectation of developing a contract for service. As of 9/30/11, 38 individuals have completed training and begun employment as a result of these programs.

2. In 2011, CBVH, along with ACCES-VR, continued to work with Walgreen’s Retail Employment Disability Initiative (REDI). As a result, four more legally blind consumers have obtained employment in Walgreens pharmacies, for a total of 5 since the program was initiated in 2010. Additional trainees, including a former Walgreens Assistant Manager, are scheduled for training in 2012. As an experienced Walgreens partner, CBVH has been asked to share its perspective and strategies with other State VR agencies that will begin to work with Walgreens in 2012.

3. CBVH regularly receives job postings through the Council of State

Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation’s National Employment Team

(the NET) and participates in webinars with a variety of businesses, including

private and Federal employers. Job postings and business profiles are shared

with counseling staff and placement providers. In addition, CBVH confers with

other state agencies in the NET about approaches and resources used by

other states, with the aim to improve CBVH’s outcomes. Staff also participates in local placement consortiums.

4. CBVH continues its efforts to identify and work with vocational training programs in local communities to expand training opportunities for CBVH consumers.

5. CBVH worked with SASSY Incorporated, a marketing and advertising firm in Buffalo, NY to develop a marketing strategy for outreach and business development. In 2011, SASSY’s three-year plan was approved, and Phase I deliverables were achieved, including a video targeting businesses, a business brochure, employer benefits and fact sheets, a job save rack card and a poster about job retention. CBVH staff received training on how to use these marketing materials to educate and do outreach to businesses.

Over 100 CBVH staff and placement providers participated in an Employment Summit, which provided discussions of effective provider/VR placement partnerships, and training in how to engage businesses in discussions about their workforce needs and how businesses can benefit from hiring qualified workers who are legally blind. Participants have reported increased business outreach as the result of this training, which should lead to increased employment outcomes.

6. In addition to the training programs described above, CBVH has been working with the Burton Blatt Institute (BBI) at Syracuse University to expand entrepreneurial training opportunities for nascent entrepreneurs. The approach is unique as it involves a team of a VR counselor, business navigator from a university, and a representative from the local Small Business Development Center. 15 individuals are currently enrolled in the program in Syracuse and NYC, and CBVH is working with BBI to expand the approach to additional regions including Essex, Erie, Ulster and Suffolk counties.

Goal 2:

Increase the number of individuals from ethnic and racial minority populations who receive services, beginning with a baseline of data from Fiscal Year 2010.

1. CBVH continues outreach activities to underserved populations identified in the Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment (CSNA). The CBVH Outreach Coordinator continues to do outreach presentations across the state, focusing on schools, colleges, churches, community centers, advocacy groups, health fairs, healthcare providers and coalitions, ethnic festivals and senior centers.

2. CBVH continues to participate in the agency-wide initiative known as the Disproportionate Minority Representation/Cultural Competence Committee. In 2011, a second round of cultural competency training was provided to each CBVH employee and contractor agencies with the focus on identifying and eliminating racial and ethnic inequities in agency service delivery systems, practices and policies.

3. CBVH continues to participate in the agency-wide effort to identify those consumers for whom English is not their primary language. Late in 2011, per NYS Executive Order No. 26 and the agency language access plan, CBVH identified and prioritized all vital documents for translation into six languages. CBVH continues to provide its written materials in Spanish, Arabic, Chinese and Russian. In addition, CBVH continues to utilize “Language Line,” a telephone translation service that provides interpreters for consumers who are non-English speaking.

4. In 2011, CBVH entered into agreements with two private agencies for the blind, Aurora of Central New York, Inc. in Syracuse and Visions Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired in New York City to develop and implement comprehensive outreach programs to underserved legally blind individuals in the upstate New York and New York City areas. CBVH continues to work closely with these two programs with the long term goal of increasing referrals to the Vocational Rehabilitation Program and the Older Blind Program.

5. CBVH has partnered with SUNY Buffalo Region 2 Technical Assistance and Continuing Education Center to provide diversity planning with each CBVH district office in the state. The primary focus is identification of service strategies and approaches that promote the delivery of services reflective of regional and local populations and communities. CBVH implemented this initiative late in 2011 beginning with the Buffalo District Office and will continue throughout 2012 with each district office.

Goal 3:

Pass the RSA Standards and Indicators.

This goal has been met. This goal will be included in future state plans as a way of reporting on CBVH activities to improve employment outcomes for consumers.

1. The results of FFY 2011 data indicate that CBVH has passed all of the indicators in standard 1 and came close to passing standard 2. CBVH continues to work on outreach to minority populations and underserved and unserved individuals to help improve performance on Indicator 2.1.

2. New Senior Counselor Review Forms and the implementation of the computer management system have increased the oversight of CBVH counselor performance. It is expected that this increased supervision will result in counselors developing and/or enhancing the skills needed to develop relationships with new employers and to work with employers to assist consumers to obtain employment.

3. Career Planning Tools were only partially implemented in the CBVH computerized case management system. We continue to explore the possibility of incorporating the entirety of the Career Planning Tools in the future.

Goal 4:

Identify ways to improve services to individuals who are Deaf-Blind.

1. During FFY 2011, the Center for Essential Management Services reviewed literature, conducted key informant interviews and held several focus groups to assess the needs of individuals who are deaf-blind. Upon completion of the assessment process, CBVH will review the report and recommendations, and analyze how findings can direct future efforts to improve services to this population. Results of the statewide needs assessment for individuals who are deaf-blind will be shared with the Interagency Coordinating Council, the CBVH Executive Board, as well as with partner agencies who may jointly serve this population.

Goal 5:

Increase access for all consumers to assistive technology services.

1. The economic need thresholds have been increased as planned.

2. CBVH is reviewing policy as necessary to provide students transitioning to post secondary education with equipment and training in the use of adaptive technology during their senior year of high school.

3. At the recommendation of the Executive Board of the CBVH, a database of agencies and individual vendors who provide training in assistive technology has been established and was posted on the CBVH website (www.visionloss.ny.gov). The database is available as a consumer choice resource and as a resource for those who do not qualify for CBVH services to obtain assistive technology training.

4. The establishment of the state-wide database of agency and individual private vendors in assistive technology has provided the basis for the identification of gaps in rural areas towards the provision of these services. Areas of identified need will be used as a starting point for the recruitment of individual private assistive technology providers.

Goal 6:

Increase support for consumers needing Mental Health Services.

1. CBVH has increased reimbursement rates for mental health providers.

2. In January 2012, CBVH added a new social casework outcome to the Comprehensive Service Contract to enable contract agencies to provide brief therapy for consumers who require that service.

 

Progress In Achieving Supported Employment Goals

The current supported employment delivery system has allowed all eligible individuals with the most significant disabilities who are interested in supported employment to obtain services.

Goal 1: The goal of CBVH’s supported employment program is to enable individuals with the most significant disabilities to achieve and maintain competitive employment in their communities.

The current supported employment delivery system has allowed all eligible individuals with the most significant disabilities who are interested in supported employment to obtain services toward competitive employment. In 2009, 23 individuals were placed in competitive jobs and successfully transitioned to extended supported employment services (an increase of 3 from 2008). The average hourly wage decreased from $8.08 to $8.02/hr., but the average number of hours worked per week increased from 19.5 to 20.20.

Goal 2: CBVH’s goals for 2010-11 is to increase the number of individuals placed in competitive employment and increase the average number of hours worked, despite the repressed economy.

In 2011, CBVH placed 12 individuals in supported employment (a decrease of 11 from 2009), working an average of 20.25 hours per week (an increase of .05 hrs). The explanation for the lower number of placements may include but are not limited to: individuals with extensive functional limitations have required more job coaching hours, reducing the number who can be served; the economy has affected hiring practices, especially for jobs requiring lower skills; employers expect individuals to be able to perform multiple functions and are no longer as willing to “carve” positions for individuals who cannot multi-task or perform multiple jobs duties. In addition to increased hours worked per week, earnings significantly increased to an hourly average of $8.95.

 

Standards and Indicators

During FY 2011, CBVH passed all of the indicators in Standard 1 and came close to passing Standard 2. CBVH continues to closely monitor progress toward meeting all of the Standards and Indicators for FY 2012 and expects that they will be met.

 

Innovation and Expansion Activities

Innovation and expansion funds were used during FY 2011 to fund seven ATCs across the state. These ATCs provide technology assessment and training to CBVH consumers through contracts with CBVH. ATC staff meets with CBVH at least twice a year to share best practice information, learn about new equipment and to address issues that arise during the year. As requested, ATC staff provides training and demonstrations of new equipment to CBVH district office counselors.

This screen was last updated on Sep 17 2012 3:38PM by Michael Rose

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

QUALITY, SCOPE AND EXTENT OF SUPPORTED EMPLOYMENT SERVICES

The Vocational Rehabilitation division of the Office of Adult Career and Continuing Education Services (ACESS-VR, formerly VESID) continues to have primary responsibility for supported employment programs and other integrated employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities in New York State. A memorandum of understanding is in place covering the respective roles and responsibilities of CBVH, ACCES-VR, the Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities (now Office for Persons with Developmental Disabilities – OPWDD) and the Office of Mental Health (OMH) in supported employment for consumers who are blind.

Since 1989, the number of community agencies utilizing Supported Employment Grant Funds under Title VI-B of the Rehabilitation Act to provide supported employment services to individuals who are blind has expanded from eight to 51. The grant awards stipulate adherence to all requirements set forth in Title VI-B of the Rehabilitation Act. Targeted populations include individuals with multiple disabilities who are aging out of educational programs, individuals in day treatment and long term extended employment and those who have been unable to maintain employment in integrated community settings. The "individual placement" is the prevailing model; however, this does not preclude consideration of alternatives including the "enclave" and "affirmative business." The 51 agencies are located in major cities and in suburban and rural areas across the State.

Supported employment services are delivered through the ACCES-VR contracting system, as agreed under Section 3, Chapter 515 of the Laws of New York of 1992. CBVH transfers its supported employment funds to ACCES-VR, but retains case management responsibility for individuals in the intensive service phase. Under the contract, individual agencies have agreed to serve individuals who are blind; however, limited funding and the low incidence of blindness make it difficult to accurately anticipate where supported employment funds should be allocated. This creates challenges when an individual needs services in an area not covered by a contract, or in which capacity for serving individuals who are blind has already been met.

When the individual’s work performance is actualized and the services (job coaching, adjustment counseling and advocacy) reach the lowest level necessary for the individual to maintain employment, the individual’s supported employment case is closed. Extended services provide ongoing support and can be provided by a State agency, private organization, employer, co-workers and family members, or any other source available to assist the individual to maintain employment. Under the Memorandum of Interagency Understanding Regarding Supported Employment, OMH and OPWDD provide follow-along services for individuals who meet their respective eligibility criteria.

Individuals who do not meet OMH or OPWDD criteria may receive extended services through designated ACCES-VR funds or through natural supports in the work place. Individuals in extended services may request Post Employment Services or, if necessary, ask to have their cases reopened.

Traditional vocational rehabilitation services continue to be available to supported employment candidates using Vocational Rehabilitation funds in the development as well as the execution of Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE). In this regard there is no distinction from other vocational rehabilitation consumers.

Quality assurance is a matter of ongoing concern. Providers receive Guidelines for Supported Employment which are updated as needed and convey the expectations for quality services. ACCES-VR quality assurance staff, with input from CBVH and other partners, established new case review form protocols to gather information that can be used to monitor and improve services. CBVH district office staff is invited to participate in reviews of agencies in their catchment area; however, they typically participate only in reviews of agencies that are serving consumers who are blind.

The CBVH supported employment coordinator and staff regularly monitor reports and contract implementation. The coordinator regularly talks with CBVH district office, staff, contractors and state monitors to address progress and opportunities for program improvement, providing technical assistance and training as needed.

This screen was last updated on May 31 2012 10:07AM by Michael Rose

The following information is captured by the MIS.

Last updated on 09/26/2012 at 1:56 PM

Last updated by sanyrosem

Completed on 09/26/2012 at 1:56 PM

Completed by sanyrosem

Approved on 09/26/2012 at 3:57 PM

Approved by rsadoylej

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

Published by kschelle

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