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

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

State Plan for the State Vocational Rehabilitation Services Program and
State Plan Supplement for the State Supported Employment Services Program
New York Office of Adult Career and Continuing Education Services State Plan for Fiscal Year 2014 (submitted FY 2013)

Preprint - Section 1: State Certifications

1.1 The New York State Education Department (NYSED)Office of Adult Career and Continuing Education Services is authorized to submit this State Plan under Title I of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended [1] and its supplement under Title VI, Part B, of the Rehabilitation Act [2].

1.2 As a condition for the receipt of federal funds under Title I, Part B, of the Rehabilitation Act for the provision of vocational rehabilitation services, the NYSED Office of Adult Career and Continuing Education Services (ACCES) (formerly VESID) [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

Deputy Commissioner Adult Career and Continuing Education Services

... 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

Deputy Commissioner Adult Career and Continuing Education Services

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

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

State Plan Certified By

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

Signed?Yes

Name of SignatoryKevin G. Smith

Title of SignatoryDeputy Commissioner Office of Adult Career and Continuing Education Services

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

Assurances Certified By

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

Section 1 Footnotes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(a) Conduct of public meetings.

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

(b) Notice requirements.

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

(c) Special consultation requirements.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Preprint - Section 4: Administration of the State Plan

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

(a) Designated state agency.

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

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

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

(b) Designated state unit.

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

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

  1. The name of the designated state vocational rehabilitation unit is
NYSED Adult Career and Continuing Education Services (formerly VESID)

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

The State Plan must contain one of the following assurances.

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

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

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

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

(Option B was selected)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

If "Yes", the designated state agency:

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

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

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

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

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

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

This agency is not requesting a waiver of statewideness.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(c) Coordination with education officials.

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

  1. The State Plan description must:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(a) In general.

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

(b) Employment of individuals with disabilities.

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

(c) Facilities.

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

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

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

(a) Data system on personnel and personnel development.

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

  1. Qualified personnel needs.

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

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

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

  1. Personnel development.

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

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

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

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

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

(c) Personnel standards.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(d) Staff development.

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

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

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

(e) Personnel to address individual communication needs.

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

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

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

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

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

(a) Comprehensive statewide assessment.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(b) Annual estimates.

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

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

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

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

(c) Goals and priorities.

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

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

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

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

  1. provides a justification for the order; and

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

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

(d) Strategies.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(e) Evaluation and reports of progress.

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

  1. Attachment 4.11(e)(2):

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(b) If No:

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

  1. Attachment 4.11(c)(3):

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  1. an immediate job placement; or

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(a) Contracts with for-profit organizations.

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

(b) Cooperative agreements with private nonprofit organizations.

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

Preprint - Section 6: Program Administration

Section 6: Program Administration

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Preprint - Section 7: Financial Administration

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

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

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

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

Preprint - Section 8: Provision of Supported Employment Services

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

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

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

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

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

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

  1. specifies the supported employment services to be provided;

  1. describes the expected extended services needed; and

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

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

Attachment 4.2(c) Input of State Rehabilitation Council

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

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

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

Information and Reporting

SRC Recommendation: SRC recommends ACCES-VR share summary data reports with the Council on a regular basis in advance of SRC quarterly meetings.

ACCES-VR Response: ACCES-VR does share various data reports, and agreed to distribute three reports on a quarterly basis (VR Dashboard, VR Indicators at 6 months, and VR Report screen prints).

SRC Recommendation: SRC recommends ACCES-VR consumer satisfaction surveys should target sub-groups at various stages in the vocational rehabilitation (VR) process. One sub-group might include individuals who have recently completed the eligibility determination process who can identify aspects of the application process that were helpful and/or cumbersome. ACCES-VR Response: The consumer satisfaction surveys have been adjusted to target consumers at various stages of the VR process. The ACCES-VR Quality Assurance Unit has worked with the SRC Quality Assurance and Improvement Committee to identify several consumer satisfaction areas and sub-groups to direct consumer satisfaction surveys to over the next five years.

SRC Recommendation: SRC recommends that ACCES-VR provide an opportunity to review and comment on significant initiatives such as Core Rehabilitation Services (CRS) and draft Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) prior to finalizing such initiatives and agreements.

ACCES-VR Response: ACCES-VR has shared significant draft MOUs and initiatives such as the CRS with the SRC, and will continue to do so.

SRC Recommendation: SRC recommends ACCES-VR contact other states to determine if there is interest in developing alternative recommendations for revisions to RSA performance indicator 1.5 for those states where average wage rates are skewed by large metropolitan/high wage market segments (e.g., New York City and the financial industry).

ACCES-VR Response: ACCES-VR shares the SRC’s interest in working toward a new national RSA performance indicator, and would appreciate assistance from the SRC in identifying appropriate measures. When RSA embarks on an effort to modify the performance measures in the federal regulation, ACCES-VR will work closely with the SRC to provide substantive input.

Program and Policy Implementation

SRC Recommendation: SRC recommends ACCES-VR follow up on the Client Assistance Program (CAP) observation that in isolated cases consumer access to required ACCES-VR orientation sessions were delayed for up to three months. ACCES-VR Response: ACCES-VR followed up with the CAP to identify the specific district offices that were experiencing inordinate delays scheduling orientation sessions and promptly worked with the district office to eliminate the delays.

SRC Recommendation: SRC recommends ACCES-VR take steps to correct instances where the SRC and the public generally, were informed by district offices that VR transition services are only available in the last year of high school. ACCES-VR Response: ACCES-VR Deputy Commissioner assured the full Council that ACCES-VR policy for Youth in School – Transition Planning and Services provides for the VR counselors to work with students two years prior to anticipated school exit. ACCES-VR has a State Education Agency (SEA) agreement that identifies the obligations for both the school and VR for students transitioning into adult services. ACCES-VR will continue to monitor public communication on the ACCES-VR transition policy and transition services at the district office level.

SRC Recommendation: SRC recommends ACCES-VR record policy trainings and/or webinars for significant policy changes and archive the trainings for viewing by Community Rehabilitation Programs (CRPs), stakeholders and, as appropriate, the public, in order to enhance understanding of effective, timely service delivery among VR staff and other stakeholders throughout the State.

ACCES-VR Response: ACCES-VR concurs with the intent of the recommendation; however, limited video production support does not allow ACCES-VR to undertake the recordings recommended at this time. ACCES-VR will reconsider this recommendation in the future.

Impartial Hearing Officer

SRC Recommendation: SRC recommends ACCES-VR collaborate with the Client Assistance Program (CAP) on Impartial Hearing Officer (IHO) evaluation efforts going forward.

ACCES-VR Response: ACCES-VR concurs and is committed to collaboration with CAP on IHO evaluations going forward.

SRC Recommendation: SRC recommends ACCES-VR institute a disability literacy training component as part of future IHO orientations/trainings.

ACCES-VR Response: ACCES-VR concurs and will work to develop a disability literacy training component to future IHO orientations and trainings.

Marketing and Public Relations

SRC Recommendation: SRC recommends ACCES-VR conduct several "virtual town hall meetings" for the 2013 State Plan meetings, and the participation of both Deputy Commissioner Kevin Smith and Assistant Commissioner Debora Brown-Johnson at all of the State Plan hearings.

ACCES-VR Response: ACCES-VR concurs and instituted a virtual “Town Hall” meeting option as part of the 2013 series of State Plan public meetings. Deputy Commissioner Kevin Smith and/or Assistant Commissioner Debora Brown-Johnson are committed to attending all the State Plan public meetings as schedules allow.

SRC Recommendation: SRC recommends ACCES-VR promote participation at State Plan public meetings and that ACCES-VR consider arranging carpooling, bus transportation or other efforts to address access to the public meetings.

ACCES-VR Response: ACCES-VR broadly promotes the State Plan public meetings, and expanded its outreach to the public by holding a virtual meeting with five district offices around the State. Practical considerations do not allow for coordinating carpooling and bus transportation. ACCES-VR supports these activities when they are initiated by other partners or organizations.

SRC Recommendation: SRC recommends ACCES-VR provide broader distribution of the SRC Annual Report through trade associations and/or through all ACCES-VR service providers and disability advocacy networks. The report will be accompanied by a one-page cover letter explaining the role and mission of the SRC.

ACCES-VR Response: ACCES-VR will continue to promote broad distribution of the SRC Annual Report. The Annual Report is posted on the ACCES-VR website and available to the public. At the State Plan public meetings, ACCES-VR provides an overview of the SRC, including the SRC Annual Report and the website link.

Transition from School to Adult Life for Students with Disabilities

SRC Recommendation: SRC recommends that core competencies for students with disabilities focus on developing self-awareness about their particular disabilities and learning styles, training about the disability community, learning and life accommodations as well as assertiveness/communications training.

ACCES-VR Response: ACCES-VR concurs with the need for youth in transition to develop self-awareness and self-advocacy skills. Youth Employment Services (YES) and other VR services are available to develop these skill sets.

SRC Recommendation: SRC stressed the importance of access to technology for all consumers with disabilities, but particularly children with disabilities, and recommends that the Office of P-12 and ACCES-VR place a higher priority on integrating technology with vocational and technical training early in the process.

ACCES-VR Response: ACCES - VR will work to identify strategies for VR consumers to increase competency in utilizing assistive technology as part of transition planning from school to adult life.

SRC Recommendation: SRC recommends that students covered under Section 504 receive additional attention by the Office of P-12 and ACCES-VR from ages 14 through 21 years. The SRC noted students with learning disabilities and/or mental health issues are most likely to miss out on comprehensive transition planning and services.

ACCES-VR Response: A student with a 504 plan is not entitled to transition services from the school, although such a student may be eligible for ACCES-VR services depending on the nature of the disability and its resultant functional limitations. On a local level, ACCES-VR works with schools, and other entities, to identify youth with disabilities that could be served by ACCES-VR and together conduct outreach to students with a 504 plan.

SRC Recommendation: SRC recommends SED undertake a marketing campaign to promote the new Office of P-12 Career Skills Credential, targeting businesses, unions and community rehabilitation programs.

ACCES-VR Response: The SRC provided written comments directly to the Office of Special Education on the proposed credential. ACCES-VR will continue to work with youth with disabilities, with or without a high school diploma, and to develop with each individual an Individualized Plan for Employment.

Labor Market and Workforce

SRC Recommendation: SRC recommends ACCES-VR train its VR counselors and assistants on CareerZone and JobZone with an emphasis on jobs that require a high school diploma and less than a four year college degree. It is further recommended that ACCES-VR facilitate CareerZone and JobZone training for community rehabilitation program partners.

ACCES-VR Response: ACCES-VR will promote routine utilization of CareerZone and JobZone in the delivery of transition services and IPE development, and explore options to provide training to VR counselors.

SRC Recommendation: SRC recommends ACCES-VR develop a system that would enhance the VR counselors and ACCES-VR partners’ ability to stay aware of current regional and statewide trends (e.g., who is hiring and what are employer needs for workforce middle skills).

ACCES-VR Response: ACCES-VR counseling staff, as well as the ACCES-VR Integrated Employment Specialists, develop local workforce relationships and stay aware of local, regional and statewide trends in employment. At the State level partnership, ACCES-VR meets regularly with staff from the NYS Department of Labor.

This screen was last updated on Jun 19 2013 3:08PM by Karen Lajoie

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

This agency has not requested a waiver of statewideness.

This screen was last updated on Aug 20 2009 11:28AM by Gerri Malone

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

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

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

Cooperation with Agencies that are Not in the Statewide Workforce Investment System and with Other Entities: Attachment 4.8(b)(1)

Coordination and planning with other New York State (NYS) agencies are critical functions in improving access to appropriate vocational training and employment opportunities, particularly for individuals with significant disabilities who often have multiple needs requiring the intervention of more than one State agency. Other State, federal and local agencies are a significant referral source for the individuals referred to VESID for services. VESID continues to coordinate and work cooperatively with agencies that are not in the Statewide Workforce Investment System to increase employment opportunities for people with significant disabilities. However, VESID is not currently involved in a cooperative agreement with the United States Department of Agriculture. VESID’s vocational rehabilitation and supported employment programs are not directly involved in state use contracting programs.

Coordinating the support needs of people with disabilities (such as transportation, medical care, housing, case management, family supports and work incentives) is essential for many individuals to be able to obtain and maintain their integrated employment. Interagency cooperation and coordination in service delivery is a driving force within Title IV of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 and Chapter 515 of the Laws of 1992 (New York State Integrated Employment legislation). This interagency collaboration occurs at both the State and local levels through coordinated planning and service delivery initiatives, as well as through the implementation of formal Memoranda of Agreement.

Memoranda of Agreements and Memoranda of Understanding

VESID works closely with a variety of entities to enhance vocational rehabilitation services and placement opportunities for VESID consumers. These efforts are described in the Memorandums of Agreement and the Memorandums of Understanding. Several of the key agreements include:

• Memorandum of Agreement for the Workforce Investment Act: Title II, Adult Education and Family Literacy between the New York State Education Department and Local Workforce Investment Boards, June 30, 2000

• Memorandum of Agreement to Provide Services to Individuals who are Deaf/Blind, November 1999 between the Office of Vocational and Educational Services for Individuals (VESID) and Commission for the Blind and Visually Handicapped (CBVH)

• Memorandum of Interagency Understanding regarding Supported Employment, October 1999 between VESID, CBVH, Office of Mental Health (OMH) and Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities (OMRDD)

• Memorandum of Understanding between the State Education Department’s Office of Vocational and Educational Services for Individuals with Disabilities and the OMH, October 1999

• Memorandum of Understanding between the State Education Department’s Office of Vocational and Educational Services for Individuals with Disabilities and the Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS), April 1999

• Statement of Collaboration between the New York State Education Department’s Office of Vocational and Educational Services for Individuals with Disabilities and New York State Financial Aid Administrators Association (NYSFAAA), March 1, 1998

• Joint Agreement between the New York State Education Department’s Office of Vocational and Educational Services for Individuals with Disabilities and the Office of Higher and Professional Education (OHPE), August 4, 1994

• Joint Agreement between the New York State Education Department’s Office of Vocational and Educational Services for Individuals with Disabilities and Public Institutions of Higher Education (IHE), (SUNY and CUNY) August, 2007

Designing Our Future

In January 2006, the Office of Vocational and Educational Services for Individuals with Disabilities (VESID) presented the Designing Our Future recommendations to the Board of Regents. The primary goal of VESID is to assist individuals with disabilities in obtaining employment that is consistent with their skills, abilities and interest. It is expected that the job opportunities available to individuals with disabilities will be consistent with those accessed by the general non-disabled population. Therefore, VESID seeks to provide quality training in marketable, high demand professions that enable VESID consumers to effectively compete with their non-disabled peers.

As part of Designing Our Future, VESID has developed strong interagency partnerships and is leading key initiatives aimed at improving employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities in New York State:

• VESID is chairing the Most Integrated Setting Coordinating Council (MISCC) Employment Committee which is developing a comprehensive statewide strategy;

• VESID coordinates the Chapter 515 Interagency Implementation Team that focuses on providing supported employment services to individuals with the most significant disabilities in cooperation with the NYS Office of Mental Health (OMH), NYS Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities (OMRDD) and the NYS Commission for the Blind and Visually Handicapped (CBVH);

• VESID and the NYS Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) are forming an OASAS-VESID Statewide Team to create joint policies, procedures and training to better serve individuals with chemical dependencies;

• VESID and the NYS Department of Labor (DOL) Disability Program Navigator Initiative are working cooperatively to improve the effectiveness of Disability Program Navigators at the One Stop Career Centers across the State to ensure access for people with disabilities; and

• The VESID Veterans Service Action Plan is working closely with State and federal Veterans’ organizations to make sure that veterans with disabilities obtain the services necessary to return to work.

Description of Designing Our Future Partnership Initiatives

The employment rate for people with disabilities in New York State is 33.5 percent as compared to 76 percent of people without disabilities (Cornell University RRTC on Disability Demographics and Statistics, 2006 Disability Status Report: New York). The challenge for New York State is to close the employment gap by increasing the number of individuals with disabilities entering the workforce. To ensure this outcome, VESID must invest in partnerships with public and private entities. It is through leveraging of resources and collaboration of efforts that individuals with disabilities will be able to fully participate in employment opportunities available in the State of New York.

To better integrate individuals with disabilities into the New York State workforce and increase employment outcomes, VESID must partner with other stakeholders. VESID completed the initial design phase of this strategic planning effort with considerable input from partner agencies, providers, consumers and staff. Implementation of the new design will be an important feature. The implementation of the following partnerships will assist VESID in meeting the needs of individuals with disabilities statewide:

NYS Most Integrated Setting Coordinating Council (MISCC)

Through legislation and executive action, New York State has established the Most Integrated Setting Coordinating Council (MISCC) to implement the Supreme Court Olmstead Decision, which requires states to provide services to individuals with disabilities in the least restrictive community settings. The formation of the MISCC was the result of Chapter 551 of the laws of 2002.

In January 2008, OMRDD’s Commissioner, at the recommendation of the full MISCC, asked VESID to lead an executive-level interagency committee focused on employment of individuals with disabilities. VESID, in cooperation with the Commissioner of OMRDD and the MISCC, established the MISCC Employment Committee. VESID’s Assistant Commissioner was the designated chair for the Employment Committee.

In December 2008, the MISCC Employment Committee submitted its initial report to the Governor and New York State Legislature with a comprehensive set of recommendations for closing the employment gap in New York State. VESID will continue to play a leadership role on the MISCC Employment Committee as priority recommendations are implemented.

Chapter 515 Interagency Implementation Team

VESID initiated the re-formation of an interagency work team to discuss ongoing concerns with the implementation of supported employment intensive and extended services in New York State. The Chapter 515 Interagency Implementation Team consists of mid-level managers from OMRDD, OMH, CBVH and VESID. The Team meets monthly to discuss program issues, facilitate cross-systems implementation and identify program areas for further development.

The Chapter 515 Interagency Implementation Team remains committed to continuous quality improvement in employment services. During 2009, the State agencies will work on revisions to the Supported Employment Memorandum of Understanding to reflect a renewed commitment to supported employment.

Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS)

Several years ago, VESID and OASAS established the Brooklyn/Queens Consortium as a pilot project to coordinate and integrate provisions of vocational rehabilitation services to persons in recovery. Based on the successful work of this regional consortium, VESID and OASAS agreed to renew statewide collaboration. A Statewide Team is being established to undertake the following activities:

• Evaluate the referral process developed by the Brooklyn/Queens Consortium to determine how this can be a model for statewide implementation;

• Research current VESID and OASAS data in providing employment services to this population;

• Update VESID Alcoholism Policy (2001) and develop a Technical Assistance Brief on Chemical Dependencies;

• Examine VESID and OASAS collaboration in the context of other Statewide collaborative initiatives (MISCC, OMH and DOL);

• Develop collaborative VESID-OASAS and Provider Agency cross-training curriculum and training plan; and

• Update the VESID and OASAS Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). The existing MOU between VESID and OASAS has been in effect since 1999.

Model Transition Programs

In 2008, VESID reported establishing a transition consortium involving school districts, VESID (Vocational Rehabilitation and Special Education), Elementary, Middle, Secondary and Continuing Education (EMSC), Office of Higher Education (OHE) and other stakeholders to improve students’ access to educational, vocational and community supports as they transition from school to employment or to post-secondary training. This consortium developed into the Model Transition Program (MTP). The MTP provides funding for 60 projects that include more than 180 private and public high schools to develop school-wide plans, activities and programs to facilitate the transition of students with disabilities to postsecondary placements. These placements include college, vocational training programs and competitive employment with and without supports. The primary goal of the MTP is to facilitate future employment opportunities for students with disabilities. At the end of this project, successful transition strategies will be identified and shared with high schools throughout the State. Over the period of the MTP, thousands of students with disabilities will be made eligible for vocational rehabilitation programs and services.

To assist in meeting the objectives of MTP projects, the State University of New York (SUNY) at Buffalo provides training in key areas in support of these activities. Using data provided by the projects, Cornell University is working with VESID’s vocational rehabilitation administration to identify critical elements of the data collection, analysis and reporting processes.

During the first academic year, significant progress has been made in the implementation of transition activities, formation of partnerships, training, and data collection/analysis. As reported by Cornell University, MTP has generated extensive individual student data regarding participating student demographics, employment and postsecondary preparation, VESID referrals, and collaborative service delivery. As of June 2008, a total of 9,454 students have received transition services; over half of those were expected to achieve a Regents Diploma. Highlights include:

• Sixty-five percent (6,104) of the MTP students had measurable postsecondary goals in their Individualized Education Program (IEP).

• Sixty-one percent (5,769) of students participate in career development activities.

• Nineteen percent (1,782) of MTP students participated in paid/unpaid work experiences, most of this being part-time work.

• Eighteen percent (1,664) of MTP students participated in activities aimed to facilitate transition to postsecondary education. Most of these were college information nights and assistance with college applications.

• More than 3,000 referrals to VESID have been made.

Due to shifting budgetary demands, the MTP projects will conclude on November 30, 2009. VESID will complete an evaluation of the program and will continue coordination with school districts to sustain the gains achieved during the project. Using data provided by the projects, Cornell University is working with VESID’s vocational rehabilitation administration to identify critical elements of the data collection, analysis and reporting processes. Successful transition strategies will be identified and shared with high schools throughout the State.

VESID-DOL Disability Program Navigator MOU

VESID and the NYS Department of Labor (DOL) are in the process of completing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for VESID to contribute toward the statewide Disability Program Navigator (DPN) initiative. VESID will contribute $1.2 Million in VR funds over the next two years to support the network of DPNs at the local workforce investment areas (LWIAs) across the State. The role of the DPN is to promote accessibility to the full range of “One Stop” system employment services for people with disabilities. VESID funding will support eight full-time equivalents, about 23 percent of the total $2,605,000 operating budget for the total Statewide DPN program for Program Year 2008.

VESID Business and Industry Initiatives

VESID Placement and Marketing Representatives in the 15 District Offices have continued to build on the following collaborations: statewide disability employment training initiative with Cornell University; local job placement and marketing initiatives with the Society for Human Resource Management; and continued coordination with several local Chambers of Commerce and The American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) unions across the State. The agency is also strengthening its regional alliance with national businesses through participation in the CSAVR/RSA collaboration on the National Employment Team (The NET).

Developmental Disabilities Planning Council (DDPC)

The DDPC is a State agency charged with providing input services to families with members who have developmental disabilities. The Council is directed by an appointed membership that includes parents and persons with disabilities as voting members who direct the activities of the Council. The DDPC has played a key role in innovation in New York State. VESID works with the DDPC to review employment grants related to developing sector-based employment using Project Search, promoted by the United States Department of Labor.

Department of Health (DOH)

VESID continues to work cooperatively with the DOH in the delivery of services to individuals with traumatic brain injuries (TBI), the implementation of the Medicaid “buy-in” program and the use of Medicaid for medically necessary physical and mental restoration during the rehabilitation process. In 2001, VESID and DOH collaborated on a Technical Assistance Brief on Acquired Brain Injury which is part of the VR Policy Manual at: http://www.vesid.nysed.gov/publications/briefs/braininjury/home.html .

Federal Department of Veterans’ Affairs/State Division of Veterans’ Affairs

VESID maintains an ongoing liaison with the Federal Department of Veterans’ Affairs Vocational Rehabilitation program to assure that veterans with service connected disabilities are able to access appropriate services from both agencies. VESID continues to work with the State Division of Veterans’ Affairs and is participating on an advisory council developed by the State Division of Employment and Training Officers in a number of State agencies to coordinate the provision of services to veterans with disabilities.

VESID has joined with other offices within the State Education Department (SED) to mutually support veterans’ services. SED, including VESID, is actively engaged in a statewide veterans and family interagency collaboration under the leadership of the NYS Division of Veterans Affairs and the NYS Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS). This statewide initiative is engaged in crafting and implementing a State Plan for New York’s Veterans and Families.

VESID has initiated ongoing outreach to veterans with a particular emphasis on returning veterans with disabling conditions from Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF). This campaign includes a consistent VESID presence at veterans’ job fairs and veteran Stand Down events across the State. Efforts are underway to develop a comprehensive veterans’ services web page linking VESID consumers with a wide range of underutilized veteran/family employment-oriented service options for all branches of service and reserves.

VESID has convened an internal workgroup representing all levels of the vocational rehabilitation service system to identify best practices and gaps in services. The action plan will promote best practices statewide and identify new services and/or strategies for effective veterans’ services.

Conclusion

During the next year, VESID and its partner State agencies will invigorate the dialogue on how to close the employment gap for individuals with disabilities. The State agencies will strengthen collaboration for achieving an increase in integrated employment outcomes. We will examine barriers to more effective employment services, identify evidence-based employment practices and implement strategies that will improve the overall performance of our employment programs. We will assure that the full array of employment services meet high standards for performance and result in successful employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities in New York State.

This screen was last updated on Jun 19 2013 3:00PM by Karen Lajoie

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

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

ACCES-VR considers the coordination of services to youth with disabilities as one of its main priorities. ACCES-VR works closely with the New York State Education Department (NYSED) Office of P-12 Education - Office of Special Education to ensure that students with disabilities are prepared for employment, postsecondary education, and community living when they leave school. ACCES-VR, through its vocational rehabilitation counselors (VRCs) and 15 district offices, also works closely with the local education agencies to provide transition services. ACCES-VR policy seeks school referrals within two years prior to high school exit to coordinate vocational rehabilitation (VR) services with school transition planning.

Youth, as defined by ACCES-VR, are individuals with disabilities who are less than 22 years of age at application to the VR program. In Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) 2012, ACCES-VR served 35,064 youths, a slight decrease from the previous year. Of these, 21,392 youth were considered to be most significantly disabled. Caseload statistics on youth are monitored to determine the progress of ACCES-VR in serving and placing youth.

VR Transition Policy

ACCES-VR collaborated with the Office of Special Education and the State Rehabilitation Council (SRC) in 2008 to revise the 421.00 Youth in School - Transition Referral, Planning and Services Policy, to ensure a common understanding of transition requirements and responsibilities and to assist with building a collaborative partnership between transition specialists, school districts and ACCES-VR district offices throughout the state. The policy provides information about the requirements, roles and responsibilities of VR in preparing students with disabilities for successful employment. ACCES-VR, with the SRC, reviews the policy periodically to determine its current relevance. As such, the policy remains up-to- date.

This policy establishes an affirmative role for VRCs working with students in transition from school to work, a critical time for young adults with disabilities. The policy delineates the referral process of students with disabilities two years prior to their expected school exit. It outlines the role of the VRC as an active participant in the transition planning process. The policy provides information regarding the documentation that may, with parental or student consent as appropriate, be available from school districts to assist the VRC in determining the students’ eligibility for VR services and to expedite post-school services. The ACCES-VR counselor works with the school districts to identify in-school youth who are likely to be eligible for VR services. The VRC can assist students with disabilities to prepare for and obtain employment consistent with their employment factors.

While local school districts are responsible for providing education and transition services to students with disabilities who are still in high school, the ACCES-VR counselor can provide transition services that involve preparing for the students’ future employment. After application, the ACCES-VR counselor, the student, and the student’s family work with the school district to coordinate VR services for students with disabilities.

VR and State Education Agency Agreement

The New York State Education Agency Agreement (SEA) between ACCES-VR and the Office of Special Education was signed by the two offices and is in effect from January 1, 2013 – December 31, 2017. The SEA outlines the collaborative and coordinated responsibilities of each office to facilitate the transition of students with disabilities to post-school employment. The SEA, called the Joint Agreement on the Provision of Transition Services between the New York State Education Department’s (NYSED’S) Office of Adult Career and Continuing Education Services-Vocational Rehabilitation and the Office of P-12 Education - Office of Special Education replaces the 1992 Joint Agreement.

The current Joint Agreement on the Provision of Transition Services reflects VR federal requirements and provides an overview of the purposes, objectives and responsibilities of each office in the transition process.

The purposes of agreement are to: 1) strengthen shared efforts to prepare youth with disabilities for successful careers, community jobs and independent living; 2) outline a collaborative framework for coordinating State and local services and resources; and 3) provide guidance for coordinating plans, policies and procedures developed to facilitate the transition of students with disabilities from school to post-school activities - including the receipt of vocational rehabilitation services leading to employment.

The SEA agreement and the 421.00 Youth in School - Transition Referral, Planning and Services Policy are posted on the ACCES-VR policy website at http://www.acces.nysed.gov/vr

Local Level Coordination and Collaboration

The ACCES-VR counselors coordinate a range of activities with the high schools to promote the transition of youth from school to employment. These VRC activities may include:

• creating a liaison relationship with over 1,000 high schools;

• conducting orientation, accepting school referrals and meeting with students on-site for intakes and transition planning at high schools;

• scheduling after-hours parent meetings;

• participating at transition career fairs and high school open houses;

• participating at local high school college nights hosting workshops on post-school planning, planning for postsecondary education or training and other outreach transition activities;

• participating at college programs held on college campuses;

• participating in orientation programs on ACCES-VR for junior and senior high school students to assist prospective consumers on making an informed choice about VR services;

• determining eligibility and working with students, families and school personnel to develop an original Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE);

• attending Committee of Special Education meetings as appropriate;

• participating in transition forums hosted by community rehabilitation providers;

• participating in local Youth Councils affiliated with the Workforce Investment Boards;

• participating at transition conferences;

• developing partnerships with community providers in regions to engage in all related transition activities;

• developing partnerships with non-community providers (business, county youth programs, youth councils, the PTA, pre-vocational programs);

• participating in local college consortiums;

• engaging other State partners such as local Developmental Disabilities Services Organizations, the Office of Persons with Developmental Disabilities and the Office of Mental Health.

State Level Coordination and Collaboration

Regional Special Education Technical Assistance Support Centers (RSE-TASC)

The RSE-TASC was established by Office of Special Education to act as a coordinated statewide network of special education technical assistance centers. RSE-TASC provides technical assistance to school districts to improve core instructional programs that research has shown to be effective for students with disabilities. Each RSE-TASC includes regional Transition Specialists who provide training and technical assistance to groups of school districts across the region and to school districts identified as needing assistance with transition planning and services.

ACCES-VR has identified VR staff as liaisons to each of the RSE-TASC Transition Specialists. The ACCES-VR district office managers continue to meet with each RSE-TASC to educate school districts about VR services and to provide assistance to school districts in coordinating with agencies that provide post-school and employment services. The ACCES-VR Policy and Partnership unit collaborates with the Office of Special Education Policy and Professional Development units to ensure the RSE-TASC transition specialists and the ACCES-VR district office managers deliver a consistent statewide message.

Nondiploma exiting credential for students with disabilities

In January 2012, the NYSED Regulations of the Commissioner were amended to repeal the individualized education program (IEP) diploma effective July 1, 2013. A Skills and Achievement Commencement Credential was established for students with significant disabilities who are eligible to take the New York State Alternate Assessment (NYSAA). ACCES-VR assisted the Office of Special Education in obtaining public comment about the policy framework and proposed documentation requirements for this credential prior to being formally adopted by the New York State Board of Regents.

The Office of Special Education is developing a commencement credential documenting attainment of the Career Development and Occupational Studies (CDOS) learning standards for other students with disabilities, including students with disabilities who are unable to earn a regular diploma. The proposed amendment would, beginning July 1, 2013 and thereafter, authorize school districts and nonpublic schools to award a nondiploma exiting credential to a student with a disability to document his/her high school preparation for entry level employment.

ACCES-VR assisted the Office of Special Education in obtaining public comment about the policy framework and proposed documentation requirements for this nondiploma exiting credential. The Office of Special Education staff met with the SRC several times on the proposed exiting credential and ACCES-VR hosted a public meeting comprised of individuals from Independent Living Centers, community rehabilitation providers, advocates and employers to weigh in on the credential. These groups were most interested in how the proposed exiting nondiploma credential would be viewed by employers as students transitioned from school to employment. ACCES-VR will continue to monitor the credential for students who are not able to receive a regular high school diploma and work with the Office of Special Education when a credential is formally adopted.

Advisory Councils - There is cross-representation of ACCES-VR and Office of Special Education on their respective Advisory Councils. ACCES-VR is represented on the Commissioner’s Advisory Panel for Special Education Services, which functions in an advisory capacity to the Office of Special Education and advises the Board of Regents, Governor, Legislature and Commissioner on unmet needs in the education of children with disabilities. Its responsibilities are prescribed by section 4403 (6) of the State Education Law in accordance with section 612 of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

The Office of Special Education is represented on the SRC which functions in an advisory capacity to ACCES-VR and advises the Board of Regents, Governor, Legislature and Commissioner on the employment of individuals with disabilities as required by the 1992 amendments to the Rehabilitation Act.

State Plan Priorities and Goals

ACCES-VR establishes a separate goal for youth to increase the percentage of youth with disabilities that achieve an employment outcome. This goal is consistent with the ACCES-VR State Plan Attachment 4.11(c)(1) State Goals and Priorities.

Goal 1.1.A Youth: Increase the percentage of youth with disabilities (applicants prior to age 22) exiting the VR Program after receiving services that achieve an employment outcome and exceed the national standard of 55.8 percent.

Baseline FFY 2010: 42.5 percent achieved an employment outcome; does not meet the RSA Performance Standard.

Performance for FFY 2011: 46.9 percent achieved an employment outcome; does not meet the RSA Performance Standard.

Performance for FFY 2012: 55.7 percent achieved an employment outcome; does not meet the RSA Performance Standard.

Performance Target: Meet or exceed the RSA Performance Standard of 55.8 percent.

Results: The percentage of youth with disabilities that achieved an employment outcome after receiving VR services has increased by 13.2 percentage points, a significant increase. In FFY 2012 ACCES-VR achieved a performance indicator of 55.7 percent which is just below the national standard of 55.8 percent by one-tenth of one percent.

This screen was last updated on Jun 19 2013 3:12PM by Karen Lajoie

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

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

Cooperative Agreements with Private Non-profit Vocational Rehabilitation Service Providers: Attachment 4.8(b)(3)

VESID works continuously with non-profit vocational rehabilitation service providers to increase access to integrated employment opportunities. VESID’s district offices work with non-profit vocational rehabilitation service providers to target resources to meet the consumer demand for employment outcomes. These programs assist consumers in achieving community-focused outcomes, such as supported employment, situational assessment, direct placement services and community-based training.

VESID currently manages over 400 Unified Contract Services (UCS) and Supported Employment (SE) contracts with non-profit vocational rehabilitation service providers across the State. VESID has redesigned the UCS and will be issuing a new request for proposal (RFP) in 2009 for Supported Employment. VESID has initiated the following activities to inform the network of non-profit vocational rehabilitation service providers about these changes to improve the delivery of vocational rehabilitation contractual services to consumers:

• UCS RFP- VESID issued an RFP in May 2008 for organizations and individuals able to provide vocational rehabilitation entry, assessment, assistive technology/rehabilitation technology, work readiness, job placement, driver rehabilitation and related adjunct services for individuals with disabilities throughout New York State. Current and new providers were invited to apply.

o Contracts were awarded effective January 1, 2009 and will continue for a five-year period through December 31, 2013 with annual performance reviews.

o Training was provided to all possible applicants during statewide information meetings and a bidder’s conference. Training was provided to all approved vendors in Fall 2008.

• Supported Employment- A new five-year Supported Employment RFP is being issued for implementation on October 1, 2009, which will continue the hourly based payment methodology. VESID has also begun reviewing the concept of a performance based approach to the provision of Supported Employment services in New York State. This approach will be vetted with VESID providers across the State and incorporated into the SE system sometime during the five-year RFP. At that point, a new RFP will be issued.

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

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

  • supported employment services; and
  • extended services.

Evidence of Collaboration Regarding Supported Employment Services and Extended Services: Attachment 4.8(b)(4) New York State, in response to recommendations made by other State agencies, service providers, advocacy organizations, parents and consumers, has moved to improve the State’s delivery system for supported employment by establishing clear roles and responsibilities for this vocational service outcome. Through the passage of Chapter 515 of the Laws of 1992, integrated employment, including supported employment, is implemented through a collaborative interagency process in New York State. VESID has been designated as having the primary statewide responsibility for program development and administration of integrated employment, including intensive supported employment services. Relevant State agencies are still responsible for the extended phases of supported employment and are working collaboratively with VESID to ensure the provision of comprehensive supported employment services in New York State. In addition to Chapter 515, the framework for implementing supported employment has been established by the interagency "Memorandum of Understanding Regarding Supported Employment," the "Principles and Operating Guidelines for Vocational Rehabilitation Services and Employment" and the "Quality Indicators for Supported Employment." These documents constitute the policy and procedural base for the delivery of supported employment services in New York State. As a requirement of Chapter 515, the State Education Department, through VESID, in collaboration with the Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities (OMRDD), Office of Mental Health (OMH) and the Commission for the Blind and Visually Handicapped (CBVH), must develop an implementation plan for integrated employment. This implementation plan sets forth the manner in which appropriate responsibilities for funding and administering intensive and extended supported employment services are to be identified. Implementation Strategies Used to Increase Employment Outcomes The integrated employment outcomes that have been achieved occurred by implementing specific interagency strategies and action steps. The strategies and action steps were developed from implementation themes established through interagency consensus. The four major implementation themes driving these strategies include: • employment opportunities and employer partnerships; • consumer empowerment and informed choice; • coordination and delivery of supports; and • management and administration of the system. These implementation strategies were agreed upon through interagency consensus and were revised as necessary to accommodate the employment needs of consumers and the employment opportunities offered by employers. The following summarizes the major implementation strategies and employment outcomes achieved as a result of these strategies: • increased the use of options that promote consumer choice; • increased activity with regional employer consortia and/or business advisory councils; • established local marketing efforts; • promoted the development of entrepreneurship; • facilitated school-to-work transition opportunities; • established formal methods of assessing consumer satisfaction; • increased coordination between VESID and mental health providers; • increased coordination to enhance support services; • restructured consumer assessment methodology to a community-based approach; • coordinated job development and placement activities; • promoted cost effectiveness through innovative service delivery mechanisms; and, • coordinated program development, requests for proposal (RFP) and program evaluation activities. Provider Guidelines for Supported Employment At the request of service providers, advocacy organizations, consumers, family members and other key State agencies, VESID revised the "Provider Guidelines for Supported Employment” in May 2008 to assist in establishing a common base of accepted practices and procedures for supported employment. These guidelines, which are on the VESID website, are intended to facilitate service delivery and cooperation between VESID and supported employment service providers. Through Chapter 515 of the Laws of 1992, VESID has been assigned the responsibility for administering, establishing standards and monitoring the intensive service component of supported employment programs. VESID also has responsibility for the provision of extended services to individuals who are not eligible for such services through other sources.

This screen was last updated on Jun 19 2013 10:30AM by Karen Lajoie

Attachment 4.10 Comprehensive System of Personnel Development

Data System on Personnel and Personnel Development

ACCES-VR is committed to establishing and maintaining an adequate supply of vocational rehabilitation counselors (VRCs) and relies on two systems to assess its qualified personnel needs. These systems are the New York State Education Department (SED) Fiscal and Human Resources Information Management System and the VR Reporting System. ACCES-VR collects data from these systems to track information about its VRCs who meet the Comprehensive System of Personnel Development (CSPD) requirements and the number of consumers served, and then uses the information to make trend data projections to assess staffing needs.

ACCES-VR hires VRCs who meet CSPD requirements to provide vocational rehabilitation services. ACCES-VR employs vocational rehabilitation counselor assistants (VRCAs) to perform a variety of paraprofessional tasks to support the VRCs in assisting individuals with disabilities to obtain or retain employment. The VRCAs interact with consumers and perform administrative tasks to facilitate service delivery. ACCES-VR does not employ any other type of rehabilitation staff, such as mobility instructors or rehabilitation teachers.

ACCES-VR uses trend data projections to estimate the number of individuals that will be found eligible for ACCES-VR services. Based on these projections, ACCES-VR determined that 55 new VRCs will be needed to serve its consumers over the next five years. The estimate is based on the anticipated number of individuals to be served, the number of VRCs and supervisory counseling staff age 50 or older with 25 years of service who will be eligible for retirement within the next five years and others who may leave the agency.

There are 83 FTE VRCA positions filled. ACCES-VR estimates it will need 59 new VRCAs over the next five years. The estimate is calculated based on a projected need for a total of 106 VRCA positions (1 VRCA: 3 VRC ratio), the number of VRCAs age 50 or older with 25 years of service who will be eligible for retirement within the next five years and others who may leave the agency.

The number of consumers served decreased from 54,359 last year to 52,341 this year. Based on a ratio of 1:175 VRC to consumer, the current level of counselors and counselor assistants allows us to adequately serve current numbers of eligible individuals.

 

Row Job Title Total positions Current vacancies Projected vacancies over the next 5 years
1 Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors 319 13 55
2 Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor Assistants 83 2 59
3 0 0 0
4 0 0 0
5 0 0 0
6 0 0 0
7 0 0 0
8 0 0 0
9 0 0 0
10 0 0 0

 

The Council on Rehabilitation Education (CORE) is the agency that provides accreditation to Master’s programs in Rehabilitation Counselor Education at institutions of higher education. The CORE accredited programs in New York State (NYS) are: University at Buffalo – State University of New York (SUNY), Hofstra University and Hunter College – City University of New York (CUNY).

Overall, there was a 15 percent decrease in student enrollment at NYS CORE programs from last year. In 2012, there were 202 students enrolled in graduate programs in rehabilitation counseling, compared to 239 the previous year. ACCES-VR maintains a contact at each of these institutions of higher education and collects the following student data:

• SUNY Buffalo offers a graduate program in rehabilitation counseling to students both on-campus and online. FFY 2012, student enrollment decreased 7 percent, from 92 to 86 students from the previous year.

• Hofstra University student enrollment increased 4 percent, from 51 to 53 students.

• CUNY Hunter College student enrollment decreased 34 percent, from 96 to 63 students.

 

Row Institutions Students enrolled Employees sponsored by agency and/or RSA Graduates sponsored by agency and/or RSA Graduates from the previous year
1 University of Buffalo 86 3 0 18
2 Hofstra University 53 0 0 16
3 Hunter College - City University of New York 63 2 1 35
4 0 0 0 0
5 0 0 0 0

 

ACCES-VR launched several initiatives to attract professional rehabilitation counselors and graduate students to consider employment in New York State. These initiatives included college recruitment visits and counselor internships.

Recruitment and Outreach:

ACCES-VR works with CORE programs in New York and contiguous states to attract potential candidates from diverse backgrounds for employment at ACCES-VR. To maximize outreach efforts, ACCES-VR increased its use of technology to share information and maintain contact with schools. In 2012, recruitment visits focused on colleges and universities in and around New York State. The benefits of working in NYS were shared with Program Directors and students in graduate Rehabilitation Counseling programs. They were also advised of internship opportunities and the application process for taking the NYS Civil Service exam for VR counselors.

Counselor Internships:

ACCES-VR has an internship program to provide second-year graduate students with an opportunity to perform their internships in one of the ACCES-VR field offices. This initiative allows students to complete their degree requirements while building valuable experience with the State VR program. The internship program is comprised of two components: a practicum and an internship. These are offered three times each year and recently graduated students can work in intern status while pursuing full time employment at ACCES-VR.

More than 200 students have participated in the internship program since 2006 with 27 VRCs hired. In 2012, ACCES-VR provided three practicum experiences and 33 paid internships. When resources allow, paid internships are made available to students.

Plan to Support VRCs to Meet CSPD:

Since NYS does not have State certification or licensure for VR counselors, ACCES-VR has elected to use the national standard established by the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification (CRCC). As a result of ACCES-VR’s work with VRCs, its coordination with three of the CORE programs, retirements and staff changes, the number of counselors not meeting the national standard has been reduced to sixteen. By September 30, 2013, these counselors must be engaged in a training program to be completed by May 30, 2018.

The participation of VRCs in an educational program to meet the standard is monitored on an ongoing basis to evaluate compliance with SED personnel standards (cited below).

 

ACCES-VR employs VRCs who have, or are eligible to obtain, qualification as a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC). All VRCs are required to have:

• a current Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification (CRCC) certificate; or

• a Master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling, including a supervised internship, from a CORE accredited program; or

• a Master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling or Counseling and notice of eligibility to participate in the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification (CRCC) certificate examination.

VRCs considered for appointment to a "Manual Communication" or "Spanish Language" position are required to demonstrate proficiency in the manual sign language or in the Spanish language. Proficiency must be at a level which will permit them to perform the duties of the position satisfactorily.

Civil Service Qualifications for Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor Assistant:

ACCES-VR employs VRCAs to assist VRCs in the administrative, paraprofessional and routine communication tasks that enhance the vocational rehabilitation process. The VRCAs do not determine eligibility, develop the vocational goal, write the IPE, determine case closures nor do they provide VR services to consumers. To be eligible for employment, VRCAs must meet the following qualifications:

• Bachelor degree in vocational rehabilitation, social work, counseling, or psychology; or

• Bachelor degree and one year of qualifying experience; or

• 60 semester college credit hours and two years of qualifying experience; or

• Four years of qualifying experience.

Qualifying experience:

In order for experience to be considered qualifying, the primary responsibilities of a position must have involved professional or paraprofessional duties in one of the following areas:

• either providing direct services beyond routine personal care or supervision to physically, mentally or learning disabled adults or adolescents in a rehabilitation program or facility; or

• providing vocational or educational services to disabled adults or disabled adolescents in the areas of assessment, counseling, job coaching, guidance, placement or job development.

 

ACCES-VR implemented the In-Service Training (IST) program to provide training and education opportunities for all VR staff to strengthen skills to enhance the delivery of quality services to consumers. Training is an important part of the development of qualified staff to meet the requirements of CSPD and to meet and maintain professional certification.

An annual training needs assessment is conducted to identify staff training needs to enhance staffs’ skills and knowledge in the provision of VR services to individuals with disabilities that lead to successful employment outcomes. The results of the needs assessment survey are shared with the Region 2 Technical Assistance and Continuing Education Center (TACE), which assists ACCES-VR in providing training to VR professionals. With input from managers and the State Rehabilitation Council, a staff training program is developed.

In FFY 2012, ACCES-VR staff, including 287 CRCs, participated in 222 training opportunities. ACCES-VR provided funds through the IST grant to 16 staff to pursue certificate, non-degree, undergraduate, graduate or post-graduate degree courses. ACCES-VR staff participated in training on the following topics:

• ACCES-VR policies, procedures and technical assistance briefs: including substance abuse disorders; Social Security and Ticket to Work; supported employment; homemaker; due process; Veterans services; and electronic vendor reports. Training was conducted in leadership development; case management; writing case notes; hearing officer training; legal issues; workplace violence and bullying; stress management; and social media.

• assessment: including vocational evaluations, functional and situational assessment, presumption of eligibility and supported employment referrals.

• vocational rehabilitation counseling and professional conferences: including training in transition; engaging and preparing youth for employment; developing counseling and guidance plans; motivational interviewing; ethical issues in rehabilitation; working with consumers with co-existing conditions; working with sex offenders; VR due process and mediation; and managing challenging behaviors in employment.

• rehabilitation technology: including assistive devices and cochlear implants;

• job placement and employment: including labor market information; placement initiatives and self-employment; work incentives; VR partnerships in employment; transferable skills; training techniques in employment setting; integration of recovery; re-entry for ex-offenders with disabilities; returning to work with a traumatic brain injury; and resume development.

• disability-related training: including professional conferences in mental health, developmental disabilities, and substance abuse disorders. Training included post traumatic stress disorder; traumatic brain injury; epilepsy; mood disorders; personality disorders; autism spectrum disorders; anxiety disorders; addiction; managing challenging behavior; visual acuity; multiple sclerosis and neuropsychology.

• supported employment, including professional conferences. Training was provided for an orientation to supported employment; counseling skills for direct service providers; job development; job coaching; extended services and natural supports; ethical issues in job placement; documentation and record keeping; job retention and career development; and benefits advisement.

An initial training program on the Individual Placement and Support (IPS) model and recovery from mental illness has evolved into an on-going Recovery-Oriented Vocational Rehabilitation Community of Practice. Through quarterly training sessions and on-going sharing of resources through e-mail, formal presenters and colleagues share knowledge and practices related to working with individuals with mental health conditions.

Procedures for Acquisition and Dissemination of Training

Training and education opportunities for VR staff are funded through the IST grant. ACCES-VR collaborates with other State agencies and disability organizations to jointly develop or provide disability and/or systems trainings for staff. ACCES-VR also partners with TACE to increase staff skills and enhance their knowledge. This partnership expands training opportunities for staff and gives ACCES-VR additional resources to maximize funding for trainings. Additionally, this partnership provides trainings for CRCs to earn continuing education credits to meet the Ethics certification requirements.

Other key partnerships include the Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS); Association for Persons in Supported Employment (APSE), New York State Rehabilitation Association (NYSRA), New York Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services, Inc. (NYAPRS), New York Association of Training and Employment Professionals (NYATEP) and the New York State Independent Living Council (NYSILC).

Training is provided through a variety of modalities such as distance learning, video-conference, seminars, workshops, individual district office training, and attendance at local, regional and statewide training programs and conferences. ACCES-VR utilizes video-conferencing training as much as possible to facilitate training opportunities and to minimize costs. Consideration is given to the diversity of staff, skill levels, and experiences and needs when developing training programs.

 

ACCES-VR ensures adequate services to applicants or eligible individuals with limited English proficiency or who use other modes of communication, such as sign language, by hiring staff able to communicate in other native languages or via other modes of communication, such as sign language. When such staff is not available, ACCES-VR obtains the services of other individuals who are able to communicate in appropriate modes with applicants or eligible individuals. ACCES-VR contracts with outside agencies and individuals for interpreter or communication services, and uses only certified or State-approved interpreters for the deaf when sign language interpreter services are required in the provision of VR services.

 

Through its administration of vocational rehabilitation and independent living programs, ACCES-VR coordinates policy and services relating to transition services for students with disabilities from school to adult services and begins planning VR services for individuals with disabilities prior to their exiting high school. The coordination of meaningful transition services for students with disabilities from school-age to postsecondary settings is a priority for ACCES-VR. Within the State Education Department, ACCES-VR collaborates with the Office of Special Education housed within the State Education Department Office of P-12 Education. The program managers jointly review and share training information and, when relevant, coordinate efforts by inviting respective staff to receive training on transition, accommodations, assessment and knowledge of specific disabilities.

ACCES-VR has a number of VRCs across the State dedicated solely to transition. One office utilizes a “transition team” concept to serve students with disabilities over a wide geographic area. The chart below provides data about ACCES-VR services to youth (applicants prior to age 22). While new applications for youth slightly decreased (by 96 applicants) during FFY 2012, the number of youth served decreased significantly (3,168 fewer youth). Still, youth continue to make up a significant portion of the ACCES-VR caseload (42%). For FFY 2012, 4,322 youth gained employment, 182 less than last year. This is the first decrease in the past five years. ACCES-VR will continue to work closely with schools to enable the smooth transition of students with disabilities from school to work.

ACCES-VR Services to Youth

Youth with Disabilities (Applicants prior to age 22)

1. Transition Age Youth applicants

2. Youth served

3. Youth employed after VR services

4. School districts with students with active ACCES-VR Cases

FFY 2007 FFY 2008, FFY 2009, FFY 2010, FFY 2011 FFY 2012

1. 13,566 18,036 18,406 14,469 13,070 12,976

2. 31,696 38,241 44,279 43,709 38,232 35,064

3. 3,690 4,140 4,202 4,318 4,504 4,322

4. 669 682 693 693 690 688

This screen was last updated on Jun 19 2013 3:33PM by Karen Lajoie

Attachment 4.11(a) Statewide Assessment

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

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

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

New York State ACCES-VR jointly conducted the Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment (CSNA) with the State Rehabilitation Council (SRC) for the Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) 2014 to determine the rehabilitation (and other) needs of residents with disabilities and to identify gaps in vocational rehabilitation (VR) services.

This assessment is based on information provided by consumers, advocacy groups, disability advisory councils, community rehabilitation programs, VR staff, and other partner agency representatives. It includes a review of disability statistics for New York State (NYS), RSA 911 data, and public input gathered by ACCES-VR and its SRC members during the FFY 2014 State plan public meetings. ACCES-VR also conducted or collaborated on several key surveys that directly address the CSNA requirements.

Methodology: Assessment Activities

The SRC and ACCES-VR jointly developed a work plan for the CSNA that includes:

1. an analysis of population statistics in NYS that describe the:

. numbers and percentages of people with disabilities, their employment status, educational levels and income;

. VR participation rates of minority individuals in comparison to individuals in the overall population; and

. VR services to individuals with the most significant disabilities, individuals with mental health disabilities, individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, including individuals with autism spectrum disorder and individuals with substance use disorders, youth, and individuals receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Income (SSDI);

2. findings from the State Plan Public meetings for FFY 2014, at which participants were provided information about activities in their communities to help them obtain and maintain employment, and encouraged both to make recommendations to promote greater engagement in completing ACCES-VR services leading to employment and to strengthen employment opportunities;

3. results of the consumer satisfaction survey December 2011 of consumers who had received job placement services during the previous year to determine the satisfaction of these consumers with the services they received from ACCES-VR and the outcomes;

4. results of the Cornell University Employment and Disability Institute (Cornell EDI) data analysis of VR services, focusing on youth, postsecondary training and the impact of supported employment on outcomes achieved by consumers;

5. services provided to individuals with disabilities served through other components of the workforce investment system; 6. ACCES-VR’s review of supported employment programs and quality of services for the development of new performance based funding contracts; and

7. an analysis of supported employment provider evaluations and surveys to assess needs and develop training.

ACCES-VR is committed to making effective use of the findings from the CSNA and using what is learned to shape policy, procedures, training, operations and practice.

1. Key Findings of Population Statistics for New Yorkers with Disabilities

Individuals can apply for services, receive services, and have their cases opened or closed throughout the year. The data in this report is gathered at the end of the Federal Fiscal Year (FFY), which is September 30. The three primary data elements for this report include information about individuals with:

. “open cases”: applied for services and their cases are open (status 02-24)

. “active cases” eligible and/or receiving VR services under an Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) (status 10-24)

. “served”: all open and closed cases (status 02-30).

In FFY 2012, NYS served 90,374 individuals with disabilities. Of these, 52,341 were “active cases” with VR as of September 30, 2012. The number of individuals served is a decrease of 17.6 percent from the 109,728 individuals served in FFY 2009.

The following table has findings taken from Cornell University Online Resource for U.S. Disability Statistics(1) that provide an overall context for the VR program to consider the potential needs of individuals with disabilities in New York State.

Employment, Education and Earnings

Population NYS With NYS Without National with National disabilities Disabilities Disabilities

Working age adults

18-64 yrs 1,054,527 12,406,200 19,641,300 Employment rate

ages 18-64 31.9% 72.1% 33.1%

No HS Diploma

ages 21-64 25.0% 11.0% 22.4%

BA/BS

ages 21-64 16.5% 36.6% 12.5%

FT median

annual earnings

ages 21-64 $ 40,700 $ 45,800 $ 36,700

Median Hsld

Income

ages 21-64 $ 37,600 $ 66,400 $ 36,700

Poverty Rate

ages 21-64 30.0% 12.3% 27.8%

There are 1.05 million individuals 18-64 years of age with disabilities in NYS (8.5 percent prevalence rate). The NYS employment rate of working-age individuals with disabilities (age 18 to 64) is 31.9 percent, compared to 72.1 percent for persons without disabilities, a gap of 40.2 percent. Twenty-five percent of New Yorkers with disabilities have less than a high school diploma, compared to 11 percent without disabilities. Only 16.5 percent of working age individuals with disabilities in NYS holds a bachelor degree, compared to 36.6 percent of non-disabled individuals. The median household income of working-age adults with disabilities in NYS is $37,600 and $66,400 for families without disabilities, a gap of $28,800. The percentage of New Yorkers ages 21-64 years with a disability living below the poverty line in 2011 was 30 percent, compared to 12.3 percent of non-disabled adults.

----------------------------

footnote:

(1) Erickson, W., Lee, C., vonSchrader, S. (2013). Disability Statistics from the 2011 American Community Survey (ACS). Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Employment and Disability Institute (EDI). Retrieved Mar 22, 2013 from www.disabilitystatistics.org

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Within NYS, there is a large gap between working age adults with disabilities and those without on key factors such as educational attainment and employment. For New Yorkers with disabilities, more than twice the number do not have a high school diploma, and less than half have a bachelor degree when compared to those without disabilities. The percent of individuals with disabilities who are employed are less than half of those without disabilities. The median household income and poverty rate is more than double for New Yorkers with disabilities. In NYS, more working age individuals with disabilities have a bachelor degree, higher median earnings and household income compared to national data. The poverty rate for New Yorkers with disabilities (30 percent) is higher than the national rate (27.8 percent).

ACCES-VR is working to close these gaps through services such as postsecondary education that should lead to increased wages. Although many institutions of higher education have not put in place the level of supports needed by individuals with disabilities to succeed, ACCES-VR provides advocacy and support to individuals requiring these services, and has identified services to youth as a priority. For transitioning youth, services that include paid work experiences are being developed as a strategy for career advancement.

In addition to these statistics, 27.2 percent of individuals served by ACCES-VR in 2012 (24,606 persons) received SSI/SSDI. Of these, 70.9 percent were considered to have most significant disabilities. Currently, 2.4 percent of individuals served came to ACCES-VR as Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) recipients and 14.6 percent came as Safety Net participants.

The employment gap is an issue of vital concern to the public-private VR system. The employment rate for individuals with disabilities is suppressed by factors such as access to housing, transportation, health care (including treatment for mental illness, substance abuse and chronic disabilities), childcare, and opportunities for asset accumulation. All of these factors impact the employment rate for individuals with disabilities and closing the employment gap will require a much broader public policy approach across federal, state and local economic initiatives and programs.

Characteristics of Individuals Served including Minority Individuals and Individuals with the Most Significant Disabilities

The following tables provide information about individuals with disabilities seeking VR services in New York State. In FFY 2012, ACCES-VR served 90,374 consumers. When compared to the general State population, ACCES-VR served a higher proportion of minority individuals who were African-American (26.1 percent) or Multiracial, (0.4 percent). ACCES-VR served a smaller proportion of minority individuals who were Hispanic (14 percent), Asian (1.6 percent) and American Indian (0.6 percent). Compared to the general State Population, the largest differences were 6.2 percentage points less for individuals who were Asian, and 4.0 percentage points less for individuals who were Hispanic.

FFY 2012 VR Participation Rates of Minority Individuals (all statuses)

Ethnicity % Served % General Population Difference

White 54.2 71.5 -17.3

Black 26.1 17.5 + 8.6

Hispanic 14.0 18.0 - 4.0

Am. Indian 0.6 1.0 - 0.4

Asian 1.6 7.8 - 6.2

Pacific Islander 0.1 0.1 none

Multiracial 2.8 2.2 + 0.4

Needs of Special Populations including Individuals with Most Significant Disabilities and those Individuals considered Unserved and Underserved

In order to better understand the needs of individuals with the most significant disabilities, including the need for supported employment and those that are unserved and underserved, ACCES-VR, jointly with the SRC, conducted a range of activities, one of which was an analysis of data on participation in VR services. The following chart represents individuals with the most significant disabilities, mental health disabilities, intellectual and developmental disabilities, autism spectrum disorder, substance use disorders, receiving SSI or SSDI and youth. A brief analysis follows the chart.

FFY 2012 ACCES-VR Unserved/Underserved Populations

Disability Total No. % of all % of % with most

Group (open / closed) active cases all 26’s siginifant dis.

Mental

Health 17,392 20.2 17.8 71.5 Intellectual/

Developmental

Dis. (ID/DD) 14,946 19.0 18.6 78.9

Autism Spectrum

Disorder 2,823 4.0 2.8 88.5

Substance Use

Disorders 16,798 17.6 20.7 39.5

Youth (apply

before age 22) 35,064 42.2 36.3 61.0

SSI/SSDI 24,606 28.9 23.8 70.9

Visual 323 0.4 0.55 **

Deaf/hard of hearing

deaf/blind 3,023 3.3 5.1 63.8

** ACCES-VR will start reporting this data FFY 2014

Greater than half of the individuals served by ACCES-VR continue to be determined to have a most significant disability. The following information is provided about ACCES-VR consumers. Those with active cases are eligible and/or receiving services under an IPE (status 10-24).

The percentage of individuals with a mental health (MH) diagnosis consistently averages 20 percent of the total number of consumers, of which 71.5 percent have most significant disabilities. Individuals with mental health conditions who achieved an employment outcome (status 26) accounts for 17.8 percent (2,122 individuals) of all ACCES-VR employment outcomes (11,900 individuals). ACCES-VR and OMH discussed services for individuals with mental health conditions that would incorporate application of the “Individualized Placement and Support” (IPS) model with existing providers who are jointly funded by ACCES-VR and Office of Mental Health. Counselors were provided training in IPS that evolved into a series of trainings in the components of recovery that identify specific techniques for supporting individuals with mental health conditions in achieving employment outcomes.

For the purposes of this CSNA, intellectual disability and developmental disability (ID/DD) is defined as primary impairment due to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, autism, cerebral palsy, congenital condition or birth injury, epilepsy, or mental retardation. Individuals with ID/DD comprise 19 percent of the total number of consumers with ACCES-VR, an increase of 1.1 percent since FFY 2009. The percentage of individuals with ID/DD who achieved an employment outcome remained at 18.6 percent (2,213 individuals) of all ACCES-VR employment outcomes. Of the total served in all VR statuses, 78.9 percent of individuals with ID/DD were considered to have a most significant disability. ACCES-VR has been engaged in a strategic collaboration with the New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) for several decades, and over the past 25 years, has worked extensively in the joint implementation of supported employment services.

ACCES-VR consumers with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) have increased to 4.0 percent (1,899 individuals) of the total number of active cases in the VR Program, an increase of 1.6 percentage points since 2009. The percentage of individuals with ASD who achieved an employment outcome (status 26) increased from 1.5 percent of all employment outcomes in FFY 2009 (183 individuals) to 2.8 percent (337 individuals). Of the total number of individuals with ASD served, 88.5 percent were considered to have a most significant disability.

Individuals with Substance Use Disorders (SUD) comprise 17.6 percent (8,418 individuals) of the total number of active consumers. In FFY 2012, 2,833 individuals with SUD achieved an employment outcome, 20.7 percent of all outcomes. Of the total served in all VR statuses, 39.5 percent of individuals with SUD were considered to have a most significant disability. The NYS Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) and ACCES-VR collaborate to support recovery for individuals with substance use disorders with employment as an integral part of that recovery. To enhance the integration of recovery principles into VR and to enable individuals to pursue high quality employment outcomes, ACCES-VR and OASAS provide periodic joint trainings on the collaborative working relationship in serving common consumers.

ACCES-VR defines youth as applicants for VR services prior to age 22 years. There has been a decrease of 1.6 percentage points (9,215 individuals) of youth served since 2009. This could be due in part to the end of the Model Transition Program, which saw an increase of almost 3,000 youth applying for VR services in FFY 2009. Youth with active cases make up 42.2 percent (20,226 individuals) of all consumers with active cases. The percent of youth who achieved employment was 36.3 percent of all employment outcomes, an increase of 1.7 percentage points since FFY 2009. Of the total served in all VR statuses, 61 percent of youth were considered to have a most significant disability.

Individuals on SSI/SSDI make up 28 percent of all active cases or 13,882 individuals. Those who were considered to have a most significant disability were 70.9 percent of those served in all VR statuses. While individuals receiving SSI/SSDI were only 23.8 percent of all employment outcomes in FFY 2012, the employment rate for these individuals did increase. ACCES-VR is working with the SRC to examine data on consumers who receive SSI and SSDI, and is increasing the use of benefits planning services as a strategy to increase outcomes.

Individuals who are Deaf, Deaf-Blind, Hard of Hearing or Late Deafened

The Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation in the Fifth Edition 2008 Model State Plan (MSP) for Rehabilitation of Persons who are Deaf, Deaf-Blind, Hard of Hearing or Late Deafened report that “Hearing loss is the most prevalent, chronic, physically disabling condition in the United States today.” The National Institute on Deafness and other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) reported in June 2010 that approximately 17 percent (36 million) of American adults report some degree of hearing loss; 15 percent (26 million) of Americans between the ages of 20 and 69 have high frequency hearing loss due to exposure to loud sounds or noise at work or in leisure activities and 4,000 new cases of sudden deafness occur each year in the United States.

Hearing loss is becoming more prevalent among the general population. These losses can impact the employment status of individuals, depending on the level of loss. In FFY 2012, ACCES-VR served a total of 3,023 (3.3 percent) individuals who had a primary impairment of deafness, hearing loss, other hearing impairment and deaf-blindness, almost one third more than the number served in FFY 2009. Of these, 63.8 percent were considered to have a most significant disability. In FFY 2012, 612 individuals who were deaf, hard of hearing or deaf-blind achieved an employment outcome. This is 5.1 percent of all employment outcomes.

2. Findings from the 2013 State Plan Public Meetings

The State Plan Public Meetings for FFY 2014 focused on improving the percentage and quality of employment outcomes for all eligible individuals who want to work, and were receiving VR services. As suggested at the meetings last year, ACCES-VR expanded the outreach of these public meetings by conducting a video-conference to five district office sites across the entire state. ACCES-VR and the SRC jointly developed this approach, the strategy and attended these meetings.

Three public meetings were held, one each in the Capital District, Manhattan and Binghamton during February 2013. A statewide video-conference was broadcast to Buffalo, Hauppauge, Malone, Mid-Hudson and Syracuse ACCES-VR district offices in March 2013. Participants were asked to think about what would promote greater engagement of individuals with disabilities in completing ACCES-VR services leading to employment, what would strengthen employment opportunities for these individuals and other suggestions about how to assist individuals to find and keep work. The public comment period ended March 18, 2013.

The following themes emerged from the meetings, as well as from other verbal and written information obtained from participants:

• Information: about VR services needs to be more available and the provision of services more consistent across counselors. Opening a case and delivery of services need to be more timely to keep consumer’s interest and when saving a job.

• Employment: need more jobs for everyone, more information about opportunities available and increased use of Work-Try-Outs (WTO) and On-the-Job Training (OJT).

• Employers: need to be educated about hiring individuals with disabilities and available tax credits.

• Supported Employment: effective program, but providers are concerned about the impact of fewer resources on extended services, future referrals (number of slots a provider has) and individuals changing jobs. Skill building in specific occupational areas may lead to better outcomes.

• Pre-employment skills: provide training in hard and soft skills, work readiness and placement services, incorporating socialization and interviewing skills into the procurement process for new rehabilitation service contracts.

• Benefit Counseling: should be used more to increase employment outcomes. Families should understand the incentives.

• Consumers: need to be more engaged in the process and let everyone know they are looking for work. They want sustainable jobs and not be under-employed.

• Youth: link between ACCES-VR and schools needs to be strengthened so youth don’t miss the opportunity to benefit from VR services. VR should explore paid internships, community work experiences, volunteer work, and increase OJT and WTO to provide students a meaningful work experience prior to graduation.

• Other: impact of transportation on access to VR services and employment outcomes; provider request for ongoing updates on procurement process for new rehabilitation service contracts; continuing the use of a video-conference format to inform and dialogue with public and add a teleconference option to call in. VR staff has been great to work with.

3. Consumer Satisfaction Survey

In December, 2011, the Potsdam Institute for Applied Research at SUNY Potsdam sent a survey to 6,825 consumers who had received placement services the previous year. The purpose of the survey was to determine the satisfaction of these consumers with the services they received from ACCES-VR, as well as the outcomes they experienced.

The survey consisted of 45 questions, printed in English and Spanish, and available in English on the Internet. The participant pool received placement services between 7/1/2010 to 8/31/2011, and was divided into three status categories; Status 26 (closed with employment); Status 28 (closed without employment); and Status 14, 16, 18, 20, 22 or 24 (continuing services/Other-Open). Surveys were sent to 2,887 participants who were closed employed; 1,260 participants who were closed without employment; and 2,678 participants who were other-open.

There were 864 surveys completed, of which 781 were returned by mail and 83 completed using the on-line version. This is a return rate of 12.7 percent. Most responders were 46-55 years old. The response rate by status was 353 employed (12.2 percent); 90 closed without employment (7.1 percent) and 421 other-opened (15.7 percent).

Over 76 percent of respondents indicated satisfaction with ACCES-VR services, one percentage point less than those surveyed last year, and below the established target of 90 percent. Only 50 percent of respondents closed without employment reported the same satisfaction. Over 95 percent of the consumers who responded understood that the purpose of ACCES–VR services was to help them get a job, and almost 52 percent reported that orientation sessions were scheduled in less than 30 days.

In 2012, surveys were sent to 10,376 consumers who were receiving postsecondary training, and were closed in employment (Status 26); closed after plan was initiated without employment (Status 28); or were continuing services with an Open status (Status 18 or 22). Preliminary results indicate there was a 9.1 percent response rate, with 86 percent reporting satisfaction with ACCES-VR services. The final report of this survey has not been issued.

4. Cornell Data Analysis

Cornell Employment and Disability Institute (EDI) conducted an analysis of ACCES-VR Case Management System (CaMS) data to examine the impact of supported employment services, postsecondary education services and VR services for transition-aged youth and young adults in New York State. The sample size was 76,303 consumers who had an IPE in 2006 and 2007 and had closure status assigned as of 2010. Individuals with physical disabilities accounted for 17 percent, learning disabilities 22 percent and other mental health disabilities were 29 percent. Nearly half had secondary disabilities. The analysis included 41 percent youth and 33 percent SSI/SSDI recipients. It included 12.5 percent of Hispanic ethnicity, 27 percent African-Americans and 57 percent Caucasians. Fifty-five percent of the sample exited with employment. The report of the data analysis was issued March 2013.

Key Findings:

Supported employment has a beneficial impact for ACCES-VR consumers when compared to a national sample. Twenty-five percent of participants received supported employment services with 60 percent rehabilitated - two percent higher than national-level data and five percent higher than for other ACCES-VR employment services. Consumers’ receipt of supported employment services varied substantially across VR district offices, ranging from 37 percent for the Albany office to 14 percent for the Brooklyn and Garden City offices. The likelihood of success, however, was 18 percent higher in New York City offices compared to 9 percent in Albany office outcomes.

Fifty-four percent of consumers participating in Postsecondary Education Services (PES) were successfully rehabilitated. Overall, consumers who participated in PES were about two percent less likely to achieve an employment outcome compared with their peers who received other training services for employment (compared to nine percent less likely nationally). However, youth who participated in PES were five percent more likely to be successfully rehabilitated compared with older adult consumers. State plan data on individuals who complete PES indicates that they earn higher wages.

Youth who participated in training for work, PES and those who received rehabilitation technology services had 15-16 percent higher likelihood of successful case closures compared with their peers who only participated in pre-vocational services. Young adult consumers had a four percent lower likelihood of successful case closures compared to their adult counterparts. Youth with minority statuses were three to seven percent less likely to achieve a successful closure compared to Caucasian youth. Youth with mental health disabilities were four percent less likely to achieve an employment outcome when compared to youth with learning disabilities.

The data analysis indicate that services that primarily build human capital (e.g., training, postsecondary education, etc.) improve employment outcomes for young people, whereas restoration/rehabilitation services such as rehabilitation technology, have greater impact for the adult population. These findings are too preliminary to draw any definitive conclusions related to service design and more analysis is needed. ACCES-VR will be sharing the report with the SRC and district managers to explore the implications for policy, procedure and practices.

5. Rehabilitation Needs of Individuals with Disabilities who have been Served Through Other Components of the Statewide Workforce Investment System

ACCES-VR continues to develop local strategies to increase access to employment services for individuals with disabilities. There are 13 Disability Employment Initiative Projects at the upstate NY local workforce areas that focus on Employment Networks and services for VR consumers related to assessment, benefits advisement and placement. ACCES-VR liaisons meet periodically with the Disability Resource Coordinators (DRCs) to better understand and coordinate cross-systems services and to better meet the needs of individuals with disabilities.

ACCES-VR and the Research Foundation for Mental Hygiene (RFMH), representing OMH, have signed a Partnership Plus Memorandum of Agreement. Through this agreement, ACCES-VR can coordinate the Ticket to Work assignment with RFMH, which is acting as a statewide administrative employment network. ACCES-VR is also negotiating the data sharing agreement provided by OMH as part of their collaboration with DOL to transform the One-Stop Operating System into a data and case services system. The system includes all the components of the New York Interagency Supported Employment Reporting Data System (NYISER) that was replaced in 2012 by the New York Employment Services System (NYESS) for its supported employment providers. The NYESS is a combined data warehouse and information sharing system for state and community agencies and a job matching/labor exchange system for consumers and employers. This new employment system should enhance our ability to improve employment outcomes for New Yorkers with disabilities, and prove greatly beneficial to businesses/employers and providers of employment supports.

6. ACCES-VR Review of Supported Employment Programs and Quality of Services for Rate Development for New Milestones that are Performance Based

ACCES-VR will integrate the Supported Employment contracts with the Unified Contract Services into one proposed contract, Core Rehabilitation Services (CRS), effective October 1, 2013. This will result in one set of nearly 500 contracts. New standards and measures will be developed to improve services to individuals and the provision of services by community rehabilitation providers. This realignment of services and contracts will allow us to further develop the rehabilitation provider capacity to serve people with the most significant disabilities.

Changes under CRS include moving supported employment services to a performance-based system, with new milestone payments and program enhancements, such as quality outcome payment for hours worked per week by the consumer. All job retention services will have a quality outcome payment based on the hourly wage earned by the consumer. Rates to providers will be increased for soft skills training and transportation assistance to encourage utilization of the service. Services already provided, such as pre-employment, employment and individual services to enhance job readiness, will be emphasized for transition aged youth, under Youth Employment Services. A new service, community work experience, will be added.

7. Analysis of Supported Provider Evaluations and Surveys to Assess Needs and Develop Training

ACCES-VR is responsible for administering, establishing standards for and monitoring the intensive services component of all supported employment programs in New York State. ACCES-VR, with the cooperation of OMH, OPWDD and CBVH, established the Chapter 515 Interagency Implementation Team in October 2006 for ongoing coordination of the implementation of supported employment intensive and extended services in the State. The Chapter 515 Interagency Implementation Team meets bi-monthly to discuss program, data and funding issues, facilitate cross-systems implementation and identify opportunities for program improvements.

Supported employment providers are surveyed periodically to assess their needs and to improve and develop training curriculums. Supported employment training began in 2007 for supported employment providers. The training is considered essential for assuring quality of services. It helps maintain effective core skills for a work force that evidences moderate staff turn over. Training improves essential job development and placement skills needed to develop strategies to increase employment outcomes consistent with ACCES-VR’s State Plan Goals and Priorities, and helps ensure quality services for ACCES-VR’s most significantly disabled consumers.

ACCES-VR solicited proposals to provide the training through a Request for Proposal, and awarded the contract to Cornell University’s Employment and Disability Institute (EDI), School of Industrial and Labor Relations (ILR). The training will be provided under a program known as the NYS Consortium for Advancement of Supported Employment (CASE). CASE is a collaboration comprised of Cornell University’s EDI (the lead agency), the Center for Human Services Education (CHSE), a division of the Heritage Christian Services, the NYS Association for Persons in Supported Employment (APSE) and the NYS Rehabilitation Association (NYSRA). An agreement has been drafted with Cornell for a term of five years, with an anticipated start date of April 1, 2013. Through the CASE, and collaboration with Chapter 515 Interagency Implementation Team, training and technical assistance will be focused on improving the capacity of community rehabilitation providers to place individuals with most significant disabilities into employment.

This screen was last updated on Jun 28 2013 1:20PM by Karen Lajoie

Attachment 4.11(b) Annual Estimates

ACCES-VR expects that during the Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) 2014, fiscal and personnel resources will be sufficient to serve all eligible persons who apply for services. This expectation is based on ACCES-VR’s projections of federal and State funding, staffing plans, referral levels, eligibility rates and service needs, including persons with significant disabilities. In meeting this expectation, ACCES-VR affirms that it will:

• continue to provide a full range of services to all persons currently receiving services;

• provide assessment services to all persons expected to apply next fiscal year;

• serve all persons expected to be determined eligible next year; and,

• meet all statutory program requirements.

Estimates of the Number of Individuals in the State who are Eligible for VR Services and the Number of Eligible Individuals who will Receive VR Services

As required in 34 CFR 361.29(b)(1), ACCES-VR estimates that during the FFY 2014 approximately 29,200 individuals with disabilities will be found eligible for VR services. This estimate is based on the applicant numbers during FFY 2012. Using a five-year trend formula, ACCES-VR could potentially serve 87,700 individuals during FFY 2014. This figure, however, is based exclusively on trend data for the previous five years and does not necessarily account for the many complex factors that affect service delivery.

The FFY 2013 State Plan estimated that 96,800 individuals would be served, but year-to-date data indicates that we are serving fewer individuals than projected. Due in part to the fluctuations in New York State’s economic activity, ACCES-VR expects to serve fewer individuals than projected in the FFY 2013 State Plan. The difference between the trend data projection and the actual number must be taken into account for FFY 2014. The best estimate for the number of individuals who will be served during FFY 2014 is 91,000, slightly above the number of individuals actually served during FFY 2012 (90,374). This estimate takes into consideration the recent increase in the VR counselor caseloads and the changing economy. The total estimated cost for services is $212.7 million.

As required in 34 CFR 361.29(b)(2), ACCES-VR estimates that under Title I and Title VI Part B, approximately 11,000 of the estimated 91,000 individuals served during FFY 2014 will receive supported employment services. All of these individuals receiving supported employment services will be served using a combination of Title VI Part B funds and State funds.

Category Title I or Title VI Estimated Funds Estimated Number to be Served Average Cost of Services
Individuals to be served Part B Title I Title I $211,400,000 80,000 $2,642
Individuals receiving SE Part B Title VI Title VI $1,300,000 11000 $118
Totals   $212,700,000 91,000 $2,337

This screen was last updated on Jun 21 2013 8:48AM by Nancy Wilcox

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

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

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

 

            ACCES-VR and the State Rehabilitation Council (SRC) jointly developed the State’s goals and priorities. Together, the SRC and ACCES-VR reviewed and agreed upon priorities, goals, strategies and performance measures that are consistent with Section 106 of the Act and with regulations found in 34 CFR 361.

 

Priority 1: Increase the employment rate and earnings for individuals with disabilities served by ACCES-VR.

 

Goal 1.1: Increase the percentage of individuals exiting the VR program after receiving services that achieve an employment outcome and exceed the national standard of 55.8 percent. 

 

RSA Performance Indicator 1.2: Of all closed cases after receiving vocational rehabilitation services, at least 55.8 percent will have achieved an employment outcome.

Baseline for FFY 2010: 45.9 percent which does not meet the RSA Performance Standard.

Target for FFY 2012: Meet the RSA Performance Standard of 55.8 percent.

 

Goal 1.1.A Youth: Increase the percentage of youth with disabilities (applicants prior to age 22) exiting the VR Program after receiving services that achieve an employment outcome and exceed the national standard of 55.8 percent.

Baseline FFY 2010: 42.5 percent which does not meet the RSA Performance Standard.

Target FFY 2012: Meet the RSA Performance Standard of 55.8 percent.

 

Goal 1.1.B Supported Employment: Increase the percentage of individuals who achieve an employment outcome after receiving supported employment (SE) services.

Baseline for FFY 2010: For all consumers who were closed during the year after having an SE Individualized Plan of Employment (IPE) and SE Authorization, the employment rate was 43.3 percent which does not meet the RSA Performance Standard.

Target FFY 2012: Meet the RSA Performance Standard of 55.8 percent.

 

Goal 1.1.C Social Security Participants: Increase the percentage of individuals who are recipients of SSI, SSDI or SSI/SSDI and achieve an employment outcome that exceeds the national standard of 55.8 percent.

Baseline 2010: Of all SSA participants who were closed during the year after receiving VR services the percentage who achieved an employment outcome was 39.4 percent

Target FFY 2012: Meet the RSA Performance Standard of 55.8 percent.

 

 

 

 

Related Measures:

RSA Performance Indicator 1.1 The number of individuals exiting the VR program who have achieved an employment outcome must equal or exceed performance in previous period.

Baseline FFY 2010: 12,092 individuals achieved an employment outcome, a decrease of 59 from the previous year.

Target for FFY 2012: ACCES-VR will exceed the final FFY2011 result for indicator 1.1.

 

RSA Performance Indicator 1.4 The percentage of individuals having significant disabilities who achieve competitive employment with earnings of at least minimum wage is 62.4 percent or higher.

Baseline for FFY 2010: 98.2 percent

Target for FFY 2012: 98.5 percent

 

Goal 1.2: Improve earnings of individuals achieving an employment outcome by increasing the percentage who earn at least 200% of the federal poverty level ($416/week) at closure.

Baseline for FFY 2010: 23 percent of all individuals achieving an employment outcome (2,710 individuals) earned above 200 percent of the federal poverty level.

Target for FFY 201228 percent of all individuals achieving an employment outcome will earn above 200 percent of the federal poverty level.

 

Related Measures:

RSA Performance Indicator 1.3 The percentage of individuals who achieve an employment outcome with earnings equivalent to at least minimum wage will be 72.6 percent or greater.

Baseline for FFY 2010: 95.4 percent

Target for FFY 2012: 97.5 percent

 

RSA Performance Indicator 1.6 Increase the percentage of individuals who report earned income as the largest single source of economic support at the time they exit the VR Program; the national standard is 53 percent or greater.

Baseline for FFY 2010: 59.8 percent

Target for FFY 2012:  64.8 percent

 

Goal 1.3: Increase the average hourly earnings of individuals employed after participating in postsecondary training when compared to the average hourly earnings of all employed individuals in the State and approach the national benchmark ratio of .52 (Variation on RSA Performance Indicator 1.5 – See Related Measures below.)

Baseline for FFY 2010: Average wage of individuals with postsecondary training is $11.42 per hour; .40 of the State Average Wage.

Target for FFY 2012: $11.99 per hour is .42 of the State Average Wage.

 

 

 

Related Measures:

RSA Performance Indicator 1.5 Average hourly earnings of individuals employed after receiving VR services will be equivalent to at least the minimum wage as a ratio to the State’s average hourly earning for all individuals in NYS who are employed; wage equals .52 or more; (.52 x $28.54 = $14.84).

Baseline for FFY 2010: $10.70 per hour is .37 of the State Average Wage.

Target for FFY 2012: $14.84 per hour would equal .52 of the State Average Wage.

 

Priority 2: Increase services to unserved and underserved groups.

 

Goal 2.1: The service rate for identified unserved and underserved populations will be commensurate with the NYS population rates for those populations based on race, ethnicity and disability.

 

RSA Performance Indicator 2.1: The ratio of the percent of individuals with a minority background to the percent of individuals without a minority background exiting the program who received VR services; RSA Performance standard > or = .80

Baseline for FFY 2010: .87

Target for FFY 2012: Service ratio of all individuals with disabilities from minority backgrounds as a ratio to the service rate for all individuals with disabilities from non-minority backgrounds; .90 

 

Priority 3: Improve the quality of ACCES-VR services.

 

Goal 3.1: Increase consumer satisfaction with VR Program services.

Baseline for FFY 2010: 76 percent

Target for FFY 2012: 90 percent of respondents expressing satisfaction on key questions contained in VR’s consumer satisfaction surveys.

 

Goal 3.2: Increase collaboration with community partners, particularly the State agency partners who share responsibility for achieving employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities.

Baseline for 2010: ACCES-VR is in the process of developing a Memorandum of Understanding with the NYS Department of Labor (DOL) for a cooperative effort through its Disability Employment Initiative to improve service options and results for individuals with disabilities served through the one stop centers.

Target for 2012: NYS DOL and ACCES-VR will implement promising practices that improve service results for individuals with disabilities. 

 

Goal 3.3: Increase collaboration with employers that may lead to employment outcomes.

Baseline 2011: The ACCES-VR Business Relations Unit is continuing to establish business relationships and develop business accounts. Collaborative projects with The NET and other national, state and regional resources have yielded quality employment outcomes. 

Target for 2012: ACCES-VR will document the number of formal collaborative business relationships it establishes and the number of employment outcomes each of these relationships yields.

This screen was last updated on Aug 17 2011 3:40PM by Gerri Malone

Attachment 4.11(c)(3) Order of Selection

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

This agency is not implementing an Order of Selection.

This screen was last updated on Aug 20 2009 3:20PM by Gerri Malone

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

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

Federal Title VI, Part B funds for supported employment services were initially used to develop model programs to determine the most effective structure for supported employment and to determine the types of services and supports that work best with different populations. However, in New York State (NYS), these funds alone are not sufficient to meet the overall demand for supported employment services. ACCES-VR’s total funding level for supported employment contracts for Federal Fiscal Year 2012 was $27.7 million. The Title VI, Part B funds to serve approximately 11,000 individuals accounted for $1.3 million. At present, Title VI, Part B funds represent less than five percent of the total funds ACCES-VR uses for intensive supported employment services. ACCES-VR will continue the operation of the supported employment services established under Title VI, Part B and use the funds to supplement, but not supplant, Title I funds.

ACCES-VR combines Title VI, Part B and Section 110 funds to provide supported employment services to individuals with the most significant disabilities. Individuals served through supported employment services include individuals with all types of disabilities. ACCES-VR maintains agreements (Memorandum of Understanding and Integrated Employment Implementation Plan, Chapter 515 of the NYS Laws of 1992) with the Office of Mental Health (OMH), the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) and the Commission for the Blind and Visually Handicapped (CBVH), which define ACCES-VR as the source for intensive funding. Program evaluation includes a review of data from interagency quarterly reports and on-site reviews, including consumer interviews. Successful and exemplary practices have been disseminated to the staff of the State agencies involved and to other project sites.

Supported Employment Programs

ACCES-VR is in the last year of its supported employment contracts with approximately 200 supported employment providers. While these continue the hourly fee-for-service payment system, ACCES-VR is switching to a performance-based contracting system with payments being based on the attainment of specific milestones and outcomes for supported employment.

Through the authority of Chapter 515 of the NYS Laws of 1992, ACCES-VR is assigned the responsibility for administering, establishing standards for and monitoring the intensive services component of all supported employment programs in New York State. ACCES-VR also has the responsibility for the provision of extended services to individuals who are not eligible for such services through other sources.

ACCES-VR, with the cooperation of OMH, OPWDD and CBVH, established the Chapter 515 Interagency Implementation Team in October 2006 for ongoing coordination of the implementation of supported employment intensive and extended services in New York State. The Chapter 515 Interagency Implementation Team consists of employment program managers from the respective State agencies. The Team meets bi-monthly to discuss program, data and funding issues, facilitate cross-systems implementation and identify opportunities for program improvements.

During the past year, the Chapter 515 Interagency Implementation Team worked on the following areas:

• Personalized Recovery Oriented Services – ACCES-VR and OMH central office managers meet regularly to coordinate service delivery in counties where OMH Personalized Recovery Oriented Services (PROS) is being implemented. OMH and ACCES-VR coordinate technical assistance to local areas where changes in extended services providers have occurred to maintain availability of extended services.

• OPWDD Supported Employment Initiative - OPWDD and ACCES-VR continue to meet regularly to discuss areas of mutual interest. This information assists VR counselors and community service providers when working to establish OPWDD eligibility. OPWDD, ACCES-VR and Independent Living (IL) continue to explore ways in which VR and IL services may be able to ensure that more youth with intellectual and developmental disabilities enter employment or postsecondary education upon school exit. Local discussions will be held between the ACCES-VR district offices and the OPWDD regional office on how to best coordinate supported employment services.

• Supported Employment Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) - The State agencies have revised the Supported Employment MOU and are in the process of having the respective leadership of each agency review and approve the MOU. The MOU reflects a renewed commitment and higher expectations for achieving integrated employment outcomes for individuals with the most significant disabilities living in New York State.

• New York Employment Services System (NYESS) - The NYS Department of Labor (DOL) and OMH have embarked on a project to transform the DOL information system, known as the One-Stop Operating System, into a data and case services system that includes consolidation with all the components of the New York Interagency Supported Employment Reporting Data System (NYISER). NYISER was replaced in 2012 by the New York Employment Services System (NYESS) for its supported employment providers. The NYESS is a combined data warehouse and information sharing system for state and community agencies and a job matching/labor exchange system for consumers and employers. ACCES-VR is negotiating the data sharing agreement provided by OMH to assure that confidentiality protocols and protections and other administrative issues are addressed prior to signing the agreement that would allow information sharing for case coordination purposes.

• Partnership Plus Agreement - ACCES-VR and the Research Foundation for Mental Hygiene (RFMH), representing OMH, have signed a Partnership Plus Memorandum of Agreement. Through this agreement, ACCES-VR can coordinate the Ticket to Work assignment with RFMH, which is acting as a statewide administrative employment network.

Supported Employment Goals and Priorities

ACCES-VR’s Title VI, Part B program goals are to:

• provide services to individuals with the most significant disabilities who might not be traditionally considered appropriate for competitive employment;

• develop techniques for unserved and underserved populations, such as persons with acquired brain injuries, deafness, multiple disabilities, autism spectrum disorders, significant learning disabilities and significant mental illness;

• develop quality programs that could be used for replication purposes; and

• establish successful supported employment programs that will provide technical assistance to other programs.

Discussions that occur in the Chapter 515 Interagency Implementation Team meetings help to achieve the above goals, as well as to meet our challenge to close the employment gap between individuals without disabling conditions and individuals with disabilities. Program performance and costs are reviewed at least annually. Service re-negotiations occur based on overall performance, including performance on projected outcomes agreed to by ACCES-VR and the provider.

ACCES-VR vocational rehabilitation counselors manage the individual program of each consumer participating in intensive supported employment. This includes developing the Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) and monitoring its implementation. The programs funded under Title VI, Part B represent previously underserved individuals. Every effort is made to improve the project’s performance through continuing technical assistance and service delivery improvements.

This screen was last updated on Jun 21 2013 8:48AM by Nancy Wilcox

Attachment 4.11(d) State's Strategies

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

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

ACCES-VR reserves and uses a portion of federal funds allocated under Section 110 of the Rehabilitation Act for innovation and expansion (I&E) activities, including support of the needs assessment, equitable access and technology. In addition to specific innovation and expansion activities as required, ACCES-VR is engaged in strategic initiatives to expand and improve services to individuals with disabilities which are described in detail in this attachment.

Council Support

Funds are allocated for the operation of the State Rehabilitation Council (SRC) to meet the goals and objectives set forth in the SRC resource plan. The SRC is a full and active partner in the development of ACCES-VR policies, regulations and procedures. The mission of the SRC is to objectively review, analyze, guide and communicate with other entities on behalf of individuals with disabilities, including the Commissioner of the New York State Education Department and ACCES-VR. The SRC assists ACCES-VR in fulfilling the requirements of the Federal Rehabilitation Act for the delivery of quality, consumer responsive VR services.

 

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

Technology

Rehabilitation technology is an individualized service that assists individuals with disabilities to achieve full participation in education, rehabilitation, employment, transportation, independent living and recreation. ACCES-VR supports rehabilitation technology that is necessary to achieve the individual’s vocational objectives and goals. Assistive technology services and devices will be provided to individuals with disabilities on a statewide basis. ACCES-VR has policies that delineate how assistive technology services and assistive technology devices will be provided to individuals with disabilities at each stage of the rehabilitation process.

An individual’s need for rehabilitation technology is considered at any stage of the vocational rehabilitation (VR) process. Rehabilitation technology is provided if necessary to assess and develop an individual’s capacity to perform in a work environment. Before a determination of ineligibility is made because the severity of an individuals’ disabling condition(s) is believed to be such that they cannot benefit from VR services, rehabilitation technology must be considered as part of the overall assessment.

ACCES-VR uses VR funds for assistive technology at every stage of the rehabilitation process, through purchase, lease or loan to eligible consumers who otherwise could not access services. Two ACCES-VR policies that provide in-depth information about the provision of a broad range of technology services are 1370.00 Rehabilitation Technology Policy and 441.00 Vehicle Modifications, Adaptive and Automotive Equipment Policy. ACCES-VR is in the process of updating the Vehicle Modifications, Adaptive and Automotive Equipment Policy and Procedures to facilitate the process for assessment and service delivery.

ACCES-VR has service contracts in place with community rehabilitation programs. Some of these contracts contain provisions for assistive technology services from those qualified providers. ACCES-VR is currently procuring new contracts with community rehabilitation programs, called Core Rehabilitation Services or CRS, which will include assistive and rehabilitation technology services.

ACCES-VR is using technology to improve service delivery to consumers. ACCES-VR also allocates a portion of the I&E funds to improve its electronic case management system, thereby reducing the administrative burdens placed on counseling staff and enhancing the service delivery system through greater efficiencies. ACCES-VR:

• continues to implement technology enhancements to the CaMS electronic record of service as a means of providing additional tools for vocational rehabilitation counselors (VRCs) to manage caseloads and for managers and supervisors to provide oversight;

• has developed and implemented the Supported Employment Information Directory (SEID) to provide critical data to counseling and management staff to assist them with their job responsibilities. The system provides information on each community rehabilitation program to better enable VRCs to assess services and provide options for consumers to make informed choices about their VR services. Supervisors are able to review performance and cost against other data in the system to assist them in their management of the contracts.

• has embarked on a strategic planning process that includes an examination of the full array of technology in the overall service delivery system, including options for a new case management system.

 

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.

Outreach to Individuals with Disbilities who are Minorities

As a result of the findings in the ACCES-VR’s Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment, ACCES-VR and the SRC established strategies to address issues raised by the study regarding individuals in the State who may not be able to fully access VR because of their limited English proficiency. ACCES-VR, with the participation of the SRC, established a Limited English Proficiency Work Team to review consumer needs when English is a secondary language. As a result, ACCES-VR:

• translated essential VR service forms and brochures into Spanish, Russian, Mandarin Chinese and Haitian Creole. These forms are available for public use, and include the: “VR Application”; “ACCES-VR Brochure”; “ACCES-VR Basic Guide”; “Due Process Brochure” and “Developing the IPE”;

• developed a procedure for purchasing language interpreter and written translation services for consumers with limited English proficiency which provides direction to VRCs on when and how to purchase language interpreter and written translation services;

• continues to share information about the availability of Limited English Proficiency and other VR services with community rehabilitation providers and Independent Living Centers to ensure that they have the staff training and outreach capacity to meet the needs of the State’s minority populations.

Outreach to Serve Individuals with Disabilities who have been Unserved or Underserved

Students with disabilities have been identified as a priority population and ACCES-VR has worked to increase access for students with disabilities into the VR system at an earlier age. ACCES-VR has identified youth with disabilities who will transition from secondary schools to adult services and employment as an underserved population. Youth data substantiates that close to one-half of our current caseloads were youth at application. The coordination of meaningful transition services for students with disabilities from school age to postsecondary settings is a priority area for VR and special education collaboration. ACCES-VR coordinates with the Office of Special Education within the State Education Department’s Office of P-12 Education. The program managers jointly review and share training information and coordinate efforts by inviting our respective staffs to participate together in transition team activities, including transition training, accommodations, assessment and knowledge of specific disabilities.

ACCES-VR works closely with schools to facilitate the transition of students with disabilities from school to work. Most promising is the trend of increasing employment outcomes for youth. For FFY 2102, 4,322 youth gained employment after receiving ACCES-VR services.

Several strategic actions have been implemented to increase the number of transition students participating in VR services and to increase their achievement of quality employment outcomes. ACCES-VR continues to align internal changes in VR policies with the development of partnerships with the secondary schools and postsecondary institutions within the State. These strategic actions are participation in:

• the Commissioner’s Advisory Panel for Special Education which facilitates close communication between the special education and VR programs.

• the CUNY Linking Employment, Academics and Disability Services (LEADS) program, which was developed with the City University of New York (CUNY). ACCES-VR liaison counselors work with CUNY LEADS as they provide employment-related services to students with disabilities who are receiving services under an Individualized Plan for Employment with ACCES-VR and are enrolled on designated CUNY campuses.

In addition to a focus on serving youth, ACCES-VR has several other initiatives and strategic activities described in this attachment and in other sections of the State Plan aimed at improving services to unserved and underserved populations. ACCES-VR sustains strong interagency partnerships in New York State (NYS) and is an active participant in the following strategic activities:

• the NYS Most Integrated Setting Coordinating Council (MISCC) and the Governor’s Cabinet for the development of a New York State Olmstead Plan;

• the NYS Developmental Disabilities Planning Council (DDPC) and its Strategic Planning, Adult Issues and System Coordination Committees;

• the Business Advisory Council of the Mental Health Association of New York State; and,

• the Mental Health Planning Advisory Council of the NYS Office of Mental Health (OMH).

Through participation in these Councils and their respective networks of consumers, families and providers, ACCES-VR is able to continuously improve its responsiveness to the needs of these populations.

 

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

Improving Community Rehabilitation Programs

ACCES-VR continuously works to improve the capacity and service delivery of community rehabilitation programs, including supported employment (SE) services to individuals with the most significant disabilities:

• Core Rehabilitation Services (CRS) Redesign. ACCES-VR provides a wide range of VR services through community rehabilitation programs. The new CRS contracts are purposely designed to be flexible and to meet emerging needs and better utilize available resources, with stronger quality assurance and accountability features. Services provided under the CRS contracts will allow for: more consumer choice; performance-based payments for placement and supported employment services; a cost of living adjustment to the payments for services; and includes performance standards that allow for assessment of provider effectiveness. Purchased services under CRS contract include: services to assist with entry into the ACCES-VR program; assessment; assistive technology/rehabilitation; work readiness; job placement; and driver rehabilitation. It will also include adjunct services such as benefits counseling; non job-related coaching supports; mobility training; and transportation. The new contract period will be October 1, 2013 - September 30, 2018.

• Supported Employment (SE) Contract Redesign. Core Rehabilitation Services (CRS) include SE into the overall contract as part of a continuous improvement effort. SE services will be performance-based with defined specific milestone and outcome payments that will improve service delivery and outcomes.

• Consortium for the Advancement of Supported Employment (CASE). CASE is a collaboration comprised of Cornell University’s Employment and Disability Institute, as the lead agency, with the Center for Human Services Education (CHSE), a division of the Heritage Christian Services, the NYS Association for Persons in Supported Employment (APSE), and the NYS Rehabilitation Association (NYSRA). An agreement has been drafted with Cornell for a term of five years, with an anticipated start of April 2013. Through the CASE, and collaboration with Chapter 515 Interagency Implementation Team, training and technical assistance will be focused on improving the capacity of community rehabilitation programs to place individuals with most significant disabilities into supported employment.

• Series 1310.00 Supported Employment Policy, Procedures and Provider Guidelines was revised to reflect new evidence-based models of supported employment, develop use of natural supports, enhance compliance procedures and to better align provider guidelines with policy and procedure.

• Chapter 515 Interagency Implementation Team. ACCES-VR has established and leads the Chapter 515 Interagency Implementation Team consisting of ACCES-VR, the Commission on the Blind and Visually Handicapped (CBVH), the Office of Mental Health (OMH), and the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD). The team meets bi-monthly on supported employment issues and is working to assure cooperative implementation of the State Education Chapter 515 Integrated Employment law. Chapter 515 primarily focuses on supported employment, including a memorandum of understanding which outlines the responsibilities of each agency in terms of intensive and extended services. The Chapter 515 Team focuses on communicating programmatic changes with our respective field offices related to new initiatives within the partner agencies and how those changes impact employment services.

 

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

Strategies to Improve Performance Related to Goals, Priorities and Performance Indicators

Priority 1: Increase the employment rate and earnings for individuals with disabilities served by ACCES-VR.

Goal 1.1: Increase the percentage of individuals exiting the VR program after receiving services that achieve an employment outcome and exceed the national standard of 55.8 percent.

RSA Performance Indicator 1.2: Of all closed cases after receiving VR services, at least 55.8 percent will have achieved an employment outcome.

Strategies:

• Maintain data bank of job ready consumers.

• Move job ready consumers quickly into CRS or DOL’s Disability Employment Initiative (DEI) job placement services.

• Implement protocols for identifying individuals who are “at risk” for Status 28 closure and determining if other supports are needed to sustain the individual in the VR process toward an employment outcome.

• Collaborate with State agency partners, particularly OMH, OPWDD, OASAS, DOL and the Office of P-12 Education, to ensure a cooperative referral process that results in better integration of VR services with the employment preparation resources within their respective systems.

• Adjust the qualifying thresholds in the Consumer Participation in the Cost of Services policy so that more individuals can meet economic need and participate in those need-based services that can lead to higher quality employment outcomes.

Goal 1.1.A Youth: Increase the percentage of youth with disabilities (applicants prior to age 22) exiting the VR Program after receiving services that achieve an employment outcome and exceed the national standard of 55.8 percent.

Strategies

• Develop stronger local partnerships with school districts and postsecondary institutions, particularly through local transition and postsecondary consortiums.

• Use volunteer experiences and paid employment to develop work experience for youth.

• Provide experiential learning and work experiences through summer, part-time and temporary work experiences.

• Work collaboratively with other State agencies and community organizations with programs that serve transition-age youth to establish participation in ACCES-VR services.

• Collaborate with the DDPC, OPWDD, the Office of P-12 Education and the University of Rochester Institute for Innovative Transition on implementing better methods for youth with intellectual and developmental disabilities to obtain and maintain employment; continue collaborative planning with OPWDD on their Pathways to Employment 1915 b/c waiver initiative.

• Create a transition unit within ACCES-VR Central Office to coordinate statewide and local efforts in implementing evidence-based transition services throughout the State through technical assistance and capacity-building activities.

Goal 1.1.B Supported Employment: Increase the percentage of individuals that achieve an integrated employment outcome after receiving supported employment services.

Strategies

• Improve the quality of supported employment services by training ACCES-VR and supported employment providers on updated supported employment policy, procedures and guidelines to ensure the integrity and effectiveness of the supported employment.

• Train ACCES-VR counselors who serve as liaisons to mental health programs on OMH Individual Placement with Supports (IPS) model, implementation and provide on-going technical assistance.

• Explore use of “customized” employment techniques and other promising practices for SE and placement services.

Goal 1.1.C Social Security Participants: Increase the percentage of individuals that are recipients of Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or SSI/SSDI and achieve an employment rate that exceeds the national standard of 55.8 percent.

Strategies

• Assess the effectiveness of the current strategies for benefits advisement counseling, examining the difference between paid and unpaid benefit advisement services as to how these services can be most effective during the VR process.

• Provide benefits counseling earlier in the VR process.

• Initiate a pilot project with the ACCES-VR District Office and community benefits advisors (e.g. WIPA, DEI, ILC and/or UCS) to more intentionally integrate benefits counseling services into the IPE and throughout the VR process to determine if this results in better outcomes, including higher weekly earnings. Proposed “designs” are being discussed for further development.

• Encourage employment networks (ENs) to continue benefits counseling after VR case closure through the Partnership Plus option.

• ACCES-VR works in cooperation with the Social Security Administration’s SSDI demonstration project in western New York counties called BOND – the Benefits Offset National Demonstration.

• Develop a formal information exchange agreement with the Social Security Administration to facilitate VR services to SSA beneficiaries.

Goal 1.2: Improve earnings of individuals achieving an employment outcome by increasing the percentage who earn at least 200% of Poverty ($416/week) at closure.

Goal 1.3: Increase the average hourly earnings of individuals employed after participating in postsecondary training when compared to the average hourly earnings of all employed individuals in the State and approach the national benchmark ratio of .52.

Strategies

• Revise the funding structure of ACCES-VR’s College and University Training and Non-Degree Training at Trade, Business and Other Schools Policies to increase allowances for books and fees.

• Target improved earnings for individuals by establishing a higher standard for an employment outcome in the development of the Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) and providing services that can lead to weekly earnings above the 200 percent of poverty level of $416/week whenever possible. Establish regional goals to achieve these higher wage outcomes.

• Create incentives in future supported employment and direct placement contracts for placement outcomes with higher wages (e.g. substantial gainful activity level).

• Focus on postsecondary education as a means to increasing skilled employment. Increase percentage of individuals receiving postsecondary education and training.

• Develop collaborations with Disabled Student Services and College Career Centers to ensure students who are participating in ACCES-VR postsecondary training have opportunities for work experience in the course of their education. The ACCES-VR Syracuse District Office will continue to pilot the use of Work Try-Out to provide work experiences for some college students, in cooperation with Onondaga Community College and Le Moyne College. This is a promising practice that encourages students to obtain work experiences that may lead to better quality employment outcomes upon graduation.

Priority 2: Increase services to unserved and underserved groups.

Goal 2.1: The service rate for identified unserved and underserved populations will be commensurate with the NYS population rates for those populations based on race, ethnicity and disability.

RSA Performance Indicator 2.1: The ratio of the percent of individuals with a minority background to the percent of individuals without a minority background exiting the program that received VR services; RSA Performance standard > or = .80

Strategies

• Monitor VR participation and outcome measures for those individuals with serious mental illness and with intellectual and developmental disabilities, including individuals with autism spectrum disorders, who are considered at risk for being underserved by the VR Program in context to the broader employment system.

• Engage the Independent Living Centers (ILCs) in a coordinated effort to include independent living services, such as peer counseling and other offerings available at local ILCs that support a person in sustaining their vocational rehabilitation efforts as part of the VR process and the IPE.

• Increase the coordination and participation of VR consumers in adult education and Literacy Zone services, as well as increase the provision of services to English Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL).

• Increase access to interpreters, translators and rehabilitation technology to consumers requiring this assistance, particularly individuals who are hard of hearing or deaf.

• Utilize the appropriate supports for individuals who use ESOL and apply for VR services.

Priority 3: Improve the quality of ACCES-VR services.

Goal 3.1: Increase consumer satisfaction with VR Program services.

Strategies

• Increase capacity of VR counselors through the provision of continuous training and technical assistance on policy and practice aimed at achieving quality employment outcomes.

• Improve the quality of post employment services, including developing the capacity of individuals to earn higher weekly wages as well as obtaining ongoing supports aimed at economic self-sufficiency, natural supports, asset accumulation and benefits advisement.

• Increase communication to consumers, employers, providers and other stakeholders (associations, school districts) regarding ACCES-VR services and provide opportunities for feedback on services.

• Monitor the vocational process from referral and application, through job placement and closure through monthly performance reports, to increase timeliness and direct VR counselor engagement with consumers to improve the quality of the services and the number of individuals who go to work after receiving ACCES-VR services.

Goal 3.2: Increase collaboration with community partners, particularly the State agency partners who share responsibility for achieving employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities.

Strategies

• ACCES-VR developed a Memorandum of Understanding with the NYS Department of Labor for a cooperative effort through its DEI to improve service options and results for individuals with disabilities served through the one-stop centers.

• Through the DEI initiative, implement the Integrated Resource Team’s concept in local one-stop centers by incorporating ACCES-VR counselor participation, yielding more employment outcomes for consumers.

• Collaborate with the NYS Office of Alcohol and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) on “recovery-oriented” approaches to employment and VR services and train staff.

• Collaborate with the NYS Office of Mental Health to develop guidance for local areas in coordinating their Personal Recovery-Oriented Services (PROS) program with ACCES-VR rehabilitation services and provide training and technical assistance to local MH programs and ACCES-VR district offices.

• Provide community rehabilitation providers who successfully bid on the new Core Rehabilitation Services with a cost of living adjustment to the fees for services to ensure adequate capacity of critical vocational rehabilitation services throughout the State.

Goal 3.3: Increase collaboration with employers that may lead to employment outcomes.

Strategies

• ACCES-VR will continue leading efforts to establish working relationships with businesses within New York State through the National Employment Team (the NET) business initiatives increasing employment opportunities within NYS.

• The ACCES-VR Business Relations and Workforce Development Unit will continue to establish relationships and develop statewide and regional small business partnerships accounts.

• The ACCES-VR Business Relations and Workforce Development Coordinators in each district office maintain a data bank of job ready individuals in order to more effectively respond to job market opportunities.

• Revitalize existing placement consortiums and coordinate efforts to leverage and maximize development and placement resources.

Consumer Satisfaction Survey

In December, 2011, the Potsdam Institute for Applied Research at SUNY Potsdam sent a survey to 6,825 consumers who had received placement services the previous year. The purpose of the survey was to determine the satisfaction of these consumers with the services they received from ACCES-VR, as well as the outcomes they experienced.

The survey consisted of 45 questions, printed in English and Spanish, and available in English on the Internet. The participant pool received placement services between 7/1/2010 to 8/31/2011, and was divided into three status categories; Status 26 (closed with employment); Status 28 (closed without employment); and Status 14, 16, 18, 20, 22 or 24 (continuing services/Other-Open). Surveys were sent to 2,887 participants who were closed employed; 1,260 participants who were closed without employment; and 2,678 participants who were other-open.

There were 864 surveys completed, of which 781 were returned by mail and 83 completed using the on-line version. This is a return rate of 12.7 percent. Most responders were 46-55 years old. The response rate by status was 353 employed (12.2 percent); 90 closed without employment (7.1 percent) and 421 other-opened (15.7 percent).

Over 76 percent of respondents indicated satisfaction with ACCES-VR services, one percentage point less than those surveyed last year, and below the established target of 90 percent. Only 50 percent of respondents closed without employment reported the same satisfaction. Over 95 percent of the consumers who responded understood that the purpose of ACCES–VR services was to help them get a job, and almost 52 percent reported that orientation sessions were scheduled in less than 30 days.

In 2012, surveys were sent to 10,376 consumers who were receiving postsecondary training, and were closed in employment (Status 26); closed after plan was initiated without employment (Status 28); or were continuing services with an Open status (Status 18 or 22). Preliminary results indicate there was a 9.1 percent response rate, with 86 percent reporting satisfaction with ACCES-VR services. The final report of this survey has not been issued.

 

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

Strategies for the Statewide Workforce Investment System to Assist Individuals with Disabilities

ACCES-VR continues to develop and implement strategies focused on enhancing ACCES-VR’s role as a partner in the One-Stop System. The New York State Department of Labor (DOL) and ACCES-VR formed a partnership around the DEI. ACCES-VR expects tangible results related to increased access to the full range of one-stop center services for ACCES-VR consumers as well as other individuals with disabilities seeking employment. Through the DOL-ACCES-VR DEI collaboration:

• ACCES-VR liaisons and the Disability Resource Coordinators have developed local plans to coordinate services;

• new DEI Employment Network requirements were aligned to the ACCES-VR Ticket To Work procedures for serving SSI and SSDI participants;

• technology efforts between DOL and ACCES-VR are coordinated to enhance service accountability for achieving established performance benchmarks; and

• ACCES-VR will continue to focus on coordination of services among partners in local workforce areas.

• ACCES-VR and DOL are planning a joint survey of One Stop centers and VR District Offices to assess current levels of coordination.

• ACCES-VR and DOL are exploring strategies for better coordination of youth employment efforts and the use of CareerZone as a counseling tool for VRCs working with young adults.

 

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.

Equitable Access

ACCES-VR is committed to increasing the options for integrated employment opportunities in New York State without regard to the age, race, creed, color, national origin, sexual orientation, military status, sex, disability, predisposing genetic characteristics, or marital status of any individual. ACCES-VR is implementing the following strategies:

• ACCES-VR has professional staff able to communicate in the native language of individuals who are non-English speaking or who use other modes of communication, such as sign language. When such staff is not available, ACCES-VR contracts with outside agencies and individuals for interpreter or communication services.

• ACCES-VR counselors by training are well aware of how an individual’s cognitive disability might affect his or her ability to participate in the VR process and the need to provide supports and accommodations to these individuals in the VR process.

• ACCES-VR has translated essential forms and documents into Spanish, Russian, Mandarin Chinese and Haitian Creole, and developed a procedure to purchase language and written translation services.

• There are activities at a local level for District Offices to facilitate access to VR services for those individuals re-entering the community after incarceration, as timeliness is critical for successful re-entry. For example, in Brooklyn, ACCES-VR has a leadership role in coordinating the re-entry consortium. In Syracuse, ACCES-VR has a VRC assigned to drug court, helping to divert drug offenders from prison whenever possible through the provision of quality employment services.

• ACCES-VR is working collaboratively with OASAS and has formed an OASAS-ACCES-VR Statewide Team. The team has developed a new Memorandum of Understanding on Recovery (July 2010), a Substance Use Disorder Technical Assistance Brief (January 2011) as guidance for VRCs, and a Vocational Rehabilitation Readiness Assessment for service coordination. The OASAS-ACCES-VR Statewide Team developed curriculum and conducted cross training for staff.

• ACCES-VR continuously works to improve the capacity and service delivery of community rehabilitation programs, including supported employment (SE) services to individuals with the most significant disabilities. The new CRS contracts will include a cost of living adjustment to ensure statewide capacity of critical rehabilitation services.

• ACCES-VR will expand options available under its Core Rehabilitation Services (CRS) to offer more consumer choice for meeting consumer needs. CRS will include Youth Employment Services (YES). YES is a set of services, while not exclusive to youth, that will be particularly useful to support youth in achieving post-school employment. For example, a new service, Community Work Experience, will allow providers to put youth on their agency payroll for a brief period of time to provide a vocational assessment and career development experience for youth with an employer in the community.

• ACCES-VR redesigned the Supported Employment (SE) service and included in the Core Rehabilitation Services (CRS) to better use available resources. Starting October 2013, SE services will be performance based with well-defined specific milestone and outcome payments which are expected to improve service delivery and employment outcomes.

• ACCES-VR has revised its Series 1310.00 Supported Employment Policy, Procedures and Provider guidelines as part of its innovative activities to develop the use of natural supports. ACCES-VR and community providers have been trained on the new policy and guidelines.

• ACCES-VR is implementing protocols for identifying individuals who are “at risk” for Status 28 closures and determining if other supports are needed to sustain the individual in the VR process toward an employment outcome.

• ACCES-VR continues to promote the use of volunteer experiences and paid employment through summer, part-time and temporary work experiences to develop work experience for youth. The new CRS contracts should allow greater capacity to provide these services to youth, as well as through better coordination with DOL and the NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) related to youth employment initiatives.

• ACCES-VR is exploring the use of “customized” employment techniques and other promising practices for SE and placement services.

• ACCES-VR will initiate a pilot project with the ACCES-VR District Office and community benefits advisors to more intentionally integrate benefits counseling services into the IPE, throughout the VR process, and after VR case closure.

• ACCES-VR is looking at improving the quality of post employment services, including developing the capacity of individuals to earn higher wages.

• ACCES-VR has embarked on a strategic planning process that is examining service delivery, technology, human resources, program and fiscal plan alignment, marketing and public information and partnerships. The strategic plan will set a vision and a specific plan for future transformation of ACCES-VR to better meet the employment needs of individuals with disabilities in New York State.

 

This screen was last updated on Jun 21 2013 9:52AM by Karen Lajoie

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

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 Activities

In addition to the required performance indicators, ACCES-VR has established additional measures related to the priorities and goals described in Attachment 4.11(c)(1) Annual Goals and Priorities. Together, the State Rehabilitation Council (SRC) and ACCES-VR reviewed and agreed upon priorities, goals, strategies and performance measures that are consistent with Section 106 of the Act and with regulations found in 34 CFR 361.

The baseline and target performance measures for each indicator below was initially established by ACCES-VR and the SRC using Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) 2010 data, with the expectation that ACCES-VR would start to report the results after FFY 2012, the year in which the agency could gather a full year of complete data. In this attachment, the following evaluative results are based on the most recent data available on the federal performance indicators and the priorities and goals, as described in Attachment 4.11(c)(1).

Priority 1: Increase the employment rate and earnings for individuals with disabilities served by ACCES-VR.

Goal 1.1: Increase the percentage of individuals exiting the VR program after receiving services that achieve an employment outcome and exceed the national standard of 55.8 percent.

RSA Performance Indicator 1.2: At least 55.8 percent of all cases closed after receiving VR services, will have achieved an employment outcome.

Baseline FFY 2010: 45.9 percent achieved an employment outcome; does not meet the RSA performance standard. Performance for FFY 2011: 48.8 percent achieved an employment outcome; does not meet the RSA performance standard.

Performance for FFY 2012: 55.0 percent achieved an employment outcome; does not meet the RSA performance standard.

Performance Target: Meet or exceed the RSA performance standard of 55.8 percent.

Results: The percentage of individuals with disabilities that achieved an employment outcome after receiving VR services from ACCES-VR has been steadily increasing since FFY 2010. In FFY 2012, ACCES-VR achieved a performance indicator of 55.0 percent, which is below the national standard of 55.8 percent by eight-tenths of a percent. Although the ACCES–VR district offices continue to make significant efforts to increase employment outcomes, the results are still affected by the significant downturn in the economy over the last several years.

Goal 1.1.A Youth: Increase the percentage of youth with disabilities (applicants prior to age 22) exiting the VR program after receiving services that achieve an employment outcome and exceed the national standard of 55.8 percent.

Baseline FFY 2010: 42.5 percent achieved an employment outcome; does not meet the RSA performance standard. Performance for FFY 2011: 46.9 percent achieved an employment outcome; does not meet the RSA performance standard.

Performance for FFY 2012: 55.7 percent achieved an employment outcome; does not meet the RSA performance standard.

Performance Target: Meet or exceed the RSA performance standard of 55.8 percent.

Results: The percentage of youth with disabilities that achieved an employment outcome after receiving VR services from ACCES-VR has steadily increased since FFY 2010. From FFY 2010 to FFY 2012 the percentage of youth that achieved an employment goal increased by 13.2 percentage points, a significant increase. In FFY 2012 ACCES-VR achieved a performance indicator of 55.7 percent which is just below the national standard of 55.8 percent by one-tenth of one percent. Although ACCES–VR district offices continue to make significant efforts to increase employment outcomes, the results are still affected by the slow recovery from the recession over the last several years.

Goal 1.1.C Social Security Participants: Increase the percentage of individuals that are recipients of Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) or SSI/SSDI and achieve an employment outcome that exceeds the national standard of 55.8 percent.

Baseline FFY 2010: 39.4 percent of all SSI, SSDI or SSI/SSDI participants who were closed during the year after receiving VR services achieved an employment outcome; does not meet the RSA performance standard.

Performance for FFY 2011: 41 percent achieved an employment outcome; does not meet the RSA performance standard.

Performance for FFY 2012: 46.7 percent achieved an employment outcome; does not meet the RSA performance standard.

Performance Target: Meet or exceed the RSA performance standard of 55.8 percent.

Results: The percentage of individuals that are recipients of SSI, SSDI or SSI/SSDI that achieve an employment outcome is slowly rising from the baseline data reported in FFY 2010. Since FFY 2010 the percentage of individuals in this category has steadily increased by 7.3 percentage points to 46.7, although this is still below the RSA performance standard.

Related Measures:

RSA Performance Indicator 1.1: The number of individuals exiting the VR program who have achieved an employment outcome must equal or exceed performance in the previous period.

Baseline FFY 2010: 12,092 individuals achieved an employment outcome.

Performance for FFY 2011: 12,194 individuals achieved an employment outcome; exceeds performance previous period.

Performance for FFY 2012: 11,900 individuals achieved an employment outcome; does not meet performance standard.

Performance Target: ACCES-VR will exceed the final FFY 2010 result for RSA Performance Indicator 1.1.

Results: In FFY 2011, the number of employment outcomes increased by 102 placements. However, ACCES-VR had a decrease of 192 individuals achieving an employment outcome for FFY 2012.

The employment outcome numbers are influenced by many factors, including the overall economic climate in the State. New York State (NYS) experienced a deep recession from 2008 to 2010 which led to increased unemployment. The economic situation began to slowly improve in 2011, but it is still sluggish. Job seekers with disabilities, who may not have the experience of more seasoned workers, are at a distinct disadvantage in the job market.

RSA Performance Indicator 1.4: The percentage of individuals who have significant disabilities that achieve an employment outcome with earnings of at least minimum wage will be 62.4 percent or greater.

Baseline FFY 2010: 98.2 percent earned at least minimum wage; exceeds the RSA performance standard.

Performance for FFY 2011: 98.2 percent earned at least minimum wage; exceeds the RSA performance standard.

Performance for FFY 2012: 98.1 percent earned at least minimum wage; exceeds the RSA performance standard.

Performance Target: Meet or exceed the RSA performance standard of 62.4 percent.

Results: ACCES-VR has exceeded the RSA performance standard each year for the last 3 years since the baseline data was established. Individuals are considered to have a significant disability when they have a physical or mental impairment which seriously limits one or two functional capacities, such as mobility, communication, self-care, self-direction, interpersonal skills, cognition, work tolerance, or work skills, and whose vocational rehabilitation will require multiple supported employment services over an extended period of time. ACCES-VR assisted a substantially greater percentage of individuals with significant disabilities to achieve competitive employment compared with to the national standard. For FFY 2012, 98.1 percent of individuals with significant disabilities obtained employment through ACCES-VR earning at least minimum wage. This rate has been consistent since FFY 2000.

ACCES-VR has developed a strong infrastructure to competently serve these individuals through its partnerships with the State offices for mental health, developmental disabilities, blind and visually impaired, health (AIDS Institute) and alcoholism and substance abuse services.

Goal 1.2: Improve earnings of individuals achieving an employment outcome by increasing the percentage that earn at least 200 percent of the federal poverty level at closure.

Baseline FFY 2010: 23 percent (2,710 individuals) of all individuals achieving an employment outcome earned above 200 percent of the federal poverty level ($416).

Performance for FFY 2011: 25 percent (2,931 individuals) of all individuals achieving an employment outcome earned above 200 percent of the federal poverty level. ($416/week); met goal.

Performance for FFY 2012: 25 percent (2,830 individuals) of all individuals achieving an employment outcome earned above 200 percent of the federal poverty level. ($418/week); did not meet goal.

Performance Target: 28 percent of all individuals achieving an employment outcome will earn above 200 percent of the federal poverty level.

Results: ACCES-VR has been able to slightly increase the percentage of individuals that earn at least 200 percent of the federal poverty level at closure by two percentage points since FFY 2010 baseline data was established.

Related Measures:

RSA Performance Indicator 1.3: The percentage of individuals that achieve an employment outcome with earnings equivalent to at least minimum wage will be 72.6 percent or greater.

Baseline FFY 2010: 95.4 percent of individuals achieved this employment outcome; exceeds the RSA performance standard.

Performance for FFY 2011: 96.3 percent of individuals achieved this employment outcome; exceeds the RSA performance standard.

Performance for FFY 2012: 96.6 percent of individuals achieved this employment outcome; exceeds the RSA performance standard.

Performance Target: 97.5 percent of individuals will achieve this employment outcome; exceeds the RSA performance standard.

Results: ACCES-VR’s performance on this measure far exceeds the RSA performance measure. However, ACCES-VR continues to strive to increase the employment outcomes with earnings that are at least minimum wage or greater.

RSA Performance Indicator 1.6: Increase the percentage of individuals that report earned income as the largest single source of economic support at the time they exit the VR program; the national standard is 53 percent or greater.

Baseline FFY 2010: 59.8 percent.

Performance FFY 2011: 60.0 percent; exceeds the RSA performance standard.

Performance for FFY 2012: 59.4 percent; exceeds the RSA performance standard.

Performance Target: 64.8 percent.

Results: ACCES-VR’s performance on this measure exceeds the RSA performance measure. However, ACCES-VR strives to increase the number of individuals who report earned income as the largest single source of economic support at the time they exit the VR program.

Goal 1.3: Increase the average hourly earnings of individuals employed after participating in postsecondary training when compared to the average hourly earnings of all employed individuals in the State and approach the national benchmark ratio of .52 (variation on RSA Performance Indicator 1.5 – see Related Measures below).

Baseline FFY 2010: Average wage of individuals with postsecondary training is $11.42 per hour; .40 of the State Average Wage; does not meet the standard.

Performance for FFY 2011: Average wage of individuals with postsecondary training is $11.72 per hour; .41 of the State Average Wage; does not meet the standard.

Performance for FFY 2012: Average wage of individuals with postsecondary training is $11.94 per hour; .41 of the State Average Wage; does not meet the standard.

Performance Target: The long term target is to meet the national benchmark of .52. The short term target is to increase the level of earnings closer to the national benchmark of .52.

Results: Performance on this indicator has improved slightly. In NYS the average hourly wage is $29.69. The FFY 2012 average VR wage of $11.94 is $3.50 less per hour than the required threshold (calculated for the national benchmark ratio of .52) of $15.44. As would be expected, individuals who participate in postsecondary training are earning higher wages on average when compared to all VR participants. Although the average VR wage of individuals who participate in postsecondary training has improved slightly each year since the baseline FFY 2010 was established, these individuals are still securing jobs, on average, at wages below the .52 threshold established by RSA. One factor that might account for lower wages is that ACCES-VR job seekers, while gaining postsecondary training to increase their overall wages, may still be at a disadvantage in comparison to their non-disabled counterparts who may have more work experience, in addition to training, upon entering the job market. Job seekers without disabilities may be tapping into the higher wage opportunities at a greater rate than job seekers with disabilities.

ACCES-VR will continue to use the strategy of supporting higher education and workforce credentials as a means to higher wage employment and careers by developing strategies to address postsecondary work experiences (see Attachment 4.11(d)).

Related Measures:

RSA Performance Indicator 1.5: Average hourly earnings of individuals employed after receiving VR services will be equivalent to at least the minimum wage as a ratio to the State’s average hourly earning for all individuals in NYS who are employed; wage equals .52 or more.

Baseline FFY 2010: The average VR wage of $10.70 per hour is .37 of the State Average Wage ($28.54).

Performance for FFY 2011: The average VR wage of $10.88 is .36 of the State Average Wage ($29.86).

Performance for FFY 2012: The average VR wage of $10.95 per hour is .37 of the State Average Wage ($29.69).

Performance Target: $15.44 per hour would equal .52 of the State Average Wage.

Results: Performance on this indicator remains at the same level for the past seven years. Although the FFY 2012 average wage increased from the FFY 2010 baseline of $10.70 to $10.95, the average VR wage in FFY 2012 would need to be $15.44 in order for NYS to meet the standard for this indicator. ACCES-VR results for this standard remain below the national benchmark, which is set at a ratio of .52. This ratio reflects the relationship of hourly wages earned by individuals at the time of closure (typically 90 days after attaining employment) to the average hourly wage for all workers in the State. The benchmark ratio of .52 is set at just above half of the overall state hourly wage, which is influenced or skewed by the earnings in Manhattan, particularly on Wall Street.

There are many structural forces in the NYS economy that make it challenging for individuals participating in VR to earn a livable wage. Many of the individuals served by ACCES-VR, given the economic need criteria for many VR services, are low-income individuals. A high percentage of individuals served by the VR program are determined to have significant and most significant disabilities. The wide gap in wage distribution in NYS also makes this performance measure particularly problematic for low-income individuals participating in VR services. ACCES-VR still remains committed to improving its performance on this indicator and assisting VR participants in obtaining higher wage outcomes.

Priority 2: Increase services to unserved and underserved groups.

Goal 2.1: The service rate for identified unserved and underserved populations will be commensurate with the NYS population rates for those populations based on race, ethnicity and disability.

RSA Performance Indicator 2.1: The ratio of the percent of individuals with a minority background to the percent of individuals without a minority background exiting the program that received VR services; RSA performance standard > or = .80.

Baseline FFY 2010: .87; exceeds the standard.

Performance for FFY 2011: .89; exceeds the standard.

Performance for FFY 2012: .88; exceeds the standard.

Performance Target: Continue to meet or exceed the RSA performance standard.

Results: In FFY 2012, minority individuals with disabilities received VR services at a rate of 88 individuals for every 100 non-minority individuals.

ACCES-VR continues to exceed the national standard of .80 on this indicator, and has consistently met the performance standard for this indicator since its inception. It is noteworthy that ACCES-VR seems to be serving a higher percentage of black or African-American individuals in comparison to the general NYS population. One factor assisting ACCES-VR in meeting this standard is its effort to hire staff whose diversity reflects the communities we are serving.

Priority 3: Improve the quality of ACCES-VR services.

Goal 3.1: Consumer satisfaction with ACCES-VR services will increase annually toward the target of 90 percent of respondents expressing satisfaction on key questions contained in ACCES-VR consumer satisfaction surveys.

Baseline FFY 2010: 76 percent indicated satisfaction with ACCES-VR services.

Performance for FFY 2011: 77 percent indicated satisfaction with ACCES-VR services.

Performance for FFY 2012: 76 percent indicated satisfaction with ACCES-VR services.

Performance Target: Meet or exceed 90 percent of respondents to consumer satisfaction surveys expressing satisfaction with VR services.

Results: In December, 2011, the Potsdam Institute for Applied Research at SUNY Potsdam sent a survey to 6,825 consumers who had received placement services the previous year. The purpose of the survey was to determine the satisfaction of these consumers with the services they received from ACCES-VR, as well as the outcomes they experienced. There was a 12.7 percent response rate. Over 76 percent of respondents indicated satisfaction with ACCES-VR services, one percent less than those surveyed last year, and below the established target of 90 percent. Only 50 percent of respondents closed without employment reported the same satisfaction. Over 95 percent of the consumers who responded understood that the purpose of ACCES–VR services was to help them get a job, and almost 52 percent reported that orientation sessions were scheduled in less than 30 days.

Goal 3.2: Increase collaboration with community partners, particularly the State agency partners who share responsibility for achieving employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities.

Baseline 2010: ACCES-VR is in the process of developing a Memorandum of Understanding with the NYS Department of Labor (DOL) for a cooperative effort through its Disability Employment Initiative to improve service options and results for individuals with disabilities served through the One-Stop centers.

Performance Target: NYS DOL and ACCES-VR will implement promising practices that improve service results for individuals with disabilities.

Results: As a result of collaboration between ACCES-VR and DOL, there are 13 Disability Resource Coordinators (DRCs) in the upstate New York local Workforce Investment areas, and each have developed work plans to provide services to individuals with disabilities. ACCES-VR and DOL have worked together to create strong workforce collaboration in other areas around the State that do not have DRCs, such as Queens and Cobleskill.

ACCES-VR and DOL have also been working together to increase the employment of youth. Joint ventures included training for VRCs on NY Youth Works; sharing information about the summer youth employment programs and increasing the use of CareerZone to engage youth in planning for employment. CareerZone assists youth to learn about themselves, and to explore their employment interests, employment options and the training that is needed to prepare for such employment.

ACCES-VR and DOL will conduct a joint survey to gather information about the local One-Stop and VR collaboration to further assess common efforts and guide continued coordination.

Goal 3.3: Increase collaboration with employers that may lead to employment outcomes.

Baseline 2011: The ACCES-VR Business Relations Unit is continuing to establish business relationships and develop business accounts. Collaborative projects with the National Employment Team (NET) and other national, State and regional resources, including local One-Stops that have yielded quality employment outcomes.

Performance Target: ACCES-VR will continue to develop collaborative business relationships to increase employment outcomes.

Results: ACCES-VR has multiple federal, State, and regional business relationships. In FFY 2012, the relationship with the NET yielded eight employment outcomes at the Walgreens Retail Employment Disability Initiative (REDI), while ACCES-VR’s work with Walgreens Distribution Center in Queens resulted in 11 employment outcomes. Other ACCES-VR national business relationships include working with Old Castle Envelope, Greyhound, Home Depot and M&T Bank. JLodge has yielded many part-time and full time employment outcomes for individuals who are homebound.

On the statewide level, ACCES-VR has statewide business partnerships with Empire North, Citizens Bank and Southern Wine and Spirits. On the local level the Business Relations Team has multiple local relationships with community rehabilitation providers and local small business across the State which resulted in the majority of ACCES-VR employment outcomes.

 

Goal 1.1.B Supported Employment: Increase the percentage of individuals that achieve an employment outcome after receiving supported employment services.

Baseline FFY 2010: 45.2 percent of all consumers who were closed during the year after having a supported employment Individualized Plan of Employment (IPE) and supported employment authorization, achieved an employment outcome; does not meet the RSA performance standard.

Performance for FFY 2011: 46.5 percent achieved an employment outcome; does not meet the RSA performance standard.

Performance for FFY 2012: 53.3 percent achieved an employment outcome; does not meet the RSA performance standard.

Performance Target: Meet or exceed the RSA performance standard of 55.8 percent.

Results: The percentage of individuals that achieve an employment outcome after receiving supported employment services has been steadily increasing since FFY 2010. In FFY 2012 ACCES-VR achieved a performance indicator of 53.3 percent which is 2.5 percentage points below the national standard of 55.8 percent. Although the ACCES–VR district offices continue to make significant efforts to increase employment outcomes, the results are still affected by the slow economy and high unemployment rate during the last several years.

 

Individual assessments of performance standards and indicators are provided in items one and two above. Although ACCES-VR continues to make steady progress towards achieving its goals, it has not met all its performance standards. ACCES-VR exceeds RSA performance standards for the percentage of individuals (including those who have significant disabilities) that achieve an employment outcome with earnings of at least minimum wage, the percentage of individuals that report earned income as the largest single source of economic support at the time they exit the VR program and for the ratio of the percent of individuals with a minority background to the percent of individuals without a minority background exiting the program that received VR services.

As previously stated, the employment outcome numbers are influenced by many factors, including the overall economic climate in the State. New York State (NYS) experienced a deep recession from 2008 to 2010 which led to increased unemployment. The economic situation began to slowly improve in 2011, but it is still sluggish. Job seekers with disabilities, who may not have the experience of more seasoned workers, are at a distinct disadvantage in the job market.

Many of the individuals served by ACCES-VR, given the economic need criteria for many VR services, are low-income individuals, and a high percentage are determined to have significant and most significant disabilities. This can make it challenging for individuals participating in VR to earn a livable wage. ACCES-VR job seekers, while gaining postsecondary training to increase their overall wages, may still be at a disadvantage in comparison to their non-disabled counterparts who may have more work experience, in addition to training, upon entering the job market. Job seekers without disabilities may be tapping into the higher wage opportunities at a greater rate than job seekers with disabilities. ACCES-VR remains committed to assisting VR participants in obtaining higher wage outcomes and to increasing the number of individuals who report earned income as the largest single source of economic support at the time they exit the VR program.

 

ACCES-VR reserves and uses a portion of federal funds allocated under Section 110 of the Rehabilitation Act for innovation and expansion (I&E) activities, including support of the needs assessment, equitable access and technology.

ACCES-VR uses VR funds for assistive technology at every stage of the rehabilitation process - to improve service delivery to consumers, to improve its Supported Employment Information Directory (SEID) that provides critical data to counseling and management staff to assist them with their job responsibilities, and to improve the electronic case management system, thereby reducing the administrative burdens placed on counseling staff and enhancing the service delivery system through greater efficiencies.

ACCES-VR developed a comprehensive needs assessment and has described in detail in Attachment 4.11(d) its many strategies to improve performance and outcomes for individuals with disabilities. ACCES-VR is also engaged in strategic initiatives to expand and improve services to individuals with disabilities.

This screen was last updated on Jun 21 2013 11:07AM by Karen Lajoie

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

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

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

Individuals with most significant disabilities who participate in VESID supported employment programs engage in job planning, counseling, assessment, job development, intensive job-site training and extended job retention services. Training is also provided to direct service personnel, such as job coaches and job coaching supervisors. New York State’s Chapter 515 of the Laws of 1992 on integrated employment, including supported employment, is implemented through a collaborative interagency process in New York State. VESID is designated as having the primary responsibility for integrated employment, including intensive supported employment services. The State agencies responsible for the extended phase of supported employment work collaboratively with VESID to ensure the provision of comprehensive supported employment services in New York State.

In addition to Chapter 515, the framework for supported employment is established by the following polices and procedural documents:

• the October 1999 Memorandum of Understanding Regarding Supported Employment;

• the Guidelines for Vocational Rehabilitation Services and Employment (March 2007); and

• the Quality Indicators for Supported Employment.

Supported employment providers, in cooperation with the State agencies, have the following responsibilities:

• Actively involve consumers and their families, in assessment, planning and decision making throughout the service delivery process.

• Consider the individual's and employer's satisfaction with the nature and frequency of provider's services and with the job placement itself;

• Through a consumer-centered decision-making process, pursue the goals detailed in the VESID Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) by using supported employment resources to the best advantage of the individual;

• Report in a timely fashion on programmatic and fiscal details;

• Deliver supported employment services in accordance with federal and State standards and the contractual obligations for the service; and,

• Strive continuously to evaluate the effectiveness of the services and make improvements to the services and the results.

Eligibility for Supported Employment

Supported employment services may be provided to any individual who is eligible for vocational rehabilitation services and who meets the criteria stated below, as documented in the record of service:

1. Has a most significant disability, as defined in Section 205.00 of VESID Policy on Individuals with Significant Disabilities;

2. Has not traditionally participated in competitive employment or whose employment has been interrupted or intermittent as a result of a most significant disability; and

3. Has had a comprehensive assessment of rehabilitation needs which identifies supported employment as an appropriate vocational objective and has:

a) the ability to engage in a vocational program leading to supported employment;

b) a need for ongoing support services in order to perform and sustain competitive work;

c) the ability to work in a supported employment setting; and

d) met the criteria for extended service funding.

An Individual with a Most Significant Disability:

(a) has one or more physical or mental disabilities, determined by an assessment of eligibility and vocational rehabilitation needs which cause substantial functional limitations; and

(b) has a severe physical or mental impairment which seriously limits three or more functional capacities (such as mobility, communication, self-care, self-direction, interpersonal skills, work tolerance, or work skills) impacting an employment outcome; and

(c) whose vocational rehabilitation will require multiple vocational rehabilitation services over an extended period of time.

Supported Employment Program Standards

Service quality standards for supported employment have been established through the development and issuance of provider guidelines. Issued in March 2007, the “Guidelines for Supported Employment” were revised with the assistance and involvement of collaborating State agencies, service providers and advocacy groups, with the intent to facilitate access to services and to ensure the quality and consistency of service delivery.

The current guidelines incorporate language changes consistent with the Rehabilitation Act Amendments and corresponding federal regulations and reflect additional changes to bring them into alignment with current contract provisions and with reporting process enhancements. The guidelines also establish a common base of accepted practices and procedures among VESID and supported employment service providers. The guidelines are available on VESID’s website at:

http://www.vesid.nysed.gov/supportedemployment/seguidelines0307.htm .

Supported Employment Program Reporting

Each supported employment project is required to complete individual and quarterly narrative reports in a format specified by the supported employment contracts. The monthly reporting format requires the provider to assess the person's progress in relation to the IPE, indicating any assessment, job development/placement and intensive training services. In addition, onsite reviews are conducted by VESID through a program review protocol to ensure compliance with contract requirements.

Scope of Supported Employment Services

Supported employment services provide all the services necessary to assist the person with:

• Learning specific work duties and performance standards;

• Learning formal and informal site-related expectations (e.g., time and

attendance, dress, communication protocol);

• Acquiring site-appropriate work-related behaviors when dealing with supervisors

and co-workers;

• Acquiring the sense of belonging to the work force;

• Understanding and using the benefits of employment (e.g., spending pay, using leave, participating in employee programs, working under direction from the supervisor, socializing with co-workers); and

• Developing a community support system that accommodates and positively reinforces the employee's role as a worker.

The strategies are customized to the needs of the individual, assisting the individual in meeting employer expectations and improving interpersonal skills. Job coaches use any available community resources in meeting consumer needs as a means of assisting the individual in maintaining employment.

Supported Employment Data

VESID, the Office of Children and Family Services’ Commission for the Blind and Visually Handicapped (CBVH), the Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities (OMRDD) and the Office of Mental Health (OMH) track participation of individuals in their respective supported employment programs. The New York State Interagency Employment Reporting System (NYSIERS) collects data on individuals with disabilities in supported employment programs. This interagency system integrates data from the respective State agencies coordinating supported employment. The NYSIERS database includes:

• hours of pre-employment services, which include screening and assessment, job development, job placement and advocacy;

• hours of onsite and offsite interventions;

• total hours of service provided;

• extended services funding source; and

• average weekly work hours and wages paid.

Discussions are underway to streamline the NYSIERS data that supported employment providers are required to provide.

Each year, the State agencies review their progress and issue an annual report on supported employment. The State Fiscal Year 2006 report is available on the VESID webpage at: http://www.vesid.nysed.gov/vrpolicy/06chapter515/home.htm.

This screen was last updated on Aug 20 2009 3:21PM by Gerri Malone

System Information

System information

The following information is captured by the MIS.

Last updated on:06/28/2013 1:24 PM

Last updated by:sanylajoiek

Completed on: 06/28/2013 1:37 PM

Completed by: sanylajoiek

Approved on: 07/26/2013 3:17 PM

Approved by: rscopopec