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

State Plan for the State Vocational Rehabilitation Services Program and
State Plan Supplement for the State Supported Employment Services Program
Ohio Rehabilitation Services Commission State Plan for Fiscal Year 2012 (submitted FY 2011)

1.1 The Ohio Rehabilitation Services Commission (RSC) 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 RSC [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

RSC Administrator

... 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

RSC Administrator

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

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

State Plan Certified By

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

Signed?
Yes

Name of Signatory
Kevin L. Miller

Title of Signatory
Executive Director

Date Signed (mm/dd/yyyy)
06/23/2011

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 2012
Yes

Comments:

Signed?
Yes

Name of Signatory
Kevin L. Miller

Title of Signatory
RSC Executive Director

Date Signed (mm/dd/yyyy)
06/23/2011

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

Section 1 Footnotes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(a) Conduct of public meetings.

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

(b) Notice requirements.

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

(c) Special consultation requirements.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(a) Designated state agency.

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

  1. The designated state agency is a state agency that is primarily concerned with vocational rehabilitation or vocational and other rehabilitation of individuals with disabilities (Option A was selected/Option B 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
Ohio Rehabilitation Services Commission

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 A 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))

X This agency is requesting a waiver of statewideness.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(c) Coordination with education officials.

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

  1. The State Plan description must:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  1. There is in the state a recipient(s) of a grant under Part C of Title I of the Rehabilitation Act for the provision of vocational rehabilitation services for American Indians who are individuals with disabilities residing on or near federal and state reservations. No

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

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

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

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

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

(a) In general.

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

(b) Employment of individuals with disabilities.

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

(c) Facilities.

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

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

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

(a) Data system on personnel and personnel development.

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

  1. Qualified personnel needs.

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

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

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

  1. Personnel development.

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

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

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

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

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

(c) Personnel standards.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(d) Staff development.

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

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

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

(e) Personnel to address individual communication needs.

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

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

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

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

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

(a) Comprehensive statewide assessment.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(b) Annual estimates.

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

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

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

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

(c) Goals and priorities.

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

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

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

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

  1. provides a justification for the order; and

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

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

(d) Strategies.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(e) Evaluation and reports of progress.

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

  1. Attachment 4.11(e)(2):

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(b) If No:

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

  1. Attachment 4.11(c)(3):

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  1. an immediate job placement; or

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(a) Contracts with for-profit organizations.

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

(b) Cooperative agreements with private nonprofit organizations.

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

Section 6: Program Administration

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  1. specifies the supported employment services to be provided;

  1. describes the expected extended services needed; and

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

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

This agency is an independent commission.

This screen was last updated on Aug 27 2009 11:15AM by Edward West

This agency has requested a waiver of statewideness.

Identify the types of services to be provided by the program for which the waiver of statewideness is requested.

The waiver request should also include:

  • a written assurance from the local public agency that it will make available to the designated state unit the non-federal share of funds;
  • a written assurance that designated state unit approval will be obtained for each proposed service before it is put into effect;
  • a written assurance that all state plan requirements will apply to all services approved under the waiver.

The Ohio Rehabilitation Services Commission (RSC) is requesting a waiver of the statewideness requirement for FFY 2012.

Types of Services to be provided:

At the local level, RSC enters into third party cooperative arrangements with local political subdivisions for the purpose of providing Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) services to individuals with disabilities in those communities. RSC collectively refers to these programs as the Vocational Rehabilitation Public Private Partnerships (VRP3) program. These programs benefit eligible individuals with disabilities by providing specialized services that meet their unique service needs.

RSC is currently working closely with RSA to ensure that the structure of these third-party cooperative arrangements complies with federal regulations governing the VR program. RSC has specific staff (RSC liaison counselors) dedicated to completing the non-delegable functions of the VR program, including eligibility determination, plan and amendment approval, case closure and payment processing functions for these programs using specific procedures supported and enforced in our electronic case management system. RSC provides assurance that designated state unit approval will be obtained for each proposed service provided before it is put in effect. Quality assurance processes and fiscal controls are in place and are being continuously improved to provide appropriate oversight and administrative control over the programs and to ensure that services are provided with high quality standards. Contracts that are developed contain specific process and outcome goals as deliverables; contracts management staff meet with staff from partners on the programs at least quarterly to review program progress.

Our locally-developed agreements include:

Mental Health Programs:

Programs for individuals with mental illness are administered through contracts between ORSC and local Mental Health & Recovery Services Boards and/or Alcohol/Drug Addiction/Mental Health Boards. These boards are public agencies responsible for the administration of mental health services in their respective county or counties. Local County Mental Health and Recovery Services Boards or Alcohol/Drug Addiction/Mental Health Boards provide non-federal share of costs through cash contributions. The local mental health agencies provide vocational rehabilitation case management services for persons with Severe and Persistent Mental Illness (SPMI) who are eligible RSC consumers. Consumers can access these programs through either their local mental health agency or a local RSC office.

VR coordinators (staff of the public agency or their subcontractors) open the VR case and conduct the vocational rehabilitation case management and counseling and guidance in conjunction with an RSC Liaison Counselor. Working together, the local RSC liaison counselors and VR coordinators provide the necessary vocational rehabilitation services for persons with SPMI in a given county. VR coordinators develop linkages with local mental health providers and vocational rehabilitation agencies to develop individual plans for employment that blend therapeutic mental health services with traditional VR services. Specialized programs target needs specific to veterans, transition youth, those with drug/alcohol dependency, ex-offenders, and people with developmental disabilities who have an SPMI diagnosis in addition.

Depending on individual needs, various aspects of the Evidence Based Supported Employment Model may be utilized. This allows consumers who participate in the Mental Health programs to access the full range of vocational services and supports they may need. These services may include vocational evaluation, cognitive behavioral therapy, community based assessments, benefits planning, training, work adjustment, personal/social adjustment, job placement, job coaching and job retention services.

Current programs include contracts with the Ohio Department of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services, Cuyahoga County Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services Board, Franklin County Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services Board, Hamilton County Mental Health and Recovery Services Board, Lucas County Mental Health and Recovery Services Board, Mahoning County Mental Health and Recovery Services Board, Mental Health and Recovery Services Board of Ottawa and Erie Counties, Montgomery Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services Board, Paint Valley Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services Board, Richland County Mental Health and Recovery Services Board, Stark County Mental Health and Recovery Services Board, Summit County Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services Board, and Wood County Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services Board

Developmental Disabilities Programs:

Programs for people with developmental disabilities are administered through contracts between RSC and local county Boards of Developmental Disabilities, Educational Service Centers or State Colleges. These entities are all public agencies that provide the non-federal share of costs through cash contributions. The local public agencies offer vocational rehabilitation case management services geared to the specific needs of this population.

Individuals with disabilities are typically referred for VR services by the local Board of Developmental Disabilities. Referrals may also come via the local RSC office and local school systems. VR coordinators, (employees of the public agency or their subcontractors) open the VR case and conduct the vocational rehabilitation case management and counseling and guidance in conjunction with an RSC Liaison Counselor. VR services through these programs are available for any individual who is eligible for local Board of Developmental Disabilities services. The full range of VR services and supports is available for people participating in Developmental Disabilities programs. In general, Developmental Disabilities programs offer community based assessment, benefits planning, job placement, job coaching, and job retention services.

Programs include contracts with Allen County Board of Developmental Disabilities, Lucas County Board of Developmental Disabilities, Kent State University, Medina County Board of Developmental Disabilities, Richland County Board of Developmental Disabilities, Sandusky County Board of Developmental Disabilities, Washington County Board of Developmental Disabilities, Cuyahoga County Board of Developmental Disabilities, NEON, Marion County Board of Developmental Disabilities, Franklin County Board of Developmental Disabilities, Hancock County Board of Developmental Disabilities, and the Ohio State University Nisonger Center.

Transition Youth Programs:

Programs for transition youth are administered through contracts between RSC and local county Boards of Developmental Disabilities, Educational Service Centers or Colleges. These entities are all public agencies that provide the non-federal share of costs through cash contributions. The local public agencies provide VR case management services geared towards the special needs of this population. Transition youth with disabilities (ages 14-22) are served by these programs, whether they are in school or not. VR coordinators (employees of the public agency or their subcontractors) open the VR case and conduct the vocational rehabilitation case management and counseling and guidance in conjunction with an RSC Liaison Counselor. VR coordinators are engaged with the school individual educational plan (IEP) and transition planning team. They facilitate identifying necessary services and supports with schools, families, Developmental Disabilities Board, RSC, employers and other community agencies. The full range of VR services and supports is available for individuals participating in Transition Youth programs, including post-secondary services and supports. Transition Youth programs generally provide career exploration, benefits planning, job shadowing, mentoring, vocational evaluation, community based assessments, summer work experience, job placement, job coaching and job retention.

Programs include contracts with the Ohio Association of County Boards of Developmental Disabilities, Coshocton County Board of Developmental Disabilities, City of Akron, Stark State College of Technology, Mahoning Educational Services Center, and the Ohio State School for the Blind.

Visual Impairment Programs:

Programs for individuals with visual impairments are administered through contracts between RSC and local municipalities. These entities are all public agencies that provide the non-federal share of costs through cash contributions. In these administrative contracts, local VR staff (RSC staff) maintains management of the eligible individual’s VR case. Services provided by the programs include call center training using adaptive equipment to meet the unique needs of persons with visual impairments and business enterprise on-line training. Low vision assessments, rehabilitation technology/adaptive equipment assessment and training, career development, job shadowing, mentoring, community based work assessments, summer work experience, benefits planning, job placement, job coaching and job retention services are also available as needed.

Programs include contracts with the City of Akron.

Brain Injury (BI) Programs:

Programs for individuals with brain injuries are administered through contracts involving RSC, a county hospital system and a state university. These partners are public agencies that provide the non-federal share of costs through cash contributions. The programs for persons with BI comprise a specialized set of services to meet the unique needs of persons with cognitive impairments. Administrative contracts involve local VR staff (RSC staff or staff associated with other local cooperative arrangements), who maintain management of eligible individuals’ VR cases. These programs incorporate a team of neuropsychologists, physical therapists, occupational therapists, VR counselors, job developers, job coaches and job retention specialists. Programs for persons with BI provide neuropsychology assessments, work hardening programs, gait training, cognitive compensation strategy skill development, vocational evaluation, rehabilitation technology/adaptive equipment evaluations and training, community based work assessments, job placement, job coaching and job retention services, either in group or individual format, as appropriate.

Programs include contracts with The Ohio State University and MetroHealth Medical Center.

Required Written Assurances:

The Ohio Rehabilitation Services Commission (RSC) maintains interagency agreements with the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities (DODD), the Ohio Department of Mental Health (ODMH), the Ohio Department of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services (ODADAS), the Ohio Department of Education (ODE), the Bureau of Workers Compensation (BWC) and the Ohio Board of Regents (BOR). These interagency agreements are currently being renegotiated for the 2012/13 Biennium (July 1, 2011 through June 30, 2013) and will be in place before the start of FFY 2012. Agreements will outline how our systems work together to support the employment of individuals with disabilities whom we jointly serve, providing a framework for the operation of locally developed agreements with County Boards of Developmental Disabilities, County Behavioral Health Authorities, Local School Districts and Ohio’s Public Colleges and Universities.

Contracts that RSC develops with local public agencies to operate third-party cooperative arrangements provide assurance to RSC that the local public agency will make available to RSC the non-federal share of the funds. These contracts also indicate that the local public agency will adhere to all state plan requirements, including order of selection for the provision of VR services in the administration of these arrangements.

As noted above, RSC also provides assurance that designated state unit approval will be obtained for each proposed service before it is put in effect.

This screen was last updated on Jun 23 2011 10:25AM by saohscholtend

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

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

The Ohio Rehabilitation Services Commission (RSC) has a long history of interagency cooperation and utilization of services and facilities of Federal, State and Local agencies and programs not carrying out activities through the statewide workforce investment system which are not mandatory partners in the Workforce Investment Act. These cooperative partnerships contribute towards available services and rehabilitation of individuals with disabilities. RSC does not currently have any cooperative agreements with programs carried out by the Undersecretary for Rural Development of the United States Department of Agriculture or state use contracting programs.

The following information outlines RSC’s cooperative partnerships:

Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC):

RSC expects to continue its Cooperative Agreement with the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) during Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) 2012. RSC and BWC share a mutual interest in providing high quality vocational rehabilitation services to Ohio citizens who have sustained work related injuries. Total program funds (including federal VR funds) are utilized to support the vocational rehabilitation needs of individuals served. To maximize expenditure of all BWC-matched federal VR funds and to ensure high quality of services to mutually eligible individuals, meetings are held between state level RSC and BWC staff to address mutual consumer issues such as referrals and joint plan development.

We are working on a Best Practices document that will outline how mutually eligible individuals are best served. This will include eligibility requirements for individuals falling within the partnership, the roles and responsibilities of both partners including the development of joint plans, and other factors insuring the best possible service to consumers utilizing both systems. This Cooperative Agreement enables both state agencies to meet their respective missions in providing vocational rehabilitation services and increasing employment rates for individuals with disabilities.

Ohio Department of Mental Health (ODMH):

Historically speaking, RSC and the Ohio Department of Mental Health (ODMH) have long maintained a written Cooperative Agreement. Since this agreement lapsed during the last biennium, RSC desires to resume a formal written Cooperative Agreement with ODMH. Despite the current lack of a formal agreement, RSC and ODMH representatives have continued to work closely together at a systems level on various inter-agency committees and workgroups to assure the appropriate delivery of services to mutually eligible consumers. At the local level, RSC offices cultivate ongoing relationships and collaborations with local mental health agencies and providers to ensure high-quality service delivery to individuals with mental illness.

The 2009 Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment (CSNA) for the VR program identified individuals with psychosocial impairments as an under-served population, and our internal reports indicate that the rehabilitation rate with this population is lower than that for other disability groups. The joint projects between RSC and ODMH that will support improvements in these areas include:

• Participation in the Johnson & Johnson’s Community Mental Health Program and Dartmouth University’s Psychiatric Research Centers on Supported Employment Evidence-Based Practice. The nineteen grant sites are reporting data to Dartmouth, which indicates that the average employment rate for Ohio participants is 35 percent. As expected from previous research on this model, the data shows that the employment rates for participants with severe mental illnesses are increasing.

• A statewide workgroup co-hosted by RSC and ODMH that focuses on maintaining communication, collaboration and impacting policy and procedures that may impede the two systems from providing effective and efficient services to our mutual consumers and community stakeholders. During the next year, this collaboration has prioritized facilitating community partnership conversations between front-line RSC and ODMH staff for system improvements, establishing statewide benefits planning prioritization and education, continuing stakeholder education around RSC’s order of selection and developing standardized resources for individual referrals.

Department of Developmental Disabilities (DODD):

RSC and the Department of Developmental Disabilities (DODD) have maintained a state level partnership for more than 20 years, providing the operational framework for the continued joint coordination of VR and employment services. The departments share a vision of providing a comprehensive array of community support services resulting in competitive employment outcomes. As part of our Cooperative Agreement, designated state-level staff meet regularly to facilitate ongoing conversation, to review and document the effectiveness of the agreement, to provide input as to each agency’s state plan and to identify opportunity for additional collaborations and partnerships. RSC and DODD will continue to support working relationships and collaborations at the local level between RSC field offices and County Boards of Developmental Disabilities. Collaborative activities include cross training to address issues of appropriate referrals, new directives from each agency, practices in serving mutual consumers and what services are needed to assist mutually eligible individuals towards competitive employment.

The 2009 Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment identified individuals with developmental disabilities as an underserved population, and our internal reports reflect a lower rehabilitation rate for individuals with developmental disabilities than for other disability groups. RSC is partnering with DODD on several projects that will support improvements in access to services and steps towards success for this population. DODD has been working on an Employment First initiative that will promote community employment within its system. RSC plans to continue to support DODD in this effort, both from a systems level and at the individual service level. RSC and DODD also share an interest in the development and implementation of Customized Employment programs for individuals with disabilities. DODD is implementing Ohio’s Medicaid Infrastructure Grant (MIG) which has funded training and consultation for local boards and providers to develop and implement Customized Employment programs and RSC has used ARRA funding to do the same. During the next year, RSC and DODD will also hold a series of café conversations meant to engage stakeholder input into service delivery and customer service.

Ohio Board of Regents (OBR):

RSC and the Ohio Board of Regents (OBR) maintain a Cooperative Agreement to outline how the VR program and Ohio’s college and university system will work together to support VR eligible individuals with disabilities attending post-secondary educational institutions. The agreement is based on establishing processes for referral development, coordinating services and sharing appropriate student information. RSC sees this partnership as an important component for meeting standards and indicators related to wages attained for outcomes of Ohio’s VR program and for raising the quality of outcomes that we assist individuals with disabilities to achieve overall. The Cooperative Agreement also supports the OBR in meeting the goals of its 10 year Strategic Plan for Higher Education, including graduating more students, keeping them in Ohio and attracting new talent to the state. At the state level, this agreement will help attract students with disabilities to higher education, enable them to persist on to graduation, and then enter the workforce equipped with the knowledge and skills necessary for success.

During FFY 2012, RSC will continue to designate a liaison to facilitate communication with OBR and with Disability Services Offices at Ohio’s colleges and universities. In addition, RSC agrees to work with Ohio’s colleges and universities in cross training efforts and activities that result in better services to students with disabilities.

Ohio Department of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services (ODADAS):

The Cooperative Agreement between RSC and the Ohio Department of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services (ODADAS) was established to address the strategic need to support comprehensive vocational rehabilitation for individuals with mental health and/or substance abuse disabilities. This statewide partnership incorporates local county boards of mental health and/or addiction services to provide vocational rehabilitation services focused on consumers in the following categories: Individuals with Opiate Dependence and/or Mental Illness, Veterans with Substance Abuse and/or Mental Illness, Transition Students with Substance Abuse and/or Mental Illness, Individuals with Substance Abuse and/or Mental Illness exiting correctional systems, and Individuals with Severe and Persistent Mental Illness. Since the priority populations for this project have historically been underserved and/or experienced high rates of unsuccessful outcomes as noted above, this project involves a new type of partnership in hopes that collaborative services can produce better and more sustainable VR outcomes.

RSC recognizes the importance of partnering with other state agencies to ensure the best possible quality of service to eligible individuals with disabilities. During FFY 2011, RSC will be working to significantly expand the cooperative agreements developed. In particular, agreements with the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections (DRC), the Ohio Department of Youth Services (DYS), the Ohio Department of Aging (DA), and the Ohio Department of Veterans Services will be pursued.

In addition to these state level cooperative agreements, RSC enters into cooperative arrangements with local political entities through the Vocational Rehabilitation Public Private Partnerships (VRP3) program. Details regarding this program are outlined in Attachment 4.7(b)(3).

This screen was last updated on Jun 23 2011 10:32AM by saohscholtend

  • 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.

Plans, Policies and Procedures for Coordination with Education Officials

Ohio has a long history of promoting interagency initiatives and agreements designed to facilitate the transition of students with disabilities from school to the receipt of vocational rehabilitation services. Collaboration includes a Cooperative Agreement with the Ohio Department of Education (DOE), Office of Exceptional Students. RSC has worked with the DOE to establish a publication entitled “A Guide to Transition Services: Helping Students with Disabilities Move from School to Work,” which is widely distributed to school personnel, as well as to students with disabilities and their families. This publication is currently in its second edition, and RSC would like to begin work on a third edition during Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) 2012 to reflect current agency vision and priorities.

RSC has established a number of VR policies and procedures that include provisions for the coordination of services for youth with disabilities across the state. These include VR policies related to Eligibility and the Individual Plan for Employment (IPE.) RSC is currently developing a Vocational Rehabilitation Procedures Manual to consolidate various miscellaneous procedures and guidance into one document, which will be available on RSC’s internet. This will allow the public, including people with disabilities and our various community partners, wider awareness of our various rules and regulations. The on-line VR manual will include a chapter on services to transition youth.

RSC tracks progress in providing services to students with disabilities through statistical data reports that include the numbers of transition youth served and rehabilitated, as well as wage and hour information and success rates (i.e., rehabilitation). In addition to these tools, the Ohio Department of Education provides Operating Standards for Ohio’s Schools to guide the provision of special education and related services for students with disabilities that are also useful in designing our future planning for services to students with disabilities.

Development of the Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE)

RSC has policies governing Ohio’s VR program operation in compliance with CFR 361.45, ensuring that the Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) for transition youth is developed as early as is reasonably possible, but no later than the time at which the student leaves the school setting (unless that student is on a waiting list for services given that Ohio is operating under an Order of Selection). Specifically, RSC’s VR Policy-0900 states The Individual Plan for Employment (IPE) services must be developed and approved (i.e., agreed to and signed by the student and VR counselor) prior to the eligible student exiting school. VR agencies are authorized to finance transition services only for students who have been determined eligible under the VR program and who have an approved IPE.

It should be noted that as a part of Ohio’s plans for continuous improvement to the VR program, we have been working to engage students with disabilities at earlier ages than previously. The current edition of “A Guide to Transition Services: Helping Students with Disabilities Move from School to Work,” indicates our earlier practice of requesting referral for VR services for transition youth two years prior to leaving the school setting. We are now promoting referrals for VR service at age 14 so that we can become involved with the student earlier, thus becoming a more active participant in the transition planning process overall. This earlier intervention is expected to promote a better success rate (i.e., rehabilitation rate) and higher quality outcomes (i.e., wage per hour) for students with disabilities and will enhance RSC’s performance on these standards and indicators for the program.

Cooperative Agreement with the Ohio Department of Education (ODE)

As mentioned above, RSC and the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) have a Cooperative Agreement which is currently in the process of being renegotiated for the next biennium (State Fiscal Years 2012 and 2013.)

In the context of this agreement, RSC and ODE work cooperatively to:

• improve shared efforts to prepare youth with disabilities for successful careers, community jobs and independent living;

• outline a collaborative framework for coordinating state and local services and resources; and

• provide basic 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 VR services.

The objectives of the Cooperative Agreement between RSC and ODE are based on federal and state-mandated program and regulatory requirements for both agencies. These objectives are:

• To develop and implement procedures for outreach and identification of students with disabilities for the purpose of informing students about the VR program, application procedures, eligibility requirements and potential scope of services.

• To provide information about each agency’s role and responsibilities, including provisions for financial responsibilities, determining the State lead and qualified personnel responsible for transition services.

• To provide guidance to educational agencies and local vocational rehabilitation personnel responsible for facilitating the transition planning process; and, the development and completion of Individualized Education Program (IEP) and Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE.)

• To provide information about consultation and technical assistance resources to assist schools and related community support entities in planning for the transition of students with disabilities from school to post-school activities.

It should be noted that ODE is also an important partner within RSC’s Transition Grant from the Rehabilitation Services Administration. RSC has entered into Youth Transition Agreements with both the ODE and Kent State University to assist in supporting the implementation of the first three years of this five year transition grant. The current funding period for these agreements covers FFY 2011, and it is expected that these agreements will continue. The overall goal of this grant is to make tangible improvement in the delivery of transition services to Ohio’s youth with disabilities.

Consultation and Technical Assistance under the Cooperative Agreement

RSC and ODE have designated personnel both at the state and the local school district level to provide transition services. At the state level, ODE and RSC have designated staff providing oversight and leadership for the development of policies, procedures, interagency training and other state-level partnership activities for transition services. VR counselors are assigned as liaisons to schools to serve transition students on targeted and/or general caseloads. They also participate on interagency transition teams in both special education and career-technical education programs. ODE offers transition-to-work specialists at the local school district level who facilitate the transition services outlined in the IEP.

RSC staff at the state and local level provide consultation and technical assistance to school personnel, students, families and other agency partners through formal and informal trainings, joint problem solving and the exchange of information on policies and procedures. VR counselors serve as liaisons to local schools, regularly attend IEP meetings for prospective referrals and serve in an advisory capacity on state and local interagency groups. They also make presentations at state and local conferences and training seminars and participate in local district career fairs and other interagency forums to provide information on VR eligibility and services.

Transition Planning under the Cooperative Agreement

The Cooperative Agreement outlines how transition planning is to occur at the local level for individual students with disabilities. Specifically, it designates that referral for VR eligibility, planning and coordination of services occurs when school district personnel, in partnership with family as appropriate, has begun to identify transition or other post-secondary services targeting an employment outcome on the IEP. This should begin no later than two years prior to the student exiting the education system. RSC’s efforts over the last year on initiating services to transition youth at age 14 (mentioned above) promote early planning and the coordination of IEP and IPE services for students prior to exiting school. Earlier RSC contact also provides a venue for ongoing consultation and technical assistance to school personnel, the student/family and other transition planning team members.

Roles and Responsibilities under the Cooperative Agreement

The Cooperative Agreement outlines roles and responsibilities for local VR staff as well as staff of the Local Education Agency (LEA). Specifically, it is the responsibility of the LEA to provide services to which a student is entitled under IDEA, while it is RSC’s responsibility to provide and pay for VR services to eligible students as necessary to reach the goal as identified on the approved IPE. VR services complement but do not take the place of services provided by schools. Services are coordinated with the Individual Plan for Employment (IPE) during the IEP meeting and/or other transition planning meetings. The Transition planning team includes the student, the family, school personnel and, when appropriate, the RSC counselor.

Outreach to Non-Special Education Youth under the Cooperative Agreement

RSC also works in collaboration with ODE to conduct outreach to Non-Special Education Youth with Disabilities. VR counselors network with teachers, guidance counselors, nurses, psychologists and other school personnel to target students receiving services under a 504 plan. Through outreach efforts to local community agencies and organizations, VR counselors are able to identify students with disabilities who may have dropped out of school and are in need of VR services to become taxpaying citizens. Counselors also disseminate “A Guide to Transition Services: Helping Students with Disabilities Move from School to Work” booklet to students and families through parent information centers and child advocacy groups. Finally, RSC partners with state and local agencies, WIA boards and youth councils, community rehabilitation programs, parent advocacy groups, and other public and private entities to co-sponsor career fairs, transition trainings, WIA youth conferences and transition weekends as venues to outreach to non-special education students with disabilities and their families.

This screen was last updated on Jun 23 2011 10:36AM by saohscholtend

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

To date, the Ohio Rehabilitation Services Commission (RSC) has not established cooperative agreements with private, non-profit Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) service providers. Instead, RSC purchases vocational rehabilitation services on a fee-for-service basis from providers accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF), the Joint Commission (JC), the National Accreditation Council for agencies serving the Blind and Visually Impaired (NAC), or which are certified by the Academy of Certification of Vision Rehabilitation & Education Professionals (ACVREP) per OAC 3304-1-12. RSC also purchases services from providers licensed by the State of Ohio to provide specific services per OAC 3302-2-53.

After the 2008 monitoring visit, Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) staff commented in the monitoring report that the way RSC establishes the costs of services provided by Community Rehabilitation Programs (CRPs) may contribute to costs of services for both successful and unsuccessful case closures that are consistently and significantly higher than peer states and national averages for general and combined VR agencies. RSA recommended that RSC conduct an analysis of the manner in which RSC develops strategies to control the agency’s costs for successful and unsuccessful outcomes based on this analysis. In addition, RSA observed that RSC did not clearly specify the obligations and requirements it places on vendors when providing VR services. RSA recommended that RSC enter into comprehensive contractual agreements with CRPs with the goal of providing specific requirements for similar services offered throughout the state, while allowing for flexibility in rates charged, according to location and service population. This would enable individuals with disabilities to receive the same quality of service, with all the required components of that service, regardless of the location of the CRP.

With approximately 4000 currently eligible individuals with disabilities waiting for VR services, RSC is exploring cost savings of any kind. This includes conducting a current review of how we are purchasing services in all areas. Based upon this analysis, RSC plans to implement new strategies for the purchase of services in hopes of achieving greater fiscal and quality controls of services purchased for individuals with disabilities. This can generate an important way for RSC to improve service to individuals currently waiting for services, since cost and time savings achieved from these new processes will be channeled to serve additional eligible individuals with disabilities. We expect these processes to include the purchase of services through Cooperative Agreements and/or contracts for many services, including those from Community Rehabilitation Programs. Additionally, we are issuing Requests for Proposals (RFPs) seeking the best price for some goods and services. Care will be taken, however, to ensure that selection methods do not overly restrict consumer choice of service providers available.

This screen was last updated on Jun 23 2011 10:36AM by saohscholtend

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.

As described in Attachment 4.8 (b)(1), the Ohio Rehabilitation Services Commission (RSC), the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities (DODD), and the Ohio Department of Mental Health (ODMH) have consistently worked together to serve mutually eligible individuals with disabilities. Recently, RSC has also entered into a cooperative agreement with the Ohio Department of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services (ODADAS) that will also support these efforts of interagency collaboration. This inter-agency practice involves planning and communication at the local, regional and state levels, including planning for supported employment and extended services. As we work with individuals with more significant disabilities, the development of long-term supportive services is more important than ever. Though local conversations continue with county boards, limited resources have impacted the ability of some boards to set aside funding for the long-term supports associated with supported employment programs needed in various communities.

RSC works with the DODD to help in the transition of individuals with developmental disabilities into long terms supports that are funded through Medicaid. VR staff assists in completing paperwork necessary for this funding to ensure that these fiscal resources can be leveraged. This process is outlined in our Cooperative Agreement with DODD.

ODMH funds a Coordinating Center for Excellence (CCOE) for Supported Employment for individuals with mental illness through block grant funding. This center has provided training to RSC staff and plays a role on our statewide employment committee, as well as participating in other workgroups. RSC continues to collaborate with the Johnson & Johnson’s Community Mental Health Program and Dartmouth University’s Psychiatric Research Center Supported Employment Project in collaboration with the Ohio Department of Mental Health. As we seek a Cooperative Agreement with ODMH, these collaborative elements will be included.

During the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) 2008 monitoring visit, RSA suggested that RSC was likely under-utilizing and/or under-reporting supported employment outcomes. It is most likely that RSC has both under-reported and under-utilized such outcomes. RSA recommended that RSC conduct an analysis of local area agreements to determine how to improve these agreements to increase the area and agency-level performance in terms of number and quality of supported employment outcomes achieved. As outlined in Attachment 6.3, RSC is currently in the process of updating supported employment policies and procedures, which should provide a strong foundation to address this recommendation.

This screen was last updated on Jun 23 2011 11:14AM by saohscholtend

Data System on Personnel and Personnel Development

Like all State of Ohio agencies, the Ohio Rehabilitation Services Commission (RSC) continues to integrate an Enterprise Resource Planning System to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the administrative processes across all state government agencies. This ERP system, called OAKS (Ohio Administrative Knowledge System), integrates the functions of capital improvements, financials, fixed assets, human resources and procurement. Reports are available in OAKS that allow RSC to track current staffing levels, historical staffing patterns, staff ratios and other pertinent information.

Projections of Personnel Needed:

While the need for vocational rehabilitation services for people with disabilities would suggest that additional personnel are necessary to appropriately serve all eligible individuals, current budget limitations prohibit RSC from significantly increasing staffing levels at this time. We anticipate that the need for professional and paraprofessional staffing as listed below will stay the same or decrease during FFY 2012.

Projections of Personnel Needed in 5 Years:

Beginning signs of economic recovery brings hope of increased opportunities for RSC to grow the VR program to meet the needs of all eligible individuals in the state. As a result, we expect that the need for additional staff will increase to match our state’s VR needs. Emphasis would be given to positions that directly serve individuals with disabilities, so the greatest area of need would likely be Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors and Caseload Assistants (Vocational Rehabilitation Assistant Counselors), as well as Supervisory staff.

Qualified Personnel Needs:

At the end of FFY 2010, RSC employed 235 Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors (VRCs). The number of individuals served through the Bureau of Vocational Rehabilitation (BVR) and the Bureau of Services for the Visually Impaired (BSVI) in FFY 2010 was 24,774. [Served in this context is calculated as the total number of individuals on hand in status 11 (plan development) and beyond as of the conclusion of the Federal Fiscal Year (9/30/10) or closed during the fiscal year, excluding those closed before plan development was initiated.] The ratio of VRCs to consumers, based on these figures, stands at 105 individuals with disabilities served per VRC.

RSC has no current vacancies, since while natural attrition continues, we are not filling the vacated positions, owing to lacking the budget necessary to do so. This situation will likely continue for the foreseeable near future.

 

Row Job Title Total positions Current vacancies Projected vacancies over the next 5 years
1 Account Clerk 3, Clerk 2, Office asst. 3 44 0 10
2 Executive Secretary 1, Administrative Assistant 1, 18 0 5
3 Business Enterprise Specialist, Business Operation 23 0 5
4 Deputy Director 4,5 3 0 2
5 Account Examiner 2 38 0 10
6 Rehabilitation Program Specialists 9 0 5
7 VRC 3,4 (Employer Services) VRC4(Rehab. Teacher) 9 0 5
8 Vocational Rehabilitation Administrator 1, 3 5 3 5
9 Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor 3,4 Asst. Coun 238 0 50
10 Vocational Rehabilitation Manager 1, 2 VR Supervis 32 0 5

 

Personnel Development:

Ohio has five current CORE-accredited (Council on Rehabilitation Education) master of rehabilitation counseling programs. These programs are offered at Bowling Green State University, Kent State University, Ohio University, Wright State University, and Wilberforce University, a historically Black university.

Through contacting all five CORE-accredited MRC programs in Ohio, we learned of a total of 134 students enrolled in the four programs reporting statistics. Of those, 114 are full-time and20 are part-time students. Wright State University does not track full-time or part-time status, as WSU students routinely vary course loads. For reporting purposes, their numbers are included as full-time students.

Sixty-four (64) students graduated from the programs above, all of whom are qualified to be VRCs with RSC. Since the state of Ohio neither certifies nor licenses vocational rehabilitation counselors, data is not maintained on those areas. Of note, all graduates are eligible to sit for the nationally recognized Certified Rehabilitation Counselor examination, administered by the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification.

 

Row Institutions Students enrolled Employees sponsored by agency and/or RSA Graduates sponsored by agency and/or RSA Graduates from the previous year
1 Bowling Green State University 0 0 0 0
2 Kent State University 43 0 0 20
3 Ohio University 36 0 0 21
4 Wright State University 46 0 0 4
5 Wilberforce University 9 0 0 6

 

Plan for Recruitment, Preparation and Retention of Qualified Personnel

Recruitment:

RSC has not expanded our Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) table of organization since January 2008. Recruitment is viewed as a responsibility shared by all staff. Due to continued hiring controls for state agencies, RSC has not hired VRCs since January 2008. Therefore, no formal recruitment activities toward the sourcing and hiring of qualified VR professionals have occurred. However, RSC’s recruiter continues to maintain contacts at Ohio’s CORE-accredited universities, as well as universities in contiguous states. RSC continues to offer unpaid internships; however, since students generally search for paid internship sites, RSC has had few interns since 2007.

RSC seeks a diverse and qualified staff committed to RSC’s mission and vision, a staff reflecting Ohio’s population as a whole. Specific strategies and action steps have been identified to achieve this. RSC is constantly updating and implementing the recruitment plan to address the current and projected needs for personnel who are qualified in accordance with paragraph (c) of this section. When the agency is able to hire VRCs, HR will review recruitment methods current at that time and assimilate them into the recruiting plan.

RSC’s goal is to have a diverse and qualified staff committed to RSC’s mission and vision that reflects Ohio’s population. RSC is constantly updating and implementing the recruitment plan to address the current and projected needs for personnel who are qualified in accordance with paragraph (c) of this section.

There are 5 Council on Rehabilitation Education (CORE)-accredited universities in Ohio and RSC has strong ties to each program. The program at Wilberforce University, a Historically Black College or University (HBCU), is an excellent resource for minority candidates. RSC’s recruiter and the program coordinators discuss issues relating to career opportunities, recruiting challenges, and training needs. RSC’s recruiter and VRCs make presentations to graduate classes and serve on advisory boards. In addition, VR staff serves as adjunct faculty at various programs. Additionally, RSC’s recruitment efforts extend beyond Ohio at several CORE-accredited universities including the University of Maryland – Eastern Shore, another HBCU, the University of Kentucky and West Virginia University. RSC has provided internship sites for students from these universities and hired several students as a result of these recruitment efforts and internships.

RSC commits significant resources to recruiting and hiring diverse and qualified staff who embrace RSC’s mission and vision that reflects Ohio’s population. Specific strategies for recruiting and hiring qualified VRCs are diverse and broad-reaching. In Ohio, Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor (VRC) vacancies are filled through a multi-part examination. Announcements are posted for a three-to-four week period and a recruitment campaign is launched simultaneously. The campaign is multi-faceted and includes a variety of mediums such as web-based advertising, print advertising, networking, partnering with CORE-accredited universities, and outreach to minority communities and disability populations.

Sourcing, recruiting and hiring qualified candidates to be Rehabilitation Counselors for the Deaf (RCDs) and Spanish-speaking VRCs will continue to be a challenge. Minority outreach is extensive and includes a relationship with Gallaudet University as a resource to market career opportunities. In addition, Kent State University currently has a grant that provides training for counselors to work with deaf and hard-of-hearing consumers. RSC has hired several graduates from this program. An additional strategy includes partnering with RSC’s Office of Diversity to identify resources for qualified candidates to fill these critical positions. RSC advertises in publications targeting specific communities (e.g., Fronteras Columbus), attends career fairs and cultural events that are Hispanic-specific (e.g., Ohio Hispanic Career Expo). RSC will continue to identify recruitment resources that will be valuable sources of qualified diversity candidates. An additional strategy includes partnering with RSC’s Equal Employment Opportunity Manager to identify resources for qualified candidates to fill these critical positions.

RSC continues to recruit at both the state and national level by recruiting at the Ohio Rehabilitation Association state conferences and at the National Rehabilitation Association conferences. RSC will continue to be a recruiting presence at the Ohio Rehabilitation Association Annual Conference. RSC expects to continue to be one of the only state agencies with a recruiting presence at this conference. Frequent follow-up contacts with conference participants keeps them interested in opportunities at RSC. In addition, RSC will maintain a presence in those states contiguous to Ohio through print advertisements in state rehabilitation conference programs, recruitment advertising, presentations to human service undergraduate students and master’s in rehabilitation counseling graduate students.

Without technology, RSC would not be able to reach the number of candidates that it does. Well over half of all applicants find out about employment opportunities from web-based sources. As these sources continue to grow RSC evaluates their effectiveness as a recruitment source.

RSC works closely with organizations both within Ohio and nationally to identify qualified individuals with disabilities. HR apprises our own Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors (VRCs) each time a viable vacancy occurs at RSC. Our VRCs can then notify their qualified consumers about the opportunity.

RSC’s recruiter makes good use of VR staff to participate in recruitment events such as university career fairs and presentations to qualifying master’s degree students. At colleges and universities throughout Ohio, the RSC recruiter and VRCs attend career fairs, meet with staff from career services, student disability services and student minority affairs offices to provide information about career opportunities both at the state agency and in the field of vocational rehabilitation.

 

Personnel Standards:

The educational standard for Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors at RSC is the national standard, as no standard is defined in the State of Ohio for vocational rehabilitation professionals. RSC has defined the standard as: a Masters of Rehabilitation Counseling or a Master’s degree in a closely related field (e.g., counseling, social work, psychology, sociology, special education, communication disorders, human services); or current certification as a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC).

When new VRCs are hired with a Masters in a closely related field, their official transcripts often do not reflect coursework in counseling theories and techniques. These VRCs are required to successfully complete a course or courses in counseling theories and techniques within four years of hire. In this way, RSC ensures that those counselors can effectively provide appropriate vocational guidance and counseling services. All current VRCs hired with a related Master’s degree have already completed this requirement.

 

Preparation:

RSC is a learning organization, with a continued commitment to fostering the skill development of staff at all levels. Specifically, vocational rehabilitation staff is afforded both internal and external educational opportunities for position-specific skill mastery. RSC encourages staff to pursue knowledge related to the changing needs of the agency, the individuals we serve and the evolution of the VR role.

Personnel training needs are projected annually; input comes from staff training needs assessments (including surveys and focus groups), priorities pinpointed by bureau and team managers, the articulated needs of our customers, state and federal priorities relating to the rehabilitation of persons with disabilities and training initiatives identified on our Federal In-Service Training Grant. VR staff is encouraged to participate in a monthly video conference training series designed to address policy and procedural changes, community resources, ethics, legal processes or other issues as they arise in the state system. Additionally, AWARE, a new electronic case management system will be implemented no later than September 2011 following statewide training. Further, staff is encouraged to maintain and increase technical skills by attending continuing education courses, (both live and web based.) Such learning opportunities are sponsored by RSC, VR community partners, and conferences offered through professional associations, including those necessary to maintain appropriate licensure (e.g., NRA, ORA).

Conferences and other training attended by RSC staff include, but are not limited to: Medical and Psychosocial Aspects of Disabilities; Ohio Rehabilitation Association Annual Conference; Gateways Multi-Disciplinary Biennial Training Conference; Social Security Work Incentives; Social Capital Training; Eligibility and Order of Selection Training; Helping Prepare Consumers for Federal Employment; Traumatic Brain Injury Conference and online or in person training provided by Technical Assistance and Continuing Education (TACE) program.

As a learning organization, RSC is intentional in addressing employees’ professional development. Specifically, a leadership development program (LDP) has been implemented with the goal of providing interested and talented staff with the skills necessary to become effective supervisors and managers. The LDP is a year-long program that has included topics such as Leadership Competencies, Influencing Skills, Business Practices & Facilitating Change, Project Management, Strategic Planning, Problem Solving/Decision Making and Creative Thinking. Additionally, participants were afforded the opportunity to hone presentation and public speaking skills, as well as gaining exposure to higher-level agency administrative functions through cross-functional agency team projects.

Projects for the teams included creating a proposal for agency wide customer service standards and expectations, agency on-boarding (new employee orientation), a system for agency contact with diverse outreach groups/communities in Ohio, and call center reporting and service improvements for the Bureau of Disability Determination.

Contributions made by LDP participants in these team projects have been relevant and tangible.

We are currently focusing on our efforts towards continuous improvement of the program based upon feedback from both the participants and management staff that have hired graduates of the program. For example, New Employee Orientation now more clearly articulates RSC’s mission, emphasizing the importance of customer service, as well as highlighting the vital role our employees play in providing direct and indirect services to our consumers. RSC’s on-boarding process emphasizes the priorities of the agency as a whole, accomplished through rolling, 2 part orientations for any new staff, regardless of bureau, position or classification. On-boarding now includes an opportunity for increased interaction with leadership staff, as well as an augmented session surrounding disability awareness/education.

We anticipate that our next LDP class will begin mid/late 2011 and that it again will prove mutually advantageous, with a focus on effective service delivery, program management and change management.

RSC continues to emphasize development of its current leaders through a series of workshops for supervisory, management and non-supervisory exempt staff. A Supervisory Core Curriculum has been developed and will be implemented mid-2011 to ensure that current and potential supervisors have a solid, consistent foundation as they lead staff. Core curriculum courses offered annually include: Transitioning from Peer to Boss, Teambuilding and Coaching, Taking Accountability, Performance Appraisal, Conflict Resolution, Managing Change, Priority Planning, Running Effective Meetings, Coping with Stress and Project Management.

RSC maintains membership in numerous professional organizations, multi-agency committees and partnerships. Such affiliations allow RSC employees access to the most current research and related erudition opportunities. RSC disseminates information obtained from these and other sources primarily via director and regularly scheduled staff meetings.

Retention:

RSC values its employees and strives to create a work environment that supports the retention of qualified staff. The availability of training as described above as well as the Leadership Development Program serve to keep staff feeling challenged and interested in future opportunities for growth, whether in a current position or in seeking a promotion. RSC has also sponsored structured recognition programs to formally acknowledge staff accomplishments. This program is currently being evaluated in light of improving effectiveness.

 

RSC has 11 Rehabilitation Counselors for the Deaf who are bilingual. Additionally, 4 staff are employed who have bilingual skills in Spanish.

 

RSC and the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) collaborate on a regular basis to provide guidance to educational agencies and vocational rehabilitation personnel responsible for facilitating transition services, and to provide information about consultation and technical assistance resources to assist schools and related community support entities in planning for transition of students with disabilities.

At the state level both agencies have designated personnel that provide oversight and leadership for the development of policies, procedures, interagency training and other state-level partnership activities for transition services. At the local level, VR counselors are assigned as liaisons to schools and local school districts have transition to work specialists that collaborate together.

This screen was last updated on Jul 18 2011 11:04AM by saohsammonse

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

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

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

Results of the Most Recent Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment

The most recent Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment (CSNA), released in April 2010, was a collaborative effort between the Statewide Independent Living Council and the Ohio Rehabilitation Services Commission’s (RSC’s) Brain Injury Program. Thus, in addition to looking at service needs related to vocational rehabilitation, the assessment also reviewed independent living needs and needs of individuals with brain injury and their families. The methodology included three surveys: one designed for individuals with disabilities (including specific questions related to independent living and brain injury); a second for employers; and a third for community rehabilitation programs. In addition to the survey results, numerous internal and external reports were compiled and reviewed.

Besides the CSNA, RSC has conducted two series of Café Conversations, one in March, 2010 and another in May, 2011. Close to 1400 individuals with disabilities and interested community members attended the March 2010 conversations and approximately 100 attended the 2011 conversations. Results of this dialogue included the following feedback:

• The vocational rehabilitation process, intake and orientation in particular, are difficult to navigate.

• The program needs to do a better job helping people achieve employment outcomes.

• Transportation is a significant barrier that needs to be addressed.

• The program should do a better job marketing service to employers.

• There is concern about people not being served because of being on a waiting list.

• There is a need for focus on transition services.

• There is some inconsistency in the manner in which VR offices operate across the state.

It should be noted that although Ohio is not required to conduct another CSNA until 2013, RSC is currently drafting a Request for Proposal to select a vendor to conduct a CSNA to be completed in FFY 2012. We believe that updating this information sooner than required will provide timely information to make strategic decisions about needed program improvements.

Needs of Individuals with the Most Significant Disabilities, Including the Need for Supported Employment

Results of the CSNA, Café Conversations and internal statistical reports point to the need to improve current strategies for helping individuals with the most significant disabilities become successfully employed. Strategies for making improvements in this area are detailed in Attachment 4.11(d) and our progress to date in making improvements is detailed in Attachment 4.11 (e)(2). Expanding the availability of long-term supports for people seeking supported employment outcomes is also necessary. Attachment 4.11(c)(4) describes RSC’s priorities in this area.

Needs of Individuals with Disabilities Who are Minorities or Others Who have been Unserved or Underserved by the Vocational Rehabilitation Program

RSC is working to improve its service rate for individuals with disabilities from minority backgrounds. Currently, Ohio’s service rate is below the benchmark identified for this evaluation standard. Ohio has submitted a letter to the Commisioner of the Rehabilitation Services Administration outlining our strategies for making improvements in this area. RSC will continue to utilize these strategies over the course of Federal Fiscal Year 2012.

Needs of Individuals with Disabilities Served through Other Components of the Statewide Workforce Investment System

RSC has continued to partner with One Stop operations at the local level. Currently we are closing a number of field offices and embedding counseling staff in the community where they can be more accessible to individuals with disabilities. Through this process, we are increasing our presence overall at the One-Stop centers. This will help us stay connected with the needs of individuals with disabilities served through the Workforce Investment System.

This updated CSNA will also be evaluating the service needs of individuals with disabilities as compared to the service availability in Ohio’s Community Rehabilitation Program network of providers. It should also be noted that RSC is engaged in a Customized Employment initative that is intensively training RSC staff as well as CRP job development staff about how to properly implement customized employment services to individuals with the most significant disabilities. This project is a direct result of feedback recieved from individuals with disabilities and other service providers during recent cafe conversations.

This screen was last updated on Jul 18 2011 11:05AM by saohsammonse

Number of Individuals in Ohio Eligible for Vocational Rehabilitation Services

Over the course of the past several Federal Fiscal Years (FFYs), Ohio’s Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) program has noted steady decline in the number of new eligible individuals identified for service. In FFY 2008, the Ohio Rehabilitation Services Commission (RSC) completed 30,728 eligibility determinations; in FFY 2009 28,295 eligibility determinations; and in FFY 2010, 22,732 eligibility determinations. This reduction likely stems from reduced resources and capacity in the overall VR system, rather than a decline in the number of Ohioans with disabilities who would be eligible for VR services. RSC projects 23,000 eligibility determinations in FFY 2012, a number remaining roughly constant with FFY 2011.

Number of Individuals Who Will Receive Services

Over the past several years, Ohio’s VR program has been experiencing a steady decline in people served. In FFY 2008, Ohio’s VR program served 31,721 individuals with disabilities; in FFY 2009, 30,429; and in FFY 2010, 25,998. Again, this reduction in the number of individuals served is a result of reduced resources and capacity in the overall VR system rather than a decline in the number of Ohioans with disabilities who need services. RSC projects that for FFY 2012 the number of eligible individuals with disabilities served by the VR program will remain constant at about 26,000. [It should be noted that “served” in this context denotes the total number of individuals in status 11 (plan development) and beyond as of the conclusion of the Federal Fiscal Year (9/30/10) or closed during the fiscal year, excluding those closed before plan development was initiated.]

The above estimate is conservative. How many people the VR program can actually serve in FFY 2012 depends on a number of factors, including Ohio’s budget planning process and RSC’s success in negotiating Cooperative Arrangements with various state agencies or other local public entities. RSC will do diligence to leverage all available federal funds, achieve organizational and fiscal efficiencies, and collaborate with other state and local partners to maximize capacity to serve eligible Ohioans with disabilities.

Cost of Services

During the past several Federal Fiscal Years, case service spending for individuals with disabilities served by the VR program has declined. This decrease results from reduced case services resources available and the lower number of people served, rather than a reduction in the need for services by individuals with disabilities. In fact, RSC now has approximately 4000 eligible individuals waiting for services. The average case service spending per individual served by the Bureau of Vocational Rehabilitation (BVR) and the Bureau of Services for the Visually Impaired (BSVI) in FFY 2010 was $2,227.00. RSC plans to implement a variety of cost containment strategies in FFY 2012 to ensure a fair and reasonable cost for services purchased by the VR program. Because the timing and extent of these changes have not yet been determined, we project the average cost per person served will remain constant for FFY 2012.

Summary of Annual Estimates for FFY 2012

At the time of the writing and approval by RSC’s Commissioners of this FFY 2012 VR State Plan, the state budget for the SFY 2012/13 Biennium has not been approved. RSC’s ability to serve the numbers of individuals referenced in this chart will be directly impacted by the outcome of the state budget process as well as the extent to which RSC can mobilize additional sources of match through the use of Cooperative Agreements with other state agencies as well as Cooperative Arrangements with local political entities.

Note: the information below represents data available to correspond with the chart below.

MSD Title I: Elegibility determinations, 12,386; # served, 19,628; Cost per served, $1,467; Total cost for services, $28,796,937

SD Title I: Elegibility determinations, 4,181; # served, 9,668; Cost per served, $1,467; Total cost for services, $14,183,565

Totals Title I: 16,738; # served, 29,297; Cost per served, $1,467; Total cost for services, $42,980,502

Supported Employment Title IV; Elegibility determinations, 914; # served, 2,322; Cost per served, $407; Total cost for services, $945,196

Category Title I or Title VI Estimated Funds Estimated Number to be Served Average Cost of Services
Most Significant Disabilities Title I $49,920,000 20,800 $2,400
Significant Disabilities Title I $10,080,000 5200 $1,938
Most Significant Disabilities Title VI $935,000 2300 $406
Totals   $60,935,000 28,300 $2,153

This screen was last updated on Jul 18 2011 11:12AM by saohsammonse

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

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

The single most pressing priority for Ohio’s Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) program is to ensure the full and appropriate draw-down of all federal funds available to provide services to eligible individuals with disabilities so that we can reduce and ultimately eliminate the current waiting list for VR services.

To achieve the above-stated priorities and to improve overall quality and accountability in VR services, RSC has developed a strategic plan for Fiscal Years 2012 and 2013. This strategic plan incorporates a mission statement, core values for the organization, and goals, objectives, initiatives and key executive performance metrics as listed below.

Mission:

To ensure individuals with disabilities achieve quality employment, independence and disability determination outcomes through integrated services, partnerships and innovation.

Organizational Values Include:

• Accountability

• Compassion

• Integrity

• Partnerships

• Quality outcomes

• Respect

Goals and Objectives Include:

Goal 1: To promote independence and self-sufficiency for Ohio citizens with disabilities.

• Objective 1a: Increase the percentage of individuals with successful employment or independent living outcomes.

• Objective 1b: Improve the accessibility, timeliness and effectiveness of services provided to individuals with disabilities.

• Objective 1c: Improve ‘front door’ access and a welcoming experience for Ohioans seeking services from RSC.

Goal 2: To develop and sustain a statewide network of providers and partnerships that balances the needs and availability of comprehensive services.

• Objective 2a: Increase service delivery capacity through statewide partnerships.

• Objective 2b: Increase outreach and support to Ohio’s employers utilizing the Business Leadership Network (BLN) and the Governor’s Council on People with Disabilities.

• Objective 2c: Share information about RSC services and resources to our staff, partners and employers in a coordinated manner.

Goal 3: To ensure excellence and accountability of RSC’s products, services and partnerships.

• Objective 3a: Maximize the use and accountability of available RSC funds.

• Objective 3b: Increase the capability and productivity of our organization.

• Objective 3c: Improve service delivery through innovation and modernization.

The Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment (CSNA) and two rounds of Café Conversations held throughout the state have provided helpful data and feedback to RSC about the VR program performance that has aided in the development of this Strategic Plan. In addition, recent RSA Monitoring Reports have provided additional guidance about areas of focus. The established goals and objectives will assist RSC in making needed improvements to the VR Standards and Indicators. Specifically, the number of employment outcomes, the rehabilitation rate and the minority service rate will be addressed through initiatives contained in this strategic plan. Information about initiatives and key executive performance metrics for RSC’s Strategic Plan can be found in Attachment 4.11(d) of this State Plan.

This screen was last updated on Jun 23 2011 12:01PM by saohscholtend

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

Justification for order of selection

Justification for Order of Selection

The demand for vocational rehabilitation services in Ohio significantly exceeds available resources. As of May 31, 2011, there are 4616 eligible individuals waiting for VR services. Given Ohio’s sluggish economic conditions, reductions in RSC’s personnel and budget, and anticipated additional reductions for the next several fiscal years, it is expected that our need for an Order of Selection will continue.

 

Description of Priority categories

Order to be Followed in Selecting Eligible Individuals to Receive Service

The Ohio Rehabilitation Services Commission (RSC) has established, by way of Administrative Rule, the following definitions for priority categories under the Order of Selection.

• Most significant disability (MSD)- pertaining to an individual who meets the definition of significant disability but whose disability seriously limits three or more functional capacities

• Significant disability (SD)- pertaining to an individual who has a physical, mental or cognitive disability that seriously limits one or two functional capacities (such as mobility, communication, self-care, self-direction, interpersonal skills, work tolerance, and work skills) in terms of an employment outcome and who is expected to need multiple vocational rehabilitation services over an extended period of time

• Other eligible individuals- pertaining to an individual who meets the definition of eligible per rule 3304-2-54 of the Ohio Administrative Code (consistent with 34 CFR 361.42(a,)) but whose impairment does not rise to the level of a significant disability.

RSC has established policies and procedures for administering Order of Selection decision making. Accordingly, at any given time while RSC is under an order of selection, one of the following scenarios may be in effect:

1. Eligible individuals in all priority categories wait on the statewide waiting list.

2. Eligible individuals determined to have a Most Significant Disability are served immediately, and eligible individuals who have a Significant Disability and all other eligible individuals will wait on the statewide waiting list. When capacity exists, a predetermined number of eligible individuals with disabilities in the SD priority category will be released based upon application date. All eligible individuals in the SD priority category will be released before any of the eligible individuals in the 3rd priority category.

3. Eligible individuals determined to have a most significant disability and those with a significant disability are served immediately and all other eligible individuals wait.

4. No eligible individuals wait and all are served immediately.

Regardless of scenario in effect, eligible individuals are released from the waiting list first by priority category; then by order of application date; then alphabetically by last name.

Currently, eligible individuals categorized as having a Most Significant Disability are served immediately, while eligible individuals categorized as having a Significant Disability and all other eligible individuals are placed on the statewide waiting list (scenario #2 above.)

 

Priority of categories to receive VR services under the order

Those individuals categorized as having a Most Significant Disability hold top priority and are served first. Individuals categorized as having a Significant Disability make up the second priority and other eligible individuals comprise the third priority group.

 

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

Thus far in Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) 2011, RSC has provided Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) services almost exclusively to eligible individuals with disabilities who were categorized as having a Most Significant Disability. On April 25, 2011 RSC released a small number of eligible individuals with disabilities for services categorized as having a Significant Disability. People in the third category (All Other Eligible Individuals) did not receive vocational rehabilitation services and remain on the waiting list.

Throughout FFY 2011, eligible individuals on the waiting list have been contacted by Consumer Support Advocates, intermittent employees hired with ARRA dollars for this purpose on 10/12/10 to work through 9/30/11. These employees, who are individuals with disabilities currently being served by the VR program, work to ensure compliance with requirements to provide information and referral services to individuals on the waiting list. During FFY 2012, this function will be conducted by eligibility counselors, caseload assistants and other appropriate VR staff.

It should be noted that in the 2008 Monitoring Report, the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) recommended that RSC take steps necessary to revise the definitions of priority categories 1 and 2 to clarify the distinctions between these categories. In addition, one of RSC’s priorities for FFY 2011, based upon feedback received during café conversation discussions, was to ensure accuracy and consistency of eligibility and order of selection decisions statewide. RSC therefore implemented a new structure for completing eligibility and order of selection decisions. On October 1, 2010, we began to limit the eligibility and order of selection decision making process to a decreased number of counselors (approximately 39) who have been intensively trained to specialize in this decision making process. With the revisions in the definitions of the priority categories and the implementation of the Eligibility Counselor model, the percentages of eligible individuals determined to have MSD and SD have shifted. Where previously, the proportion was approximately 85% MSD to 15% SD; since these changes, the proportion is 65% MSD and 33% SD. Case reviews conducted by rehabilitation supervisors and area managers reveal greater consistency and accuracy of eligibility and order of selection decisions since the implementation of this Eligibility Counselor model.

In addition to this, RSC has recently established a task force to review Ohio’s implementation of our Order of Selection to ensure that it is being effectively managed. This group has sought input from field office staff and is considering some changes to our current definitions that would allow us to better manage flow of eligible individuals into the system. We have established reports to track our progress in releasing individuals from the waiting list as we are able to do so. This will be an ongoing conversation for RSC as long as individuals are waiting for services.

RSC will continue to work diligently to mobilize appropriate resources to meet the non-federal share of Ohio’s allotment of available VR funds and to achieve operational efficiencies to serve as many people as possible. At the same time, we are working to manage the resources that we have more efficiently so that we can serve as many people as possible.

Summary of Service and Outcome Goals Under the Order of Selection

At the time of the writing and approval by RSC’s Commissioners of this FFY 2012 VR State Plan, the state budget for the SFY 2012/13 Biennium has not been approved. RSC’s ability to serve the numbers of individuals referenced in this chart will be directly impacted by the outcome of the state budget process as well as the extent to which RSC can mobilize additional sources of match through the use of Cooperative Agreements with other state agencies as well as Cooperative Arrangements with local political entities.

Priority Category Number of individuals to be served Estimated number of individuals who will exit with employment after receiving services Estimated number of individuals who will exit without employment after receiving services Time within which goals are to be achieved Cost of services
1 20,800 2,500 2,200 24 months $4,992,000
2 5,200 1,500 1,000 18 months $10,080,000
3 0 0 0 0 $0

This screen was last updated on Jun 23 2011 12:34PM by saohscholtend

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.

During the past year, 100% of the Title VI, Part B funds was ultimately expended on direct supported employment case services. For Federal Fiscal Year 2011, no less than ninety-five percent (95%) of Title VI, Part B funds will be expended on direct supported employment case services for eligible consumers, as described in Attachment 6.3. At this time there is no specific plan to utilize any of the funds for allowable administrative purposes.

During FFY 2011, the Ohio Rehabilitation Services Commission (RSC) has been working on a VR Procedures Manual. One of the areas of content currently being developed is a Supported Employment policy and a subsequent chapter of the procedures manual. Content includes:

• definitions of supported employment;

• appropriate candidates for Supported Employment services from a State VR agency;

• services qualified as supported employment services;

• documentation of Supported Employment on an Individual Plan of Employment;

• general documentation and proper coding for a Supported Employment case;

• case closure for a Supported Employment case; and

• possible resources for extended supports.

The policy and the VR Procedures Manual Chapter are slated for completion by September 2011, and training will be implemented for all staff in early FFY 2012. It should be noted that in the 2008 Monitoring Report, RSA recommended that RSC evaluate whether or not coding errors could be contributing to the low number of supported employment outcomes being achieved by Ohio’s VR program. The new training will address this issue.

RSC is well aware of the critical role of developing supported employment programs in local communities, since such programs can provide long term supports needed for the successful employment of individuals with the most significant disabilities. During FFY 2012, RSC will be evaluating how the supported employment grant could be used more strategically to build better access to longterm supports in areas of the state where supported employment programs are lacking.

This screen was last updated on Jun 23 2011 12:34PM by saohscholtend

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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

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

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

Methods to Expand and Improve Services to Individuals with Disabilities

As noted in Attachment 4.11(c)(1), the Ohio Rehabilitation Services Commission has developed a Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2012 and 2013. The initiatives and key executive performance metrics for the Strategic Plan are as follows:

Goal 1: To promote independence and self-sufficiency for Ohio citizens with disabilities.

Objective 1a: Increase the percentage of individuals with successful employment or independent living outcomes.

Initiatives

• Implement and sustain the Customized Supported Self-Employment program

• Implement the provisions of Ohio’s Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) State Plan

• Provide Innovation and Expansion funds to the Ohio Statewide Independent Living Council (OSILC) in a collaborative effort in the expansion of Independent Living Services into unserved counties identified in the needs assessment.

Key Executive Performance Metrics

• The number of individuals who achieved employment and exited the VR Program compared to the prior year

• Of all individuals who exited the VR program after receiving services, the percentage who achieved an employment outcome

• Of all individuals who achieved an employment outcome, the percentage with earnings equivalent to at least the minimum wage

• Of all individuals who achieved an employment outcome, the percentage of individuals with the most significant disabilities

• The individuals who achieved an employment outcome and earn at least the minimum wage as a ratio of the state’s average hourly earnings for all individuals

• Of all individuals who achieved a competitive employment outcome, the difference who report their own income as the largest single source of economic support at exit versus application

Objective 1b: Improve the accessibility, timeliness and effectiveness of services provided to individuals with disabilities.

Initiatives

• Reduce and eliminate the Order of Selection wait list

• Embed RSC counselors into the communities for more direct access to individuals with disabilities (including home visits) and employers

• Identify and use existing Vocational Rehabilitation Public/Private Partnerships (VRP3) service capacity

Key Executive Performance Measures

• The number/percentage of consumers remaining on the Order of Selection wait list

• The service rate for all minority individuals as a ratio to the service rate for all non-minority individuals

• The number of individuals moving from public assistance to self-support

• The percentage of legislative and constituent inquiries resolved within five (5) business days

Objective 1c: Improve ‘front door’ access and a welcoming experience for Ohioans seeking services from RSC.

Initiatives

• Analyze feedback from on-going community level ‘café’ conversations and implement selected recommendations

• Bring awareness and understanding of RSC’s mission to all Ohioans by renaming the agency to one that reflects those in need of disability and employment services

• Update the RSC internet site to provide clear and concise information about products and services

• Evaluate existing facilities utilized by RSC staff to ensure they are accessible to all individuals with disabilities

• Utilize the state Consumer Advisory Council (CAC) members to promote services and quality of the VR program

• Continue to refine the new Vocational Rehabilitation case service delivery model, which includes streamlining the referral to application process

Key Executive Performance Measures

• The average satisfaction rating of RSC consumers

• The average number of days from referral to an Order of Selection decision

Goal 2: To develop and sustain a statewide network of providers and partnerships that balances the needs and availability of comprehensive services.

Objective 2a: Increase service delivery capacity through statewide partnerships.

Initiatives

• Partner with the Department of Development to increase the capacity of the Small Business Development Centers to provide services to individuals with disabilities who are eligible for VR services

• Implement the ‘Recovery to Work’ Ohio Dept. of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services (ODADAS) agreement

Key Executive Performance Measures

• The number of Business Enterprise (BE) operators/vendors

• The number of new RSC partnerships

• The percentage of individuals with disabilities who attain a self-employment outcome

• The percentage of individuals with disabilities who attain a supported employment outcome

Objective 2b: Increase outreach and support to Ohio’s employers utilizing the Business Leadership Network (BLN) and the Governor’s Council on People with Disabilities.

Initiatives

• Develop a comprehensive communications strategy to engage employers

• Actively engage with Ohio Business Leadership Network

• Utilize dedicated resources to solidify employer partnerships

Objective 2c: Share information about RSC services and resources to our staff, partners and employers in a coordinated manner.

Initiatives

• Develop new educational and marketing materials to promote RSC programs and services

• Evaluate and streamline the structure and efficiency of internal committees and advisory groups

• Evaluate focus of existing trainings, conferences and workshops

• Identify the VR service needs of individuals with disabilities through the FY 2011 Comprehensive Needs Assessment

Key Executive Performance Measures

• The number of Café Conversations throughout the state to explore increasing services to certain populations or in certain areas of the state

Goal 3: To ensure excellence and accountability of RSC’s products, services and partnerships.

Objective 3a: Maximize the use and accountability of available RSC funds.

Initiatives

• Maximize the draw-down of all federal funds in order to serve more individuals with disabilities

• Implement an accountability process for legal agreement awards for service delivery

• Reduce administrative overhead costs while preserving quality service delivery

• Implement service provider fee schedules and monitoring tools

• Evaluate RSC’s eligibility for Medicaid funding

• Ensure that all contractors and service providers have basic knowledge of the fiscal and legal requirements contained in agreements with RSC

• Ensure that all management level staff have a basic understanding of the overall agency budget and specific knowledge of the budget as it applies to their area

• Align performance to RSC’s budget

Key Executive Performance Measures

• The rate of return on investment of the Business Enterprise program

• The percentage of outstanding audit/monitoring findings that were successfully resolved

• The amount/percentage of available federal funds utilized for VR services

• The percentage of case service dollars obligated

• The percentage of case service dollars expended

• The amount/percentage of revenue generated from all partnership agreements

• The average expenditure per consumer served

• The average administrative cost per consumer served

• The percentage of new RSC agreements with performance-based deliverables

• The percentage of new RSC agreements for which requests for information/proposals were initiated

Objective 3b: Increase the capability and productivity of our organization.

Initiatives

• Create and implement an agency-wide training plan, with flexible options, for RSC staff and partner providers

• Develop strategic planning throughout RSC focusing on performance measurements and outcomes

• Increase professionalism and accountability in the RSC workforce through a professional dress code and internal human resources policies and procedures

• Create a framework for individual employee development plans aligned to the agency strategic plan

• Utilize quality assurance resources to proactively address state and federal program integrity compliance (including centralized analysis of customer surveys)

Key Executive Performance Measures

• The average number of individuals with disabilities served by VR counselors

• The percentage of RSC staff participating in job enrichment trainings

• The percentage of RSC employees who were trained in updated policies and procedures

• The percentage of RSC employees who received a timely performance evaluation from their supervisor

• The percentage of certified/licensed RSC staff, who are required to be licensed

Objective 3c: Improve service delivery through innovation and modernization.

Initiatives

• Implement policy strategy and development reflective of the Governor’s priorities

• Implement the Accessible Web-based Activity and Reporting Environment (AWARE) case management system

• Utilize technology to support services provided by RSC staff (e.g. hand-held signature pads, printers)

• Evaluate strategies for modernization of the Business Enterprise Program

Use of Assistive Technology

RSC continues its goal of expanding and improving services to individuals with disabilities, including providing a broad range of assistive technology services and assistive technology devices at each stage of the rehabilitation process statewide. RSC recognizes the importance of the full utilization of assistive technology services and devices to assist eligible individuals with disabilities to achieve their full potential.

To assist in this effort in FFY 2011, RSC contracted with Wright State University to purchase mainstream computer technology for eligible individuals with disabilities and then provide adaptive equipment and related training as needed to ensure that those served have the necessary skills to use technology to support them in achieving vocational rehabilitation goals. RSC will be building on this in FFY 2012 by exploring the use of Skype or other comparable video conferencing capabilities to conduct counseling sessions.

Outreach Procedures

RSC continues to identify and outreach to individuals with disabilities who are minorities, including those with the most significant disabilities, as well as individuals with disabilities who have been unserved or underserved by the vocational rehabilitation program. During FFY 2011, RSC implemented a Program Improvement Plan (PIP) related to our underperformance on evaluation standard one and submitted a letter to the RSA Commissioner regarding our performance on standard 2. RSC continues implementation of this PIP and strategies outlined in the letter to the RSA Commissioner regarding standard 2.

Plan for Establishing, Developing or Improving Community Rehabilitation Programs

RSC will continue to work in partnership with community rehabilitation programs to meet the needs of eligible individuals with disabilities being served by the VR program. The Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment (CSNA) identified that there are Community Rehabilitation Programs in all localities in the state, so the emphasis for RSC will be to further develop and improve the consistency and quality of services purchased from the CRPs. Attachment 4.8(b)(3) describes RSC’s plans in this area.

Performance on Evaluation Standards and Performance Indicators

As noted above, during FFY 2011, RSC implemented a PIP in response to underperformance on the evaluation standard one and submitted a letter to the RSA Commissioner regarding our performance on standard 2.. Specifically, RSC is working to make program improvements in the following areas:

• Standard 1.1: Number of employment outcomes

• Standard 1.2: Rehabilitation rate

• Standard 1.6: Source of support at application versus closure

• Standard 2: Service rates for individuals from minority backgrounds

Over the course of FFY 2012, RSC will continue to implement this PIP as well as strategies outlined in the letter to the RSA Commissioner to make the required program performance improvements.

Overcoming Barriers to Accessing and Participating in Services Equitably

Over the course of FFY 2011, RSC has implemented a variety of initiatives designed to improve access to VR services for individuals with disabilities. Attachment 4.11(c)(3) describes structural changes that RSC has made in designating Eligibility Counselors who are intensively trained to make eligibility and order of selection decisions to ensure a high degree of consistency and accuracy within these decisions. RSC has also been reducing the number of field offices that use general orientation as a primary method of intake, since feedback from people with disabilities indicates that this is not a preferred method of intake. This summer, RSC also plans to make the application for services widely available to the public, in order to comply with federal regulations, align business processes with our new case management system, and eliminate a significant amount of time associated with the referral process.

 

This screen was last updated on Jul 18 2011 11:18AM by saohsammonse

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

Evaluation of Goal Achievement:

In the FFY 2010 State Plan, the Ohio Rehabilitation Services Commission (RSC) identified a variety of goals for the Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) program. The following is a report of our progress in achieving these goals:

RSC will meet and/or exceed its federal performance indicators:

Ohio did not meet the evaluation requirements outlined in the standards and indicators in FFY 2009. Consequently, in FFY 2010, RSC developed a Program Improvement Plan (PIP) to address Standard 1 and wrote a letter to the Commissioner of the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) outlining our strategies for improving our performance on Standard 2. RSC is on target in terms of implementing these identified strategies.

RSC will increase public awareness of its programs and services:

During FFY 2010, RSC held a series of Café Conversations which were attended by 1400 citizens statewide. These conversations included a presentation about RSC services and began the process of making improvements in this area. RSC is currently working on some infrastructure improvements to its website that will provide the foundation for vast improvements in this area in the coming months. RSC has also recently started using social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) as part of its public awareness strategies.

RSC will acquire and maintain a level of funding to insure the sustainability of services:

During FFY 2010, RSC was not able to draw down approximately $30,000,000 in federal funds that were available to Ohio. Given the ongoing budget challenges in Ohio, RSC is continuing to struggle to maintain or leverage the funding needed for the non-federal share of the VR program. As noted earlier in this State Plan, the single most pressing priority for Ohio’s Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) program at this time is to ensure the full and appropriate draw-down of all federal funds available to provide services to eligible individuals with disabilities so that we can reduce and ultimately eliminate the current waiting list for VR services.

RSC will increase efficiency and effectiveness of our processes and systems which are responsive to our internal and external customer’s needs:

During FFY 2010, RSC held a series of café conversations where 1400 individuals with disabilities and other community stakeholders provided input to what RSC should pay attention to moving forward. These conversations resulted in the development of what was named “The Map”, which was RSC’s implementation for a new strategic direction for the organization. Several areas of efficiency and effectiveness are being addressed in this Map including:

• Eligibility Counselors- implementing a new structure for staffing the intake process and for making eligibility and order of selection decisions

• Application for Services- changing business practices to make the Application for Services widely available to people with disabilities and community partners

• Consumer Support Advocates (CSAs)- hiring 32 individuals with disabilities on our current caseload to work as Consumer Support Advocates in our field offices

• Customized Employment-implementing an initiative that will serve to train RSC counseling staff and CRP provider staff to implement Customized Employment programs around the state

• Cooperative Agreement with the Department of Development- increasing the utilization of self-employment as an employment outcome for individuals being served by the VR program

• AWARE Case Management System- replacing our current case management system.

RSC will have a diverse and qualified staff committed to RSC’s mission and vision that reflects Ohio’s population:

During FFY 2010, RSC reduced its workforce, by offering an Early Retirement Incentive (ERI) and through additional attrition. This workforce reduction was driven by budgetary constraints. Efforts to provide training to staff on a variety of subjects continue to ensure that our remaining staff have the knowledge, skills and abilities to perform their work duties.

 

RSC will conduct training to increase the working knowledge of VR staff regarding supported employment:

This is an area that RSC continues to focus upon. During FFY 2010, RSC sponsored supported employment training at our Gateways Conference. Sessions focused on Customized Employment. Ongoing work in this area includes our Customized Employment initiative (described above) as well as policy and procedure development.

 

Performance on Standards and Indicators

As noted in Attachment 4.11(d), during FFY 2011, RSC implemented a Program Improvement Plan (PIP) in response to underperformance on evaluation standard one and submitted a letter to the RSA Commissioner regarding our performance on standard 2. Specifically, RSC is working to make program improvements in the following areas:

• Standard 1.1: Number of employment outcomes

• Standard 1.2: Rehabilitation rate

• Standard 1.6: Source of support at application versus closure

• Standard 2: Service rates for individuals from minority backgrounds

Over the course of FFY 2012, RSC will continue to implement this PIP and strategies outlined in the letter to the RSA Commissioner to make the required program performance improvements.

 

Innovation and Expansion Activities

RSC provided ARRA Innovation and Expansion funds to the Ohio Statewide Independent Living Council (OSILC) beginning mid FFY 2010 through mid FFY 2011. These funds were spent through a competitive bid process for software and hardware establishing a common Independent Living Services reporting process. Installation and training are nearly complete. During FFY 2011 ARRA Innovation and Expansion funds were awarded through competitive bid to Western Reserve Independent Living Center to provide IL services in 2 unserved Ohio counties. Although still early in the process WRILC has been well received in both counties.

This screen was last updated on Jul 18 2011 11:20AM by saohsammonse

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

Quality, Scope and Extent of Supported Employment Services

The purpose of the Ohio Rehabilitation Services Commission’s (RSC’s) Program for Supported Employment is to assist persons with the most significant disabilities to succeed in competitive, integrated job opportunities by facilitating coordinated, individualized support services.

Basic Philosophical Assumptions for the Program:

All people, regardless of their disability, can do meaningful, productive work in competitive environments if given the choice, the necessary job stabilization and the ongoing support services for job maintenance.

• Support is a function of job stabilization and maintenance and is not a treatment or training setting.

• The job cannot be isolated from the larger context of an individual’s life; therefore, non-work related issues must be addressed to ensure success.

• Failure is not due to individual functional limitations or the disability per se, but to inappropriate job selection and/or inadequate supports.

Target Populations Served:

The Ohio Rehabilitation Services Commission (RSC) is committed to serving individuals with the most significant disabilities. The following individuals are targeted for supported employment services:

• Persons employed in a segregated workshop or participating in a day activity program

• Students in special education programs who are transitioning to community employment

• Persons moving from institutional care into the community

• Persons with multiple disabilities who require coordinated services from multiple agencies

• Persons who have been traditionally underserved in supported employment by virtue of ethnic origin, geographical considerations or an inability to access extended supports, and who require the development of natural supports for employment retention.

Program Eligibility:

Initial eligibility for supported employment services, funded in whole or in part with federal vocational rehabilitation dollars, is established by RSC counseling staff. Individuals with disabilities who are determined eligible for SSI or SSDI, designated as eligible for services by County Boards of DD, and those designated as having a severe and persistent mental illness by Community Mental Health Centers commonly meet the VR criteria for most significant disability and are targeted populations for supported employment. Final determination of eligibility occurs during the vocational assessment period and the development of the Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE). Eligibility is established when the individual with a disability determines a vocational goal compatible with integrated community employment and identifies the need for long-term supports. RSC works with the individual to identify community resources or individuals (i.e., natural supports) to provide the necessary extended support services.

Services to be Provided:

Services purchased by RSC for individuals being served in the Supported Employment program are typically provided by Community Rehabilitation Programs (CRPs). Currently these services are purchased on a fee-for-service basis where the CRP establishes fees in an open market setting. It should be noted that RSC is currently evaluating this practice to determine if it is the best way to ensure a high-quality service at a reasonable price. During Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) 2012 the use of comprehensive contractual agreements with CRPs may be implemented. In accordance with federal requirements, services provided are as follows:

• Assessment services needed to ensure appropriate job match and supports

• Job development

• Job placement

• Intensive on-the-job training or coaching of the individual with the disability, his/her employer, supervisor and/or coworkers by skilled employment consultants

• Other VR or support services needed to ensure success in community employment

• Follow-up and monitoring of job performance during the stabilization process

• Discrete post-employment services that are not commonly available from those who provide extended services

• Identification and development/facilitation of natural supports

• Customized Employment

Timing of Transition to Long-Term Supports

The transition to extended supports begins at least 90 days prior to successful case closure with the conversion of VR supports to ongoing and/or natural supports as outlined in the IPE.

To promote increased understanding and use of Supported Employment by VR staff, RSC is currently updating the Supported Employment procedure chapter of our VR Manual. Training will be provided to all VR staff on this in early FFY 2012.

This screen was last updated on Jun 30 2011 1:49PM by saohsammonse

The following information is captured by the MIS.

Last updated on 07/26/2011 at 9:53 AM

Last updated by saohsammonse

Completed on 07/26/2011 at 9:53 AM

Completed by saohsammonse

Approved on 07/27/2011 at 3:34 PM

Approved by rsaweste

Published on 09/07/2011 at 10:21 AM

Published by kschelle

The following documents have been identified as being related to the information you are viewing.

  • "A Better Bottom Line: Employing People with Disabilities" — A blueprint for Governors has been issued by the National Governors Association (NGA).
    PDF (4.13M)

  • TAC-14-02 — Submission of the FY 2015 State Plan for the Vocational Rehabilitation Services Program and Supplement for the Supported Employment Services Program. (May 28, 2014)
    DOC (247KB) | PDF (233KB)

  • ED-80-0013 - Certification Regarding Lobbying — 34 CFR 82.110(b) requires each State VR agency to submit for approval a signed certification regarding lobbying for each program for which federal funds are requested. In other words, one certification must be submitted for the VR program and another for the Supported Employment program.
    MS Word (24KB)

OMB Control Number: 1820-0500, approved for use through 03/31/2016

According to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, no persons are required to respond to a collection of information unless such collection displays a valid OMB control number. Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 25 hours per response, including time for reviewing instructions, searching existing data sources, gathering and maintaining the data needed, and completing and reviewing the collection of information. The obligation to respond to this collection is required to obtain or retain a benefit (Section 13 of the Rehabilitation Act, as amended). Send comments regarding the burden estimate or any other aspect of this collection of information, including suggestions for reducing this burden, to U.S. Department of Education, Washington, D.C. 20202-4537 or email ICDocketMgr@ed.gov and reference the OMB Control Number 1820-0500. Note: Please do not return the completed form to this address.