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
South Dakota Division of Rehabilitation Services State Plan for Fiscal Year 2013 (submitted FY 2012)

1.1 The South Dakota Department of Human Services is authorized to submit this State Plan under Title I of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended [1] and its supplement under Title VI, Part B, of the Rehabilitation Act [2].

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

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

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

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

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

1.7 The (enter title of state officer below)
Yes

Secretary, South Dakota Department of Human Services

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

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

Secretary, South Dakota Department of Human Services

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

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

State Plan Certified By

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

Signed?
Yes

Name of Signatory
Laurie R. Gill

Title of Signatory
Secretary, Department of Human Services

Date Signed (mm/dd/yyyy)
06/25/2012

Assurances Certified By

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

Comments:

Signed?
Yes

Name of Signatory
Laurie R. Hill

Title of Signatory
Secretary, Department of Human Services

Date Signed (mm/dd/yyyy)
06/25/2012

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

Section 1 Footnotes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(a) Conduct of public meetings.

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

(b) Notice requirements.

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

(c) Special consultation requirements.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(a) Designated state agency.

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

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

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

(b) Designated state unit.

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

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

  1. The name of the designated state vocational rehabilitation unit is
South Dakota Division of Rehabilitation Services

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

The State Plan must contain one of the following assurances.

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

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

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

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

(Option B was selected)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

If "Yes", the designated state agency:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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. Yes

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

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

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

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

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

(a) In general.

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

(b) Employment of individuals with disabilities.

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

(c) Facilities.

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

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

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

(a) Data system on personnel and personnel development.

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

  1. Qualified personnel needs.

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

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

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

  1. Personnel development.

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

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

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

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

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

(c) Personnel standards.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(d) Staff development.

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

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

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

(e) Personnel to address individual communication needs.

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

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

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

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

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

(a) Comprehensive statewide assessment.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(b) Annual estimates.

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

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

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

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

(c) Goals and priorities.

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

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

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

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

  1. provides a justification for the order; and

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

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

(d) Strategies.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(e) Evaluation and reports of progress.

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

  1. Attachment 4.11(e)(2):

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Summary of Input and Recommendations of the State Rehabilitation Council; Response of the Designated State Unit; and Explanations for Rejection of Input or Recommendations South Dakota’s State Rehabilitation Council for the General Agency South Dakota Board of Vocational Rehabilitation (Board) As reflected in the Board of Vocational Rehabilitation’s Annual Report for Fiscal Year 2011: The State Rehabilitation Council – is established in Section 105 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (Act) and 34 CFR 361.16-361.17 of its implementing regulations. The State Rehabilitation Council - known in South Dakota as the Board of Vocational Rehabilitation – gives advice to and works in partnership with the vocational rehabilitation agency in South Dakota - Division of Rehabilitation Services (Division). The Board of Vocational Rehabilitation plays a significant role in ensuring that the vocational rehabilitation program operates effectively and remains responsive to the needs of those served. The Board of Vocational Rehabilitation partners with the Division of Rehabilitation Services to develop policies, plan activities, evaluate program effectiveness and carry out other functions related to the vocational rehabilitation program. The working relationship between the Board of Vocational Rehabilitation and the Division of Rehabilitation Services is a partnership focused on ensuring that individuals with disabilities receive appropriate, timely, and effective vocational rehabilitation services. The Division of Rehabilitation Services has been responsive to inquires from the Board of Vocational Rehabilitation. The Board of Vocational Rehabilitation met on four different occasions during this reporting period: December 6/7, 2010 in Sioux Falls; March 14/15 2011 in Ft. Pierre; June 14/15, 2011 in Sioux Falls; and September 28/29, 2011 in Pierre. These meetings were open to the public and held in accordance with the Rehabilitation Act and the State’s open meeting law, SDCL, 1-25-1. Summary of Input and Recommendations: Several years ago, the chairpersons of the Board of Vocational Rehabilitation, Board of Service to the Blind and Visually Impaired (BSBVI) and Statewide Independent Living Council (SILC) determined it was a priority to meet on a regular basis. They have discussed collaborative efforts and specific outcomes including disseminating a joint solicitation for nominations, a joint review committee for the Governor’s Awards and National Disability Employment Awareness Month activities. Division’s Response: The Division supports the three councils in coordinating their meetings and coordinated efforts. The Chairpersons of the three entities also met periodically to discuss and review the status of the Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment and updates were provided at meetings. Consultants hired to conduct the study met with the Boards and Council at different stages throughout the study, and provided assistance with developing the goals, priorities and strategies for their respective State Plan documents. Division’s Response: The Division supports the three chairpersons in coordinating their activities and the recommendations on the Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment. The BVR, BSVI and SILC also exchange meeting minutes and have standing agenda items at each meeting. Division’s Response: The Division supports the three councils in sharing their meeting minutes. The Board hosted their December meeting in Sioux Falls to enable students and others involved with Project SEARCH to share information about the program. The Departments of Labor and Education, Transition Services Liaison Project, Division of Developmental Disabilities, Freedom to Work Project, Vocational Rehabilitation Services, and two major hospitals (Sioux Falls Avera McKennan and Aberdeen St. Lukes) are involved in the program, which provides competitive employment and teaches skills in a safe and supported environment. Students receive accommodations, adaptations and on-site job coaching services. Job placement is based upon the student’s experiences, strengths and skills. Students spoke to members about their experiences with the program. Division’s Response: The Division supports the VR Boards involvement and input from the Project Search. The Sioux Falls meeting included a new member orientation. Four individuals attended the orientation. Content included: overview of the Rehabilitation Act; organizational outline (federal and state agencies and staff); role of the Board as the State Rehabilitation Council and its infrastructure; and an overview of South Dakota Advocacy Services, including the Client Assistance Program. Division’s Response: The Division supports the new member orientation and participates as requested. Division staff who participated in the Future’s Initiative presented during the meeting. Members learned about various staff activities e.g., attended supervisor’s meetings, redesigned the VR brochure and IL assessment, revised mental health and developmental disabilities agreements, and designed career assessment tools and training. Members commended the Division for their vision in implementing this program for succession planning and ultimately strengthening services for consumers. Division’s Response: The Division supports the Futures initiative and sharing this information with the Board. The Executive Committee presented the Annual Report in draft format during the meeting. Members were asked to submit edits prior to the end of the month. The report was finalized and submitted to the Governor and RSA Commissioner as well as other interested entities (e.g., Statewide Independent Living Council, Board of Service to the Blind and Visually Impaired). Division’s Response: The Division provided input into the Annual Report as directed by the Board of VR. The Boards of Vocational Rehabilitation and Service to the Blind and Visually Impaired and the Divisions of Rehabilitation Services and Service to the Blind and Visually Impaired provided financial assistance to ten communities to host National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) events. The Board received the evaluations of these events, which provide education to the public regarding the strengths and talents that people with disabilities bring to the workforce. The Board and Division also approved financial assistance to conduct activities in 2011. Division’s Response: The Division supports all the NDEAM events across the state and these events have had positive results in the communities. The Consumer Services Committee reported to the Board regarding their work on two draft Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs). The first MOU was with the two vocational rehabilitation agencies and the Division of Developmental Disabilities, which was updated to identify the services provided by each agency, adding descriptors of services and how the divisions can fund services jointly. The second MOU was with the two vocational rehabilitation agencies and the community mental health centers. This MOU focuses on employment and how to best coordinate services to meet the needs of individuals diagnosed with severe mental illness. Division’s Response: The Division incorporated the recommendations from the VR Board on these Memorandums of Understanding. Dr. Greg Cooch, Black Hills State University, provided an update on the post high school outcomes study (Office of Special Education’s Indicator 14). Indicator 14 is the percent of youth who had IEP’s, no longer in secondary school and who have been competitively employed, enrolled in postsecondary school, or both, within one year of leaving high school. Overall, the data showed that students with disabilities who participated in Catch the Wave, Project Skills, SEARCH or self-advocacy, were: o 26% more likely to be employed and postsecondary only, or o 51% more likely to be employed only, or o 100% more likely or twice as likely to be in post-secondary only. Post-school success is dependent upon the collaborative efforts of multiple partners: Department of Education, school districts, educational cooperatives, special education teachers, Department of Labor, Vocational Rehabilitation Services, parents and other providers. Division’s Response: The Division is pleased with the results of Indicator 14 as it provides outcome data for the Division’s transition programs. The Board initiated a joint solicitation of nominations for board and council membership, conducted jointly with Board of Service to the Blind and Visually Impaired and Statewide Independent Living Council following the March meeting. Nomination packets were mailed to over 400 people and organizations across the state. Nominees were submitted to the Governor for review and action and appointments followed. Division’s Response: The Division helps recruit nominees for the various councils. The State Plan submission process was discussed, attachments were drafted and posted on the agency’s website for additional comment. The Board and Division gather review and analyze information through various means during the reporting period: (e.g., meeting with consumers and family members, joint conversations with other boards/councils, associations, employers, and human resource managers). Additionally, the State Plan document was presented for final review during the June meeting and the Board approved it for submittal to Rehabilitation Services Administration. Division’s Response: The Division incorporates the recommendations from the VR Board into the State Plans. The Board and Division identified representatives to attend the Partners in Policymaking listening and graduation sessions on April 9, 2011 hosted by South Dakota Advocacy Services. Facilitated discussion took place on a variety of issues which impact persons living with a disability (e.g., vocational rehabilitation, independent living, transportation, education, housing and Social Security). Comments were shared with the Board and Division at the June meeting. Division’s Response: The Division supports receiving input from the Partners in Policymaking listening sessions. The Board provided financial assistance to support the Governor’s Awards ceremony, which recognizes the efforts of individuals, employers, and organizations for their contributions to the employment of persons with disabilities. Other collaborating partners included the Divisions of Rehabilitation Services and Service to the Blind and Visually Impaired, Board of Service to the Blind and Visually Impaired and the Department of Human Services. Division’s Response: The Division helps promote nominations for the Governor’s awards as these are distinguished awards to businesses, individuals with disabilities and individuals who promote the employment of individuals with disabilities. A presentation on the Post High School Vocational Transition Summary was presented. This study was designed to determine the educational and training needs of young South Dakotans with intellectual disabilities considered to have severe or multiple disabilities, which have been on an IEP and do not have the cognitive ability to pass entrance requirements for post-secondary education. An overall need was identified for a post-secondary program or service beyond what is currently available to provide young adults with significant disabilities to successfully learn job skills that would provide meaningful work. Other findings concluded that programs such as Youth Leadership Forum, Catch the Wave, Project Skills, Project SEARCH and Partners in Policymaking are pivotal elements in helping students become successful. Consensus was that this information should be made available to the public. Division’s Response: The Division supports the Post High School Vocational Transition Study and sharing the results with the VR Board. Project SEARCH update included information from vocational rehabilitation staff, educational cooperative staff and a representative from Avera McKennan Hospital & University Health Center. Items covered: graduation ceremonies of students who participated in the program this past year, available internships, and plans for 2011-12 (e.g., number of students accepted to date, job placement results for students who finished Project SEARCH). Members recognized that it’s the combined efforts of the all parties: schools, business community, vocational rehabilitation services, and other providers that results in a win-win situation for all involved. Division’s Response: The Division supports the Project Search initiatives and the results we are seeing from these programs. A discussion topic was about how to share information with the public. Areas of discussion included social networking, use of technology, client confidentiality, access issues (i.e., readily accessible information), and social media policies. An additional item was the need for working through the state’s Bureau of Information and Telecommunications process to ensure that state guidelines are followed. A motion was made to have technology added as a standing agenda item. Division’s Response: The Division supports the utilization of social media and presents to the VR Board during their quarterly meetings. Standing agenda items include employment related initiatives. The Board and Division realize the importance of linkages with the business community and have identified members and staff to work with different projects. Updates included: Employer Resource Network, Project SEARCH, Business Resource Network, and the Freedom to Work Project. In support of these efforts, the Board approved financial support for an employer/human resource community event in Aberdeen. The Business Resource Network (BRN) Director provided information to the Board. Suggestions were made to have the Board and BRN meet in the future to get better acquainted and to get feedback from them on areas such as recruiting, hiring working with people with disabilities, what’s working well and areas for improvement. Division’s Response: The Division supports these agenda items and will assist the VR Board in these presentations. The Board and Division encouraged members to attend meetings, events or training to enhance the member’s ability to understand and meet the diverse needs of individuals with disabilities. Throughout this reporting period, members attended various functions (NDEAM events, employer training sessions, Fall Conference). Division’s Response: The Division promotes these events and trainings with the VR Board members and encourages them to attend when they can.

This screen was last updated on Aug 22 2012 4:38PM by Ronda Williams

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.

Request for Waiver of Statewideness

The South Dakota Division of Rehabilitation Services (DRS or Division) has implemented a work experience program for students with disabilities called Project Skills. This venture is a cooperative arrangement with the local school districts and DRS. South Dakota has 168 school districts statewide. The Division makes this program available to all schools with approximately 100 school districts participating in the program. The program is available to the remaining school districts but they have chosen not to complete a contract with the Division. The Division has been advised by the Rehabilitation Services Administration to request a waiver of statewideness for the Project Skills Program.

Types of Services to be provided

Many students with significant disabilities don’t get an opportunity to gain paid employment experience while in high school. Although willing, most employers cannot afford the supports these students frequently require on their first job. This is an important learning, maturing, and socializing experience. The Division of Rehabilitation Services funds a program entitled "Project Skills" to address this need. This program is a cooperative arrangement between the State VR Agency and the local school systems. The Division funds the wages, workers compensation, and FICA while the schools provide the job development, job coaching, and follow-along for the student at the job site. By entering into a contractual agreement with the Designated State Unit, the local school districts are assuring that they will provide the non-federal matching funds.

Written Assurances

Each school enters into an agreement with the Division for Project Skills. This agreement requires the school district to provide written assurance that they will use non-Federal funds for their share of the Project Skills program. The Project Skills program is available only for Vocational Rehabilitation Consumers. School Districts cannot serve non Division consumers and the Division approves the Project Skills Program by completing a work agreement and authorization of services. All state plan requirements for the Division will apply to all services approved under the waiver

All services provided under this waiver are provided under an approved Individual Plan for Employment (IPE) and authorized by the vocational rehabilitation consumer’s VR Counselor. The Division assures that all State Plan requirements, including the Order of Selection if appropriate, will apply to all services approved under the waiver.

This screen was last updated on Aug 30 2012 11:16AM by Ronda Williams

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

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

Cooperation and Coordination with Other Agencies and Other Entities

Cooperation with Agencies that Are Not in the Statewide Workforce Investment System

and Other Entities

The Divisions of Rehabilitation Services (DRS or Division) and Service to the Blind and Visually Impaired (SBVI) have an excellent working relationship with the Workforce Investment System in South Dakota. The cooperation between our agencies is done by formal written agreements and informal arrangements. South Dakota has chosen not to do an early implementation as an option in the Work Force Investment Act for Unified State Plans with the Department of Labor by July 1, 1999. The Division of Rehabilitation Services became an official partner in the Unified State Plan implemented on July 1st, 2000.

Formal Memorandum of Understanding with Statewide Workforce Investment

The Division of Rehabilitation Services has entered into a Memorandum or Understanding on 7/1/2000 with the South Dakota Department of Labor. South Dakota is considered as a "Single State Local Area" in the Workforce Development Act. There is only one statewide Memorandum of Understanding with the State Workforce Development Council. The Memorandum of Understanding with the Workforce Development Council encompasses all local areas. This agreement addresses:

• Agency Financial Responsibility;

• Conditions, Terms, and procedures of Reimbursement;

• Interagency Disputes;

• Coordination of Services Procedures;

• Cost Allocation Plan; and

• Referral Procedures.

Participation in Councils

The State of South Dakota has selected the option to continue with the current council composition. This option to continue with the current composition is allowed in the WIA for councils that were in place on December 31st, 1997. The Workforce Development Council currently has a member from the Division or Rehabilitation Services.

Career Centers

The South Dakota Department of Labor certifies local Career Centers in South Dakota. South Dakota Department of Labor has 14 Career Centers Districts. In addition to these 14 locations, four other locations are sub offices of the Career Centers. Each local Career Center has a local council established. The public Vocational Rehabilitation program is represented on each of these local councils. The Department of Human Services has Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors in twelve communities throughout the state. In nine of these communities, the Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors are co-located with the Department of Labor. Co-location of the remaining three offices has not yet occurred as a result of the availability of office space. In offices where agencies are co-located, our agencies share computer systems, office machines, and equipment. Collaboration of services between agencies is continually occurring at these office locations.

Federal, State and Local Agencies and Programs

Formal Agreement for Access to the Unsanitized Job Service Listings

In January of 1997, a Cooperative Agreement was developed between the Department of Human Services (DHS) and the Department of Labor (DOL). The purpose of this agreement was to develop arrangements for staff from the Department of Human Services to have access to the Job Service Listings in DOL's computer system. The Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors benefit from having access to this information in assisting consumers to obtain employment. Having access to this system helps identify employment openings close to the consumer's home and employers who have historically been more open to hiring individuals with disabilities.

Memorandum of Understanding for Migrant Seasonal Worker Program

In April of 1999, a Memorandum of Understanding was developed between the Department of Human Services (DHS) and the Black Hills Special Services Cooperative for the provision of coordinating services and expenses for individuals who were being served by the Migrant Seasonal Worker Program.

Formal Agreement for Information Follow-up Project

Since 1997, the Division of Rehabilitation Services has been participating in the Department of Labor's Information Follow-up Project. This project combines electronic data from the Department of Human Services, Department of Labor, Department of Education and Cultural Affairs, Technical Institutes, Board of Regents, Public Universities, Department of Corrections, Department of Social Services, and the Department of Commerce and Regulations. This project provides information on the number of consumers involved with other agencies. This program is also able to provide a summary report on individuals who were rehabilitated in previous years by the Vocational Rehabilitation program.

Project Skills

The Division of Rehabilitation Services has cooperative agreements with local school districts through out South Dakota for the provision of transition services This program provides paid work experiences in student's career areas to help them prepare for adulthood and the world of work.

Vocational Adjustment Counseling Program

The Division of Rehabilitation Services has a cooperative agreement with the Sioux Falls School District to fund half of a vocational rehabilitation counselor's position. This vocational rehabilitation counselor participates in the school's vocational adjustment counseling program.

Memorandum of Understanding with Department of Corrections and the Department of Health

In January of 2005, the Department of Human Services entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the Department of Corrections (DOC) and the Department of Health (DOH) in order to define administrative responsibilities and fiscal accountabilities for the following programs: (1) substance abuse services for adults and juveniles in DOC institutions; (2) mental health services for adults and juveniles in DOC institutions; (3) guardianship and placement of juveniles in DOC in relation to the provision of services at the Human Services Center (HSC) and the South Dakota Developmental Center (SDDC); (4) physical health services provided by DOH for adults and juveniles in DOC institutions, dental services provided to patients and inmates at HSC and SDDC; and (5) minimum utilization at HSC and SDDC.

Interagency cooperation with, and utilization of the services and facilities of the Federal, State, and local agencies and programs, including programs carried out by the Under Secretary for Rural Development of the United States Department of Agriculture

The State VR Agencies do not have any agreements under the Secretary for Rural Development of the US Department of Agricultural. DRS and SBVI have the following formal cooperative agreements with agencies who do not carry out activities through the statewide workforce investment system.

State Use Law

The State of South Dakota does have a "State Use Law" as described in South Dakota Codified Law

§5-20-4. The Department of Human Services has prepared a list of products and custodial/maintenance services offered by qualified agencies. The Department updated this list and furnished a copy to the Bureau of Administration on September 2nd, 1998.

This screen was last updated on Jun 25 2009 11:46AM by Ronda Williams

  • 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.

Cooperation and Coordination with Other Agencies and Other Entities

Coordination with Education Officials

Current Success with Transition Services for Students with Disabilities

The Division of Rehabilitation Services (DRS or Division) has been a leader in innovative transition services for students with disabilities. The focal point of this the success in transition services is the partnership between the DRS and the Office of Special Education in co-funding the Transition Services Liaison Project. This project initiates the following successful transition activities:

Transition Services Liaison Project: TSLP provides technical assistance and training to students with disabilities, families, local education agencies and adult service agencies to promote the movement from school to post-school activities. There are three Transition Liaisons and a Transition Services Liaison Project Coordinator to provide these activities. TSLP manages the transition programs listed below.

Project Skills: Project Skills is a paid work experience program for high school students with disabilities in South Dakota. The program is a cooperative arrangement between the state vocational rehabilitation agencies and the local school districts and provides students the opportunity to learn different skills in a variety of job placements, with the assistance of a job coach. Project Skills helps to build the student's work history, references and help them move into different and better jobs as they mature and are ready to take on new challenges.

Youth Leadership Forum: YLF is a unique career and leadership training program for high school juniors and seniors to learn more about self advocacy skills and disability awareness. Students with disabilities cultivate leadership, citizenship, and social skills as a result of participating in this annual five-day event. The YLF is implemented at the state level by the Governor's Advisory Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities, and other state and local partners.

Catch the Wave: A one-day conference designed specifically for high school students who have a disability and are considering post-secondary education (either college or technical institutes). Students learn about preparing for college life, securing appropriate accommodations, and developing self-advocacy and communication skills.

Regional Transition Forums: These forums are informal and interactive meetings for providers of services, transition-age students with disabilities, as well as consumers and family members.

Summer Institute: The Summer Institute is a statewide training opportunity for Special Education teachers who are assisting students in the transition process. It is held for one week in the summer and offers training in areas of IDIEA, introducing self determination curriculum and other assessment materials, and IEP planning. Teachers receive graduate credit for the class and gain knowledge from Disability Services Coordinators from post secondary schools, vocational rehabilitation staff, Transition Liaisons, community mental health agencies and independent living services staff.

Increased referrals of students with disabilities.

The South Dakota Division of Rehabilitation Services is making great strides in getting referrals to serve students with disabilities at an earlier age. The Division has developed a brochure specifically for the transition process and has promoted referrals from school systems at an earlier age.

Plans, Policies and Procedures for coordination with Education Officials to facilitate transition services for students with disabilities

The Division continues to explore and expand transition services available to students with disabilities. The quality, as well as the quantity of services have increased over the last years and will continue to do so. The Division is committed to provide quality services in order to provide smooth and thorough transitions into the adult world. Key activities to implement this commitment include:

Special education staff and staff from the school districts are invited to attend DRS training.

Transition training will continue to the Local Education Agencies, students, parents and the VR Offices

Office of Special Education is a member of the State Rehabilitation Council.

Division of Rehabilitation Services has representation on the Advisory Council for the Office of Special Education.

Division continues to co-fund the Transition Services Liaison Project with the Office of Special Education.

The Department of Human Services, the Department of Education and Cultural Affairs, the Department of Labor and the Department of Social Services have implemented a cooperative agreement concerning Transition Services for Youth with Disabilities. The agreement presents a common policy and conceptual framework for addressing interagency transition planning at the local level, thus insuring that youth with disabilities have access to the services and resources needed to enter adult life (and the world of work) successfully.

Continue the "Youth Leadership Forum" to provide leadership training for students with disabilities.

Continue funding Project Skills which provides work experience for students with disabilities.

Continue funding the Summer Institute which provides transition training for teachers.

Continue providing Catch the Waive activities which provides students with disabilities an opportunity to experience a post secondary program.

Continue to conduct the Transition Regional Forums which provides transition partners the opportunity to meet and discuss coordination of services.

Development and Approval of an IPE before leaving school

The Division is making great efforts to assure that students with disabilities access the vocational rehabilitation program and develop their Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) before they complete high school. Following are some of these activities:

Division VR Counselors contact school counselors and 504 coordinators on a regular basis in an attempt to identify and meet with students.

Division VR Counselors inform school staff what services are available to students with disabilities and eligibility requirements. VR Counselors then follow up on referral in a timely fashion in order to determine eligibility prior to graduation.

Division VR Counselors and other Division staff will attend interagency meetings in order to inform other service organizations about Rehabilitation Services and obtain referrals of these students.

The Division will continue funding Project Skills to include serving students with disabilities who are not receiving special education services.

Interagency Agreement

The South Dakota Cooperative Agreement Concerning Transition Services for Youth With Disabilities, was revised on January 2005. This agreement includes the following South Dakota entities: Office of Special Education, Division of Workforce and Career Preparation, Division of Mental Health, Division of Developmental Disabilities, Division of Rehabilitation Services, Division of Service to the Blind and Visually Impaired, Department of Labor and Department of Social Services.

The agreement identifies each agency's roles and responsibilities including:

Consultation and technical assistance to assist in planning for the transition of students with disabilities from school to post-school activities, including vocation rehabilitation services;

Transition planning by personnel of the Division of Rehabilitation Services and school district personnel;

Roles and responsibilities of each agency including State lead agencies and qualified personnel responsible for transition services;

Financial responsibilities; and

Procedures for outreach and identification of students with disabilities who need transition services.

This screen was last updated on Jun 25 2009 11:46AM by Ronda Williams

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

Cooperation and Coordination with Other Agencies and Other Entities

Cooperative Arrangements with Private Non-profit Vocational Rehabilitation Services Providers

Makeup of CRPs

Due to the geographic realities which exist within South Dakota, the Division of Rehabilitation Services (DRS or Division) recognizes one of the best sources available for the provision of vocational rehabilitation services are community rehabilitation programs (CRP). CRPs consist of Adjustment Training Centers, Mental Health Centers, Career Learning Centers, Job Shops, Independent Living Centers, Communication Services for the Deaf, and the Rehabilitation Center for the Blind. These programs are located in local communities throughout the state.

Utilization of CRPs

During Federal Fiscal Year 2006, 39% of the Division's client services expenditures (approximately $2,021,862) were to CRP's.

Manner in which cooperative arrangements are established

The Division does have some contractual agreements with private nonprofit community rehabilitation programs. These contracts are outcome based and have been designed to assist some of the CRP's as a means to streamline services for individuals with mental illness. All the services purchased by the Division from CRPs are directly from the vocational rehabilitation counselor utilizing an authorization process. The amount of services purchased depends upon the amount and type of services needed by a consumer. Agencies eligible to receive authorizations must be approved vendors and must be current service providers of the Department or have CARF Accreditation.

Service contracts to CRPs

To help expand the capacity and effectiveness of community rehabilitation programs, the Division of Rehabilitation Services has in the past funded establishment grants and service contracts. These activities consisted of the following:

• Establishment grants and service contracts for Job Shops.

• Service contract to serve individuals with mental illness focusing on employment outcomes.

• Service contract providing transitional employment services for individuals with mental illness. The transitional employment is time-limited to six months and provided in a business setting in the community.

Improve capacity and quality of services from CRPs

The Division continually works on improving the capacity and quality of services from CRPs. One of the Goals of the Division is to expand and strengthen partnerships with business, service providers and service organizations in communities across the state. The Division has established provider networks in Sioux Falls and Rapid City where they meet monthly to coordinate services, improve capacity and improve the quality of services. The Division also encourages providers to attend training sessions offered by the Region VIII CRP training program and the State VR agencies. The main training conferences include the annual Employment Specialists Training, Midwinter conference and the Fall Conference.

This screen was last updated on Jul 8 2010 4:18PM by Ronda Williams

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.

Cooperation and Coordination with Other Agencies and Other Entities

Arrangements and Cooperative Arrangements for the Provision of Supported Employment Services

The heart of supported employment is the coordination of the time limited and the on-going support services. The Division of Rehabilitation Services (DRS or Division) has been very proactive in working collaboratively with service providers and public agencies to coordinate funding sources and policies. These efforts are categorized into two areas:

• Formal Cooperative Agreements

• Informal Cooperative Efforts with Agencies

Formal Cooperative Arrangements

The Division of Rehabilitation Services have in place a formal cooperative agreement with the Divisions of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities, Service to the Blind and Visually Impaired, Office of Special Education, and the Department of Labor. The purpose of the cooperative agreement is to:

• define supported employment and related terms,

• eligibility requirements,

• referral process,

• responsibilities of each agency,

• extended support services to be provided by the Division of Developmental Disabilities,

• extended support services to be provided by the Division of Mental Health,

• time-limited services to be provided by the Division of Rehabilitation Services and Service to the Blind and Visually Impaired,

• service plan development,

• requirements for transition to extended services, and

• responsibilities for post-employment services

Having full access to the Department of Labor's Job Listing is essential to assist individuals with disabilities seek employment. The abbreviated job listings typically distributed do not provide a complete description of the job duties, name and location of employer. On January 15th, 1997 the Division of Rehabilitation Services entered into an on-going agreement with the Department of Labor for a representative in each District Office to have access to all the details of the job listings. This agreement provided for the arrangements to maintain confidentiality of employer listings and developed a purpose for the local DRS, SBVI and Job Service Offices to better coordinate services for individuals with disabilities.

The Division of Developmental Disabilities has entered into a letter of understanding with DRS. This letter/agreement better defines how each agency's funding sources are coordinated in regards to the time limited and on-going support services. This agreement has had a significant impact in changing how services are provided to consumers who once lived in institutions or Intensive Care Facilities. These individuals have the most severe impediments to employment and now will be able to access DRS funds to achieve a supported employment outcomes.

In November of 1997, a document was established to help coordinate the services and funding between the Divisions of Mental Health, Rehabilitation Services, and Service to the Blind & Visually Impaired. This document serves as a policy directive for the Community Mental Health Centers and the local Vocational Rehabilitation Offices. It provides guidance in three areas relative to providing vocational services for individuals with severe and persistent mental illness:

1. What services can and should be provided by the Community Mental Health Center?

2. What services are available from Vocational Rehabilitation?

3. Which Division pays for the different services?

Informal Cooperative arrangements with agencies

The Division of Rehabilitation Services continually works collaboratively with other State agencies on a day-to-day basis to better serve individuals with disabilities. Following are some of these collaborative efforts:

• The State Office of the Division of Rehabilitation Services are co-located with the Divisions of Developmental Disabilities, Drug and Alcohol Abuse, Service to the Blind and Visually Impaired, and Mental Health. Our agencies can easily communicate to coordinate services between Divisions.

• Nine of the twelve Division's Offices are co-located with the local Career Center Offices. When vocational rehabilitation counselors travel, they frequently utilize offices in the Career Centers, Job Shops, Social Services, Court Houses, Community Rehabilitation Programs and other agencies.

• The public vocational rehabilitation agencies are working closely with all partners identified in the Workforce Investment Act to collaborate in the implementation of the new law. Division staff serve on implementation workgroups, task forces, the State Workforce Development Council and on local Workforce Development Councils.

This screen was last updated on Jun 25 2009 11:47AM by Ronda Williams

Data System on Personnel and Personnel Development

Each of the partner programs in the Workforce Investment Act System all agree as to how the state develops personnel to achieve the performance indicators for the programs in the plan. State plan attachment 4.10 of the public vocational rehabilitation plans describe the policies, procedures, and activities that vocational rehabilitation maintains to ensure an adequate supply of qualified rehabilitation professionals and para-professionals as partner agencies in the implementation of workforce investment activities in South Dakota. The VR training officer and HRD specialist is a member of a workgroup that includes all workforce investment partner programs for training and personnel development purposes. In addition, qualified professional staff are assigned responsibility to the local one-stop council levels to train partner agencies in the roles and parameters of public vocational rehabilitation in the Career Center system. All personnel matters concerning public vocational rehabilitation are under the strict authority of the designated state units to include hiring, supervision, training, and development. Comprehensive System of Personnel Development The Division of Rehabilitation Services (DRS or Division) has implemented a number of strategies to ensure trained staff is delivering quality services to applicants and consumers with whom division personnel work. Currently one employee is primarily responsible for activities related to the comprehensive system of personnel development. This employee is also responsible for other management duties in the designated state unit for delivery of services to individuals who are blind. Data System The current system to collect and analyze data related to qualified personnel needs and personnel development consists of two components. The South Dakota Bureau of Personnel (BOP) maintains a database of all training activities attended by Division staff including BOP training, seminars, workshops, conferences, and undergraduate and graduate level courses supported by the Division. Individual offices maintain files on educational backgrounds, training activities and goals and plans for Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors to meet the personnel standards to become qualified Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors and receive Commission of Rehabilitation Counselor Certification (CRCC). Supervisors are required to address training needs as a part of the annual employee evaluation. Individual training needs are reported to the Training Officer to be considered in the implementation of results from the annual training needs assessment. The Division utilizes a web based management information system (VR FACES) for data tracking of the CSPD for staff. The VR FACES tracks all the employees of the Division, their office structure, race, supervisor, disability, job classification, and other relevant information to the position. The system also tracks if VR Counselors are a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) or their development plan to become CRC. Input of information is required of individual employees and supervisors with access to all information by the Training Officer and other management staff. This system is more efficient for addressing individual training needs as well as projecting for future personnel and training priorities and progress of staff toward meeting CSPD requirements. The following table identifies current staffing patterns for the Division of Rehabilitation Services. Current staffing patterns include the following: Clerical – Secretaries, Senior Secretaries and Administrative Assistants; Support - Counselor Aides; Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors - entry level VR counselors and senior level VR counselors; Supervisors - District Supervisors, Management – Division Director, Assistant Director, VR Specialist, IL Program Specialist, Rehabilitation Engineer and Deaf Services Specialist. The “Other” category refers to: Rehabilitation Teacher at the Yankton District Office and two Interpreters. For FFY 2011, the ratio of counselors compared to applicants and eligible individuals served is an average 152 consumers per counselor. The remaining active caseload as of 10/01/2011 was an average of 80 active consumers per caseload. The Division did not experience an increase in active cases as South Dakota began the Ticket to Work program. However an increase was experienced as a result of a decreased economy. It is the goal of the Division of Rehabilitation Services to remain under the ratio of 1:80 active consumers per counselor. The Division evaluates the need for a position before replacing it. In previous years, vacant positions have been relocated to other parts of the state with more need or change to a different position type as needed.

 

Row Job Title Total positions Current vacancies Projected vacancies over the next 5 years
1 Clerical 10 0 1
2 Counselor Aides 6 0 0
3 VR Counselors 38 0 0
4 Supervisors 5 0 1
5 Management 6 0 1
6 Other 3 1 0
7 0 0 0
8 0 0 0
9 0 0 0
10 0 0 0

 

The Division is committed to assist vocational rehabilitation counselors to obtain the necessary academic training and professional experience to meet the standards of a Senior Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor. During FFY 2011, 13 DRS employees were pursuing their Vocational Rehabilitation Master’s degree program through Montana State University, South Dakota State University or Virginia Commonwealth University. Seven individuals graduated during the past year with a masters degree in vocational rehabilitation. Another important strategy is coordination of resources to access the most comprehensive training opportunities. Resources include in-service training; TACE sponsored training, cooperation for training sponsored by other organizations. The last element of this plan is the development of a career ladder that will reward staff for professional development.

 

Row Institutions Students enrolled Employees sponsored by agency and/or RSA Graduates sponsored by agency and/or RSA Graduates from the previous year
1 South Dakota State University 13 13 7 0
2 0 0 0 0
3 0 0 0 0
4 0 0 0 0
5 0 0 0 0

 

Recruitment and Retention of Qualified Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors

The South Dakota Bureau of Personnel did a Workforce Planning Study with SFY 2005 – SFY 2010 data compiling information for the past 5 years. Following are some of the results of the Department of Human Services (excluding the institutions). In 5 years, Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors (DRS & SBVI) have a 5.5% turnover rate per year. The State average of turnover rates is 12.2% and the Department of Human Service average turn over rate is 13.8 % per year. Two of the five DRS supervisors have retired in the past 5years. It is anticipated that all 5 District Supervisors and Director could retire in the current year. The average length of employment of the 5 District Supervisors is over 25 years. The Division of Rehabilitation Services anticipates the need to recruit at least 12 Qualified VR Counselors in the next five-year period. This includes vacancies for five vocational rehabilitation counselors who are eligible for retirement in the next five years. There is only one post secondary institution that offers masters degrees in rehabilitation counseling in South Dakota. This program is at the South Dakota State University in Brookings, SD. They started their masters program in the fall of 2005 with the first graduate in the fall of 2007. They currently have 13 students enrolled in the masters program with all of the enrolled in RSA funds. Seven students graduated in May 2011 but non were sponsored by RSA funds. DRS has a cooperative agreement with SDSU in providing internship opportunities, participation on their advisory board and recruitment of qualified candidates. The Division has been providing paid internship opportunities for students pursuing their Masters degree in Vocational Rehabilitation. The Division also offers unpaid internship opportunities for students with other degrees when our offices have space available. Recruitment of qualified staff is also accomplished through promoting vacancies at universities in Region VIII with Masters level programs. The University of Colorado, Montana State University, South Dakota State University and Utah State University are also sources for recruitment of graduates with master’s level degrees in vocational rehabilitation counseling. In addition, South Dakota has three State public Universities with programs offering master degrees in counseling. These three State Universities have expanded their class locations to other universities and distance learning options. Graduates of the following programs are recruited for vocational rehabilitation counselor openings: Doctorate of Education program options, Counselor of Education and Counseling Practice; School Psychology and Educational Psychology, Mental Health Counseling, or Master of Arts in Counseling or Educational Psychology. Graduates are hired and trained to prepare for the CRCC to meet the highest qualifications in the state for rehabilitation counselors. During the next five years, it is projected that up to 6 counselors will be hired who are graduates of these programs. The announcements for all state positions including the Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor positions are posted on the State web page. DRS forwards the job openings to the South Dakota professional organizations such as the South Dakota RehabACTion Association. The announcement is also sent to consumer organizations such as the South Dakota Coalition of Citizens with Disabilities. Retention and advancement are accomplished through the opportunity for all entry-level vocational rehabilitation counselors to participate in masters level vocational rehabilitation education programs, and, once meeting the requirements for “Senior Counselor”, receive promotion to this level. Leadership and management training and assignments with senior level management teams assist counselors to prepare for supervisory and administrative positions. Senior rehabilitation counselors are encouraged to apply for management and administrative positions when there are vacancies. Promotional opportunities are available through announcing supervisory and management positions so those candidates must be employees of the designated state unit when there are qualified individuals who meet the requirements for the positions. To address the priority of recruiting individuals with disabilities and from minority backgrounds, the South Dakota Bureau of Personnel has in administrative rule the requirement that individuals with disabilities or minority backgrounds are automatically certified applicants to be interviewed. In addition, any eligible applicant for employment who has been certified severely disabled by a rehabilitation counselor will be certified (eligible to interview) regardless of the ranking the applicant receives compared to other applicants. This ensures that individuals who have disabilities or are minorities have the opportunity to interview and compete for openings in the designated state unit.

 

Personnel Standards Working in conjunction with the Bureau of Personnel, the Division has established minimum standards for vocational rehabilitation counselors, senior vocational rehabilitation counselors and district supervisors. These standards are reviewed periodically in light of changing personnel needs, labor market supply and training resources. The Division relies on state standards for secretary, counselor aide and program administrator positions. These are generic job classifications within the state Bureau of Personnel system. The Division does establish specific knowledge, skills and ability requirements in order for individuals to enter these positions. Newly hired rehabilitation counselors are required to have a degree that will lead towards CRC certification or, if they possess only a bachelor degree, must agree to pursue a master’s degree as a condition of employment. The Division will support costs associated with pursuit of master’s degrees. Funds for supporting employees’ pursuit of master’s level degrees consist of RSA stipends, in-service training money and program 110 funds. Senior rehabilitation counselors are certified through the Certified Rehabilitation Counselor process. The priority in filling counselor vacancies is a master’s and CRC certification. Eligibility for CRC certification (already possesses a master’s degree but no certification) is the next preferred option. Due mostly to lower starting salaries compared to surrounding states, it is necessary to hire individuals with bachelor’s degrees for entry-level positions and require they become qualified vocational rehabilitation counselors within eight years. Based on this requirement, a VR Counselor hired in 2012 will meet the qualified VR Counselor standards in 2020. Since South Dakota is a small state, there are several one of a kind staff positions. Each year in the personnel performance evaluation process, we identify the professional development needs of these staff. Each employee’s immediate supervisor monitors individualized staff development plans. National certification standards are used for the Orientation and Mobility Specialist. The diabetic education specialist receives training specific to alternative methods for diabetic management for individuals who are diabetic and have vision loss. The Assistive Technology Specialist attends regional and national training to keep up to date on the latest advances in technology. Standards for Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor: Newly hired rehabilitation counselors are required to have a master’s degree that will lead towards CRC certification or if they possess only a bachelor degree, each new hire must agree to pursue a master’s degree as a condition of employment. The Division does support costs associated with pursuit of master’s degrees. Funds for support of employees to a master’s level consists of RSA stipends, in-service training money and program 110 funds. Once entry level counselors have accomplished obtaining a master’s degree and CRC certification, they can request a promotion to Senior Rehabilitation Counselor. Standards for Senior Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor: The Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) by the Commission of Rehabilitation Counselor Certification (CRCC) and they have demonstrated the ability to work independently in developing Individual Plans for Employment. Standards for District Supervisors: Currently all District Supervisors meet the requirements for a Senior Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor. Meeting this standard is preferred but not required for a District Supervisor. District Supervisors must have experience in working with people with disabilities, knowledge of the vocational rehabilitation program, and must have the ability to manage a budget, personnel and office operations. If the District Supervisor does not have the credentials of Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC), then a timeline will be established to obtain pass the CRC. The Rehabilitation Act as amended and the Vocational Rehabilitation regulations refer to personnel as "Qualified Personnel" and "Qualified Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors". The Division has defined these positions as follows: Qualified Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor: All Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors, District Supervisors and State Office Personnel: a. meets the standards for Senior Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor; b. meets the standards for Senior Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor except is not CRC certified; or c. meets the standards for Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor, has been employed by the Division as a VR Counselor for a minimum of six months, and has an approved plan to be eligible to take the CRC certification test by the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification in eight years. This employee does receive oversight and monitoring of the non-delegated functions of the VR process. The approved plan must be signed by the Supervisor. The plan will include at a minimum of one course each semester unless the individual can present extenuating circumstances that are approved by the State Office. The following shows the status of Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors in the Division as of 10/1/2011. All five District Supervisors meet the requirements of "Qualified VR Counselor". There are a total of 43 VR Counselors & Supervisors. As of 10/1/2011, 13 VR Counselors are in a plan for CRC with 6 of them able to take the CRC examination. 28 VR Counselors are Senior VR Counselors and have their CRC. One individual does not currently meet the standard of a qualified Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor and does not perform the non delegable functions. Qualified Personnel: This category of individuals includes all 6 Counselor Aides and one VR Counselor who is not "Qualified VR Counselors".

 

Staff Development

The Division of Rehabilitation Services approaches personnel development through a number of avenues. Each employee’s current level of education and training, as well as short term and long term training needs are tracked by supervisors who evaluate methods for addressing these needs annually through the Performance Planning and Review System (PPAR). Individual training needs assessments are conducted to evaluate current levels of education, understanding of fundamentals of vocational rehabilitation, disability-related issues, professional development and related topics. Self evaluation and supervisor input and recommendation sections on the PPAR assist in assessing needs for training which may be pursued through a number of approaches. The results of the assessments are recorded for individuals, groups of related positions (i.e. rehabilitation counselors, supervisors, managers, clerical etc.) and for the agency as a whole. The state’s in-service plan and annual updates outline the strategies that the Division has developed to meet the professional or paraprofessional training needs of staff that includes specific training related to assessment, vocational counseling, job placement, and rehabilitation technology. This training is delivered through workshops, conferences, video conferencing and webinars. The Division also utilizes e-mail and web links to disseminate information on research, studies and other relevant information related to disabilities and vocational rehabilitation. The PPAR system allows for ongoing feedback between employees and supervisors by incorporating a self audit while addressing professionalism, work quality and areas for development as well as areas of strength. Training needs are addressed utilizing a form that not only identifies needed training, but also includes fields for the date the training is scheduled and the date it is attended. BOP workshops are identified under the following headings: supervisory, job enrichment and technology with “other training” and “job-specific skills” also included in the document used to track need and attendance. The training officer works with agency supervisors to identify resources for obtaining training in areas related to vocational rehabilitation (including the Rehabilitation Act Amendments of 1998, Workforce Investment Act and RSA regulations), including serving individuals with the most significant disabilities and those of minority backgrounds. Training needs are also identified through input from consumers responding to satisfaction surveys and input from the State Rehabilitation Council. Cooperation with other entities in state government such as the Department of Labor, Department of Health and the Department of Education, ensures that training opportunities are available which address topics relevant to the field of rehabilitation. Staff have access to intensive training which applies to serving individuals with disabilities. These conferences and/or seminars are also an opportunity to collaborate with other entities who deliver services to individuals with disabilities. In addition, vocational rehabilitation personnel regularly provide training concerning considerations when working with individuals with disabilities to DOL employees. Paraprofessional staff (i.e. counselor aides and clerical staff) are offered ongoing training in word processing and other software applications as well as office related courses such as effective writing, organization skills, etc., through the Bureau of Personnel. Courses specific to the vocational rehabilitation management information system and requirements specific to vocational rehabilitation are offered through in-service training sessions usually taught by agency specialty staff. Leadership development and capacity building are addressed through distance learning courses as well as agency sponsored training sessions. Assistive technology training is available through DakotaLink (state’s assistive technology project), the DRS Rehabilitation Engineer or the State Bureau of Information and Technology (for employees with disabilities who utilize assistive technology on the job). Annual training conferences and monthly video conferences address policy changes or training needs that have been identified in the annual training needs assessment. Cooperative agreements are in place with the state’s four Native American Vocational Rehabilitation Projects (Section 121’s) and the Native American Independent Living Project to provide training to staff on cultural diversity. The Division of Rehabilitation Services implemented a new project in FFY 2008 called “Futures Initiative”. The purpose of the Futures Initiative is to challenge DRS employees in becoming positive forces of change in the field of Vocational Rehabilitation by adopting and implementing exemplary leadership practices. DRS staff will have the opportunity to become part of the Futures Initiative to expand their knowledge, skills and abilities by participating in quality training and program development to become exemplary leaders. The Futures Initiative is designed for DRS staff interested in moving into a new, different or expanded role within the Vocational Rehabilitation program. This may include staff who would be interested in mentoring new staff, interested in moving into management positions and/or interested in expanding their leadership skills and roles.

 

Communication with Diverse Populations Interpreters are available for all training sessions as well as to consumers who are deaf or deaf/blind. The Department of Human Services employs sign language interpreters to be available to vocational rehabilitation consumers and staff. If additional interpreters are needed, the Division contracts for these services. Braille, materials on disk and enlarged print are provided to all staff or consumers who request alternative formats. The Division has developed fee schedules and vendors to pay for interpreters of foreign languages and Native American interpreters.

 

Coordination of the CSPD and In-service Training Training on IDEA and transition services for students with disabilities is coordinated with the State Division of Special Education and the State Transition Project. The annual Youth Leadership Forum is planned in collaboration with the State Divisions of Special Education, Rehabilitation Services, Service to the Blind and Visually Impaired, the Statewide Independent Living Council, and the State Transition Project. The 2011 and 2012 Fall Conferences will be a combined effort with the Office of Special Education and it will offer a series of transition presentations. The Division has established liaison relationships and cooperative agreements with the other partner agencies that are included in the Workforce Investment Act and the State Unified Plan. The training officer is on a work group with other agency’s training officers to plan joint training initiatives. The Director of DRS as a member of the state’s Workforce Investment Council deals with training issues system wide. Training needs of the state’s Native American Indian Vocational Rehabilitation Services Programs, Centers for Independent Living, the Client Assistance Program and Community Based Rehabilitation Programs are also gathered and reported to the Region VIII TACE and considered in planning annual training activities. As previously stated, training needs are addressed through a variety of resources. In-service training, activities supported by the Region VIII TACE, workshops, conferences and seminars hosted by other organizations such as Special Education, Department of Labor, Bureau of Personnel training, professional organizations, consumer organizations (SD Coalition of Citizens with Disabilities, SD Association of the Blind, National Federation of the Blind of SD, SD Association of Community Based Services and the SD Association of the Deaf), and distance learning are examples of sponsors of training activities in which staff participate. Independent study and mentoring by supervisors and senior rehabilitation counselors are other means for meeting individual staff development needs. The State Rehabilitation Council (Board of Vocational Rehabilitation) is included in the preparation and writing of the state plan and related policies and procedures. The Board is consulted in the development of the plan and has the opportunity to review and provide input into the draft pre print and attachments prior to submission to RSA. In addition, Board members participate in and assist with facilitation of annual public meetings. Results from the statewide training needs assessments will be shared with the Board at future meetings for their input and advice. Board members are invited to agency training sessions and conferences and they are encouraged to attend other training events appropriate to the vocational rehabilitation arena.

This screen was last updated on Aug 30 2012 11:16AM by Ronda Williams

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.

State Unified Plan

The Designated State Units (DSU’)s in South Dakota submit this attachment to the "Needs Assessment" section of the State Unified Plan. The public vocational rehabilitation agencies in South Dakota are submitting attachment 4.11(a) with the state plan update to reflect that a comprehensive statewide needs assessment has been accomplished with this plan submission. As a partner in the State Unified Plan, public vocational rehabilitation has conducted an assessment of the needs of all individuals with disabilities as per the needs assessment section of the State Unified Plan and the requirements of the Rehabilitation Act and state plan requirements. Public vocational rehabilitation includes workforce partners in this assessment process to assure that the workforce needs of the state to include individuals with disabilities was addressed. This assessment included the vocational rehabilitation needs of individuals with most significant disabilities, individuals with disabilities who have been unserved and underserved and all components of the Statewide Workforce Investment System.

Results of Comprehensive Stateside Assessment of the Rehabilitation Needs of Individuals with Disabilities and Need to Establish, Develop, or Improve Community Rehabilitation Programs

I. State Unified Plan

The Designated State Units (DSU’)s in South Dakota submit this attachment to the "Needs Assessment" section of the State Unified Plan. The public vocational rehabilitation agencies in South Dakota are submitting attachment 4.11(a) with the state plan update to reflect that a comprehensive statewide needs assessment has been accomplished with this plan submission. As a partner in the State Unified Plan, public vocational rehabilitation has conducted an assessment of the needs of all individuals with disabilities as per the Needs Assessment section of the State Unified Plan and the requirements of the Rehabilitation Act and state plan requirements. Public vocational rehabilitation includes workforce partners in this assessment process to assure that the workforce needs of the state to include individuals with disabilities was addressed. This assessment included the vocational rehabilitation needs of individuals with most significant disabilities, individuals with disabilities who have been unserved and underserved and all components of the Statewide Workforce Investment System.

II. 2012 Triennial Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment

In carrying out the Triennial Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment (CSNA) the Division of Rehabilitation Services has adapted its process after the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) model of Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment development and in compliance with the 2011 instructions from RSA regarding the assessment process.

The South Dakota DRS CSNA was guided by the Executive Committee composed of DRS/SBVI Directors, key planning staff, and both the DRS/SBVI Board and SILC Chairs.

Division of Rehabilitation Services (DRS): Director: Grady Kickul

Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired (SBVI) Director: Gaye Mattke

DRS Assistant Director: Bernie Grimme

SBVI Assistant Director: Eric Weiss

DRS Board Chair: Dan Rounds

State Independent Living Chair: Margot Burton

SBVI Chair: Dave Miller

In addition to establishing the Executive CSNA committee, the South Dakota agencies (DRS & SBVI) worked directly with the Region 8 TACE in developing data sets, designing, and interpreting needs assessment surveys and instruments.

The primary role for the Executive Committee has been to facilitate the development of and commitment to the emerging goals of this specific CSNA cycle. The Chairs of the Boards worked with the respective Directors in engaging the collaboration of the general Board membership. The information sources that constitute the foundation of the DRS CSNA came from the review of the follow data, documents, public hearings, listening sessions and surveys:

The American Community Survey and Census Data; compiled and analyzed in partnership with Region 8 TACE

911 Year End Program Data for DRS for 2009 and 2010

A Report of VR Extant Data Analysis for Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment (South Dakota) Jan. 21, 2011, Sukyeong Pi, Ph.D. Research Associate, Office of Rehabilitation and Disability Studies.

Department of Vocational Rehabilitation Board Meeting; Indicator 14 results from 2007-08 Exiters, Dr. Greg Cooch

Post High School Transition Survey 2010; Black Hills Special Services Cooperative

DRS/SBVI Consumer Satisfaction surveys 2009/10

Consumer Satisfaction longitudinal Report

Project Skills Year End Data 2010

Project Skills Survey 2009

Analysis of FFY 2010 Year End Results of Federal Program Evaluation Standards

FFY 2010 Year End Results of All Cases

2009 Joint meeting of the Board of Service to the Blind and Visually Impaired (BSBVI); Board of Vocational Rehabilitation (BVR); Statewide Independent Living Council (SILC) March 10, 2009

Public Listening Session Notes; Kyle SD May 14, 2010

Eagle Butte Listening Session; Eagle Butte, April 22, 2010

Partners In Policy Making: Sioux Falls 2010 Public Listening Session April 24, 2010

Partners In Policy Making: Sioux Falls 2010 Public Listening Session April 18, 2009

Board of Vocational Rehabilitation (BVR) Public Meeting; September 30, 2009

Key Informant Interviews:

Dan Rounds: Community Rehabilitation Programs

Mary Medema: Sioux Falls Multicultural Center; Minorities

Bill Molseed; South Dakota Workforce Programs

Patrick Czerny: Dakota Link, Assistive Technology

DRS Counselor Rehabilitation Needs Survey

SBVI Counselor Rehabilitation Needs Survey

Unsuccessful Outcome (28) outcome Survey

This Attachment 4.11(a) will document the results of a comprehensive, statewide assessment, by relating the identified needs with the goals and strategies of Attachments 4.11 (c) (1) and 4.11(d) were jointly developed by the DRS administration and the DRS Board (SRC). Needs will be described in this attachment and related to specific goals and strategies when possible. Certain needs that were described but were not necessarily statewide needs or in some cases beyond the immediate scope of VR services will be addressed in terms of agency “response”. The sum of this attachment reflects the DRS commitment to respond as completely as possible to the range of needs brought out through the CSNA process.

1) The Needs Of Individuals With Disabilities Who Have The Most Significant Disabilities, Including Their Need For Supported Employment Services

“Individual with a Most Significant Disability” means an individual with a disability who meets the criteria for having a significant disability and in addition has serious limits in two or more functional capacities (such as, but not limited to, mobility, communication, self care, self direction, interpersonal skills, work tolerance, or work skills) in terms of an employment outcome. Individuals who meet the criteria for this Priority Level I category are determined to be individuals with the “Most Significant Disability”. The needs identified for this category were as follows:

a) Transportation :

Transportation emerged as a systemic issue across South Dakota. All planning categories identified the absence of transportation alternatives as issues for South Dakotans as potential impediments for individuals with disabilities in accessing work opportunities, services, and community resources. Individuals with the most significant disabilities were the not an exception to this need.

Response Statement: Access to transportation appears to be a systemic issue for citizens of South Dakota and not restricted to citizens with disabilities. While much of the needed response lies outside the scope of DRS, the response of the agency will be to maximize:

1. Existing internal transportation support capacity within the case service system; and

2. Influence the larger systems of South Dakota that may have the capacity to expand the state’s transportation resources.

b) Life Transition Supports & Safety Net SSA Public Assistance

Needs assessment discovered that consumers are struggling with managing the changes in personal and work relationships that occur in their personal lives over the course of their VR programs. The concern and confusion experienced by consumers over their SSA benefits and other safety net assistance has a negative impact on their motivational state for work. Goals I and III of the State Plan contain targeted strategies that address the range of needs of individuals with most significant disabilities falling under this primary needs category.

c) Mental Health Services:

Mental Health issues appeared in the needs assessment as a broad systemic service issue requiring a specific DRS VR focus. DRS depends on certain mental health supports being in place in a community in order to successfully execute an IPE for individuals with severe mental illness (SMI). This topic also interacts with rural service issues where in the more remote South Dakota communities basic supports for individuals with SMI minimal or absent. Goals I and II of the State Plan contain targeted strategies that address the range of needs of individuals with severe mental illness falling under this primary needs category.

Response Statement:

1) DRS will maintain its representation on the South Dakota Mental Health Advisory Council using that presence to advocate for coordinated interagency programs of support for persons with SPMI all South Dakota communities including any rural communities where DRS may determine under-service for persons with mental illness. These efforts will concentrate on building work based programming coordinated directly with local mental health programs.

2) DRS will specifically work through Regional Administrators to strengthen local programming through the contacts and advocacy of local VR staff with their counterparts in the mental health service system.

d) Transitions for Students with Disabilities including students with the most significant disabilities:

DRS has included in the 2012 State Plan a new goal to address the input regarding the needs of students with disabilities transitioning from secondary school. The agency will continue to build on its successful program serving students with the most significant disabilities exiting the school systems. Goal number IV addresses the needs for the areas of transition services.

e) Extended Services:

Extended Services were described in general terms as a need for persons with most significant disabilities. Goal II reflects a specific strategy dedicated to the enhancement of extended services. In addition the agency commits to these activities:

Response Statement: To expand and grow capacity for extended services in South Dakota, DRS will continue and grow strategies dedicated to:

1) Working with providers encouraging the use ticket to work payment income for expanded capacity to provide extended work services;

2) Working with the Mental Health system to expand post VR work and living supports for persons with SMI.

F) Pre-Placement Training

i) The CSNA needs assessment results indicated a growing need to assist consumers obtain the skills and supports necessary for successful daily living, money management, personal and work relationships. The absence of an individuals adult life management skills, including soft skills in work settings, undermine the effectiveness of VR programming. To address this emergent rehabilitation need Goal III (attachment 4.11 (c)) has been introduced into the DRS State Plan.

2) The Needs Of Individuals With Disabilities Who Are Minorities And Have Been Unserved Or Underserved

DRS surveyed consumers and staff regarding possible underservice for individuals with disabilities with an emphasize on serving individuals who a members of minority communities. In addition as part of the CSNA, DRS submitted its 2010 911 Data to for an impartial analysis intended in part to see if the patterns of service in DRS suggested unserved or underservice for any individuals including minorities. The analysis was completed by Sukyeong Pi, Ph.D. Research Associate, Office of Rehabilitation and Disability Studies. Her analysis of the South Dakota Data concluded from the perspective of data, there was no evidence in the realm of data of under-service of minorities by DRS in South Dakota. In addition further analysis of closure rates shows DRS is closing minorities, including Native Americans, at a rate higher than the percentage of those minorities in the general South Dakota population. The analysis indicated that minorities were being served at appropriate levels, but suggested that the agency may have some under-service concerns in some remote rural counties. At the qualitative level of the CSNA, communities and DRS staff reported what they perceived as needs for minorities, unserved and underserved. Those perceived needs were as follows:

a) Transportation:

Transportation emerged as a systemic issue across South Dakota. All planning categories identified the absence of transportation alternatives as issues for South Dakotans as potential impediments for individuals with disabilities in accessing work opportunities, services, and community resources. Minority communities reported this need frequently and often in relationship to very rural communities with few or no public transportation options.

Response Statement:

The response of the agency will be to maximize:

1. Existing internal transportation support capacity within the case service system; and

2. Influence the larger service systems of South Dakota that may have the capacity to expand the state’s transportation resources.

b) Life Transition Supports & Safety Net SSA Public Assistance

Goal I and Goal III of the 2012 State Plan attachment 4.11 (c) list the strategies designed to address the impediments implied in the above referenced needs for the general population of MVR. DRS commits to the following enhancements of Goals I and III to capture cultural considerations.

Response statement:

In response to South Dakotas largest minority population Native Americans, DRS commits to the following activities in its efforts to accommodate Goals I and III to cultural considerations:

1) Continued cooperation with the 121 American Indian Projects in South Dakota. DRS has cooperative agreements with all the 121s and a DRS staff member is assigned as the liaison between the two agencies.

2) The Division continues to recruit individuals from minority backgrounds for counseling and other positions in the agency.

3) The Division invites the 121 American Indians Programs to conferences or other training sessions sponsored by the Division.

4) In-service training needs assessments include the 121 American Indian Programs.

5) Employees and consumers of DRS participate in the Native American Summit to learn strategies for addressing cultural issues when serving South Dakotans of American Indian heritage.

6) SRC membership includes an American Indian representative of the 121 American Indian Projects.

7) DRS counselor manual includes specific guidance on providing culturally sensitive services to American Indians with disabilities.

8) DRS staff have done outreach activities on American Indian reservations during promotion of National Disability Employment Awareness Month.

9) The Division has been providing training and technical assistance to schools funded by the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

10) The Division continues working with the 121 American Indian Programs to update the cooperative agreements to better coordinate services between our two agencies.

d) Language/Culture:

Communication and cultural issues were frequently expressed in qualitative inputs as issues for minority groups and under/unserved populations. The impediments were described in the framework of communication, trust and connection. The service implications of these three impediments depended on the specific minority community and their history. Many of those histories were further complicated in the refugee communities. The refugee communities were described in a category separate from the indigenous minority populations.

Response statement:

DRS has taken the following additional steps to assure equal access individuals with disabilities from other minority groups:

1) Sioux Falls is experiencing an increase in individuals with cultural diversity. DRS has made arrangements with Lutheran Social Services for foreign language interpreting. The data as well as key informant interviews indicate growing numbers of specific minority communities seeking opportunity in South Dakota.

2) DRS will continue to utilize organizations such as Lutheran Social Services and the Multicultural Center to bridge impediments of communication trust and connection in order that the agency can more effectively conduct needs assessment, referral finding and service delivery. e) Rural Citizen Supports:

Some South Dakota rural communities are so sparsely populated that the economy of scale in these areas prohibit the maintenance of critical levels of the provider supports so critical to supporting a VR program. The data suggests that some rural counties may be underserved, but the South Dakota response to any underservice cannot be a singular statewide strategy but rather must be built around the local and regional economic realities.

Response statement: DRS commits to the following activities to address the possibility of underservice in rural counties:

1) DRS will work with regional DRS administration in identifying specific areas of underservice in South Dakota; concentrating on specific service needs in rural communities and feasible models of service response for those needs.

2) DRS will work with the larger Workforce system of partners to use the larger system of resources to meet service needs in rural areas.

3) DRS will continue to collaborate with the current CRP system of services to create new models of service that can address needed rural services

4) DRS will utilize the increasing access to technology in rural areas, to further the provision of basic VR services and assistive technology in rural counties.

f) Mental Health Services

Mental Health issues appeared in the needs assessment as a broad systemic service issue requiring a specific DRS VR focus. DRS depends on certain mental health supports being in place in a community in order to successfully carry out an IPE for individuals with severe mental illness (SMI). This topic also interacts with rural service issues where in the more remote South Dakota communities basic supports for individuals with SMI are absent.

Response Statement:

1) DRS will maintain its representation on the South Dakota Mental Health Advisory Council using that presence to advocate for coordinated interagency programs of support for persons with SMI all South Dakota communities including any rural communities where DRS may determine under-service for persons with mental illness. These efforts will concentrate on building work based programming coordinated directly with local mental health programs.

2) DRS will specifically work through Regional Administrators to strengthen local programming through the contacts and advocacy of local VR staff with their counterparts in the mental health service system.

g) Interagency Service Collaboration

Frequently responders described impediments and subsequent needs that called for actions outside the VR scope of services. When this occurred responders suggested turning to interagency collaboration and cooperation to tackle the broad systems issues that called for responses outside the VR scope. In response to this range of needs DRS has developed Goal II and strategies to meet this need.

h) Assistive Technology

Assistive Technology was described as a possible means by which both language barriers and services in some rural communities could be partially bridged.

Response statement:

1) DRS utilizes existing video conference technology to reach into the most rural communities that may be determined to be underserved.

2) DRS is exploring augmentative communication devices with Dakotalink as potential methods to bridge communications;

3. The Needs Of Individuals With Disabilities Who Are Served Through Other Components Of The Statewide Workforce Investment System.

South Dakota has a comprehensive and coordinated public and private statewide workforce investment system. There is a partnership of agencies and employer resources under the guidance of the South Dakota Workforce Development Council. Public vocational rehabilitation is represented on the State Workforce Council and State Workforce Council members are appointed to the state rehab councils. In addition to the methods of identifying needs described elsewhere in this attachment, DRS personnel partner with the state workforce system on local workforce boards, and by attending and presenting at statewide workforce conferences. Public vocational rehabilitation analyzes employment trends and labor market demands as an agency represented on the South Dakota Career Council. Annually, DRS participates with WIA on follow-up studies as to placements, retention, and wages. All of these initiatives allow DRS to guide services and resources in higher demand job areas as well as fields that will provide good wages and careers.

A significant need for individuals who are served through the workforce investment system is the coordination of services and funding with the vocational rehabilitation program. Because of this need, the South Dakota public vocational rehabilitation programs and the Department of Labor issued a joint memorandum to the Vocational Rehabilitation offices, One-Stop Career Centers, and the Career Learning Centers. This memorandum addressed the confusion regarding the level of services available when funded through the WIA.

DRS implemented an Order of Selection on October 1, 2006 but at this time is serving all categories. DRS has worked closely with all of the key components of the statewide workforce system to maximize the resources represented in the overall Workforce System are available to individuals with disabilities in South Dakota. In the event of DRS needing implementing its service priorities in this planning period, by maintaining the coordinated workforce systems, DRS assures the state’s readiness to serve individuals impacted by the order of selection through other workforce system partners.

In the South Dakota CSNA the DRS staff survey indicated a high level of satisfaction with the current Work Force Partners system of services. Any needs appeared to be localized in certain communities and will be addressed through local DRS administrative teams at the local level.

In a Key Informant Interview with Bill Molseed, the South Dakota Work Force Investment Administrator and DRS Board Member, two recommendations stood out for the Work Force System. Mr. Molseed expressed his support of the services that offer formal certification of readiness to work to help persons with disabilities access to entry level work (i.e. National Career Readiness Scale). He also strongly encouraged and supported broad efforts of public education that would help employers and the public understand the productive capacity of individuals with disabilities.

Response Statement: The DRS state plan Goal II and the subsequent strategies aligned under Goal II begin to address the issues Mr. Molseed referenced in his recommendations. DRS will also utilize opportunities for public education through Central Office staff as well as local administrations to promote the public’s understanding of the capability of persons with disabilities.

4. Assessment of the need to establish, develop or improve Community Rehabilitation Programs

The CSNA surveys and forums gave evidence the public and staff are looking for additional, enhanced resources to serve their clients through the provider world (Community Rehabilitation Programs). The data indicates there is a staff perception some change is needed in the provider service configuration to continue to effectively serve consumers. The various responses to needs identified for the Community Rehabilitation programs are not collected in one dedicated goal but rather distributed throughout the DRS goals and strategies contained in attachment 4.11 (c).

The primary needs identified that relate to the South Dakota DRS Community Rehabilitation Programs were:

a) Transportation:

Transportation emerged as a systemic issue across South Dakota. All planning categories identified the absence of transportation alternatives as issues for South Dakotans as potential impediments for individuals with disabilities in accessing work opportunities, services, and community resources. Again in the context of Community Rehabilitation transportation was brought up in terms of accessing both work and work services.

Response Statement: Access to transportation appears to be a systemic issue for citizens of South Dakota and not restricted to citizens with disabilities. While much of the needed response lies outside the scope of DRS, the response of the agency will be to maximize:

1. Existing internal transportation support capacity within the case service system; and

2. Influence the larger systems of South Dakota that may have the capacity to expand the state’s transportation resources.

b) Pre-Placement:

Again, in the CRP dimension of service provision, there was commentary on the impediments to employment presented by the lack of skills necessary to attract the positive attention of an employer; both interpersonal and occupational. The CSNA needs assessment results indicated a growing need to assist consumers with skills and supports necessary for successful daily living, money management, personal, and work relationships. These adult life management skills, including soft skills in work settings, undermine the effectiveness of VR programming. Goal III (attachment 4.11 (c)).addresses this emergent rehabilitation need.

c) Life Transitions Skills:

Unlike Pre-placement Training, the needs in this category would not be focused on job site/employer/public relations skills, but more on adult competencies of daily living. This category also emerged as a need and was often connected to the CRP programming planning dimension. The needs tended to be expressed in terms of daily living competencies such as budgeting, maintaining housing, some references to medical management and occasionally personal relationships. There appeared to be a sense that daily living skill instability in the personal lives of consumers was making it increasingly hard for counselors and CRP providers to provide VR services. DRS Goals and strategies respond directly to this need.

c) Mental Health Services

DRS depends on certain mental health supports being in place in a community in order to successfully execute an IPE for individuals with severe mental illness (SMI). While the needs expressed in the Mental Health Services realm do not fall directly into the traditional CRP realm, they can be seen as falling in the realm of “provider”. Respondents to the surveys and forums tended to batch provider needs under the CRP heading.

Response Statement:

1) DRS will maintain its representation on the South Dakota Mental Health Advisory Council using that presence to advocate for coordinated interagency programs of support for persons with SMI all South Dakota communities including any rural communities where DRS may determine under-service for persons with mental illness. These efforts will concentrate on building work based programming coordinated directly with local mental health programs.

2) DRS will specifically work through Regional Administrators to strengthen local programming through the contacts and advocacy of local VR staff with their counterparts in the mental health service system.

e) Job Placement/Coaching:

Because of turnover and sometimes a minimal recruiting pool for potential job coaches in rural communities, issues of undertrained job coaches were brought up as impediments to employment. Goal I (attachment 4.11 (c)).addresses the needs described under this category.

Goals and Strategies

Findings from the statewide needs assessment and a number of other activities are utilized to identify goals and strategies to improve services. Goals and priorities are addressed in attachment 4.11(c)(1) through a number of activities planned with input elicited from the Board of Vocational Rehabilitation, consumers of services and other partners in vocational rehabilitation. Strategies are addressed in attachment 4.11(d). In addition to the statewide needs assessment, the following activities are instrumental in developing appropriate state goals and priorities and strategies for use of Title I funds in innovation and expansion activities:

•Consumer Satisfaction Surveys;

•Public Meetings;

•Focus Groups;

•Case file reviews;

•Conferences and Seminars;

•Board Strategic Planning Sessions.

The results reported for the state wide needs assessment for this state plan submission have been analyzed and goals/strategies developed to address identified needs. Future state plan updates will address results from activities that provide information pertinent to goals and priorities and strategies to address innovation and expansion activities. Collaboration between the State Workforce Investment Council, Board of Vocational Rehabilitation, Board of Service to the Blind and Visually Impaired, Statewide Independent Living Council and other entities in the workforce, education and social service systems will occur to ensure continuity of policies and procedures for service provision.

This screen was last updated on Jun 15 2011 4:47PM by Ronda Williams

In assisting the Statewide Workforce Investment System in developing the needs determination section of the State Unified Plan, the public vocational rehabilitation agencies provide all partners the statewide estimates of individuals who are eligible for vocational rehabilitation services and supported employment services and the costs for services provided as planning and programming data as part of the vocational rehabilitation state plan update. These annual estimates are reported to the State Workforce Development Council as part of partner planning for addressing service needs statewide to include services to individuals with disabilities. Public vocational rehabilitation is represented on statewide workgroups that address service delivery and capacity among workforce partners in addressing local needs of the Career Centers across the state. VR staff who serve on the local Career Center advisory councils address the needs and potential number of individuals to be served at the local council planning meetings. Annual estimates during FFY 2013, the Division of Rehabilitation Services (DRS or Division) estimates that the following outcomes will be accomplished based on prior year’s data and services projections: 1) Title I, Vocational Rehabilitation – A total of 5,155 eligible consumers will be served at a case service cost of $6,740,000.00. 2) Title VI Part B Supported Employment – A total of 500 eligible consumers will be served at a case service cost of $296,000.00. According to the 2010 census, there are approximately 485,843 individuals between the ages of 18 and 64 years of age residing in the state. Of this number, 43,434 (8.9%) individuals report that they have a disability. The census also shows that of all the South Dakotan’s employed, only 4.82% are individuals with disabilities. ( Source, Census Bureau.2010). Estimate of the Number of Individuals Eligible for Services During SFY 2000-2005, the Division of Rehabilitation Services experienced an overall increase in the number of consumers receiving vocational rehabilitation services. This was attributed greatly to the struggles in the economy. As the economy improved in 2006 and 2007, employment was more plentiful making allowing an increase of consumers obtaining employment and a decrease in individuals applying for services. The economy again started declining in 2008. In FFY 2009, the Division of Rehabilitation Services had an increase of 13% in people applying for services. In FFY 2010, this increased another 5%. DRS experienced a 18% increase in applications in the 2 year period. The following graph demonstrates these trends. Based upon the historical tends, it is estimated that DRS will have 2,200 new eligible individuals in FFY 2011 and 2,225 new eligible individuals in FFY 2012. Supported employment is when an individual with the most significant disability is working in the community in an integrated setting above minimum wage alongside individuals who do not have disabilities. Supported employment is receiving the training at the job site and having available the necessary ongoing supports to help maintain the employment. Supported Employment Consumers served in FFY 2010 were 597, FFY 2011 were 515 and FFY 2012 Estimates are 500. Previously, the Division of Rehabilitation Services was able to serve all eligible individuals, however with increased consumers and increased costs for services, the Division implemented an Order of Selection effective 10/1/2006. The following table is provided for management and planning purposes for implementing the Order of Selection. This table shows an estimate of the number of individuals to be served and the cost of services for FFY 2012. This information is separated into the Order of Selection categories as described in Attachment 4.11 (c)(3). Order of Selection Priority Categories PRIORITY CATEGORY I - Are individuals who meet the definition of individuals with the most significant disabilities which seriously limits them in two or more functional capacities. PRIORITY CATEGORY II- Are individuals who meet the definition of individuals with significant disabilities which seriously limits them in one functional capacity. PRIORITY CATEGORY III- Individuals with disabilities.

Category Title I or Title VI Estimated Funds Estimated Number to be Served Average Cost of Services
Individuals currently under IPE Title I $5,054,832 2,994 $1,688
Priority I Eligibility Title I $1,274,676 1582 $805
Priority II Eligibility Title I $396,502 544 $728
Priority III Eligibility Title I $13,990 35 $399
Totals   $6,740,000 5,155 $1,307

This screen was last updated on Aug 29 2012 11:05AM by Ronda Williams

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.

Assessments; Estimates; Goals and Priorities: Strategies; and Progress Reports - State’s Goals and Priorities The Division of Rehabilitation Services (Division or DRS) mission is to assist individuals with disabilities to obtain good jobs, economic self-sufficiency, personal independence, and full inclusion into the community. To accomplish this mission, the Board of Vocational Rehabilitation and the Division have jointly developed the Goals and Priorities listed below. These goals will be developed based on the analysis of the comprehensive statewide assessment; performance of Division’s accomplishment in meeting the standards and indicators; and public input. Goal 1: A VR Services delivery system that results in enhanced earnings, employee benefits, retention and career advancement for individuals with the most significant disabilities. Goal 2: A strong statewide community with DRS presence and partnerships with business, service providers, schools and service organizations. Goal 3: DRS Consumers will have the skills, motivation and supports necessary for to make an informed choice for successful daily living, money management, personal and work relationships. Goal 4: Students will enter their adult lives capable of self-advocacy with sufficient experience to make choices about work and career, being appropriately supported and living as independently as possible.

This screen was last updated on Jun 22 2012 9:02AM by Ronda Williams

  • 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

Workforce Investment Act System

The Division of Rehabilitation Services (DRS or Division) implemented an order of selection on October 1, 2006. Implementing an order of selection was due to experiencing a regular increase in consumers and case service expenditures during the five previous years. During this five year time period, the number of consumers increased 24%. The case service expenditures have increased from $4,722,081 in SFY 01 to $6,055,931 in SFY 05. This is an increase of $1,333,850 in expenses. Approximately $1,000,000 of this increase was just in SFY 2005. It was projected that this growth would continue with increase expenditures of $750,000 each year. At that continued rate of increase, the DRS did not have sufficient Federal and State funds available to continue this level of increased expenditures and serve all eligible consumers.

The Division is co-located with the South Dakota Job Service Offices in nine of the twelve locations. The agencies have a collaborative partnership and referrals are made between agencies. Individuals who are impacted by the Order of Selection will be referred to other Workforce partners.

The public vocational rehabilitation program funding requirements are outlined in the section of the Memorandum of Understanding with the Workforce Investment Act partners. All funding determinations are made at the state level by the Workforce Development Council and the relevant state agencies. Public vocational rehabilitation is in full control of expenditure of all Title IV federal funds.

Order of Selection

With the continued increase in consumers and case service costs, it was not possible to provide the full range of vocational rehabilitation services in a timely manner to all eligible individuals with disabilities who applied for and were found eligible for such services. Beginning 10/1/2006, the Division of Rehabilitation Services (DRS or Division) implemented this Order of Selection Policy. Procedures for implementing an order of selection for the provision of vocational rehabilitation services were determined on the basis of first serving those eligible individuals who meet the definition established by the State of an “individual with the most significant disabilities,” followed by individuals with significant disabilities, then individuals with disabilities.

On October 1, 2006, the Division of Rehabilitation Services implemented an Order of Selection to the extent of all new eligibilities determined in Category II and III were placed on the waiting list. However during the course of the following 12 months, all the individuals in category II were taken off the waiting list and could begin the IPE development. All remaining individuals in category III were taken off the waiting list on 1/1/2008.

When implementing an order of selection, the Division provided training to the staff on the process and procedures. A major component of the training was the priority category classification that is done for every individual who is determined eligible. The training also included ways to maximize the utilization of comparable benefits for all consumers. This approach assisted the Division in an effort to stretch the current available dollars to the maximum extent possible and reduce the impact of the order of selection.

During the implementation of the Order of Selection, the Division reported to the Board of Vocational Rehabilitation at the quarterly meetings. The Board recommended a survey be conducted on the individuals who were remaining on the waiting list. This survey was completed and the results were shared with the Board.

 

Description of Priority categories

Definitions

“Individual With A Disability” means an individual - i. Has a physical or mental impairment; ii. Whose impairment constitutes or results in a substantial impediment to employment and: iii. Who can benefit in terms of an employment outcome from the provision of vocational rehabilitation services.

“Individual with a Significant Disability” means an individual with a disability - i. Who has a severe physical or mental impairment which seriously limits one or more functional capacities (such as mobility, communication, self care, self direction, interpersonal skills, work tolerance, or work skills) in terms of an employment outcome; ii. Whose vocational rehabilitation can be expected to require multiple vocational rehabilitation services over an extended period of time; and iii. Who has one or more physical or mental disabilities resulting from amputation, arthritis, autism, blindness, burn injury, cancer, cerebral palsy, cystic fibrosis, deafness, head injury, heart disease, hemiplegia, hemophilia, respiratory or pulmonary dysfunction, mental retardation, mental illness, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, musculo skeletal disorders, neurological disorders (including stroke and epilepsy), spinal cord conditions (including paraplegia and quadriplegia), sickle cell anemia, specific learning disability, end stage renal disease, or another disability or combination of disabilities determined on the basis of an assessment for determining eligibility and vocational rehabilitation needs described in subparagraphs (A) and (B) of paragraph (2) to cause comparable substantial functional limitation.

“Multiple VR Services” means three or more services as listed under Section 103 (a) of the Rehabilitation Act, as Amended in 1998.

“Extended Period Of Time” means that the active eligible status of the case is projected to be six months or more.

“Individual with a Most Significant Disability” means an individual with a disability who meets the criteria for having a significant disability and in addition has serious limits in two or more functional capacities (such as, but not limited to, mobility, communication, self care, self direction, interpersonal skills, work tolerance, or work skills) in terms of an employment outcome. Individuals who meet the criteria for Priority Level I are determined to be individuals with the “Most Significant Disability”.

“Seriously Limits” or “Substantial Impediment to Employment” means that a physical or mental impairment (in light of attendant medical, psychological, vocational, educational, communication, and other related factors) hinders an individual from preparing for, entering into, engaging in, or retaining employment consistent with the individual’s abilities and capabilities.

Order of Selection Priority Categories

PRIORITY CATEGORY I - Are individuals who meet the definition of individuals with the most significant disabilities which seriously limits them in two or more functional capacities.

PRIORITY CATEGORY II- Are individuals who meet the definition of individuals with significant disabilities which seriously limits them in one functional capacity.

PRIORITY CATEGORY III- Individuals with disabilities.

Seriously Limits In Functional Capacities due to a disability

1. Mobility - refers to the capability of moving efficiently from place to place.

2. Communication - refers to accurate and efficient transmission and/or reception of information, either verbally (spoken or written) or non-verbally.

3. Self care - refers to the skills necessary to fulfill basic needs such as those related to health, safety, food preparation and nutrition, hygiene and grooming, and money management.

4. Self Direction - describes the capacity to organize, structure and manage activities in a manner that best serves the objectives of the individual. Adequate self-direction requires that an individual be able to plan, initiate and monitor behavior with respect to an identified outcome.

5. Interpersonal Skills - refers to the ability of the individual to interact in a socially acceptable and mature manner with co-workers, supervisors, and others to facilitate the normal flow of work activities.

6. Work Tolerance – refers to the ability to carry out required physical and cognitive work tasks in an efficient and effective manner over a sustained period of time.

7. Work Skills – refers to the specific job skills required to carry out work functions as well as the capacity for an individual to benefit from training in these work functions.

 

Priority of categories to receive VR services under the order

As of 10/1/2011, all categories of individuals are being served with no eligible individuals being placed on a waiting list. When an order of selection is in effect, DRS will provide all eligible individuals with disabilities who are placed on the waiting list with information about, and referral to, other Federal or State programs (including other components of the statewide workforce investment system) that can assist them in preparing for, securing, retaining, or regaining employment.

 

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

Restrictions On Establishing Priorities

The following factors shall not be used as criteria for establishing selection priorities: i. Type of disability. ii. Age, sex, race, color, creed, or national origin. iii. Type of expected employment outcome. iv. Income level of the individual or the individual’s family. v. The need for specific services or anticipated costs of services required by the individual.

Continuity of Service Provision Under Order of Selection During the Implementation of an Order of Selection

The State VR Agency shall: i. Continue to accept applications and make determinations of eligibility while notifying all eligible individuals of the priority categories, their assignment to a particular category, and their right to appeal this assignment. ii. Ensure that sufficient resources are available to meet these obligations. iii. Continue providing services that began under IPEs of eligible individuals developed prior to the effective date of the Order of Selection; and iv. Provide eligible individuals who do not meet the order of selection with information about, and referral to, other Federal and State programs that can assist them in achieving an employment goal.

General Administrative Requirements i. When setting up the Order of Selection, DRS shall take into consideration all eligible individuals and prioritize their order of receiving services based solely on the criteria established for each priority category and on the time that they applied for services ii. The Order of Selection shall be implemented statewide. The same criteria for assigning all eligible individuals to priority categories shall be used in all areas of the state. iii. DRS, in consultation with the State Rehabilitation Council (SRC), shall describe and explain its order of selection policy and disseminate this policy to the public for review and comment prior to implementation.

This State Plan Attachment was presented to the constituency as part of mandated requirements in the preparation of this state plan. Full public input was provided at public meetings and the State Rehabilitation Council was consulted.

Order Of Selection Procedures

1. When the Director of DRS has invoked an order of selection to prioritize the provision of VR services, each eligible individual will be assigned into one of the three (3) priority categories listed above based on how their disability(ies) meet the criteria for each priority category. If necessary, further prioritization within each priority categories will be done by placing all individuals who have been assigned to a particular category in an order that lists each individual according to the actual time that a completed application was submitted to DRS.

2. Assignment of individuals to priority categories shall be determined solely on the severity of the disability and how it seriously limits the functional capacities.

3. All applicants and eligible individuals impacted by the Order of Selection shall be notified in writing of the Order of Selection and their subsequent assignment to a particular priority classification. Included in the written notification will be their right to appeal the determination of their priority classification and the availability of the Client Assistance Program (CAP).

4. Assessment services necessary to determine eligibility (including services in trial work and extended evaluation) and priority for services shall not be impacted by the Order of Selection.

5. Individuals who are found to be eligible but whose category is closed at the time of eligibility determination shall be placed in an Order of Selection Deferred Status. These individuals will be given written notification of this placement. Procedures have been developed for initially notifying individuals of their “deferred status” and maintaining regular contact with these individuals to keep them apprised when or if circumstances change concerning their assigned category.

6. DRS will provide only information and referral services to all individuals in an Order of Selection Deferred Status. No other services, including no-cost IPE services, shall be provided to individuals in this status.

NOTE: If the individual’s appeal results in their case moving to a more significant disability priority level and that level is eligible to receive services under the order of selection criteria, the individual shall be served at that level.

Information and Referral Services

When an order of selection is in effect, DRS will provide all eligible individuals with disabilities who do not meet the order of selection criteria with information about, and referral to other Federal or State programs (including other components of the statewide workforce investment system) that can assist them in preparing for, securing, retaining, or regaining employment. An appropriate referral made through the system shall:

i. Include, for each of these programs, provision to the individual of a. a notice of the referral by DRS to the agency carrying out the program; b. information identifying a specific point of contact within the agency carrying out the program; and c. Information and advice regarding the most suitable services to assist the individual to prepare for, secure, retain, or regain employment.

Change In Priority Levels

If the Director of DRS determines that resources are further limited to where the Order of Selection must be restricted to a higher priority, the field offices will be notified immediately in writing of the closure of the appropriate category (ies) and the date that this action becomes effective. All other procedures such as applicant/client notification of the new priority level, continuity of services that have begun for those individuals with IPEs, assessments, etc. shall continue as they did with the initial implementation of the Order of Selection.

If the Director of DRS determines that additional resources are available but are not sufficient to serve an entire category, individuals will be given written notice that their case may be activated from the Order of Selection Deferred Status in the category that was opened, in the order of their date of application. If additional resources are identified which are sufficient to serve all eligible individuals, the field offices will be notified immediately of the date that the order of selection will no longer be effective.

Case Service Checklist

1. The counselor must have sufficient data, either through existing information or purchased assessments to assign a priority category for each individual determined to be eligible.

2. The counselor shall determine the eligible individual’s priority category before the development of an IPE. This decision will be based solely on the documentation of severity of the disability and the documentation of functional limitations that clearly show that the individual meets the criteria to be classified as having disabilities that are most significant, significant or non significant).

3. The case record shall contain sufficient documentation and rationale, which would support the individual’s assignment to a particular priority category.

4. In instances where it is felt that the significance of the disability has increased or the individual’s disability has improved to the point that a counselor or client believes a change in priority categories is justified, a reassessment will be implemented.

5. The priority category and the justification for that determination shall be communicated in writing or in another mode of communication that may be required by the eligible individual with documentation in the case file. This would include: i. Original notification of priority category. ii. Reclassification notification as a result of changes in the consumer’s circumstances. iii. Notification of non reclassification following a review of the assignment to a priority category.

Each notification shall include the right to appeal and the availability of CAP.

Individuals in Order of Selection Deferred Status shall be contacted at least once in the first 90 days after being placed in deferred status and counselors shall make a reasonable attempt to annually contact these individuals as long as they remain in that status. A record of these contacts will be kept in the case service records.

Closure

Individuals placed on the Order of Selection waiting list for over 90 days and who do not want to remain on the waiting list will be closed from Order of Selection Deferred Status. Prior to closure, they will be notified in writing on the agency’s intent to close their case and their right to appeal the agency’s decision, including information on how to contact CAP. In addition, the individual will be informed that they may reapply for services in the future if circumstances that caused DRS to implement an order of selection change or to close their assigned priority category.

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 1,582 107 79 September 30 2013 $1,274,676
2 544 30 22 September 30 2013 $396,502
3 35 2 0 September 30 2013 $13,990

This screen was last updated on Aug 29 2012 11:10AM by Ronda Williams

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.

Assessments; Estimates; Goals and Priorities: Strategies; and Progress Reports - Goals and Plans for Distribution of Title VI Part B Funds

Goals and Plans for Distribution of Title VI, Part B Funds The South Dakota Division of Rehabilitation Services (DRS or Division) is committed to ensuring that rehabilitation services are made available on a statewide basis to individuals with the most severe disabilities who have not traditionally been competitively employed or for whom competitive employment has been interrupted or intermittent. These services are available through the Supported Employment Program. South Dakota’s annual allotment of Title VI B funds is $300,000. Over 95% of the Title VI-B funds are spent for consumer services. The state spends less than 5% of its allotment of Title VI-B funds for administrative costs. Supported employment funds are not expended until individuals with disabilities have been determined eligible for the 110 Vocational Rehabilitation Program. Supported Employment services are purchased by the vocational rehabilitation counselors through an authorization system. Expenditures exceeding the Title VI-B allotment are covered with funds from the 110 Program. The Division will continue to expend over 95% of the Title VI-B funds on direct services for supported employment consumers. Supported employment expenditures exceeding the Federal allotment will continue to be paid from the 110 Vocational Rehabilitation funds. Supported employment funds will be authorized to approved providers of the consumer’s choice. The amount of funds authorized will be based upon the individual’s needs, type of placement, hours and type of employment. During the next fiscal year, the Division plans to distribute the Title VI-B funds through the fee for service system as traditionally done in previous years. This allows for consumers who have greater needs to receive the level of services necessary to help them obtain supported employment. The Division will also continue outcome-based contracts with mental health centers for supported employment services for individuals with severe and persistent mental illness. This contract model has encouraged the mental health centers to provide supported employment services and is a more accessible method of supported employment services for these consumers. We feel these initiatives will help promote the employment of individuals with the most severe disabilities.

The total number of supported employment clients served in FFY 2010 were 597, the total number in FFY 2011 were 515 and we estimate that 500 supported employment clients will be served in FFY 2012.

This screen was last updated on Aug 29 2012 11:14AM by Ronda Williams

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.

Assessments; Estimates; Goals and Priorities: Strategies; and Progress Reports -

State’s Strategies and Use of Title I Funds of Innovation and Expansion Activities

Strategies to Achieve the Goals and Priorities of the Division

The State Plan Attachment 4.11(c) identifies goals established by the Board of Vocational Rehabilitation and the Division of Rehabilitation Services. These goals are related to assisting individuals with disabilities to obtain good jobs, economic self-sufficiency, personal independence, and full inclusion into the community. The strategies listed below are key steps in accomplishing these goals.

Strategy 1.1: Improve consumer retention of employment status;

Strategy 1.2: Track the earnings for SSA beneficiaries and implement actions to increase the earnings and employment rate of consumers who are SSA beneficiaries;

Strategy 1.3: Provide specialized support services based upon individual’s unique needs to keep their employment;

Strategy 1.4: Evaluate and respond to the needs of service providers;

Strategy 1.5: Strengthen the Benefits Specialists services for VR consumers;

Strategy 1.6: Strengthen the Ticket to Work initiatives for Social Security beneficiaries;

Strategy 1.7: Increase work experience opportunities for adults with disabilities.

Strategy 1.8: Promote the development & utilization of vocational skills training for individuals in South Dakota.

Strategy 1.9: Meet or exceed performance levels established for the Performance Indicators under Evaluation Standard 1-Employment Outcomes and Standard 2-Equal Access to Services (established in 34 CFR Sec. 361.84(c)(1) of the Federal Regulations).

Strategy 2.1: Raise awareness and understanding of different disabilities and consumer’s strengths that they bring to the work place;

Strategy 2.2: Strengthen partnerships with the business community;

Strategy 2.3: Strengthen partnerships with organizations serving Native Americans and other minorities with disabilities;

Strategy 2.4: Coordinate vocational rehabilitation services with the elementary and secondary school systems;

Strategy 2.5: Strengthen working relationships with entities, agencies, and organizations to enhance the delivery of vocational rehabilitation services to underserved rural areas.

Strategy 3.1: Implement new strategies and tools for Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors in assessing the motivational state for VR consumers as to their desire for employment.

Strategy 3.2: Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors will utilize new strategies and tools for assessing critical strengths and deficits in the consumer’s personal life status and skills.

Strategy 3.3: Build the assessments into the initial VR process.

Strategy 3.4: Develop potential provider supports for life skills development.

Strategy 3.5: Increase the utilization of self-employment as an employment outcome for VR consumers.

Strategy 4.1: Coordinate vocational rehabilitation services for VR consumers who are attending post secondary programs;

Strategy 4.2: Increase and strengthen transition services for eligible students who are exploring their employment future;

Strategy 4.3: Educate teachers, students and their parents about Vocational Rehabilitation Services;

Strategy 4.4: Expand transition services that have demonstrated effectiveness through evidence based practices such as Indicator 14. Indicator 14 is the outcome measure a year after high school for students who were on an Individual Education Plan.

Availability and Utilization of Assistive Technology

The Division of Rehabilitation Services makes assistive technology available to our Vocational Rehabilitation consumers during each stage of the rehabilitation process. The primary provider of assistive technology in South Dakota is Dakota Link. This provider has AT resource areas throughout the state and they provide AT assessment for VR applications and consumers. Many of the Career Centers have resource rooms available and have computers with assistive devices for individuals with disabilities.

Outreach Activities to Identify and Serve Individuals with the Most Significant Disabilities Who are Minorities

South Dakota’s racial mix consists of 92.5% white/Caucasian, 7% Native American and .5% all other racial groups. Native Americans represent the only significant minority group in South Dakota. South Dakota has seven separate tribal reservations with autonomous governing bodies. Collectively they represent the Great Sioux Nation and share a common culture and language. Typically these reservations are very rural, isolated, with high poverty, and high unemployment rates. Nearly half of all Native Americans in South Dakota live on reservations.

The Division of Rehabilitation Services has counselors who serve each of the reservation areas. These counselors meet with local Indian Health Services and tribal government staff to identify potential referrals. Generally staff work out of tribal offices when meeting with consumers on reservations. Native Americans living on reservations face unique challenges. First, they are eligible for a combination of tribal, federal and state programs to meet their vocational and health care needs. This requires extensive coordination and cooperation between agencies. Secondly, they are faced with significant cultural and economic barriers. Unemployment on South Dakota’s reservations varies from 70 % to 80%. There is very little private employment. Most individuals are employed by either tribal or federal governments.

South Dakota is fortunate to have four American Indian Vocational Rehabilitation Services Programs (AIVRS). These programs have greatly improved access to vocational rehabilitation services for those Native Americans served by these AIVRS Programs. The Division has established an on-going working relationship with each of the programs. We have assigned a counselor to work with each Project to assist them in program development. Native American consumers living on reservations have the choice of either being served by the AIVRS, the state unit or jointly by both programs. We encourage consumers to be served either by the AIVRS Program or jointly by both projects. The AIVRS Programs have a better grasp of the cultural and the service delivery barriers that exist on reservations. The state agency has access to specialized programs and services which are not feasible for a AIVRS Program to maintain. On those reservations where a AIVRS Program exists, the Division does not plan to conduct extensive outreach activities. This function can more effectively be conducted by the AIVRS Programs. Our efforts will be to network with the AIVRS Programs to ensure that Native American consumers have access to the full range of vocational rehabilitation services. DRS has a formal cooperative agreement with each AIVRS Programs.

A number of Native American consumer organizations have developed in the state. The Division works closely with these organizations to identify special needs and strategies to meet these needs. One of these organizations, Tateya Topa Ho, is an independent living center serving all seven reservations. Working in conjunction with the Statewide Independent Living Council, the Division has expanded its financial support for this organization. This organization has local liaisons on each reservation who refer directly to vocational rehabilitation. Both the Board of Vocational Rehabilitation and the Independent Living Council have Native American representation. These individuals provide guidance and consultation to the Division on policy issues affecting Native Americans.

Overcome Barriers to Equitable Access to and Participation in the Vocational Rehabilitation and Supported Employment Programs

The Division has been very proactive in overcoming barriers for applicants and consumers to access and participate in the Vocational Rehabilitation and Supported Employment Programs. Follow is a list of key activities implemented to assure equitable access:

• All District Offices are in accessible locations.

• All District Offices have a TTY and advertise this number to consumers and providers.

• All DRS public meetings are held in locations that are physically accessible to people with disabilities.

• All applicants and consumers are informed that alternative formats for information (Braille, diskette, large print, and auxiliary aids and reasonable accommodations) are available upon request for all Division events.

• The Division makes special efforts to provide interpreters for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing, individuals who speak foreign languages, and individuals who speak Lakota, Dakota or Nakota.

• The Division participates in a “Loss Control Committee”. The purpose of this committee is to evaluate the accessibility and safety issues of all area offices.

• The Division’s Internet Home Page is accessible for individuals with disabilities who may be using assistive devices to access the information. The home page was evaluated for accessibility utilizing an application called “Bobby Approved”.

• The Division has implemented a policy to coordinate referrals for the provision of state wide assistive technology devices and services to ensure consumers can overcome barriers they encounter during the rehabilitation process.

• The Division administers a telecommunication adaptive devices (TAD) program for free distribution of accessible telephone equipment to South Dakota residents with disabilities.

• Division staff are working with all partners in the Work Investment Act Job Service Offices to assure physical access, program access and services access.

Future Utilization of Innovation and Expansion Funds

Section 101 (a)(18) of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 as Amended requires the State Vocational Rehabilitation Agency to reserve and use a portion of the funds for:

(i) the development and implementation of innovative approaches to expand and improve the provision of vocational rehabilitation services to individuals with disabilities, particularly individuals with the most significant disabilities, consistent with the findings of the statewide assessment and goals and priorities of the State; and

(ii) to support of the State Rehabilitation Council and the Statewide Independent Living Council.

The Division of Rehabilitation Services has reserved a budgeted amount for the utilization of the Innovation and Expansion. These funds will be used for the following activities:

Support the cost of the Board of Vocational Rehabilitation. This includes staff cost, accommodations and other direct costs involved in VR Board activities.

Support the cost of the State-Wide Independent Living Council (SILC). This includes staff cost, accommodations and other direct costs involved in SILC activities.

Support initiatives approved by the Board of VR to expand and improve the provision of vocational rehabilitation services to individuals with disabilities, particularly individuals with the most significant disabilities, consistent with the findings of the statewide assessment and goals and priorities of the State.

Support the functions of the VR Board as described in Section 105 (c) of the Rehabilitation Act.

Support the Improved use of assistive technology services and devices through the assistive technology advisory committee and collaboration with the assistive technology systems change project.

Support the establishment, development and improvement of community rehabilitation programs.

Support improvement in service provision as measured through standards and indicators.

Support initiatives to assist partners in the statewide workforce investment system in assisting individuals with disabilities.

 

This screen was last updated on Aug 19 2011 10:05AM by Ronda Williams

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

Workforce Investment Act System

The Rehabilitation Act provides remedies and plans for state agencies that do not achieve required performance standards. State Plan Attachment 4.11(e)(2) addresses Unified Plan requirements in their entirety. This attachment clearly demonstrates:

1) The public vocational rehabilitation program’s descriptions as to achievement of all goals and strategies established in the FFY 2009 State Plan attachments 4.11 (c)(1) and 4.11 (d).

2) All goals are being achieved.

3) The Division of Rehabilitation Services in South Dakota exceeds all standards and indicators pursuant to performance standards in the Rehabilitation Act.

4) As evidenced in the Attachment 4.2c and in the Division of Rehabilitation Services (DRS or Division) report to the Governor, there is an evaluation of progress made in improving the effectiveness of the vocational rehabilitation program from the prior year.

Performance outcomes of the vocational rehabilitation program are summarized for and addressed to the Workforce Development Council as well as the state rehabilitation councils.

Progress in Accomplishing Strategies and Goals

This section of the State Plan is a summary of the progress in accomplishing the Strategies and Goals as identified in FFY 2011 State Plan Attachments 4.11(c)(1) and 4.11(d).

Goal 2: Expand and strengthen partnerships with business (or employers), service providers and service organizations in communities across the state.

Strategy 2.1: Create partnerships with business community;

The Division attributes the success of this strategy to the following activities:

District offices have membership with the local State Human Resource Management (SHRM), Chamber of Commerce and economic development committees;

Utilized the Employer Resource Network as a model to enhance partnerships with employers which also provided employer education (i.e., employee assistance programs, job accommodations, assistive technology);

Two Futures Initiative members assumed projects in their communities to promote business partnerships;

Worked with the Business Resource Network in Sioux Falls in creating a new partnership to assist individuals with disabilities to obtain employment;

The Division helped establish Project Search in Aberdeen, Watertown and Sioux Falls. This is a partnership that includes the school districts, Department of Labor, local providers and the local hospital; and

The Division and Medicaid Infrastructure Grant have been working with New Tec in Aberdeen to develop additional technical training programs for individuals with disabilities.

Action 2.1.b: Identify and support employer initiative activities (i.e., job fairs, Employer Resource Network(s), Society of Human Resource Manager’s Chapters);

The Division attributes the success of this strategy to the following activities:

Several offices participated in activities in their communities (e.g., job fairs, Career Center’s sponsored resource day for businesses, on-site visits with local businesses for better understanding of their needs);

Offices worked with local high schools with job shadowing projects; and

Raised SHRM’s awareness and understanding of available training dollars from the Board of Vocational Rehabilitation and Statewide Independent Living Council;

Strategy 2.2: Support employer activities of hiring individuals with disabilities (i.e., promote diversity training with employers);

The success of this strategy is a result of the Division’s continued participation with SHRM, Job Fair Committee and Career Center staff with training/presentations (e.g., disability/diversity programs, job accommodations, WOTC, WIA).

Strategy 2.3: Implement and/or improve strategies to provide vocational rehabilitation services to Native Americans and others with minority backgrounds with disabilities;

The Division attributes the success of this strategy to the following activities:

Reviewed and updated Cooperative agreements with the four American Indian Vocational Rehabilitation Services Programs (AIVRS);

Ensured a Division liaison was identified to meet with the AIVRS program staff on a regular basis (to offer technical assistance; reviewed cases which both agencies could provide assistance; to explore other collaborative opportunities, provide training on transition and Project Skills, participate in IEP meetings);

Extended invitation to staff of the AIVRS programs to attend Division sponsored training events;

Attended the Drug and Alcohol Health and Wellness training sponsored by Indian Health Services;

Invited Bureau of Indian Affairs and other tribal schools to participate in events such as career fairs to provide information on Youth Leadership Forum (YLF), Catch the Wave and Project Skills;

In December 2011, held a joint meeting with the Directors of the American Indian Vocational Rehabilitation Programs. The Division has been following up and having quarterly meetings with the American Indian Vocational Rehabilitation Programs; and

The 2012 Fall Conference is being planned and held in coordination with the American Indian Vocational Rehabilitation Programs.

Strategy 2.4: Implement and/or improve strategies to coordinate vocational rehabilitation services for VR consumers who are attending post secondary programs;

The Division attributes the success of this strategy to the following activities:

Annually hosts activities with post secondary disability services coordinators (i.e., monthly meetings, provided training on psychological testing for staff of both entities, hosted an annual meeting for the disability coordinators, extended invitation for them to attend district office staff meetings;

Worked in conjunction with the Transition Services Liaison Project on activities (e.g., drafted manual for disability service coordinators to utilize, promoted consumer attendance at Catch the Wave); and

District Supervisors and VR Counselors are meeting at least annually with disability service coordinators of South Dakota post secondary programs.

Strategy 2.5: Implement and/or improve strategies to coordinate vocational rehabilitation services with the Special Education system;

The Division attributes the success of this strategy to the following activities:

Encouraged staff to participate on various council /committees/meetings: Special Education Advisory Council, Interagency Transition Steering Committees, teacher in-service meetings, transition forums, special education directors meetings;

Co-location of Division district offices with transition services liaison coordinators;

Transition Services Liaison Coordinators attended staff meetings at the district offices; they have offered presentations on IDEA, IEP requirements, signed diplomas, additional assessments, guardianship and SSA status;

Developed a Project Skills handbook for special education teachers and providers;

Implemented Project Search initiative in three communities with the local schools and hospitals; and

Worked with South Dakota Parent Connection to inform parents and families of available options.

Strategy 2.6: Identify and strengthen working relationships with entities, agencies, and organizations to enhance the delivery of vocational rehabilitation services;

The Division attributes the success of this strategy to the following activities:

Weekly and monthly meetings scheduled with various entities across the state: private providers; homeless coalitions, Departments of Social Services and Labor; community and county health organizations, community action programs, career learning centers, veterans organizations, drug and alcohol treatment centers, Salvation Army and other missions, church groups, independent living centers, Department of Corrections and parole officers, alternative sentencing programs, PLANS, and other Division of Developmental Disabilities outreach program staff;

Updated referral procedures for DakotaLink (South Dakota’s Assistive Technology Project);

Provided Benefit Specialists to serve each district office;

Supported activities of the Freedom to Work Leadership Council in Aberdeen, Brookings, Rapid City, Yankton and Sioux Falls;

Provided two day training for the Department of Labor’s newly hired “navigators” in addition to extending invitation for them to attend the Fall conference and staff meetings; and

Provided training to all VR staff on the National Career Readiness Certification.

Strategy 2.7: Identify, utilize or refer individuals with disabilities to alternative funding resources;

The Division attributes the success of this strategy to the following activities:

Provided referral information to consumers (e.g., food, clothing, housing, transportation);

Shared post-secondary information with consumers when appropriate (e.g., PELL/SEOG grants, post secondary schools);

VR Counselors have received training in alternative funding sources so they can share these resources with consumers when appropriate; and

Provided Work Incentive manuals to each Vocational Rehabilitation office.

Strategy 2.8: Update contacts and improve working relationship with the Small Business Administration to improve the coordination of services for individuals seeking self-employment.

The Division attributes the success of this strategy to the following activities:

Continue contacts with the Small Business Administration and the South Dakota Development Center (SDDC) to improve coordination of services for individuals seeking self-employment;

SDDC staff presented at the Division’s conference and resources were shared with attendees (i.e., assessment forms);

Most business plans for self-employment are coordinated with SDDC; and

Established a cooperative agreement with SDDC for coordination of services for self-employment.

Strategy 2.9: Expand the use of private providers to serve consumers in rural communities.

The Division attributes the success of this strategy to the following activities:

Encouraged providers to serve consumers in rural areas through reimbursement for travel time and mileage;

Assistance provided with development of marketing tools as a result of monthly provider meetings;

Encouraged providers to attend the NDEAM events, job fairs and SHRM meetings to assist with marketing;

Offered employment option to consumers to become a private provider (i.e., the four benefit specialists are former consumers of vocational rehabilitation services); and

Had agreements with 40 private providers as of the end of FFY 2011.

Goal 3: Strengthen partnerships with DRS consumers to ensure informed choice, responsibility and involvement throughout the rehabilitation process.

Strategy 3.1: Review and implement strategies to provide information to applicants or consumers determined eligible for vocational rehabilitation services regarding their rights and responsibilities;

The Division attributes the success of this strategy to the following activities:

Provided all applicants with ‘Portfolio to Employment’ which includes an outline of the VR process and Client Assistance Program brochure in addition to the financial needs, comparable benefits requirements and plan development information;

Developed additional strategies to address independent living skills (i.e., accessed services through PLANS, community support providers and mental health centers);

Utilized Project Skills to assist high school students to better understand their skills, interests, disability and functional limitations when exploring career options; and

Implemented Project Search which will provide approximately 25 students a variety of internships in the hospital or other business setting.

Strategy 3.2: Identify and implement strategies to promote successful employment outcomes for consumers who choose self-employment as their employment goal;

The Division attributes the success of this strategy to the following activities:

Staff attended training sessions focused on better utilizing and understanding self-employment; (Small Business Development Center assisted with this training.)

Utilize SCORE personnel to assist in helping the person start a business plan, where available; and

Provided training to counselors on the Business Assessment Scale and providing self-employment resources from Small Business Administration (SBA) and SDDC.

Strategy 3.3: Promote and strengthen efforts to encourage the representation and participation of consumers in leadership activities (i.e., attend Boys/Girls State, Youth Leadership Forum, serve on councils/boards/committees);

The Division was successful with this strategy by developing a promotional video of the Youth Leadership Forum which is utilizing the Transition Services Liaison Project, VR Staff, and teachers to encourage students to apply to attend the Youth Leadership Forum. The YLF has provided approximately 40 participants with this opportunity annually. A number of youth who have attended YLF continued their growth and experience and serve on a variety of boards/councils (i.e., Statewide Independent Living Council, Council on DD; Freedom to Work Leadership Council).

Strategy 3.4: Increase and strengthen transition services for students with disabilities who are exploring their employment future;

The Division attributes the success of this strategy to the following activities:

Informed high school students of Project Skills, Catch the Wave and YLF;

Informed students of services offered at the Career Centers (e.g., resource room, job seekers assistance program);

Exploring additional mentoring activities and opportunities for youth through YLF;

Encouraged youth to explore participation in community activities; and

Established three Project Search initiatives that will provide approximately 25 students an opportunity to obtain internships in the hospital or other business environment.

GOAL 4: Improve and expand outreach and training efforts regarding vocational rehabilitation services to the general public.

Strategy 4.1: Develop and disseminate materials and information to public;

The Division attributes the success of this strategy to the following activities:

Distributed Disability 101 Booklets and brochures to SHRM members, employers, and businesses;

Hosted an exhibit at the SD Safety and Health Conference which had over 400 employer attendees;

Developed a new brochure for businesses;

Purchased marketing supplies such as pens and table covers to use at conferences or other events;

Hosted booths at a variety of conferences; and

Attended Chamber meetings/events and provided brochures when possible.

Strategy 4.2: Identify outlets or training avenues to provide and/or disseminate information about vocational rehabilitation services;

The Division attributes the success of this strategy to the following activities:

Developed posters and brochure holders which were distributed/displayed at county court houses, schools, colleges and other state agencies; and

Co-hosted several ADA Anniversary celebrations around the state which had press coverage.

Strategy 4.3: Develop techniques to directly market individuals with disabilities to employers (i.e., ERN, Chamber,);

The Division attributes the success of this strategy to the following activities:

Marketed consumers to employers through the Chambers, SHRMs, job fairs and tours;

Worked with Sioux Falls employers to establish the Business Resource Network;

Sioux Falls and Aberdeen Project Search programs have established Business Advisory Councils to assist with the placement of Project Search participants;

Worked with the Statewide Diversity SHRM director to make it possible to disseminate consumers’ resumes, in addition to posting them on their website; and

Continued working with the Employer Resource Networks in posting monthly consumers profiles/resumes.

Strategy 4.4: Identify, promote and work in partnership with other entities to conduct/sponsor trainings (i.e., diversity training, debunking myths/stereotypes/perceptions of people with disabilities).

The Division attributes the success of this strategy to the following activities:

Hosted NDEAM activities with community partners (e.g., employer and human resource manager training sessions, recognition of employees and employers, disability etiquette trainings, success stories featured in area newspapers, interviews on radio stations);

Regular attendance and presentations made at various service club meetings;

Division staff served on variety of boards/committees to broaden perspective (e.g., homeless coalitions, mayor’s committees, transportation); and

Yankton Office assisted the Mayor in establishing a Mayor’s Committee for People with Disabilities.

Goal 5: Monitor and evaluate the delivery of vocational rehabilitation services:

Strategy 5.1: Monitor and evaluate the implementation of Order of Selection and share this information with the Board of Vocational Rehabilitation:

The Division attributes the success of this strategy to the following activities:

Monitored the Order of Selection and provided status reports to the Department Secretary and to the Board of Vocational Rehabilitation;

Moved all individuals off the Order of Selection waiting list as of 1/01/08;

Continued to monitor the case services budget and expenditures to ensure all eligible individuals could be served; and

Utilized the majority of the Stimulus funds for case services.

Strategy 5.2: Evaluate the agency’s past and current performance in meeting the established Standards and Performance Indicators;

The Division attributes the success of this strategy to the following activities:

Performance Standards and Indicators monitored on a quarterly basis and published in an annual report which is shared with the Board and the public; and

Performance Standards and Indicators are calculated at the district office level and utilized to determine potential improvement for a counselor or office;

Strategy 5.3: Evaluate and monitor caseload sizes to ensure counselors are accessible and available to consumers;

Division’s successful activities included the Division evaluating caseload sizes on a quarterly basis to determine and prioritize staffing levels across the state. During FFY 2008, the Division converted a clerical position into a counselor position for the Yankton District. The Yankton District assumed some of the territory from the Sioux Falls District. Caseload sizes are evaluated on-going at the District Office levels and statewide level.

Strategy 5.4: Assess and identify vocational rehabilitation staff training needs;

The Division attributes the success of this strategy to the following activities:

Identified training needs assessment on an annual basis of all staff; feedback was obtained through the staff, consumer satisfaction surveys, Board members, and public input;

Encouraged attendance at training events offered at the local level;

Continued to sponsor and participate in an annual conference, typically the Fall Conference.

Continued to promote and fund staff in attending various training sessions in their community; and

Solicited staff for training needs to be conducted on monthly video conference training sessions.

Strategy 5.5: Obtain, evaluate and utilize recommendations or public comment to improve the delivery of vocational rehabilitation services (i.e., Board of Vocational Rehabilitation, Statewide Independent Living Council, Freedom to Work Leadership Council, general public);

The Division attributes the success of this strategy to the following activities:

Encouraged public input through public meetings, hosting events in conjunction with other groups or entities to draw attendance; and having staff or Board members attend other planned events (i.e., Youth Leadership Forum, PLANS);

Provided draft policies and attachments accessible to the public through the Division’s website for further review and comment; and

Offered public comment period through the Board of Vocational Rehabilitation quarterly meetings; minutes were shared with the above listed entities as well as having updates from each council or project at each meeting;

Strategy 5.6: Evaluate other needs assessments, surveys to identify areas of need in regard to delivery of Vocational Rehabilitation Services;

The Division and Board of Vocational Rehabilitation received copies of various needs assessments and other data to assist with the comprehensive assessment needs of our state (e.g., consumer satisfaction survey results, Freedom to Work surveys, case file reviews, Department of Transportation fiscal year end data, input gathered at conferences).

Strategy 5.7: Review, monitor and improve the Division’s processes and policies to improve efficiencies in the delivery of services for consumers;

The Division attributes the success of this strategy to the following activities:

Annually conducts case file review to assess and monitor delivery of VR services;

Evaluated caseload sizes on a quarterly basis to ensure statewide distribution proportioned to staffing levels. (District office local reviews to ensure equal distribution of staffing patterns or other issues that may arise);

Implemented the Futures Initiative in the Fall of 2007 which entailed senior counseling staff assuming more responsibility of reviewing, monitoring, and improving various processes;

Reviewed the Office of Special Education survey results of Indicator 14. The results reflected that South Dakota VR has done well in assisting students with disabilities transition from high school to the adult system;

Provided training on the World of Work Interest Inventory to Division staff in assessing consumers on aptitude and employment interests; and

Revisions have been made to the VR Counselor manual on case file organization, comprehensive assessment and goal justification.

Strategy 5.8: Identify, evaluate and address any safety, health and welfare issues of vocational rehabilitation counselors and consumers;

The Division attributes the success of this strategy to the following activities:

Installed automatic locking doors in the larger district offices for security measures;

Conducted a safety assessment on VR Counselors and the results were shared with staff and the Board of Vocational Rehabilitation and follow-up training was provided at the Fall Conference;

Included office safety as a regular topic at staff meetings; and

Continual monitoring of staff following the policy on Personal Safety.

Strategy 5.9: Promote and utilize advanced training to increase counselors awareness and understanding of different disabilities and related functional limitations;

The Division attributes the success of this strategy to the following activities:

Offered trainings at conferences on various disability categories, functional limitations and assessments;

Invited consultants to present to staff on various topics: mental illness, learning disabilities and interpretation of psychological testing results;

Attended training sessions offered by other agencies/entities (i.e., Yankton Area Mental Wellness Conference); and

Utilized video conference for monthly training seminars.

Strategy 5.10: Promote and utilize performance based contracts;

As an initiative of the Future’s members, the service rates and guidelines were revised to promote outcome based measures for reimbursement to providers. The Division has also implemented the Ticket to Work initiative where milestones are shared with providers when consumers obtain higher earnings and maintain employment.

Strategy 5.11: Continue to evaluate cases of consumers which have less than minimum wage, and work less than 10 hours per week;

All successful closures with less than minimum wage or less than 10 hours per week were submitted to the Division for review for appropriateness. During FFY 11, only 3 cases were less then 10 hours a week as compared to 19 cases for FFY 2007.

Strategy 5.12: Continue to monitor satisfaction of services of eligible consumers;

The consumer satisfaction survey was disseminated quarterly to random consumers at different stages of the vocational rehabilitation process. The results were shared with the Board of Vocational Rehabilitation and utilized when considering the goals/objectives/actions of the agency. As part of the Statewide Comprehensive Needs Assessment, unsuccessful consumers will be surveyed to help identify strategies to increase the Division’s success.

 

Goal 1: Improve and expand services that will enhance earnings, employee benefits and career advancement for individuals with the most significant disabilities (including individuals served through Supported Employment).

Strategy 1.1: Develop and implement strategies to identify higher paying positions for individuals with disabilities;

The Division attributes the success of this strategy to the following activities:

? Staff have become members of the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) Chapters in their communities; attendance of weekly Career Center staffing meetings; periodic meetings with area providers; information exchange with business, federal (The NET), local and state government entities for job postings (i.e., universities, county extension office)

? Provided training and encouraged utilization of various resources: Department of Labor website (South Dakota Works Job Search), ONet website, Chamber of Commerce economic statements on salaries;

? Promoted at transition activities and the development of Individuals Plans for Employment (IPE) the utilization of post-secondary education to increase consumer earning potential; and

? Provided financial assistance to consumers in given situations (i.e., travel assistance for interviews out of town, relocation expenses) when considering employment options with higher wages.

Strategy 1.2: Identify barriers which people with disabilities experience in gaining or maintaining employment and then develop and implement methods or strategies to address, challenge or change these barriers (i.e., attitudes, physical barriers);

The Division attributes the success of this strategy to the following activities:

? Developed a ‘ten week group plan’ which addresses specific areas of employment on weekly basis (interests, abilities, work skills, goal setting, employment search) in the Brookings office;

? Utilized meetings as vocational rehabilitation informational avenues (local mental health centers, care programs, SHRM meetings, Experience Works) and collectively brainstormed ideas to identify and reduce barriers which individuals with disabilities face;

? Conducted barrier awareness activities across the state (monthly diversity information and client profiles shared with SHRMs, Employer Resource Networks being developed and modeled in other communities, offering assistance with conducting building inspections for ADA compliance, and coordinating National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) activities which involves employers and providers); and

? Recruited and provided training for new employment providers.

Strategy 1.3: Increase average earnings over the next three years to increase 5% annually above performance indicator 1.5;

The average annual wage for individuals rehabilitated in competitive employment during FFY 2011 was $14,696. This was an increase of 4.3% from FFY 2009. The increase in wages has been lower in recent years due to the high percent of consumers who are Supported Employment consumers, Social Security recipients, and categorized as individuals with Most Significant Disabilities. Of the successful closures during FFY 2011, only 27 individuals had medical insurance from the employer at the time of application. At closure, 109 individuals had medical insurance from their employer. This was an increase of 303%.

In FFY 2011, it was estimated that Indicator 1.5 would be met and exceeded by 10.4%. The Division attributes the success of this strategy to the following activities:

? Monitored the average wage earnings by priority categories consistent with Order of Selection;

? Incorporated into the case management system a component when conducting job referrals which ensures necessary information was being provided;

? Recognized counselors who place consumers in employment with higher earnings;

? Implemented the Future’s Initiative which consists of reviewing the provider fee schedule to identify incentives for placement (e.g., higher wages, continued employment);

? Conducted meetings with providers/employment consultants to discuss wages, service contracts, and incentives:

? Approximately 17% (126) of the Division’s successful employment closures were Supported Employment.

? Implemented the Ticket to Work initiative that shares payments with providers when a consumer’s earnings reached various milestones.

Strategy 1.4: Evaluate contracts and/or services for improvement, which provide short-term and long-term vocational supports for consumers with disabilities who have co-occurring diseases/disabilities;

The Division attributes the success of this strategy to the following activities:

? Worked collaboratively with providers (e.g., mental health centers, community support providers) to identify better outcomes for consumers to include short and long-term supports, and to improve and increase successful outcomes. One example was a mental health center assigning a full time employment specialist to work with consumers served by both entities.

? The Division continues work on a co-occurring grant with other divisions in the Department of Human Services.

? Provided intensive advanced job development training to employment specialists and Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors.

Strategy 1.5: Develop and implement strategies to improve consumer’s retention of employment status;

For FFY 2011, the Division had 127 individuals’ successful closure cases as Supported Employment. This is 17% of the Division’s closures and it should be noted that the national average for FFY 2010 is 10%. The Division serves a significantly high percentage of individuals receiving Supported Employment services. The Division attributes the success of this strategy to the following activities:

? Identified and implemented different techniques for crisis intervention with consumers or employers; employment guidance and counseling; on the job training; employer awareness training; self-advocacy training; independent living skills training; and follow along services;

? Promoted and utilized job readiness and retention classes with career learning centers, mental health centers and other providers;

? Provided financial assistance for award recognition programs for consumers who maintained employment;

? Re-examined array of services for consumers to achieve more successful outcomes (i.e., trial work periods, pre-employment training, independent living skills) for consumers who return to vocational rehabilitation services;

? Encouraged youth with disabilities and others to participate in leadership development activities;

? Recognized individuals with disabilities who are employed (e.g., National Disability Employment Awareness Month events, Pat Smith awards) and obtained media coverage/publicity;

? Promoted the Ticket to Work initiative that promotes partnership between VR and providers. The Division entered into agreements with 45 providers to help provide a funding stream and promote higher employment and continued employment. This initiative includes developing a Plan for Sustaining Employment that is signed by the consumer; and

? As of 9/30/2011, the Division paid $94,989 to providers as their share of the Ticket to Work reimbursements for providing employment supports to help individuals with disabilities maintain their employment.

Strategy 1.6: Develop and implement strategies to increase the earnings and employment rate of consumers who are SSA recipients;

The weekly earnings for SSA recipients closed successfully rehabilitated in FFY 2011 increased to $187.88 per week. This amount in FFY 2007 was $152.51. It was also determined that SSA recipients who received benefits specialists services had a 13% increase in success rate and a 30% increase in wages as compared to SSA recipients who did not receive benefits specialists services. The Division attributes the success of this strategy to the following activities:

Encouraged counselors, consumer and family members to attend various workshops and training events (e.g., benefits and employment trainings, Social Security trainings on PASS and IRWE, and job search training assistance programs);

Education and training offered to consumers, providers and staff regarding the Medical Assistance for Workers with Disabilities program;

Held monthly meetings with various providers to discuss strategies to improve earning potential (wages and hours) for consumers;

Implemented a referral process for consumers who are Social Security recipients to meet with a benefit specialist; and

Implemented the Ticket to Work initiative with SSA consumers where payments are shared with providers when consumers reach higher earnings.

 

Federal Program Evaluation Standards In accordance with the provisions of the 1998 Amendments to the Rehabilitation Act, the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education proposed the following evaluation standards (see Federal Register Vol.63, No. 198 issued on October 14, 1998 on Proposed Rules, pages 55292- 55305). The proposed standards 1 and 4 are based on section 106 of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (P. L. 105 220 of August 7, 1998), which contains the 1998 Amendments to the Rehabilitation Act. The proposed standards 2, 3, and 5 are not based on the Workforce Investment Act, but the Secretary believes that they are important factors in successful rehabilitation programs. Standards 1 and 2 have been finalized as published in the Federal Register Vol.65, No. 108 issued on June 5, 2000, pages 35792 - 35801. The remaining standards have not yet been finalized. Standard 1: Employment Outcomes Standard 1 is based on section 106 of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (P. L. 105 220 of August 7, 1998), which contains the 1998 Amendments to the Rehabilitation Act. This standard requires an agency to assist eligible individuals with disabilities, including those with significant disabilities, to obtain, maintain, or regain high quality employment outcomes. The quality of an employment outcome is based on whether the outcome is consistent with the individual’s vocational choices; is in competitive, self employment, or BEP employment; maintains or increases the individual’s earnings; and allows medical insurance plans covering hospitalization. The following six performance indicators measure minimum compliance with this standard. 1. 1. Compare the total numbers of individuals obtaining an employment outcome during the current and previous performance periods. 1.2 Measure the number of persons obtaining an employment outcome as a percentage of all persons exiting the program after receiving VR services. 1.3. Measure the number of persons obtaining a competitive, self employment, or BEP employment outcome as a percentage of all persons obtaining any type of employment outcome. Primary Indicator 1.4. Measure the percentage of competitively employed individuals who have significant disabilities. Primary Indicator 1.5. Measure the average hourly earnings of all individuals who exit the VR program in competitive, self employment, or BEP employment with earnings levels equivalent to at least the minimum wage as a ratio to the State’s average hourly earnings for all individuals in the State who are employed. Primary Indicator 1.6. Measure the difference between the percentage of individuals who exit the VR program in competitive, self employment, or BEP employment with earnings equivalent to at least the minimum wage who report their own income as their largest single source of economic support and the percentage of individuals in that employment who reported their own income as their largest single source of support at the time they applied for VR services. Standard 2: Equal Access to Services Standard 2 requires compliance with one performance indicator which measures equality of access to rehabilitation services. 2.1. Measure whether individuals from minority backgrounds have been provided services at the same rate as non minority individuals. Assessment of the State VR Agency in meeting the Performance Standards and Indicators The Division of Rehabilitation Services has been monitoring the development of the performance standards and indicators. Utilizing the FFY 2011 data, the Division’s performance was evaluated in meeting the minimum requirements for Standards 1 and 2. The following displays the outcome of this assessment.

Indicator Min. Requirement Outcome Met

Standard 1: Employment Outcomes

Indicator 1.1 690 719 Yes

Indicator 1.2 55.8% 65.09% Yes

Indicator 1.3 * 72.6% 100% Yes

Indicator 1.4 * 62.4% 98.33% Yes

Indicator 1.5 * $8.48 $9.36 Yes

Indicator 1.6 53% 61.10% Yes

Standard 2: Equal Access to Services

Min. Requirement Outcome Met

Indicator 2.1 80% 81.58% Yes

 

Past Utilization of Innovation and Expansion Funds - DRS Section 101 (a)(18) of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 as Amended requires the State Vocational Rehabilitation Agency to reserve and use a portion of the funds for: (i) The development and implementation of innovative approaches to expand and improve the provision of vocational rehabilitation services to individuals with disabilities, particularly individuals with the most significant disabilities, consistent with the findings of the statewide assessment and goals and priorities of the State; and (ii) To support the State Rehabilitation Council and the Statewide Independent Living Council. Prior to the 1998 Amendments of the Rehabilitation Act, the Division of Rehabilitation Services was required to utilize 1.5% of the Federal 110 funds for Innovation and Expansion (I&E) activities. The Division continues to use these funds at an increased percentage. During the 2011 State Fiscal year, $122,758 was spent for I&E activities through a contract with the South Dakota Coalition of Citizens with Disabilities to provide staff support for the Board of Vocational Rehabilitation and the State Independent Living Council. The contract provides for the following: ? Support staff for the Board of Vocational Rehabilitation and the Statewide Independent Living Council contracted through the South Dakota Coalition of Citizens with Disabilities. This includes wages and benefits for .9 FTE Board support staff. ? Operational costs, equipment, travel for support staff and office supplies paid through the South Dakota Coalition of Citizens with Disabilities. ? Costs involved in having members of the Board of Vocational Rehabilitation or the Statewide Independent Living Council attend meetings/training. ? Strategic Planning Initiatives approved by the Board of VR to expand and improve the provision of vocational rehabilitation services to individuals with disabilities, particularly individuals with the most significant disabilities, consistent with the findings of the statewide assessment and goals and priorities of the State. The Division of Rehabilitation Services budgets approximately $130,000 annually for support services and strategic planning activities for both the Board of Vocational Rehabilitation and the Statewide Independent Living Council. Expenditures for the strategic planning activities for FY 2011 consist of the following:

$ 8,648.57 NDEAM (2010 events)

$ 100.00 BVR organizational dues for SD Coalition ($35 for dues and $65 for donation)

$11,000.00 NDEAM (2011 events)

$ 3,000.00 Governor’s Awards Ceremony

$22,748.57 Total Expenditures

This screen was last updated on Jun 27 2012 9:45AM by Ronda Williams

  • 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 Rehabilitation Act Amendments of 1986 authorized a new formula grant program entitled the State Supported Employment Services Program. The Act recognizes supported employment as a legitimate vocational rehabilitation outcome. The 1998 amendments to the Rehabilitation Act maintained many of the core components of the original supported employment regulations but made the program more effective and flexible in assisting persons with the most significant disabilities to successfully obtain and maintain competitive employment in integrated work settings. Supported employment services are a central link in the rehabilitation service delivery system in South Dakota.

Supported Employment Definition

The Act as amended defines supported employment as:

Competitive work in integrated work settings, or employment in integrated work settings in which individuals are working toward competitive work, consistent with the strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, interests, and informed choice of the individuals with the most significant disabilities for whom competitive employment: a. has not traditionally occurred; or b. has been interrupted or intermittent as a result of a significant disability; and c. who, because of their nature and severity of their disability, need intensive supported employment services for the period, or extended services to perform such work.. d. This also includes transitional employment for persons with the most significant disabilities due to mental illness.

Quality of Supported Employment

Ensuring that quality supported employment (SE) services are being provided to individuals with the most significant disabilities in South Dakota is a priority for the Division. Quality is measured by more than just the number of individuals who receive supported employment services. Quality also incorporates key values such as self-determinism; choice; person-centered supports; quality of life; and full inclusion.

The Division of Rehabilitation Services (DRS or Division) is committed to providing quality supported employment services to individuals with disabilities. Providing training to VR counselors and supported employment service providers is essential to improving services. During the past years the following training has been provided to improve the quality of supported employment services in South Dakota:

• Vocational Rehabilitation for Individuals with Psychiatric Disabilities

• Personality Disorders

• Supported Employment Conferences

• Mid Winter and Fall Conferences

• Comprehensive training sessions for employment specialists annually

• Presentations on Transition and Supported Employment

• "Managing Supported Employment Programs".

• "The Route to Community and Inclusionary Culture".

• Summer Institute - Person Centered Planning Training.

• Customizing Employment

• Employment and Benefits Training

In the RSA 2005 annual review report, the Division of Rehabilitation Services showed 32.29% of our successful closures in employment with supports in an integrated setting (supported employment consumers) while the national average was 9.07%. Supported employment programs have been developed in all of the adjustment training centers (17) and nine of eleven mental health centers in South Dakota. In addition, supported employment services are available through one school cooperative, Communication Services for the Deaf, and the South Dakota Rehabilitation Center for the Blind. These SE programs provide services through the use of individual placements, enclaves, and mobile work crews.

Timing of the Transition to Extended Services

The State Vocational Rehabilitation Agency provides time-limited services needed to support an individual in employment. Vocational Rehabilitation can fund a maximum of 18 months of job coaching and follow-along services unless the Individual Plan for Employment (IPE) indicates that more than 18 months of services are necessary for the individual to achieve job stability prior to transitioning to extended services.

Prior to the purchase of supported employment services, the need for the services, the appropriate extended services and funding, and the appropriate agency agreeing to provide the services are established and identified on the IPE. The transition to the extended services (long term funding source) occurs when 18 months of job coaching and follow along services have been provided or earlier if the following three requirements are met:

1. The individual's employment is stable;

2. The individual has met the hourly goal of employment established in the IPE; and

3. The extended services are immediate without any interruption in the provision of the ongoing services to maintain employment.

If the IPE indicates that more than 18 months of services are necessary in order for the individual to achieve job stability, the time-limited services of job coaching and follow along can exceed 18 months. After the individual has transitioned to extended employment, the individual must maintain employment for at least 90 days before the consumer's case is a successful closure.

Accomplishments in Supported Employment

The Division continues to have a very high percentage of individuals with the most significant disabilities who utilize supported employment services. The success of this program is due to the coordination of supported employment services with local providers and allowing for incentive payments for outcome based services. Restructuring the funding and delivery of situational assessments has also improved services for individuals with disabilities. Insurance is now available for the consumer while completing a situational assessment. This arrangement assists in easing employer's concerns in regard to liability during the assessments conducted at job sites.

The Division has made significant progress in developing methods to better serve individuals with severe and persistent mental illness (SPMI). Individuals with mental illness are currently the largest disability group served within the Division. All of our District Offices have a counselor who specializes in services for these individuals. In addition, performance contracts have been established with 4 mental health centers: Aberdeen MH Center, Behavior Management Systems, Southeastern Mental Health Center, and Human Service Agency. These contracts have promoted the use of supported employment services, supported educational services, employment skills training and transitional employment. This model of contract has developed a team approach between the local VR office and the local Mental Health Center. Use of contractual agreements has led to better coordination of long-term supports and allows individuals to have greater and easier access to vocational rehabilitation services. A VR Counselor has been designated as the primary VR counselor with the mental health center however individuals can choose another VR counselor if the arrangement is approved by the District Supervisor.

The Division has implemented a paid work experience program with the mental health centers who have performance based contracts, and the Department of Human Services IMPACT Program in Yankton. This program provides individuals the opportunity to try community employment in a variety of occupations. This has been successful in assisting individuals to permanent employment. The Division has also restructured the Yankton Rehabilitation Program to redirect resources to be more community based. Extensive training has been provided to the staff at the IMPACT program.

This screen was last updated on Aug 19 2009 7:31AM by sasdggrimmeb

The following information is captured by the MIS.

Last updated on 08/30/2012 at 11:16 AM

Last updated by sasdwilliamsr

Completed on 08/30/2012 at 12:02 PM

Completed by sasdwilliamsr

Approved on 09/17/2012 at 7:38 AM

Approved by rscosadlerc

Published on 09/20/2012 at 7:21 AM

Published by kschelle

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