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

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

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

Preprint - Section 1: State Certifications

1.1 The Tennessee Department of Human Services Division of Rehabilitation 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 Tennessee Department of Human Services Division of Rehabilitation 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

Commissioner 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

Commissioner 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 SignatoryRaquel Hatter, MSW, Ed.D

Title of SignatoryCommissioner Department of Human Services

Date Signed (mm/dd/yyyy)06/20/2013

Assurances Certified By

At the request of RSA, the designated state agency and/or the designated state unit provide the following assurance(s), in addition to those contained within Section 2 through 8 below, in connection with the approval of the State Plan for FY 2014Yes

Comments:

The Tennessee Division of Rehabilitation Services will complete its Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment in accordance with the requirements of 34 CFR 361.29 no later than September 30, 2014.

Signed?Yes

Name of SignatoryRaquel Hatter, MSW, Ed.D

Title of SignatoryCommissioner Department of Human Services

Date Signed (mm/dd/yyyy)06/20/2013

* 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.

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

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

(a) Conduct of public meetings.

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

(b) Notice requirements.

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

(c) Special consultation requirements.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Preprint - Section 4: Administration of the State Plan

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

(a) Designated state agency.

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

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

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

(b) Designated state unit.

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

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

  1. The name of the designated state vocational rehabilitation unit is
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. No

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

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

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

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

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

(a) In general.

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

(b) Employment of individuals with disabilities.

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

(c) Facilities.

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

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

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

(a) Data system on personnel and personnel development.

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

  1. Qualified personnel needs.

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

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

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

  1. Personnel development.

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

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

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

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

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

(c) Personnel standards.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(d) Staff development.

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

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

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

(e) Personnel to address individual communication needs.

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

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

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

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

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

(a) Comprehensive statewide assessment.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(b) Annual estimates.

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

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

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

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

(c) Goals and priorities.

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

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

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

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

  1. provides a justification for the order; and

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

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

(d) Strategies.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(e) Evaluation and reports of progress.

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

  1. Attachment 4.11(e)(2):

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(b) If No:

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

  1. Attachment 4.11(c)(3):

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  1. an immediate job placement; or

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(a) Contracts with for-profit organizations.

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

(b) Cooperative agreements with private nonprofit organizations.

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

Preprint - Section 6: Program Administration

Section 6: Program Administration

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Preprint - Section 7: Financial Administration

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

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

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

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

Preprint - Section 8: Provision of Supported Employment Services

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

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

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

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

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

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

  1. specifies the supported employment services to be provided;

  1. describes the expected extended services needed; and

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

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

Attachment 4.2(c) Input of State Rehabilitation Council

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

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

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

I. The SRC commends Assistant Commissioner Cherrell Campbell-Street for her ongoing commitment to providing an open system of communication with the SRC. The SRC commends the Division for opening Priority Category 02 during FY 2013. The SRC recommends the Division consider evaluating and making recommendations on opening Priority Categories 03 & 04 for FY 2014.

RESPONSE: The Division is reviewing the effect of opening Priority Category 2 on the budget. In addition, the Division is estimating the number of referrals that may happen with the opening of all priority categories. The Division must ensure that there is capacity to serve all individuals not only in budget but in personnel.

II. The SRC recommends the Division hire a new position for a Director of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services. The SRC feels that Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services and Blind and Visually Impaired Services should not be combined into one department. Each of these services is unique and need separate Directors to oversee their services.

RESPONSE: The Division continues to research the structure and organization of Services for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. The Division agrees that these services are unique and need separate supervision in order to best meet the needs of our consumers.

III. In order for the SRC to make informed decisions and collaborate with the Division on the State VR program, the SRC recommends the Division continue to improve the process of providing the reports defined in 34 CFR Section 361.16(a)(2)(iv) to the SRC with adequate time to review and provide input/feedback before the reports are submitted to RSA.

RESPONSE: The Division will continue its efforts to work with the SRC to meet both internal and external deadlines. The Division would like to express its appreciation to the council for providing feedback and hopes it too will be mindful of providing information to the Division in a timely manner.

IV. The SRC commends the Division in facilitating the full participation between the Division and SRC in writing the State Plan for FY 14. The SRC commends the Division for collaborating with the SRC in implementing the new 2-day training to begin the process of writing the State Plan. SRC commends the new Assistant Commissioner for coordinating this effort and placing importance and value on SRC involvement. The SRC commends the Division on conducting the Public Hearings at neutral sites, providing adequate publicizing/notification of Public Hearings, and being prepared to answer questions from the public.

RESPONSE: The Division believes the involvement of the SRC is critical and necessary to the successful development of the State Plan. The Division will continue to schedule Public Hearings in accordance with RSA guidelines.

V. To further enhance the congressional mandate for the SRC to assist and participate in setting goals and priorities with the Division, the SRC commends the Division in implementing a collaborative effort with the SRC in conducting focus groups and providing input to the needs assessment.

RESPONSE: The Division plans to use the information received from the focus group sessions in the development of the needs assessment process.

VI. The SRC understands the Division has an interagency agreement with the Department of Education to provide services to transition aged students with disabilities to assist them in making the transition from school to work. The SRC recommends that the Division implement a procedure to develop a student’s IPE shortly after priority category determination to provide career exploration and job placement services earlier in the student’s high school career. We appreciate the new Administration’s willingness to consider writing IPE’s earlier and providing work experiences to transition aged youth. The SRC commends the new Administration’s goal to provide a TSW Counselor in every county in the State of TN.

RESPONSE: The Division is currently re-assessing the current structure of the transitional services being provided to our consumers under this arrangement. This re-assessment includes types of services, delivery of services, IPE timeline and the provision of appropriate work experiences for our consumers.

VII. The SRC commends the Division for providing all proposed changes to the VR policy manual and Procedural Directives to the SRC, before the manual is modified. This allowed the SRC to review and provide input and feedback on all policy manual changes before they become official.

RESPONSE: The Division will continue to involve the SRC in review and consultation of VR policies, as appropriate, prior to making the changes official.

VIII. The SRC commends the Division on striving to meet the CSPD requirements making a Masters Degree in Rehabilitation mandatory for all counselors. The SRC recommends the Division develop incentives and provide comparable salaries once the counselor receives their Masters degree to encourage counselor retention.

RESPONSE: The Division is researching and gathering information to assess the salaries of ALL positions within the VR program and compare them to those of other states. By doing so, the Division will be able to make a recommendation to the Department for consideration.

IX. The SRC commends the Division on reevaluating and streamlining contracts, which will include performance measures, with service providers. The SRC believes that the implementation of performance measures will provide ample information to the Division about its job placement vendors, which in turn will provide DRS with the information needed to implement changes to insure successful closures. The SRC commends the Division on the goal to increase successful closures by 10% annually. The SRC will remain vigilant to monitor successful closures and to work with the Division to provide specific strategies to accomplish this.

RESPONSE: The Division included the RSA performance measures in all contracts in order to provide clarity to our services providers on the importance of these measures and how they impact the continuation of our funding. The development process is still being reviewed by the department’s legal counsel.

X. The SRC commends the Division for eliminating the “minimum 15 hour rule” for college students. Each Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) should be vocational driven and should be the focal point when addressing the minimum number of hours required for each college student.

RESPONSE: The Division made a policy change that defines full-time student status as the number of hours considered full time by the participating college/university.

XI. Students can qualify for all other financial aid including the lottery scholarship by taking only 12 academic hours. The Division’s policy should be more in line with other funding sources. VR certainly can assist with post secondary education through

financial support. The Division is looking at other states and how they handle post secondary education and provide services. In some states they just say okay after FAFSA and this is the maximum state amount for Tennessee. The difference is as much as VR pays. VR has about forty states that we are actually looking at in trying to identify what policy would be best for Tennessee and what will work.

RESPONSE: The Division is currently re-assessing the policy related to post-secondary financial support. The SRC will be consulted and updated during this re-assessment process.

The SRC recommends that the Division provide additional staff training on self- employment services for VR clients and encourage their staff to work with VR clients who strive to become self-employed. The SRC believes that self-employment is a viable alternative for individuals who have difficulty functioning in a traditional workplace.

RESPONSE: The Division is reviewing the current self-employment policies. The Division is planning on providing self-employment training to all staff.

The SRC has experienced problems securing approval from the DSU and DSA to hold our quarterly meetings during the current fiscal year. Holding SRC meetings has never been a problem for the SRC according to our research. The SRC is recommending that the DSU and DSA adhere to Section 105(f)(g) of the Rehabilitation Act, as amended and its implementing regulations: CFR361.17 (J)(1)(2)(K):

J(1) The Council must convene at least four meetings a year in locations determined by the Council to be necessary to conduct Council business. The meeting must be publicly announced, open, and accessible to the general public, including individuals with disabilities, unless there is a valid reason for an executive session.

(2) Conduct forums or hearings, as appropriate, that are publicly announced, open, and accessible to the public, including individuals with disabilities.

(k) Compensation.

Funds appropriated under Title I of the Act, except funds to carry out sections 112 and 121 of the Act, may be used to compensate and reimburse the expenses of the Council members in accordance with Section 105(g) of the Act.

The designated State unit and SRC prepares a plan for the provision of resources that may be necessary and sufficient for the Council to carry out its functions. The SRC is recommending that the SRC resource plan be implemented in accordance with 34 CFR 361.17 (i)(1)(2)(3)(4)(5). Any disagreements between the designated State unit and Council regarding the amount of resources necessary to carry out the functions of the Council must be resolved by the Governor.

RESPONSE: The Division is implementing a process to address the changes from the department regarding meetings. Pre-approval is required for all meetings, trainings and conferences. Because this is a new process, the division did experience some difficulty in the approval process. The Division requests that the SRC continues to work collaboratively with DSU and the DSA to ensure that the meetings are held and the resource plan is carried out.

This screen was last updated on Jun 21 2013 2:06PM by Samuel Cole

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

This agency has requested a waiver of statewideness.

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

The waiver request should also include:

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

The Division requests a waiver of statewideness in order to maintain twenty-one Third Party Agreements with local education agencies (LEAs). These Third Party Agreements are designed to provide enhanced and concentrated services to Transition School to Work students/clients covered by the agreements. The Division has a contract with each entity that is consistent with Federal regulations (34 CFR § 361.26) and includes the following provisions:

1. The vocational rehabilitation services to be provided are identified in Section A. Scope of Services in each contract (Each contract has been submitted separately to RSA to provide the written assurances requested for this attachment);

2. The LEA assures that non-Federal funds are made available to the Division by committing to their maintenance of effort in Section E.13 of the contract;

3. The LEA assures that the Division’s approval is required before services are provided with the Division’s counselor determining eligibility for each client served;

4. The LEA assures, through the Division’s vocational rehabilitation counselors, that all other state plan requirements, including the Order of Selection policy, are applied to persons receiving services through the agreement; and

5. The LEA assures that reasonable accommodations will be provided.

A list of the LEA contracts is provided below:

Anderson County Schools

Bledsoe County Schools

Blount County Schools

Carter County Schools and Johnson County Schools

Clarksville Montgomery County Schools

Cocke County Schools

Elizabethton City Schools

Greene County Schools and Greeneville City Schools

Hamblen County Schools

Henderson County Schools

Humboldt City Schools, Trenton Special School District, Milan Special School District

Jackson-Madison County Schools

Knox County Schools

McMinn County Schools

Putnam County Schools

Robertson County School

Sequatchie County Schools

Sevier County Schools

Union County Schools

Washington County Schools

In fiscal year 2013 the division lost two TSW contracts McNairy/Selmer schools and Memphis City schools. Both school systems declined to sign the TSW contracts due to internal budget issues.

While the Division provides transition services to all LEAs throughout the state, these transition contracts enable the provision of an expanded and more intense transition service to students/clients resulting from the inclusion of job coaches, case manager assistants, and clerical staff that would not otherwise be available to work with the vocational rehabilitation clients. These contracts enable the Division to have a greater presence within the schools and act as a stronger resource to the LEAs in the provision of transition services. The Division will continue to make efforts to increase the number of LEA Third Party Agreements. It is anticipated that with the opening of Priority Category 2 in September 30, 2012, the likelihood of serving more students will allow for additional LEA Third Party Agreements.

This screen was last updated on Jun 24 2013 5:17PM by Samuel Cole

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

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

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

The Division has interagency cooperation, collaboration, and coordination with other state and local entities that are not components of the Statewide Workforce Investment System.

The Division works in cooperation with the following Federal, state, and local agencies and programs to provide services for individuals with significant disabilities:

1. The Department of Children’s Services for youth;

2. The Department of Health in providing services to individuals with traumatic brain injury (TBI);

3. Post-secondary school systems and their governing bodies;

4. The Department of Education and Local Education Agencies for individual who are transitioning from school to work.

5. The Department of Corrections for individuals released from state correctional facilities;

6. The Tennessee Board of Probation and Parole for individuals released from state correctional facilities and monitored by the Board.

7. Local city police, county sheriffs and judge’s programs for individuals being released from jails or on probation or trial diversion;

8. The Department of Human Services Division of Adult and Family Services for individuals participating in services under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program;

9. The Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services for individuals with mental illness and substance related disorders;

10. The Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities;

11. University of Tennessee, Center for Literacy, Education and Employment for marketing to businesses the services provided by the Division, to recruit businesses to hire the Division’s clients and to provide staff training and development and consultation services for community supported employment service providers;

12. Tennessee AgrAbility program for professions in production agriculture. This is a cooperative effort of the University of Tennessee Agricultural Extension Service, Tennessee State University Cooperative Extension Program, and Easter Seals in Tennessee, Special Technology Access Center, East Tennessee Technology Access Center and other collaborative entities of the Division;

13. TennesseeWorks for employment partnerships and collaborative efforts to increase access to meaningful work and internet-based information.

14. Community Rehabilitation Agencies of Tennessee which administers the Tennessee State Use Program, directs government procurement toward organizations serving individuals with disabilities.

15. Tennessee’s Alliance for Full Participation (AFP), an alliance of community and State organizations and agencies that works to enhance the employment of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

16. Council on Developmental Disabilities that promotes public policies to increase and support the inclusion of individuals with developmental disabilities in their communities and works with public and private groups across the State to find necessary supports for individuals with disabilities and their families, so that they may have equal access to public education, employment, housing, health care, and all other aspects of community life.

17. Tennessee Council for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing and Centers for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing and Deaf-Blind that operate in six communities and provide interpreter services consultation.

18. Tennessee Technology Access Programs that operate in five communities and provide assistive technology services and evaluations.

19. Tennessee Centers for Independent Living that operate in six local communities are operated primarily by persons with disabilities and provide a variety of independent living services.

This screen was last updated on Jun 24 2013 1:39PM by Samuel Cole

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

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

The Division maintains an ongoing interagency agreement with the Tennessee Department of Education, Tennessee Department of Children’s Services, Tennessee Department of Finance and Administration, Bureau of Tenncare, Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, Tennessee Department of Health, Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services and Tennessee Department of Corrections. The agreement, along with the Division’s policy manual and Standard Procedures Directives, outlines the plans, policies and procedures for coordination with education officials to facilitate the participation of the Division staff in transition planning and the referral of students with disabilities to the Division for a determination of eligibility for VR services.

When a student who is eligible based on the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEIA) standards reaches the age of fourteen (14), the Individualized Education Program (IEP) team , as defined by 34 CFR § 300.344, formulates a statement of transition service needs as a component of the IEP. The Division’s staff is invited and to the extent possible participates in these IEP meetings.

The Division has been under an Order of Selection since 2001. Under the current Order, the Division is able to provide direct services to those eligible individuals in Priority Category 1 and Priority Category 2. The Division was able to open Priority 2 effective September 30, 2012 which now allows for the provision of direct services to significantly more students with disabilities. The Division provides information and referral services to help all applicants find services through other agencies and entities.

If the IEP team determines that the student should be referred for VR services, the student and parent(s) should be present at the IEP team meeting when the referral is made. The Division’s staff is required to inform the student and parents at the IEP meeting of the purpose of the vocational rehabilitation program, the application procedures, the eligibility requirements including the Order of Selection, and the potential scope of services that may be available. As soon as possible after referral, the Division takes an application from the student and determines eligibility as well as whether the student is in an open priority category. If the student is in an open priority category, the Division’s staff assists in the formulation of the student’s IEP and the student’s vocational rehabilitation Individualized Plan for Employment as soon as it is determined that the student can benefit from services provided by the Division in preparation for exiting the school system and transitioning into training and/or employment. Services provided by the Division include summer employment, attending job fairs, community vocational adjustment training and pre-employment, college readiness and job readiness training.

The agencies involved in the interagency agreement cooperate in developing and coordinating services for youth with disabilities within each respective agency’s legal authority. The ultimate goal of each agency participating in the agreement is to provide, or cause to be provided, a continuum of appropriate services leading to transition from school into employment. The agreement provides for:

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

2. Consultation and technical assistance on providing reasonable accommodations;

3. Transition planning by personnel of the Division of Rehabilitation Services 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 Improvement Act (IDEIA) of 2004 (P.L. 108-446);

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

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

A VR counselor is assigned to work with each local education agency (LEA) for the purposes of referrals, eligibility determination and the provision of services to eligible students. In twenty-one LEAs, the VR counselor is dedicated to the LEA under a contract with the LEA. VR counselors provide technical assistance to school personnel and LEAs to help them identify appropriate referrals for vocational rehabilitation services. The VR counselor also provides information and referral to students not eligible for VR services.

It is the Division’s policy that the development and approval of the IPE for each student determined eligible for VR services occurs as soon as it is determined that the student can benefit from services provided by the Division. An IPE must be developed before the student leaves the school setting.

The interagency agreement identifies the financial responsibility of the Department of Education (DOE) to ensure that individuals who are IDEIA eligible receive a free appropriate public education (FAPE) in the least restrictive environment. A free appropriate public education means regular and special education and related services which:

1. Are provided at public expense, under public supervision and direction, and without charge to the parent;

2. Meet the standards established by state law, including the requirements of IDEIA Part B and the Rules, Regulations and Minimum Standards for the Governance of Tennessee Public Schools, issued by DOE;

3. Include preschool, elementary school, and secondary school (including appropriate vocational, career or work experience education); and

4. Are provided in conformity with an IEP.

The interagency agreement relates the financial responsibility of the Division to ensure that individuals who are IDEIA eligible and also meet the Division’s eligibility requirements will receive VR Services. VR Services means any services necessary to determine eligibility and those services described in an IPE necessary to assist an individual with a disability in preparing for, securing, retaining, or regaining an employment outcome that is consistent with the strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, interests, and informed choice of the individual.

The LEA is responsible for the educational costs related to the provision of special education and related services for the individual attending school. The agreement states that if another public agency is obligated under federal or state law or assigned responsibility under state policy to provide or pay for any services that are considered special education or related services and are necessary for ensuring FAPE to students who are IDEIA eligible, the public agency shall fulfill that obligation or responsibility, directly, through contract or by another arrangement. However, failure of that public agency to pay for that service does not relieve the LEA of its obligation to provide that service to an individual with a disability in a timely manner.

The Division is responsible for all costs necessary for eligibility determination and provision of services under an IPE. The Division must take into account comparable services and benefits [34 CFR § 361.53 (c)(1))], available under any other program that does not interrupt or delay the progress of the individual toward achieving the employment outcome identified in the IPE.

The Division’s staff maintains a working relationship with special education supervisors, vocational education supervisors, directors, secondary school guidance counselors, and LEA administrators for the purpose of providing outreach for students with disabilities and technical assistance to school personnel to assist LEAs in preparing students with disabilities for career opportunities. The Division participates in in-service training programs for LEAs, as well as in statewide special education conferences for the purpose of providing information regarding VR services. The Division also participates in and organizes local community job fairs, job clubs, attends civic club/organization meetings to inform students and parents of the purpose of the VR program, the application procedures, the eligibility requirements, and the potential scope of services that may be available.

Other activities to identify students with physical or emotional disabilities who do not meet the criteria for special education services (commonly referred to as Section 504 services) include completion of student health survey forms coordinated with guidance counselors or general education teachers.

It is the Division’s intent to develop relationships with LEA middle or junior high schools to provide consultation for students with disabilities who are about to enter high school.

The Division has a dedicated full-time state office position coordinates transition services statewide. This position serves as liaison with the State Department of Education and other partners in the interagency agreement to provide technical assistance and training related to vocational rehabilitation services. This position works with VR counselors and supervisory staff to improve access and services for students with disabilities. This position identifies, arranges for, or provides training to the Division’s counselors, educators, students with disabilities, and families in a variety of areas related to transition services. The Division plans to fill this position during the upcoming fiscal year to ensure that services are coordinated properly.

The Division currently contracts with twenty-one LEAs as part of its transition initiative. The contracts provide for a VR counselor housed within the school district and case manager assistants, job coaches and/or secretaries to work under the administrative supervision of the LEA. All services provided under these contracts/agreements have a VR employment focus. All services provided under these contracts/agreements are in keeping with all state plan requirements to include our state’s Order of Selection requirements. Services provided under these contracts/agreements are only available to applicants for, or recipients of, services of the Division. The Division will strive to increase the number of contracts with LEAs as allowed by the Division’s and LEAs’ funding availability.

Although the Division utilizes contracts with LEAs as part of its transition initiative, all decisions affecting eligibility for VR services, the nature and scope of available services, and the provision of these services remain the sole responsibility of the VR counselor employed by the Division. VR staff is responsible for determinations to close cases and for all allocations of expenditures for services.

This screen was last updated on Jun 24 2013 1:40PM by Samuel Cole

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

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

Based on information gathered by continuing statewide studies, the annual facility survey of public and private community rehabilitation programs and the on-going monitoring and annual evaluation of effectiveness, the Division continues to maximize the use of community rehabilitation programs to provide rehabilitation services in the most integrated setting possible consistent with the informed choices of the individual.

The Division is utilizing community rehabilitation programs (CRPs) throughout the state as follows:

I. The Division’s Facility Program:

A. The Tennessee Rehabilitation Center (Center) at Smyrna is a state operated comprehensive residential rehabilitation facility that serves individuals with significant disabilities. The facility is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) in programs of comprehensive vocational evaluation services, employee development services, and employment skills training services. The Center offers the following program and support services:

i. Program Services

- Comprehensive vocational evaluation and mobile evaluation services

- Job objectives and behavioral services, a pre-vocational work adjustment training program

- Occupational skills training in automotive maintenance/detailing, building maintenance and grounds keeping, business education, commercial cleaning, food service, and warehouse training

- Physical rehabilitation services to include: occupational, physical and recreational therapy; rehabilitation nursing services, personal care attendant training and adaptive equipment assessments. Outpatient services are also provided in occupational and physical therapy services and adaptive equipment assessments.

- Traumatic brain injury services to include: occupational, physical, cognitive, and speech/language therapy; vocational evaluation; behavioral instruction, job readiness instruction and community re-entry training.

- Transitional life skills training to include: managing self-care and daily living skills; home management skills and practices; financial management skills and practices; transportation; health maintenance; comparative shopping; meal preparation; and civil rights and advocacy.

- Vision impairment services to include: pre-vocational assessment and training for independent living; college preparation services; assistive technology assessments and training; computer training; self employment evaluation and instruction; GED preparation; and prerequisite training for entry into Tennessee Business Enterprises.

ii. Support Services

- Residential living

- Client health services

- Case management services

- Drivers education

- Psychiatric and physician services

- Recreation therapy and leisure-time skills

- Remedial education

- Job seeking skills training

- Psychological services

- Independent living skills training

The Center operates at a program capacity of 160 individuals and provides services to approximately 1,200 Tennesseans with significant disabilities each year.

The Center is a member of the National Consortium of State Operated Comprehensive Rehabilitation Centers. An Advisory Council is utilized to provide valuable feedback used in guiding decision making in Center operations and program development. In addition, the Center conducts exit customer satisfaction surveys on individuals completing services, from each program of service provided, completes support services customer satisfaction surveys twice a year with clients receiving services, and conducts client family surveys, as well as a referring counselor needs assessment and satisfaction survey on an annual basis. Feedback obtained from these survey instruments is also used in guiding decisions about current and future support services and program services operations, as well as accessibility and physical plant operations.

B. A network of 17 Tennessee Rehabilitation Centers (TRCs) is located across the state providing day services to eligible individuals with significant disabilities, seeking competitive employment. All community TRC facilities are accredited by the Commission of Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) in programs of comprehensive vocational evaluation and employee development services. The TRCs are supported by a combination of appropriated local and Federal funds.

i. Program Services

- Vocational Evaluation

- Comprehensive vocational evaluation services provide an individualized, timely and systematic process for identifying viable vocational options and developing employment goals and objectives.

An accredited comprehensive vocational evaluation service is used to examine a wide range of employment alternatives using the following techniques:

1. Assessment of functional/occupational performance in real or simulated environments

2. Psychometric testing

3. Preference and interest inventories

4. Personality testing

5. Extensive personal interviews

6. Other appropriate evaluation tests depending on the individual

7. Analysis of prior work experience and transferable skills

8. Employee Development Services

9. Services are based upon individual needs and can include comprehensive employment services or any individual component.

10. Employee development services and/or job readiness instruction

11. Work skills development through a facility workshop: including the use of contract work, job readiness assessment and training.

12. Community Employment Services include: (job development and placement)

13. Job readiness assessment and instruction includes: interview skills instruction, completing a job application, developing a resume, grooming and hygiene for the work place, self determination training, developing and using job-finding networks and resources.

14. Job readiness assessment and instruction

15. Job development and placement into competitive employment through the identification of employment opportunities in the local job market

16. Development of realistic employment goals

17. Establishment of service plans to achieve employment outcomes

18. Identification of resources to achieve and maintain employment.

19. Coordination of and referral to employment related services.

TRC facilities conduct exit customer satisfaction surveys on individuals completing services from each program of service provided, completes a yearly survey with clients receiving services, referring counselors, contract providers, funding sources, employers, and other identified stakeholders. Feedback obtained from the surveys is used to improve program services.

II. Service Contracts:

A. The Division plans to continue service contracts with the following community rehabilitation programs to ensure quality services statewide provided funding is available:

- Clovernook

- Deaf Centers: Knoxville Area Community Center for the Deaf; Jackson Center for Independent Living; Frontier Health: Interpreting Service for the Deaf; Partnership for Families, Children and Adults, Bridges

- Department of Education

- Goodwill of Memphis

- National Federation for the Blind

- Park Center

- Southeast TN Human Resource Agency

- Technology Centers: East Tennessee Technology Access in Knoxville; Signal Centers; Technology Access Center of Middle Tennessee in Nashville; West Tennessee Special Technology Access Resource (STAR) Center in Jackson; and Mid-South ACT in Memphis

- The ARC of the Mid-South

- University of Memphis Training and Technical Assistance Project

- University of Tennessee, Center for Literacy Studies

- Vanderbilt University Project Opportunity

- Vanderbilt University Return to Work Program

B. The Division has two service contracts with community rehabilitation programs (Clovernook and Volunteer Blind Industries, Inc.) serving visually impaired clients in the areas of evaluation, adjustment, activities of daily living, orientation and mobility, training, job development and employment.

III. Letters of Understanding

A. The Division has encouraged the establishment and development of CRPs to improve and expand services through Letters of Understanding. The Letter of Understanding (LOU) is an agreement between the Division and the CRP and in cooperation with the Department of Finance and Administration. The LOU describes the functions and responsibilities of the Division and the CRP as well as the scope of services and payment methodology agreed upon by both the Division and CRP in a joint effort of improving and expanding employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities.

B. The Division has the following LOUs with CRPs throughout the state.

- 32 LOUs for evaluation and adjustment services;

- 76 LOUs for supported employment services;

- 69 LOUs for job readiness training and job development and placement services; and

- 44 LOUs for Trial Work Experiences,

The Divisions Facility Programs, Service Contracts and Letters of Understanding are used to provide needed services such as but not limited to:

- Vocational evaluation

- Personal and vocational adjustment training

- Transportation and daily meals

- Vocational training

- Job readiness training

- Job development and job placement

- Supported employment

- Rehabilitation technology

- Orientation and mobility

- Activities of daily living

- Trial work experiences

- Follow-up and follow along services

This screen has never been updated.

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

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

  • supported employment services; and
  • extended services.

The Division has interagency arrangements and coordination with the following entities for the provision of supported employment services and extended services:

1. The Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities;

2. Tennessee Council on Developmental Disabilities for individuals with disabilities that began during the early developmental years;

3. The Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services for individuals with mental illness and substance related disorders;

4. The Tennessee Employment Consortium, an independent association of community rehabilitation providers and state agencies developed jointly by the Division, the Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, and the Tennessee Council on Developmental Disabilities to provide a forum for all stakeholders to review and discuss state policies and share best practices;

5. University of Tennessee, Center for Literacy, Education and Employment to provide staff training and development and consultation services for community supported employment service providers; and

6. Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development, to provide customized employment services through their system of Career Centers on behalf of VR clients and business and industry.

The Division has encouraged the establishment and development of Community Rehabilitation Providers (CRPs) to improve and expand services through Letters of Understanding. The Letter of Understanding (LOU) is an agreement between the Division and the CRP and in cooperation with the Department of Finance and Administration. The LOU describes the functions and responsibilities of the Division and the CRP as well as the scope of services and payment methodology agreed upon by both the Division and CRP in a joint effort of improving and expanding supported employment and extended services for individuals with disabilities. The Division currently has 76 LOUs for supported employment services.

This screen was last updated on Jun 24 2013 1:42PM by Samuel Cole

Attachment 4.10 Comprehensive System of Personnel Development

Data System on Personnel and Personnel Development

The Division received 7,258 new applications for services in Fiscal Year 2012 and provided services to 25,395 individuals.

The Division currently has 609 allocated positions. Of these 609 positions, 103 are currently vacant (16.9%). The percentage of currently vacant counselor positions is 33.2%, which is approximately twice the overall vacancy rate for all positions. Of the 609 total positions, it is projected that 40% of vacancies will occur within the next 5 years as employees meet requirements for full retirement benefits. Over the next fiscal year the division has plans to fill all of its counselor vacancies with staff that have at least a Master’s degree. All counselors will meet the CSPD requirement by January 1, 2018.

The Tennessee Division of Rehabilitation Services utilizes a department wide on-line computer system known as Edison for collecting and tracking all personnel actions relative to positions being vacated (resignations, terminations, retirement) as well as tracking personnel data relative to filling vacant positions (new hires, position transfers and/or promotions).

 

Row Job Title Total positions Current vacancies Projected vacancies over the next 5 years
1 Administrative 31 7 2
2 Clerical 87 16 25
3 Rehabilitation Assistants 63 1 2
4 Supervisors 81 0 1
5 Support 12 0 0
6 Instructor 38 0 0
7 VR Direct Client Services Staff 262 60 30
8 Medical 33 0 0
9 BEP Specialist/Constulant 12 0 2
10 0 0 0

 

In Tennessee, there are two universities that have Council on Rehabilitation Education (CORE) certified programs offering a master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling. One is The University of Tennessee at Knoxville, which is located in the eastern part of the state; and the other is The University of Memphis, located in the western part of the state.

The University of Tennessee at Knoxville (UTK) has an on-campus program with a current enrollment of 12 students. Additionally, five individuals are enrolled in UTK’s distance education program, 2 (40%) of whom are employees of the Division. Of the 12 students currently enrolled, 11 (92%) have disabilities and 1 student (8.4%) represents a minority. For the federal fiscal year (10/11 – 9/12), 14 students graduated from the program. All graduates met the academic criteria to sit for the Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) exam, and 10 obtained the CRC credential

The University of Memphis currently has 26 graduate students in their on-campus program. None (0%) of these students are employed by the Division. Of the 26 on-campus students, 7 have a disability (25%) and 11 represent a minority group (39%). For the federal fiscal year (10/11-9/12), 7 students graduated from the on-campus program. All graduates met the academic criteria to sit for the Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) exam and four (57%) successfully obtained their CRC credential.

 

Row Institutions Students enrolled Employees sponsored by agency and/or RSA Graduates sponsored by agency and/or RSA Graduates from the previous year
1 University of Memphis 26 2 6 7
2 University of TN – Knoxville 17 2 5 14
3 0 0 0 0
4 0 0 0 0
5 0 0 0 0

 

Members of the Division’s leadership team have quarterly contact with the program administrators at the University of Tennessee and the University of Memphis for the purpose of planning and sharing information relative to personnel development activities. The Rehabilitation Services Training Unit staff also meets or corresponds with University of Tennessee and University of Memphis staff for the purpose of gathering information regarding the number of students enrolled in their respective rehabilitation counselor education programs, as well as the number who graduated from their programs during the past year.

To advance recruitment activities, the Division has dedicated a program specialist position. This program specialist is actively seeking out other masters level programs across the nation; primarily those with RSA funded slots, to increase the number of incumbent staff in masters programs. Other duties of the program specialist include developing/distributing recruiting brochures at job fairs, speaking to graduate level programs to promote state employment in the rehabilitation field and encouraging incumbent staff to take advantage of graduate level training opportunities in rehabilitation counseling distance learning programs. The Division recognizes that recruitment activities are also the responsibility of counseling, supervisory and management level staff across the state with these personnel involved in recruitment activities in their regional and local communities.

The Tennessee Excellence, Accountability and Management (TEAM) Act of 2012 is designed to establish methods for attracting, selecting, retaining and promoting the best applicants and employees based on performance and equal opportunity, free from coercive political influence, and to provide technically competent employees to render impartial service to the public at all times. The TEAM Act will give agencies greater flexibility in personnel management and increase customer focused effectiveness and efficiency in a best practice environment, and by doing so, will allow the Division to strengthen its efforts to hire and retain top quality counselors.

The Division plans to expand paid internships to graduate students enrolled in a rehabilitation counseling program of study. Additionally, the Division is working to utilize a Graduate Associate program whereby individuals who successfully complete a paid or unpaid internship may enter state employment through a special job classification. The Division continues its policy to recruit staff from minority backgrounds and to recruit individuals with disabilities. Along with the dedicated program specialist, the assistant commissioner designee, supervisors and counselors continue recruitment efforts at historically black colleges and universities as well as institutions of higher education noted for having a high student population of individuals with disabilities. Supervisors and counselors continue to visit high schools and participate in job fairs in an effort to acquaint students with the rehabilitation counselor education programs, especially those available at the University of Tennessee and the University of Memphis.

Counselors continue to counsel and encourage clients who are interested in pursuing post- secondary training, especially clients from minority backgrounds, to consider the profession of vocational rehabilitation counseling. The Rehabilitation Services Training Unit staff continues to work closely with university rehabilitation counselor education program administrators to stress the need for the recruitment of applicants from minority backgrounds and individuals with disabilities into their training programs.

Current incentives for incumbent staff to participate in a Master’s degree program include financial assistance with tuition, books, fees, and minimal educational leave. Funding for a pay incentive based upon successful completion of a Master’s Degree program was approved in January 2005 for graduates and has been requested and approved for each successive graduate.

The Division continues to explore retention strategies for qualified staff. Exemplary counselors are given priority for attendance at various out-service training events in recognition of their hard work, dedication and commitment to assisting individuals with disabilities in achieving their employment goals. Additionally, the Division is seeking to reimburse employees for the cost of the initial Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) examination fee and/or CRC renewal fees.

 

The Division continues to use the national standard as defined by the Commission on Rehabilitation Counseling Certification, (CRCC) for counseling staff, which eligibility to sit for the certified exam. During the past fiscal year, a total of seven incumbent counselors graduated from Masters in Rehabilitation Counseling distance education program at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville.

The Division currently has 16 counseling staff enrolled in graduate level programs in rehabilitation counseling (two at University of Tennessee - Knoxville, one at Auburn University, three at The University of North Texas, six at the University of Kentucky, and four at San Diego State University). Two counselors are currently enrolled in CORE courses at San Diego State University. One counselor is in the process of making application for admission to a full online program at to begin at Auburn University in August.. One member of the Division’s counseling staff is expected to complete their graduate program and graduate during this federal fiscal year.

Pursuit of funding sources to support masters in rehabilitation counseling activities continues through reallocation of traditional in-service training monies and utilization of funding received through our Social Security Administration (SSA) reimbursement program. Also, the Division continues to work closely with any college or university to help secure any grant funding made available to help the Division further counselor education.

Currently 61% of the Division’s counseling staff meet the CSPD standard or are currently enrolled in a CORE training program. The State’s Department of Human Resources has approved the new position of Masters Rehabilitation Counselor (MRC) to replace the current Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor 2 (VRC2) position. This change was effective April 30, 2013. To qualify for MRC, a person must either be eligible to sit for the Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) certification examination, or possess a Master’s degree in field closely related to Rehabilitation Counseling and take the required steps to become eligible to sit for the CRC exam. Personnel currently in the VRC2 position who are eligible to sit for the CRC examination will automatically be reallocated to the MRC position. Personnel currently in the VRC2 position who are not eligible to sit for the CRC examination will remain in the VRC2 position and must meet the CSPD standard by December 31, 2017 to continue in a VR counselor position. All new VR counselor hires after April 30, 2013 must meet the MRC qualifications.

As part of the new department’s new Performance and Quality Improvement process, all incumbent counselors will have an individual educational plan (IEP). Supervisory/counselor discussions during the IDP meeting will include measures that will be taken by the counselor to meet the state’s CSPD standard.

Vocational rehabilitation counselors are being encouraged to take advantage of training being offered by the Division that will enable them to meet the CSPD standard. The State Department of Human Resources has guidelines in place for compensating employees who obtain a nationally recognized professional certification during their employment with the state.

The two main objectives outlined in their policy statement are:

1. To recognize employees who choose to enhance their competencies and service to the state through acquisition of knowledge and skills relevant to the performance of their major professional duties and responsibilities.

2. To provide an incentive to employees who successfully demonstrate acquisition of such competencies by attaining certification from a nationally recognized professional organization.

The intent is to provide both a means of encouraging employees to attain professional competencies and to provide an incentive for those employees to remain in state service. In an effort to assist CRC staff with maintaining this credential, the Division has received approval from the CRCC to provide continuing education credits for qualified training events.

 

The formation of the new Office of Professional Development (OLPD), which supports the entire Human Services Department, is the avenue through which staff development, training, and performance management takes place. This process includes conducting needs assessments, providing both mandatory and elective training opportunities to enhance staff, competencies and skill sets, and evaluating and addressing staff performance. Although the OLPD division is in its early stage of development, significant strides have been made toward developing competency-based job plans and corresponding performance evaluations. The development of core competencies for effective service delivery is an integral focus of the rehabilitation services training unit which now operates under the Division of OLPD.

Additional data is collected relative to training needs through the following methods:

1. Input from staff in all job classifications compiled into a statewide training needs report

2. State rehabilitation management and administrative staff input

3. State Human Resources Department training division mandates

4. Rehabilitation Services Administration guidelines

5. Recommendations of the State Rehabilitation Council and the Statewide Independent Living Council.

Program case reviews conducted by the Department’s newly formed Performance Management Unit (PMU) are also utilized to identify strengths and deficiencies among staff and related training needs.

As part of the state’s internal Top to Bottom Review process, Division employees, through a series of surveys, focus groups and other correspondence were asked to provide feedback relative to the Division’s infrastructure, policies, procedures and practices that were effective / ineffective in service delivery to individuals with significant disabilities. An integral part of the survey was requesting staff input relative to training needs. Outcomes of this internal review yielded the following training related recommendations:

1. Additional human resources to meet statewide need for new and incumbent staff training;

2. More timely delivery of training for new counselors;

3. Expand the new counselor curriculum to be more comprehensive /incorporate more hands-on activities to reinforce knowledge and skill sets;

4. Provide refresher training for incumbent staff relative to the Division’s Standard Procedures Directives (SPDs) and other disability related topics; and

5. Additional / follow up training regarding the new online case management system.

As a result of these staff recommendations, the Rehabilitation Services Training Unit, under the new Division of OLPD is implementing the following strategies:

1. In addition to the 4 existing trainer positions, two additional staff positions have been allocated. These two new trainer positions will provide: (1) specialized training to counselors working with blind/deaf caseloads; and (2) specialized training to staff working in community rehabilitation training centers

2. All new counselors will be expected to participate in the new counselor training within the first 3 months of employment.

3. The previous two one-week training sessions for new counselors is being significantly expanded to a new curriculum. The curriculum is an intensive, hands-on training, utilizing a variety of training modalities to include navigation of the new online case management system, case studies/scenarios, and individual and group discussions. Additionally, PowerPoint presentations, facilitator guides, participant guides, handouts and related materials are being revised to include recent policy revisions and updates.

4. Conduct regional training sessions to review the SPD revisions.

5. OLPD has established a training website whereby all training materials will be posted to enable trainers and supervisors to access training modules for disability related training topics.

6. Following implementation of the online case management system, follow up regional training sessions were conducted to further illustrate how to navigate the system and provide answers to staff questions. A new state office position was also added to serve as a resource to field staff in providing guidance in navigating/utilizing the new online case management system. TRIMS is being updated to include forms and processes that are consistent with the recent policy revisions.

As part of the new Performance and Quality Improvement process, focus groups were formed to identify specific training needs relative to each job position/classification. These focus groups laid the foundation for the development of a progressive training curriculum to include standards for measuring performance at three, six and nine month increments during the probationary process. Utilizing this process to identify specific training needs and a subsequent training curriculum relative to each job position/classification has proven to be a more effective means of identifying and addressing training needs than staff surveys conducted in the past.

Below are the top 5 training priorities based on staff and management feedback:

1. Leadership/supervisory training (provided through the New Supervisor Academy (NSA), Effective During the past year all new supervisors have attended a three week New Supervisor Academy session to enhance and develop their leadership skills.

2. Leadership Institute (ELI), Performance Management training and other training related to the Department’s new Performance and Quality Improvement process). During the past year all incumbent supervisory staff has completed the one week Effective Leadership Institute. All supervisory staff has competed training on writing S.M.A.R.T job plans and evaluating competency based performance.

3. Caseload management (moving a case through the VR process, critical casework activities such as eligibility determination, plan development, budgeting, etc.). Our recent policy revision was introduced and training was provided in FY 2013.

4. Communication skills/customer service (interviewing skills, effective communication, how to deal with difficult people, cultural diversity)

5. Employment / placement training (including disability disclosure)

6. General on-boarding for new employees (vision/values, people first language, respectful workplace, customer service, ethics, and departmental and division organization). On boarding training has been revised and is being reviewed by DOHR.

The Division continues to provide on-going training and technical assistance regarding the Americans with Disabilities Act to staff and the general public, including business and industry. As part of the on-boarding process, counselors also receive training relative to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and subsequent amendments.

The Division continues to contract with technology centers across the state for training and technical assistance in rehabilitation technology services. Rehabilitation technology contracts are in place with the East Tennessee Technology Access Center (Knoxville), Technology Access Center of Middle Tennessee (Nashville), West Tennessee STAR Center (Jackson), Signal Center (Chattanooga), and Mid-South Access Center for Technology (Memphis).

The Divisions employees continue to receive specialized training in assessment and vocational evaluation activities. Through a partnership with the University of Memphis, vocational evaluators receive extensive instruction in the appropriate selection of assessment tools, interviewing skills, evaluation techniques and report writing.

Evaluators complete a competency examination with subsequent training provided based on the individualized needs of each employee. New counselors receive, via a new counselor training program, training relative to assessments, vocational evaluation and interpreting medical and psychological reports to assist them in acquiring skills to identify the specific strengths and weaknesses of individuals with disabilities. Training in the areas of vocational counseling, job placement and other topics relevant to client service delivery continue to be focal areas for the Division.

Division employees are encouraged to participate in web-based training events as offered through the Technical Assistance and Continuing Education (TACE) Center and other disability focused training events as available.

The Office of Learning and Professional Development (OLPD) is currently examining the existing structure of collecting personnel and training data. A new database for collection of personnel, professional, and training data is currently being developed. The new system will provide a more effective way to track and report the staff data for TDRS.

The Division has posted information memoranda on its intranet website to provide staff with an easily accessible means of acquiring information on current research, resources and related activities in the vocational rehabilitation field. Leadership staff also disseminates new information (such as the latest Institute on Rehabilitation Issues publications) through electronic conveyance. Employees, particularly those with specialized job responsibilities, are encouraged to attend conferences, seminars and training workshops relative to their specialty areas. Local, regional and statewide meetings provide an additional avenue for keeping employees informed of new developments in the vocational rehabilitation field.

 

The Division has policies and procedures to ensure that it includes among its personnel, or has readily available, the services of (1) Individuals able to communicate in the native languages of applicants and eligible individuals who have limited English proficiency through Avaza Language Services; and (2) Individuals able to communicate with applicants or eligible individuals in appropriate modes of communication.

During staff orientation, new counselor training, annual Title VI training and other training activities, Division staff members are informed of specific procedures to be followed to communicate with limited English speaking individuals. Telephonic translation services are available through Avaza Language Services. All regions have received orientation packages to be used to train all of their staff in the use of this service.

The Division continues to recognize its responsibility for employing or obtaining the services of sign language interpreters, which fall within the definition of appropriate modes of communication in (34 CFR § 361.5(b) (5)), to the extent necessary to meet the communication needs of individuals who are Deaf, Blind or Deaf-Blind. The Divisions policy addresses the (1) significance of such services, (2) the selection of service providers, (3) the scheduling and payment for services, and (4) an evaluation process for such services.

 

The Individuals Disabilities Education Act provides renewed emphasis on the planning for service delivery and collaboration of the various divisions and programs designated to serve children and youth with disabilities.

The Division has an interagency agreement with the Division of Special Education, state Department of Education providing administrative support for a coordinated, collaborative effort of service delivery. The Blind and Visually Impaired Services/Deaf and Hard of Hearing unit continues an agreement with the Tennessee School for the Blind and the Tennessee School for the Deaf. Networking of the two divisions relative to transition services has provided a means for coordinating and sharing information regarding personnel development under IDEIA. There is ongoing communication between the two divisions and each division has responsibility for providing input into personnel development activities.

An interagency agreement was developed to fulfill the requirements of IDEIA. The most recent version of this agreement was signed August 1, 2010. The purpose of this agreement is to identify and define the financial responsibility of each state agency for providing services under IDEIA and to facilitate the provision and coordination of services for all children with disabilities. The following state agencies are participating in this agreement: Tennessee Department of Education; Tennessee Department of Children’s Services; Tennessee Department of Finance and Administration; Bureau of Tenncare; Department of Developmental Services; Tennessee Department of Health; Tennessee Department of Human Services; Tennessee Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities; and Tennessee Department of Correction.

Departmental representatives have formed an informal secondary transition interagency workgroup and hold monthly interagency meetings to identify and address issues relative to transition services, particularly what is happening in transition services and what is lacking (resource mapping). This group assists with planning of the annual Transition Summit, a one-day event that precedes the statewide Department of Special Education conference. The Division also participates on the Post-Secondary Alliance, the Next Steps Advisory Council, the Project Opportunity Advisory Council and the STEP board, a parent teaching organization. STEP has a secondary transition focus area and holds parent workshops across the state. DRS staff participates in these workshops by making presentations and providing displays of DRS employment services.

The Division continues to recognize the value of the involvement of its State Rehabilitation Council in personnel development activities. It is the policy of the Division to give the Council ongoing review and input on the development of issues associated with the Comprehensive System of Personnel Development. The Council continues to be involved with CSPD issues associated with recruitment and retention of staff, counselor salaries and pay incentives for successful attainment of a Master’s degree in rehabilitation, and training for existing staff to obtain a master’s degree.

This screen was last updated on Jun 24 2013 1:52PM by Samuel Cole

Attachment 4.11(a) Statewide Assessment

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

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

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

The Tennessee Division of Rehabilitation Services (Division), in collaboration with the State Rehabilitation Council (SRC), completed a comprehensive assessment of the vocational rehabilitation needs of Tennesseans with disabilities in the fall of 2009 and an updated needs assessment will be completed in fiscal year 2013. The results of this assessment will be available and incorporated into the goals and priorities for fiscal year 2014. As required in 34 CFR § 29, the information obtained from a number of sources was assessed and analyzed to determine:

I. The needs of individuals with disabilities, particularly the vocational rehabilitation service needs of:

A. Individuals with the most significant disabilities, including those who need supported employment services (Research Objective I);

B. Individuals with disabilities who are minorities and individuals with disabilities who have been un-served or underserved by the vocational rehabilitation program (Research Objective II);

C. Individuals with disabilities served through other components of the statewide workforce investment system and personnel assisting those individuals through the components of the system (Research Objective III); and

The need to establish, develop or improve community rehabilitation programs (CRPs) within the state of Tennessee (Research Objective IV).

METHODOLOGY:

A variety of methodologies were used in order to address the four stated research objectives. They included:

1. A program needs assessment for the vocational rehabilitation program conducted by the Sparks Bureau of Business and Economic Research (SBBER) at The University of Memphis;

2. Analysis of various disability populations’ statistics;

3. Analysis of client and community feedback since the last assessment including an on-going customer satisfaction survey of individuals with disabilities who were served by the Division conducted by SBBER, input from regional management staff of the Division, input from the SRC, input from the Division’s various constituency boards, and public hearings; and

The methodology for each objective is outlined below.

Research Objective I

In order to assess individuals with the most significant disabilities, including their need for supported employment services, a vocational rehabilitation participant/client survey was created by SBBER. The sample population was drawn from the database of vocational rehabilitation clients that SBBER already surveys, which include Closure 26 clients, Closure 28 clients, and Active status clients. The survey was conducted via telephone by the survey interviewers at SBBER. The sample of Closure 26 participants represents at least a 90% confidence level that the results of this survey accurately reflect the total population. The sample of Closure 28 participants represents at least a 90% confidence level that the results of this survey accurately reflect the total population. The sample of Active Client participants represents at least a 95% confidence level that the results of this survey accurately reflect the total population. All of the vocational rehabilitation participants surveyed were individuals with the most significant disabilities.

Research Objective II

In order to address individuals with disabilities who are minorities and individuals with disabilities that have been un-served or underserved by the vocational rehabilitation program, several databases were researched by the SBBER to provide critical numbers. Those databases included: The United States Census Bureau, The American Community Survey data, Social Security data, and Department of Labor data. The report was based on the data from those sites as well as the Division’s data and experience.

Research Objective III

In order to assess individuals with disabilities served through other components of the statewide workforce investment system, a survey was created by SBBER to be administered to the staff and personnel of that system, including but not limited to Career Centers, One Stop Centers, and Vocational Rehabilitation counselors. The survey was administered via a web-based survey developed by the SBBER. The on-line computer survey was conducted through a web-based system that is completely anonymous.

Research Objective IV

In order to make an assessment of the need to establish, develop, and/or improve community rehabilitation programs within the state, a survey was created to be administered to the staff, personnel, and Vocational Rehabilitation counselors of those programs as well as transition teachers in the school districts. The survey was administered via web-based survey developed by the SBBER. The on-line computer survey was conducted through a web-based system that is completely anonymous.

ASSESSMENT RESULTS:

Research Objective I

This research objective focuses on determining the needs of individuals with the most significant disabilities, including those who need supported employment services.

With the Division being under an order of selection since 2001, it has focused heavily on meeting the needs of individuals with the most significant disabilities. All indications are the majority of these needs are being successfully met.

- 95.4% of active and closed clients surveyed in 2008-2009 were satisfied with the overall quality of the vocational rehabilitation program.

- In response to an open-ended question in the SBBER needs assessment asking what was missing from the vocational rehabilitation program, 441 respondents answered ‘nothing.’ The next highest response had 18.

The majority of client respondents to the needs assessment indicated their needs were being met by vocational rehabilitation.

Clients viewed their most important needs as:

1. Job Placement

2. Training and education

3. Job Referral

4. Finding Jobs

The current state unemployment rate of 8% is intensified for persons with disabilities. The 2012 unemployment rate for persons with disabilities nationally is 15.2%.The primary needs identified by clients as not being met are support services including child care, transportation, and living expenses (maintenance).

The number one need identified by those surveyed other than clients are additional funding for the Division in order to continue to address the needs of those not being served by the order of selection. Better communication throughout the system, including services to employers, and improved information flow to the general public were tied as the second greatest needs.

In terms of supported employment, it was felt the need was being met by every group to their satisfaction except for family members. We believe this concern relates directly to, not to the supported employment service provided by vocational rehabilitation, but the challenge of appropriate follow-along services after the vocational rehabilitation services are completed.

Research Objective II

This research objective focuses on determining the needs of individuals with disabilities who are minorities and individuals with disabilities who have been un-served or underserved by the vocational rehabilitation program.

The largest known un-served group is those applicants who are not receiving services as a result of the Division’s order of selection. While the Division has taken 14,966 cases off the waiting list since 2008, Priority Category 1 remains the only consistently open Priority Category. The Division continues to release Priority Category 2 cases and plans to open Priority Category 2 by September 30, 2012 in order to meet a wider spectrum of the needs.

The order of selection explains why those in the special education system identified the most unmet needs of all groups surveyed. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEIA) (and its implementation of a free appropriate public education for all) has created an expectation for educators, parents, and students that vocational rehabilitation will also be available for all. Tennessee’s order of selection places those, other than the most significantly disabled, in the un-served category.

Population by Race 2010 Division Served

Division Totals 2010 TN Census

Caucasian 63.1% 77.6%

African American 36.3% 16.7%

Other Minorities 2.9% 5.7%

The above numbers indicate that an opportunity would potentially be indicated for services to other minorities.

The Division’s research and work with specialists seem to indicate Other Minorities, especially Hispanics, are less likely to seek assistance from programs like vocational rehabilitation. The Division, however, recognizes an increasing number of individuals living in Tennessee who speak only Spanish, as well as large populations of immigrants from Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.

Needs for people with disabilities do not appear to differ across the racial scale as much as they do across an economic one. Increasing budget cuts at both the federal and state levels have accentuated the real needs of health care, child care, and personal care for people with disabilities.

Other than those issues created by the order of selection, the Division is not aware of any underserved disability areas in the state. The Division is aware of the need to provide ongoing education and training to its staff regarding all disability areas.

Research Objective III

This research objective focuses on determining the needs of individuals with disabilities served through other components of the statewide workforce investment system and personnel assisting those individuals through the components of the system.

The Division is an active partner in Tennessee’s Workforce Investment System. Twenty-one counselors are located in various career centers across the state. Despite that, all of our clients surveyed felt that utilizing the career centers and one-stop centers was not applicable to them. While this is expected to a degree because of the severity of the population the Division is currently serving, it also highlights the need for the system to become more disability friendly.

Based upon input from Division personnel who participate on local Workforce boards and from the Division’s counselors who serve the Career Centers, individuals with disabilities served through other components of the workforce system require the following services and accommodations from the Career Centers:

- Continued efforts to meet program accessibility and accommodation needs;

- Understanding of referral processes and eligibility for program services;

- Navigation through the career center programs;

- Collaboration with and feedback from program case managers; and

- Disability awareness and etiquette training for the workforce staff.

Research Objective IV

This research objective focuses on determining the need to establish, develop or improve community rehabilitation programs (CRPs) within the state of Tennessee.

Findings indicated the following needs:

- Supported employment particularly in rural areas;

- Expansion of employment networks to meet the needs of clients;

- CRPs to do quality trial work experience;

- Additional job coaches for supported employment and non-supported employment clients throughout the state;

- Additional work adjustment resources throughout the state, especially in areas not covered by the Division’s community rehabilitation centers;

- Qualified vocational evaluations throughout the state, especially in Davidson and Shelby Counties;

- CRPs, especially in rural counties, to meet the needs of deaf-blind individuals; and

- Transportation services, especially in rural counties, to access services and employment

This screen has never been updated.

Attachment 4.11(b) Annual Estimates

As of May 3, 2013, 14,645 individuals in the state are eligible for services. Of this number and in compliance with our Order of Selection, 9,708 are receiving services provided with Title I, Part B funds and 959 are receiving services provided with Title VI, Part B funds and with Title I, Part B funds.

For Fiscal Year 2014, it is projected that there will be 8,414 new applicants and that 19,987 individuals in the state will be eligible for services. Of this number, 16,155 will receive services under an IPE provided with Title I, Part B funds and 1,045 will receive services under an IPE provided with Title VI, Part B funds and with Title I, Part B funds. It is estimated that the number of individuals to be served under Title I, Part B and Title VI, Part B under an IPE during Fiscal Year 2014 under each priority category within our Order of Selection will be:

- Priority Category 1 - 10,718 (Includes Title VI, Part B)

- Priority Category 2 - 6,482

- Priority Category 3 - 2,402

- Priority Category 4 - 385

19,987 Total

Note: Estimates for eligible individuals and those who will be provided services under our Order of Selection in Fiscal Year 2013 is based on current trends and has been increased by expected numbers due to opening Priority Category 2 and due to revised procedures for priority category determination and increased marketing efforts from the Division’s Business Services Unit.

It is estimated that the cost of Title I, Part B and Title VI, Part B services for the projected 17,200 individuals who will be eligible for services under an IPE will be approximately $43,000,000 and that the service cost for each priority category within the Order of Selection for the individuals served will be:

- Priority Category 1 - $26,796,000 (Includes Title VI, Part B)

- Priority Category 2 - $16,205,000

- Priority Category 3 - 0

- Priority Category 4 - 0

$43,000,000 Total

Note: Estimated cost for services is based on the total available funding approved by the State’s Department of Finance and Administration for our Delegated Purchase Authority.

Category Title I or Title VI Estimated Funds Estimated Number to be Served Average Cost of Services
1 and 2 Title I $43,000,000 17,200 $2,500
1 Title VI 10718
2 6482
3 0
4 0
Totals   $43,000,000 34,400 $1,250

This screen was last updated on Jun 24 2013 1:56PM by Samuel Cole

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

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

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

The goals and priorities of the Division of Rehabilitation Services for Fiscal Year 2014, as developed and agreed to by the Division of Rehabilitation Services staff and the State Rehabilitation Council, are focused around the Division’s strategic plan.

The goals and priorities for 2014 are:

Goal 1. Continue Increasing Successful Employment Outcomes

Objective 1.1:

A. Increase Successful Employment Outcomes by 10% or more over Federal Fiscal Year 2013. With the opening of Priority Category 2 in October 2012, the opportunity exists to reinvigorate historical referral sources. This effort will include development of marketing initiatives for use in local areas for community outreach as well as joint efforts with the Workforce Investment System, Tennessee’s Department of Labor and Workforce Development, Department of Economic and Community Development, Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, Department of Children’s Services and Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services. The Division will develop strategies for increasing referrals of transition school to work clients through local education agencies. Special focus will include the identification of any underserved population at the regional level.

B. Establish a stronger focus on employment related activities including:

i. Staffing the Agency’s Business Services Unit for regional and statewide responsibility for employment activities;

ii. Building a comprehensive network of employment resources across the state;

iii. Implementing services to employers promoting the value of the Division and the hiring of people with disabilities.

iv. Implementing new service provider agreements with Community Rehabilitation Providers and providing training for both VR staff and new vendors.

vii. Continuing the current Community Rehabilitation Provider monitoring process to ensure effectiveness and efficiency.

v. Work collaboratively with Tennessee’s Alliance for Full Participation (AFP) (an alliance of community and state organizations and agencies that works to enhance the employment of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities vi. Continue to work collaboratively with and provide greater technical assistance to the Workforce Investment System. The Division will continue to have counselors co-located in each of the State’s Local Workforce Investment Areas’ comprehensive career centers and to provide itinerant counselors to serve all satellite career centers.

Objective 1.2:

The Division will monitor expenditures and available funding to determine if there is sufficient funding to schedule releases of Priority Category 3 and 4 cases for services or open Priority Category 3 for services.

Goal 2. Improve Efficiency and Effectiveness in Client Services Delivery System

Objective 2.1:

Meet or exceed the Federal rehabilitation success rate of 55.8% for FY 2014 (Success rate is determined by the number of Status 26 rehabilitated case closures divided by the number of Status 26 plus the number of Status 28 non-rehabilitated Case closures).

Objective 2.2:

Meet or exceed the Federal ratio of the average hourly wage of individuals who achieved competitive employment to the average hourly wage of all employed individuals in the State of 0.520.

Objective 2.3:

Ensure adherence to quality services leading to employment and quality case management practices by:

1. Achieving an 80% or higher satisfaction rating for the vocational rehabilitation program as reported by the consumer satisfaction survey program for successful outcome closures.

2. Continuing with improvements to the Division’s electronic case management system (Tennessee Rehabilitation Information and Management System, TRIMS) to enhance efficiency and accuracy.

Objective 2.4:

Ensure access to VR documents, materials and training for clients and staff:

1. The Division will ensure that all documents and materials are available in alternate formats, as needed and requested.

2. The Division will ensure that timely requests are made when qualified interpreters are needed or requested.

This screen was last updated on Jun 24 2013 2:02PM by Samuel Cole

Attachment 4.11(c)(3) Order of Selection

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

Justification for order of selection

The Division’s Order of Selection is developed in accordance with 34 CFR § 361.36 of the final regulations. The Order of Selection has four priority categories as defined below in this section.

On August 1, 2001, the Division implemented an Order of Selection due to funding limitations that would not allow the Division to provide services under an IPE to all eligible individuals. Only Priority Category 1 cases (eligible individuals who have the most significant disabilities) were served until 2009.

From 2009 until October 2012 there were numerous releases of Priority Category 2 and 3 cases. Beginning October 1, 2012, the Division opened Priority Category 2 for services. The Division is now serving all Priority Category 1 and 2 cases.

Currently the Division has 257 positions that provide direct client services with 59 vacancies in those positions. In addition the Division has vacancies in the roles that support those staff. The average caseload size is 90 clients. In general it is currently taking six to nine months for a client to progress from application to individualized plan development(IPE). The Division currently has over three thousand cases waiting for IPE development.

The Division’s resources (staff) remain inadequate to serve individuals in all four priority categories. The Division has revised the CSPD requirements in order to hire more qualified personnel to be able to serve more clients and serve our clients more efficiently.

The Division has made some changes in Standard Procedure Directives in order to better define the priority categories. Training was provided to counselors from January 2012 to April 2012.

The Division is working closely with the newly developed training unit within the department to provide training to new Counseling staff and to existing counseling staff. The Division plans to fill the majority of the staffing vacancies within the first six months of the fiscal year.

The provision of hiring and training of staff will increase the Division’s capacity to serve all Priority Categories.

The Division expects to serve 17,202 existing and new Priority Category 1 and 2 cases in 2014. Of this number, the Division expects to provide services for 10,718 Priority Category 1 cases and 6,482 Priority Category 2 cases. With a 23% staff vacancy in the staff that provide direct client services, we are unable to open all categories.

The Division will monitor case movement and referrals to determine if there is sufficient staffing to schedule releases of Priority Category 3 and 4 cases for services or open all Priority Category 3 cases for services.

Therefore, continuation of the Order of Selection mandated by the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, to determine which eligible individuals will be served under an IPE is still warranted.

The Division monitors services and expenditures on a continuous basis, allowing the Division to manage available funds to assure sustainability of services for cases placed in an open priority category and receiving services under an Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE). Additionally, adequate funds will continue to be conserved to provide assessment services for all applicants expected to apply throughout the year to determine eligibility and to provide services for those eligible individuals in an open priority category within the Order of Selection.

 

Description of Priority categories

PRIORITY CATEGORY I -- Eligible individuals who have the most significant disabilities

PRIORITY CATEGORY II -- Eligible individuals who have significant disabilities

PRIORITY CATEGORY III -- Eligible individuals who do not have significant disabilities and whose vocational rehabilitation is expected to require multiple vocational rehabilitation services

PRIORITY CATEGORY IV -- Eligible individuals who do not have a significant disability that cannot be classified into a higher priority category

 

Priority of categories to receive VR services under the order

"Most Significant Disability" means the individual meets the criteria for having a significant disability but has a physical or mental impairment that seriously limits two or more functional capacities in terms of an employment outcome.

"Significant Disability" means the individual meets the three following criteria:

1. The individual has a severe physical, sensory or mental impairment which seriously limits at least one functional capacity (such as visual/mobility, communication, self-care, self-direction, interpersonal skills, work tolerance, or work skills) in terms of an employment outcome; and

2. The individual has one or more physical or mental disabilities resulting from amputation, arthritis, autism, blindness, burn injury, cancer, cerebral palsy, cystic fibrosis, deafness, deaf /blind, head injury, heart disease, hemiplegic, hemophilia, respiratory or pulmonary dysfunction, mental retardation, mental illness, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, musculoskeletal disorders, neurological disorders (including stroke and epilepsy), paraplegia, quadriplegia and other spinal cord conditions, sickle cell anemia, specific learning disability, and 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 to cause comparable substantial functional limitation; and

3. The individual’s vocational rehabilitation program can be expected to require multiple vocational rehabilitation services over an extended period of time.

“Non-Significant Disability” means the individual does not meet the criteria for significant disability or the criteria for most significant disability.

“Multiple Vocational Rehabilitation Services” mean two or more major vocational rehabilitation services, i.e. physical or mental restoration, training, counseling, guidance and placement. Excluded are support services such as transportation, maintenance, and the routine counseling and guidance that should take place in every case.

"Extended Period of Time" means 6 months from the date services begin until the employment objective is achieved.

 

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

The Order of Selection priority categories outcome and service goals and time frames are as follows:

1. PRIORITY CATEGORY I -- Eligible individuals who have the most significant disabilities

A. Outcome and Service Goal: Expect to determine eligibility for 3,004 new individuals in this priority category; serve 10,718; and close 1,080 successfully employed.

B. Goal will be achieved by September 30, 2014.

2. PRIORITY CATEGORY II -- Eligible individuals who have significant disabilities

A. Outcome and Service Goal: Expect to determine eligibility for 1,814 new individuals in this priority category; serve 6,482; and close 920 successfully employed.

B. Goal will be achieved by September 30, 2014.

3. PRIORITY CATEGORY III -- Eligible individuals who do not have significant disabilities and whose vocational rehabilitation is expected to require multiple vocational rehabilitation services

A. Outcome and Service Goal: Expect to determine eligibility for 680 new individuals in this priority category and have 2,077 on the waiting list.

B. Goal will be achieved by September 30, 2014.

4. PRIORITY CATEGORY IV -- Eligible individuals who do not have a significant disability that cannot be classified into a higher priority category

A. Outcome and Service Goal: Expect to determine eligibility for 113 new individuals in this priority category and have 378 on the waiting list.

B. Goal will be achieved by September 30, 2014.

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 10,718 1,080 0 Sept. 30, 2014 $26,795,000
2 6,482 920 0 Sept. 30, 2014 $16,205,000
3 680 0 0 Sept. 30, 2014 $170,000
4 113 0 0 Sept. 30, 2014 $28,250

This screen was last updated on Aug 20 2013 10:45AM by Samuel Cole

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

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

The Division continues to provide supported employment services to eligible clients with the most significant disabilities who have been determined to require on-going support (extended) services in order to maintain employment.

Supported employment services are funded through Title VI, Part B funds. As Title VI, Part B funds are depleted, the continuance of the Division’s supported employment services is made possible through Title I, Part B funds. The Division anticipates spending in excess of 1.2 million dollars of Title I, Part B funds in addition to its Title VI, Part B funding allotment (projected to be approximately $470,000 in Fiscal Year 2014).

It is the continued goal of the Division to provide quality supported employment services which are delivered in an effective, efficient and timely manner. Supported employment services are provided through Letters of Understanding with community rehabilitation providers, and in cooperation with the Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services. The community rehabilitation providers must assure that on-going support (extended) services will be provided prior to the implementation of supported employment services or will be developed as natural supports during training. The Division has an excellent supported employment program along with training and support activities to ensure the continued provision of quality supported employment services. These programs are ongoing and are not subject to a specific timeline. Prime examples of these ongoing activities are:

1. Through contract with the University of Tennessee, Center for Literacy, Education and Employment (CLEE) the Division funds three supported employment consultants who are charged with the responsibility of working with our many supported employment community rehabilitation providers in providing training and technical assistance to the staff who provide services to our clients. These same consultants also work with the Division staff on an as needed basis to provide technical assistance.

2. The Division also involves the regional supervisory staff and quality improvement unit in the monitoring of and consultation to the community rehabilitation providers to ensure appropriate services are being provided to our clients.

3. The Division plans to continue the funding of the UT CLEE SE consultants activities as well as continue the provision of in-house monitoring of the services provided to the Division’s clients by the SE community rehabilitation providers.

The Division will continue to seek community rehabilitation providers to provide supported employment services to under-served disability groups with the most significant disabilities who, because of their disability, have not been able to enter traditional competitive employment or whose employment is intermittent or interrupted due to a most significant disability.

The Division expects to continue increasing employment opportunities for those individuals eligible for supported employment with co-occurring disorders of mental illness and alcohol and drug abuse by expanding more effective partnerships with mental health entities that work with this population and implementing improved services. The Division has a Central Office field liaison who works with mental health entities and the Division’s staff statewide in developing such partnerships where needed and who provides training and technical assistance to the mental health community rehabilitation providers and our staff.

The Division has a Central Office field liaison who works with service providers statewide that provides supported employment and extended services for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities to assist with technical assistance and staff training.

The Division expects to serve in excess of 900 clients through the supported employment program during the Fiscal Year 2014. Over the past two years the division has closed around 22% of the supported employment clients in successful employment. This would mean around 198 successful outcomes for FY2014.

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This screen was last updated on Aug 20 2013 10:46AM by Samuel Cole

Attachment 4.11(d) State's Strategies

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

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

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.

The state plan shall include an assurance that the state will reserve and use a portion of the funds allotted to the state under Section 110 for 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 our statewide needs assessment and our goals and priorities.

Funds will be utilized in Fiscal Year 2013 for addressing the following priorities that continue to be identified in our needs assessment as they relate to individuals with the most significant disabilities, including those who need supported employment services; individuals with disabilities who are minorities; individuals with disabilities who have been un-served or underserved by the vocational rehabilitation program; and individuals with disabilities served through other components of the statewide workforce investment system and personnel assisting those individuals through the components of the system: Education and Training; Employment Opportunities; Information; Support Services; and Counseling and Guidance.

In addition, as the Division continues to regularly release Priority Category 2 cases from the Order of Selection waiting list, more individuals with significant disabilities are able to access vocational rehabilitation services. It is anticipated this activity will lead to improvement in the number of individuals with significant disabilities reaching successful rehabilitation outcome statuses by:

1. Continuing the practice of ensuring the availability of appropriate training activities and resources to meet the individualized needs of clients by seeking out and developing partnerships with other private and public entities to provide specialized education and training activities, to include those that can be provided through self-employment, on-the-job-training by employers, and customized employment.

2. Continuing the development and expansion of statewide employer relationships that focus on inclusion of employees with disabilities in the workforce and the value of hiring people with disabilities.

3. Continuing to support expansion of supported employment services by actively seeking out, training, and monitoring community rehabilitation providers, especially in the more rural areas, that are willing to provide supported employment services to vocational rehabilitation clients with the most significant disabilities; and by fostering partnerships with DIDS and the ARCs of Tennessee to implement employment network projects with community rehabilitation providers.

4. Continue to increase employment opportunities for clients through development, training, and monitoring of community rehabilitation providers providing job coach pools and employment services; continuation of an on-the-job training initiative; partnering with Disability Employment Partners; targeted marketing and education services to employers; and the provision of additional technical support and expertise to Division staff and clients in the areas of technology, ongoing and emerging disability issues, and supported employment issues.

5. Continuing to support expansion of Transition School-to-Work services by continuing to work with Local Education Agencies (LEA’s) in the maintenance of existing partnerships and the creation of additional partnerships to provide vocational rehabilitation services targeted specifically to that LEA’s school system; continuing to work with and educate school personnel on the mission and scope of the Division in order to maximize services from both entities to better serve our mutual clientele.

6. Continuing improvement in the service delivery of the Division’s 17 community rehabilitation centers and the comprehensive rehabilitation center at Smyrna geared directly toward providing services leading to successful employment of individuals with the most significant disabilities. Pursue the development of additional service delivery entities in metropolitan and rural markets for services including vocational evaluation, personal and work adjustment, job development, job placement, and job coaching.

7. Continuing support of vocational rehabilitation counselor development by providing opportunities for vocational rehabilitation counselors to obtain Masters Degrees in rehabilitation counseling. The Division will pursue all available RSA slots for Masters level training available to the Tennessee Division of Rehabilitation Services through outreach and research. The Division will continue utilization of recruiter staff for recruiting vocational rehabilitation counselors who have a Masters degree in rehabilitation counseling. Finally, the Division will continue financial support of counselors seeking Masters Degrees.

8. Developing and implementing a comprehensive staff development program based on core competencies for each role. Utilize partnerships through the TACE and university programs.

9. Continuing to provide training, via internal and external avenues, to vocational rehabilitation counselors, supervision, and staff to reinforce and encourage the Division’s goals and priorities.

10. Continuing to implement a marketing/outreach plan that targets and reaches un-served or underserved populations to include all minorities, such as Spanish-speaking clients and clients with traumatic brain injury, autism, deaf-blindness, and mental illness; targets individuals with disabilities who meet our Order of Selection Priority Category 1 and 2 classifications; and targets SSA beneficiaries seeking employment.

11. Continuing to support the Workforce Investment System by continuing to co-locate vocational rehabilitation counselors in each of the major WIA Service delivery area career centers and ensuring that all career center satellites also have vocational rehabilitation counselors assigned to visit their centers on a regular basis to work with individuals with disabilities that visit each center.

12. Providing cross training to the career center staff in regard to meeting the needs of individuals with disabilities. Continue to provide consultation on career center accessibility and accommodation needs in regard to the accessibility needs in the building(s) and accommodations in terms of appropriate technology needed to serve individuals with the most significant disabilities. Continue to partner with the WIA career centers in employment initiatives such as the summer youth employment project.

13. Continuing to support the Ticket to Work and Self-Sufficiency Program and use of other Social Security work incentives that benefit clients by continuing to have Division staff dedicated to the Ticket to Work and Self-Sufficiency Programs. These dedicated staff members will provide expert advice to Division field staff, clients and families on the SSA work incentives in regard to educational and work incentives, including how clients can utilize SSA health benefits while in the vocational rehabilitation program and how employment will affect such benefits upon successful employment. Continue to promote the most effective use of Ticket to Work Employment Network programs for the Division and our partners.

14. Continuing training for counselors, evaluators and related vocational rehabilitation staff on how effective rehabilitation technology options lead to successful employment outcomes.

15. Continuing support of the State Rehabilitation Council. Council members will be reimbursed for reasonable and necessary expenses for attending Council meetings and performing Council duties (including child care and personal assistance services).

16. Continuing support of the Statewide Independent Living Council. Council members will be reimbursed for reasonable and necessary expenses for attending Council meetings and performing Council duties (including child care and personal assistance services).

17. Continuing to submit to the Commissioner an annual report of how funds are utilized relative to innovation and expansion activities.

18. Continuing to provide a coordinated, comprehensive and statewide assistive technology delivery system through a network of contracted assistive technology centers. Each of these five centers, strategically located in Memphis, Jackson, Nashville, Chattanooga and Knoxville ensure access to clients from all 95 counties in Tennessee regardless of location. The centers diverse staff includes: Rehabilitation Engineers, Speech and Language Pathologists, Assistive Technologists, Orientation and Mobility Specialists, Therapists and other professionals and provide clients with evaluation, training, device fabrication and follow up services. By providing clients with access to this highly trained and skilled resource, and by purchasing the required devices, clients have the tools that they need throughout their rehabilitation program to assist them in realizing their IPE goals.

19. Continue implementation of the electronic case management system (TRIMS) utilizing input from agency staff and vendors to enhance the Division’s technological infrastructure and client service capabilities.

20. The new objective in attachment 4.11 (c) (1) under goal number 2 (2.4) was added and will be evaluated in attachment 4.11(e) (2) for FY 2013. This objective was jointly formulated with collaboration and agreement from the SRC based on statewide focus group meetings and other public input received during FY 2012.

 

This screen was last updated on Aug 8 2012 12:55PM by Samuel Cole

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

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

The goals and priorities of the Division of Rehabilitation Services for Fiscal Year 2012, as developed and agreed to by the Division of Rehabilitation Services staff and the State Rehabilitation Council, are:

Goal 1. Increase Successful Employment Outcomes

Objective 1.1:

A. Increase Successful Employment Outcomes by 10% or more over Federal Fiscal Year 2012 Increase Priority Category 1 and 2 referrals by 10% or more over federal fiscal year 2011. Since the Division has been in an Order of Selection since 2001, the opportunity exists to reinvigorate historical referral sources for Priority Category 2 cases. This effort will include development of marketing initiatives for use in local areas for community outreach as well as joint efforts with Tennessee’s Department of Labor and Workforce Development, Department of Economic and Community Development, Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, Department of Children’s Services and Department of Mental Health. The Division will develop strategies for increasing referrals of transition school to work clients through local education agencies. Special focus will include the identification of any underserved population at the regional level.

ACHIEVEMENT: In FFY 2011 Employment Outcomes were 1734. In FFY2012 Employment Outcomes were 1906. This is a 9.45% increase, missing the goal by one half of a percentage point which equates to one successful closure.

Total referrals for FFY 2011 were 7590. Total referrals for FFY 2012 were 7629. This is a .51% increase. The Agency is working on marketing and other efforts to increase referrals.

Tennessee is an Employment First State and the division is partnering with the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development on the DEI initiative.

The division is working with the Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities to have shared vendors to increase outcomes for those significant disabilities.

The division is working closely with the Department of Mental Health to provide WRAP training to our staff and develop employment initiatives.

The division is continuing to revise the transition school to work (TSW) program in order to improve services to transition students.

B. Provide caseload carrying and employment counselors with targeted training on career planning/exploration including how to implement through the counseling and guidance process.

• Establish a stronger focus and recognition of employment related activities including:

o Developing an employment unit with statewide responsibility for regional employment activities,

Achievement: This unit is being the developed with a focus on employment related activities and the business community.

o Placing additional employment counselors in regions where needed.

Achievement: The employment counselor position is being reclassified into Business Relations Consultants (BRC). When this process is completed, more BRCs will be located in needed areas.

o Building a comprehensive network of employment resources across the state.

Achievement: The Business Unit works closely with the Southeast NET to provide job leads regarding companies as well as the Federal Government with hiring opportunities.

o Continuing to develop and provide services to employers promoting the value of the Division and the hiring of people with disabilities.

Achievement: The Unit is establishing a single point of contact with local and large businesses in order to provide more services and employment opportunities.

o Develop and implement new agreements with Community Rehabilitation Providers and provide training for both staff and vendors.

Achievement: The division is developing new agreements in order to expand services. Training is being provided to staff and vendors. The division has a contract with University of Tennessee-Corporate Connections to provide vendor training.

o Revise the current Community Rehabilitation Provider monitoring process to be both more effective and efficient.

Achievement: The CRP monitoring progress is handled out of the Office of the Inspector General within the Department of Human Services. The division has worked with OIG to develop a process that more closely monitors the CRPs. The process is awaiting approval from the Commissioner’s Office.

o Work collaboratively with Tennessee’s Alliance for Full Participation (AFP) (an alliance that includes the Tennessee Council on Developmental Disabilities (CDD), and the Tennessee Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (DIDD), Disability Law and Advocacy Center (CAP), and University Centers for Excellence) to develop a state plan for the national AFP summit committed to doubling the number of people with disabilities employed nationwide.

Achievement: The division is working with these agencies.

o Continue to work collaboratively with and provide greater technical assistance to the workforce investment programs including career centers. The Division will continue to have counselors housed in each of the primary workforce service delivery areas and will visit all other satellite centers on an itinerant basis.

Achievement: The division continues to have work with our workforce investment programs. The division has counselors housed in 23 career centers and satellites.

Objective 1.2:

A. Open Priority Category 2 by September 30, 2012

The Division is establishing regular bi-monthly release of Priority Category 2 waiting list cases during federal fiscal year 2012. The goal of the Division is to open Priority Category 2 by September 30, 2012.

ACHIEVEMENT: Priority Category 2 was opened fully on September 30, 2012. The division continues to monitor the effect opening this priority category has on the budget.

Goal 2. Improve Efficiency and Effectiveness in Client Services Delivery System

Objective 2.1:

To Increase the Rehabilitation Rate (Success Rate) to 55.8% for FY 2012 (Success rate is determined by the number of Status 26 (Rehabilitated Cases) divided by the number of Status 26 plus the number of Status 28 (Non-Rehabilitated Cases).

ACHIEVEMENT: The Division did not achieve this goal. The rate was 46.2%.

Objective 2.2:

To Adhere to Quality Standards

Achieve a 96% or higher satisfaction rating for the vocational rehabilitation program as reported by the consumer satisfaction survey program for successful outcome closures.

ACHIEVEMENT: The satisfaction rating achieved was 86%. This is a high satisfaction rating.

Continue with implementation of the Division’s new electronic case management system (TRIMS) utilizing input from agency staff and vendors.

ACHIEVEMENT: The Agency continues to implement the Case Management system and make improvements as needed.

Objective 2.3:

To Implement a New Organizational Development System to Ensure that Staff Obtain and Maintain Core Competencies

1. Build a comprehensive staff development program to include measures of current competencies and goals to be reached by all staff. While including all staff, the effort will focus on those staff providing service delivery, including:

- Caseload carrying counselors,

- Employment Counselors,

- Vocational Evaluators, and

- Rehabilitation Assistants

ACHIEVEMENT- DHS developed a new Division, The Office of Learning and Program Development (OLPD). Within this Division, there are staff members that are assigned directly to the Division of Rehabilitation Services. Training is being developed.

2. Implement supervisory training for new and existing supervisors focusing on supervisory skills, employment, caseload management, and critical thinking skills.

ACHIEVEMENT- All Regional Supervisors, Front Line Managers and TRC Managers participated in a supervisory training in June 2012. This training focused on supervisory skills, employment, caseload management, and critical thinking skills.

3. Provide training opportunities to educate rehabilitation staff concerning ongoing and emerging disability issues including Traumatic Brain Injury, Autism Spectrum Disorder, and Psychiatric Disorders, Serving the Deaf/Hard of Hearing and Blind/Visually Impaired, and Medical Aspects of Disabilities.

ACHIEVEMENT- The Division and OLPD are planning to concentrate on these topics.

4. The Tennessee Technology Access Program Executive Director and his partners will continue their staff training and consultation to ensure staff appropriately considers technology options.

ACHIEVEMENT- This training continues and OLPD is working with the Executive Director to include this training in new counselor training.

Objective 2.4:

To improve access to VR material for clients and staff.

1. The Division will ensure all materials are available in alternate formats as needed.

ACHIEVEMENT - the Division always ensures that materials are available in alternate formats. This information is always made available.

2. The Division will make timely requests for interpreters as needed and requested.

ACHIEVEMENT: The Division makes requests for interpreters as soon as possible.

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Objective 2.5:

Provide a report on how the funds reserved for innovation and expansion (I&E) activities were utilized in FY2012.

- The Division reserved funds allotted to the state under Section 110 to support Innovation and Expansion (I & E) activities in Fiscal Year 2012 as follows:

- The funds in FY 2012 were used to provide enhanced and concentrated services to Transition School to Work students/clients.

-The State Rehabilitation Council and Statewide Independent Living Council will receive I&E funding as stated below for FY 2014.

-A laptop computer with internet access was provided to the SRC Chair, who lives in rural Tennessee, to maintain contact with the SRC and DSU on official Council business during FY 2013.

-The DSU is collaborating with the SILC to provide an IL needs assessment that was recommended by the SILC to be taken in FY 2015. The DSA’s Office of Organizational and Performance Management (OPM) will conduct the needs assessment.

-The DSU will continue to fund the SRC and SILC activities below in FY 2014 that were not complete in FY 2013.

State Rehabilitation Council

-The Division will utilize available reserved resources to invest in accessible technology, such as a

-Laptop Computer with a printer, to insure that the SRC Chair has the necessary equipment to maintain contact with the DSU and other SRC members while carrying out the SRC’s congressional mandates.

- Updated recording technology for council meetings, hearings, focus group meetings etc.

Statewide Independent Living Council

-Provide funding for an independent living statewide needs assessment.

-Send representatives to the following Independent Living National Training conferences: SILC Congress, Association Program for Rural Independent Living (APRI) and National Council on Independent Living (NCIL).

-Provide funding to centers for independent living to address the under-served population in their catchment areas.

Objective 2.6:

Provide an Assessment of the performance of the VR program on the standards and indicators for FY 2012.

- Achievement - In 2012, the Division met the primary standards and indicators 1.1 (+172), 1.3 (91.3%), 1.4 (94.3%), 1.6 (58.6) and 2.1 (0.94).

In 2012 the division continues to close more cases as successfully employed. Although the 1.2 (46.2%) was missed, the Division has instituted a new step in the process following eligibility called the Employment Needs Assessment. This will allow the Division to determine more appropriate services leading to more successful employment outcomes.

The Division did not meet 1.5 (.049) The Division believes that the Employment Needs Assessment will provide counseling staff with a more thorough holistic picture of the individual which will lead to higher paying employment outcomes. In addition, the Division is training staff on how to provide more efficient follow along services after placement to teach the clients how to advocate for more responsibilities, promotions, etc. that lead to higher wages at closure.

Objective 2.7:

Identify all supported employment program goals consistent with the goals described in Attachment 4.11(c) (4), including an evaluation of the extent to which the supported employment program goals were achieved.

a. Identify the strategies that contributed to the achievement of the goals.

b. Provide a description of the factors that impeded the achievement of the goals and priorities.

Goal 1 - In the previous approved State Plan, The Division had a goal to serve in excess of 520 clients through the supported employment program during the Fiscal Year and achieve successful employment outcomes for 290 clients.

Achievement - The Division served 1246 clients through the supported employment program during the Fiscal Year 2012 and achieved successful employment outcomes for 239 clients. Achievement of the goal for clients served was driven by statewide training focusing on the proper identification of supported employment cases. This resulted in an increase of clients in the Supported Employment Program. The employment goal was not achieved and more training is needed with the vendors on supplemental assessments, job placement and job stabilization. In the next fiscal year, the Division is participating in the Employment First Initiative and participating in three pilot sites for the IPS model of supported employment. With these two initiatives, the Division plans to increase supported employment successful employment outcomes.

 

 

 

This screen was last updated on Aug 20 2013 10:52AM by Samuel Cole

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

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

The Division continues to provide supported employment services to eligible clients with the most significant disabilities who have been determined to require supported employment services, in accordance with 34 CFR § 361 and 363, in order to obtain and maintain employment.

Supported employment services are funded through Title VI, Part B funds (projected to be approximately $470,000 for FY 2014). The Division anticipates spending in excess of 1.2 million dollars of Title I, Part B funds for supported employment services to supplement the funding received under Title VI, Part B.

It is the continued goal of the Division to provide quality supported employment services which are delivered in an effective, efficient and timely manner. Supported employment services are provided through Letters of Understanding with community rehabilitation providers and in cooperation with both the Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services. The community rehabilitation providers must assure that on-going support services will be available prior to the provision of supported employment services or will be developed as natural supports during training.

The Division coordinates with other state agencies and the community rehabilitation providers to transition clients receiving supported employment services to extended services. An individual is moved to extended services when the client has reached a point where he/she has achieved maximum performance on the job; has achieved minimum necessary supports on the job; the job is not in jeopardy of ending; and individual is maintaining work performance which is acceptable to employer and client. The Tennessee Employment Consortium, an independent association of community rehabilitation providers developed jointly by the Division, the Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, and the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, continues to study transitioning from services provided by the Division to services provided by the Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities to develop best practices for transition of services. The Division is working with the University of Tennessee, Center for Literacy, Education and Employment to develop training for CRPs on how to develop natural supports to address extended services where funding is not available from another Agency.

The Division will continue to contract for services from the University of Tennessee’s Center for Literacy, Education and Employment (CLEE). These programs will provide continuing technical assistance and training to the Division’s staff and contracted community rehabilitation providers to assure competency and compliance.

The UT-CLEE program continues to conduct various studies of the components of the Supported Employment program and make recommendations for the improvements based upon these studies.

The number of supported employment providers has decreased over the past year from 92 to 76 supported employment CRPs. While the number of CRPs remains adequate to serve the Division’s decreasing number of supported employment clients, there remains a shortage of CRPs able to provide supported employment services in more rural areas of the state. The Division will continue to enter into supported employment agreements with appropriate state agencies, as well as Letters of Understanding with private and/or non-profit agencies which have the capabilities of providing quality service delivery and extended services in multiple counties. The Division will assertively seek those agencies that will provide supported employment services to persons being transitioned from institutional settings to the community and to work in competitive, integrated employment settings. The Division will also be studying in-house capabilities to provide supported employment services in more rural areas of the state utilizing the Division’s facilities programs. This will include staff training to develop natural supports for extended services.

The Division will continue to seek community rehabilitation providers to provide supported employment services to under-served disability groups with the most significant disabilities.

The Division expects to serve in excess of 900 clients through the supported employment program during the Fiscal Year 2014. Over the past two years the division has closed around 22% of the supported employment clients in successful employment. This would mean around 198 successful outcomes for FY2014.

This screen was last updated on Jun 24 2013 2:11PM by Samuel Cole

System Information

System information

The following information is captured by the MIS.

Last updated on:08/20/2013 10:54 AM

Last updated by:satncoles

Completed on: 08/30/2013 2:07 PM

Completed by: rscodobakc

Approved on: 08/30/2013 2:08 PM

Approved by: rscodobakc